8 Audiobooks I Listened to in 2018 (Part 1)

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Happy Resource Friday!

Today I thought I would give a short outline of some of the books I listened to in 2018 in a similar post to the one I made about the 21 impactful books I read last year. Because of my 45 minute drive to and from work, I have lots of time to learn in the car from audiobooks. I use Libby (which I have reviewed here on the blog), a library app that allows you to borrow audiobooks and ebooks for free.

Here are 8 of the books I listened to last year and the reasons I liked or disliked them.

Click on the title in order to find out more information on each book.

1. Living Forward by Michael Hyatt

I’ve talked about this book several times. I loved this book because it helped me and Bailey develop life plans that give direction for the future. It takes the reader through a process that helps them write their eulogy (really? yes) and create “Life Accounts” to make priorities.

You can read my full review here!

2. The 4-hour workweek by Tim Ferriss

Ferriss puts a ton of information in his book with some good tips for automation within business, allowing someone to make passive income and work very little. I found that it was interesting because it shows what is possible in today’s age of technology.

This is not one of my favorite books mainly because of how it’s written. Though Ferriss gives a lot of information about how to automate your own business, I just didn’t find the way the content was conveyed particularly engaging.

3. necessary endings by Dr. Henry Cloud

I’ve heard Dr. Henry Cloud talk on many occasions mostly through You Tube videos and podcasts. Cloud is a deep thinker when it comes to human psychology and really puts ideas into simple-to-understand writing.

Necessary Endings covers the ways we can end things in our lives. It focuses on how these endings can help us grow into healthier individuals. Any number of things can require necessary endings — chapters of life, careers, toxic relationships, etc. Cloud does an excellent job of covering these topics in great depth.

4. When by Daniel Pink

Staying in the vein of psychology, I have several books by Daniel Pink, a behavioral psychologist and proficient author. When is a book that tackles the idea that when we do things actually matters. He uses tons of examples to paint a clear picture of how most of us don’t do things at the right times, making our professional and personal lives far less efficient and enjoyable.

Something as simple as the kind of work we do at different times of the day. One example he used was talking about the natural highs and lows of concentration throughout someone’s day. Most people are going to be able to focus on analytical tasks better in the morning, then will have to tackle more menial tasks like email in the slump of the afternoon. I loved this book and I think you will too!

5. Permission to screw up by Kristen Hadeed

Some books are made up of information about how to do something (like the first four books in this blog post). Permission to Screw Up is not one, following more of a narrative through the author’s mistakes of growing a business. Books like this are easy to listen to because it’s made up almost entirely of stories.

Hadeed follows her business from the very beginning to the point she is now, emphasizing her mistakes in leadership, finances, scaling and many other topics. Books about experience, not just theory, are particularly memorable to me and this one was no exception.

6. economics in one lesson by henry hazlitt

I am fascinated by economics. Normally, I check reviews about books before reading or listening to them but I just tried this one for the heck of it. It’s more than 50 years old and it’s about economics so it definitely has a different type of language in it.

Having said that, if you want to learn more about economics and how even a minor change in government or society can affect the economy, read this book! Hazlitt does an excellent job of organizing this book so it makes sense. Thus, it’s an easy one to follow. And it gives some great points on economy that you can use to impress your friends at the next political discussion.

7. Never split the difference by chris voss

This is a mindblowingly simple book to follow and understand which is why I love it so much! We all understand the necessity of good negotiating skills and this book will make you far more confident in your ability to negotiate better pay, a car sale or even just day to day interactions.

Voss’s book is incredibly entertaining because, being an ex-FBI hostage negotiator, he has story after story of their team saving hostage lives, not through force but through psychological intelligence. I loved this book so much that I listened to it twice!

8. crucial conversations by various authors

I read another book by these same authors last year called Influencer and liked it a lot (can you tell I only read books I think I will like a lot? I have a limited amount of time so what can I say..). This book uses many examples to convey simple strategies for hitting the home run when communicating with people during awkward or tough conversations.

It’s a practical book that will give you more confidence about how to not avoid confrontation when confrontation is what will move a relationship forward (or create a necessary ending!).

Learn every day

I want you to make an effort to learn every day. It takes work, it really does. Unfortunately for me, I am not able to read the number of physical books this year that I did last year. So audiobooks have become a necessary supplement. Plus, on 1.5x speed, you can blow through books like never before!

Check out Libby today and listen to these books for free!

What is your favorite book you’ve read?

I want to hear from you in the comments below! And if you found any value in this post, give it a like and me a follow!


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Humility in the Workplace: Learn from Other Experts

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Us young folks want to impress others with how much we know. That’s how I am!

If I am working with someone who’s older than me, I try to show them how much I know or how much I can do. Sometimes when someone more experienced begins to teach me, if I think I know where the teaching moment is going, I’ll interrupt and attempt to finish his or her sentence.

It’s a horrible habbit and I’m working to break it!

But whether it’s intentional or not, it doesn’t actually help anything; it’s just an annoying way of showing I can’t listen. Since we talk a lot here at Master the Simple about Becoming the Expert (click this link for what that really is), this is an excellent time to talk about simple character traits that will boost you forward. Humility in the workplace is where it starts.

The foundation is in humility

I listen to many podcasts and the interesting thing is they all interview the same people. One such person is Pat Lencioni who writes books about business and leadership. They tend to be parables to help teach leadership truths.

One book he wrote is titled The Ideal Team Player (unfortunately, I haven’t been able to read it yet). He discusses how The Ideal Team Player has three characteristics that make him or her invaluable to a company. The characteristics are being humble, hungry, and smart.

The only one I want to talk about today is humility, though I will likely tackle the remaining principles in a later blog post.

Essentially, Pat Lencioni believes that one of the three most vital traits of a good employee is having humility in the workplace. This means listening when those above you have something to teach. It means readily admitting to mistakes and the potential for more mistakes. It means accepting feedback in a receptive way and understanding you have so much to learn.

Every day application of humility

Application of this principle is something I work on every day at my job. I have to. I am the youngest and most recently hired engineer at the company. I have almost no real-world experience in manufacturing (and that’s what we do). Technically, I have more academic education than almost everyone in the company. That doesn’t matter, though. My degree means nothing when it comes to knowledge and seniority at our company.

Experience does.

This means that every day, I have to be ready to learn. The guys in the shop know how to do their jobs and how it applies to my job. Because of that, I have so much to learn from them.

As the author of renowned book Good to Great, Jim Collins has studied in detail what makes a company great. He specifically tackles the character traits of world-class leaders who pulled well-known companies from the brink of collapse. One of the many traits mentioned (you guessed it!) was humility. He says this about top tier, Level 5 leaders:

Level 5 leaders embody a paradoxical mix of personal humility and professional will. They are ambitious, to be sure, but ambitious first and foremost for the company, not themselves.

-Jim Collins, Good to Great (p. 39)

Wisdom from twitter

I was scrolling through my Twitter feed about 6 months ago and happened upon a tweet by my previous pastor, Ben Meyer. He talked about when he was a newly ordained pastor and he purposefully remained silent in all large meetings with other pastors for several years. He did it so he would learn as much as possible from those ahead of him and so his pride wouldn’t prohibit him from this.

This is exactly what I am talking about. The humility to listen and learn.

Two-word descriptor for the year

This January, my family spent an entire day preparing for the coming year. We spent hours sitting alone answering probing questions, then coming together to discuss our thoughts. One such exercise was “What is a two-word description of what you want to be this year?”

I chose mine to be Humble Confidence partially due to what Collins wrote was necessary of a Level 5 leader. I don’t want to be prideful in myself. However, I want to be confident in my abilities and the talents God gave me to help the team move forward. Every day is a challenge to work on humble confidence!

Do you find having humility in the workplace is easy or difficult?

I want to hear from you in the comments! And as always, if you found value in this post, give it a like and give me a follow!


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Support the blog

I love reading and I hope you can enjoy the process of learning through books as much as I do. If you want to support the blog, grab your next book from Thriftbooks! This is where I get almost every hard copy book I read (spent over $120 there in the last 1.5 years). You’ll get good deals on your favorite reads as well as free shipping on orders over $10!

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How to Get Unstuck and Find Your Sweet Spot

Happy Friday!

I’ve been toying around with this idea to make Friday a “Resource Friday” and then post about a book, podcast, or article that would add value to you. What do you think?

Today’s resource is another podcast that I listen to. It’s called The Ken Coleman Show. Do you feel stuck where you are? This is an excellent podcast to find the direction and motivation you’ve been needing.

Ken Coleman is an expert on leading people to find fulfillment in their careers. That’s where he finds his passion; helping people get unstuck is his specialty.

Each show contains inspiring quotes and a time of him tackling a specific way for you and I to make progress in our careers. Then he hits the phones to give practical advice to struggling listeners.

His signature goal is to help others find their sweet spot, that is “where your top talents and top passions intersect.” I highly recommend this podcast if you aren’t in your dream job already. It will help you avoid the life drift that Michael Hyatt warns against in his book Living Forward.

What are you doing today to get yourself to grow for tomorrow?

Graduated and Clueless Audiobook is on it’​s Way!

Guess what! I’m working on the audio version of my book Graduated and Clueless: How to live like an adult when life is confusing. I’m excited about it!

This whole year so far has felt like it has been defined by work. I’ve been on a pretty big project since January helping to redesign our largest rock crusher (yeah, we manufacture freaking rock crushers). It’s FINALLY almost done.

Which means I get my life back.

Which means I can finally get to recording this audiobook.

Yes, that is tape across the top and bottom of my reflection shield. It’s gotta stay together somehow.

If you ask any audio professional (and many non-professionals), it’s a pretty janky setup. I’m kind of proud of it though. Right now, I’m tweaking settings so I get as good of audio as possible.

I could have had a professional do it but I chose against it.

For one, I don’t want to pay someone right now to do it for me. Even more so, I wanted it to be my voice reading it. And I can’t afford studio time.

When I listen to an audiobook (last year, I listened to over 20), I understand when an author has a professional read his or her book, but I think it’s so much more personal if the author reads it himself or herself. This book is pretty close to me and I wanted it to be in my own voice so that I can give it the emotion that I think it deserves.

The release date is temporarily set for May 1st.

That way, I can get it out and ready for the next graduating class to give it a listen.

Click here to get the print copy today!

Growth Podcast You Need to Listen to: Entreleadership

Hey all, happy Friday!

When I drive my 45 minutes to work everyday, I like to take advantage of what renowned author and speaker Zig Ziglar called “Automobile University.” Sure, music is great. However, I have so much time in the car that I want to use it to learn something. Otherwise, I might just ironically listen to Rodney Atkins’ “Take a Back Road” again while driving the highway.

Entreleadership is one of the many podcasts I listen to every week. I recommend it for you as well!

It’s a podcast for those who are entrepreneurs and seek to grow in their leadership skills. It covers topics of personal and business growth, leadership, and money. Every week there is an interview with a professional in any number of business fields.

There is a book called Entreleadership as well which I have read. Both the book and the podcast come highly recommended from me if you are interested in helping yourself grow in 2019!

If you want a good app to listen to audio books on, check out this blog post.

Till next time!