I listened to 23 books in 2016. This is what I learned…

Audiobooks in 2016

Towards the end of 2015, our CEO at PeerFly, Chad French, finally convinced me to start listening to audiobooks. Chad had been listening to audiobooks for awhile using Audible and had been talking about the books he was listening to quite a bit.

It sounded interesting, but I had never tried audiobooks. Growing up, I had really enjoyed reading books and I have always enjoyed learning, but like most adults, I got “too busy” to read books. Well, I purchased an Audible membership, used my credit to buy The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (a book I’ve had the physical copy of for years and never read) and I haven’t looked back since.

23 Books in 2016

In 2016, I listened to 23 different books. I honestly had no idea that I had listened to that many books until I had counted them for this blog post.

The longest book I listened to was Jefferson and Hamilton: The Rivalry That Forged a Nation by John Ferling and it is over 22 hours long. It was also the only history book I listened to.

For the most part, the books I listened to were related to startups, marketing, product development, or productivity.

There is a complete list at the bottom of this post, but here is a breakdown of my 5 favorite books from 2016 and what I took from them.


80/20 Sales and Marketing by Perry Marshall

80/20 Sales and Marketing by Perry Marshall
With a title that includes The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More, who wouldn’t be interested?

I had heard of both the 80/20 rule and Perry Marshall so this book was an obvious choice.

The 80/20 rule (Pareto Principle) basically says that 80% of your results are caused by only 20% of the input. For example, 80% of your revenue is probably generated by only 20% of your clients.

These numbers will skew, but the principal is typically true. There is always room to optimize your input so less work is required where you can generate a similar result or output.

Perry Marshall does a good job of explaining this in a sense of sales and marketing, which is what interested me the most.

There is also a 80/20 Curve website that goes along with the book.

Get 80/20 Sales and Marketing on Amazon


All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World by Seth Godin

All Marketers Are Liars
In 2016, I listened to 5 Seth Godin books. Seth is a marketing genius and is a very well known author and speaker.

All Marketers Are Liars was my favorite of the books I listened to from Seth, but I recommend the others too. His books are fantastic and there’s no doubt you will take something away from them that is well worth the time it takes to read or listen to it.

Seth says that marketing is about creating a good story. It’s not about features, but rather about the story you can create because of them.

For example, FPTraffic isn’t just a Facebook Page management tool, it’s a tool you can use to capture the attention of millions of people every single day with a click of your mouse.

See what I did there? 🙂

Get All Marketers Are Liars on Amazon


Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi

Epic Content Marketing

I love content marketing. I have written a few blog posts about it and I have been fairly successful at it.

Epic Content Marketing is a fantastic book that I learned quite a bit from. Joe Pulizzi knows his stuff!

One way I have applied the things I learned from this book is by finally launching a blog for FPTraffic and publishing content like my case study on how I got 10,000 Likes in 1 month on a brand new Facebook Page.

Joe says you have to tell a different story to break through the clutter. I agree!

Get Epic Content Marketing on Amazon


The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon

The Energy Bus

The Energy Bus was a book Chad recommended and I’m glad I decided to listen to it.

It’s a great book about how to create positive energy and avoid negative energy that is written in an interesting story format.

It was a nice break from the other books I had been listening to that were a little more structured.

It’s a short book of just under 3 hours, but there is a lot you can take from it and it’s enjoyable to listen to. Here are the 10 rules “for the ride of your life” created by The Energy Bus:

  1. You’re the Driver of the Bus.
  2. Desire, Vision and Focus move your bus in the right
    direction.
  3. Fuel your Ride with Positive Energy.
  4. Invite People on Your Bus and Share your Vision for
    the Road Ahead.
  5. Don’t Waste Your Energy on those who don’t get on
    your Bus.
  6. Post a Sign that says “No Energy Vampires Allowed”
    on your Bus.
  7. Enthusiasm attracts more Passengers and Energizes
    them during the Ride.
  8. Love your Passengers.
  9. Drive with Purpose.
  10. Have Fun and Enjoy the Ride.

The Energy Bus has a great website with training and other material. Definitely worth a read or listen!

Get The Energy Bus on Amazon


Pre-Suasion: Channeling Attention for Change

Pre-Suasion

Pre-Suasion was my favorite book that I listened to in 2016.

I have applied so many concepts from the book that I won’t bore you with listing them all, but one in particular I even used while writing this article.

Robert Cialdini recommends that if you are struggling to write or finish an article, you simply just start writing. Start writing and work your way through whatever you have on your mind. Then, as you are writing the article, just stop in the middle of a sentence or thought. Close your laptop or pad of paper and come back to finish your sentence the next day.

In the back of your mind, you will be thinking about the thought or sentence that you didn’t finish and it will motivate you to go back to you as soon as you allow yourself to.

If you continue to write and use this method, it won’t be long and you’ll have your entire article written.

A lot of the concepts Robert talks about can be applied to both productivity and marketing. Pre-Suasion is a fantastic book and I highly recommend it.

Get Pre-Suasion on Amazon


The amazing thing about listening to 23 books last year and all of the things I learned and was able to apply to my business is that I didn’t even go out of my way to do it.

I would guess that over 95% of my listening time was simply when I was driving in my car. Instead of listening to music, I would listen to Audible.

Not only did I enjoy listening to the books, but I learned a lot and was able to apply a lot of things that I learned to my businesses, which was beneficial to me both financially and emotionally.

Looking for a good New Year’s resolution still for 2017? Sign up for Audible and listen to a book. I hope it has the impact on you that it has had on me 🙂


The Books I Listened to in 2016

  1. 80/20 Sales and Marketing by Perry Marshall
  2. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal
  3. The 50th Law by 50 Cent and Robert Greene
  4. The Dip by Seth Godin
  5. All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World by Seth Godin
  6. Purple Cow by Seth Godin
  7. Tribes by Seth Godin
  8. Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore
  9. Originals by Adam Grant
  10. Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi
  11. Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons by Ben Hogan and Herbert Warren Wind
  12. The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon
  13. Permission Marketing by Seth Godin
  14. The Warren Buffett Way, Second Edition by Robert G. Hagstrom
  15. Jefferson and Hamilton: The Rivalry That Forged a Nation by John Ferling
  16. Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant by Robert T. Kiyosaki
  17. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
  18. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
  19. Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
  20. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  21. Launch! by Scott Duffy
  22. Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini
  23. The Power of Broke by Daymond John and Daniel Paisner

I tweet about all the books I listen to now too! Follow me on Twitter to see what my ears are reading 🙂

Post a comment

10 thoughts on I listened to 23 books in 2016. This is what I learned…

  1. Awesome selection, Luke. Its great to hear that you were able to implement what you learned as well because with so much great information out there, its hard to know what to move forward with. Do you have any suggestions or tips for how you approach an audiobook or strategies for how you apply what you learn into your business?

    1. Hey Kyle! I appreciate you participating in the discussion.

      Most of the audiobooks I’ve listened to have been recommended by friends or publications that I read. For example, in 2015, my friends at Buffer published an article with a list of their favorite marketing and business books. I’ve been making my way through that list. I also have a lot of books in my Wish List on Audible from lists I’ve found on Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur.

      As for strategies for applying what I’ve learned, to be honest, most of that has been an accident along the way. As I’m listening to the books, I’m thinking about what they are saying and how I can apply it to my business or my life. It’s a great way to digest a book. You are not going to remember everything you read or listen to, but ideally you’ll be able to make some connections with things that are already on your mind and pull something from those connections.

      After I listen to a book, I also like to search on YouTube for presentations from the author on the topic of the book. Having just listened to it, a lot of the material is still on my mind. By watching even a short 15 minute presentation from the author on the topic of the book, you’re able to pull more from the material because you already have bits and pieces of it floating around in your brain. If an author is going to give a 15 minute presentation on the book, they are going to give the juicy parts. So, this is another way to make those connections.

      BTW, congrats on the progress you are making on your blog. Keep it up!

  2. Thanks Luke.

    Honestly, this post really made me finally dive into audiobooks. Prior I’ve always just been reading them, but I finally decided to take the leap. I’ve finished listening to my first audiobook and am on to my second now and really like this opposed to just reading them.

  3. Nice little list of books you’ve listened to Luke. We’re all guilty of buying books and allowing them to gather dust for months (if not years) on the shelf. I surprised myself the other day when I read a whole book in 4 hours. I was glued to the pages, just couldn’t stop reading! It was “The Way Of The Superior Man” by David Deida, super interesting book, not business related but I highly recommend it!

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