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
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.
All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World by Seth Godin
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? 🙂
Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi
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!
The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon
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:
- You’re the Driver of the Bus.
- Desire, Vision and Focus move your bus in the right
- Fuel your Ride with Positive Energy.
- Invite People on Your Bus and Share your Vision for
the Road Ahead.
- Don’t Waste Your Energy on those who don’t get on
- Post a Sign that says “No Energy Vampires Allowed”
on your Bus.
- Enthusiasm attracts more Passengers and Energizes
them during the Ride.
- Love your Passengers.
- Drive with Purpose.
- Have Fun and Enjoy the Ride.
The Energy Bus has a great website with training and other material. Definitely worth a read or listen!
Pre-Suasion: Channeling Attention for Change
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.
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
- 80/20 Sales and Marketing by Perry Marshall
- Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal
- The 50th Law by 50 Cent and Robert Greene
- The Dip by Seth Godin
- All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World by Seth Godin
- Purple Cow by Seth Godin
- Tribes by Seth Godin
- Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore
- Originals by Adam Grant
- Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi
- Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons by Ben Hogan and Herbert Warren Wind
- The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon
- Permission Marketing by Seth Godin
- The Warren Buffett Way, Second Edition by Robert G. Hagstrom
- Jefferson and Hamilton: The Rivalry That Forged a Nation by John Ferling
- Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant by Robert T. Kiyosaki
- The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
- The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
- Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
- Launch! by Scott Duffy
- Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini
- 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 🙂