Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Book 19: Instant Influence by Michael V. Pantalon, PhD

More times over book titles are tricking me! Similar to Crucial Conversations, I expected a book filled with psychological influence and how to encourage and influence those around you to (well...) follow your influence.

Just like with Crucial Conversations, not exactly.

Instant Influence is based on a 6-step, 7-minute conversation directed at moving someone you wish to make a change to actually making it. The conversations is not focused on results, rather around motivations and behaviors as a result of those motivations.

The 6 Steps are:

  1. Why might you change?
  2. How ready are you to change on a scale from 1-10?
  3. Why didn't you pick a lower number?
  4. Imagine you've changed, what is the positive outcome?
  5. Why are those outcomes important?
  6. What's the next step, if any?
Now, before you run off trying to influence those around you, read the book :) Mr. Pantalon takes the reader through the how this conversation is effective and what signs around change motivation to look for and use as your gauge for effectiveness.

As a life coach myself, this book is life coaching in a teeny-tiny nutshell. Autonomy, motivation, influence, reason, and forwarding the action. Now I spent 12 months in a coaching program and I am seeing an interesting sub-set of coaching-styled books and concepts in almost everything I read. I am starting to wonder, what came first? Something Mr. Pantalon, among many others, hounds on is the power of "why". Our Why Power is the reason for change even having a place in our lives. It gets to the core, quick. However, in my coach training the word 'why' is forbidden! 


That is a tangent, but my point is that I think every author is onto something and this book is right up their with the power of motivation to bring about change. 


Monday, October 29, 2012

Book 18: The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko

Fantastic read, and really one that felt like three books in one. The Millionaire Next Door Habits, The Millionaire Not Next Door, and The Millionaire Next Door, Next Generation. At least that was my interpretation.

The authors composed a fairly radical research project desperate to find out who these millionaires actually are and how they created their wealth. Their findings are incredible and not at all what you would imagine.

The authors look at wealth as your net worth minus your liabilities and then found multi-millionaires for their study. Who are these people?

Hard earners, and even harder savers.

In fact, millionaires are some of the most frugal of all spenders. That's how they made their millions! Yup. Millionaires are not made, they are saved. 

So what of these luxury car owning, international traveling, designer clothes wearing individuals? They may earn a high income, but the majority of those living this lifestyle are actually broke! Can you imagine earning $500,000/year and living paycheck to paycheck?? When you think you have to "keep up the appearances" then yes, you can.

In fact, less than 20% of net-worth millionaires lease anything. If they desire a higher end product, they purchase it. BUT, they are sure to acquire assets, not liabilities. Liabilities are those things that will always depreciate such as (*clears throat*) your car and your clothes. What are assets then? Property, land, stocks, bonds, cash, and precious metals.

You don't have to earn high to save and invest high. In fact, more than 80% of those with a net-worth of more than 1 million earn less than $100,000 per year! They pay their investments and savings first, live on less than they earn, set annual financial goals, and have a long-term financial plan in action.

The authors continue on to share in how Economic Outpatient Care (cash gifts from affluent parents) are the reason of ineffective and under-earning/overspending children and that the only gift affluent parents ought to pass on are education and principles.

Their parting thought is how to market to the true affluent. Remember, the true affluent purchase assets such as investments, health, and good retirement packages.

All in all, a fantastic read. If you are suffering from wealthitis (misbelief that wealth is for the wealthy) then read it!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Book 17: The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey

Trust ... how can one word elicit a piece of work that is 318 pages? I wondered why this book was only a "bestseller" vs. a "national bestseller" or why was there not a declaration about how many millions of copies it had sold? Because, it hasn't. And here are my thoughts...

His concept is spot on and rather simple too. Trust starts with the self: integrity, intent, ability, and results. I enjoyed his perspective on how these 4 core components of trust need to be in place before you can move to the how of trust. Then he outlines 13 behaviors that need to be acted upon with integrity, intent, ability, and results such as accountability, capability, expanding on trust, etc. I am missing 10, but I assure you they are rather simple. And then he outlines how these play a major role in relationships, leadership, and society.

Unless of course I am the naive one and these are not so simple - is it possible that the majority of us actually do not act from a place of trust? Well, he did write 318 pages about it.

Mr. Covey's concept is that with trust you open the door to creativity, movements, growth, and you lift those around you up. I agree. I am just not so sure it needed the extensive chapters.

Of course, read it. Why? Because whether I loved this read or not, I am better knowing than not knowing.


Don't confuse Stephen M.R. Covey with his father and author of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Book 16: The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes

Phew - this book was to the point and yet one of the most powerful business books I've read it date. Mr. Holmes doesn't waste your time because he doesn't have time to waste himself. And I am thankful for that tactic because it's a great place to start in thinking about business.

Oh, I own a business, so these books are most definitely in my queue every week.

Mr. Holmes outlines 12 areas to radically increase both prospects and the sellers edge. He outlines that only 3% of consumers are ready to buy something at any given moment. Now you may be curious, in the market, or intrigued by are not ready to purchase. The moral of his point: stop selling to the 3%! Instead, pry them open and move your prospects into the 3% category where you will be waiting with open arms.


Market Education. Two words now in the forefront of my mind. For example, which captures you more?

"Why our gym is awesome."


"3 Major risks to your bank account in the next 12 months no one has told you!"

I will give you a hint: they are insurance claims, accidents, and your grocery bill. I don't want to give too much away but I will gladly reveal all the details in an upcoming orientation.

See what I did there? I know, I can't fool you, but that's the best part - no trickery here! These are genuine costs that no one should endure and my business can genuinely take them away for good. If you are a business owner of any kind, work for a department of any kind, or are in any sort of teaching capacity where you have an obligation to take care of people, read it.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Book 15: Crucial Conversations by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, and Switzler

Anyone who is in a relationship, has coworkers, owns a business, has friends, has siblings or parents .... must read this book! (Did I capture everyone in that sentence?) I must admit, it was not exactly what I thought it would be about. I naively assumed the 'crucial' part was more in relation to helping others move through difficult situations through conversation.

Well, not exactly.

Instead I found myself in chapters about understanding your reactive style to hard talks, how to disband poor listening skills, how to get back on the same page, and move into a place of agreement versus doors slamming. Well, that is extreme but how often has a simple assumption turned into an argument about an argument?

Like I said, read this book.

The author's concept is rather simple - first take a step back and "start with heart". Remember what you wanted to get out of the conversation originally. Make it safe - often response or lack of response is not due to the harsh words, it's the harsh conditions. Stop your stories and lead with your observations. Explore their path and seek to genuinely understand their perspective. Then move to action with the most results-directed path possible. In a nutshell.

Read it.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Book 14: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

A book that has sat on my shelf for years finally found its way into my hands - thankfully. I was a bit itimidated by the stature and praise of this book, however found Mr. Covey's insights fascinating and on point.

The 7 Habits build on one another - you can not have Habit #2 if Habit #1 has not been established for the self. This was a wonderful follow up read to Awaken the Giant Within because much of the work Tony Robbins asks of you will serve you when reading through each habit.

Habit One - Be Proactive. Choose your path and know that your life is by choice, whether you are conscious of this or not.

Habit Two - Begin with the End in Mind. Go forward to move forward. In essence, once you choose your path, write your values that will allow you to end where you want to end.

Habit Three - Put First Things First. Habits one and two are about self-leadership, habit three is about management. Now that you have chosen your path and written the values that will allow your path to take shape, manage your life in such a way that you can live out your values day to day.

Habit Four - Win/Win. You can not move into win/win situations with another until your have achieved personal victory through habits 1, 2, and 3. Win/Win simply means both parties come to an 'and' agreement where each comes out in a better place. This takes patience and purpose.

Habit Five - First Seek to Understand, then be Understood. This is my favorite habit - listen without your own autobiography ringing in mind. Listen so that the other person can hear themselves. You will amass major influence without saying much at all.

Habit Six - Synergize. Once you are in this place of Win/Win and true understanding THEN you can share in the experience together taken your solutions to a whole new level.

Habit Seven - Sharpen the Saw. To maintain your habits surround your life with physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental stretches. Read, write, meditate, take care of your livelihood, ask, and give. This is an ongoing cycle of renewal which allows all the other habits to continue in harmony.

Quite simply, read it.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Book 13: Goals! by Brian Tracy

Love. This. Book. Read it. I know, I don't usually pronounce that at the beginning, but this piece of work, these 278 pages, are brilliant.

I was not too sure as this was my follow-up to book #12 which I was not the biggest fan of - Goals! blew me away. Again, read it.

To be expected, there were snippets about going forward to move forward - meaning in order to achieve go to your end point and work backwards. We have all heard this before, and if you have not it is a powerful exercise. However, from page 40 forward Mr. Tracy beckons the reader to challenge everything you know about goal setting and attainment.

There is no question about it, goal setting to a minute degree is the only separator between the successful and the unsuccessful. What is a minute degree? He recommends goal setting every morning - write down in a special notebook your 10 goals for the next 12 months. Tomorrow write your list again without referring to the previous day. Continue on this path indefinitely. You can then go through each item, each day, and list 3 action steps per goal. Taking action on just one item is 250 steps toward your ultimate goal every year. Multiply that by the 10 goals per day and you have taken ... 2,500 steps in one single year toward attaining your 10 goals. Whoa!

Sound like a lot of work? That's because it is. See, this whole notion of success being about "luck", you know, being in the right place at the right time? Well, that is 1,000% totally and completely false. Period.

Luck is what unsuccessful people see as standing between them and their desires. But what you don't know is that successful people take actionable steps towards their very detailed goals every single day. They don't get excited to go home at 5pm. They are grateful for the impact they leave and work they perform on a daily basis - minute to minute. Do you feel this "lucky"? If not, time to have a little face to face chat with no one other than yourself.

My favorite part, where it got really good, was his unveiling of our superconscious mind. You have heard of this before, perhaps referred to as "the secret", the "superego", the "oversoul", the "third dimension of thought", the "supra conscious", and my new favorite from none other than Mr. Napoleon Hill, "infinite intelligence". Doesn't it just feel good to say out loud?

How do you uncover your magical powers that are within the superconscious? With a complete conviction for daily visualization and opportunity recognition. Repeat that to yourself a few times through.

I really could keep going but what I really want you to do is stop reading this post and read the book. Read it.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Book 12: The 100 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws of Business Success by Brian Tracy

I believe Mr. Tracy's intentions were good here - he wants proactivity on all 100 laws so they don't just . sit . on . your . to . do . list . However, I don't know that taking action on all 100 needs to be the goal - so I soaked them all in and here were some of my favorites:

Law #1: Good ol' Cause & Effect - again which we have total control over. I am seeing a nice little trend unfold here. Don't forget you can work backwards, know the effect you desire and the cause to get there will reveal itself.

Law #4: Correspondence - Your outer world is a reflection of your inner world. 

Law #7: Accident - by failing to plan you are planning to fail.

The entire law section about goal setting, time management, and success were on point and I was amazed to read that focused and detailed goal setters earn as much as 10x those who don't goal set. You are writing your goals down now, aren't you?

Now the not so great parts - Mr. Tracy's laws of money were a bit ... off. He is a millionaire a few times over and his recommendations for both cash and negotiating were to serve high quality for less and always discover the not so obvious bargain and ask for it. I have to disagree. Something about his wealth and that concept does not add up for me - either way, read it.


Book 11: The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz

Success is self-administered. That made me feel good, and he is of course completely right. On the flip side, the myth about luck is fueled by lack of taking responsibility and not recognizing that everything you do is by choice.

Now that I have rained on your parade, lets get to the BIG part! To think big be obsessively focused on your BIG vision and get caught up with your long-term goal.

Thinking big is actually simpler than I imagined it would be. Are you ready to hear it's secret? Ok - to think big, THINK BIG. That's it, no really, that's it.

Capacity is a state of mind. Believe you can increase, improve, grow, and your mind will find the solutions needed to make that your reality. It's not a matter of, "Can I improve?" Big thinkers know they can. So the question really is, "HOW can I improve?"

I guess that's what this blog is really about - a sliver of my how. Read it.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Book 10: Triple Your Reading Speed by Wade E. Cutler

I liked 1/3 of this book - I enjoyed that Mr. Cutler shows you how to calculate your reading speed, how to preview a new book, and how to calculate your estimated completion of that book depending on your current words per minute speed. I liked his two primary means for increasing your speed - peripheral vision and for a lack of a better term, "chunking" it down.

My only discrepancy was in his means for helping the reader excel - the book includes several excerpt's from various readings or publications followed by a comprehension test. It just felt like...high school and my ability to do well plummeted.

I personally think that we all have individual book likes and dislikes - I enjoy personal growth and development books and others can't get enough romance series. This absolutely alters how you enjoy reading and what capacity you take in the information.

His Two-Step method was great and I will now be reading not word for word, rather in two separate line chunks that get processed as whole pieces          
as opposed to word for word lines. This allows for you peripheral 
vision to comprehend each line          
without needed to read at the slow rate at which we speak. 
Regardless of my distaste for some           
of his means for teaching the material, 
by overall reading speed increased from 306 wpm to                
490 wpm in a matter of an hour or so. Not bad. I rather liked that part. Read it, quickly.


Book 9: Like a Virgin by Richard Branson

I figured since he has ... a few successful companies it would be worth my while to read his thoughts on being a business mogul. I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed his perspective. Some of his concepts were exactly what I expected - have fun, take risks, and go out on a limb.

But a few others I was pleasantly surprised to read about - values ARE the brand, customers ARE the brand, and your team members ARE your brand. That's it!

How has he been able to successfully move into more than 8 sectors of business that have all grossed over 1 billion each? By knowing what he stands for and using it as the only filter for attainment. They may not seem to have much in common - music, flight, trains, health clubs, money, travel. However this hidden link is experience and impact.

Forget the cash, his entrepreneurial intuition is all about impact - leaving a consumer and the world better off than when he found them. Rather refreshing if you ask me.

His employees come first because his employees are his brand ambassadors - they are 100% responsible for delivering the Virgin brand to each and every person his 50,000 team members come into contact with. Yes he has policies and regulations to protect his assets, but his customers ARE his assets, therefore the way they are treated and the way his team is educated in how to treat them is where the magic lives. Phew.

I like you Sir Richard Branson. And I look forward to, ironically, being on one of your flights tomorrow. Read it.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Book 8: The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach

Here's the lo-down.

First, find your Latte Factor (it could be your $3.50 coffee, your $9 lottery ticket, maybe even your $.50 piece of impulse chocolate). Now multiply it by 7, then by 4, then by 12.

Lets take your $3.50, one coffee a day for a year is $1,176. Now I am sure you have done the math before. But here's where it gets interesting. Mr. Bach's point is not how much you are spending, but that you have the money to spend. And if you have the money to spend, well then you have the money to invest and save.

It goes like this.

$3.50 a day in a 401(k) or IRA account will amount to .... $1,742,467 within 40 years, give or take a little. Oh, were you still caught up in the almost 2 MILLION DOLLARS YOUR LATTE ACTUALLY COSTS?

Sorry, but this is exciting!

David's 3 keys to wealth are:

  1. Pay Yourself First with a compounded interest account
  2. Save 1 years worth of your monthly expenses with a Money Market Account
  3. Buy your house and be clever, but legal, with your payments
The "Automatic" portion is in how you invest, save, or pay your mortgage - automatically. Sign up for automatic withdrawal or direct deposit into your various accounts. One hour to set up, and then you can literally sit back and automatically increase your worth. 

You can't afford not read this one, so read it.


Book 7: The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

At first this book seemed like it was going to be a series of "Latte Factors" on steroids. Which Mr. Hardy does bring to the readers attention within the first 41 pages - however only to impress on you the point of compounding.

Compound = small habits done consistently over time.

Slowly he moved from number compounding to life compounding, and that is where it got real good.

Yet this simple idea then expanded into whirlwind of life altering choices. I am so glad he emphasized this word throughout, because whether we are conscious of it or not, the compound effect is at play each and every day.

In choosing to be aware of it's presence we can then choose it's power.

My favorite bit was when we introduced Big Mo' (also known as Momentum). With intense energy push at the start followed by a series of small (seemingly insignificant, but quite the contrary) consistent pushes Big Mo' works for you.

You could say this project is one big compound effect experiment. Yes, it is daunting. However - it's just one book at a time. I can do that. Read it.


Mr. Hardy if you are reading this I am sending you a handwritten letter thanking you for your words of wisdom. It is one of my three "differential" moments, for this week anyway.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Book 6: Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins


Where to even begin with this piece of work - well, I will start here: this book changed my life. How's that for 500 pages of words? It changed my life.

Mr. Robbins is beyond intelligent and his passion for life is intense, even in print. He very well may be the most informed expert on why people do what they do and how to change what they do and he learned everything he knows from people, books, ideas, processes, and taking chances.

His curiosity has created a very lived life. But this book is not about him, it is about how to awaken the giant within. And I think it happened.

There were chapters I read, and re-read, and re-read again. Once he started throwing around concepts like, "neuro-associative conditioning" all I could think was, oh here we go.


Here is what happened - my beliefs and sense of identity were shaken up a little. I began to associate massive pain to things like, "being lazy", "sleeping in too much", "spending too much", etc. And in doing so the things that I desire started to become too painful NOT to fulfill. My savings account, my client list, my gratitude, I could keep going.

Then I took his 10-day Mental Diet Challenge (which I am only on day 3 of as I write this). This 10-day diet means I have to squash limiting and poor self talk IN THE MOMENT and replace it with his problem solving questions.

It works. And if you don't allow it to work, you have to start over. No thank you.

Thank you Mr. Robbins, you woke me up and I am never going back to sleep. Read it.


Book 5: Go Givers Sell More by Bob Burg and John David Mann

The follow up to the Go-Giver, Go Givers Sell More could just be a business book, or is it something more?

I say it is more.

People just don't do these kinds of things anymore, and that is what makes it so brilliant!

Imagine giving simply for the sake of giving. Not to one day gain a referral. Not to possibly get a favor in return. In fact forget everything you know about 50/50 - life doesn't need to operate that way. 50/50 turns you into a ... debt collector.

Just give. Then give some more. And keep giving. Period.

Givers attract. I love this! Don't sell, connect.

This book outlines several means for living out the five laws of the Go Giver - but the Law of Value is now a personal favorite. How can you make someone's day today? Read it.


Book 4: The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann

This book left a permanent smile on my face. It just felt...good.

Meet Joe. He is your A-typical corporate salesman who is about to come in contact with the end of his fiscal period well under his numbers. Oops.

Immediately he seeks out a VERY successful consultant, Pindar. I imagine Pindar is Jim Rohn, I am just sayin'.

Each day Joe shows up to learn a new lesson from Pindar through various business owners and contributors that Pindar has either assisted or watched achieve greatness.

The lessons are:

The Law of Value - Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.

The Law of Compensation - Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.

The Law of Influence - Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people's interests first.

The Law of Authenticity - Your most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.

The Law of Receptivity - The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

See, don't they just feel good? Oh and there is a sweet lady, Rachel, and her famous coffee. It just made my mouth water, that's all. Read it.


Book 3: Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker

Bah! This book blew my mind. When I picked it up I thought I knew exactly what he was going to lay out for me - save money, spend less, invest more, etc.

But no.

Mr. Eker single handedly cured what I thought was an inability to commit to one thing and it turns out that is not what has been going on at all. Want to know what it is?

My money blueprint. And you have one too.

I did a little research and it turns out I am not the first one in my family to jump from venture to venture never really making a profit. You can see why I thought I had a commitment problem. However what I discovered was kind of shocking...

My grandfather did the exact same thing.

This was my blueprint - following ideas without every asking for my worth and jumping ship right before it has the possibility to profit.

My solution: to stop that.

I believe following my bliss is the only route to true abundance, so here I go. Read it.


Book 2: Secrets of Six Figure Women by Barbara Stanny

this book. What struck me the most was how each woman she interviewed all had one pretty awesome trait, something she did consistently: she asked.

Who knew??

But my MOST favorite strategy was #7: Obey the Rules of Money, and here is why - because in doing so you actually attract it into your life. Something I wasn't expecting to read was that a fair amount of these ladies spent almost 100% of their six-figures AND felt like they didn't earn enough.


The rules state: spend more than you earn, pay your savings account first, and put your money to work FOR you with a diverse investment portfolio. 

I didn't know I could do that, until now. Every penny matters. Read it.


Book 1: The Success Principles by Jack Canfield

One book, 64 life changing philosophies about attaining success your way into your life.

Turns out I am totally and completely in control of my life - where I have been and where I am going. Now 64 principles is a lot, but each and every one made me feel SO good.

My personal principles for where I am in my life today:

Principle #1: Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life - very...liberating.
Principle #7: Unleash the Power of Goal Setting - I know begin and end my day with visual affirmations. They make me smile.
Principle #15: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway - Courage anyone?
Principle #20: Commit to Constant and Never-Ending Improvement - Hence this blog.
Principle #25: Drop Out of the "Ain't It Awful" Club...and Surround Yourself with Successful People - I see now how attitude is contagious, if you are not positive please stay at bay.
Principle #39: Stay Focused on Your Core Genius - Because it is your most valuable asset.
Principle #49: Have a Heart Talk - because we often don't listen just to listen.
Principle #56: Develop a Positive Money Consciousness - Yes, ladies, this one is for you!
Principle #58: Pay Yourself First - also known as a savings account.
Principle #62: Give More to Get More - Coming up, The Go Giver

Well, all 64 principles are phenomenal, these are just a sampling of my favorites. Read it.