With 2016 wrapped up and 2017 already well on its way, I figured I should do a recap of the past year. For my friends and family, this is a good opportunity to share what I’ve been up to the past year. Aside from my occasional social media updates, I haven’t been too active in many of my social groups from college. I realized that this is normal when you transition into the “adult” world. On the flip side, I’ve also discovered that with true friends, it’ll feel like time hasn’t passed when you meet up with them after a while.
It’s good to periodically look back to see how far you’ve come, review/reflect, and use what you’ve learned to improve your results going forward.
Synopsis: “When it comes to delivering a pitch, Oren Klaff has unparalleled credentials. Over the past 13 years, he has used his one-of-a-kind method to raise more than $400 million – and now, for the first time, he describes his formula to help you deliver a winning pitch in any business situation.
Whether you’re selling ideas to investors, pitching a client for new business, or even negotiating for a higher salary, Pitch Anything will transform the way you position your ideas.
According to Klaff, creating and presenting a great pitch isn’t an art – it’s a simple science. Applying the latest findings in the field of neuroeconomics, while sharing eye-opening stories of his method in action, Klaff describes how the brain makes decisions and responds to pitches. With this information, you’ll remain in complete control of every stage of the pitch process.” -Amazon
Opening thoughts: This book showed up on my recommended books feed in Audible. It also got fantastic reviews, and I’m always interested in sales/influence-related books so it was an easy decision to get it.
Synopsis: “Matthew Paulson, Founder of Analyst Ratings Network, Lightning Releases, and GoGo Photo Contest, has weathered the failures and triumphs of being an entrepreneur for nearly a decade. 40 Rules for Internet Business Success is his collection of core principles and strategies he used to grow his business.
By listening to this audiobook, you will learn to:
Throw away your business plan! Create a scalable business model that actually works.
Identify a target market that is desperate for your company’s products and services.
Launch your first product or service faster by building a minimum viable business.
Create a reliable and repeatable marketing strategy to keep new customers coming.
Build systems that make your business run like a well-oiled machine.
Maximize your company’s earnings potential with the three keys of revenue growth.” -Amazon
Opening thoughts: I’ve been meaning to pick up a book pertaining to online marketing or business for a while. I stumbled upon this while browsing similar books on online business. It had good reviews and seemed like a solid book with hard tactics so I was sold. I think one of the best venues to start a side project to create additional income streams would be an online, mobile business. I’m sure I would learn some solid nuggets from this one.
Synopsis: “The Tao of Seneca (volumes 1-3) is an introduction to Stoic philosophy through the words of Seneca. If you study Seneca, you’ll be in good company. He was popular with the educated elite of the Greco-Roman Empire, but Thomas Jefferson also had Seneca on his bedside table. Thought leaders in Silicon Valley tout the benefits of Stoicism, and NFL management, coaches, and players alike – from teams such as the Patriots and Seahawks – have embraced it because the principles make them better competitors. Stoicism is a no-nonsense philosophical system designed to produce dramatic real-world effects. Think of it as an ideal operating system for thriving in high-stress environments. This is your guide.” -Amazon
Opening thoughts: Recommended by Tim Ferriss on several occasions. How could I say no? This installment has been on my Audible wish list for a while now, so it was only a matter of time. Going in, I had no idea what Stoicism was. However, based on what Tim says, it’s an effective framework by which to operate in your daily life. Also per Tim’s recommendation, I would listen to these letters separately and reflect on each one. I would listen to one letter each time I got into my car and commuted to work, so I listened to two letters per day.
Synopsis: “From Andre Agassi, one of the most beloved athletes in history and one of the most gifted men ever to step onto a tennis court, a beautiful, haunting autobiography.
Agassi brings a near-photographic memory to every pivotal match and every relationship. Never before has the inner game of tennis and the outer game of fame been so precisely limned. Alongside vivid portraits of rivals from several generations—Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer—Agassi gives unstinting accounts of his brief time with Barbra Streisand and his doomed marriage to Brooke Shields. He reveals a shattering loss of confidence. And he recounts his spectacular resurrection, a comeback climaxing with his epic run at the 1999 French Open and his march to become the oldest man ever ranked number one.
In clear, taut prose, Agassi evokes his loyal brother, his wise coach, his gentle trainer, all the people who help him regain his balance and find love at last with Stefanie Graf. Inspired by her quiet strength, he fights through crippling pain from a deteriorating spine to remain a dangerous opponent in the twenty-first and final year of his career. Entering his last tournament in 2006, he’s hailed for completing a stunning metamorphosis, from nonconformist to elder statesman, from dropout to education advocate. And still he’s not done. At a U.S. Open for the ages, he makes a courageous last stand, then delivers one of the most stirring farewells ever heard in a sporting arena.
With its breakneck tempo and raw candor, Open will be read and cherished for years. A treat for ardent fans, it will also captivate readers who know nothing about tennis. Like Agassi’s game, it sets a new standard for grace, style, speed, and power.” -Amazon.
Opening thoughts: A friend of mine actually bought this book for me back in college but I never picked it up because I wasn’t really into books at the time. 5 years later, I saw this book on a recommended reading list from someone I respect so I kept put it on my to-read list. Since I already had the physical book, figured I might as well read it. I’m not really into tennis but I’ve had great experiences reading biographies and autobiographies of top performers so I figured I’d get a ton of value and learn a lot of great insight, especially in a field I have no familiarity with.
Synopsis: “Anthony Robbins already has unlocked the personal power inside millions of people worldwide. Now in this revolutionary new audio production based on his enormously popular Date with Destiny™ seminars, Robbins unleashes the sleeping giant that lies within all of us — teaching us to harness our untapped abilities, talents and skills.
The ultimate program for improving the quality of every aspect of your life — personal or business, physical or emotional — Awaken the Giant Within gives you the tools you need to immediately become master of your own fate.” -Amazon
Opening thoughts: Tony Robbins always delivers. I’ve had this book on my list for awhile now, but kept putting it off because I don’t like reading the abridged version of anything. I figured that based on the reviews, I’m sure it would deliver value and cover some of the main points of the full version. At the same time, I felt I needed something short to offset Open, which was 18 hours long.
Synopsis: “Influence: Science and Practice is an examination of the psychology of compliance (i.e. uncovering which factors cause a person to say “yes” to another’s request).
Written in a narrative style combined with scholarly research, Cialdini combines evidence from experimental work with the techniques and strategies he gathered while working as a salesperson, fundraiser, advertiser, and in other positions inside organizations that commonly use compliance tactics to get us to say “yes.” Widely used in classes, as well as sold to people operating successfully in the business world, the eagerly awaited revision of Influence reminds the listener of the power of persuasion.
Cialdini organizes compliance techniques into six categories based on psychological principles that direct human behavior: reciprocation, consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity.” – Amazon
Another book that was recommended by Ramit Sethi in one of the Tim Ferriss podcasts I was listening to. Based on the synopsis, I figured it would be one of those books that discusses a topic with scientific and anecdotal support. Most likely, it would cover the key ideas that surround what influences people as it might relate to marketing and sales. At least, I’m sure the insights Ramit got from it could be applied to sales and marketing.
Synopsis: Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup – practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular ben’s blog.
While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in.
Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures, drawing from Horowitz’s personal and often humbling experiences.
Again, I found this book through listening to Tim Ferriss’s podcast when he interviewed Mark Andreessen and this book came up. The reviews looked good and so far all of the books I’ve read from the podcast were great. It definitely had a weird title, but I really wasn’t sure what to expect.