When a friend with good taste and good sense tells me I ought to read a book, I've found it's best to listen, and so I kicked off my New Year reading two books that had long been on the To Read list—a list long enough to fill an airport bookstore.

Both were quick reads and well worth the effort. The Go-Giver reminded me of reading The Goal in college, similar in that they both employ a parable to drive home their concepts. And simple though The Go-Giver's concepts are, they are powerful.

It's lovely, really, to be reading collected wisdom and thinking "Well, that's pretty obvious," and "I knew that," only to find myself in the next moment getting whacked upside the head with a flashlight, shining a light on one of my many [many] blindspots. This book revolves around five principles; the one that stood out to me as a true personal weakness: "Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them." Spot on, and yet I have an intense desire to work closely with fewer people, rather than broadly with many. I shy away from connecting in person with other than my closest friends. It's very much something I need to watch in the coming year as I grow my business.

The true mark of a good business book comes after the reading is over. Does the book inspire any action? Or do you read it, appreciate it, and leave it to languish on a shelf, the lessons enjoyed but not truly absorbed?

I've taken a few actions directly related to that principle, and I have no doubt that I'll take more in the next few weeks:

  • I reached out to a college friend I've been meaning to contact (we're having lunch on Friday). I want to catch up and to see how I can help with the band alumni society, and well as any of his projects.
  • I reached out to see if I can volunteer with two different organizations that I find useful and fulfilling.

Next time, the other book, Rework by the founders of 37Signals.

And here is a list of the personal projects I have finished, beside the books:

  • Edited and posted the latest episode of the NerdKicks Podcast, our interview with Jeff Smith from Stella B and the Busted League
  • Made butternut squash soup and chili from Make It Paleo
  • Wrote every day
  • Did my weightlifting workout
  • Finally found the courage to say a few things I've wanted to say for a while
  • Wrote this blog post

Not too shabby. See you Friday.