I'm often asked for book recommendations. Ever since I took on the task of reading 50 books in a year in an effort to break out of a slump. It worked. Sales skyrocketed. Now, I don't think you need to read 50 in a year, but 10-12 will keep your business moving in the right direction. Fifteen minutes per day and an hour or two on the weekends should be enough for you read 10 books per year, even if you are a slow reader like me. In fifteen minutes you can read at least 5 pages. In an hour, 20 pages. So with 15 minutes per day and an extra hour or two on the weekends, that's 60-80 pages per week. Most self-help, leadership, coaching, or business books are 200-300 pages. So there is no reason you couldn't read 10 books per year.
The real key to growth is sharing what you're reading. If you read them, you will have a lot to share. This will impact everyone in your organization. Readers are leaders, and vice-versa.
So, here are my 12 favorite (in no specific order). I'd love to hear about yours.
Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, Word of Mouth Movements by Robbin Phillips
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh
The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms by Danielle LaPorte
Bury My Heart at Conference Room B: The Unbeatable Impact of Truly Committed Managers by Stan Slap
You Already Know How to Be Great: A Simple Way to Remove Interference and Unlock Your Greatest Potential by Alan Fine
Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
Go-Givers Sell More: by Bob Burg and John David Mann
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink
The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
Taking a mental break and in the mood for another great blog from author John Wasserman? Check out 6 Awesome Reasons to Choose a Career in Sales or Leading the Habitually Unpunctual. A new blog is posted every month. Scroll through JohnsShorts.com or check out the Archives.
Oh...and check out my book No Shorts, Flip Flops, or Sunglasses: How to Get and Make the Most of Your First Real Job - proceeds go to a great charity, Children's Dyslexia Centers, Inc. Thanks! You Rock!!
Are you growing in perseverance? A question that not only had I never been asked, but perhaps one of the best questions I've ever been asked. If you follow any of the thousands of success experts/life coaches/career gurus/etc, I'm sure you already know and agree with the idea that your growth as a person and as a professional must be intentional. If you stop growing, you start dying. Um...sounds dramatic...I'll choose growth please.
However, it is true. There have been times in my life where I really felt stuck. Career not going well. Not getting along with my boss or a co-worker. Gaining weight. Finances in a downward spiral. Testing my ability to persevere. You know, really sucking at life instead of crushing life. Those times were typically brought on by my own lack of growth. I simply got to a point where I thought I knew how to do everything that I needed to do to be good at everything I wanted to be good at. So I stopped doing the things that got me there in the first place. I stopped reading. Stopped reaching out to people for help at work. Stopped pouring into myself. This erosion caused me to have very little to pour into others. Once I snapped out if it, and put together a plan for growth, that's when things turned around. I started to do the things that would lead to growth. Read, reach out, attend seminars, listen to audios, and so on. I became a growth junkie for a whole year.
I've since slowed to a sustainable pace of reading once per day and reaching out to peers and mentors two to three times per month, but I gained so much momentum after that first year that the growth has been exponential. And because of that, I have so much more to offer others.
So, when I heard the question, "Are you growing in perseverance?", I lit up. Do the things that would have stopped you in your tracks last year, only slow you down this year? Are you being intentional about becoming stronger in this area of your life? I have a motto that I love to live by: You're Going to Get Over it Eventually... Why Not Now? This has helped me quickly focus on the things I can control.
I have learned that one of the most important things that separates the successful from the average is the amount of time they are willing to let themselves be bothered by setbacks. They tend to almost seamlessly suck it up, persevere and move forward, to embrace the challenge and work tirelessly on a solution. Successful people take more risks. Calculated risks. They know that setbacks are inevitable. You might be thinking, "I thought successful people were always positive." They are. They are positive that setbacks are inevitable.
Adversity is on every path to success. Because of this, successful people are mentally prepared for it, even though they have no idea what difficulties lie ahead.
Successful people 'get over it' quickly, with full confidence that the answers are out there, even though the path is unclear. This isn't magic. This is conditioning. Growing in perseverance improves overall effectiveness. Growth takes effort. Practice getting past misfortune/bad luck/disappointment quickly.
We have a mission on our team to help others "Think Like a Champion". We live by this ourselves. Many of my teammates wear this declaration on their wrist or have it hanging on their wall. It serves as a reminder that pain is temporary. It is a motivator to move forward swiftly, to make the tougher decision... in the moment... when it matters. To persevere is to stay on purpose (and off self) in spite of obstacles or adversity. Make this year your year to grow in perseverance. Think about the impact this will have on your life, as well as the lives of those you serve.
- John Wasserman, Author of No Shorts, Flip-Flops, or Sunglasses: How to Get and Make the Most of Your First Real Job, has worked with thousands of 18- to 25-year-olds teaching them the basics of business.
Taking a mental break? Check out Do You Have an Entrepreneur's Mindset?
by John Wasserman
Proceeds benefit Children's Dyslexia Centers