8 super-duper short book summaries

Here are my latest reads in my traditional sweet and short summary style.

1.  The Highly Paid Expert (Turn your passion, Skills, and Talents into a Lucrative Career)  author: Debbie Allen

  • You have the knowledge, turn the knowledge into content and sell it using the channels outlined in the book.

2.  Be Good To Yourself   author:  Orison Swett Marden 

  • Everything in life and in business is about how you treat yourself.  The biggest success factor in life is you.

3.  Start with WHY (How great Leaders Inspire Everyone to take action)      author: Simon Sinek

  • The What is not as important as the Why, find out the why and you can lead and inspire people.

4.  Hot Button Marketing (Push the emotional buttons that get people to buy)                    author: Barry Feig 

  • Best book of the year for me on sales and marketing to really hit on the real reasons why people buy products.

5.  Reinventing Yourself (Overcome your Anxiety and Fear when faced with Life’s Problems and Challenges)  author:  Mario Alonso Puig

  • Cant recall anything good out of this book.  Sorry but true.

6.  Change your thinking, Change Your Life (How to unlock your full potential for success and achievement) author:  Brian Tracy 

  • A playbook on how to get out of your own way so you can succeed in life and in business.

7.  Stop Stealing Dreams (What is School For)  author:  Seth Godin

  • Seth Godin is the master at getting you to think differently, this books does this with brilliance.  A must read.  If you want a PDF version of the book email me.

8.  The Art of War  author: Sun Tzu

  • Real War and Business are both battle fields, to win at either one you must have a strategy for your success.  This books gives you that strategy.

To your success and your future.

The opportunity is in the problems you solve

I have spoken with people about their own growth and development for years.  This to me is the starting point for a bigger job, a promotion, more money, more opportunities, etc.  You can’t get to the next level without some kind of development to get you there.  Some have been able to get all of the things I mentioned and others have not.   Why is this I wonder.  Could it be that the opportunities don’t exist?  Could it be that the fix is in, and no matter what they do it wouldn’t matter?  Could it be the leadership that they report to is not the kind of leadership that promotes growth and development for some reason?  Or is it just the person?  

A lot of variables to the questions I throw out.

Could it be the opportunities don’t exist? Maybe they don’t.  However, I have seen it over and over again.  And I think Jesus may have said it.  “Your talents will create a place for you.”  Throughout my career I have seen this many many times.  A position is created for a person that has many skills and talents in a particular area.

Could it be that the fix is in, and no matter what they do it wouldn’t matter? Could it be the leadership that they report to is not the kind of leadership that promotes growth and development for some reason?  I think it all begins with your ability to show that you bring so much value to your current job and everything that is included in that job that your managers believe that you could serve in a higher position with more responsibility, to help them achieve the bigger goals of the department and organization.  I have seen it over and over again, that the good leaders (Yes Leaders not Managers) look for talent and develop it.  If they see it, they will find a way to maximize the potential of the talent.  So to answer the above questions for yourself, is it you or is it them.  You have to do an honest assessment of yourself and your situation.

Lastly, Is just the person. Yes you.  Answer, you have to ask yourself that question.  As I mentioned above, how much value do you bring.  I have heard it said like this.  The greater the problem that you can provide a solution to, has a direct correlation to the money and opportunities presented to you.  Example:  The problem:  Having software on a personal computer that everyone could have access to.  Solution:  Microsoft Windows.  Big Problem, Big Solution.  Great riches.  Problem:  Men/Women feeling better about their appearance when wearing certain clothes.  Solution:  SPANX.   This was a big problem for a lot of people and it was solved by this particular product.    

So how big is the problem that your skills and abilities provide a solution to?

To your success and your future.



Everybody is a photographer now

Over the weekend I was doing a log of writing and reading.  Something that I read that has me thinking about the future.  I wrote down a quote from one of the best marketing minds on the planet, Seth Godin.  He said:  Be in the business of  “Finding Products for your customers, don’t Find customers for your products.”

If you think about some of the great products that we all use, typically we didn’t know we wanted them until they were created and made for use.  It reminds me of the camera phone.  I don’t know about you, but up until about five years ago whenever I bought my first iPhone,  I never took pictures, ever.  Maybe I would be in a family photo or something, but me personally I don’t think I ever bought an actual camera, ever,  unless you count my iPhone.  I now take pictures just like everyone else.  Pictures of food, (really), pictures of my nephews, pictures of landmarks, pictures of stuff I did, etc.  Now everybody has become a photographer, and the goal is to see how many likes you can get on Facebook or Instagram.

So it brings me back to the statement I made earlier.  Find products for your customers, don’t find customers for your products.  This means create something unique and different, constantly be creating something.  When you do this, you will have customers.  Steve Jobs and other smart phone makers made the camera as accessible as possible by putting it on your phone, something you won’t dare leave home without.  And now everyone is a photographer.


To your success and your future.

I have had enough of “ENOUGH”

Doing just enough is so normal in today’s society. We get just enough service at the local restaurant that we decide not to ask for a manager.  Our results are just good enough that we don’t look for a different solution.  Our pay is just enough that we don’t look for another job.  We have just enough good days at work that we just think it is ok, since they outweigh the bad days. We are just healthy enough that we think we shouldn’t worry about health and exercise.  We have just enough money in the bank that we are not living paycheck to paycheck.  We get just enough praise and recognition that it will last us until the next time we get praise and recognition.  Some of us do just enough work at work that we think are existence is justified.  We think that when we put in enough time that “enough time” is more important than the results. We think if we have enough meetings about the issues that they will solve themselves.  If I talk about everyone else not doing enough, it justifies me not doing enough.  Any of this sound familiar?

I am not sure what enough is.  I don’t think it is possible to have enough. Enough is a mindset.  If Michael Phelps thought he was giving it enough in the 2008 olympics, he wouldn’t have won 8 Gold Medals.  In the 100 meter ButterFly, Phelps edged out Milorad Čavić by 100 hundredth of a second.  100th of a second!  How do you even measure that?

So are you tired of enough?  Be spectacular today and seek excellence, don’t settle for enough. That is my goal!

To your success and your future.


Don’t hate on my SWAGGER!

Call it arrogant or very confident, either one works.  However, you can have swagger only when you are consistently doing the following things.  It isn’t that you are arrogant, you are just extremely confident.  What is wrong with being extremely confident? I find that confidence comes from when I am executing the following things at a very HIGH level.

S  trive: 

  • I have found that when I pursue and I seek, I can find, I can reap.

W ork

  • When I just go at it, everything I need to do becomes automatic.

A ction

  • Sitting idle waiting for the right moment, leads to disgust and disappointment.

G oals

  • These dots on the map to success, are what keep me going even when I feel the stress.

G rowth

  • The constant pursuit of more knowledge is what keeps me away from all of the garbage.

E xcellence

  • When I don’t accept anything less, the more I realize I have yet to be at my best.

R esults

  • This is the only thing that really counts, everything else you measure only gives you doubts.

Do you want more SWAGGER?  We all do don’t we?  Be sure you are taking action in all of the above areas today and lets see where it takes you.

To your success and your future.

The End is in Sight

If the rate of change outside your organization is greater and faster than the rate of change inside your organization, the end is in sight. –Jack Welch

Jack was talking about business and a company. The organization I am talking about today is YOU.  Yep , You are the CEO, President, COO, VP you name it of your organization.   What is the rate of your change?  Are you trying new things and learning new skills?  Do you think the skills that got you here today, will get you where you want to go?

Here is my challenge for you today.  Ask yourself and be honest, When is the last time you made an investment in yourself to learn something new?  Do something different?

The world is moving at rapid pace.  The iPhone 6 just came out.  How many phones is that now?  Don’t be sitting there with the same skills you have today, when the same knowledge and education when the next iPhone is released. Make a change today.

To your success and your future.


2 questions you have to ask

How often does this happen?  We go through a situation and we get through it and we once again find ourselves in that same situation again? And we repeat our same actions and get the same results.  Maybe this only happens to me.

Here are two questions that you must ask yourself in all situations.  This is called reflective thinking and this kind of thinking will lead you into introspective thinking.  Which is looking within yourself to determine your response to things.

1st question:

What did I do right?  Lets give ourselves some credit here.  We always do some things right, don’t we.  It can’t all be wrong.  But you have to ask yourself that question.  Write it down.  I was recently in a leadership/management situation and dealing with an employee.   I had to have a very difficult conversation with this person about their weaknesses and the impact it was having on their career.  At the end of that meeting I asked myself this question and wrote down what I thought I did well, or right, in the conversation.

I think the highest form of leadership is parenthood.  I am not a parent, but the same things apply.  Lets give ourselves some credit for the things we do right.  On your job, maybe you have found yourself in a situation where it didn’t go well, or maybe it went well, and you don’t know why it went well.  You have to be reflective and write it down. This is the key.  Be intentional about your reflective thinking and write down what went well and why you think it went well.

The second question:

What would I do differently?   Have you ever taken a trip somewhere, and the GPS takes you a certain way.  You just follow its directions.  I have.  But when you get there, you have the, “OH yeah” moment. Meaning I know where this is.  Why did my GPS take me this way.  This other way would have been quicker.  I have had this happen many times. But you don’t know until after you have arrived.

Just like in traveling, we have to ask ourselves the question.  What would I do differently if I am faced with this situation again.

The example of the employee I mentioned above.  After that meeting, I sat down, and I wrote down what I did well in that conversation, but I also wrote down very specifically what I would have done differently.  The next time I am in that situation, I will be better.  The fact that I have reflected on it and thought about it, made changes, I will be better the next time. I will know what to do, and what not to do.

In what areas of your life can you apply these two questions?  Think about the last week at work.  What did you do well this week?  What would you have done differently?  Maybe you shouldn’t have sent that email.  Maybe you wouldn’t have attended that meeting.  Maybe you said something to your child, that resulted in them doing something well. The key is to be reflective and ask yourself the questions.

To your success and your future.

Who is in your Reference Group?

The definition of reference is the use of a source of information to ascertain something. Every single day we all refer to something.  We may make a political point or point about sports and refer to a source in which we heard that point from.

What is a reference group?

  • Reference groups act as a frame of reference to which people always refer to evaluate their achievements, their role performance, aspirations and ambitions.

Your reference group are the people in your circle that you are around the most.  This could be the people at your church, your work, your football team, your friends, an organization you are involved in, etc.  This reference group over time becomes who you are and what you are.  If you are happy where you are, then stay within your reference group.  If you want to accomplish more, do more, see more, have more, and ultimately give more, then you must have a reference group that can help you fulfill these desires.

Napoleon Hill (Author: Think and Grow Rich): after studying thousands of successful men, concluded that all successful men had many things in common and one of those things was a “mastermind group”.  This mastermind group is 3-5 people who an individual associated with the most.  These are the people who all had common goals and aspirations.    This became the reference group.

Are you accomplishing your goals, desires, and ambitions?  Yes or No?  Who is in your reference group? I am re-thinking my reference group, I suggest you do the same.

To your success and your future.


You are Self-Employed

I am sure some people read the title and assumed I would be discussing owning and operating your own business.  Sure why not!  I suggest you do that as well.  Because one thing I know to be true is Profits are better than Wages.  However, what I am discussing is reminding all of us that we are all self-employed.

Sure you and I both work for a company.  That company pays us for the value we bring to their business.  But ultimately we are the CEO of US and company.  Maybe you’re the only employee of your company, or maybe you have others on the payroll of your company.  Like a spouse, children, etc.  Regardless of how many people are within your company it is your job and responsibility as the CEO to operate your business to make a profit.

Just like in business you must set strategy, set goals, plan, invest, make sales, and evolve with the marketplace and conditions so your product (which is you) doesn’t become in less demand as time goes by. You have to continue to create a competitive advantage in the marketplace for your services, just like Apple, GM, and any other company have to do.

So here is your challenge today!  What is the competitive advantage your Company offers (Which is you).  What is the unique selling proposition you offer?  What will your companies services be 3-5 years from now, to maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace?   This kind of thinking allows you to plan and ultimately execute your plan.

I believe most of us have an entrepreneurial spirit within us.  Maybe this is you owning and operating a company that offers a specific product or service.  But remember this, you are already doing this, you already own your own company and operate it daily.  The questions that I challenged you with above is the first step for you determining your value to the marketplace.  If you can’t come up with some very good answers to the above questions, before asking for that next raise or next promotion focus on firming those things up.  Just like a business I think we all can agree that we want to keep Revenue High and expenses low.  Take the first step today to bigger revenues.

To your success and your future.