Success Stories with Marshall Atkinson

Episode 10: "Their Favorite Books of Wisdom" with 14 Industry Leaders!

December 09, 2020 Marshall Atkinson Season 1 Episode 10
Success Stories with Marshall Atkinson
Episode 10: "Their Favorite Books of Wisdom" with 14 Industry Leaders!
Show Notes Transcript

It’s no secret that many people gain tremendous insight and inspiration from reading books.  And by reading, I’m including paper-printed books, ebooks, and of course, audiobooks.

As many people tend to buy and share their favorite books as holiday presents, on today’s episode of Success Stories, I’ve asked a wide array of industry leaders to give us their favorite tips and recommendations for books that they have enjoyed this year.

So whether you are looking for a new book to glean some insight about something, or the perfect gift for your staff or customers, we have you covered.  

You’ll hear from Mark Graham, Charity Gibson, Tom Rauen, Jeff Solomon, Brian Rainey, Roger Burnett, Mark Kapczynski, Mark Coudray, Nate Leber, Shawn LaFave, Jay Busselle, Meg Erber, Stephan Baere, & Brittany Tucciarone.

Plus, I’ll give you my favorites too!

Marshall Atkinson 

Welcome to Success Stories brought to you by S&S Activewear. I'm your host, Marshall Atkinson. And this is the podcast that focuses on what's working so you can have success too. It's no secret that many people gain tremendous insight and inspiration from reading books. And I'm reading I'm including paper-printed books, ebooks, and of course, audiobooks. As many people tend to buy and share their favorite books as holiday presents, on today's episode of Success Stories; I asked a wide array of the industry leaders to give us their favorite tips and recommendations for books that they have enjoyed this year or maybe previous year's past. So whether you're looking for a new book to glean some insight about something, or the perfect gift for your staff or customers, we have you covered. You're going to hear from about a dozen, the best folks in the industry and their favorite books. Plus, I'll give you my favorites too. So here we go.

Mark Graham 

Hey, everyone! It's Mark Graham here. I'm the co-founder of Commonsku and delighted to share a couple of book options that I have been loving of late. So thank you, Marshall, for inviting me to share some of my thoughts. The first is a cool book I'm reading right now called "No Rules Rules", a book about Netflix. And this was co-written by Reed Hastings, the co-founder of Netflix, and just half the press. And what I love about it is it's an unvarnished look at the culture of Netflix and how it is that they've taken a rather unorthodox view of business management. Everything from their vacation policies to their rather unvarnished way that they encourage employees to share feedback, including Reed Hastings himself. A fascinating read, highly recommended for any business geeks in the room. And here you go, you can get this stuff from your local library or your local bookstore. And then, of course, I'm reading Seth Godin's "The Practice". I'm about halfway through this, delighted to have Seth Godin speak at our SKUCON event in January. And so getting ready for a really exciting interview with Seth. And this book quite simply is about shipping creative work. Seth Godin is a master when it comes to overcoming obstacles when it comes to shipping creative work. And I've been a student of Seth Godin for many, many years and love what it is that he's been doing. So, the practice shipping creative work. It's fantastic for any business person who's got a creative bent that has been struggling with shipping creative work, and it provides a roadmap of sorts. Anyway, thank you so much. I hope you enjoy these books. Take care, bye!

Charity Gibson 

Hey there, it's Charity Gibson. Marshal reached out and asked me if I could let you guys know what my favorite book that I've read this year is. And in true Charity fashion, I can't just pick one because I do a lot of reading, I spend about 3000 pages a week in books. And so they're one of my very favorite things on the planet. It's a great way to pass the time you can get educated, you can get lost, there's just so much so to me, books are magical. And the three that I wanted to pick out that I've read this year, there are a bunch of them, like I said, but I've narrowed it down to three. The very first one, I think that I would probably recommend is Kindra Hall, "Stories that Stick". Kindra Hall is just such a genuine, nice, amazing person, I suggest following her on Instagram. Her story is cool. And the story about telling stories is also amazing. So, the thing I love about this book is that it tells you about the value story, the founder story, the purpose story, and the customer story. And it lets people know how you can use your story, to win more business, but really to build a more authentic following. And I just love this. We hear all the time about storytelling in business, but we don't know why, we don't know how, we just were like, "Oh, tell your story" and for what purpose? And so this book goes through storytelling and just how to better communicate to salespeople and customers, the value that your company provides, but more importantly, why you do what you do. And so that's just number one for me. Number two, "Necessary Endings" by Henry Cloud. And this book is crazy cool because I took a grief and loss recovery class that was disguised as a life coaching class, and was about six weeks long. And in it, we talked about grieving loss and how imperative it is to complete losses in our lives before we can truly find success. And so the idea of completing the loss comes along with realizing that there are necessary endings. And this can be the loss of an ideal, the loss of a person, the loss of a relationship, the loss of business, anything. And so Henry Cloud talks about just the idea that some things have to end but the end does not mean the "end", and that it can be beginnings. But for some things to evolve in our lives, we've got to leave some things in our past. And that is just so so deep, and you learn so much. It's one of those books that just leave you filled with a million great takeaways. So I recommend that one "Necessary Endings" by Henry Cloud. And then the third and final recommendation that I have is "Nice Girls Don't Get Rich". And I am a huge advocate for women in the industry. Not that there are too many men, just that there are not enough women. And I also think that women have a long way to go in the abilities that we have to overcome stereotypes and to also take some of that power and find it within ourselves. And so "Nice Girls Don't Get Rich" is a cool book. I liked it, talking about some of the mistakes that women make with money that keeps us from finding wealth. And so, I love the idea that you can trade time for money. But you can't trade time for wealth. Wealth comes from developing healthy habits and making smart investments. So that book is a must-read. For I think any woman or man too. So, there you go. I have a million more recommendations. If you guys ever want to reach out and talk books, I would love to trade information. I am [email protected] Or you can find me online on Instagram at @itsmecharityg. Thanks, everybody have a great day.

Tom Rauen 

Hi, this is Tom Rauen with one 1-800 T-shirts. And my favorite go-to book is "Double Double" by Cameron Herold. And this book tells you how to double your revenue and profit in three years or less. And we followed a lot of the guidelines and principles and things in this book to double our business, every year, last three years, three years preceding that, three years proceeding that. And, a lot of things in here have helped us land on the Inc 5000 list of fastest-growing companies in America for the last three years in a row. So, I'll go over a few of the big takeaways from this book, the vivid vision and painted picture, talks about painting this picture of what your business looks like three years from now, and then breaks it down going back to what you're going to do yearly, quarterly, monthly to get to that end goal three years from now. And feel like what you visualize, and paint that picture of what your business is going to look like in three years, and start getting towards that right away. Reverse engineering your goals and projects, creating a world-class culture, focus on hiring, communication meetings, talks about marketing, public relations, productivity, leveraging technology, how to grow when it's slow, which is so key right now. Personal productivity, getting a board of advisors, work-life balance, and many other things in between. So, this book is just full of tried and true principles and other little nuggets that will help you double your business in the next three years. And get you on the right path to get there. Once again "Double Double" by Cameron Herold, this is Tom Rauen with one

Jeff Solomon 

Hello, I'm Jeff Solomon, the publisher of and all the related content that comes with that. And when I was asked to review a book, what I liked this year I was a little taken aback because I don't read a lot of books, or watch a lot of Seinfeld and other mindless things. But I don't read a lot of books. But there is a book that I was excited to share with you and it was given to me by Ryan Moore from Allmade written by his uncle. It's called "Beyond Business", his uncle's name is Lonnie Gienger. it's available on Amazon and probably butchered that name, my apologies. But Ryan gave me this book and put a little inscription in it about helping change the world, and that's really what this book's about. And when I started to work with the team at Allmade my perception of what's important in life changed. It's been happening for a while. My son encouraged me to focus more on companies dealing with that or responsibly sourcing in the eco-movement and all that because as an old guy, frankly, I don't care that much about that stuff. Now I care all about it. And I see why that's important. Why a book like beyond business is so important is because it's talking about how business can change the world. We can change the world by employing families, and those families can change the world in their communities. And we can have an impact locally, as well as globally. And there are so many great companies that are doing awesome things. I'm not gonna go out and mention a bunch of names, but it's all part of what's happening in the PromoCares movement in the industry. And it's becoming more and more important, and that's why books like this to talk about these principles are becoming more important. I will throw out one name and that is a Commonsku. So I confess I'm a fanboy of Commonsku in the content and all those people are doing over there. And, there was a podcast talking, it was a PromoCares focus podcast. It was talking about a product, and then the product is being presented and the client went to them and said, supplier, question mark story, they want to know the story. What's happening with that company? Because the business is going beyond just the product, there's plenty of places to get the product. But companies, brands, especially on the higher level of business, are focused on what that story is. And that's why I like "Beyond Business". And I'm not gonna do a whole long thing, I certainly won't read the whole book. But there's a paragraph just one thing I tagged here. And it says, "You begin to see that the real power of business is more than creating valuable products, services, and environments. It's even more than going the extra mile to benefit humanity. It is a powerful tool to transform the world." That means making a better life for people globally where our goods are being made, making a better life for our employees and, being able to profit so that we're able to give back and do more. The book has a foundation of faith and the core of the content revolves around that. And it's relevant because we, as businesses that function responsibly, and function even using biblical principles, have a value and it's working. So that's what I want to share "Beyond Business" available on Amazon. And I'm so happy I took the time to read it, there's plenty of time to watch Seinfeld episodes and do other things. But that is my recommendation. Thanks so much for letting me share.

Brian Rainey 

Hey, Marshall, Bryan Rainey here, CEO of Gooten. Responding to your best book of 2020. Mine is "Atomic Habits" by James Clear. Under the theme of personal growth and self-growth, especially as the amount of time that we've had over the past year is extended. This one hit home for me, and I've read it now multiple times with a pencil, trying to understand how I can continue to take a large amount of overall reading and create a system rather than a set of much better outcomes. That's the highlight of this book. The idea here is habit improvement is compounding interest over time. That the better your habits, the better you're naturally going to make the right choices. Getting 1% better over time, you're now compounding interest in those underlying habit changes. And it is much more sort of habit-based rather than task-based. That while you can improve for a week or two weeks, you know, if you're focusing on outcomes, the much greater and longer-term benefit comes from really changing and modifying the inputs. The focus here and the things that really kind of landed for me were changes in the underlying environment make a huge difference that people are not necessarily don't want to do things the right way. But they're not setting themselves up to make it as easy as possible. They focus in the book on the least effort approach to making a change. So how can you change your environment so that for good habits, you reduce the friction? One of the examples is if you want to take a vitamin every day, put that vitamin next to your computer. I'm looking at my vitamins right now or increasing the friction if it's a bad habit. I had gone through earlier in the year modification of how my apps were laid out on my phone so that I didn't naturally go into a time-wasting app. I hit that on my phone even though small frictional changes, increase my ability to do good--to repeat good habits and to stop doing bad habits. I talked about negative and positive reinforcement and the sort of four roles here are: make it obvious, make it attractive, make it easy and make it satisfying. That's really how the human brain is wired. And again, they prove this as much with a negative: how do time-wasting applications on your phone hit making it obvious, attractive, easy, as easy, unsatisfying? They use that over and over again. And that idea of even if you're creating a habit that will improve the day 1% of the time, how do you make the habit itself immediately rewarding so that your brain is naturally wired to, you know, to repeat that over and over again. You know, as I said, this is a fanatic explanation of a large amount of self-improvement work I've been trying to do, it's been incredibly helpful as we spent more time indoors and alone over the past year to practice this and see what works. When pairing it with my, you know, the sort of other books, getting things done and looking at how my inputs and my outputs get matched that I've seen a big sort of process improvement. So highly, recommend "Atomic Habits" by James Clear. I think there's absolutely at a minimum some good positive, incremental takeaways, even if you know, even if it doesn't kind of modify your behavior to the extent that it has for me.


Like what you hear so far? Be sure to subscribe so you can get the latest from Success Stories. And now here's Brittany Cerrone with the S&S spotlight.

Brittany Cerrone

You really can't underestimate the impact that a great book can have on someone's life. And that's why we hope that you're enjoying this special episode of Success Stories. We've got a lot of book readers here at S&S too. So we wanted to jump in and quickly share a few of our favorites. Meg Erber, our sales rep out of Eastern Pennsylvania is going to start us off with her favorite book, "Red Goldfish" by Stan Phelps.

Meg Erber 

Thanks, Britt. So there are a few books that come to mind when I was asked to do my recommendation. But the one I'm going to discuss is my most recent find. This book is not a book that decorates your bookshelf. It's one that you keep at your desk. And it's designed to have handwritten notes, highlighted passages, and most likely a dropper to have coffee on a few pages. What I liked about it was how it made a case for purpose and promo. Instead of teaching you how to sell brand fill, which is merely purely executed cheap, non-useful products--sourced and logo'd that do nothing more than checking a box on the to-do list of the buyer. It teaches you how to sell products with a purpose. It teaches you the why, the how, and then how to bring that purpose to life. This book is also loaded with real-life case studies, examples, and profiles of companies of all sizes and from all three sides of our supply chain, suppliers, distributors, and service providers. The characters in this book are the businesses and people from our industry doing good for a purpose as they build their brand. They are all united by a passion for the causes and communities in which they've invested their resources. The level of commitment demonstrated in these stories in many instances represents a personal and emotional investment on the parts of the people featured. Highly recommended, 10 out of 10.

Brittany Cerrone

Thanks, Megan. Next up our head of corporate training, Stephen Bear tells us why he loves a book called "Managing People: What's Personality Got to Do with It?" by Carol Wright Berger.

Stephen Bear 

Thanks, Brittany. So when I saw this book, on the book stand, it was the title that jumped out at me. The title offered the opportunity to better the art of managing people by genuinely understanding their different personality types. So many aspects of executing a successful sales strategy are dependent on the understanding of a team's dynamics, and especially the customers that you're selling to. So, as you read what unfolds is a color quad. And she's put together a quad: red, green, yellow, and orange. And they're all different types of personality traits and characteristics. So as you read, you start to identify, you know, who you're dealing with daily, and what personality type they are. And then the book continues to match colors with other colors that are compatible and not so much compatible at times. So, you're reading on and on trying to discover what your personality trait and characteristic is and how it's described. And then boom, once you find that, you can start applying the book to other colors. And it's almost a guide to who you need to spend a little more time with, who you relate to. And most importantly, you know where to find your path. So, you know, highly recommend this book. And it's allowed me to apply the insight of why people consistently do the things that they do and most importantly, understand the challenges and limitations that they face. So great read, highly recommended. Keeps you reading, have fun.

Brittany Cerrone

Thanks, Stephen. Before we get back to the show, I've also got a book you should check out too. It's called "StrengthsFinder 2.0" by Tom Rath. So, the premise of this book is that you take a quiz and read the book based on your quiz findings. And throughout the book, it'll kind of tell you about your strengths, and the different strengths that people can possess. Once you find your strengths, it helps you to kind of hone in and tells you why it's important to focus in these areas, and how if you're spending more time outside of the area of your strengths, you're essentially wasting time and energy. But if you focus all of this time and energy on your strengths, you're going to climb to a higher success rate at a faster pace. When you're looking at your weaknesses, you want to kind of build a team around you and collaborate with naturally talented people, and their strengths are your weaknesses. So this is great. Whether you're looking for personal growth or team growth. You can have a whole team read this book, take the quiz, and then find out the gaps in your team dynamic of their strengths and what you need to fill in, whether it's someone more creative, someone, who's more analytical so that you have a whole and complete team. So there you have it. We hope that with some of the books that you've heard on this episode, we'll get you fired up and inspired heading into the new year. Let's all make 2021 a year to remember. Thanks for listening.

Roger Burnett 

Hello, Marshall Atkinson. It's Roger Burnett from Social Good Promotions. What's happening? "What is my favorite book?" is a little bit of a loaded question when it comes to 2020. Having been the author of a book myself, "Red Goldfish Promo Edition", how promotional products leverage purpose to increase impact, which was co-authored with Stan Phelps, was the godfather of the goldfish series. So I can't pick my book. That's weird, I would never do that. But what I will do is I'll point all of your guests, listeners, your listeners in the direction of another book that Stan wrote called "Diamond Goldfish". "Diamond Goldfish: Excel Under Pressure & Thrive in the Game of Business", he wrote it, co-authored it with Travis Carson and Tony Cooper--those two guys work for this company called Market Force. And Market Force has been around for a very long time. And their entire purpose is designed to try to help businesses get a strategic advantage over their competition by being able to understand how to perform under pressure when you're in high-stakes negotiations. And, for those of you who are aware of personality typing, which most of us know there are lots of different personality tests that you can take and there are lots of different rating systems that go along. But by and large, what we know from those testing strategies is that they're typically the sort of four different personality types that people will typically fall into. And what we also know is that people typically buy from people they know, like, and trust. Additionally, what we also know is that the average closing ratio for a professional business-to-business salesperson hovers right around 25%. So if we're doing this, as circumstantial evidence to justify our hypothesis. What we would say is, if there are four different personality types, and we only typically close one out of every four transactions, and we know that people buy from people they know, like, and trust, the likelihood is that the 25% of the business that you close are with people who are most like you. And as a result of that, you can only really scale to a certain amount of success, based on the fact that you're never really going to escape this 25% closing ratio. Unless you can figure out something to be able to grow your skillset to allow you to evolve beyond only doing business with those people who are comfortable with you because of your shared personality type. So what we find out in the book, "Diamond Goldfish", is that while we all have one predominant personality type, we all have a secondary personality type that we will move towards when the stakes are high. So consequently, what you need to be able to do is to recognize not only the personality type of the person that you're dealing with but also where they're going to move into their backup position once the pressure starts to mount. And by being able to do so you can head some of the trouble off at the pass. By meeting that person in the place that you know they're going to move. Because you've done that study and you recognize the clues that would suggest what behavior you can anticipate on the other person's part when the stakes get down to brass tacks. So that's all interesting to you, I would strongly recommend "Diamond Goldfish", there's tons of valuable information in there is eye-opening for me to consider not just the fact that you need to understand what makes other people tick but you also need to be able to understand what's going to happen to them when the pressure is on. So, I hope that you find that valuable, I hope Stan sells a few more books in the process. He's a great guy, you would love him, every one of the books in the goldfish series would be something worthwhile and worth your time. If you're interested at all in trying to learn small ways to change your business to be able to create some outsized, competitive advantage, unfair advantage, as Marshall has been known to call it over time. So hopefully, that's of value to you all. And I look forward to hearing your feedback.

Mark Kapczynski 

Hey, Marshall, this is Mark Kapczynski, CMO over here at Gooten. In the supply chain business, for print on demand, and thanks for the opportunity to share with you one of my favorite books that I have enjoyed over the years and kind of speaks to my interests. The book is called "The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine is in Your Hands" by Eric Topol. And, I think the real thing that I'm most interested in about this book is, it first speaks to the notion of data. I've worked in the data industry from Experian and Yodlee, and a few other places where having access to data and being able to analyze just amazingly large amounts of data across you know, vast populations of consumers and individuals and being able to derive insights and actions off of that just as personally fascinating. And I think the thing that I've always noticed is, in industries like healthcare, you know, the data is always hidden. And behind the scenes, there's a famous Seinfeld episode where Elaine goes to the doctor, and the doctor writes something in her medical record, and she can't see it. And then, the doctor exchanges that record with someone else, and she still can't see it. And I think, in Eric's book here, "The Patient Will See You Now", he starts to, you know, address that and tackle that head-on in terms of, you know, why don't we as consumers have better access to our healthcare data? Why is it still held up in these different systems, and the consumer--the patient, doesn't have easy access to it, despite all the technology in the world. And, in nearly every single other industry, all the way down to your finances. You can carry that data with you have easy access to it on your phone at any time, tons of different apps that let you manage and use it. But in healthcare, the tech companies that are behind the scenes, manage the data for the hospitals and doctors that you go visit. And they don't let you have your data because they feel it's in your best interest not to give you your data. And, Eric Topol certainly challenges that thesis and believes that you know, we should have access to the data we should have tons more insights and then you know, we can change the economics and the relationship between patient and doctor by bringing our data to the table, being able to use artificial intelligence and other tools to derive better diagnoses and so on, versus expecting a general practitioner to know every single thing about every single potential medical condition. And so, the other reason why I probably like this book so much is that Eric Topol mentions and references, healthcare and medicine having a Gutenberg moment, which, you know, much like the company I worked for Gooten, you know, we were named after Johannes Gutenberg and the printing press. Eric Topol talks about medicine, having that same Gutenberg moment where you can take the learning out of a select class, and put it in the hands of every individual so that they can have in Gutenberg' case, access to books and publishing everywhere. And in this case, all of us consumers and patients having easy access to our data, so that we're empowered more into the future to take control of our healthcare data better, and so on. So, Marshall, Thanks a ton. That's my favorite book, and hopefully, everyone else enjoys reading it if they end up picking it up a copy, and I'll talk to you soon. Thanks. 

Nate Leber 

This is Nate Leber, at Leber Design and Print in sunny Columbus, Ohio; the Buckeye State. The best book I have read this year was a toss-up. But for me, probably, it's "Can't Hurt Me" by David Goggins. I liked that book. Because, for me, I'm the type of person that always likes a kick in the pants rather than a pat on the back. So if you're that kind of mentality, you'll enjoy this book. It's great because it challenges you in every aspect of your life, to be better, to push things to be the best you can be, and not settle for mediocrity. But the best part about it as well is that it's not just a book about that it chronicles David Goggins' life and how he did those things in his life. But he also gives you challenges, and gives you different steps throughout the book to journal and figure out what those things are in your life and how to overcome those hurdles. So, for me, that's why it's so good because it's not only a great book and a great story, but also it's actionable and impactful, and anybody can apply it. So, it is a great book in that sense, but you know, a slight disclaimer would be that it can be a bit harsh if you want to call blunt honesty harsh, and so it may not be the right fit for everyone. But if you go into it with the right mindset, it's a great book for anyone and I would recommend it to anyone that can take it the proper way. So that's my book for 2020. David Goggins "Can't Hurt Me". Great book, definitely would recommend checking it out for anyone that hasn't.

Shawn LaFave 

Hey, everybody. This is Shawn LaFave with North Georgia Promotions here in Alpharetta, Georgia. Marshall asked me to talk about my favorite book of all time. And I would have to say that is "The E Myth" by Michael Gerber. It hit home in a lot of different ways, talking about entrepreneur-minded people, your technicians, and then your managers. And it always, I go back to the premise of work on your business is not and not in your business. So, that's what I found to be the biggest help in my business life is that book and I think I read it... it'd be well over 20 years ago. So it's a good read still today. So thank you very much for asking Marshall and we'll talk to you later.

Jay Busselle 

Hi, my name is Jay Busselle. And I am the Chief Taco Officer. That's kind of self-appointed. CTO: Chief Taco Officer. Anyway, you guys get it. I pretend to be the Marketing Director at Equipment Zone. And I live and work in Phoenix, Arizona. And Marshall challenged me to share some books or something from a book that had impacted me recently. And while I had some extra time on my hands a few months ago, I checked out some of the old books from my library. I was surprised by how many books I had on sales and selling. The one that stood out the most was probably the oldest book on sales that I own. I'm pretty sure I've had this book for more than 20 years. And I know I've read it at least now I want to say three times. But I'll say it for sure twice. And I know I've read parts of it many, many times because I just go back to it. But this book has the most notes and the most underlines and the most highlighted sections for sure. And this book is “The Greatest Salesman in the World”. And it was written by OG Mandino and OG, by the way, short for oggy or August, or August this anyway, it was written as a guide. It's almost like a philosophy on sales, as a philosophy on success in sales. So before telling stories, was all the rage. This book, think about it this book was written a long time ago 1968. And so does it still apply? Sure it does. This is a story of a boy, this boy is younger, his name is huff feed. And he's a poor camel boy who eventually achieves a life of total abundance. At the core of this story is this philosophy that is centered on 10 scrolls. The primary message of this book is to do it now. And I think that's so important and I struggle with that, in one of the scrolls, I believe it was scroll number nine, the words I will act now are written like, it's 19 times 18 times something like that. I wrote this down once I even looked it up. So here's another fun fact about this book. And I looked this up a while ago, in an interview posted on the Austin Chronicle comm not too long ago, 2017 the actor Matthew McConaughey cited this book as having changed his life. All right, all right. All right. That's pretty cool. Okay, so now for something a little more current. I thought a lot about this. And for me, I'm going to say boldly, this is the most important thing I've read so far this year. And it's not a book. It was a blog. And the title is, for ways to jumpstart your content marketing, by creating insights instead of information. That's a long title. four ways to jumpstart your content marketing, by creating insights instead of information. If you don't know who Mark Schaefer is, this is going to be a great introduction. Mark shares four ways to jumpstart your content marketing. And I don't think I can understate the importance of the role right now of creating insights with your content instead of simply relying on more information. This probably is one of the most important lessons we can learn in marketing and social media specifically today, like right now. So my main takeaways from this blog post were first, there was a quote, by somebody that Mark had interviewed, his name is Walter Isaacson. And Walter Isaacson said, genius requires two things, and endless curiosity and an ability to see patterns. Man, that's so powerful. Another way I think about this, or to help me reframe it as creating insights comes from being curious. And then connecting the dots in new ways.

Jay Busselle 

And then, my other main takeaway was something that kind of shocked me when I first read it, Mark says he doesn't believe that you can think outside the box to use that cliche. So he says creating insights comes from combining boxes. And again, that's such a fresh way of thinking. So it was like, I loved it, mashing up these mental frameworks smashing these, these ideas, these boxes together. So simply put, it's an opportunity for us to go talk to folks to go build on ideas together. And that sounds to me, that sounds a lot like collaboration. And that's one of my favorite words. So anyway, we all have a past, and we all have a presence. And it's our opportunity to find insights, and connect ideas from the past to the present. And sharing insights right now solves a huge problem. Because your messaging, if you wrap it in insight will cut through the clutter. And you'll be adding value rather than adding noise. So let me close with that. Because right now, the world is craving insights. And yeah, I think I want to end it there. So I'll say this, a book from the past, and a post from the present. And thanks for giving me a chance to talk about this Marshall. I appreciate you.

Mark Coudray 

Hello, this is Mark Coudray with Coudray Growth Technologies. I'm a business coach and consultant to the trade Marshall asked me to review one of my favorite books that I've read this year or one of my favorite books overall, in thinking back over the last year. In the craziness that we've all been through with COVID, It took me back to one of my all-time favorite books, the business model generation by Alexander Osweiler and Eve big new The reason I like this book so much is that it makes business plan design and business design. so easy and so simple. It's a brilliant concept, the author's collaborated and reviewed over 470 business plans. And from those business plans, they developed a core group of nine key areas. And they put those nine key areas into what's called the business model canvas. This is a visual design that represents each of the nine key areas as blocks on the page. And you simply go from block to block and define and fill in those elements as they relate to you. Not every business has every element. Those nine areas are customer segments, value proposition channels, which is how you sell your work, whether it's online, direct, E, commerce stores, so forth, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, things that you can work with key activities, the things you do key partnerships, these are relationships that help your business grow, and cost structure. Now it sounds a little bit like how do I make all this work? That's the beauty of the book. The book is established in such a way that multiple business examples or case studies are analyzed and mapped to the business model canvas. Old School businesses like the post office and insurance sales, and new businesses like freemium-based online services are all explained. So you can see old-school ways of doing business and emerging digital models. It's simply brilliant. I think I've given away probably 15 copies of this book. The thing that's cool about it is that there are several online sites available now where you can go and download a PDF of the business model canvas, and print it yourself either as a poster or as a banner. I did a four-foot by a six-foot vinyl banner of the business model canvas. And when I meet with clients, we'll put that up in their location, and then use sticky notes, the two by two or three by three sticky notes, and fill out all of these different relationships. And when we're finished, we've got an instant visual model of how that business works and how everything works within it. This helps us to then further define the responsibilities of the workers, employees, outside vendors, customers, suppliers, all of those things can be mapped out and defined so that you know what you're doing and you're not wasting time and you're getting the biggest return possible. So the key thing about it that I like the most is that it's visual, and I'm a visual learner. I like to see things in front of me. And when you combine the business model canvas with the sticky note approach, it makes business design and planning attainable and functional. And anybody can do it and I highly recommend it. It's called Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves pig new. 

Marshall Atkinson 

This is Marshall. Hey, hope you're enjoying this podcast. The first book that I want to recommend is one that was published this year. It's called “Red Goldfish Promo Edition”, how Promotional Products leverage purpose to increase impact by my good friend Roger Burnett, and it was co-authored by Stan Phelps. You heard Roger earlier in the podcast episode. He was also featured on episode five, the success stories podcast earlier this season. What makes the Red Goldfish Promo Edition superb is that Roger and Stan do a fantastic job of diving into why you need to build a stronger emotional connection to your brand with your customers. It's about digging deep And finding the purpose of your business. So here's a question. Can we be more than transactional in our sales? What if that same sale that you've been working on use products, techniques, methods are different ideas to give back and become more than just simply money-changing hands. Roger and Stan do a wonderful job illustrating the book with over 250 examples from our industry with people that I'll bet you already know. As I say, in the book, the purpose is the New Black. And here are four reasons from the book that I thought were impactful ideas for thinking about how to drive more purpose in your business, first, purpose and still strategic clarity. Meaning, where are you going? purpose guides, choices, it's about what to do, but also what not to do. Purpose channels motivation. purpose motivates people through meaning, and not fear. So this is a great way to get all of your employees paddling the canoe in the same direction because we're all had the same motivation. So “Red Goldfish Promo Edition” is my first choice for books to recommend this year. Be sure to grab it today. And next up, I wanted to go back to an oldie but a goodie. And frankly, I can't remember when I acquired this book. But I'm in reading and rereading it over the years as a source of inspiration for me. And it's Jeffrey Gitomer, his famous sales guide book, The Little Red Book of selling 12.5 principles of sales greatness. And looking through these pages, it shows that this book was originally published in 2005. I can't remember when I bought this book, I bought it a long time ago. And I probably reread it at least half a dozen, if not more times. Jeffrey, by the way, has been participating in a few of our Shirt Lab events and is going to be the keynote speaker for next year’s Shirt Lab Dallas event. And frankly, this book is one of the reasons why he was selected. He has a humorous, no-nonsense approach to sales and sales motivation that I like. And the little red book is extremely easy to read. Not so easy to master. And just for you, here are the 12.5 red principles of sales greatness. And you can see why I like this book so much. One, kick your butt to prepare to win, or lose to someone who is three, personal branding is sales. It's not who you know, but who knows you for. It's not about value. It's all about relationships. It's not all about price. Five, it’s not work, it's network. Six. If you can't get in front of the real decision-maker, you suck.

Marshall Atkinson 

That one kills me. Seven, engage me and you can make me convinced myself. Eight. If you can make them laugh, you can make them by nine, use creativity to differentiate and dominate 10 reduce their risk and you'll convert selling to buying 11 when you say it about yourself, it's bragging. When someone says it about you. It's proof 12 antennas up. And lastly, 12.5 and this is probably the most important resign your position as General Manager of the universe. So this is the kind of the reason why I liked this book is because he has kind of a no-nonsense, humorous approach to things. And it just really kills me. So I think this has helped me motivate myself really kind of dig deep. It's what I want to do with sales and just generally how I want to run things. So I think that you'll like it. So pick it up. And that's it for Marshall. Thank you. Sir, do we name a book that you've already read? Did you discover something special for yourself? Your team Or your customers? Hope so. I'd like to give a huge shoutout to everyone who participated in the podcast today. Mark charity Tom Jeff Brian, the team from s&s activewear. Mix the font and Brittany plus Roger, Mark, Nate, Sean Jay, and Mark Coudray. Thank you so much for helping out. Hope everyone has a fantastic holiday, and we'll talk to you soon. Thanks. Well, that's our show today. Thanks for listening. And don't forget to subscribe so you can stay up to date on the latest Success Stories episodes. Have any suggestions for future guests or topics? Send them my way and [email protected] and we'll see you next time.