For the year 2023, I'm reading or re-reading 52 books (1/week). I did this a few years back after hearing what was most likely a false statement, "The average CEO reads 52 books per year". That year, my life improved immensely which is exactly what I'm hoping to recreate. So, if you're an avid non-fiction, business, or self help reader, come back each month to see which books may be up your alley. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
by Cameron Hanes
Feb. 26th - Mar. 4th
To say the least, my past book reviews were... horrible. I've decided that, going forward, my book reviews will be more thorough. This is partly because I'm embarrassed by the last eight reviews and partly because Cameron Hanes' book, Endure, has drastically changed my perspective on life.
The common theme throughout this book is going the extra mile in everything you do. Cameron is one of the best bow hunters in the world and its because he's willing to go places other bow hunters won't. For example, he runs to prep for hunting. You would expect this from one of the best bow hunters in the world, right? What if I told you that he runs in 50, 100, and 200 mile races just to be a better hunter? Would you consider that going the extra mile? Yea, me too. He obviously gets more out of running these races than endurance and grit for hunting but that's his motivation for doing it. His goal is to train so hard that any hunt seems simple comparatively.
I've always considered myself the guy that goes the extra mile until reading this. It has lit a fire deep in my brain to push myself further. Since reading this book, I've decided to cut out what I consider to be time-wasting activities and double down on the areas I find most important. Writing is one of them. It's an area where I feel like an imposter and like Cameron says, You remove this feeling by outworking yourself and being obsessed with achieving your goals.
Often when reading a biography, the subject will remind me of someone. This one reminded me of a new colleague, Jamie. Since I've met him, there's one thing that sticks out and like Cameron Hanes, it's that he is relentlessness towards a task. His worth ethic and tunnel vision is inspiring. It's great to be around people like this because they constantly humble you and give you something to strive for. You'll probably never see this, Jamie, but thank you.
A quote in this book that really stuck out to me was:
"Instead of using your past as a crutch, look at it as the chisel that shaped your life."
We all know that person that uses past traumas as a crutch throughout their life. As my past teacher, Mrs. Reader, once said... "Don't let that be your life story, Greg!". Cameron has a mindset that I strongly agree with. Whatever happens, so what! If you can't control it, move on. I can only imagine the amount of mental strength needed to run over 50 miles straight. I'm glad he wrote a book about it because you won't catch be running anymore that 5.
This book is inspirational. Cameron leads by example. If you do read this, allow yourself to dream about the "impossible" as you read along. Dream like you're a kid again, then go after it. It's possible!
The 25 Cognitive Biases
by Charlie Munger
Mar. 5th - 11th
So, technically this isn't a book. It's more of an essay/notes taken from a talk done by Charlie Munger years ago. I read it for the first time at an impressionable age and every couple years I come back to it because of how influential it is. The 25 cognitive biases are biases in our brain that lead to decision making.
I won't spoil all of these but for example, two of the biases are the liking and disliking tendencies. If you really like someone, you may overlook their flaws more than you should. The opposite goes for someone you dislike. You may look at their flaws more than you should. A prime example of this is the recent president, Donald Trump. People who dislike him have a hard time saying anything good about him and disagree with all of his decisions even though there are good decisions that he's made. Many people who like him pretend he's done no wrong when of course he has.
It's our job to best understand ourselves which is why this is so important. We make countless decisions each day and recognizing our decision making traits can help us improve the choices we make. This, in turn, can positively impact our lives and those around us. This is a quick read and I'd recommend it to everyone, no matter your age.
Marketing: A Love Story
by Bernadette Jiwa
Mar. 12th - 18th
What a great read! Part of my job entails marketing our products. Marketing is often looked at as a tool to sell more stuff but I've never looked at it this way. Finally, a book supports this. Bernadette believes that marketing should show love, trust, and care. In my eyes, this couldn't be more spot on.
The other day I saw a commercial that marketed a new vehicle. The commercial ended with the price of the car. I was skeptical which pushed me to pause the commercial and read the fine print. This, allowed me to see that it wasn't accurate. It was actually the price of the car IF you were a top tier loyalty member and place a large down-payment. This ruined my trust with the company which I consider horrible marketing.
Marketing should be a way to connect with customers by showing them you care. You can do this by providing them with useful information or even entertaining them. False advertising screams desperation. it reminds me of that person you meet who exaggerates everything and you can see right through it. That's the person I will definitely not be speaking with again and the same goes for any company doing this.
An interesting example of proper marketing, in this book, is the Apple solution center. Instead of Apple having an array of new products in their stores, they have the solution center. It aims solve customer needs instead of ramming the new iWhatever down your throat. If marketing is a part of your life, I'd check this book out.
212 Degrees: The Extra Degree
by Sam Parker | Mac Anderson
Mar 19th - 25th
"At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. With boiling water, comes steam and with steam, you can power a train."
The point of this book is pointing out the difference in effort on a task or action. A small amount of effort added with each task can equate to an immense amount of progress. This done over a lifetime is a game changer. It's important to remember that this is your life and you are responsible for your results. It's time to turn up the heat!
The average margin of strokes to win a golf tournament is less than 3, yet the average prize money earned is over 70% if you place first instead of second. The average margin of victory at the Indy 500 is less than .87 seconds, yet the average prize money earned is over 150% if you place first instead of second. Any golfer or race car driver will tell you that 3 strokes or .87 seconds isn't as close as the numbers seem. However, a small amount of additional effort, on a daily basis, is what makes the difference.
Now imagine applying this to your life. Additional effort at your job could lead to a promotion. Extra effort with your family could lead to a better marriage or relationship with your children. Extra effort on your diet and fitness could lead to living longer and more comfortable. Again, you are responsible for the results you get in life. Why not do a little bit more?
Greg is a Grand Rapids, Michigan native with a passion for personal growth.