Books are one of the most valuable resources you can get your hands on. Plus, it’s as close as you can get to genuine mind reading with an added bonus: time travel. An author has an idea, traps it in words written on a page, and years later you open the book & allow the same thoughts into your mind. That’s amazing! Even more amazing; there are books written thousands of years ago that still apply as much today as they did when they were written.
These are some of the books that have had the biggest impact on shaping how I think about the world, approach problems, or dissolve the ego (always a good thing).
No Boundary, Ken Wilber:
If this book doesn’t turn your mind inside out, nothing will. It breaks apart why so many philosophies, mental models, and approaches to happiness seem contradictory, but aren’t really. If you’d like to stop the internal war that’s been going on your whole life, this book will teach you how to dissolve it without fighting.
Adjusted American, Snell & Gail Putney:
Each society has its own quirks; ours included. This book outlines what kind of neuroses the typical American is likely to have if they fit in. Helpful to understand where to choose your peculiarities.
Art of War, Sun Tzu:
If you can’t dissolve the battle, win it the easy way. This book shows you exactly how to fight without fighting, win battles, & conquer your mightiest enemy: yourself.
Book of the Five Rings, Miyamoto Musashi:
Written by an undefeated samurai who won 60+ death duels. If you want to get the straight talk on what kind of mindset is required for overcoming adversity, this is it.
Design of Everyday Things, Donald Norman:
Designers (should) think about how you’re going to use an object so you don’t have to. If you can interact with something without a second thought, that means the designer basically read your mind, and anticipated your behavior. Unpack how they do that with this fascinating look into the design process.
Influence, Robert Cialdini:
Everyone is trying to influence each other all the time. Here are some scientific examples of how to do it the right way. Whether you use if for good or evil is your choice. (Or is it?)
Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Persig:
This is the first book that turned my world upside down. There are multiple narrative layers, a surprise ghost story, and more. There’s a reason there are hundreds of copycat titles like “Zen & the Art of Archery,” “Zen & the Art of Business,” etc. This is the granddaddy of them all.
So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Cal Newport:
Thinking about leaving your job to start your dream adventure? Not before reading this book. It’s a sobering look at following passion, and a strong argument for sticking to your skillset instead of following your dreams. Read this and thank me in 3 years.
Richest Man in Babylon, George Clason:
This is the easiest introduction I’ve found on how to think about money. There are iron-clad laws that money adheres to, and there’s no way to break them. Set in a conversational story context, the author clearly explains exactly what those laws are, and how to make them work for you.
There’s nothing as valuable to building an online presence as blogging. The following tools are what I have found most useful.
An open source blogging platform that has a robust plug-in community that allows for incredible levels of customization. You can go with self hosted, or choose to go with WordPress.
This is the ultimate drag and drop theme for WordPress. Responsive layouts and easy customization make this the premier theme I use for all my WordPress websites.
If you are going to have your own website, it’s important to get good hosting. I have unlimited hosting which enables me to register a domain & plug it in right away. I can go from idea to fully functional site quickly with DreamHost.
Once people start finding you, you’ll want to stay in touch with them. Aweber is the best email subscription service I’ve found. Their intake forms are easy to set up, and they make staying in contact incredibly easy. It’s the service I use to send out my weekly website digest.
Final Cut Pro X:
This is the program I use to edit all my videos.
Once you have a gorgeous video, you want to share it with the world. Vimeo is the best place to host your professional sales videos. It’s super easy to customize the look and feel of the playback controls, and lock down the privacy settings. It’s much more robust than YouTube as far as embedding options goes.
If you’re looking to build a community and get your voice heard, YouTube is the place to do it. Connect your YouTube account with your Google Plus account to leverage the power of Hangouts On Air. Then, every broadcast will automatically be integrated into your YouTube channel. This is how I use Hangouts On Air.
Blue Yeti Microphone:
Good audio is almost, if not more important than good video quality. That’s why I went with the Yeti Microphone by Blue. It’s a USB mic that is top of the line, but reasonably priced for the quality of sound that you get out of it. The first couple broadcasts were done without it, and you can definitely tell the difference once I upgraded.
Logitech C920 Webcam:
The built in webcam on most laptops are pretty good, but you can upgrade to great with the Logitech C920 Webcam. A big plus is the ability to place it anywhere it needs to be without having to put your laptop on stacks of books to make sure it’s at eye level. The C920 comes with a place to mount it onto a stand, so it doesn’t have to be on a monitor or your laptop.
Webcam Settings App:
With this app for Mac you can access all the bells and whistles that the C920 has at its disposal. You can turn off the automatic settings that result in constantly changing focus, or color temperature. Instead, set everything manually, and you can be guaranteed the image will stay just the way you like it.