Situational reading

I wrote, “Want to improve your world, start with reading this..” and I suppose I meant it in October 2012.  But, since then I’ve changed quite a bit and so has the world.

Coincidentally, I am in a bit of a reading lull.  My morning reading time is absorbed by writing and a larger project that needs to get done.  I also have several books and magazines backed up.  Fortunately, there is Audible and still a fair amount of driving happening so I am not completely without.

Although I vaguely remember that book, I do not follow either author anymore.  My needs and tastes have evolved.  That book is still likely solid but maybe not “right” for my situation.  What does that mean?

I mean there are a couple of go-to books I have for just about anyone who is new to working with me.

  • Think and Grow Rich
  • The Compound Effect
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People

Really tough to go wrong with any of these for ANYONE in an environment where they will be expected to perform and spend there time engaging with other people.  Beyond that, it can get very specific to what your needs are at the moment.

  • Harvey McKay wrote some excellent books
  • Franklin’s and Hamilton’s biographies are amazing
  • Richard Branson has led a heck of a life
  • Anything by Seth Godin

But, if you dive deeper, you can find some more history and several older books that are no longer published.  Why?  It took a while, but it finally dawned on me that there are all sorts of books and all sorts of “authors.”  That it makes sense to take recommendations from people you admire but it is also a good idea to read books referenced in other books you enjoy.

One of the traps I have fallen into is thinking that reading posts and articles is the same as reading a book.  They are not.  Although reading is important.  Reading for the sake of reading hasn’t done much for me.  If anything, it frustrates me a bit because I read an article, even if only for a few minutes, and then have the same sinking feeling as when I pass the fridge or snack drawer and eat something just because I passed by.

Just because it is there doesn’t mean it is worth reading….or eating.

But, back to reading.  Some basics;

  • Yes, my tastes will not be yours, even if there is some overlap.
  • It’s tough to filter the noise now but since publishing a book is part of a business plan instead of just a way to pass knowledge, be careful.
  • If you have no background in business or sales yet write about business or sales, it is tough to take you seriously
  • I appreciate all the professors hiding in academia that publish books based on research.  Seriously, I do.  Just not nearly as much as those of us in the arena doing the work.
  • Many of your “new” sales books are just repackaging of time-tested themes.  Try going to the source.  Find books pre-1970 or even from the 40’s or earlier.
  • Most of us don’t need another sales book, it is a procrastination crutch.  Might be better off getting slapped in the face by Steven Pressfield’s Do the Work
  • It’s a shame book as a business card was, maybe still is, a thing.  It’s mostly just more noise.
  • Careful!  Bestseller or Best Selling Author meant something very different ten years ago.

Happy reading.  Please consider making it part of your daily routine.

The perfect crime, insurance edition

Just read this by Seth Godin; The Perfect Crime a very similar thing actually occurs in Insurance.  Thanks for the idea Seth.

I cannot factually speak on any of the lobbying or NAACP points.  Instead here is what I do know.

None of the insurance advertising you see actually shows you how to be a better consumer in the long term.  The companies only concern is on switching your insurance this year which, since the cost to acquire customers is high, is pretty stupid.  It takes several years to turn a profit on any individual, why would you only advertise for this year?  Because you are conditioning the masses.

Most of these “masses” also generally do not have a lot if any significant claims.  Yet millions are spent on advertising claim services.  An almost FACT, since this is from my experience, is most claims go fine.  Figure they would be grade a “B” or higher each time.  Let me know any service you have that is always an A+.  A couple of basic, proactive steps is all it takes to keep things going smooth.

Oh but you can “bundle and save”  or get a “discount double check”, etc, etc.  As I have said before, credit , plays a bigger role than just about anything else.  But of course we could not advertise the truth so let’s hide it with discounts whose collective impact is not nearly what credit + home ownership+education+marital status equals.

And the loop continues.  Instead of getting excited, like a mime saving $706 realize you missed  a shift in the market.  The goal each year should be to save between $0 and $300.  Reality is the higher your savings the longer you have been overpaying.  ***Yes, of course driving records clean up, people get married, etc.***

Either way, he could have written on a myriad of topics that marketers exploit.  Would love to see his take on insurance.

Thanks for reading, just some thoughts.