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).


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.

Getting my MBA

1 09 2008

Earlier this summer I had the good fortune of speaking with someone about entrepreneurship who recommended The Personal MBA, which is a reading list of 77 top-notch business books.

Since learning more about business during graduate school I’ve thought a bit about the possibility of pursuing an MBA — but the reality is, I’ve had all the school I can handle for awhile.  So a Personal MBA seems like a great option at this point.

A couple weeks ago I put my Amazon Prime trial to good use and ordered the four books below with some seed funding from my grandmother 🙂 . I may order a few more before the end of the year.

So far I’m about halfway through The Ultimate Sales Machine, and I recently finished 10 Days to Faster Reading.

I was somewhat skeptical about a book on reading faster, but I can’t argue with the numbers: on Day 1 I was reading 400 words per minute with at least 90% comprehension, and on Day 10 I was at 600 words per minute and 90% comprehension.  Along the way I picked up some useful tips both on the mechanics and proper mindset of reading efficiently.

Of the set of books above, three of them are in the Quick Start category on the PMBA website.  After I finish those I’ll likely move on to a few books from the Productivity & Effectiveness section, plus one on communication: