In 2021, I spent $2,848.74 on books (and we still have a few days left as of this writing…). It was by far the best investment I made this year. As we look back on 2021 and plan ahead for 2022, here are 5 of the books that made the biggest impact on me in 2021.
The 5 AM Club- Robin Sharma
I read/listened to Robin Sharma’s book the 5 AM club probably 5 times this year. While I was never a reader of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series… or a fan of chicken soup for that matter… The 5 AM Club was plenty good for my soul.
I enjoy Sharma’s narrative based approach to providing life lessons and best practices, as well as his detailed frameworks that simplify complex ideas. I also relish his ability to create characters that are so easy for readers to connect with.
In the 5 AM Club we follow the journey of an entrepreneur and artist who are trying to reclaim their zest for life and are led on an incredible journey by an eccentric billionaire who provides them a framework to live their fullest lives and reach their highest potential.
I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who aspires to squeeze the zest out of life and savor every day.
Pick up the Phone & Sell- Alex Goldfayn
At the end of the day, I’m really just a sales schmuck. And every day, I wake up and try to figure out how to do my job a little bit better. I am passionate about the professionalization of sales.
A few years back, I was introduced to Goldfayn’s work and became a big fan of his straightforward, yet thorough and compelling approach to helping readers maximize simple sales skills. So naturally, I couldn’t wait for this year’s Pick Up the Phone and Sell. It did not disappoint.
In true Goldfayn fashion, Pick Up the Phone and Sell takes a simple skill we very often overlook and take for granted- proactive calls as Goldfayn calls them (I call them Cold Calls)- and provides an in-depth guide to help anyone get better at using the telephone to develop their book of business. Pick up the Phone and Sell is a must read for any salesperson who has a big quota for next year.
Good Profit- Charles Koch
Charles Koch took over as CEO of Koch Industries following his father’s death in 1967 and has grown it from a valuation of $21 Million in 1961 to over $100 Billion. Not bad. We could probably learn something from the guy.
In Good Profit, Koch outlines the pillars of his Market Based Management system that he credits with transforming his family’s business. I found his detail on how understanding customer’s subjective values, mechanisms that enable great partnerships, and the importance of understanding what a business is trying to achieve and how it creates value (it’s vision) can create phenomenal returns for shareholders and an enduring culture for employees particularly compelling.
In addition to Good Profit, I would also recommend Koch’s Believe in People which shares inspiring stories of individuals who are able to overcome significant obstacles to make change from the bottom up.
Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order- Ray Dalio
This is the book I’m working through now. Since reading Dalio’s Principles: Life & Work a few years back, I’ve jumped all over anything Ray. I even have a copy of Principles for Success and read through it with my kids a few times a year.
In Changing World Order, Dalio does a broad, yet deep review of the rise and fall of history’s great empires and the events that both enabled their growth and eventual fall.
Ray’s, “Another one of those” approach has helped me make sense of events occurring in my life, which while new to me, have happened to others and follow timeless cause and effect relationships which when understood can help me figure out how to best deal with reality and make a good guess at what’s coming next. I also enjoyed Dalio’s summaries of history’s great empires and the factors that contributed to their rise and fall.
At $21, this may be the best value book available today. Changing World Order is a challenging book that takes time to work through and I’m not embarrassed to admit that I still haven’t wrapped my head all the way around it. Fortunately, I was able to also get an audiobook version through my Scribd subscription and look forward to revisiting this book for years to come.
Pappyland: A Story of Family, Fine Bourbon, and the Things that Last- Wright Thompson
Pappyland is my favorite book from 2021. It’s also my favorite book to share (that’s why it’s not pictured). Anyone who knows me or follows this blog knows that not only do I enjoy a good beer, I also enjoy a fine bourbon.
Pappyland is not only the story of arguably the overseer of the world’s most popular bourbon (Julian Van Winkle and his family’s Pappy Van Winkle bourbon’s) and his trials and tribulations, but also Wright Thompson’s journey towards fatherhood, remembering the lessons his father taught him, and finding yourself.
And the best part is, it’s also about great bourbon and music. I didn’t realize I was a Springsteen guy until I read this book. Now Darkness on the Edge of Town is my most listened to song of the year. That’s what great books do- not only do they tell a clear and compelling story, but they point you in the direction of more great stories. More great books, songs, art, and Tik Tok’s.
So those were my top five books from 2021. As we head into 2022, I remember it’s not about the books you’ve read, but the one’s you haven’t. I look forward to spending time with them, understanding them, and sharing them with my friends and family. On behalf of everyone at Triplex, we wish you a Happy New Year.