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Jan 2019: Four Books to Help You Level Up

Reading is one of the absolute best forms of continuous learning, yet we don’t do nearly as much as we likely should. One reason for that is there are SO MANY books that it can feel overwhelming trying to pick one! Even if you have a specific topic you are interested in you’ll likely find a dozen books on it claiming to be the one true game changer.

Lucky for you, that is where we come in to help! Every episode of Do Well & Do Good we ask our guests what book they recommend the most to others. These are all crazy successful people who have put their own continuous learning to great use, so who better to help us narrow down our choices and find a book that will have an impact on our future.

Here are the books recommended by our four amazing guests in January:

James Swanwick | @JamesSwanwick | Ep 040

His pick: Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

Book description: Ferrazzi’s form of connecting to the world around him is based on generosity, helping friends connect with other friends. Ferrazzi distinguishes genuine relationship-building from the crude, desperate glad-handing usually associated with “networking.” He then distills his system of reaching out to people into practical, proven principles. Among them:

Don’t keep score: It’s never simply about getting what you want. It’s about getting what you want and making sure that the people who are important to you get what they want, too.

“Ping” constantly: The ins and outs of reaching out to those in your circle of contacts all the time—not just when you need something.

Never Eat Alone: The dynamics of status are the same whether you’re working at a corporation or attending a social event—“invisibility” is a fate worse than failure.

Become the “King of Content”: How to use social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to make meaningful connections, spark engagement, and curate a network of people who can help you with your interests and goals.  

In the course of this book, Ferrazzi outlines the timeless strategies shared by the world’s most connected individuals, from Winston Churchill to Bill Clinton, Vernon Jordan to the Dalai Lama. 


Joshua Lance | @joshualance82  | Ep 042

His pick: Rework, Remote, It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson (from Basecamp)

Book description (Rework): Most business books give you the same old advice: Write a business plan, study the competition, seek investors, yadda yadda. If you’re looking for a book like that, put this one back on the shelf.

Read it and you’ll know why plans are actually harmful, why you don’t need outside investors, and why you’re better off ignoring the competition. The truth is, you need less than you think. You don’t need to be a workaholic. You don’t need to staff up. You don’t need to waste time on paperwork or meetings. You don’t even need an office. Those are all just excuses.

What you really need to do is stop talking and start working. This book shows you the way. You’ll learn how to be more productive, how to get exposure without breaking the bank, and tons more counterintuitive ideas that will inspire and provoke you.

With its straightforward language and easy-is-better approach, Rework is the perfect playbook for anyone who’s ever dreamed of doing it on their own. Hardcore entrepreneurs, small-business owners, people stuck in day jobs they hate, victims of “downsizing,” and artists who don’t want to starve anymore will all find valuable guidance in these pages.

Joshua’s reasoning: Rework was especially instrumental in Joshua figuring out if he would be able to make the jump from his corporate accounting job to the world of entrepreneurship and his own firm. It helped him to rethink how he should be working in order to live the life he really wanted.


Bushy Martin | @Bushism | Ep 044

His pick: The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

Book description: The Slight Edge is a way of thinking, a way of processing information that enables you to make the daily choices that will lead you to the success and happiness you desire. Learn why some people make dream after dream come true, while others just continue dreaming and spend their lives building dreams for someone else. It’s not just another self-help motivation tool of methods you must learn in order to travel the path to success. It shows you how to create powerful results from the simple daily activities of your life, by using tools that are already within you.

Bushy’s reasoning: “This one quote sums it up, ‘Life is a curved construction, time is the builder, and your choices are the architect.’ The real message from the book is that sustainable success in any endeavor, it doesn’t matter what it is, takes 15 to 20 years. So if you embrace time as your friend and not your foe, and you start implementing what I call Happy Habits, little things you do everyday that are taking you closer to where you want to be, then exponentially over time amazing things will happen. The law of compounding, or what Einstein called the 8th wonder of the world.”  


Kate Erickson | @katelerickson | Ep 046

Her pick: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg Mckeown

Book description: The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done.  It is not a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.  

By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy – instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us.

Essentialism is not one more thing – it’s a whole new way of doing everything. A must-read for any leader, manager, or individual who wants to do less, but better, and declutter and organize their own their lives, Essentialism is a movement whose time has come.

Kate’s reasoning: “It’s all about time management and what we say yes to, I’ve probably read it four times and I recommend it to everyone.”



Got a recommendation of your own? Comment below and let us know about it!

And if you’d like to know what book Dorothy is currently reading and how it has impacted her, then reach out on Instagram @dorothyillson or send a message via the DWDG Facebook Community.

Happy reading!

About the author, Dorothy

Dorothy Illson is the founder of Needle's Eye Media, a full-service Facebook advertising agency. She's also the host of Do Well & Do Good, a podcast dedicated to telling the stories of people who have created financial success and leveraged it to increase their positive impact on the world.

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