The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (2007), Timothy Ferriss
My wife read Timothy Ferriss' best-selling book, The 4-H...moreThe 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (2007), Timothy Ferriss
My wife read Timothy Ferriss' best-selling book, The 4-Hour Workweek, first. Then, a good friend brought it up in conversation. Honestly, I was not looking forward to it, because they both told me that I had done some of the things Ferriss recommended in the book. I'm glad they convinced me otherwise. I highly recommend this book, but I recommend you don't read it close to bedtime…you may not get much sleep!
The 4-Hour Workweek is a very, very, very practical piece of work that will speak loudly to performance-based Gen-Xers. I believe the ideas Timothy shares will resonate through the cubicle maze halls of companies led by old school "leaders". The book takes you through 4 parts of the D-E-A-L explaining how to become a member of the NR or New Rich the basic premise being how to utilize technology to maximize profit and reduce overhead on a personal level. The best part of the 4-Hour Workweek is what is missing in most ideological books, and that is real world information. Each chapter is loaded down with real working resources complete with the url and descriptions of their function as part of Ferriss' master plan.
Will reading this book make you one of the New Rich? Absolutely not. Getting there will take discipline, committment and work, and that is why Timothy's ideas are resilient. Not everyone will read this book and not everyone will have what it takes to commit to his ideas. Even now, if you are feeling like "ugh! I was hoping it would be easy" well it is and even if you don't embrace the whole manifesto you will most likely benefit from a subset of the ideas he lays out.
I, also, commend Ferriss on a book well-written. The plain language style was very easy to read and interesting. I felt as if I could understand exactly where he was coming from since it wasn't written in some lofty, "take me seriously because I'm an author" tone. Congratulations on a book well-written!(less)
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life (2003), Twyla Tharp
One of America's greatest choreographers, Twyla Tharp, shares her insight into the...moreThe Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life (2003), Twyla Tharp
One of America's greatest choreographers, Twyla Tharp, shares her insight into the creative process in her sophomore venture into authorship. The best part of The Creative Habit is at the end of each chapter where exercises are prescribed to the content of the corresponding chapter. In between you will find stories primarily from Twyla's experience with musicals and other artistic ventures.
I tend to prefer straight forward talk and therefore found the majority of each chapter to be boring and unneccessary. However, she should be credited with successfully mixing content about a methodical process with interesting narrative. Although I prefer different, readers may find her interspersed examples refreshing especially those that enjoy the inner workings of broadway or fans of the Movin' Out musical.(less)
King presents over sixty tips for keeping your job and never jeopardizing opportunities to be promote...moreThe Unwritten Laws of Business (2007), W. J. King
King presents over sixty tips for keeping your job and never jeopardizing opportunities to be promoted along your career path. Chapters cover relationships, behavior and management. Good advice abounds like promote ideas and be aware of personal appearance. I just wonder if exactly 100 pages of advice like this is worth $15. For some people that answer is yes. For people interested enough in the Personal MBA (PMBA), I doubt this level of advice is groundbreaking.
I wish I had more to say about my experience with The Unwritten Laws of Business.(less)
Bit Literacy (2007), Mark Hurst To be free of overload and the problems it causes, users must choose to become bit-literate. -Mark Hurst
Bit literacy is...moreBit Literacy (2007), Mark Hurst To be free of overload and the problems it causes, users must choose to become bit-literate. -Mark Hurst
Bit literacy is an interesting topic in our modern times of dramatic technological change and information overload. I've noticed how new technologies are often adopted for their novelty without consideration to their practical use or their best use, and I've seen how mis-management of information can cause the most efficient of people to drown. Mark Hurst does an excellent job explaining at a low level how technology works and what is means for us. He also goes into some techniques of making effective use of the more widely accepted technologies and ramifications of those less known.
Being in the information technology industry, most of the content was not new as it might be to most people. Despite my expectation to quickly become bored, I didn't. I found his explanations, tips and foresight very well written and to the point, which happens to be one of his own tips. If you are bogged down on a daily basis like most people in the digital world, consider reading Bit Literacy. Throughout your experience, I bet you will gain a better understanding and appreciate for what bits do for us. You might even take advantage of their original intent…to make life easier.(less)
Little Green Book of Getting Your Way: How to Speak, Write, Present, Persuade, Influence, and Sell Your Point of View to Others (2007), Jeffrey Gitome...moreLittle Green Book of Getting Your Way: How to Speak, Write, Present, Persuade, Influence, and Sell Your Point of View to Others (2007), Jeffrey Gitomer Reading Jeffrey Gitomer reminded me of attending a Zig Ziglar talk where a lot of information was presented to nodding heads, a lot of motivation was conjured, and takeaway was drowned by the overwhelming amount of information. For being such a short book, there is a lot of information there. Luckily, it is organized very well into chapters then into lists, which makes the book a great reference for subjects like presenting, sales and persuasive writing.
Throughout my reading experience, I felt I was reading an informercial for Jeffrey Gitomer. Each list has an extra half point, so the 8 Elements of Persuasion turns into the 8.5 not because one point is half complete, but because Jeffrey Gitomer wants you to remember his unconventional lists. Oh, and it worked. I can't remember what any list was about, but I remember Jeffrey Gitomer had an 8.5, 11.5, 15.5 and 28.5 list of something. I found this annoying along with entire pages devoted to Gitomer quotes, but sort of expect it from someone whose business is himself.
I feel the real meat of the book is found in the first few chapters where he outlines what it takes to be persuasive. Most of these look and feel like common sense, but I think its worth some thought in the context of persuasion. Without further ado, getting your way requires the following characteristics: -Personal Conviction -Believability -Truthfulness -Value
Cut to the Chase and 99 Other Rules to Liberate Yourself and Gain Back the Gift of Time (2006), Stuart Levine I absolutely loved everything about Cut t...moreCut to the Chase and 99 Other Rules to Liberate Yourself and Gain Back the Gift of Time (2006), Stuart Levine I absolutely loved everything about Cut to the Chase by Stuart Levine from the metallic blue book jacket to the last chapter. If you are an amateur or professional time manager, I'll bet you will enjoy this book as much as me. Usually, I would say 99 chapters is a little much and I will say it would be tough to remember all 99 rules Levine presents. However, in each chapter he cuts to the chase. The title and content of each chapter packs an incredible amount of insight and entertainment without being watered down. Many topics did not present new ideas to me, but I found those refreshing to have come from such a successful author.
The only critique I have for Cut to the Chase is that several chapters seemed overly obvious, but I realize other readers may find them insightful.(less)
On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction (2006), William Zissner
Zissner's ninth issue of On Writing Well proves to be an excellent pic...moreOn Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction (2006), William Zissner
Zissner's ninth issue of On Writing Well proves to be an excellent pick for the Personal MBA reading list for its value as a reference and its mental model content. Different from step by step books like Writing Nonfiction, Writing Well presents an array of concepts subcategorized as principles, methods, forms and attitudes. Zissner takes you through his ideology with interesting stories and examples mixed through over 300 pages of referenced material.
I recommend this book to people interested in the topic. Unfortunately, I was not very interested in it at the time of reading, so most of the stories and examples quickly became convoluted. However, I recognize the value of having this well organized book on my shelf in case I find myself writing and wanting to do it well.(less)
The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick), Seth Godin Too many times I have encountered "Yes Men" and "Jacks of Everythi...moreThe Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick), Seth Godin Too many times I have encountered "Yes Men" and "Jacks of Everything, Master of Nothing". Although being a lifelong learner I dabble in a lot of things, I make it a point to avoid time wasting projects and people, which lends itself to selectivity. I run into people everyday that are reluctant to say "no" to someone or something. Generation X to Millennials are challenged with committment. This book will not solve their eccentricity, but it may get them thinking about it. I believe the problem is heavily rooted in a lack of self awareness, our inability to see the big picture. The Dip by Seth Godin explains knowing when to champion and when to surrender.
The pinnacle of The Dip is a challenge issued to the age-old saying: winners never quit. In 80 quick pages, Godin does not entirely dismiss the old proverb reverbiating from vicarious parents around the world. Instead, he contrasts Vince Lombardi's quote, "Quitters never win and winners never quit" with "Winners quit all the time. They just quit the right stuff at the right time." This is no "how to" book. It merely sheds light on our need to know ourselves in relation to opportunities and relationships.
The underlying theme of the book is selectivity, which reinforces the importance of self awareness. Having the foresight and the guts to quit can make all the difference in the world, but so does knowing when to commit. A short prose near the beginning of the book outlines the chapterless content:
Quit the wrong stuff. Stick with the right stuff. Have the guts to do one or the other.
An inaugural experience with Seth Godin after hearing so very much about the chronic writer and author was good…not great. Although Godin's writing style is enjoyable I felt the content of The Dip was well-written common sense. Perhaps it was groundbreaking for some. I left with a handful of elegant quotes reinforcing ideas I have whole heartedly subscribed.(less)
Can We Do That?: Innovative practices that will change the way you do church (2004), Andy Stanley and Ed Young Can we share the practices that form tha...moreCan We Do That?: Innovative practices that will change the way you do church (2004), Andy Stanley and Ed Young Can we share the practices that form that foundation of our organizations? Basically, that is the question Andy Stanley and Ed Young tossed around on a vacation together before co-authoring the book, Can We Do That? I'll answer the question. Yes.
At some point you will ask, "can we do that" or "can I do that?" Although this book by two of America's most effective church leaders is about the church and for the church, you may identify with the creativity and strategy laid out in 24 chapters. Heavier on church specifics, nuggets of general organizational wisdom can be found through the specifics both authors describe in their different experiences.
The book is divided into four parts:
Reaching Out presents ideas and philosophies on reaching the target audience, which is the unchurched person. Ministering to People deals with those people that are engaged. Several specific topics are described in detail and various programs are mentioned. Leading the Church describes how the leadership team is kept on mission and how new leaders are brought on board or developed from within. Getting the Message Across is more specific to leading the larger audience into growing relationships with Christ, keeping focus on the underlying mission and specifically how to approach message topics, timing and preparation. The way co-authorship is handled in the book is interesting with each chapter constructed in two styles: either around a 50/50 split in perspectives or a 90/10 where one author delivers most of the content. For the 90/10 chapters, either both authors in sync or respectfully disagree. The beautiful thing about co-authorship is while both men have differing strategies they respect each other's mission to bring people into a growing relationship with Christ.(less)
The Path of Least Resistance: Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life (1984), Robert Fritz You are the essence of creation, because with...moreThe Path of Least Resistance: Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life (1984), Robert Fritz You are the essence of creation, because without you creation is impossible. -Robert Fritz
The Path of Least Resistance is an excellent book and I highly recommend it to all audiences. Robert Fritz takes readers on a specific path of understanding creativity as it relates to our person. Starting with fundamentals, Fritz sheds light on concepts that for the basis of self-awareness within the overall creative process that is explained in subsequent parts. In each section, you will find a perfect balance of scientific explanations with practical examples making the work complete.
Initially, I did not know what to expect and was excited to see the practical application. In particular, the difference between creativity and problem solving, structural tension and creative choice. Get the book for more information about these topics.(less)
Wild At Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul John Elderedge's extremely popular book, Wild At Heart, is an objective look at man in his native...moreWild At Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul John Elderedge's extremely popular book, Wild At Heart, is an objective look at man in his native form and his relationship with God. The underlying concept of the book is to embrace the person God made you and Elderedge accomplishes this through self awareness. The power of self awareness is undeniable, so I was particularly receptive to the self reflection prescribed in this book and moreso in the study guide titled Wild at Heart Field Manual: A Personal Guide to Discover the Secret of Your Masculine Soul. The premise is understanding our innate desires for adventure and our quest for power within the context of our relationship with God.
Wild At Heart focuses on man's identity with epic heroes, competitive nature, power and adventure, and makes a case to find that through our relationships with God as well as our relationships with family and friends. Aware of the alternatives sometimes being promiscuous lifestyles, dangerous addictions and out of order priorities, Elderedge brings to light how our natural tendencies can end up misguided rather than harnessed for what they were intended. In particular, our relationships with fatherly figures, wives (or girlfriends) and God is explored within this context, where understanding our fathers leads to self awareness and our understanding of our relationship to women and God may feel like the discovery.
Chapter after chapter you may find some of the same arguments in favor of the books overall theme, which can seem repetitive and redundant especially if you pick up on the concept early. The authors fanatical love of movies may sometimes feel overbearing, especially if you haven't seen referenced movies. But all in all Wild At Heart is worth reading for two reasons: self reflection and self awareness. Not many books encourage you to explore in these ways, so take the opportunity.
If you pick up this book, please consider grabbing the Wild at Heart Field Manual, too. The additional stories, insights and questions in the Wild at Heart Field Manual will take you much further than the book alone.(less)