For the last 5 years or so summer has meant “summer reading”. Teachers (and students) are quite familiar with this idea and normally this time of year I am starting my summer reading book with gusto and have every intention of finishing it, complete with post-its tagging important pages and notes in the margins prior to teacher in-service in August. Well, this year there isn’t any summer reading for me (I left my teaching job this year, but that’s for another post) so I decided to take advantage of my summer time and read some of the business books that I have been collecting over the last year or so. (My collection is due in large part to Derek Sivers, who gave me great a great place to start! You can read his notes on You, Inc. which are probably way more detailed that I plan to be, if you’d like. :))
I think the thing that I liked the most about this book is that it is written in such a delightfully accessible way. Each piece of advice comes with a title, an explanation that ranges from 1/2 page to a few pages in length and a nice bold print summary at the end. They are easy to understand, funny at times, and make a lot of sense.
Regardless of what you do for a living, there inevitably comes a time when you have to sell something – it may be an idea, a piece of merchandise, you may to give a speech or a presentation, or simply have communicate with someone is a succinct and genuine way. I personally found tons of parallels to being a teacher trying to sell students on, well, everything and a professional musician trying to sell my playing and my art. It’s pretty intense, but this book was really helpful. It gave me ideas that I can use. Not someday, but now. I’ll definitely read it again, because there’s so many great ideas, you have to implement them slowly.
Three things stuck with me more than anything because of where I am right now:
1. Make yourself uncomfortable (page 185)
2. Seek change (page 266)
3. “Great ideas set off small fires, and they grow.” (page 292)
You, Inc. is HIGHLY recommended. It’s a great place to start and it’s not the least bit dry. You’ll feel like you walked away with a bunch of little gems that you can’t wait to try and use.
Next up: The Savvy Musician by David Cutler. I’m about 20 pages in and already love this book.