8 Audiobooks I Listened to in 2018 (Part 2)

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Happy Resource Friday!

Recently, I wrote a post titled 8 Audiobooks I Listened to in 2018 (Part 1). This is a continuation of that post with 8 more books I listened to in 2018! It’s very similar to the one I made about the 21 impactful books I read last year. Because of my 45 minute drive to and from work, I have lots of time to learn in the car from audiobooks. I use Libby (which I have reviewed here on the blog), a library app that allows you to borrow audiobooks and ebooks for free.

Here are 8 of the books I listened to last year and the reasons I liked or disliked them.

Click on the title in order to find out more information on each book.

1. Crush it! by Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk is an incredibly intelligent marketer and an entertaining author. In his book Crush It!, he talks passionately about the new economy in which we live and how the markets change. It’s chock full of pointers for following your passion by working unbelievably hard and taking advantage of the tools we now have.

One thing I really like about his books is that he fills them with his own experiences selling wine online when no one else was. He speaks from experience and helps the reader (or listener for that matter) avoid the issues he faced.

2. One Nation by Dr. ben Carson

Ben Carson is an incredibly thoughtful individual and it’s made clear through his book One Nation. Carson tackles multiple aspects of American society and how we can all do little things to benefit the nation. Some of the topics include the government, health care, taxes, and the economy,

This was a particularly interesting book to listen to because of Dr. Carson’s presidential run back in 2016. It convinced me that Carson had a thoughtful and knowledgeable plan when he ran for president. From his book, I got to learn a bit more about his proposed strategies at the time.

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3. sprint by jake Knapp

I absolutely love business strategy. Jack Knapp’s book Sprint covers just that. Knapp argues that if companies complete a “sprint” for their new product or service before actually offering it, they’ll find out if the idea is actually viable or not very quickly.

Then time and resources won’t have to be wasted on a project. But the idea may move forward if the sprint reveals ways in which the product or service can be made better.

I got this book recommendation from my pastor who participates in a monthly book club. Right now, I’m using these principles with my sister to test some ideas for a business we want to run.

4. Onward by howard Schultz

I love coffee. I don’t think the caffeine does much for me because I can drink coffee in the evening and it doesn’t affect me. But I still love the coffee. That’s where my interest in this book came from.

Written by the founder of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, Onward is a captivating story about the difficult choices that had to be made to grow the brand, especially through the 2008 recession. I find books like this give me a special affinity to a particular brand because it connects me to their story. This book was no exception.

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5. Killing Kennedy by Bill O’reilly

I picked up this book partly due to my fascination with history and partly because of how much I’ve heard about the Killing ____ series by Bill O’Reilly. Whether you like O’Reilly or not, he’s an excellent historian who has a knack for telling historical narratives with as much accuracy as possible.

Killing Kennedy was a fascinating look at everything that was going on during Kennedy’s presidential term civil rights, the space race, etc. That’s what I like about books like this. It gives reasons for why certain events happened and how they connected to other events. I enjoyed this listen. I’m not a big fan of Kennedy’s character, but there’s no question that he was an incredibly dynamic and well-liked leader at the time.

6. killing Lincoln by Bill O’reilly

As I began this book (and consequently when I listened to many other O’Reilly books), I realized how bad it would look if the NSA was watching me.

“What the heck? Now he’s listening to a bunch of books about historical leaders being assassinated. We better keep a better eye on him.”

Having said that, I wasn’t so much interested in the fact that these leaders were assassinated as I was in the events leading up to these assassinations. What events caused the assassins to break and how do all the pieces fit together? Killing Lincoln certainly did not disappoint as O’Reilly gave much background about the end of the civil war and the effect on the presidency.

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7. The Aviators by Winston Groom

I’m guessing it’s obvious I got into a history funk. This book was highly recommended to me by my cousin. Since I like airplanes, I was easily convinced.

I absolutely LOVED The Aviators. I loved it so much I listened to it twice. Groom covers in great detail the major impact each of three pilots had on aviation — Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, and Charles Lindbergh.

The reason I loved this book so much is because it not only tells a story about each pilot as they flew through the world wars — it helps the reader understand the significance of each contribution and how it affected other industries and events. The Aviators is a MUST read.

8. Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau

Chris Guillebeau has a podcast called The Side Hustle School where he talks about the side hustles of thousands of people and how these hustles transformed the lives of their owners. I like variety in my work, so I like talking side hustles.

This book is practical if you are working a normal job but want to get into another space — maybe one in which you have a lot more passion. As the subtitle suggests, Guillebeau will help you start up your side hustle and create income in 27 days. I recommend it if you want to spice up life and gather some small business ideas!

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Learn every day

I want you to make an effort to learn every day. It takes work, it really does. Unfortunately for me, I am not able to read the number of physical books this year that I did last year. So audiobooks have become a necessary supplement. Plus, on 1.5x speed, you can blow through books like never before!

Check out Libby today and listen to these books for free!

What is your favorite book you’ve read?

I want to hear from you in the comments below! And if you found any value in this post, give it a like and me a follow!

-Caleb

this free email gives you an entertaining look into what’s happening every day

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8 Audiobooks I Listened to in 2018 (Part 1)

This post contains affiliate links.

Happy Resource Friday!

Today I thought I would give a short outline of some of the books I listened to in 2018 in a similar post to the one I made about the 21 impactful books I read last year. Because of my 45 minute drive to and from work, I have lots of time to learn in the car from audiobooks. I use Libby (which I have reviewed here on the blog), a library app that allows you to borrow audiobooks and ebooks for free.

Here are 8 of the books I listened to last year and the reasons I liked or disliked them.

Click on the title in order to find out more information on each book.

1. Living Forward by Michael Hyatt

I’ve talked about this book several times. I loved this book because it helped me and Bailey develop life plans that give direction for the future. It takes the reader through a process that helps them write their eulogy (really? yes) and create “Life Accounts” to make priorities.

You can read my full review here!

2. The 4-hour workweek by Tim Ferriss

Ferriss puts a ton of information in his book with some good tips for automation within business, allowing someone to make passive income and work very little. I found that it was interesting because it shows what is possible in today’s age of technology.

This is not one of my favorite books mainly because of how it’s written. Though Ferriss gives a lot of information about how to automate your own business, I just didn’t find the way the content was conveyed particularly engaging.

3. necessary endings by Dr. Henry Cloud

I’ve heard Dr. Henry Cloud talk on many occasions mostly through You Tube videos and podcasts. Cloud is a deep thinker when it comes to human psychology and really puts ideas into simple-to-understand writing.

Necessary Endings covers the ways we can end things in our lives. It focuses on how these endings can help us grow into healthier individuals. Any number of things can require necessary endings — chapters of life, careers, toxic relationships, etc. Cloud does an excellent job of covering these topics in great depth.

4. When by Daniel Pink

Staying in the vein of psychology, I have several books by Daniel Pink, a behavioral psychologist and proficient author. When is a book that tackles the idea that when we do things actually matters. He uses tons of examples to paint a clear picture of how most of us don’t do things at the right times, making our professional and personal lives far less efficient and enjoyable.

Something as simple as the kind of work we do at different times of the day. One example he used was talking about the natural highs and lows of concentration throughout someone’s day. Most people are going to be able to focus on analytical tasks better in the morning, then will have to tackle more menial tasks like email in the slump of the afternoon. I loved this book and I think you will too!

5. Permission to screw up by Kristen Hadeed

Some books are made up of information about how to do something (like the first four books in this blog post). Permission to Screw Up is not one, following more of a narrative through the author’s mistakes of growing a business. Books like this are easy to listen to because it’s made up almost entirely of stories.

Hadeed follows her business from the very beginning to the point she is now, emphasizing her mistakes in leadership, finances, scaling and many other topics. Books about experience, not just theory, are particularly memorable to me and this one was no exception.

6. economics in one lesson by henry hazlitt

I am fascinated by economics. Normally, I check reviews about books before reading or listening to them but I just tried this one for the heck of it. It’s more than 50 years old and it’s about economics so it definitely has a different type of language in it.

Having said that, if you want to learn more about economics and how even a minor change in government or society can affect the economy, read this book! Hazlitt does an excellent job of organizing this book so it makes sense. Thus, it’s an easy one to follow. And it gives some great points on economy that you can use to impress your friends at the next political discussion.

7. Never split the difference by chris voss

This is a mindblowingly simple book to follow and understand which is why I love it so much! We all understand the necessity of good negotiating skills and this book will make you far more confident in your ability to negotiate better pay, a car sale or even just day to day interactions.

Voss’s book is incredibly entertaining because, being an ex-FBI hostage negotiator, he has story after story of their team saving hostage lives, not through force but through psychological intelligence. I loved this book so much that I listened to it twice!

8. crucial conversations by various authors

I read another book by these same authors last year called Influencer and liked it a lot (can you tell I only read books I think I will like a lot? I have a limited amount of time so what can I say..). This book uses many examples to convey simple strategies for hitting the home run when communicating with people during awkward or tough conversations.

It’s a practical book that will give you more confidence about how to not avoid confrontation when confrontation is what will move a relationship forward (or create a necessary ending!).

Learn every day

I want you to make an effort to learn every day. It takes work, it really does. Unfortunately for me, I am not able to read the number of physical books this year that I did last year. So audiobooks have become a necessary supplement. Plus, on 1.5x speed, you can blow through books like never before!

Check out Libby today and listen to these books for free!

What is your favorite book you’ve read?

I want to hear from you in the comments below! And if you found any value in this post, give it a like and me a follow!

-Caleb

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This is an email that I get every morning that updates me in an entertaining way of the happenings in the world. It’s a long form email but it’s easy to skim and pick up the information you find interesting or relevant. Plus it’s a great way to support the blog and won’t cost you anything!


How to be Great By Choice (Jim Collins’ Way)

Jim Collins is one of my all-time favorite authors. He wrote (with the help of a research team) the bestselling books Good to Great, Great by Choice, Built to Last, and How the Mighty Fall. He constructs his books in an easy-to-understand way and makes the topic of business incredibly interesting. For today’s Resource Friday, let’s look at Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos andLuck — Why Some Thrive Despite Them All.

Let’s jump in!

Collins starts by defining the kind of leader that is at the head of the successful companies researched — The 10X Leader.

The 10x leader: core behaviors

  1. Fantastic discipline: 10x leaders have an extreme focus on their goals and the consistent actions necessary to accomplish them.
  2. Empirical creativity: When faced with challenges, 10x leaders react using creative solutions based on observation, not theory.
  3. Productive paranoia: 10x leaders maintain a healthy level of pessimism. They are extremely aware of problems that may arise and how to combat them.

Each of these behaviors is carried into the company cultures of the successful companies researched. Let’s look!

Fantastic Discipline: The 20 Mile March

Collins uses the analogy of a long, seemingly monotonous march of 20 miles to communicate how these successful companies accomplished greatness. 10x companies don’t make rash decisions in order to gain a quick profit.

Through their research, Collins’ team regularly found that the companies being researched had long periods of consistency. They had clear performance goals and accomplished those goals with extreme regularity.

“A 20 Mile March needn’t be financial. You can have a creative march, a learning march, a service-improvement march, or any other type of march, as long as it has the primary characteristics of a good 20 Mile March” – Jim Collins, Great by Choice (p. 65)

Southwest Airlines was one example of this fantastic discipline. They remained profitable for 30 years straight, even through 9/11 and the uncertainty that followed. No other major airline has done this!

Empirical Creativity: Start with Bullets, End with Cannonballs

Collins uses the analogy of shooting bullets to communicate the idea of hitting a target before shooting cannonballs. The bullet is a test; the cannonball is a business venture.

According to Collins, here are characteristics of a bullet in business: Bullets are low cost, low risk, and low distraction. (p. 81)

Low cost: The bullet doesn’t take a lot of capital resources.

Low risk: There aren’t any significant consequences if the bullet doesn’t hit the target.

Low distraction: The bullet doesn’t take too much attention away from the main business needs.

Productive Paranoia: Prepare for the Worst

10x companies prepare for the worst in order to avoid risk. According to Collins, 10x companies keep about 3-10 times the amount of cash on hand as comparable companies.

Collins gives an example of Intel, one of their successful companies researched:

“By the late 1990s, Intel’s cash position had soared to more than $10 billion, reaching 40 percent of annual revenues (whereas AMD’s cash-to-revenue ratio hovered at less than 25 percent).” – Jim Collins, Great by Choice (p. 104)

Great Read for All Business Lovers

I loved this book because it got into the nitty gritty of business. I’m an engineer so I like numbers and quantifiable things. This book isn’t based on theory like a lot of business books. Collins uses research and numbers to back up his claims.

If you love learning about business, I’d highly recommend it!

What’s your favorite business book?

I want to hear from you in the comments down below! And as always, if you found value in this post, give it a like and give me a follow!

-Caleb

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I love reading and I hope you can enjoy the process of learning through books as much as I do. If you want to support the blog, grab your next book from Thriftbooks! This is where I get almost every hard copy book I read (spent over $120 there in the last 1.5 years). You’ll get good deals on your favorite reads as well as free shipping on orders over $10!


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How to Live Forward Everyday (Book Review)

Image result for living forward

This blog post contains affiliate links.

Happy Resource Friday! I’m excited to share a book with you all that I loved (and happens to be an easy read).

It’s called Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy.

I like Hyatt because of the genuine nature with which he communicates his ideas and experience. I’ve read a couple of his books, but this one is the most exciting because it tackles the future.

I love talking about the future.

The premise of his book Living Forward is that if we don’t make a plan for where we want to go in life, we will drift in whatever direction life takes us. I wrote about this topic in a recent post.

It’s very similar to an analogy I heard on Ken Coleman’s career plan podcast. Most everyone wants to climb the company ladder, however, if you don’t plan properly, you may reach the top of the ladder only to find it’s on the wrong building.

Living forward starts with a “life Plan”

This book is all about developing your “life plan”; a plan that outlines how you want people to remember you, what goals you want to accomplish, and how you want to spend your time and money.

Here are the main points in developing your own life plan because everyone’s is different. None look identical!

1. Write your eulogy (I know, kinda dark)

This is an understandably weird-feeling step in developing a life plan. However, in an attempt to engineer your life backward, you need to know what you want to be said when you’re dead (nice rhyme, huh?).

This means listing out all the people that you care about whether they are God, your spouse, your children, your friends or your colleagues. What do you want each group to remember most about you? Your personality? Your service? Preparing one’s own eulogy is rather sobering, however, it really jumpstarts the thinking in relation to the rest of the life plan.

2. determine your life accounts

This falls into the chapter titled “Determine Your Priorities” and compares each priority to a separate bank account in which you can make deposits and withdraws alike. Hyatt gives a list of 9 basic life accounts to get you started.

  1. Vocational
  2. Marital
  3. Spiritual
  4. Intellectual
  5. Social
  6. Financial
  7. Physical
  8. Parental
  9. Avocational

The biggest thing to remember is that, in Hyatt’s own words, “Your Life Accounts are unique to you.” In the examples Hyatt gives from real people’s life plans, Life Accounts vary drastically from his suggestions to accounts like Creating, Pets, Teaching, and Adventure.

What’s most important to you? No worries, your Life Accounts can change over time!

3. develop an action plan for each account

Thanks to picjumbo.com from Pexels for the photo!

The action plan is where specifics come in. It contains several sections to provide context for your account. Again, these may vary. However, these are the general sections of the action plan.

  1. Purpose Statement
  2. Envisioned Future
  3. Inspiring Quote
  4. Current Reality
  5. Specific Commitments

Your action plan is where the change really starts. It gives you everything you need to begin a new journey. The action plan provides you a reason for that journey (purpose statement). It gives you an idea of what it will be like to succeed (envisioned future). It provides inspiration from others ahead of you (inspiring quote). It helps you understand how far you are away from that goal (current reality). And it gives you a list of actions in order to make the desired change (specific commitments).

keep looking at the life plan after you make it

The important thing is to review the life plan regularly. At least once a year, however, the more often you review it, the more your goals will be at the front of your thinking.

I loved this book. Go figure. If you have read much of my writing, you probably could have guessed it. I recommend this book to anyone who is afraid that where they are going in life isn’t where they actually want to be. Bailey and I are working on finishing up our life plans. Let me tell you, it gave both of us something tangible to talk about relative to the future and it also produced a TON of excitement for our goals.

What is your biggest life goal that you want to accomplish?

I want to hear from you! As always, give this post a like and give me a follow if you found the information in it valuable!

-Caleb

If you want to snag a copy of Living Forward, I recommend getting it from Thriftbooks. I got my copy for $4 and it is still in near-new condition. And if you purchase more than $10 of books, you will score free shipping straight to your house! I LOVE FREE SHIPPING.