Q&A – Business & Non-Fiction Books (March 2020)
For something a little bit different, I put a post on my Instagram feed, asking you for your book questions.
..and you did not disappoint! So, here are my answers to your questions.
Q – “Two favorite autobiographies.” – from @snapbook_club
The first one is “Thirst” by Scott Harrison, which is about the author’s journey into founding a charity. This is the most inspiring and emotional book I’ve ever listened to. It’s a real rollercoaster read, and I highly recommend that everybody checks it out.
The second book is “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight. Phil Knight is the founder of Nike, and this is the story of how he started his business by selling shoes from the trunk of his car and chronicles his journey to the day that he floated his company on the stock market. This is an absolutely amazing, inspiring story that anyone who is an entrepreneur simply has to read.
Q – “Top five authors of all time.” – from @hayley.loves.to.read
That’s quite a hard question because I don’t really follow individual authors that much.
However, I’m going to try my best to answer that question, so here goes.
Firstly I would have to say, Daniel Priestly, mainly because I have read all of his books and I have rated them all highly.
Also, I would say Malcolm Gladwell. Again, because I have read a few of his books, and I did enjoy them all. My only criticism would be that although his books are great on theory, they do lack practicality. So, they’re full of great advice, but they don’t tell you how to put the lessons into practice.
Next, I would say Cal Newport. Now, that may come as a shocker to some of you because I did read one of his books and absolutely hated it (this one!). But, overall, I do like his writing style, and I’m a HUGE fan of his book “Deep Work”.
I’m also going to add Ryan Holiday to this list. I’ve not read many books by this author, but the ones that I have read, I’ve enjoyed and found to be valuable.
Lastly, I’m going to say Timothy Ferriss. I wasn’t going to include him because I wasn’t a big fan of his book “The 4-Hour WorkWeek”, but I do still think that he creates good content and “Tools of Titans” is a fabulous entrepreneurial resource to dip in and dip out of.
Q – “How do you summarize a non-fiction book?” – from @bloominglibrarybooks
I can’t really answer that question, as I do book reviews, not summaries.
A summary is a completely different animal from a review.
If you want to know why I never do book summaries, I have done a post and video on it which you can check here.
Q – “What do you do other than reading? How does your day go normally?” – from @_kimsondooland
So, I’m self-employed, and I work from home or from wherever I can use my laptop.
I class myself as a digital marketer, and I run various websites, all of which I own myself (I don’t do any freelancing). These websites are where my income comes from. They generate money through advertising, affiliate marketing, and my own print-on-demand products.
I have a few people who I outsource work to, such as content creation and design, and then I spend my time uploading that content and making it SEO-friendly.
With all of these websites comes a lot of social media scheduling. I manage around 20 social media channels, although, admittedly, I concentrate on some profiles more than others.
I spend most of the day working (6:30am – 9:30pm are my standard hours) and any downtime that I do have I spend with my dog, Winston. We have our usual 3-walks a day and then sometimes we will go on bigger hikes and bike rides. Since I’m self-employed I can be very flexible with my schedule.
Q – “What advice would you give someone who wants to start a non-fiction book blog?” – from @neilee_dee
The best advice I can give is just to make a start and get going! Don’t overthink it. Just get your website going, and things will fall into place.
You’ll soon find out if you like it and you’ll start to develop your own style and niche.
Also, you’ll learn what aspects of running the website you need help with; what you’re good at, and what you’re not so good at.
Don’t worry too much about what you’re putting out there – just put stuff out there! You will soon learn what works and what doesn’t.
And lastly, don’t worry about what people will think. In the early days, no one is going to find your website anyway! (Harsh truth!) It will take at least 2 years of hard work before you start getting any decent traffic so use that time to test, test, and test!
Q – “How many books have you read that will improve your health long term? I’ve seen many people that focus on money and business and disregard their health, so they make good money and eventually get diagnosed with something or need surgery. Hospitals don’t work for minimum wage, and going into a hospital feels so depressing, yet there are things you can do as an individual to significantly lower the chances of getting ill.” – from @timfrontkick
Firstly, I think it’s important to mention that this blog, my YouTube channel, and social media all revolve around business books. Which is probably why there’s isn’t many health books.
BUT I do agree that many people focus on their wealth and business and completely disregard their health. As entrepreneurs, I think we can all be guilty of missing a good work-life balance and of burning the candle at both ends.
Overall, I believe that I am quite health-conscious. In a past life, I was heavily involved in the health and fitness industry and I even hold qualifications healthy eating and specialized diets. I do have a sedentary job, but my working cocker spaniel makes sure that I get outside at least 3-times a day and clock up my 10,000 steps, on top of my three weight workouts per week.
An area that I do struggle with is sleep. I find it difficult to switch my brain off at times. This leads me in to answering your first question; I think I have only read one book on improving my health, and that is “Sleep” by Nick Littlehales.
Although that book might not be classed as a ‘real’ health book, I’m sure we can both agree that sleep is important. So, I read this book to try to make adjustments to my routine and my environment to enable me to improve on my rest and recuperation time.
I tend to only read books to improve my knowledge in areas which I think I am lacking, or in areas that I want to improve on. I feel good about my health, therefore, I don’t read many health books. But if anyone is struggling with their health and/or mental wellbeing, then I’d definitely recommend studying that subject first because, without your health, you have nothing.
Q – “Do you read fiction?” – from @ontheside89
No. I only read non-fiction books.
I read to learn, rather than for entertainment, so I stick to non-fiction books.
Q – “What are the best practices to retain what you’ve read?” – from @czarg_
That’s a great question!
The best place to start is to find out how you learn best as an individual. So, do you need to read the book, or can you listen to an audiobook?
Personally, I learn best when reading physical books. This way I can extract the maximum information and benefit from it. I can learn from audiobooks too, but I retain more information from physical books.
Secondly, take notes. You can do this by highlighting important sentences, making notes in the margin, or writing key takeaways in a separate notebook if you don’t want to mark the book.
Lastly, accept the fact that you’re not going to remember everything you’ve read. It’s just not physically possible. This is where your notes will come in handy; being able to refer to them can help remind you of what you have read.
A piece of advice someone gave to me is to trust in your own brain. Read the books and take in as much information as you can and just know that when you need that information, it will become available to you. (This is kina corny advice, but I still like it.)
Q – “Which three books made the strongest impact on your personality?” – from @drive_montenegro
This is a tough question!
I’ve not really thought about this before but I’ll do my best to answer it.
So, for the first book, I’d probably have to say “Botty’s Rules” by Nigel Botterill since it was one of the very first books I read on business and personal development. That was a few years ago, but many of the points I read in that book I still refer to today.
For example, one of ‘Botty’s Rules’ is, “good is good enough.” Meaning that I need to manage my expectations of perfectionism and instead, just put stuff out there. Sometimes, I know that a piece of content could be marginally better, but the time it would take to improve it isn’t worth the return. So, I always tell myself that good is good enough, hit the publish button, and move onto my next task.
A second book that has had an effect on my personality is “The Happiness Track” by Emma Seppala. This book did kind of change my attitude towards my work and enabled me to think about what I was doing with my life. All in all, it allowed me to take some of the pressure off myself and enabled me to breathe; helping me love my work even more.
Finally, I would like to mention an audiobook called “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” by Robin Sharma. Although this wasn’t the best audiobook I’ve ever listened to, it did have a powerful message; we’re only here once, and we need to make the most of our time. That really changed my perspective on life and also my plans for 2020.
Q – “Best marketing or selling book recommendation. How to avoid social medial distraction.” – from @creamy_bookish
For the first question, I think it’s important to note that I’ve read more books on marketing than I have on selling, but here are my recommendations.
“80/20 Sales and Marketing” by Perry Marshall is a fantastic book that you really should check out (covering both the sales and the marketing aspect). Also, I recommend “Growth Hacker Marketing” by Ryan Holiday and the “OMG” books by Geoff Ramm. All of these books will give you a kick-start.
The second part of that question (avoiding social media distraction) is difficult for me to answer because I do spend a lot of my time on social media as part of my work, therefore, I’m never trying to avoid it. It’s always on.
However, what I would say is that rather than trying to avoid social media, use it to your advantage.
For example, I’ve set up my Facebook feed so that the first posts I see are from informative and helpful sources, rather than generic updates from friends and family.
To do this you need to go the Facebook Page of a company or brand who is putting out the content you want more of. Examples are Gary Vaynerchuk, Patrick Bet-David, Business Insider, Forbes, Investopedia, etc. You then need to click “Following” and change it from “default” to “see first”.
This will put the posts from those pages at the top of your news feed, preventing you from scrolling through stuff that is of no advantage to you.
Q – “I’m a student. How can I buy so many books like you?” – from @official.belikerich
Please don’t think that I spend a lot of money on books. I don’t! (You can find out exactly how much I spend on books by visiting this post.)
But to answer your question, my first recommendation is not to get too focused on quantity. Instead, focus on quality.
Think about what it is that you want to learn, and then go and find books on that specific subject which have been reviewed and highly recommended by people that you admire.
Also, when you buy from Amazon, you don’t have to buy books for the list price that’s shown. Instead, check out the “used books” section, as they tend to be much cheaper than brand new copies. And used books are just as good! You will still be able to read them and get the same value from them, you will simply pay less from them.
If that option fails, check out e-books and audiobooks. These are generally much more cost-effective than the physically printed version.
And of course, don’t forget to check out your local library. Although you won’t be able to keep the books you can read them for free!
Done and dusted!
That’s all the questions done and dusted.
If you have any further questions, please put them in the comments box below, and I will do my best to answer them for you.