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.
Sales Secrets From Your Customers
By Barry J. Farber
Apr. 30th - May 6th
It's been just over a year since I got into sales and it feels like I learn something new every day. To be a good salesperson, understanding your customers is possibly the most important skill, up there with understanding your product. This book, if you didn't catch it by the title, is all about the what salespeople did right in the eyes of their customers. So, i had to indulge.
Barry starts off the book with saying "You never know who your next customer might be" which means that everyone you meet has the potential of being your next customer. In this case, everyone you come in contact with can shed light on your sales skills. Empathy, punctuality, energy, and work-ethic are just a few of the qualities that these people will assess without knowing their even doing so. My, and I'm sure Barry's, advice would be to practice these personally traits on a daily basis. As the old saying goes, "How you do anything is how you do everything".
The two topics that really hit me were the sections on energy and customer feedback. Energy is everything! we as humans have volatile energy levels. We all go through rough times. However, it's important to have the same energy during every meeting or phonecall. Your customers don't care if your dog died and they sure as hell don't care that your sports team lost the big game. Whether you have to talk yourself up before a call or simply take a breather, you HAVE to bring high and consistent energy. Customer feedback is the area I will be working on right away. I, like many others, often won't say their negative thoughts about someone or a service out loud. A way around this is probing for more. Deeper questions will help you find out if the service you're providing is actually good enough to the people buying it. If in fact you find out that you're sub-par, correct your actions and take it as a positive instead of a negative. This is how you become a better salesperson.
I was only going to recommend this book to salespeople but I changed my mind because its just as much about psychology as it is sales. So, if you care about the people you come in contact with, which I hope is everyone, then this may be a good read for you. Plus, it's only $2.99 on Amazon. What can it hurt?
Into The Winds Of Heaven
By Christopher Beaudry
May 7th - 13th
I can't write this review without adding the fact that I'm friends with the author. However, everything in this review is honest and comes from the heart.
I don't normally read poems but I'm so glad I chose to do so. This book is a "collection of poems, prose, and peace, with a message of hope". Each poem, which is roughly 1-2 pages, expresses a unique point that brings out thought and emotion. It's hard to explain what this book is about because its about everything. The easiest way to explain it would be by saying its about life... but that's not good enough because it's so much more. This book sits beside my bed and I pull it out at random times. Each time I seem to find a poem that fits what I need in the moment. Its like magic.
There's a section in the book where Chris gives "little learning list of love lines" to his children. I, knowing his sons and daughter, found this very impactful. You'll hav to buy the book to find out what they are but my favorite one says "It is not so much that you need to know more; you just have to do more with what you know". Now, tell me that doesn't bring about thought and emotion! This book is jam-packed full of lines just like that one. I can't say it enough, this book should be on everyones shelf.
100 Things To Do In Grand Rapids Before You Die
By Norma Lewis & Christine Nyholm
May 14th - 20th
The title of this book explains itself. There isn't much of a review needed. If you're a fan of Grand Rapids, Michigan, like I am, then this book is worth the purchase. From music venues and bars to sightseeing and festivals... this book lists plenty to keep you busy.
It's All In Your Head
May 21st - 27th
Your aspirations, your difficulties, your breakthroughs... are literally all in your head. This simple but life changing revelation is a key to success and failure, happiness and sorrow. Not only understanding that everything is in your head is important, you then need to use that understanding to grow towards controlling your mind. Mind control may seem like a term used a movie but we have all done this throughout our lives. When someone close to us passes away, we cry alone but then hold it together in public. When someone shoots down our dream, we let it go in the moment only to later let that feeling fuel that dream even more. The goal here is to not only have that control in high or low moments but instead consistently throughout life.
Russ accounts for years and years of being the person he is today, before actually being that person. He is now a highly successful artist, businessman, and now author. However, in his mind, he was always this person. This hits home for me. I've been telling my friends and family who I am for a long time. When I was broke, I told them I was financially successful. When I had a shitty job, I told them it was great. When I was struggling, I told them I was doing better than ever. Now, I'm the guy that I always said I was. I was preparing myself mentally for what I knew was coming. If you ask me who I am today, I'll tell you that I'm me at 40. That's just the way my mind works. I understand that it's all in my head. Read "Its All In Your Head" thoroughly if want this cheat code.
Greg is a Grand Rapids, Michigan native with a passion for personal growth.