We’re already into the third month of 2018! Summer is just around the corner! 😉 As you may have read in my first blog post here, one of my goals this year is to read. Not just to read more, but to read books that will help me to grow personally and in business. So the end goal is to read 24 self-help or business books this year to help me to grow personally and in business. Since starting I’ve come to realize my 24 book goal may be a little ambitious but we’ll see how this goes. So today I’m talking about the first 2 books I’ve read so far!
Tribes by Seth Godin
The first book I read this year was Tribes. This book came highly recommended by other business professionals I follow on Instagram. I’ve heard many good things about Seth Godin’s books, so I thought this would be a great place to start.
This book was good, but it was shorter than I was expecting and I didn’t get as many golden ‘thought’ nuggets as I thought I would. Tribes focused a lot on how to be the best leader you can be to attract and lead a tribe of like-minded people to change the status quo of the world. One of my favourite quotes of the book is, “You get to choose the tribe you will lead. Through your actions as a leader, you attract a tribe that wants to follow you.” I also enjoyed reading, “The second thing you need to know is that the only thing holding you back from becoming the kind of person who changes things is this: lack of faith. Faith that you can do it. Faith that it’s worth doing. Faith that failure won’t destroy you.” When I was struggling to decide if I wanted to grow my team one of my excuses to myself was that I didn’t have the right personality. But this quote really changed that mindset for myself. “Being charismatic doesn’t make you a leader. Being a leader makes you charismatic.”
Some of my favourite words of wisdom from this book aren’t just for leaders though. I loved the following quote, “The secret of being wrong isn’t to avoid being wrong! The secret is being willing to be wrong. The secret is realizing that wrong isn’t fatal” because anyone can relate to it. If the fear of failure is a weakness for you than that quote will really resonate with you.
What I’m going to implement from this book
This book really helped me with my mindset. To grow and change how I view things to become a better leader and a better person to those around me. It’s really about faith that you can do what you set your mind to and to embrace human nature and mistakes.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
In the beginning of the book there’s a quote from Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” That was a great starting point for the book which is all about habits that we can improve on and master. The book explains how effective habits are internalized principles and patterns of behaviour (knowledge, skills and desire); it really explains the ‘why’ behind every action or habit.
If you read the book it will give you a link to a website quiz where you can see how effective you are. I took the quiz and did what I’d consider not bad! Overall I’m mostly effective, but there’s still room to improve to becoming highly effective. The quiz also breaks down each of the seven habits and scores your effectiveness in each. Of the seven I am less effective in only two, which I was happy with.
Habit 2 is begin with the end in mind. This is something that I’ve really been trying to focus on these last few months, for reasons that are summed up nicely in the book. “It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the busyness of life, to work harder and harder at climbing the ladder of success only to discover it’s leaning against the wrong wall. It is possible to be busy – very busy – without being very effective.”
I loved the concept that all things are created twice as well. “There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation, to all things.” This is best explained like the construction of a new home. You get a sense of how you want rooms laid out and work with ideas in your head. From there you create blueprints and construction plans. “All of this is done before the earth is touched.” You make the plans and think everything through, make sure that’s what you really want. Then you dig the ground and build. So do this with your goals and dreams for your life too. When I read that comparison it clicked with me! It’s all about visualization. “They see it; they feel it, they experience it before they actually do it. They begin with the end in mind.”
I also learned weekly organizing is the way to take your goals and create plans and schedules to achieving those goals. With my new process of using my bullet journal, which you can read about here, I’ve found that this is true and really works.
What I’m going to implement from this book
I’m already planning my weeks out to be intentional with my time and resources. One area I could improve on is beginning with the end in mind. I need to work on visualization. The two habits I need to improve to be more effective are habit 1 and habit 3; be more proactive and put first things first. Clearly defining my values and priorities will help me to put first things first, while planning things out with a timeline in mind will help me to be more proactive as well.
I’m onto book 3 now and I’ve still got a ways to go. Stay tuned for another book update in a couple of months!