Find Your Strongest Life: A review

5 10 2009

This is the latest in a series of book reviews that I’ve posted as a Thomas Nelson book review blogger.  Go here for more information on the program and to sign up.

It feels a little odd posting a review of Marcus Buckingham’s Find Your Strongest Life, given the book’s subtitle “What the happiest and most successful women do differently.”

I was intrigued by the book’s premise though, that people (women in this case) can live a life that plays to their strengths — a life that energizes them rather than drains them.

Marcus’ definition of “strengths” as activities that make us feel strong (and weaknesses as activities that make us feel weak) serves as the foundation for this book that explores so many specific issues and roadblocks to living a strong life that women deal with.

I enjoyed it because it gave me a better perspective on life issues that face over 50% of the world’s population, and because it helped me think seriously about my own strengths and the things that energize me.

My main takeaway relative to my journey as an entrepreneur was that selling for me must be a weakness, because it drains me and I avoid it like the plague — maybe I’ll elaborate more in a future post.

Regardless of whether you buy the book, the strong life test is available for free, and worth a look.  In case you’re curious, my lead role is teacher and my supporting role is pioneer (I took the test, even though it is clearly written for women).


A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

29 09 2009

I reviewed A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller as a Thomas Nelson book review blogger.  You can also read my review on Amazon.

Everyone loves a good story, yet not many people are actually living a good story.  We watch them on TV on in the theatre, but living them requires facing conflict and discomfort.

This is the basic idea woven throughout Donald Miller’s latest book, which is a delightful and thought-provoking read.  I read the book in just two sittings and couldn’t put it down.

In fact, the only time I stopped reading this book was to go live my own story — I was so inspired to face some of my fears that I put the book down and embraced life, with all its conflicts and struggles.

Entrepreneurs are often in the middle of an epic story (for a few good examples, check out Jessica Livingston’s book Founders at Work).  Sometimes it’s hard to look ahead to the transformation that springs out of difficult times, but A Million Miles in a Thousand Years prompts readers to do this and more: to consider their own story that they’re writing, and how it’s changing them.

This is easily the best book I’ve read in the last couple years.

Book review: Fearless

8 09 2009

Much of America is gripped and controlled by fear — fear of what’s next, letting others down, of not mattering, of failing, of disaster.  This fear drives us to pursue safety and the risk-free life at the expense of our well-being.  We pass this lifestyle on to our children, and studies now indicate that they are more fearful than psychiatric patients 50 years ago.

These are a few of the assertions set forth by Max Lucado in his latest book, Fearless.  Lucado masterfully weaves personal narratives with examples from scripture of people wrestling with (and overcoming) fear.  Throughout, he helps expose the roots of our fears and offers suggestions for managing fear.

I found many of the specific fears he lists to be especially relevant to entrepreneurs (or at least to my experience as an entrepreneur).  Namely, fears about not mattering, letting others down, running out, overwhelming challenges, and worst case scenarios.

In addition to eight worry-stoppers that he recommends, Lucado also offers these thoughts:

Fear never wrote a symphony or poem, negotiated a peace treaty, or cured a disease.  Fear never pulled a family out of poverty or a country out of bigotry.  Fear never saved a marriage or a business.  Courage did that. Faith did that…Fear herds us into a prison and slams the doors.  Wouldn’t it be great to walk out?

He also encourages his readers to embrace change as part of God’s strategy for them.  I’ve found that to be good advice, because if there’s one constant in life and business, it’s change.

As a book review blogger for Thomas Nelson I periodically post reviews of new releases.  You can read my full review with a rating on Amazon, or check out the book review blogger website for more info on the program and to sign up.

Book review: The Noticer

26 04 2009

_140_245_Book.50.coverThis past weekend I read The Noticer by Andy Andrews and was impressed by how such a quick read with a simple message could be so powerful.

Andy weaves pieces of his own life story into a tale about a man named Jones, who mysteriously appears to those in need, offering the gift of perspective.  Many meet Jones when they feel as if their life has no purpose and no chance of getting better.  Jones disagrees and offers the hope of a brighter future by viewing the person’s struggle with new eyes.

The biggest takeaway from the book for me is the truth that everything we do matters, and our perspective largely impacts what we do and how we do it.  If I truly believe that each day counts and trust that my actions are making a difference in the lives of others, I can move with confidence.

This truth is applicable to everyone, but entrepreneurs specifically can find rest and renewal in the reality of a new perspective.  I know I’ve thought hundreds of times about abandoning some of my hopes and endeavors only to be filled with renewed energy after realizing a different perspective, many times through conversations with a potential customer or friend.

Fresh perspective is always needed, and The Noticer offers a few keys to discovering and living in a new, brighter reality.