All posts tagged “book”

"Give away some knowledge. People fear that if they give it away, people won't need to hire or buy from them. If everything you know about your industry can be explained in a few articles, you don't know much."

Scott Stratten, UnMarketing

Live Your Life On Purpose With Help From Michael Hyatt

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Creating Your Personal Life Plan cover

I just signed up for Michael Hyatt‘s email list so that I could download his new e-book, Creating Your Personal Life Plan.  I haven’t even read it in full yet but after just skimming through the topics I can already tell it’s going to be a good one.

There are so many things in life that we plan: vacations, projects, events…but do we ever set out a plan for our life itself? I certainly haven’t and I can’t help but think planning everything else would get that much simpler if I had a set of goals and actionable items for my life as a whole.

Definitely take the time to sign up for Michael’s email list and download this free e-book. Also, his blog is one of my favorites so go ahead and add that to your reader app. Lots of great topics on everything from leadership to technology to lifehacks to book reviews. A goodie-bag of awesomeness.

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The Quick Summary and Review of 37signals’ Rework

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Cover of "Rework"

Cover of Rework

My summary of the book: Focus on the essentials of your business – the pieces that are most important – and stop thinking or worrying about anything else until absolutely necessary. And be flexible.

My review: Excellent book. An easy read and lots of very very practical advice for businesses of any size.

Check it out (affiliate link).

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If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business-you have a job.

So I’m in the midst of reading three books right now…all of which are blowing my mind. But the one that is doing the craziest things with regard to my approach to business is The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber.

I’ve always approached my freelance business as an extension of me. People know me, trust me, know what I can do, and that’s what I’m selling. But how do I grow that? How do I allow my business to continue to run even if I need to take some time off? I’m hoping that this book points me in a direction to answer these questions (I’m about half-way through right now).

Oh, and the other books I’m reading are Designing with Web Standards by Jeffrey Zeldman (awesome so far) and Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. Normally reading a bunch of books at once isn’t the best approach for me, but these three books in particular in relation to what I do is totally getting me to think about the direction of my business. Rework is an especially cool format.

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Working Naked: A guide to the bare essentials of home office life

Ready to get “undressed” for success?

Lisa Kanarek’s new book, “Working Naked” (affiliate link), can help you do just that. Lisa shares a ton of great tips for all aspects of a career built around working from home. She packages it all in an easy-to-ready format (think Seth Godin: quick bursts of excellent information).

Also, check out Lisa’s site/blog: WorkingNaked.com. You may recognize her name from an interview I did with her earlier this year. She IS America’s Work-From-Home expert!

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Seth Godin, The Internet, & Crack Cocaine

A few more thoughts from Seth Godin‘s “Linchpin” and the addicting distractions of the Internet.

What’s the biggest time-zapper for you online?

I’ll come clean that Vimeo is probably the most addicting distraction for me (especially when paired with my HD projector). Endless amazing art and talent. The creativity of others draws me in every time. Twitter comes in at a close second.

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What Are You So Afraid Of?

I’ve been reading Seth Godin‘s “Linchpin” at a surprisingly slow pace. It’s not because it’s a bad book, it’s just because each little section in it is just so good and I’d be missing out on so much by reading it too quickly. I’ve got this book earmarked all over the place!

In the book, Godin discusses the idea of the resistance. This includes habits, emotions, and other barriers that keep us from truly becoming more than just a cog in the corporate machine. Today I talk about one of those barriers: fear.

So, what are you afraid of?

A big thank-you to @MichaelHyatt for the book!

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Review: The Power of Less by Leo Babauta

I picked up The Power of Less by Leo Babauta at the library a few weeks ago and I think I read it faster than any book I’ve read in recent memory. I completely devoured everything that Leo (author of one of my favorite blogs, ZenHabits) had to share.

The book focuses on simplifying your life, both through cutting out the unnecessary things and focusing on tasks related to your goals. Here are a few of the highlights.

Creating Habits

Babauta explains that we often try to do a major overhaul of our habits in bulk. Instead, he says that you should focus on creating new habits, one at a time. Don’t try to improve everything at once. Focus on one habit that you want to create and stay focused on it until it is, in fact, a habit. Then, move on to the next one.

Some of the habits he suggests working on include creating a daily routine, exercise 5-10 minutes daily, keeping your desk de-cluttered, eating more fruits and vegetables, etc.

Getting Things Done

I’ve tried the actual GTD system in the past and I failed miserably as it fell into the realm of a major overhaul. I remember wondering when I was ever going to have time to devote an entire day to starting it and organizing my life. Babauta’s approach (“Zen to Done“) goes right along with creating habits: focus on one task at a time.

He suggests setting your three most important tasks that you want to accomplish each day and only work on one task at a time until completed. I’ve been doing this and it’s been a great system. At the end of the day, as long as those three tasks are complete, you feel like you’ve accomplished what needed to be done.

Cutting Out The Noise

We live busy, fast, noisy lives. I’ve talked in the past about some of the distractions of technology and other factors. Leo gives some great tips for lessening the interruptions due to things like the internet, email, commitments, etc. For example, he says it’s a good practice to check email only twice a day. In general, a person should be setting limits.

I’ve been trying to get into this habit a bit more, but at his suggestion, this month I’ve been working on my “One Goal,” which as I mentioned is setting the three most important tasks each morning until that’s a habit.

Slow Down and Focus On The Present

This is a big one for me. I spend too much time thinking about what needs to be done. Babauta explains that if we put into practice his other suggestions for simplifying, we’ll be able to live at a slower pace, get more done, and focus on the present, thus giving us more satisfaction in what we are actually doing.

What’s Missing?

While I thoroughly enjoyed The Power of Less and will easily give it five out of five stars on Goodreads, the one topic I wish Babauta would have covered in-depth is the idea of simplifying your stuff. We as consumers are simply way too “stuff”-driven, myself included. I’ve really been realizing how much consumerism contributes to stress, lack of balance, and lack of perspective on what matters in life. Again, I’m as guilty as anyone on this one and I would have loved some tips from Leo on this topic.

Read It!

This book has given me a great roadmap for simplifying both my life and career, and I highly recommend reading it. I may even try to get Leo for an AnywhereMan interview at some point since he officially lives the Anywhere Lifestyle, so if anybody knows him personally, drop me an email.

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Review: What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20

Yeah, that’s me at age 20 or 21 living the rock and roll lifestyle. I’m not sure if anybody actually attended that show.

In my previous post I mentioned a book I’ve been reading by Tina Seelig called “What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20.” Tina, who has a Ph. D. in neuroscience, is the executive director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. She teaches courses on entrepreneurship and innovation.

Today I want to give you a little more info on that book since I really enjoyed it and took a lot of good knowledge from it. I think a lot of the topics it covers are incredibly relevant to us who are running our own freelance businesses.

The underlying theme I took from this book was the idea of challenging assumptions. Why do we do the things we do? Why not try something outside of the box? If you pay attention to successful entrepreneurs, you’ll notice a tendency to look at things from different angles and often trying different approaches to various problems. Throughout the book she gives some really creative examples of this type of approach in action.

Other notable themes: Failure is okay. Be fabulous. Be thankful. And more…I don’t want to give away the whole book because it’s definitely worth your time to read it. It’s a quick read and Tina did a great job conveying innovative ways to approach both your life and career.

As an additional teaser, here is an excellent video of Tina talking about some of the central ideas in her book:

More book reviews coming in the near future. I’ve been reading some good stuff lately!

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Review of Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk

I finished reading Crush It a few weeks ago and am finally getting around to doing a review. If you’re building a business of any sort, read Crush It! There are some great tips in this book and it was well-worth the read.

Example: I uploaded today’s video to Viddler, Vimeo, and YouTube using TubeMogul, a little trick I learned in this book.

NOTE: Sorry for the lack of true HD in today’s video. Waiting on a new cable for my Canon HV30.

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