PreneurCast is a marketing podcast. Author and marketer Pete Williams and digital media producer Dom Goucher discuss entrepreneurship, business, internet marketing and productivity.
In this Special Edition, Pete Williams talks to Dom Goucher about the books that had an influence on him, and yet again they run over time. A lot. Not a mention of the book Pete’s working on, either.
Pete talks to Dom about books that influences him
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Dom Goucher: Hey buddy, good to hear from you again this week.
Pete Williams: Big fellow, how are you doing?
Dom: I’m pretty good, pretty good.
Pete: Very nice.
Dom: Busy week for you?
Pete: Yeah, it’s always a bit crazy in my world. But it’s been in control, I’d say. It’s been in control.
Dom: Awesome. That’s the way we like it.
Pete: Absolutely. A little shenanigan is good every now and then.
Dom: Well, yes. So I hear, so I hear. You know I live vicariously through your exploits obviously, so.
Pete: Yeah, fair enough. I’m getting married next year, mate. So it’s going to be very tame, but that’s all right. We’re waiting for our wedding photographers tonight. It’s on my mind at the moment, so.
Dom: Oh, wedding photographers.
Pete: They’re expensive.
Dom: Don’t, mate, don’t. Crazy. That whole topic, the whole wedding photography thing, massive, crazy, crazy business.
Pete: It’s insane.
Dom: OK, nice segue. I’m going to segue away from the wedding thing. It’s just making my skin crawl. Alright, I’m going to whip out my mind map for the show.
Dom: Last week’s show, we started talking about books.
Pete: We did.
Dom: Yeah, I talked about the stack of books I’ve got on my desk and I gave you a heads-up on a book that was relevant to what we were talking about. But it did raise a topic, and I said this before in a previous podcast, you are a bit of a monster consumer of content. I like to find out what people are reading. I like to talk to people around me and just see what’s going on because everybody has different influences and comes across different things. And I think it’s great to kind of pick up on new stuff. So I thought this week we could talk about the books that have influenced you, what you’re reading right now, what’s on your desk.
Dom: And if there’s any time left, maybe I’ll see if I can surprise you with a few of mine.
Pete: Ooh, bring it on. Sounds like a good challenge.
Pete: Alright. So where shall we start? Because a discussion about books can be very deep.
Dom: We’ve covered a couple in the past. In the past couple of podcasts, I’ve brought up things like The E-Myth and a little aside last week to The 4-Hour Workweek. One of the core threads to this podcast is business efficiency and entrepreneurialism obviously, given the title. So maybe we could focus just around those areas — just about efficiency, businesses and entrepreneurialism. Things along the lines of The E-Myth and The 4-Hour Workweek.
Pete: Yeah. So not Winnie the Pooh or anything like that?
Dom: You’ve only got that because it’s free on the iPad.
Pete: Actually one of my favorite books is a book called The Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet. I guess you’d call it a bit of a philosophy-type book. Very, very cool. Not really directly on topic. So look, I guess I can just start plowing through some of the books I’ve been reading and have read over the years. Is that where we shall take this?
Dom: Yeah. In the last podcast, when I talked about The E-Myth, to me, rather than just go, “Oh, and I read this book and it was good,” I’d be pretty interested in what you got from it. Because different people get different things from these books. It’s one of the big, big threads that we talk about but we never really delve into, and we will at one point, is the whole GTD thing — David Allen’s Getting Things Done book.
Pete: Well, that’s just a great book.
Dom: It is a fabulous book, but you can take a lot of different things from that book.
Pete: Yes, absolutely.
Dom: The overall thing, or some ninja tips here and there that really work, or whatever. I’m interested personally, and I think most people listening would be interested in not just like the book but what you got from it — if it made a difference, if it changed the way you did some things. That’s a big thing.
Pete: Yeah, sure. I think we might as well start with Getting Things Done. We can have a whole episode about GTD and the philosophies there because it warrants a full show. But the biggest take I got from Getting Things Done was a to-do list should be action items, not outcomes. So when you’re writing a to-do list for yourself or a staff member or whatever it might be, it shouldn’t be, “we want to do this” or “we want this outcome.”
The ‘do’ is (I’m going to say a verb, I could be completely wrong) an action. What are the actual steps and physical actions I need to do? That’s sort of the biggest thing that I got away from that. When I’m actually doing something like I’m writing down a plan, it’s got to be, what are the actual actionable physical things I am going to do to actually get the result I need. It was kind of a big thing that really resonated with me from that book.
Dom: Cool. So that we just don’t dig too far in, but there is a kind of point counterpoint on that one, because I’m also a big fan of the David Allen stuff. There’s something in there that made the difference to me as well as the action part, and I’d be interested to know if you’re already doing this because I have a feeling you might have. One of the things that it did for me was the idea that if you have a trusted place to take a note of your projects, tasks, to-dos, all these different labels that he gives things, doesn’t matter what it is, something you need to remember; if you have a trusted place that you can put it and you put that thing there, it takes pressure off you.
Because a lot of people run around with these things in their heads, “I need to do that, I need to do that, I need to do that.” And even though you’re not consciously thinking of it, it’s taking energy. But you strike me as somebody who kind of already had that sorted before you came across the whole GTD thing.
Pete: I’d say it’s a bit of an illusion, mate. I had places but it wasn’t just one place, which I think is as counterproductive as not having a place at all.
Dom: Absolutely. He says as many as you need but no more. Make it easy to capture, but don’t…
Pete: Yeah. I had a little notebook that I occasionally carry in my pocket, I had a notebook in the car, I had the iPhone with the Notebook on there, I had a bit of text files and stuff on laptops. It wasn’t really one definitive inbox. Whereas, a good thing with OmniFocus, which is a software program that I use, it has platforms on the iPhone, the iPad and the Mac. It’s actually there wherever I am, which is really, really cool.
Dom: Before we really make a whole show about GTD just by accident… That book is a massive, massive book. The concept of GTD is huge. I think everybody does get something individual from it. Is there anything else, any other books kind of workflow-y, organizational, optimizing, productivity thing?
Pete: Yeah. There is actually a couple of other ones that I can think of that fit into that whole productivity space. Eat That Frog! by Bryan Tracy, which I guess was almost, to a lot of people, Getting Things Done before Getting Things Done came about. I’ve heard a lot of people refer to Eat That Frog!. And then since David Allen’s books have come out, everyone starts referencing that.
Eat That Frog! is really cool. It’s just basically 21 little productivity tricks of how to actually get through stuff. Unlike Getting Things Done, I can’t think of one particular thing that I took away from that book. It’s probably a bit of resonating thing throughout the episode is that I mention books that I know I really loved, and try to isolate now the one thing out of them that just blended into my workflow overtime. I’ll try to be as specific as I can. But Eat That Frog! I remember being a really cool book about just time management. It was more at time management because I think that was the buzz term before productivity became the buzz word. But essentially, it’s all the same thing.
Dom: Yeah, sure. At the end of the day, there may be one thing that you got. I mean, sometimes one thing out of the book, or a conversation, or a lecture, or whatever resonates with me. Sometimes it’s just the whole book and the ethos of it.
Dome: Sometimes it’s just enough to say, well, this book is about productivity and time management. I’ll give you a classic example, and here’s some marketing for somebody who’s paying attention, and yeah, I know they know what they’re doing. But for the longest time I didn’t read The E-Myth. Do you know why?
Pete: Because you thought you already knew it?
Dom: No. Because all I heard was the title, The E-Myth.And anything preceded by E in our world is electronic, you know, all that kind of stuff. And I’m like, I just got the feeling this book’s going to be about the myth of online technology. I never saw it in a bookstore to pick it up. It passed me by in conversations. I’d say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ll get around to it.” And then one day somebody actually said, “Really, you should read this.” And it was somebody who I respected. I went on Amazon, and looked it up and actually looked at the cover, and it’s, “Oh, it’s the Entrepreneurial Myth. Oh, now I realize that’s a major fail on my part.”
Pete: Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Dom: In this case, I should have judged the book by its cover by actually having a look, instead of just listening to the title and making that mistake. But in this day and age, prefix is something by an E or an I is a big label, it’s a big thing. It means it has a preconceived idea.
Dom: And so I just didn’t read it. I think it’s good even if you just go down this list and go, “This book’s about this.” I think we’ll be helping people, especially people with attention problems like me. So Eat That Frog!, you’ve mentioned that before but I’ve never come across it other than you mentioning it, so that’s a good one.
Pete: Yeah, it’s a really cool book. It’s not a hard read, it’s quite an easy read. And I’ll definitely say, as much as I love audio books and I devour most of my content in audio, read the book version of Eat That Frog!. I think Bryan Tracy’s fantastic. He endorsed my first book, so I thank him very much for that. But as I think a lot of people will say is, I’ve had a lot of trouble listening to him in audio format because he doesn’t have lot of tonality to his voice, so it’s just very monotone and it can kind of, not I’d say great on you, but a kind of a term like that. So I think the written book of Brian Tracy is probably better than some of his audio programs.
Dom: OK, good tip.
Pete: Content is awesome but I think to feel engaged with it, it’s much better to read. Other productivity books, I guess you’d put in there The Pomodoro Technique, which I think can be summed up entirely in about five minutes. But the book itself is pretty cool. It just talks about the Pomodoro techniquewhich is fundamentally just focusing on things for a short period of time. It’s basically what the whole premise is. It’s just set yourself a time period to say I’m going to work on this for X amount of time and do nothing else, and that’s the premise of that book.
It’s really interesting to see yourself disciplined or to build that discipline of saying, “I’m just going to do one thing and one thing only for a certain amount of time,” whether that be writing, or going for a run, or whatever it might be. I think it’s a big discipline for me to have in this world of so many distractions. That was a really cool book just to sink that in.
Dom: OK, again, new one to me. I didn’t know there was a book about that. I just read all the online stuff and I was happy with it.
Pete: I think you can download the PDF version for free or you can buy the book if you want to. It’s probably one of the other sorts of really good productivity books. The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch, again, a lot of people know what the 80/20 principle is. And Richard, funnily enough again, who endorsed my first book, also has written a fantastic book about how to actually apply that into your life and things like that, which is really cool.
Dom: OK, we’ll come back to that very offhand way that you mentioned a couple of major authors who’ve endorsed your book. Maybe we’ll do a little show on that because I think there’s something in there.
Pete: OK, we can talk about that.
Dom: Any others around the productivity stuff or general business?
Pete: That’s probably all. There are plenty books around business and stuff. In terms of productivity, they’re the big ones to me. There are probably plenty of others that I’ve read and devoured overtime, but they’re probably the big ones that have really stuck with me in my mind and made a difference.
Dom: Cool. Here’s a question for you. One of the books I’ve bought last week was Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind.
Dom: I’m a bit of a learner about learning and about not so much productivity book but optimum performance, whether it’s physical or mental. Have you got any interest in that or have you got any books along those lines?
Pete: Yeah, I guess it sort of depends on how you categorize it. I think How to Win Friends & Influence People could kind of fit in that realm of personal development. Are we sort of talking personal development a bit or a bit more niche is your question?
Dom: I guess personal development is a good generic. I’m quite specific about, as I say, optimum performance rather than…
Pete: Yeah, top of my head, optimum performance…
Dom: For example, you might have something related to your running. I know you’re big into your marathon, Ironman stuff. Is there anything, you know, because, doing a bit of physical exercise is good for anybody, so…
Pete: Yeah, cool. There are some good running books that I enjoy listening to while I’m running which possibly fits into it. One book I really enjoyed was What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. It’s just written by a fiction author and I think this is his first nonfiction book. It’s basically an autobiography of this Japanese or Chinese, I’m pretty sure it’s Japanese. He writes most of his books in Japanese that gets translated to English. And then he wrote this book again in Japanese which got translated to English.
It’s just talking about his life story and how he was able to get through the battle of writing and shipping books through running, by actually getting out and running and getting that freedom and stuff. And that was really, really cool. I found that really interesting. I listened to that entire book on audio format whilst running myself, so it was a really cool training companionship while I was training for the marathon last year.
Other books, you can almost class Neil Strauss’s book The Game in that personal space. Because when you look at it, yeah, again, judging the book by the cover, you know the subtitle is Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, and you can sort of think that it’s all about just pickup artists. But fundamentally, the book is about social science and interaction, how to actually interact with someone of the opposite sex, or of the same sex if you want to apply the lessons to networking and meeting people and being engaging in a conversation. I think all the principles that he talks about can absolutely apply in your life, just in becoming an engaging person and ‘someone of interest’ is probably a good word to use there.
Dom: That’s an excellent tip. I guess that’s really what I was hoping to get out of this. You’ve taken something, you’ve read it, and you’ve managed to make it a bit more applicable rather than just face value stuff.
Pete: Yeah, I think The Game is awesome for that. You can read it for entertainment and see how this nerdy white guy became a legendary pickup artist. Neil is awesome, he’s fantastic, and he’s such an engaging writer as well. But the lessons, if you read it from the context of how you can actually apply this stuff he’s teaching in areas outside of the bar, you’ll really amaze yourself of how it can be applied there. It’s really, really cool stuff. I think everyone should read it, male or female. You can put the sexual connotations aside a little bit and just take the social science lessons out of it. It’s really, really cool.
Dom: Excellent. Because years ago the whole body language and all that stuff was very popular with people. There’s a lot more to it than that.
Pete: Yeah, absolutely.
Dom: It doesn’t matter what you’re in, what you’re trying to do. There’s the whole topic of influence. That’s a big thing.
Pete: The book itself, Influence by Robert Cialdini is an absolute must-read.
Dom: Ah, you picked up on that subtle segue.
Pete: I think it’s an awesome book. It can’t be taken any other way than it is, which is just brilliant with the influence factors that influence any society. If you can apply that to your conversations with your spouse, your kids, your boss, in every bit of marketing that you do — whether it’s a sales letter or a full-on marketing campaign, you want to try and incorporate as many of those influence factors or triggers as you can.
Dom: Absolutely. I think that was one of the most powerful books I’ve read in the last few years in terms of just being slapped in the face, the depth to which this guy did his research, and proof, and examples. And also then making you look at what you see on a day-to-day basis and go, “Wow, look, I can see that person doing that” and some more obviously.
Pete: Absolutely. I read that book when I was 17. Very, very lucky, got recommended that book at a very young age. It’s been a staple of everything I do since.
Pete: Which is really cool. Well, on the topic of influence, if you want more of a practical book because Influence is very theoretical in that it talks about the concepts and gives some examples and stuff. There are two awesome books that take that in a more applicable manner and one is Yes, which is also written by Robert Cialdini and a couple of other authors. It’s more practical examples — 50 ways to actually apply the influence factors in various things, which is really, really cool.
Dom: Yeah, I’ve read that one. That is very good actually.
Pete: And also Triggers by Joe Sugarman. Joe Sugarman is a direct response marketer and he was the guy behind the BluBlocker sunglasses, which was a huge thing in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, sold millions and millions and millions of sunglasses through TV infomercials. Triggers is basically a book, 30 chapters, each chapter has an example of one influence trigger and how he applied it in a particular marketing campaign. It’s basically full of case studies that are easily transferable to your own business. Really, really cool book.
Dom: The whole influence thing is a massive topic, certainly in the internet marketing space but also just in general business.
Dom: The whole interaction with people thing is critical no matter what you do. I suppose in personal life too. Any more kind of influential business marketing?
Pete: I could sit here for hours, mate. A really cool book that again a lot of people probably would not have heard of but sort of fits that becoming an entrepreneur and standing for something, and that fits into that whole influence factor to a certain extent as well, is a book called How To Be That Guy by a friend of mine called Scott Ginsberg. He’s written about seven or eight books now in his early 30s.
He has worn a name tag, “HELLO, my name is Scott” on his chest every single day for, I think it is going to be about seven years now, no matter where he goes. He has a label on, “HELLO, my name is Scott.” You can visit him at HelloMyNameIsScott.com. It’s gone to the extent now that he’s actually got a tattoo on his chest of a nametag saying, “HELLO, my name is Scott.” Really, really cool book. And he writes and talks and gives presentations about how to be approachable, how to stand out, how to be engaging.
One of his books, which I think is by far one of his best — I haven’t read his most recent ones, but was How To Be That Guy with ‘that’ being the keyword in that sentence. It talks about how to become a person of influence, of respect, of notoriety in all the good ways that can happen. It’s a really cool, really simple book, really easy to read. He writes small, easy-to-read books that are engaging and very applicable. That’s a great read as well that someone probably wouldn’t have heard a lot about. He sold a lot of them.
Dom: Cool, really good.
Pete: I guess you can always talk about Steven Pressfield’s Do the Work and The War of Art, and Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, and all that sort of stuff about shipping which is really cool. We should rehash that because hopefully, people who are listening to this have read Do the Work by Steven Pressfield and his first one, The War of Art. Again, if you’re into that shipping and writing kind of space, Bird by Bird from Anne Lamott is a great book around that. But also, in terms of shipping though, it’s probably worth talking about Guy Kawasaki who has written a number of books.
One that I think is by far his best is called Rules for Revolutionaries. That book is probably 13 years old now. It’s the first one of his I read and I read that back in, I reckon it’d be about 2000 or 2001 after a friend of mine who was in the insurance game a lot more than I was went to the Million Dollar Round Table. It was, I think, and it still is actually, an international networking group of insurance salesmen, and it’s called the Million Dollar Round Table. I think you have to write a million dollars’ worth of insurance in 12 months to get in this group or something like that, I don’t know the specifics.
But he went across the US from Australia about 10 years ago and heard Guy Kawasaki speak — he was the keynote speaker at the time, and bought a recording of the presentation back on cassette. This is how old it was, on cassette. And it ended up in my hands after going through a few people. It is one of the best presentations I have ever heard on just doing something revolutionary. He was part of the Apple team when Apple had its first huge spike. It’s a really cool read.
The Art of the Start, which is a more recent book of Guy’s is fundamentally a rehash of his Rules for Revolutionaries. He kind of just reworded some of it but the foundation is still the same. And I think Rules for Revolutionaries is a much better read. He’s actually the very first person I heard talking about shipping. And I’m going to mess this joke up, but in the presentation, one of the points he talks about is how the ice farmers didn’t revolutionize their industry enough and got lost out to the fridge manufacturers.
It was kind of talking about when’s the time to make sure you create a new revolution, how to actually push through and make it happen. One of the things he talks about is how do you know when you’re ready to ship, how do you know when the product is good enough to ship. Because so many people, in a lot of conversations these days, it’s all about shipping, shipping, shipping. But Guy talked about this 10 years ago. And his answer was you have to ship your product when what your current product is, is like crinkled paper to leaves on the ground. When your product is the equivalent of just a rough toilet paper to leaves on the ground.
What’s better? Very rough toilet paper is much better than leaves on the ground. And it talks about that’s when you want to ship, S-H-I-P, ship. When your product is the very first incarnation of toilet paper and he makes a much better joke of that. So if you find a copy of the audio, by all means, listen to it because you’ll actually enjoy that and laugh at that really bad attempt of rehashing a joke. But that is really, really cool, Rules for Revolutionaries and The Art of the Start. He’s got a new book out called Engagement. Haven’t read it yet but I think that it’s getting a lot of conversation. Haven’t read that book at the moment but I don’t know personally what that book’s like but that’s a very cool book to read.
And actually, speaking of jokes, another cool book to read is a book called Born Standing Up. It’s Steve Martin’s autobiography, who is the famous standup comedian. It’s an awesome, awesome book. It’s available in audio as well where he reads it. It goes through his early career — so before the movies and that sort of stuff, before he became famous. It’s talking about how he started out as a young kid wanting to do magic and becoming a standup comedian and living out of the back of his car, and the heartache and the work and the repetition and just the effort he had to put in to refine his craft of being a standup comedian.
Because he was at that time the number one comedian in the world by none, he was it. And everyone basically thought, “You were just born standing up. You were born as a comic.” The book basically talks about how much work and blood, sweat and tears he had to put in to refine his craft over many, many years before becoming the legendary comedian that everyone knows him for. It’s a really good motivational book that shows you that no one is just born standing up in any field. You have to actually work hard to do it and I think that’s an awesome book.
Dom: Excellent. That’s a really good tip. In an entire book, that’s kind of… Again, we talked about Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers in a previous episode and I think that’s a really good example of the cool thing that I took away from Outliers, which is that nobody’s born standing up. Nobody’s born as good as they appear to be today. They worked hard just to get there.
Dom: Some people were slightly more privileged than the others, which is the other thing that’s in Outliers that people forget to mention.
Pete: Yes. I was going to say, I know I’m kind of just going off on random topics and linking books together. But if you want a fun read and an enjoyable read as well, there’s a great book by Tucker Max called I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. Now, it’s not for the fainthearted. If you think The Game by Neil Strauss is going to be a bit too risqué for you, please stay away from Tucker Max. He is the crudest, I won’t use the word he uses to describe himself, but one of the crudest writers you can ever imagine. But it’s a really engaging book about social interaction.
Again, it’s a bit of autobiographical in that it’s just a whole bunch of little mini stories that was originally on his blog TuckerMax.com that he just turned into a book. It’s just really interesting to see the adventures and craziness this guy got up to and how blatantly rude he is and how he gets away and all. But it’s really cool to see what engaging writing is like if you’re a writer. It’s really cool to just see how interaction works and that social dynamics kind of interest. He just knows how to sell himself. What he is, is you don’t want to take him home to your grandma by any means. But he’s found a niche for himself and has just done a very, very good job of marketing himself which is really cool.
Dom: Cool. That was a really cool book.
Pete: What else can I think of?
Dom: Well, the great thing about this is that so far we’ve covered a couple of things, a couple of authors that everybody would have heard of, or should have, if they’re listening to this, as you say, but also a couple of really out there kind of left-field things. You do consume and you have a great range of influences. You’ve got these interesting stuff. One person you haven’t talked about at all is Seth Godin, who is the golden child of whatever really. Pick a topic, and Seth Godin’s written books about it.
Pete: I think Seth is awesome. Don’t get me wrong, I think he is awesome. However, I think his books could be a lot more petite. Like Tribes, amazing book. The Dip, amazing book. Poke the Box, I think is a great one because it’s actually quite short. I think a lot of his stuff can be said in less words than he does. That’s not a good thing or a bad thing, it’s just my opinion. He’s very good at articulating a point and he does a lot of research, or he has such a big following now that he gets a lot of case studies and examples sent to him because people know what he’s talking about. He does random little things on his blog and people email him heaps of examples and stories that he can build on and put his books together. So I think he’s a very, very good publisher of information.
Dom: Yeah. Slight digression, but he’s picked up this whole Domino Project idea which has been very cool so far.
Pete: Very cool.
Dom: Yeah, I have to say I’m going to agree with you with Seth Godin. The first thing of his I really came across was Tribes and that really resonated with me. That was pretty well-paced, pretty reasonable volume. But then I went on to read Linchpin.
Pete: Yes. Awesome.
Dom: Awesome book, but I kind of thought, yeah, I got your point, Chapter one. No really, I got your point. No really, really, really, really got your point. Got your point, thanks, got your point.
Pete: One thing about Seth that a lot of people don’t know is he actually co-authored The Guerilla Marketing Handbook.
Dom: I knew that.
Pete: With John… What’s that?
Dom: Jay Levinson.
Pete: Jay Levinson, thank you very much.
Dom: It’s on my bookshelf.
Pete: That’s an awesome reference guide, an amazing reference guide for direct response marketing.
Dom: Yeah, I was hoping you would talk about that one. That is a really hard book to find.
Pete: There’s Guerilla Marketing which is the book, and there’s The Guerilla Marketing Handbook which is just a whole bunch of case studies and examples and swipe file which is a very, very cool book to have.
Dom: Yeah, I remember back in the days when Amazon wasn’t that great, and when the rare booksellers online weren’t really around either, somebody mentioned The Guerilla Marketing Handbook to me and I just was going spare trying to find that thing.
Pete: It’s probably an eBay thing these days.
Dom: Yeah. The irony was when I met my partner, she had a copy.
Pete: Oh, wow.
Dom: That was awesome.
Pete: Very cool. Very, very cool. Just make sure you get that in the divorce papers.
Dom: Yeah, it was on my bookshelf at the moment. We are getting pretty close to time on this one.
Pete: Can I reel off some other must-reads or if we can do another episode in the future?
Dom: Let’s reel them off. I’ll fire up the old mind map and I’ll start taking notes.
Pete: Alright. There are some other books. I’m just going through the bookshelf and some stuff like that. I think one of the best investing books that I really enjoyed was John Burley. He’s got a book called Money Secrets of the Rich and I think it’s a really good book. It kind of just breaks down different rules and obviously, there are some general ones — take 10% of your income, put to savings, and all that sort of stuff which is The Richest Man in Babylon and very time-tested, true investment principles. But there’s a whole other stuff in there about how to actually become a solid investor and have some money. He has these seven levels of investors and it takes you through how to actually start at the start of being at the bottom of the level and then what principles you need to put in place to get there.
And then once you got those principles in place, become a second-level investor and he kinds of go through that. It’s a really, really cool book that probably not a lot of people have actually heard about because he was very much of a seminar speaker selling some very high-end coaching programs. But about two-thirds of the way through his speaking career, I guess you’d call it, he produced this book and I think it’s a fantastic book. He does a lot of infomercials late at night in the US now and stuff like that, so take that with a grain of salt. But I really do believe that the book itself is a fantastic book.
Born to Run, in terms of going back to the running stuff, is a great book, just an engaging book about running. I don’t think it really has any effect on anything else except for don’t always believe what you read. Go and do some research and find out what’s best for you. That’s sort of a bit of an underlying premise of the book and I’ll leave it at that for people who want to go on and find out more about that book.
Another book that I really love is called Dare to Fail by a guy called Billi Lim. He’s an author out of Singapore I think it is, somewhere in Southeast Asia or Indonesia. It’s a book that I believe is self-published but I read this probably five or six years ago. It got recommended to me by an adviser that I was working with at that time. It’s a really cool book that just talks about why you want to fail in life. There’s a whole bunch of really cool case studies, very, very easy to read. I think it’s available on Amazon. Very, very cool book, Dare to Fail.
I guess I couldn’t go on without talking about The One Minute Millionaire, which is the book by Mark Victor Hansen and Robert Allen. It’s an awesome read about becoming entrepreneurial. There are actually two books in one. One of it is a bit of a fiction story about I think it’s a woman who’s going to have her kids taken away from her in a divorce, and how she finds her mentors and becomes an entrepreneur to make enough money to be able to keep the kids. The other half of the book is a bit of an action guide or a nonfiction book walking you through that.
The way they’ve actually set up the book is really cool in that on the left-hand pages is the fiction book and on the right-hand pages is the nonfiction book. It’s kind of a cool way to roll it out, which I thought was really engaging. It’s actually that book that I got the whole idea for the whole MCG project that I did a few years ago, which is a sort of a big steppingstone for me with my various projects. I have to credit that book for that because I really just got the idea of how Paul Hartunian sold pieces of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York and how he’s used that idea, and I replicated that here in Australia. So I think I have to give a lot to that book.
The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz is a really, really cool book. The Magic of Thinking Big just talks about why you want to be a positive thinker. It’s a very old book, I think it’s from the ‘60s or something like that, but it’s a really cool book. Don’t get the audio version. The audio version is not that great, it’s a hybrid book/case study/testimonial. So actually read the book, The Magic of Thinking Big.
The Wolf of Wall Street, just a really engaging read about Jordan Belfort. If we talk about debauchery that is Tucker Max, you’ve got to at least include Jordan and The Wolf of Wall Street in that category. The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp, is awesome. If you’re somebody who’s creating stuff. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, Jack Trout, Al Ries, I think it is, I could be getting that slightly wrong, just awesome book for marketing, a whole bunch of principles for marketing and things like that.
Dan Kennedy’s The Ultimate Sales Letter. A lot of Dan Kennedy’s books are awesome. You can go and invest $2000 in one of his courses or you can spend $20 and buy one of his books, which I recommend you have everyone of his books on your bookshelf. You know, Richard Branson’s autobiography was a really cool read, Losing my Virginity. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, again, an awesome investing book.
Dom: Seriously, we might do just another show on this because this is amazing.
Pete: Maybe we should. I’m going through the bookshelf, mate. Jay Abrahams’ Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got is a really cool book about business and marketing, and making sure you are using your resources to the most efficient way. And I know I’m away from the microphone now but it’s on the different part of the bookshelf. Oh yeah, and probably, we’ll leave on this book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss. Very, very cool read.
Dom: And you’re absolutely serious about that.
Pete: I am, I am.
Dom: I know.
Pete: I’ll leave a little bit of a secret out — it maybe read as a reading at our wedding. And I’m deadly serious about that too.
Dom: That’s fantastic.
Pete: David Jenyns is on the agenda to try and get that tongue twister out in front of all the people, so…
Dom: That has to be recorded.
Pete: We’ll try to do that. David Jenyns reading Dr.Seuss, that’s got to be worth money.
Pete: So yeah, there you go. I kind of went a bit nuts at the end there but I thought I might as well get them all off the chest because I think who knows if we’ll do another book episode? We should probably do one every couple of months because of the amount of content, and go through some of the more recent books that I’ve read and what they’ve done. That list and my bookshelf list is pretty much the stuff that I have as staples. There are plenty other books that I’ve read recently that are worth a read and consume. We can go through them at some stage as well.
Dom: Yeah, I mean, this was an overview kickoff thing. But yeah, we should do this regularly because they are the books that have influenced you, that have made a big difference. I can completely believe you reading a copy of Influence when you were 17 made a major difference to what you did. Certainly, The One Minute Millionaire, you’ve mentioned that before about the MCG project.
Here we go, it’s smoke-blowing time, in the same way that Steve Martin in his book writes about how he got where he got to but there’s an awful lot of work that went into it and very few people know that, depending on your awareness of American culture for example. If you don’t live in America and haven’t been exposed to the American culture very much, you might not have come across Steve Martin until maybe he was in his more famous films.
Pete: Yeah, absolutely.
Dom: Yeah, well, “Wow what a really funny guy,” and as you say, born standing up. But you weren’t born successful any more than he was born standing up. One of the things that I’m interested in about everybody, about people, is that what did it — what steps, what big steps happened, what big things happened. We talked about you in the past and the MCG project which I think the thing that really launched you. But I’m sure there were a few things before that that you had a go at, or maybe even you failed. And that’s a topic for another call.
Pete: Oh, I’d love to talk about that. That could be a couple episodes, mate. I could absolutely tell you about some of the stupid things I’ve done and the opportunities that I’ve wasted. We should absolutely have a chat about that, just to put everything in context a little bit.
Dom: Cool. Well, we are again, ridiculously over time but I think it was worth it. That was an excellent insight into the bookshelf of Pete Williams and a little bit more about what you got from them as well. I think that’s the important thing. This is on my bookshelf is all well and good, but why is far more important and far more valuable to people.
Pete: I’d love to hear other people’s experiences too, not only with the books that I’ve mentioned but even some other books that really influenced anybody else. So head over to the blog, leave some comments, Twitter, Facebook. There are plenty of ways you can kind of interact with Dom and myself. I’d be really keen to hear what other people got from a book. I’ve read books and I’ve read them a couple of times in certain instances, and it’d be really cool to see what other people took away from a book. And maybe when I can read it again, I can look at it with that frame in mind and hopefully get something else out from the book in a different context. It’d be really cool and I think it’d be an awesome discussion point.
Pete: Alright, I completely agree. So far we haven’t done this; in the shows, we haven’t talk about this. But yeah, we absolutely want your feedback. The very first show we talked about this, we said Pete and I started this because I think Pete is an interesting subject, an interesting guy all round. He’s got some great experiences and he’s very successful at what he does. But it’s not just me asking the questions, we want questions from the listeners, from people that are involved in the show.
We want to know what you want to hear about because the show isn’t just for us. We’re making it because hopefully people are listening to it, and enjoying it, and getting something from it. So if we can do something, make a show about, well, whatever, head over to the blog, hit us up on Twitter, all the different ways. Pete’s totally available, believe it or not. He’s a real guy with a real email address that he just really answers. And give us some feedback, that would be fantastic. All right, mate. I’m going to wrap it up because as I say, we are really well, well over time. Next week, well, I’ll be hearing from you from the poolside in Bali.
Dom: Absolutely. The conversation might be a little bit interesting. I might have had too many piña coladas, but we’ll see how we go.
Pete: Yeah, we may have to shift the time of the slot so that it’s maybe late at night for me and early in the morning for you. Otherwise, it could get very interesting.
Dom: Well, I’ll speak to you from the tropics.
Pete: Excellent, mate. See you next week.
Show Notes + Links:
How To Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
The Creative Habit – Twyla Tharp
Bird by Bird – Annie Lamott
Do the Work – Steven Pressfield
The War of Art – Steven Pressfield
How To Be That Guy – Scott Ginsberg
Influence – Robert Cialdini
Yes! – Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin and Robert B. Cialdini
Triggers – Joe Sugarman
Rules For Revolutionaries – Guy Kawasaki
The Art of the Start – Guy Kawasaki
Tribes – Seth Godin
The Guerrilla Marketing Handbook – Jay Conrad Levinson President and Seth Godin
Money Secrets of the Rich – John Burley
Dare to Fail – Billy Lim
The One Minute Millionaire – Mark Victor Hanson
The Magic of Thinking Big – David Schwartz
The Wolf of Wall Street – Jordan Belfort
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing – Al Ries and Jack Trout
The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding – Al Ries and Laura Ries
Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert T. Kiyosaki
Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got – Jay Abraham
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