Last month I announced that I was taking a “Partial Sabbatical” from working with new clients or conducting programs.
What I’m attempting is to take enough of a step back to determine what I want to do with my business for the rest of my life.
That might be five more years of work, or 25, I don’t know. But I do know I want it to be fun for me and valuable for my clients.
So what I’m doing is filling my head with new ideas.
When I started my business more than three decades ago I read a LOT of books. I figure something like 500 business, marketing, and personal growth books over a period of 15 years.
Somewhere along the way, I maxed out on reading business and marketing books and cut my reading dramatically.
But my partial sabbatical has freed up a lot of time to read, and with recommendations from my coach, I’ve read some really great books in the past couple of months.
I wanted to share these books with you, as some of them may be a good fit with what you’re up to these days.
The Big Leap – Gay Hendricks
Hendricks makes a strong argument for one simple but powerful concept – we all have the ability to live in our “Zone of Genius” where we’re doing work we love, that makes a difference, and that we’re great at. Find that zone and work becomes more fun, productive and fulfilling.
This book helped me get very clear that I love writing, developing, and leading programs. When I’m doing that I’m in the zone. So I’m working to make those activities the primary way I spend time in my business.
Playing The Matrix – Mike Dooley
This is a book about setting and achieving goals – with a difference. One of the most powerful ideas Dooley shares is that when setting goals, especially for the big things in life, don’t be too narrow, but broader in your vision.
For instance, If my ultimate big goal is to work with 24 people in a marketing program that costs $X and goes for 6 months, I’ve really limited my options and also reduced my chances for success.
But if my goal is to, “Work interactively with independent professionals in programs that teach them the most effective marketing skills, plus develop systems and habits that increase their chances of success,” then I can develop any number of programs that fit that broader goal.
Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain
This book rocked my world. I’ve always known I was more of an introvert than an extrovert, but this made it crystal clear.
Its great value was helping me see that there were so many big advantages of being an introvert and that instead of trying to be more extroverted, I could leverage my introverted tendencies to live my vision from my zone of genius.
So, these first three books were synergistic in their impact.
Barking Up The Wrong Tree – The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success is (Mostly) Wrong – Eric Barker
My favorite type of business books are case-study and research-based. These books don’t just tout a certain strategy; they cite research that proves why this strategy works.
Famous books in this category are The Tipping Point by Malcolm Galdwell about how ideas catch on, and Influence by Robert Cialdini on the science of persuasion.
Barker’s book is a potpourri of ideas about success and why so many of them are total nonsense. Then he cites all kinds of research to demonstrate what success strategies really work. A fun book to read with insights on every page.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson
This is the one I’m reading right now and perhaps my favorite of the lot. Mark Mason is one of those unique voices that doesn’t come along very often.
His message is actually quite simple: We give a “F” about so many things that don’t really matter but don’t give a “F” about the most important things in our lives.
His book is a load of fun to read. You have to get past his liberal use of the F-word, but you start to get that he uses it to really get attention for ideas that are not very popular and can be hard to live by if you don’t take life F’n seriously.
So those are my books. They’ve provided a lot of inspiration and really jump-started my thinking in the past two months.
Now I have a favor to ask.
Can you recommend a few kick-ass books that you think I might enjoy and share them with me and those on this list?
Please do NOT email me. I already get more email than I can handle. Instead, just scroll down to the very bottom of this page and post a comment.
Thanks for reading. I’ll give another update in a month or so.
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