Unlike a lot of people who receive free books, I tend to read them, even when I feel like I’m proficient on the topic at hand. In this case, the book is How To Tweet And Thrive On Twitter by Lisa Sicard of Inspire To Thrive, and I earned a free copy by winning it during a Twitter Chat that Lisa holds weekly… although I don’t remember the time (I’m sure she’ll let me know lol). It’s about Twitter and it gives a lot of information, most of which I already knew. However, I learned a few things I didn’t know, as well as read it in a format I wasn’t familiar with, so I felt it deserved being reviewed; here we go.
The most popular post I ever had on this blog concerned a trip my long time internet friend Rasheed Hooda made when he decided to visit 40 states in two months to try to meet as many people in person that he’d first met online. I was one of those people, and his full story connected with a lot of people. Go check that one out if you want to big dose of inspiration.
Rasheed, who still holds out hope that he’s going to climb Mount Everest some day (I think it’ll happen when China allows the Dalai Lama to go back to Tibet but that’s just me lol), has now written what I’m calling a bit of fun and wisdom in his autobiographical book titled Life: It’s A Trip, and he shared it with me so I could read it and talk about it here. So you know, that link takes you to his website, as it’s in an ebook format and he’s selling it off his site… thus, that’s not an affiliate link you see. 🙂
This isn’t a big book, which means it’s not the traditional autobiography one might expect. Instead, it’s a motivational manifesto highlighting different things in his life that have made him what he is. From stories of his many different types of jobs, travels and travails, the people he’s met and the lessons he’s learned, you not only smile as you read it but sometimes you literally feel inspired to do things… just maybe not all the things he did. lol
For instance, he talks about his initial attempts to climb something known as Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas at 8,751 feet (wouldn’t be me even trying) and having to learn the first time that one needs proper foot gear when climbing mountains. He tried a few times and finally make it quite recently, but the telling of the original story, which included figuring out how to get there, was a lot of fun to read.
For me, one of the more important topics of the book was the part he titled “Control your own Financial Destiny”, which he where he talks about learning the craft that I alluded to in the previous post linked to above and how, if nothing else, he’ll always have a way to make the money he needs, thus being totally in control of his money. There are a few other lessons he talks about as well, probably things most of us might not have thought about that show us if we have a dream or goal there’s almost always a way to get there.
One more thing he talks about tugs at the heart strings. How many of us know someone who was killed and eventually had the killer get the death penalty? If that’s happened, did you have a story that inadvertently tied you to part of the event? That’s as far as I’m going with this part, but it’s touching and will give you a little bit of a shiver when reading it.
If you want a book that’s a pretty easy read, inspiring, heart breaking at times but always with positivity and motivation as its path, you’ll enjoy checking out Rasheed’s book. And he’s even giving you a money back guarantee; how cool is that (because I’m not doing it for my book lol)! There’s even a couple of free samples to look at.
Go check it out and give Rasheed a bit of love; then make sure to tell him I sent you. 🙂
At the risk of making Holly mad by violating her rules of disclosure, I still indeed plan on doing a book review today. The disclosure part is that I got the book for free in the mail last week. There were no conditions on my writing the review, so the opinion is my own; y’all know how I roll.
The book is obviously called Ask by Ryan Levesque, and basically it’s both the story of a guy who developed a marketing and sales process based on surveys that help you drill down to what your audience might want to see and buy from you, and the full process itself. When I was explaining part of it to my wife she got me to buy the Nook version of the thing and lend it to her so she could read the case studies, and she’s in love with what she’s read so far. There, I’m done. Nah, I guess I should say more.
Ryan is a guy with a lot of intelligence. He got a degree in neuroscience while learning Chinese, decided to go into finance so he could work in China, and was doing really well. Then he realized it wasn’t what he wanted to do anymore and decided he wanted to see what he could do for himself. Thus, he decided to get into online marketing; how many of us have thought this?
This is a guy with a thirst for learning, so he read a lot of books on sales and started out with a product that did okay… until it wasn’t doing okay anymore. By doing more reading and meeting a guy named Glenn Livingston Ph. D., who’s also known as a sales guru, he eventually came up with a way for businesses to figure out what their clients want, and then works with businesses to help them figure out how to deliver it. He decided, after a medical crisis where he almost lost his life, that he wanted to share what he’d learned with others; thus this book.
The book is in two parts. The first part is more about his background, what drives him, and all his adventures. Frankly, I loved reading it because I like knowing more about the people I’m reading about, and on Amazon, the only two 1-star reviews were from people who didn’t like this part. To me, if that’s the only gripe you have with a book you’re not worth worrying about.
The second part is where the meat is, and truthfully, you’re going to have to read it more than once to understand it all. Levesque even admits that you might not need all the steps he points out in the book, but believes if you follow them that you’ll be more successful in the long run. He also suggests you initially skim the entire process, then go back and start taking notes. That’s the part I have to go back and do next.
Basically, he’s created what he calls the Survey Funnel Strategy. The basics of the strategy come in 4 parts:
1. The Deep Dive Survey
This is the first step, and it’s very basic. You send out a survey that’s fairly open ended. Your questions are designed to illicit general responses, which you want because without these answers, you’re not really sure where you want to go.
2. The Micro-Commitment Bucket Survey
With this survey, you’re hoping to get more information from your audience, which includes tightening up and getting the permission to send them whatever you’re trying to market. His suggestion for how to do it is pretty brilliant, but I’m not giving it away now. 🙂
3. The Do You Hate Me Survey
This is the point where you’ve sent your sales letter out, hopefully you’ve made some sales, but there’s a group of people who either visited and didn’t buy or didn’t visit; they might not have even opened the letter. Thus, you’re now sending something out to find out why they didn’t take the action you were hoping for. The way he suggests you do it is clever; I like it.
4. The Pivot Survey
The final email (by the way, this is all via email) you send is for those people who didn’t take any action after you did the first 3 letters. This not only gives you another chance to market and to gain information you might not have received earlier on, but at this point you might determine that this person might not really want what you have to market and you can remove them if that’s your preference.
Obviously I’ve just sketched things out here to give you a taste of it all. After the first two parts he shares a couple of case studies and, if what he shares is accurate, you’re going to think “WOW!” That’s what drew my wife in.
I’d recommend Ask, and obviously I’d love you to buy it via my link above (you can also click on the book), which is via Barnes & Noble. At that link you can get either the regular book or the Nook version. However, if you wish you can buy it from Amazon; I couldn’t find it on his business page. He was giving away free copies back in April, but I didn’t know about that otherwise I’d have certainly shared this information way before now.
My overall take is that it’s a great system for long term success, especially if you know how to create products and informational packages. Some of the ideas can be done by everyone, especially the first one, if you have a responsive audience. Go ahead, take a chance and have a good read!
Because of a challenge from my long time online friend Sunny, I had to put together a list of 10 books that I feel were influential in my life and why. Unlike how some other folks might have done it, I chose books because of their significance, not necessarily because they were the best. In explaining that, on my list I have the first book that got me thinking a certain way or doing something specific without really naming the best book in a particular series.
I think influence can be a different thing that “the best”, if you will. For instance, though many people say Michael Jordan was the greatest basketball player of all time, my favorite player, Wilt Chamberlain, made basketball change rules because of his dominance.
With that said, below are my top 10 influential books. The links… well, if you’re interested you can check the books out, and if you buy… I earn affiliate money. I think that’s fair! 🙂 Here we go:
1. Go Dog Go, Dr. Seuss. This wasn’t my first book but it’s the first book I actually remember reading on my own, which I still own, and loving it for not only its bright colors but because it taught me the words Constantinople and Timbuktu lol
2. The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass. In my preteens I was introduced to black history on a fluke and this was the first book I read on the subject. It changed the course of my life in realizing the legacy of black people in America.
3. Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card. My introduction into sci-fi other than Star Trek books, well written that became a 4-part series (5 if you count one book that concentrated on a different character from the original). I was surprised I got into it because I hadn’t read much fiction at the time; I have now because of it. It has to be good if I’m mentioning it, especially since Card turned out to be a homophobe…
4. Secrets Of the Millionaire Mind, T. Harv Eker. Not only a business motivational book but one that helps break down the barriers to what keeps people from having money in their life, even if they get rich a couple of times only to lose it all. It’s what helps me keep my eyes on the prize.
5. Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki. I was already working on my own when I came across it and in a story form it helped me to see wealth in future terms as opposed to having and wanting things now.
6. Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix, J. K. Rowlings. This is an odd choice because it’s actually the 5th book in the series. I didn’t know it was a series and I had no real idea what the entire story was about but after reading this one I went back and read the others in order, have read everyone by now, and continue reading them (actually listening to the recordings) over and over; I can’t think of any other books I’ve read more than three times. (the link here goes to a page to buy all 7 books)
7. Clemente!, Kal Wagenheim. Roberto Clemente is my favorite baseball player ever, but this was the first book I read on him. Since that time I not only have read every other book that’s come out about him, but it inspired me to start reading biographies of all sorts, athletes, musicians, presidents, scientists… whomever.
8. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. I actually read this twice, once as a kid and once as an adult, and I’m glad I read it as an adult because it’s a much deeper book with a lot more truth and understanding than I could have taken in when I was much younger. Strange enough, in his way he predicted some of what’s going on now in the states.
9. The 100; a Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History, Michael Hart. Very intriguing look at famous people (it’s about 20 years old now) and ranking them based on significance in historical consequences and not by popularity. Something that might intrigue some of you is that Muhammad is at #1, Jesus is at #3; try to figure out who’s at #2 (Neil deGrasse Tyson’s favorite person lol).
10. Feiffer’s Album, Jules Feiffer. This is the only other book I’ve read at least 3 times but it’s different than all the other books here. Feiffer was a political cartoonist for almost 50 years and his take on life, politics and presidents are both spot on and funny. Seeing Gerald Ford depicted with a little tin can cup on top of his head… classic! (unfortunately, this book’s out of print, so you might have to go to eBay to see if someone’s selling a copy)
There’s mine. As a meme, why not do the same thing on your blog and then let me know, or go ahead and share some of your favorite books here. As a blog topic, it’s one that will make you think, and it gets others thinking also. So, get ‘er done!
I owe Adam Shepard kind of an apology. Last year when he sent me his book One Year Lived, I had 4 books ahead of his to get through first. Then over the course of a month while traveling back and forth from my consulting gig out of state I read it kind of piecemeal because you know how time can go, and actually finished it in the middle of last June.
That’s when I should have written the review, but time gets away from you. So I’m writing it today, and I’ll be letting him know about it (Hi Adam). And y’all did catch that he sent it to me, a digital copy, so there’s my disclosure up front.
Some background on Adam. He’s a former basketball player at Merrimack College who, just after graduating, took a challenge of trying to show that someone with almost no money and no assets could turn their life around and find a way to take care of themselves to the extent where they could afford a place to live, have a job and put some money away. The resulting book was called Scratch Beginnings, and I have to admit I haven’t read that one but I did see many interviews with him talking about it; fascinating stuff, so I will be trying to get around to reading that book.
By 2011 he got restless and decided he wanted an adventure before settling down and doing what others probably expected him to do with his life. He decided to sell almost all of his possessions, take the money he got from it and travel around the world for a year. But not the type of trip many people fathom, that being to exotic locales, warm waters, high class society and 5-star hotels. He didn’t have that kind of money or background, so he planned much differently.
Instead, he started his trip from Raleigh, North Carolina, went to Antigua first, then through countries in South America, New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, Spain and finally Slovakia before coming back home, 17 countries and 4 continents in all. Slovakia wasn’t on the itinerary by the way, but he met someone special and that’s where she was from, so… 🙂
The thing is, he didn’t just visit all these countries and hang with the people enjoying himself, though he did have some fun. Part of his quest was to help build things, work with the people on different projects, participate in some of the things that were close to those living in the places he visited, and basically taking it all in, seeing how other people lived much differently than what he saw in the states. He talked about some of the kids he met, some of the dangerous people he encountered, getting into a bullfighting ring and getting hurt, and eventually meeting someone who became pretty special for him, hence the trip to Slovakia.
He didn’t have a lot of money but found that it didn’t cost him much being in South America, cost him a lot more being in Australia, learn how expensive alcohol can be around the world, learned how to budget his flying money by finding major hubs to fly to and from, and sacrificed some comforts to save money because he had the time to do so. In a strange way, it reminded me of the story of my friend Rasheed, which turned out to be my most popular blog post of all time, who figured out how to fund his dream of traveling to 44 states in 2 months by making balloon animals.
My thoughts about the book, not that I’ve given you some of the things about it are thus.
One, I probably never would have even picked up this book in a store, let alone read it, as it’s way outside my genre.
Two, after reading it and enjoying it a lot, I’ve read other books of its type, with people chronicling their adventures. I thought about how I write this blog and tell stories to then highlight lessons of some sort, and how this book has that going for it.
Three, I initially wondered whether this was the type of thing every person could conceive of doing in today’s “bucket list” culture and almost thought of it as the musings of a privileged guy deciding to slum it for a while. Once I got into the first 25% of the book I changed my mind because his trip wasn’t easy and in a way I enjoyed living through him, as I knew these would never be the types of experiences I’d ever try on my own.
Four, I thought about how money conscious he was to be able to do all of this traveling while starting out with just under $20,000 American dollars; that seems inconceivable but he did it. Creativity and having a dream really can get us through almost anything we put our minds through, right?
The finale? I think most of you would like this book because it’s full of adventures and lessons and realities of lives that most of us will never experience and probably know nothing about. I’ve seen poverty but the kind of poverty seen in foreign countries with governments that seem to throw up more things to fight those who are trying to help than helping their people is a different kind of experience we don’t see all that often in more developed countries.
I’m linking to the book page so you can see where you can purchase it on your own. Get it!
Of course this book went live last April, so I’ll ask the question here and hope Adam stops by to answer it: Does your life still include Ivana? 😉 Meanwhile, for the rest of you, check out the little video below: