I recently finished reading two books and I wanted to give you my review on them. I heard of these books through the PASS premier event I attended in Charlotte several weeks ago. From that seminar, I wrote down every book the presenters mentioned and made my purchase at Barnes and Noble, one of my favorite stores by the way. I was prepared for the summer and couldn’t wait to hit my reading list.

To kick things off I started out with The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate them at Your Own Risk! by Al Ries and Jack Trout. This book was a very easy read, in fact, I read it in a few short hours. Even though some of the illustrations and examples the authors used were outdated, the point was still being made.  There are 22 chapters, duh, and each chapter outlines a different law of marketing. I thought I’d share with you the things I learned from this book.

1.  It’s the law of leadership: It’s better to be first than it is to be better.

2. Marketing is a battle of perceptions, not products.

3. If you can’t be first in a category, set up a new category you can be first in.

4. Everyone is interested in what’s new. Few people are interested in what’s better.

5. The single most wasteful thing you can do in marketing is try to change a mind.

6. The most effective words are simple and benefit oriented.

7. The essence of marketing is narrowing the focus. You become stronger when you reduce the scope of your operations. You can’t stand for something if you case after everything.

8. Knowing that marketing is a two-horse race in the long run can help you plan strategy in the short run.

9. There has to be a ring of truth about the negative if it is to be effective.

10. There’s more and more evidence to show that sales decrease business in the long term by educating customers not to buy at ‘regular’ prices.

11. When you try to be all things to all people, you inevitably wind up in trouble.

12. Marketing is a battle of perception, not product.

13. Why go with the obvious? Marketing is often a search for the obvious.

14. The law of candor must be used carefully and with great skill. First, your ‘negative’ must be widely perceived as a negative. It has to trigger an instant agreement with your prospect’s mind. If the negative doesn’t register, your prospect will be confused and will wonder, “What’s this all about?”

15.  Equally as bad as extrapolating a trend is the common practice of assuming the future will be a replay of the present.

16. As Gorbachev told Reagan, “It is better to see once than to hear a hundred times.” Small companies are mentally closer to the front than big companies.

Overall, I thought this was a great read and had a lot of really good principles that pertain to business.

 

The next book I can now scratch off my list is Today We Are Rich: Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence by Tim Sanders.

I loved this book. I feel that overall I am a very confident person. Growing up, I showed horses and to be competitive, you have to first of all know your stuff, but secondly, go into the ring with confidence.  When I decided to start photography, that confidence I was used to feeling simply wasn’t there. It was a different feeling for me and one that I hoped to dissipate quickly. I’m working on becoming more confident in my photography, but I really liked the thoughts Tim writes about in his book.

What I really enjoyed about this book were the personal stories. It really made the ideas come alive and more real. Tim used a lot of his relationship with his grandmother, the woman who raised him, and a good portion of the book is about what he learned from her.

I feel as though its a business book, but with a Christian perspective. I’ve highlighted a few phrases that stood out to me during the course of me reading this book. Once I finish all the books on my list, I intend to pick up some more of Tim’s books.

1. Show me someone who lights up a room, commands respect, and charms everyone, and I’ll point out the underlying energy that makes it all possible: confidence.

2. The secret to positive thinking, lies in consuming the right mind food.

3. People who maintain purposeful mind diets of positive stimuli think healthy thoughts.

4. You should be as careful about what you put into your mind as you are about what you put into your mouth.

5. Avoid gossip the way you would avoid the flu.

6. When it comes to Internet usage, be purposeful.

7. Filter out negative people and their nasty attitudes.

8. Next time you are filled with worry;  Define the worst case, Accept it as survivable, Make a goal out of beating the worst-case scenario.

9. It’s important that once you’ve made a decision, you don’t give it another thought.

10. Stop using tentative words; they hedge conversations to the point of being meaningless.

11. If you want to project confidence, say what you believe, and say it directly.

12. Whenever possible, inject positive or decisive words into a conversation.

13. Never criticize people who are not present to defend or explain themselves. And never predict that another person will experience failure.

14. Be a builder of ideas, not a destroyer of dreams.

15. The difference between a grateful person and an ungrateful person lies in perception; one sees a life of beauty; the other sees a life of lack.

16. Gratitude not expressed is thanks not given.

17. One of the best ways to refresh your spirit is to give a sip of joy to someone in need.

18. You always have a gift you can give. Always.

19. Ten hours of getting smart will yield the same value creation as forty hours of busywork.

20. Every year improve your knowledge resume through self-education.

21. Leaders who don’t follow something bigger than themselves will eventually become drunk with a false sense of their own power.

22. The more you are willing to let go, relax, and put your future into God’s hand, the more you will Him implicitly over time. Sometimes your prayers will be answered with a no. This doesn’t mean that you’ve been let down. It means that there are likely other factors you do not understand that require you to accept defeat this time. Don’t let those times test your faith; let your faith test you and make you stronger.

I thought both of these books were excellent reads and I hope to make a habit of reading them both at least once a year. So many great principles, not only for your buisness, but for life as well.

Let me know what you think. Have you read either of these books before? What was your take away?