Articles Tagged with Self-improvement

My Top 5 Takeaways from ReWork

ReWork book cover imageRecently I started listening to audiobooks during my commute (a great tip if you don’t have much chance reading/listening to books in your spare time), and I was recently recommended ReWork by Scott Sherwood (@scottsherwood) of TestLodge.

I’ve never agreed so hard with a book in all my life. I wasn’t joking when I tweeted that I was “screaming “yes yes YES!” after every sentence”

The best thing about ReWork is that it flies in the face of traditional business thinking – the authors are proof of it. If you do anything that isn’t truly ‘traditional’, don’t worry… and don’t let anyone tell you that you’re doing anything wrong.

If you’ve not yet read/listened to it, here are my top five takeaways from the book. I won’t lie… I really, really struggled to choose just five, but to be honest, if I included all of ReWork‘s best insights in this post, I’d probably end up just typing out the entire book – hah!

So here we go:

1) Other people’s failures are other people’s failures, not yours

If you’re thinking of starting a business, the classic “more than half of businesses fail within the first five years” stat (source) can be mighty intimidating. It might even put you off from taking the plunge because, y’know, what if you fail too?

But you know what? Why should it? What’s that got to do with you?

“If other people can’t market their product, it has nothing to do with you. If other people can’t build a team, it has nothing to do with you. If other people can’t price their services properly, it has nothing to do with you. If other people can’t earn more than they spend… well, you get it.”

…So why let it stop you?

2) Plans should be called “guesses”

Even back when I was learning about the wonderful world of business during A-Level Business Studies lessons, and despite having entrepreneur parents, I’ve never liked the idea of business plans, financial plans, marketing plans, or… well, any kind of businessy type plan. Why? Because you can’t predict what will happen years from now, and everything could radically change the moment that you action the plan, making it obsolete overnight. Don’t get me wrong… planning is important, but you shouldn’t take it as gospel and follow it blindly – it shouldn’t be set in stone. So it was a relief that ReWork echoed this way of thinking:

“Unless you’re a fortune-teller, long-term business planning is a fantasy. There are just too many factors that are out of your hands: market conditions, competitors, customers, the economy, etc. Writing a plan makes you feel in control of things you can’t actually control.

“Why don’t we just call plans what they really are: guesses. Start referring to your business plans as business guesses, your financial plans as financial guesses, and your strategic plans as strategic guesses. Now you can stop worrying about them as much.”

Click to read more!

Time-saving Hack: Listen To Audiobooks During Your Commute

Commute image

Just a quick post detailing a time-saving hack that I discovered recently thanks to George Savva (@GeorgeSavva1), my effectiveness coach, who deserves full credit.

For years I’ve wanted to read a few business books but I’ve found that I’ve never had the time to do so – sure enough I’d buy them, but then they’d simply sit and gather dust on my bookcase shelf. I work all week, and then in my spare time I’d rather blog and spend time with my family than sit down and read a book. It’s simply an issue of allocation of time.

With my freelance SEO business I’m based at Welsh ICE in Caerphilly – from where I live it’s about a 15-20 minute commute each way. And as much as I used to enjoy listening to Radio 2 during the drives, George made me realise that I could put that time to better use. If I haven’t got the time to sit down and read books, why not buy them in audiobook form and listen to them in the car instead? I try to work four-day weeks (as I try to take one day per week as paternity when workload allows), so that’s 30-40 minutes per day and potentially 2-3 hours per week that could be utilised listening to audiobooks. In fact, in just a few short weeks, I’ve listened to multiple books that I’ve wanted to read for years, including:

…And coming up I’m planning on reading listening to:

(Please note: all of the above Amazon links are affiliate links.)

If anyone has any other suggestions of books/audiobooks, please let me know (either by comment, by email or by tweet). I recommend Tom Buckland’s marketing books post – at least one of its suggestions you’ll spot from my to-listen-to list above.

So whether your commute back and forth work by car, bus, train or tube, you might also find that spending the time listening to audiobooks to be really useful.

Update: I wanted to share a few great responses that I received via Twitter when I first published this post, which offer further advice:

[Motorway image credit – Highways Agency]