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.
Learn To Tweet by Lisa Sicard
First, the link above will take you to Amazon, and since I’m not an affiliate I don’t have to disclose anything. Then again, I just told you where you’re going so I guess I did disclose something. lol Continue reading →
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. 🙂
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:
I was asked to review the book 62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block by Marcie Hill before it went out to the public and I was glad to do it for more than one reason. Marcie is a very good writer who’s got a lot of accomplishments, and I was honored to be given a preview copy. Also, I’m in the book; yeah, kind of a vanity thing but you folks know me; I’m going to tell it like it is. And I’m not getting paid for this; y’all know how I roll. 😉
First off, this isn’t a piece of fluff. It comes in around 166 pages and was well researched, as it took her a long time to compile everything and put it into a proper order. There are a lot of examples throughout the book, which helps to make it an easier read and I have to admit that sometimes I got caught up in wanting to look up the specific article examples she shared to comment on them; I did do that a few times anyway.
She separates the book into 11 main categories, then has multiple categories within. For instance, the section that includes me is listed under “multimedia posts”, and under that there are 10 more specific titles. I’m listed under “audio” because of the ReadSpeaker option I have on my blogs where people can listen instead of always having to read the entire thing. Of course my own vanity told me there were multiple places I would have fit in, but truthfully I’m not sure I’ve seen all that many blogs using the program I do so that makes a lot of sense and shows the type of research she did looking for things both common and uncommon.
The book is kind of a dichotomy; I love that. In one respect it’s laid out like a course, and Marcie indicated in the Google Hangout video interview I and my Hot Blog Tips buddy Brian Hawkins did with her, which is below, that she’s hoping to turn it into a training class of some sort. In the other respect it’s easy to read and get through relatively quickly because there’s not a lot of prose, instead opting for a list style of presentation which is easier to understand while having prose to explain the story behind what you’re about to see before she gives you the example.
I think you’d be impressed with some of the names that are in this book, all with approval. At least I am since I know a lot of these people. I highlight specifically Vernessa Taylor, who I highlighted in my Black Web Friday series and also thanked for creating some virtual book covers for two of my books, as she helped Marcie with some graphics as well as being highlighted in the book. A few other names, buddies of mine if you will, includes: Ileane Smith, Ching Ya, Ben Barden, Justin Germano, and Kristi Hines, and a couple of big names such as Darren Rowse and Chris Brogan; you really can’t have a major book about blogging without those two in my opinion.
The book can be purchased from Marcie’s site only at this time, and there’s also a companion guide that can be purchased as well. I’m going to tell you this up front; the book isn’t cheap. It is thorough though, so if you’re looking for blogging guidance or information you should at least check it out; after all, I’m on page 37. 🙂 If you’d like to see another review of the book check out this post by Sharon Hurley Hall, who was featured in my last Black Web Friday post.
I get free stuff all the time, both through regular mail and email. I received this manual titled “How To Focus Better” by Hulbert Lee and debated where the best place might be to post a review on it. I also debated how to review it. In the end, I’m going to play it straight forward, which usually is what I do anyway.
It’s a very short manual, which is why I’m calling it that instead of a book. At 44 pages, which includes the cover page and table of contents, I wasn’t really sure what I was getting, but it looked good. And when I read the first part of it, which was talking about what focus was and talking about the brain, I started to believe I wasn’t going to like anything about it.
Then it started getting better. The overall truth about the manual is that if you’ve ever spent any time reading books on how to live a better life, then you’ll have seen a lot of this, with some variations on the theme. Within chapter titles like Energy, Clarity and Accuracy, Lee gives short and peppy advice on what you can do to move towards these things. Taking energy as an example, advice like get more sleep and exercise more is something you’ve heard before, and he gives you ideas on how to try to achieve these things.
The last part of the manual has more to do with changing your mind to try to achieve some of the things you want in life, things that might help you focus on your goals. Something that I found interesting is when he talked about identifying your values and the possibility of having to shift your values if you’re concentrating on the wrong thing. For instance, instead of dreaming about buying a new car change your value to something like wanting to achieve success, being more patient, or even focusing on what you need to do to move in a positive direction.
My overall impression is that some of you might have read this stuff before, but it’s a good manual to have because it’s short and punchy. Once you get past the very early part of the book everything else is kind of uplifting and will get you going if you need a boost.
It’s easy to refer back to if you ever need to do such a thing, which you probably will. I say this because I actually read this back in February after he sent it to me and I’m just getting around to writing the review, which might make it seem like my focus wasn’t that good. However, as I think about where I am right now, I can honestly say that I put a few of these things into practice and many things in my life have improved since then. So, maybe in its own way it got through to me without knowing it.
Check out the link above, which will take you to his site where you can get this manual. I think it’s worth your time to check it out.