Book Briefs From My 2016 Reading List

I started out 2016 with a bang and read several books thanks to Audible and all the time on the treadmill and out for walks.  Here is a list of the books I’ve read so far in the order I read them, maybe later on I’ll rank them.

#1 – Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual written by Michael Pollan (Kindle) – This author has written several very popular on the topic of food and healthy eating which includes The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals and In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.  This is his shortest book that basically packs all the great things from his prior books into a short summary book.  For anyone interested in some simple steps to guide you through healthy eating this is a wonderful resource.  My detailed summary here.

#2 – The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to go from $0 to $100 Million by Mark Roberge (Audible) – This book is very industry specific for what we do at BrightGauge.  We are huge HubSpot fans and have been written up by their team on our success and also shared our experiences with Inbound Marketing.  I’m a big believer of Inbound Marketing and as we launch our new sales program and expand our team, this book was a wonderful resource to get some practical ideas to implement.  My detailed summary here.

#3 – The Underwriting by Michelle Miller (Audible) – This book is a departure from my normal reading list because it was purely for fun and sometimes I felt guilty when I found myself listening to it during the week.  It’s a satirical thriller about an IPO of a dating app and several of the key players that helped take the company public.  The best part of the book is how real it felt because I spent time as an investment banker and the details she included were so real plus the story of the company going public I could relate to because it reminded me of so many current companies trying to go public.  Although Audible show 12hr 31min of reading time I knocked it out in 8 days.  To learn more about how the story was originally released check out Michelle Miller’s website Hashtag MM.

#4 – The Federal Reserve Conspiracy by Antony C. Sutton (Audible) – The topic of the Federal Reserve has really caught my attention because (a) my father served on the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Miami and (b) I read the Bilderberg Group book which I read last year.  In this book, Antony Sutton, shares details of how the Federal Reserve law was passed under tremendous conspiracy to hand over the management of the US money supply to a private monopoly owned and operated by a select few of elite bankers.  Antony claims the monopoly is illegal (all private monopolies without government involvement are illegal) and its law creation was done unconstitutionally.  The impact of the law passed on Christmas weekend 1913 by President Woodrow Wilson has turned the control of our currency and given great power to an elite group of bankers which in turn continues to have a massive impact on our country and the world economy.

#5 – The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy by Chris Bailey (Audible) – Being more productive is one of my goals for this year and reading this book early in January gave me a great jump start towards achieving my goal.  Being more “productive” can be a cliche term and most people think being more productive just means working more hours.  But as I shared in this blog post “Productivity isn’t about doing more things, it’s about doing the right things.” and this book provides practical exercises to focus on the right things.  Chris breaks down over 25 simple to implement productivity hacks that anyone can do to make their lives more productive.  And this is based on his research project of testing out every productivity hack he could get his hands on.  To have all his experiences condensed down into one simple book made it so much easier to test the experiments.  My favorite part of the book was how it was structured, each chapter starts with “what you’ll get from the chapter” and ends with a simple exercise for you to test whether it will make an impact in your life.

#6 – Traction: Get a Grip on your Business by Gino Wickman (Audible) – this book is a game changer for me.  Probably one of the top business books I’ve read in my entire career because of it’s simplicity and focus.  Traction is about the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) which is a framework for any small to medium business to follow to help them better manage and grow their business.  Both Brian and I read this together and have already started implementing recommendations from the book in our companies.  The book doesn’t provide any real “ground breaking” ways to manage your business, it just provides a framework that is simple and easy to follow.  So it brings together various different ways to improve your business into one simple operating systems, the EOS.

#7 – Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business by Gino Wickman (Audible) – This is the 3rd book written by Gino which ties into his original book Traction (mentioned above).  The focus of Rocket Fuel is on the concept that every business, in order to be successful, needs to have one person that is the visionary and one person that is the integrator.  The visionary sees the future and the integrator makes it happen.  The early chapters help you identify which role you are as a business leader and then it goes on to explain why you need the other role and how to find that other role.  According to Gino’s studies it’s only when you have both roles working well together that it can turn into “Rocket Fuel” and the company can blast off into high growth.  I can totally relate to the roles as Brian and I live it everyday with Brian being the visionary and me being the integrator (more on that here).

#8 – The 80% Approach by Dan Sullivan (Kindle) – A quick read being only 40 pages but impactful.  Dan Sullivan, world renowned business coach and founder of The Strategic Coach Program shares what he feels is a very important process of being efficient and productive in your work.  We all know procrastination can kill productivity and Dan explains how using the 80% Approach of getting 80% of any task or project done as quickly as possible can dramatically improve your productivity.  He goes on to say that “By eliminating procrastination, especially in teamwork, we help others save time, improve their talents, and transform negative emotions.”  I can totally relate to this because there are many times that projects my team is waiting on me for I’ll drag on because of procrastination and that negatively impacts the team.  Dan’s recommendation is to get 80% of the work done as quickly as possible to avoid procrastination.  My detailed summary here.