Who Else Wants To Create Work That Lasts?

Who Else Wants To Create Work That Lasts?

We all want to create work that lasts. Work that stands out and gets noticed. Work that’s read, shared, talked about, and purchased. But there is a lot of noise out there. How do you get noticed? And how do you ensure that your work keeps selling? That people come back to you again and again? That buyers become part of your 1000 True Fans?

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Book Review: The Power of Broke

By: Daymond John with Daniel Paisner

Book Review: The Power of Broke || One Book Blog

You are likely familiar with Daymond John from his position as one of the sharks on the tv show Shark Tank. The Power of Broke is his latest book and focuses on how having no money but being very hungry and determined to succeed can put you ahead of the person who has access to all the resources.

Daymond opens with what he calls "SHARK Points. 

  • Set a goal.
  • Homework. Do yours.
  • Adore what you do.
  • Remember, you are the brand.
  • Keep swimming.

Then he introduces you to several different entrepreneurs operating different kinds of businesses and shows you how they used other assets such as time, hard work, personality, etc to compensate for a lack of cold, hard cash to invest in their business.

One quote from Rob Dyrdek resonated with me because I love observation & research. Rob says, "I learned by watching other people, people I admire." And "It doesn't cost you anything to do a whole bunch of research," he says, "so go ahead and do it. Everything you need to know, it's out there. Tap into it."

The book includes notes called Power Facts. They are motivational details such as, "Coca-Cola sold just 25 bottles in its first year of operation." Or "Walt Disney was turned down 302 times before getting financing for Walt Disney World." Now how many of us would've quit well before 20 rejections, let alone 300? Right? And that's one of the points of the book—Keep going. Keep trying. A lack of money should not prevent you from succeeding.

The book also includes some snippets from Shark Tank. Things that contestants did right, some things they did wrong.

Daymond wraps up the book with 8 Broke Power Principles that are "pulled from the lives of the trailblazing individuals I've just introduced to you."

It's not my favorite business book. It's not a book that I will reread. But part of that might be because I'm not running a product-based business, so much of what I read didn't apply. And the things that did apply, I've already heard elsewhere. If, however, you are a fan of the show, or of Daymond, it is a well-written book and you will likely enjoy it for the stories.

Daymond's book is available at Amazon.

I received this book for free from Crown Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review—Spark: How to Lead Yourself and Others to Greater Success

By: Angie Morgan, Courtney Lynch, and Sean Lynch

“Sparks are people who recognize that they don’t have to accept what’s given to them…A Spark is also a moment when you realize that you have the ability to be a part of the solution you seek…When Sparks are ignited, they’re a catalyst for personal and organizational change…Sparks are not defined by the place they hold on an organizational chart…Sparks are essential to the growth of any organization…Becoming a Spark is a choice…”

The authors believe that leaders are not born but made and in Spark, they lead you through the process of becoming a leader, showing you the traits you need to cultivate in order to be effective. And even if your title doesn’t reflect a leadership role, you can still be a leader. “A certificate or degree doesn’t make you a leader. You make you a leader.”

Spark contains an introduction, eight chapters, and a conclusion. It's a quick read (about 200 pages) but has great content that makes it a book you could to refer to again and again. At the end of each chapter the authors have listed “Spark Actions” which aren’t necessarily actions in a to-do sense, but instead things to consider such as “Understand the expectations others have for you—other people often have unspoken standards they’re measuring your performance against.”

As the authors are all former military officers, Spark has a strong military influence and many of the examples they use include stories from their military careers.

Two things I really liked about the book:

Chapter 2 spends time encouraging you to think about your values. What does that have to do with becoming a leader? If you are clear on what what is important to you, when you are in a position of having to make difficult choices, it’s easier to make the right one. “…If you’re not sure of what you value, you’re in a vulnerable place.”

The other thing that struck me about the book was how much of it applied to parenting as well as business. To maintain your credibility in a business relationship, you have to do what you say you will do. To be credible as a parent, your kids will expect you to do what you say you’ll do. There are further applications in the book so if you are a parent, I would encourage you to read Spark for that reason alone. Implementing the leadership ideals in the book would help us all be better parents.

 

Book Review-Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future

Book Review-Reinventing You || Words with Jennifer

There are many reasons why we might need to reinvent ourselves:

  • New phase in life
  • Job layoff
  • To move up within a company
  • To transition to a new field

Reinventing You by Dorie Clark isn't about turning yourself into a supermodel or a NFL quarterback. It is about making a plan to get to where you want to be and once you are there, making sure that everyone knows what you have to offer.

As I mentioned in my review of The Gig Economy, the era of working hard and being good at your job in no longer enough. We're all likely to reach a point in time where we have to reinvent ourselves in order to further our careers or to start a new career. Reinventing You shows us how take control and live strategically now that the "era of gold watches and lifetime employment is over."

It's an easy book to read with a lot of ideas for implementation. Chapter 1 discusses the "why" of reinvention. Chapters 2-11 talk about the "hows" of reinvention. And an epilogue wraps up the book. The are also 2 appendices at the end. Appendix A is a Reinvention Self-Assessment and Appendix B includes book discussion questions that could be used in a book club setting.

Book Review-Reinventing You || Words with Jennifer

There was one big surprise for me in the book. Clark talks about how "former colleagues may wonder how an oceanographer can become an investment banker or how a tennis player can become a sales vice president." The idea that someone would question how it's possible for you to embark on a new career so different from your old one really blew my mind. Maybe it's because I have a creative mindset and creative mentors who work nontraditional careers but it would never occur to me that someone couldn't go from being a mechanic to being a banker or from being a banker to running a nonprofit or to go from selling houses to being an oceanographer. I don't know; it's just a diametrical idea to me. I'd love to hear Dorie or someone else with experience expound on it.

Do you have plans to reinvent yourself, start a new career, find a new path? Do you have a plan for your reinvention? I'd love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments.

Book Review-The Gig Economy

The Gig Economy by Diane mulcahy. What you need to know to succeed and thrive in the gig economy.

“My father had one job in his lifetime, I will have six jobs in my lifetime, and my children will have six jobs at the same time.”—Robin Chase, founder of Zipcar.  This is the quote that opens a chapter in The Gig Economy. It does an great job of describing the ideas of The Gig Economy.

I am so enthusiastic about this book because I loved it. The idea that we can piece together a lifestyle that is designed by us, leaving us time for our interests and passions is so appealing. It gives me the illusion of control—multiple streams of income, various opportunities to make money, not being dependent on any one business or person for a paycheck. It’s ideal for a control freak like myself. Multiple opportunities are open to me and I’m the only one standing in my way of designing the life I want. 

So many good things to take notes on!

So many good things to take notes on!

The traditional idea of working for one company or in one field for most of our adult lives no longer applies. More and more businesses are turning to freelancers or outsourcing work that needs to be done. The job market is changing and we can either be afraid of it or we can embrace the opportunities that are becoming available to us. The Gig Economy show us how we can take advantage of these possibilities.

What is The Gig Economy? It includes “consulting and contracting arrangements, part-time jobs, temp assignments, freelancing, self-employment, side gigs, and on-demand work through platforms like Upward and Task Rabbit.”

The author says there are 10 rules to succeeding in The Gig Economy and those rules are covered in three sections of the book— “Getting Better Work”, “Taking More Time Off,” and “Financing the Life You Want.” The book closes with the section “The future Gig Economy.”

A lot of the book has to do with changing your mindset; 

  • How you think about success-What is important to you? What are your priorities? What are your values? What do you want your family life to look like? Success doesn’t have to be measured by the traditional ideas of income and material accumulation.

 

  • How you think about money—The lower you can keep your fixed costs, the most income security you’ve created for yourself, simply by needing less money to maintain your lifestyle. Is it worth working X amount of hours to pay for a particular gadget? If so, there’s nothing wrong with that. “In the end, a good financial plan isn’t about reducing your spending per se; it’s about making sure that you spend what you have in a way that is meaningful to you.”

 

  • How you think about time off—do you want to have a large block of free time in your 70s when your health may or may not allow you to do the things you want to do? Or would you prefer to spread out that time off, taking off a couple months between gigs to travel, volunteer, write that book that you’ve always wanted to write? And in the end, it’s not likely many of us are going to be able to retire in the way we’ve seen our grandparents or parents retire.

I think the biggest challenge for people will be understanding that this new economy in which we find ourselves doesn’t allow for coasting. We have to always be thinking about creating “income security, not job security.” We have to thinking about diversifying our skills, our network, our knowledge. The book quotes author Dorie Clark, saying, “Many people don’t want to deal with the hustle of a permanent career campaign.” But that’s our reality now. The author calls it the “hustling class”, always looking ahead for changes, skills that are in demand, what we can offer.

I urge everyone to read The Gig Economy. I read a library copy but ordered my own copy because I’m going to have my high-school aged child read it. It will benefit her to understand the changing job market and help her make wise career decisions.

Book Review- Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers

Lessons learned from Tools of Titans. A Words With Jennifer book review.

 

Tim Ferriss calls himself a “compulsive note-taker”, having notebook after notebook lining the shelves in his home. His book, Tools of Titans, was to be “the notebook to end all notebooks”. Using podcast transcripts, handwritten notes, text messages, phone calls, and such, he created a playbook of everything he’d learned from the guests he interviewed on The Tim Ferris Show. 

The book is organized into three parts-Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise, loosely based on Benjamin Franklin’s quote, “Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

 During my initial reading of the Healthy section, I was unsure if the book was going to be useful. A lot of the information went over my head because my idea of healthy living is not eating sugar, aiming for 10,000 steps and day, and thinking about yoga and weight-lifting. The Healthy gurus in Tools of Titans talk about things like, hydrolyzed gelatin, ketogenic diets, and checking biomarkers every eight weeks, words and topics way out of my knowledge base. 

Ferris actually encourages you to skip sections that don’t appeal, but to do so with thought. What are you skipping and why? Maybe the topics you are avoiding have “created blind spots, bottlenecks, or unresolved issues.”

In my case, I need to go back to the Healthy section with a willingness to do some research on the things I don’t know. Lord knows, I could use some help in the healthy living arena.

So many dog-eared pages because there was so much good content!

So many dog-eared pages because there was so much good content!

Despite my hesitation, I did pick up a few ideas from the Healthy section & dozens more from the Wealthy and Wise sections. Here are just two of the ideas I took from Tools of Titans.

  1. Chade-Meng Tan gives a 10-second exercise in his public talks. The exercise is to identify two people in the room and think, “I wish for this person to be happy and I wish for that person to be happy.” You can do the same thing at home, thinking of any two people from your life. Or do it out in public, wishing happiness for two random strangers. Try it! Thinking purposefully on someone else’s happiness for just 10 seconds really does something uplifting for your mind and soul. (I’ll give you bonus points if you wish happiness for someone you don’t like.)

  2. Peter Diamandis says, “If I asked you to spend $1 billion improving the world, solving a problem, what would you do?” My immediate thought: I would support writers. As an avid reader, I love writers. Writers have entertained me, offered distraction, taught me things, shown me different worlds, opened up ideas and opportunities. I love, love, love writers. It would be an honor to give back to them as they have given me so much.

I really can’t do justice to the book because it is a robust 670 pages and there is no way to absorb all the information and ideas from just one reading. It’s a book you will refer to again and again and each time you’ll learn something new. Tools of Titans is an essential resource.

Have you read Tools of Titans? What was your favorite takeaway? Let me know in the comments.

Book Review-Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

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I love Bill Gates’ review of Shoe Dog.

A refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like. It’s a messy, perilous, and chaotic journey riddled with mistakes, endless struggles, and sacrifice. Here Knight opens up in a way few CEOs are willing to do. I don’t think Knight sets out to teach the reader anything. Instead, he accomplishes something better. He tells his story as honestly as he can. It’s an amazing tale.”—Bill Gates, one of his favorite books of 2016

Knight is a great writer and his stories about the development of Nike kept me engaged through the whole book. It’s an authentic story about the struggles of building a business. And Nike did struggle. It was surprising (I don’t know why) to read how precarious his financial position often was. I guess when someone is a billionaire, 40 years after they build a business, it’s easy to think there was always money available to run the company.

Some of my take aways: 

When talking about his return home after his backpacking adventures…

“And yet I wasn’t [back]. There was something about me that would never return. My mother noticed it before anyone else. ‘You seem more...worldly.’ Worldly, I thought. Gosh.”

Travel is something my husband and I have tagged as a high priority for our children because we believe travel changes you, opens up your world, and we want that benefit for our children.

“One lesson I took from all my homeschooling [his self-study on various subjects] about heroes was that they didn’t say much. None was a blabbermouth. None micromanaged.

Ohhh boy! I do both those things. I would do well to learn from this.

There’s one point where he compares sports to books, which as a reader (and football fanatic), I loved.

“Like books, sports give people a sense of having lived other lives, of taking part in other people’s victories. And defeats. When sports are at their best, the spirit of the fan merges with the spirit of the athlete, and in that convergence, in that transference, is the oneness that mystics talk about.”

I imagine that is what writers hope their readers experience when we read their books. I know when I read a well-written story, I’m pulled into that world and the idea of the reader and the author coming together in a narrative that the author created, that’s pretty cool. 

“If Blue Ribbon [the original name for the foot ware company] went bust, I’d have no money…But I’d also have some valuable wisdom, which I could apply to the next business. Wisdom seems an intangible asset but an asset all the same, one that justified the risk.”

We need to keep this in mind when we face the fear of failure. Yes, we might fail, but we can take what we’ve learned and turn that information into an asset.

I'd like to see Phil Knight write additional books. 

Order your copy of Shoe Dog here.