November Book Review (Ask)

Book cover for AskThis month’s book review is for “Ask : The counterintuitive online formula to discover exactly what your customers want to buy…create a mass of raving fans…and take any business to the next level” by Ryan Levesque.

Yes, the title is that long.

In my opinion, the title should be “Ask : Take any online business to the next level”

The difference is this book is really for already successful online businesses.

And I’ll be completely honest, once I realized that I lightly skimmed the book.

This book isn’t a good fit for you at the moment if:

  • A majority of your business comes from face to face interactions
  • You’re still working out the details of being able to regularly pay your business bills
  • You don’t have time to spend laying out an extensive and well thought out online questioning/survey process

This book is for you if:

  • You have a moderately successful business with a significant online presence and you want to take it to the next level
  • You have a somewhat moderately successful online business
  • You’re willing to spend your time and energy to read this book 2-3 times and create an extensive and well thought out and planned online questioning/survey process.

Seriously, if your business is primarily face-to-face with little or no online presence, skip this book. It will only be a distraction (a bright and shiny object) and you’ll be better served to spend your time and energy elsewhere.

What are your thoughts about this book?

October Book Review (Rising Strong)

Rising Strong book coverOctober’s book review is about “Rising Strong” by Brené Brown.

I consider this book the third in a Brené Brown trilogy that started with “The Gifts of Imperfection”, continued with “Daring Greatly” and now “Rising Strong”.

I just loved this book.

I love that Brené Brown uses examples from her own life freely. As she writes in the introduction:

These narratives grant me not only a front-row seat to watch what’s playing out onstage, but also a backstage pass to access the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are taking place behind the scenes. In my stories, I have the details.

These examples are extremely valuable and make it more than an intellectual exercise, it makes it living and breathing work – and when you read the book you get that it was work. And that the work was completely worth it.

The way that this book was written made it easy for me to read and understand the concepts and points. I know that sometimes I pick up a book that others are raving about the teaching/lessons in it.

I know that sometimes I pick up a book that others are raving about the teaching/lessons in it and they’re written in a way that expresses the point, but they don’t connect with me – they’re more intellectual.

I like and need well-told stories and examples. And Brené Brown’s books not only share the lessons, but shares them with masterfully told stories and examples.

I highly recommend this book.

Have you read this book? What did you think? Share in the comments below.

June Book Reviews (We Are All Weird and Start with Why)

Since my May book review, I read “We Are All Weird: The Myth of Mass and The End of Compliance” by Seth Godin AND “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” by Simon Sinek. And my reviews are below.

I’d love to know 2 things in the comments:

  1. Have you read these books? What did you think?
  2. What should I read next month? If it’s already on my to-read list, it’s probably a shoe in. You can see that here.

We Are All Weird: The Myth of Mass and The End of Compliance by Seth Godin
This is a small and short book and an easy read.

I really enjoyed it. The premise being that the bell curve of “normal” has flattened out a bit. In today’s world, there are less “normal” people in the middle and more “weird” people at the edges. AND we’re all “weird” in different ways and “normal” on other ways (that’s my interpretation anyway).

I don’t have a lot to add. It’s a book that needs to be read.

Although, let me share a bit about what he says about the cover art to give you a taste:

What does it mean to be rich? Or weird?

Pictured on the cover is Jeremy, a competitor from the World Beard and mustache Competition. He’s proudly weird, and rich enough to be able to choose his passion.

‘Weird’ because they’re not like you or, perhaps more urgently, because they’re not normal in the way a marketer insists they be.

And that’s what rich creates. Rich isn’t a measure of a bank balance. No, rich means making a choice, choosing an identity and following a path that matters.

Based on that notion, we’re at our best when we’re weird, and when we’re enabling others to become weird as well…

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
This is a book I sat with for sometimes. On occassion, I sat down and wrote for myself, for my business, my answer to a question he posed or thought about how to apply an example or idea to my business.

You can get a really great feel for what the book is about from Simon Sinek’s TED talk. If you like that, you’ll like the book too.

Below are some of my favorite quotes from the book. I’m including them because they give you a really great feel for the book.

People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.

Everything you say and everything you do has to prove what you believe. A WHY is just a belief. That’s all it is. HOWs are the actions you take to realize that belief. And WHATs are the results of those actions-everything you say and do: your products, services, marketing, PR, culture and whom you hire. If people don’t buy WHAT you do but WHY you do it, then all these things must be consistent.

…success and achievement are not the same thing, yet too often we mistake one for the other. Achievement is something you reach or attain, like a goal. It is something tangible, clearly defined and measurable. Success, in contrast, is a feeling or a state of being. ‘She feels successful. She is successful,’ we say, using the verb to be to suggest this state of being.

Success comes when we wake up everyday in that never-ending pursuit of WHY we do WHAT we do. Our achievements, WHAT we do, serve as milestones to indicate we are on the right path. It isn’t an either or-we need both.

It was another month of great book reading!

Let me know if you’ve read them and what you thought in the comments below.

May Book Reviews (The Power of Self-Coaching and Daring Greatly)

Since my April book review, I’ve read two books. “The Power of Self-Coaching: The Five Essential Steps to Creating the Life You Want” by Joseph J. Luciani, Ph.D AND “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead” by Brené Brown. And the reviews are below.

I’d love to know 2 things in the comments:

  1. Have you read these books? What did you think?
  2. What should I read next month? If it’s already on my to-read list, it’s probably a shoe in. You can see that here.

The Power of Self-Coaching by Joseph J. Luciani, Ph.D.
I enjoyed the way this book is written, very conversational. It’s easy to read and has great examples sprinkled through the chapters.

And there are very straight forward quizzes in most of the chapters to help you identify what you might want to work on. Later it gives you 5 steps to help you work on the areas you identified.

I found this book to be very informative, interesting, and laid out well, but the true power of the book is in implementation. When you actually do the exercises and take the work into your every day life.

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown Ph.D., LMSW
I don’t think you can underestimate my respect for Brené Brown. I’ve heard her as a guest on one of my very favorite podcasts, The Good Life Project, and she has two extremely well know TED talks. I think she’s absolutely brilliant. She walks her talk and shares her journey of that process.

This book continues the conversation from The Gifts of Imperfection. She continued her research and this book is that work. And, of course, she shares some of her journey in the process.

When you read this book, don’t forget to look at the “Reading Guide” at the back before you start. I finished the book and started paging through the Notes and Index. Suddenly I found myself looking at questions and quotes from the book to help you think about what you’re reading and how it’s showing up, or how to apply it, in your own life. HOW DID I MISS THAT?! Well, I don’t know. But hopefully you’ll remember it’s there.

All in all, I read two absolutely fabulous books. I highly recommend both of them.

Let me know if you’ve read them and what you thought in the comments below.

"Abundance Now" and "Pilot to Profit" book covers

April Book Reviews (Abundance Now and Pilot to Profit)

"Abundance Now" and "Pilot to Profit" book covers

Since my March book review, I’ve read two books. You can see them above. And the reviews are below.

I’d love to know 2 things in the comments:

  1. Have you read these books? What’s your review?
  2. What should I read next month? If it’s already on my to-read list, it’s probably a shoe in. You can see that here.

Abundance NOW by Lisa Nichols
This book is fabulous for someone starting to learn about abundance mentality. And it might help to be an extrovert (the number of mentors/friends/other categories left my introvert head spinning 🙂 ).

That said, there’s a lot of great information here. AND if you think you’ve already got a section down, well, it’s probably a good idea to read that part extra close (there’s always a new layer to learn).

This book is full of gems. Pick one or two pieces that work for you and apply them. If you’re like me, trying to focus on too many things at once will just leave your head spinning.

Pilot to Profit by Lisa Larter
This is a very easy straight forward read and laid out nicely. It’s written very conversationally – I can easily picture Lisa hosting a webinar going over the various points.

It will shed a light on various aspects of your business to improve or tweak. It is not a these-are-the-10-steps-to-get-this-done book.

The book is broken into four sections: Profit Principles, Content Principles, Social Principles and Selling Principles. I’ll review each section.

This is a great starting place or review for every business owner. Two of the main focuses are mindset/confidence and success or progress measurements.

These are two things that can easily be swept aside in the day to day business of “getting things done” and are very important to take the time and effort to do.

I’d recommend this book just for this section!

First, if you’re a new solopreneur, you do NOT need a website (or you don’t need to spend a lot of time/money on one). It’s more important for you to meet new people and share what you do (and become comfortable with that process).

That said, if you do have a website and have been in business for a bit, read this section. It will give you some things to review.

After you’ve been successfully networking for more than 6 months, read this section (after you have the basics of networking down). I say this because generally, it’s much easier to create connections with people you’ve met face-to-face then those you’ve met through the internet.

Again, this section will give you ideas of what you need to work on.

This is NOT a section on how to network or have conversations with people you JUST met networking. This IS a section on what a conversation with someone who is exploring working with you, someone who wants more information.