Well, after the giant dumpster fire that was my 2018 reading list, I’m setting the bar at 55 books this year. For a book to be “counted” that means reading the first page, the last page, and every page in between. No skimming, no summaries, no cheating.
While I’ve been known to finish the year with a quick re-read of Seth Godin (short) masterpiece “The Dip” … I ordinarily do not let the length of the book or the time it will take to finish influence my selections.
Now that we’re getting settled into 2019, I thought I’d give you the perfect way to start your year off right – with 5 good books for you to try.
If you’re new here, you should know I’m a book lover and I am constantly looking for good recommendations and enjoy sharing a few thoughts of my own. In fact, I started a Medium page solely dedicated to book reviews. Be sure to follow it here https://medium.com/@nicoleschlinger
Anyway, here are my Top 5 reads from last year – you should pick these up today.
Conspiracy and Bad Blood were full of action and adventure. Conspiracy was the story behind Peter Thiel’s decade-long quest for revenge against Nick and Gawker. Bad Blood was the larger than life, almost unbelievable tale of the rise and fall of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes.
Sales Differentiation delivers much more than its fishy title implies. It’s a real, how-to guide for giving your customers extraordinary value.
Principles by Ray Dalio is an instant classic. It delivers on its promise as an operating system for life and work. (And even suggests that we should not try separating the two.)
And last by not least … Hetty. You probably didn’t learn about Hetty Green in public school. She was caricatured and ridiculed in life and death. So much of what’s said about her is an exaggeration, and never … ever flattering. This is the true story of the first female tycoon in America. It’s not pretty. But I challenge you to come away from this book without respect and admiration for this American pioneer.
I know we closed the books on 2018 a few weeks ago now, but I thought I’d take a quick look back on the year in terms of books.
Coming in at 38, this is the fewest books I’ve read in a year since I began tracking in 2013.
Like Ryan Holiday says, “I promised myself a long time ago that if I saw a book that interested me, I’d never let time or money or anything else prevent me from having it … Enjoy these books, treat your education like the job that it is, and let me know if you ever need anything.”
I’m setting might sights on 2019 to for more exciting books to come (which I’ll preview in another post). But here is my complete book list for 2018, if you’re interested.
Back to my book reviews, for just a second, I read Behind the Cloud at the time CampaignHQ was contemplating a move to Salesforce.
I figured it was worth finding out the philosophy behind a company before committing to the financial, organizational and emotional commitment a Salesforce build requires.
On the surface, I liked what Marc Benioff had to say. I understood and connected with the reasons why he left Oracle, why he chose to build Salesforce the way it is. All of these sound like good things, and I’m certain Marc Benioff is personally committed to them.
But the biggest lesson came in the months after I read this book and we signed the contract.
Our Salesforce experience in no way matched Marc Benioff’s high standards.
At no point were mid-level Salesforce salesmen in any way emotionally committed to customer delight. they were very good at saying “Yes, Salesforce can do that.” But not at making sure it actually DOES. They were exceptionally committed to making the appropriate number of contacts on the appropriate timeline, making sure we signed their non-negotiable forms, and then entering their daily activity into Salesforce.
We’ve been with Salesforce coming up on a year and we are on our fourth sales rep. So by the time we get one to figure out what we’re doing … it’s time to train another. Any time you want to change anything on your Salesforce account, it takes 7 approvals in 7 different departments. If that doesn’t happen on time … tough darts.
That got me to thinking.
What is it like to be a brand new, relatively small customer at CHQ?
Looking back to 2012 … there’s a lone invoice to an unknown candidate in a crowded Senate primary. It was a $100 minimum order project, sold to none other than Ted Cruz. Senator, I hope we did well for you. I suspect that since it was a lone $100 order with no follow up, we fell short.
For the clients who trusted your calls to CampaignHQ in 2018 — if you were running for City Council or County Commissioner … I probably did not get a chance to meet you. So frankly, I’m not a lot different to you than Marc Benioff is to me.
Win or lose, I hope we exceeded your expectations.
You have my commitment I’ll find out how your experience was. I know what it means.