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Timothy

St. Albert, AB, Canada
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Essentialism audiobook cover art

Brilliant

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-10-15

If you like 80/20 thinking (Pareto Principle), you'll love Essentialism. Fans of Richard Koch, Tim Ferriss, Perry Marshall will love this book.

So Good They Can't Ignore You audiobook cover art
  • So Good They Can't Ignore You
  • Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
  • By: Cal Newport
  • Narrated by: Dave Mallow

Refreshingly HONEST!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-11-13

Any additional comments?

I love how practical and grounded "So Good" is. I drank the success Kool-Aid of loopy books like "The Secret" for a few years there only to realize how disconnected from reality that whole scene is. In retrospect, I wish I would have read "So Good" FIRST. It's not the sexiest book - no promises of fancy cars or mansions. Instead, it's the gritty bare-knuckled reality of getting good and (in my opinion), getting PAID. Yes you have to grind it out getting really damned skilled at something. Yes it takes time, practice, and failure. "So Good" is refreshingly honest and guides you and I through that journey of becoming, well, "So Good They Can't Ignore US". Thank-you Cal Newport for writing such a fantastic book. Anytime another entrepreneur asks me for a good book recommendation, especially newer entrepreneurs, this is the FIRST book I recommend.

The New Psycho-Cybernetics audiobook cover art

Amazing Book (despite wacky title)

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-20-13

Would you listen to The New Psycho-Cybernetics again? Why?

Yes, absolutely. It's so jam-packed with great life wisdom. Despite the wacky title, it's incredibly grounded and delivered so many life lessons it got me nodding my head over and over again.

For example... in the book, he questions why we worry so much after making a decision...

Maltz compares the situation to gamblers who calmly place their bet on the roulette wheel, but then get stressed *after* the wheel has started turning. That makes no sense!

The time to be stressed is *before* placing the bet.... that's the time to consider the odds, consider the bet amount, and/or walk away altogether.

But once the bet is made and the wheel is turning? It's out of your hands at that point... the odds are the odds, your bet is confirmed, and so there's not much you can do anymore.

Same with life. The time to worry about a decision is *before* its made. And once the decision is made? Release all stress, and be prepared to go with the flow until you need to make the next decision.

So wise!

Any additional comments?

I used to be a raving fan of "The Secret", at a time of my life when I was eager to drink whatever kool-aid I could. Then realized how much I was deluded. I've come to really resent all books in that realm.

So when I heard that Psycho-cybernetics (still can't get over the ridiculousness of that name, LOL!) included some visualization, my B.S-dar immediately went into full-defence mode. But the book had been so deeply recommended by some pretty sharp, no-BS marketers (i.e. Dan Kennedy), that I decided to still check it out, albeit *on probation*.

I came to understand that Maltz's version of visualization is dramatically different than what practicioners of "The Secret" espouse. "Law of Attraction" stuff may be true (who knows?), but the culture around "The Secret" is the real cancer. Setup a visionboard, think positively and blam-o, sports car in your driveway.

Psycho-cybernetics is not like that. It's in alignment with what athletes and other performers do before competing / performing. To imagine the positive result. To get clear on what you want, and make that an instruction to your sub-conscious... to maximize (although not guarantee) the possibility of that vision becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy once you hit the stage / start playing. Just think of the Olympics... the few moments before a sprint happens... you see all the athletes getting "in the zone". That kind of thing.

(Important Distinction: Maltz says that after visualization you still have to actually play / perform / do the work... it won't just "appear"... that's the big difference between PsychoCybo and the culture around "The Secret".)

Having performed on many occasions myself (sports and music), and having studied visualization for athletic performance in my University degree, I feel strongly that there's value in it. And that value has produced better results for me during the actual performance than not doing visualizations.

So from that place, and for those reasons, I support Psycho-Cybernetics... even the potentially-suspicious visualization stuff.

Will definitely listen to this again in the not-too-distant future! Thanks for the great book Dr. Maltz. Your legacy lives on.

All the Money in the World audiobook cover art

Interesting Coffee Fodder, Although Quite Looooong

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-06-13

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Mind-blowing how billions can be made and lost. Definitely stretched my context for the money that's available in this world.

Also found myself a little saddened when hearing how certain trust-fund babies (and wives, ex-wives, family members, etc) live their entire lives in and out of court squabbling over big-time money in the event of a magnate's death.

Although the big money would be great, is that really any way to live life? Never certain that your money is yours because someone may come and sue you for it? Having difficultly focusing on your business, work, family, friends, etc, because there's non-stop warfare and countless lawsuits spanning decades over the family warchest? Where's the peace of mind that you actually get to enjoy the money and sleep tight and night? Ugh. Saddening.

Plus, is that really what humans are on this earth to do, is fight in court non-stop? I hope not. Sad, but true that this kind of thing happens all the time, including right now in some courtroom.

Lamenting all of this makes it seem like the book is only a downer. Not true. I really dug other parts of the book, including the exploration on what helped the billionaires make their money in the first place. Fascinating!

Plus the discussion of the Buffet family, and Warren's COLOSSAL donation to the Gates Foundation... WOW WOW WOW.

I recommend this as a high Tier-2 business / marketing / money / self-help kind of book. Not a Tier 1 book like "Good to Great" (Jim Collins) or any of the classics like "How to Win Friends and Influence People" (Dale Carnegie). But a solid choice if you listen / read many books in this genre and are looking to round out your education / context further.

What about Marc Cashman’s performance did you like?

His narration allowed me to not notice his narration... I could focus on the content.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not a chance... it's a monster.

The 48 Laws of Power audiobook cover art

Very Valuable Insights; but HATED the Narration

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-06-13

What did you love best about The 48 Laws of Power?

I only agreed with about 60% - 70% of the content, but the parts I agreed with I thought were extremely valuable.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Don Leslie?

No idea. But I absolutely HATED the narration. The book's text definitely has a sinister tone at times (kind of cheezy in it's own right), but PUHLEEEAZE don't narrate the text in such a puke-inducing, over-acting way! It literally distracted me from the content of the book for the first few chapters.

Any additional comments?

I thought the content was pretty immature at some points. I thought all ideas might be valid (even life-saving) if I was living on the streets of Compton, in prison, in some back-stabbing corporate situation, or any other watch-your back, sleep-with-one-eye-open-24/7 kind of situation. But my life isn't like that.

Where I found value was knowing that some other glory-seeking sociopath might be listening to this audiobook and so it was good to have my eyes opened that other people might be thinking these ways.

That said, there were a few points, maybe 10-20 of the Laws where I really nodded my head and said: "YUP. That's reality." So in that respect it was good to remind me to keep my head up in numerous spots.

If you're looking for one special audiobook, this *isn't* it. If you listen to one audiobook per year, and need to make it absolutely count, don't listen to this.... you'll be disappointed for an entire year. Instead, go get sometime like "Good to Great" by Jim Collins. Or - if it were available in audio - "Winning Through Intimidation" by Robert J. Ringer, "Pitch Anything" by Oren Klaff, or any other number of proven winners.

But if you regularly listen to business, leadership, marketing, influence books, this is an excellent tier-2 option to help round out your on-going education. I'm glad I could cope with the terrible narration enough to get through this audiobook... there truly were a few gems that make it (overall) worthwhile.