On Jan. 15, 2009, Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) tries to make an emergency landing in New York’s Hudson River after US Airways Flight 1549 strikes a flock of geese. Miraculously, all of the 155 passengers and crew survive the harrowing ordeal, and Sullenberger becomes a national hero in the eyes of the public and the media. Despite the accolades, the famed pilot now faces an investigation that threatens to destroy his career and reputation.
I’ve watched hundreds of movies and consider myself an avid movie-goer. So when I saw the movie poster, Tom Hanks, Clint Eastwood, saw it was a true story, and its high rating on Rotten Tomatoes, my instincts were telling me it was going to be awesome. There was no question about whether or not I was going to watch this 😁
I enjoyed how the movie didn’t go in chronological order. Instead, it was broken up into five parts:
Post-crash: the day after and the beginning of the investigation
1st half of incident: take off up until crash
Continued story and investigation
2nd half of incident: crash and rescue
Continued story, the final public hearing, and the revisit of the flight audio recording
Synopsis: In September 2014, a Chinese company that most Americans had never heard of held the largest IPO in history – bigger than Google, Facebook, and Twitter combined. Alibaba, now the world’s largest ecommerce company, mostly escaped Western notice for over 10 years, while building a customer base larger than Amazon’s and handling the bulk of ecommerce transactions in China. How did it happen? And what was it like to be along for such a revolutionary ride?
In Alibaba’s World, author Porter Erisman, one of Alibaba’s first Western employees and its head of international marketing from 2000 to 2008, shows how Jack Ma, a Chinese schoolteacher who twice failed his college entrance exams, rose from obscurity to found Alibaba and lead it from struggling startup to the world’s most dominant ecommerce player. And he analyzesAlibaba’s role as a harbinger of the new global business landscape – with its focus on the East rather than the West, emerging markets over developed ones, and the nimble entrepreneur over the industry titan. As we face this near future, the story of Alibaba – and its inevitable descendants – is both essential and instructive.
Just like when I purchased The Automatic Customer during the Audible BOGO sale, this was the only other book in the list that caught my eye. I was largely ignorant to what Alibaba was exactly, but I knew its founder Jack Ma was one of the wealthiest men on the planet and had a reputation for being a business Titan.
I figured this would be a great opportunity to educate myself on one of the most influential companies in history. I figured I would learn a lot just like when I read Age of Amazon, the story of Jeff Bezos and his company.
Synopsis: Translated into over 50 languages, The Purpose Driven Life is far more than just a book; it is a guide to a spiritual journey that has transformed millions of lives. Once you take this journey, you’ll never be the same again.
On your journey you’ll find the answers to 3 of life’s most important questions: The Question of Existence: Why am I alive? The Question of Significance: Does my life matter? The Question of Purpose: What on earth am I here for?
Pastor Rick is actually my pastor! I go to Saddleback Irvine South, which is one of his church’s several campuses in Southern California (though there are some outside the country).
I’ve heard him and other pastors mention this book on different occasions. My roommate even told me that my pastor (before I knew) was a well-known pastor and has one of the biggest congregations in the country! I had no idea that my pastor was such an influential and successful person.
He’s also claimed to have read tens of thousands of books over the course of his life, which is apparent as he comes across as a very learned and intellectual, as well as compassionate, person. Needless to say, I’ve felt compelled to read his book for a while now.
A couple weeks ago, pastor Rick actually told an anecdote about how this book helped Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps get out of depression and get out of retirement and back to training for the most recent Olympics.
Although I am a Christian and I imagine I will get a ton of value for myself (mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) out of this read, I’m also determined to draw some of the key nuggets that can add value to anyone else no matter what their beliefs are.
Synopsis (via Amazon): The lifeblood of your business is repeat customers. But customers can be fickle, markets shift, and competitors are ruthless. So how do you ensure a steady flow of repeat business? The secret—no matter what industry you’re in—is finding and keeping automatic customers.
According to John Warrillow, this emerging subscription economy offers huge opportunities to companies that know how to turn customers into subscribers. Automatic customers are the key to increasing cash flow, igniting growth, and boosting the value of your company.
A couple weeks ago, Aduible was having a BOGO sale so I thought I would take advantage of it with my credits. I picked up this book (along with Alibaba’s World) mainly because it looked like the most interesting and relevant business book 😋
Regardless, the book had good reviews and it seemed like I would get some value out of it. As a budding entrepreneur, I feel like I need to absorb as much as I can so I can utilize effective principles in my own businesses.
Synopsis: This book is the autobiographical account of Steve Martin’s career as a stand up comedian, how he got into it, and why he quit. He recounts the years he spent honing his craft and performing thousands of times before eventually hitting stardom. His story is a peeks into the world of a live performer and celebrity.
My thoughts going in were that I’d probably get some good insight into how an artist like a stand up comedian hones his craft and achieves celebrity through show business. I put the book on my audible wish list because of a recommendation I heard on one of Tim Ferriss’s podcast episodes, and saw that there were thousands of positive reviews.
My experiences with biographies of successful people have been good up until this point so I thought it couldn’t hurt. I typically read about business titans, so a biography of an artist seemed like a good change of pace.
So I watched this movie last night. I wanted to watch it in theaters mostly because Hugh Jackman was in it, but didn’t get around to it before it left theaters.
In a nutshell, it’s a great movie. Based on a true story, I thought it was nothing short of inspiring.
The movie is about a boy who has the dream of becoming an Olympian. Despite, his disadvantage of having no natural talent for athletics, he persists to train hard to achieve his goal. Eventually he learns to ski, but moves to long jump after not being allowed on the British Olympic male ski squad.
Along the way, he faces ton of challenges. Everyone discourages him (including his father), he’s thwarted by the British Olympic committee from joining the team, and he doesn’t even know how to long jump.
He manages to link up with Hugh Jackman’s character, who was a prodigy long jumper back in his day, and together they manage to help Eddie qualify for the Olympics and achieve the impossible.
There are a few things I absolutely love about this story:
Despite many challenges, he persists and doesn’t give up. He went on pure faith in his vision.
He has this amazing optimism that kept him going. Where most people would have been focused on failure or paralyzed by fear, he just did it anyway. The act of DOING instead of just thinking always inspires me.
He was set on proving people wrong. Don’t we all love the story of the underdog? Nobody believed in him since the beginning, but he never waivered and managed to become an Olympian.
He had the unconditional love and support of his mother. Themes about family alway get me. It reminds me about how Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon) attributes a large part of his success to his parents always encouraging him. It reminds me of the type of parent I aspire to be one day.
While I don’t think this movie is going to win any awards, it’s definitely an inspiring telling of a story with a solid execution. Would definitely recommend if you’re looking for one of those heartwarming movies about determination and human spirit.
As we wind down the course, let’s wrap things up and look forward. Some final prompts to choose from:
Publish a course wrap-up: What did you enjoy or dislike?
Describe an assignment or writing session in which you experienced an “aha!” moment.
As I continue blogging, I plan to …
5, 10, 20 years from now …
I absolutely loved this writing course. Because of the variety in assignments, it really pushed me out of the box and showed me new ways to approach a post.
I felt the different structures were valuable because I was able to learn the concepts by putting it into practice. Because it was sort of like a challenge, it pushed me to not skip a day and go through it as a sequence.
I thought the homework assignments were great ideas, but I wasn’t able to accomplish them (like the collaborative guest post) because I mostly set aside a 5-10 minute window per day to work on these.
When I give myself topics to write on, I definitely will give myself more time and plan out my writing process accordingly.
I think overall, my biggest takeaways were:
Engaging readers with stories from my daily life, helping me develop a storytelling voice
Using my other social media to enhance the posts
Using images and graphics like my personal photos off my phone to help tell the story visually
Playing with short and long posts, as well as lists
As I continue blogging, I plan to use what I’ve learned about style, formatting, and approach to tackle some of the topics I’ve been wanting to write about like how to develop habits, book reviews, hot-button topics, and general recaps of interesting parts of my day/life.
5-10 years from now, I hope my blog will develop into an all-inclusive look into my life that will add massive value to my readers. I hope to develop my personal brand that allows me to reach the maximum amount of people so that I can make enough of an impact.
I also hope to develop my brand as a platform to help me achieve some of my other goals and network with other like minded people. Perhaps I’ll even be able to find some amazing mentors along the way 🙂