Book notes: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Born a Crime Trevor Noah book summary by Marlo Yonocruz

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah


Synopsis: Trevor Noah, one of the comedy world’s fastest-rising stars and host of The Daily Show, tells his wild coming-of-age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. In this Audible Studios production, Noah provides something deeper than traditional memoirists: powerfully funny observations about how farcical political and social systems play out in our lives.

The stories Noah tells are by turns hilarious, bizarre, tender, dark, and poignant – subsisting on caterpillars during months of extreme poverty, making comically pitiful attempts at teenage romance in a color-obsessed world, thrown into jail as the hapless fall guy for a crime he didn’t commit, thrown by his mother from a speeding car driven by murderous gangsters, and more.” -Amazon

Opening Thoughts:

All I know about Trevor Noah was that he took over as host for The Daily Show on Comedy Central after John Stewart left, that he’s hilarious, and he’s South African. Other than that, I knew nothing about Trevor. I saw the ratings and reviews and was instantly sold. I’ve been looking for a good autobiography to pick up, but thought this would be a separation from the typical books I read about business moguls, high performers, and wealthy people. The last book I read about a comedian was Steve Martin’s book, which was a good time as well.

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Book notes: The Startup Checklist by David Rose

The Startup Checklist David S. Rose book summary by Marlo Yonocruz

The Startup Checklist: 25 Steps to a Scalable, High-Growth Business by David S. Rose


Synopsis: “The Startup Checklist is the entrepreneur’s essential companion. While most entrepreneurship books focus on strategy, this invaluable guide provides the concrete steps that will get your new business off to a strong start. You’ll learn the ins and outs of startup execution, management, legal issues, and practical processes throughout the launch and growth phases and how to avoid the critical missteps that threaten the foundation of your business. If you’re ready to do big things, this book has you covered from the first business card to the eventual exit.

The typical American startup costs over $30,000 and requires working with over two dozen professionals and service providers before it even opens for business – and the process is so complex that few founders do it correctly. Their startups’ errors often go unnoticed until the founder tries to seek outside capital, at which point they can cost thousands of dollars to fix…or even completely derail an investment. The Startup Checklist helps you avoid these problems and lay a strong foundation, so you can focus on building your business.” -Amazon

Opening Thoughts:

I picked up this book mostly to help give me an idea of how to start my own startup, which is currently in the works. I was looking to have this book balance out the others I had selected for the month because it seemed more tactical and step-by-step compared to Born a Crime and Linchpin.

Key Notes:

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Book notes: Linchpin by Seth Godin

Linchpin Seth Godin book summary by Marlo Yonocruz

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin


Synopsis: “There used to be two teams in every workplace: management and labor. Now there’s a third team, the linchpins. These people invent, lead (regardless of title), connect others, make things happen, and create order out of chaos. They figure out what to do when there’s no rule book. They delight and challenge their customers and peers. They love their work, pour their best selves into it, and turn each day into a kind of art.

Linchpins are the essential building blocks of great organizations. Like the small piece of hardware that keeps a wheel from falling off its axle, they may not be famous but they’re indispensable. And in today’s world, they get the best jobs and the most freedom. Have you ever found a shortcut that others missed? Seen a new way to resolve a conflict? Made a connection with someone others couldn’t reach? Even once? Then you have what it takes to become indispensable, by overcoming the resistance that holds people back.” -Amazon

Opening Thoughts:

I’ve heard a lot about Seth Godin from Tim Ferriss and Ramit Sethi, but have never been exposed to his work directly. From what I remember, Seth is supposed to be somewhat of a writing guru and an well-known entrepreneur. If I’m not mistaken, Ramit credits Seth as being a mentor of his. I’ve had Seth’s other book Tribes in my to-read list for a while, and right as I was about to buy that book for this month, I came across this book in the recommended reads. It had even better and more reviews so I decided to go with this book as my first exposure to Seth.

Key Notes:

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Book notes: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck Mark Manson book summary by Marlo Yonocruz

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson


Synopsis: “In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be positive all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

For decades we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F*ck positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f*cked, and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is – a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mind-set that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

There are only so many things we can give a f*ck about, so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.” -Audible

Opening thoughts:

I’ve read several of Mark Manson’s blog posts and I am definitely a fan of his work. I think he gives great advice for the most part and I respect the level of success he has created for himself. I also appreciate that he seems to want to help others live a better life. I saw this book and all the good ratings it received so I decided to buy it for my April reads.

Key notes:

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Book notes: The Conversion Code by Chris Smith

The Conversion Code Chris Smith book summary by Marlo Yonocruz

The Conversion Code by Chris Smith


Synopsis: “The Conversion Code provides a step-by-step blueprint for increasing sales in the modern, Internet-driven era. Today’s consumers are savvy, and they have more options than ever before. Capturing their attention and turning it into revenue requires a whole new approach to marketing and sales. This book provides clear guidance toward conquering the new paradigm shift toward online lead generation and inside sales. You’ll learn how to capture those invaluable Internet leads, convert them into appointments, and close more deals. Regardless of product or industry, this proven process will increase both the quantity and quality of leads and put your sales figures on the rise.

The business world is moving away from “belly-to-belly” interactions and traditional advertising. Companies are forced to engage with prospective customers first online – the vast majority through social media, mobile apps, blogs, and live chat – before ever meeting in person. Yesterday’s marketing advice no longer applies to today’s tech savvy, mobile-first, social media-addicted consumer, and the new sales environment demands that you meet consumers where they are and close them – quickly. The Conversion Code gives you an actionable blueprint for capturing Internet leads and turning them into customers. ” -Audible

Opening Thoughts:

One of my focuses for this year is to learn as much as I can about marketing and online business. Because of that, I decided to put this book on the list after browsing through the Audible library of books. It seemed like a good book and had pretty decent ratings, so I figured it would be of some value.

Key Notes:

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Book notes: Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang

Rejection Proof book summary by Marlo Yonocruz

Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang


Synopsis: “Jia Jiang came to the United States with the dream of being the next Bill Gates. Despite early success in the corporate world, his first attempt to pursue his entrepreneurial dream ended in rejection. Jia was crushed and spiraled into a period of deep self-doubt. But he realized that his fear of rejection was a bigger obstacle than any single rejection would ever be, and he needed to find a way to cope with being told no without letting it destroy him. Thus was born his “100 days of rejection” experiment, during which he willfully sought rejection on a daily basis.

Jia learned that even the most preposterous wish may be granted if you ask in the right way, and here he shares the secret of successful asking, how to pick targets, and how to tell when an initial no can be converted into something positive. But more important, he learned techniques for steeling himself against rejection and ways to develop his own confidence – a plan that can’t be derailed by a single setback.

Filled with great stories and valuable insight, Rejection Proof is a fun and thoughtful examination of how to overcome fear and dare to live more boldly.” -Amazon

Opening thoughts:

If I’m not mistaken, I heard this guy’s story from his when someone posted his TED talk on my newsfeed. His presentation was fantastic, and I never knew he actually published a book about his story. I had actually seen the book cover pop up on my recommended reads, but never read the synopsis until recently.

My mom recently finished reading this book and absolutely loved it, so I’m sure I would enjoy it as a part of this month’s reading list. I always like to have a more narrative-type book grouped with a more business book, and maybe a more general personal development-type book.

Key notes/ideas:

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Book notes: Unshakeable by Tony Robbins

Unshakeable by Tony Robbins book summary by Marlo Yonocruz

Unshakeable by Tony Robbins


Synopsis: “Tony Robbins returns with a step-by-step playbook, taking you on a journey to transform your financial life and accelerate your path to financial freedom. No matter your salary, your stage of life, or when you started, this book will provide the tools to help you achieve your financial goals more rapidly than you ever thought possible.

Robbins, who has coached more than 50 million people from 100 countries, is the world’s number-one life and business strategist. In this book he teams up with Peter Mallouk, the only man in history to be ranked the number-one financial advisor in the United States for three consecutive years by Barron’s. Together they reveal how to become unshakeable – someone who can not only maintain true peace of mind in a world of immense uncertainty, economic volatility, and unprecedented change but profit from the fear that immobilizes so many. Through plain English and inspiring stories, you’ll discover…

  • How to put together a simple, actionable plan that will deliver true financial freedom
  • Strategies from the world’s top investors on how to protect yourself and your family and maximize profit from the inevitable crashes and corrections to come
  • How a few simple steps can add a decade or more of additional retirement income by discovering what your 401(k) provider doesn’t want you to know
  • The core four principles that most of the world’s greatest financial minds utilize so that you can maximize upside and minimize downside
  • The fastest way to put money back in your pocket: uncover the hidden fees and half truths of Wall Street – how the biggest firms keep you overpaying for underperformance” -Amazon

Opening thoughts:

I preordered this book as soon as I got the email promotion from Tony Robbins’ newsletter. It’s a Tony Robbins book and its about money, one of the most important things to understand. I feel like those reasons are two of the most compelling I can think of to ever pick up a book.

Key notes/ideas:

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Book notes: The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

The E Myth book summary by Marlo Yonocruz

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber


Synopsis: “In this first new and totally revised edition of the 150,000-copy underground bestseller, The E-Myth, Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business. He walks you through the steps in the life of a business from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective, the guiding light of all businesses that succeed. He then shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business whether or not it is a franchise. Finally, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business. After you have read The E-Myth Revisited, you will truly be able to grow your business in a predictable and productive way.” -Amazon

Opening thoughts:

I believe I heard this book recommended on the Tim Ferriss Show podcast a couple times so it has been on my list for a while now. I just finished reading 40 Rules for Internet Business Success in January and thought this would be a great follow up. I am in the process of starting my own online business so this book seemed like a great book to add to this month’s queue.

Key notes/ideas:

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