Category Archives for "Self Improvement"

Five Books to Read in 2019

I love books!

First off, this post is as much–if not more–about me as it is you.

I have an issue…I buy a lot of books. That's issue #1.

Issue #2, I bet you can guess, is I don't read them.

I have good intentions: I begin to read a book when I buy it but it slowly fades to black, and then I buy another one.

In the internet marketing world, we have a similar issue: We buy products and services that we never, or rarely, consume (i.e., read, comprehend, and use). We call it BSO Syndrome – Bright Shiny Object Syndrome.

It's a sickness. There is a cure, though! Put them to use. Duh. C'mon.

So here are the books I am either reading right now or have on my list of things to read in 2019.

5 Books I'm reading in 2019

Note: Yes, these are, where possible, affiliate links on Amazon. If you wind up buying a book or ten through my links here, I will get a very small percentage commission from the Big A (Amazon). Thank you. And thanks, Jeff Bezos!

I just picked up this “book.” Book is in air quotes because a) it wasn't a book until somebody made it so and b) I'm not reading the book but I am listening to it.

I've gotten into a habit of playing Audible books in my car and on my phone when I'm at the gym. I love it when I take my kids to and from school and they learn something not necessarily “academic.”

The book? Truthful Living: The First Writings of Napoleon Hill

This is actually a book put together posthumously. It is some of Hill's letters and writings about 20 years prior to his breaking into the mainstream with his best-sellers like Think and Grow Rich and The Master-Key to Riches (I own both).

Another one: The Meaning of It All by Richard P. Feynman, a Nobel-winning physicist. It's based on a three-part lecture he gave that covers science, technology, religion, and a bunch of other stuff. Highly intellectual and very interesting!

Influence by Robert Cialdini. If you're into internet marketing or just marketing in general, this is a must-read. I've read it before. I'm going to read it again.

I've read The Magic of Thinking Big a dozen times. Each time, I discover a few nuggets. It's a game-changing book, especially if–like me–you get caught up in the trees and forget about the forest.

It tends to re-center me.

Tom Peters has written a thousand books, it seems, and I have a few of them on my bookshelf and/or Kindle. One I haven't read that's on my list for 2019 is one called “The Brand You 50.”

Skimming through as I type, I've actually echoed a lot of what's in this book. I have frequently said “My company is me.” Or, “I am my brand.” And it's true.

See me in public? On social media? What you see/hear/read is what you get. I don't BS anybody. I am who I am and if you don't like it, well, that's okay because I probably don't like you, either! 😀

And I believe that's important. The 2 biggest things I've learned in the past 10 years is

  • what I don't like to do and
  • who I won't work with

I won't work with a bigot, for example. And you probably don't consider yourself one. But if you ever use the term, “muzzy,” for example, I'm kicking you to the curb. I don't care to transact with you in any way whatsoever.

It's who I am.

Anyhoo, that took a weird turn! Hahahaha.

I'd love to hear what your reading plans are this year.

Goal Setting Is for Chumps in 2017

Or, How to Get Shit Done in 2017

First off, I hope you had a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays (insert whatever holiday you want – I don't mean to offend).

Second, I bet you're in “2017 goal setting” mode. Amiright?

Well, I don't do that any more.

I just write down what I'm going to do and then do it.

There is no planning.

It's more theme-based with milestones & metrics.

For example, “I want to build my Tribe. Here's how I'm going to do it and this is what it will look like by the end of 2017.”

Then I throw in some metrics I want to attain, like “1,000 TRUE fans, 10,000 email subscribers,” etc.

Then the steps I need to take to achieve each of them.

That's it.

On that note, join my Tribe 🙂

It's a Facebook group where I share my best stuff. I've kept it a secret for a while. Now I'm opening it up.

Please join. Hang out with us. It's a good group of people.

You'll learn about business, sales, marketing, and life.

Plus, you can contribute. Help a member out. I'd love it if you joined us.

One more thing:

I'm going to be writing a LOT more in 2017.

2016 was sort of a break for me. I did a lot of client work but not much for me.

That changes now.

In that light, what do you want me to write about? Give me some ideas.

PS – My wife just brought me a Pop Tart. Do you know how long it's been since I ate a Pop Tart? YEARS. Decades in fact. Brings me back to college and all the memories, good and bad. At least, those I can remember 🙂

Have a great day and here's to the 2017 you want!

Are You a Hero or the GOAT? Things You Can Do to Be the BEST YOU

Greatest superhero of all time

My favorite super hero

I could have titled this post, “Are You the Hero or the Goat?” and it would have meant something entirely different.

Let's talk about that phrase for the moment, “hero or goat.”

What does it mean? Where did it come from? And finally, what does it mean when you change the last word from “goat” to “GOAT”?

Goat is Short for Scapegoat (or is it?)

Charlie Brown is often the goat

I think old Charlie is the goat in this strip

The phrase was popularized by the late Charles Shultz in his Peanuts comicstrip. Charlie Brown was the captain of his baseball team, and he was either the hero or the goat based on that last critical play of the game: Did he catch the ball (hero) or drop it (the scapegoat)?

The phrase is largely confined to sports: You hear it all the time. “He's the hero.”

“Bill Buckner is the goat!”

“Jordan makes the winning shot. He's the hero.”

“Johnny Manziel threw a pick six interception that cost the Browns the game. What a goat!”

You probably get the “hero” part. But why the “goat?”

Origins of the term “Goat” to mean loser

It goes back a long way. Here's the tl;dr summary:

Lets travel way back to Ancient Greece and dramatic theatre. Without getting too intellectual, it is interesting to look to Greek tragedies for the origin of the goat phrase because the word tragedy itself literally means “goat song” (my emphasis added). In many Athenian play contests a prize of a live goat would be awarded to the winner, and sometimes even sacrificed as part of the worship to the god Dionysus. Goats being sacrificed as part of religious worship can be traced back centuries.Inside Survivor

So a goat was given to the winner to eat or raise. Either way, the goat's fate was sealed: He was the loser.

In a game, where there are winners and losers, the hero is the person who got the win and the goat is the person who made the mistake to lose.

Now, let's shift a bit. I mentioned that the title could have been, “Are You the Hero or the Goat?” But I chose to use the title I used for a reason:

I'm not focusing on winning or losing.

Instead, I want you to focus becoming the Greatest Of All Time, or the GOAT.

The Greatest of All Time

Muhammad Ali often boasted, “I am the greatest of all tiiiiime!”

And he was. It didn't mean he never lost. He lost more than a few times. His professional boxing record was 56-5 (the last two coming in his last two fights).

Was he the Greatest of All Time because he was the best boxer? No. He wasn't the best boxer of all-time. There are many champions who could lay claim to that title (Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Sugar Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson, Marvin Hagler — it's a long list).

But he was the greatest because he said so, and then won many championships to prove it. To solidify it in his head (first, ahead of the fight, often getting into the head of his opponents) and then his audience's head (later, in the ring).

Becoming the Best You that You Can Be

The point is this: You can be the hero, or the goat, or the GOAT. I can assure you of this: In order to be the GOAT, you'll be the goat some times, and you'll be a hero most of the time.

It's about taking chances. Taking on those opponents (if in business, those projects) that scare you. They could beat you–even if you prepare like you've never prepared before.

You have to like to win. Hate to lose. But know that losing helps you find a way to win. Sometimes life kicks you in the nuts when you're not looking, sending you to the ground in a curled-up mess.

life can be a kick in the nuts

Seriously?

GET UP!

Try again. And again. Until there ain't no more trying. You're either on top or dead.

Ali was a 4-time heavyweight champ because he lost the title three times. He came back. Again and again. He practiced his craft. Each loss sent him back to the drawing board. He had to tweak this, change that, throw this out, add that in. Losing made him better. He took chances. Risks. But they were calculated risks. Nothing crazy. He didn't try to fight a grizzly bear. That's stupid.

Becoming the GOAT takes work. It doesn't come easily. Heroism is a fleeting moment. It's a blip on the radar screen of time. You can be a hero without much preparation. Like that time my friend, Doug, saved a drowning kid. There was no preparation—he saw a kid flailing in the water, dove in, and pulled him to shore. He was a hero, literally.

But he didn't train for that. It was a reaction to something he saw. Luckily, he knew how to swim.

Doug found himself in what you may call “a situation.” No, not this guy:

SNAFU

This guy is a dork.

A SNAFU, if you will. In case you didn't know, that's an acronym for a military term, “Situation Normal, All Fucked Up.”

Winning in life is about learning from your experiences

But becoming the GOAT takes a series of heroic efforts, along with some cases of being the goat. You win some. You lose some. You learn from both outcomes.

Now, this didn't start out being a post about how to become a hero. Or goal-setting. Or any of that “get out of your comfort zone” bullshit.

No.

It's about becoming the best you you can be.

My friend, Colin, said it best (in reference to comfort zones):

colin-comfort-zone

THAT is what I'm talking about!

At the end of the day, you may not care about becoming the greatest boxer, or baseball player, writer, singer, or marketer.

But if you hone your craft, practice, take calculated risks, and go out there and JUST DO IT (and be willing to be the goat from time to time), you can become the best you you can be.

So, what do you say? Is it your time to be the GOAT?

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