Best books for strategy and marketing - featuring April's top pick

Reading is candy for the mind, my 45+ recommendations for (audio)books

Reading is candy for the mind. Books surprise, inspire, broaden your mind, and give you that sparkling new energy.   These are my must-reads for strategy, marketing, and branding. New books are added every month; the lists are in random order, numbered for your convenience. All books are available on Kindle or Audible.


↓↑ Scroll down for why I recommend you to read these books.


Book of the month ‘Slow Productivity: The Lost Art of Accomplishment Without Burnout’ by Cal Newport

According to Carl, we achieve more by doing less. I fell in love with this philosophy, and it makes total sense. 

  1. Do fewer things.
  2. Work at a natural pace.
  3. Obsess over quality.

If you focus on one thing at a time, when you are most productive, and obsess about quality, you'll produce great work. For me, it works: doing fewer things in the early morning and only publishing what makes me tick. 

Give it a try. The audiobook can be quite a tough, monotonous listen from time to time; stick to it, and you'll not be disappointed. 


Slow Productivity by Cal Newport



Must read, my top 10 → updated every month

1. ‘Be Useful’ by Arnold Schwarzenegger [January 2024 book of the month]
2. ‘No Bullsh*t Strategy’ by Alex M H Smith [February 2024 book of the month]
3. ‘Building a StoryBrand’ by Donald Miller
4. 'Insanely Simple' by Ken Segal
5. ‘Unreasonable Hospitality’ by Will Guidara
6. ‘They Ask, You Answer’ by Marcus Sheridan
7. 'Reinventing the store', ‘Het geheim van bol.com’ by Michael Schaeffer  [December 2023 book of the month]
8. ‘Thinking Clearly’ by Rolf Dobelli
9. ‘How not to Plan: 66 ways to screw it up’ by Les Binet and Sarah Carter
10. ‘Leaders eat last’ by Simon Sinek


The classics and more amazing books to read

11. 'Think Faster, Talk Smarter' by Matt Abrahams
12. 'Measure What Matters' by John Doerr
13. ‘A Self-Help Guide for Copywriters’ by Dan Nelken
14. 'Advertising for skeptics' by Bob Hoffman
15. ‘Simply said’ by Jay Sullivan
16. 'The 5 Second Rule' by Mel Robbins
17. ‘Kitchen Confidential’ by Anthony Bourdain
18. ‘The Art of Resilience’ by Ross Edgley
19. 'Start with Why’ by Simon Sinek
20. 'How to Win Friends and Influence People' by Dale Carnegie
21. 'Get Your Sh*t Together’ by Sarah Knight
22. ‘The Copywriter's Handbook’ by Robert W. Bly
23. ‘Copywriting Secrets’ by Alan Sharpe
24. 'Chasing Excellence:' by Ben Bergeron
25. 'Make Time' by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky
26. “The ONE Thing” by Gary Kelly and Jay Papasan
27. ‘Let my people go surfing’ by Yvon Chouinard
28. 'Thrive' by Arianna Huffington
29. 'TED Talks Storytelling' by Akash Karia
30. Good Strategy, bad strategy' by Richard P. Rumelt
31. 'Everybody writes' by Ann Handley
32. 'Epic Content Marketing' by Joe Pulizzi
33. 'If I Could Tell You Just One Thing' by Richard Reed
34. 'Daily Reflections for Highly Effective People' by Stephen R. Covey
35. ‘Don't Sweat the Small Stuff' by Richard Carlson
36. 'The Ideal Team Player' by Patrick M. Lencioni
37. 'The Infinite Game' by Simon Sinek
38. 'Atomic Habits' by James Clear
39. 'Mindset:' by Carol S. Dweck
40. 'Make Your Idea Matter' by Bernadette Jiwa
41. 'Je kunt het maar één keer doen' by Barbara van Beukering
42. ‘The story of Lululemon' by Chip Wilson
43. 'Leading the Starbucks Way,' by Joseph A. Michelli
44. ‘Girl, Wash Your Face’ by Rachel Hollis 
45. 'Living with a SEAL:' by Jesse Itzler
46. 'Can't Hurt Me:' by David Goggins
47. 'Life SCALE' by Brian Solis 
48. ‘Eat your Greens’ by Wiemer Snijders



1. ‘Be Useful’ by Arnold Schwarzenegger [January 2024 book of the month]

Arnold’s stratospheric success happened as part of a process. As the result of clear vision, big thinking, hard work, direct communication, resilient problem-solving, open-minded curiosity, and a commitment to giving back. All of it guided by the one lesson Arnold’s father hammered into him above all: be useful. As Arnold conquered every realm he entered, he kept his father’s adage close to his heart.’ 

‘Too many of us struggle to disconnect from our self-pity and connect to our purpose. At an early age, Arnold forged the mental tools to build the ladder out of the poverty and narrow-mindedness of his rural Austrian hometown, tools he used to add rung after rung from there. Now he shares that wisdom with all of us. As he puts it, no one is going to come rescue you—you only have yourself. The good news, it turns out, is that you are all you need.’ (Audible)


Arnold Schwarzenegger Be Useful



2. ‘No Bullsh*t Strategy’ by Alex M H Smith [February 2024 book of the month]

Mandatory reading for every marketer and (self-proclaimed) strategist. A strategy is a plan for how you get from your current status (now) to the desired status (goal). You describe how you allocate your scarce resources and budgets to reach your goal. A well-written strategy brings razor-sharp focus by making decisions on what to do and, above all, what not to do.

Alex is refreshing crystal clear about what is bullsh*t strategy and what is not. If he doesn't open your mind in the first chapter, this is not a book for you, and you'll never get it. 


no bullshit strategy Alex MH Smith



3. ‘Building a StoryBrand’ by Donald Miller

One of the best books on content and storytelling I read in recent years. Learn how to build your story with your customer in mind. Once you know this trick, you will recognize this in every great Hollywood movie. Your message will change for the better. “Building a StroyBrand” by Donald Miller

“The first campaign he released went from nine pages in the New York Times to just two words on billboards all over America: Think Different. When Apple began filtering their communication to make it simple and relevant, they actually stopped featuring computers in most of their advertising. Instead, they understood their customers were all living, breathing heroes, and they tapped into their stories. They did this by (1) identifying what their customers wanted (to be seen and heard), (2) defining their customers’ challenge (that people didn’t recognize their hidden genius), and (3) offering their customers a tool they could use to express themselves (computers and smartphones). Each of these realizations are pillars in ancient storytelling and critical for connecting with customers.”




4. 'Insanely Simple. The Obsession that drives Apple's Success' by Ken Segal

Keeping things simple and keep your focus, are two of the most underestimated success factors in business. We want everything for everybody. Almost out of a fear of missing out on customers or business. By making it over-complicated -- you achieve the opposite. Great in combination with 'Good Strategy, Bad Strategy' by Richard P. Rumelt. 

This is my go-to book for most of my clients. With my humble advice 'Better whole-ass one thing that half-ass everything'. 




5. ‘Unreasonable Hospitality’ by Will Guidara

A gem of a book. ‘It’s about how you make people feel' not only applies to the hospitality industry. Also very relevant for brands, marketers, agencies, and employers. A very nice read or listen, with great insights. 

Such as the 95-5 rule. 95% frugal and splurge insanely on the 5% in the details that matter and create an unforgettable experience. 


unreasonable hospitality



6. 'They Ask You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today's Digital Consumer Hardcover' by Marcus Sheridan 

This book is mandatory reading for everyone working in marketing and or content. The ‘They Ask, You Answer’ is the way to create content to align with your (potential) customer's needs. 

A great way to rank high in SEO and get organic traffic in. Next to that, amazing for developing always-on content to show and tell your thought leadership in your industry. 


they ask you answer



7. 'Reinventing the store', ‘Het geheim van bol.com’ by Michael Schaeffer [December 2023 book of the month]

This book is a little gem. Breaking the rules, challenging the status quo, David versus Goliath. A look behind the scenes at how bol.com succeeded and challenged Amazon. How to nail e-commerce, get inventory, and test with concepts, products, and categories. Fail fast, learn faster. All are based on data. And with real customer-centricity. 

Even though the book can also be seen as one brilliant big commercial for bol.com, I'm still inspired. 

UK version ‘Reinventing the store’ 

Dutch ‘Het geheim van bol.com’, also available as an audiobook on Podimo. My affiliate link (you get a free month and 10h audiobooks, and I get a free month)




8. ‘The Art of Thinking Clearly’ Paperback by Rolf Dobelli

It is 99 sweet and short chapters with wisdom and things you already knew yet forgot. Some common sense about confirmation bias, prejudices, and false truths. 

A dear friend recommended this book, and as soon as I started to listen on Audible, I realized I already read it on my Kindle. Hence, if I have it double, for sure, it's worth the read. Everybody can learn something from this book. 


thinking clearly rolf dobelli



9. ‘How not to Plan: 66 ways to screw it up’ by Les Binet and Sarah Carter

f*ckin' brilliant... No brainer. Just read. “Digital data is often daily of hourly, making it easier to measure short-term marketing effect. But much hard to measure long-term effects. They get lost in the noise.” “Get it right, and you can move from Big Data to Big Insights, Big brands, and Big Profits” (in the chapter 'How not to see the wood for the trees'.)

Mandatory for everyone who works in advertising, marketing and or communications: client and agency. The reviews speak for themselves.




10. ‘Leaders eat last’ by Simon Sinek

What I took away from this book and my reasons why you should read this. 

Honestly, the book was not what I expected it to be. It's not a book on ‘how-to’ leadership, it's different; pleasantly surprised by the socioeconomic background and explanations of why we need leadership. 

  1. Explanation of how we got where we are as a society. From the roaring ‘20 to the depression, to WOII, to baby-boom, to materialistic egocentric 80 into the now. Simon explains the social circumstances, technology, and innovations that caused our current egocentric, materialistic society; and how we got from a human-focused to a money-focused world, including the first mass layoffs in the 70s. Read part 4 ’How we got there'
  2. Why we have a maximum span of 150 friends or people around us. If it are more, you need a middle layer in the hierarchy at the office.  Or you need to ditch some friends ;)
  3. It's about balance. Nature and we humans, we always strive for balance. The more extreme the event, the more equally extreme the counter-reaction to create a new balance. 


Leaders eat last Simon Sinek



11. 'Think Faster, Talk Smarter' by Matt Abrahams

This book is more than about ' how to speak successfully when you're put on the spot'. I'm blown away by the simple insights, from common sense and wisdom, sanity checking the reality (and yourself), to how to calm your nerves. In the meanwhile, it's putting things in perspective and emphasizing having joy in what you do. 

It is a unique and inspiring combination of ‘How to win friends and influence people' by Dale Carnegie and the TED talks and public speaking books. If you're presenting or speaking or just want to improve your communication skills in business and personal life, read this book. 

Think Faster, Talk Smarter Matt Abrahams



12. 'Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs' by John Doerr

Mind-blowing easy to keep track of why and what you do. Measure what matters. Love this, from KPI to OKR: 'the Objective is simply what is to be achieved', Key Results' benchmark and monitor how we get to the objective. Effective KRs are specific and time-bound, aggressive yet realistic. Most of all, they are measurable and verifiable.'

A tangible example by Intel. Objective: 'Demonstrate the 8080’s superior performance as compared to the Motorola 6800.' Key Results: 1. Deliver five benchmarks. 2. Develop a demo. 3. Develop sales training materials for the field force. 4. Call on three customers to prove the material works.' (p27)





13. 'A Self-Help Guide for Copywriters: A resource for writing headlines and building creative confidence' by Dan Nelken

Another gem on copywriting. If you want to be inspired and know all the tricks for great headlines, don't look any further. 

Dan teaches you how to think in buckets, how to fill these buckets, and let your creativity flow. 

For me, the most valuable was ‘the benefit of the benefit’ to get your headline. If you think about the benefit of your product, what's the benefit of that benefit? 

  • If you buy a playhouse for your kids, the benefit is they'll have fun with it; the benefit of the benefit is that you'll have some rest when your kids are playing. 
  • If you buy a new bed for your dog, the benefit is that your dog will love it and sleep in (on?) it; the benefit of the benefit is that the hairy scruffy dog will not sleep on your bed anymore. ‘all you buy is more space in your bed’


self help guide for copywriters



14. 'Advertising for skeptics' by Bob Hoffman

"Advertising has gotten worse, not better. Rather than creating advertising that is “more relevant, more timely and more likable” we are creating advertising that is more annoying, more disliked, and more avoided."

"One study showed that of all forms of advertising, the eight types most disliked by consumers were all forms of online advertising."

For the necessary critical view on online advertising by Bob Hoffman -- Advertising For Skeptics

Must read book to broaden your horizon with a different perspective.




15. ‘Simply said’ by Jay Sullivan

I thought I knew quite some tips and tricks on presenting, writing and how to behave in meetings… this book taught me some new sh*t. Again. And again. And again. A must-read for anyone who can put their ego to the side and wants to improve their communication skills.  A few highlights on how to put and keep your audience in the first place. 

  • Persuasive format: a very simple and effective ppt template to get your audience into action within 8 slides (p28)
  • Knowledge pyramid: ‘you don’t know what you don't know' is the greatest information out there (p73). And how to get this unknown information to the table by asking closed or open questions 
  • How to tell your story and keep your audiences' attention with a graph or chart without overwhelming them: RIDE. Read the headline, Identify the graph, Define the parameters and main points, and Explain why you are showing your audience this information (p104)
  • Amazing tips for better and clearer writing
  • And much much more


simply said persuasive roadmap



16. 'The 5 Second Rule. Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage' by Mel Robbins

As soon as an idea pops up in your head, launch yourself into action before your mind takes over. 5-4-3-2-1-GO!

From experience, this really works. Just do it.


5second rule



17. ‘Kitchen Confidential' by Anthony Bourdain

Just because there's nothing wrong with a biography from such greatness that shakes up kitchen and displays the other side. With lots and lots of love for food. 

What I learned from his book… always be honest. Even if it's the ugly truth, as long as you're honest, you can always be proud and look at yourself in the mirror. 


Kitchen Confidential Audible



18. ‘The Art of Resilience: Strategies for an Unbreakable Mind and Body’ by Ross Edgley

Wow. In one word. From the stoic to the smile to get through the pain. Inspirational. And makes you stop whining and complaining. You always can do better and realize you have an unmet potential that will surprise you. 


Arr of resilience Ross Edgley 



19. 'Start with Why’ by Simon Sinek

This is a classic. ‘No brainer, just read it. Even better than his TED talk. “Is a customer who buys your product for a second time a loyal customer or just plain lazy?” and more of this ‘food for thought’. Simon Sinek is straight to the point and inspiring.

“Some in management positions operate as if they are in a tree of monkeys. The make sure that everyone at the top of the tree looking down sees only smiles. But all too often, those at the bottom looking up see only asses.” (page 113)




20. 'How to Win Friends and Influence People' by Dale Carnegie

One of the best books ever. Loved and love it. Written in 1938 and still amazingly relevant. The best-kept secret in people and expectations management. 




21. 'Get Your Sh*t Together’ by Sarah Knight

“But the mental clutter was slowly taking up residence in my brain the way my extra luggage was taking up space in my friend’s basement” (page 264)

Ever felt like being ‘stuck’ and not moving forward in work and or life? Then this is the book for you, read her hands-on tips and tricks on how to get your mental sh*t together and do get those things done. Rereading this every few months when I start procrastinating ;)




22. ‘The Copywriter's Handbook’ by Robert W. Bly.

‘A copywriter is a salesperson behind a typewriter.’ This sums up the main reason why you should read ‘The Copywriter's Handbook’ by Robert W. Bly.

What works for great headlines in content can also work for your social copy: writing to get the attention, that selects an audience, delivering a complete message, and drawing the reader into the body copy (or to click through).

‘But the goal of advertising is not to be liked, to entertain, or to win advertising awards; it is to sell products. The advertiser, if he is smart, doesn’t care whether people like his commercials or are entertained or amused by them. If they are, fine. But commercials are a means to an end, and the end is increased sales—and profits—for the advertiser. This is a simple and obvious thing, but the majority of copywriters and advertising professionals seem to ignore it.’




23. ‘Copywriting Secrets’ by Alan Sharpe

Absolutely love this. The proven copy rules: old school advertising print craft by DDB for Volkswagen, can also be applied for social, content, digital, and more these days. Please, read and learn.

"Before you can write great copy, you need to have a big idea, and before you can have a big idea, you need to have a great insight, and before you can have a great insight, you need to do lots of research." (chapter 1)

"One of your main jobs as a copywriter is to translate product features into benefits. People buy benefits, not features. Just so we’re clear: a feature is what a product does, and a benefit is what that feature does for me. How do you communicate that benefit in an original way? With a headline that states the feature and a photo that communicates the benefit." (secret 10)

Or take the video class:https://www.skillshare.com/classes/30-Copywriting-Secrets-from-the-Best-Ad-Campaign-of-All-Time/1238746914/reviews



24. ‘Chasing Excellence: A Story About Building the World’s Fittest Athletes’ by Ben Bergeron

Honestly admitting, this blew my mind and re-reading the book every few months. For inspiration, for kick-in-the-ass, for the positive vibe, and for my big smile. Every.single.f*cking.time

What do sports get to do with business? It is all about the mindset.

"...there’s an unbreakable threefold policy: Never whine. Never complain. Never make excuses. (p65)"

"The idea is to hope for the best but plan for the worst. If you are prepared for adversity, when it strikes (and it’s going to strike), you can be confident in your preparation and ability to execute, regardless of circumstance. (p86)"

"Think like a bumblebee, train like a racehorse. (p98)"

“Control the thing you can control, and ignore everything else (p139)”

L.O.V.E. "Our thoughts become our words; our words become our actions, our actions dictate our destiny" Master your mind.

Focus and kill the inner critic. You are responsible for your own happiness. "Never whine, never complain, no negativity".






25. 'Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day' by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky

How not to crush and squeeze that to-do list, but how to 'Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day' by Jake Knapp (Author), John Zeratsky (Author). Brilliant easy hack tried and proven by myself ;)

Try that daily highlight for a few days and you will be hooked and get those things finally done.

"Yes, we know this sounds obvious, but there’s a special, almost magical power to write down your plans: The things you write down are more likely to happen. If you want to make time for your Highlight, start by writing it down. (p. 43)

Read more: https://jakeknapp.com/make-time and get the first 26 pages for free on https://maketime.blog/




26. 'The ONE Thing' by Gary Kelly and Jay Papasan

Ever felt being stuck and procrastinating? Get that sh*t done by "creating your own strategy is to focus and to make a choice. You simply cannot do everything simultaneously."

"… the quality of the answer is directly determined by the quality of the question.

  • Ask the wrong question, get the wrong answer.
  • Ask the right question, get the right answer.
  • Ask the most powerful question possible, and the answer can be life alternating." (chapter 10 The Focusing Question)




27. ‘Let my people go surfing’ by Yvon Chouinard

How to apply your purpose to your brand, explained by Patagonia and do some storytelling along the way. Amazing example in the book ‘Let my people go surfing’ by Yvon Chouinard.

N=1, first part, grab a bottle of wine and just read it, the second part gets really interesting how their (initial) mission statement “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” is applied to all aspects of their business: from marketing to HR and finance.




28. ‘Thrive’ by Arianna Huffington

Redefining success and adding the third metric to 'money' and 'power'. Fell in luv with especially the first half of the book. Could feel a bit feminine for some of the men, shuffle your ego dudes and get to her point on success and how to thrive in life.

"Lacking a line of royalty in America, (..) one gains today's throne not by fortune of birth but by visible markers of success, money and power."

"... over the long term, money and power are like a two-legged stool - you can balance on them for a while, but eventually you're going to topple over.'




29. 'TED Talks Storytelling: 23 Storytelling Techniques from the Best TED Talks' by Akash Karia 

Checklist for every speaker, steal those cherries with pride to refine your own non-TED deck.

"The word “you” is regarded as one of the most powerful words in the English language. Why? Because people are interested in themselves!" (p. 47)




30. 'Good Strategy, Bad Strategy' by Richard P. Rumelt

Good strategy is creating focus and making choices.

"A good strategy does more than urge us forward toward a goal or vision. A good strategy honestly acknowledges the challenges being faced and provides an approach to overcoming them."

"The core of strategy work is always the same: discovering the critical factors in a situation and designing a way of coordinating and focusing actions to deal with those factors."




31. 'Everbody writes' by Ann Handley

Stuck in writing? or producing content? Just read this book to get started. With 11 hands-on tips and tricks. One of the very few books I have in paper and do not loan without a significant deposit ;)

“Giving your audience a gift, how can you best serve them, with a mindset of generosity?” (p29)

“Produce The Ugly First Draft: that’s basically where you show up and throw up. Write badly. Write as if never one will ever read it.” (p30)

“Start with ‘dear mom’ and keep a real person in mind. Someone you like, because you want to help this person.’ (p55)




32. 'Epic Content Marketing' by Joe Pulizzi

One of the best books on content, 7 years old and still relevant in this fast-paced industry.

'You do not lead by hitting people over the head - that's assault, not leadership' quote by Dwight D. Eisenhower (p3)

'Remember, customers don't care about you; they care about themselves and their problems. We often forget that point when we describe how wonderful our widget is (that no one cares about).' (p75)

The ***** reviews on Amazon speak for themselves.




33. 'If I Could Tell You Just One Thing…: Encounters with Remarkable People and Their Most Valuable Advice' by Richard Reed

"If I could tell you just one thing"… it is to read this book.

Great for inspiration and insights. The * reviews on Amazon speak for themselves. 




34. 'Daily Reflections for Highly Effective People: Living the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Every Day' by Stephen R. Covey

Love Stephen Coveys' daily no-brainers' advice.

"Most people say their main fault is a lack of discipline. On deeper thought, I believe that the basic problem is that their priorities have not become deeply planted in their hearts and minds. They attempt to give priority to important but not urgent activities and integrate them into their lives through self-discipline along." Long story short: it is not the lack of discipline, it is a matter of choice.




35. ‘Don't Sweat the Small Stuff' by Richard Carlson

'There are two rules for living in harmony. 1) Don’t sweat the small stuff and 2) It’s all small stuff. (p. 3)'

Great quote for that often much-needed reality check :) in ‘Don't Sweat the Small Stuff' by Richard Carlson.

'Turn Your Melodrama into a Mellow-Drama, (...) we blow things out of proportion and make a big deal out of little things. (...) When I get too worked up or start taking myself too seriously (which happens more than I like to admit), I say to myself something like, “Here I go again. My soap opera is starting.” (p. 147)'




36. 'The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues' by Patrick M. Lencioni

Not often that I am blown away by a book, inhaling the words cover to cover in less than 24h. Complicated stuff explained in a simple way. How to find the ideal team player: humble hungry and smart,




37. 'The Infinite Game' by Simon Sinek

"Do you know the game you are playing?" An infinite game with a finite mindset is to set up for failure.

"The motivation to play in an infinite game is completely different—the goal is not to win, but to keep playing. It is to advance something bigger than ourselves or our organizations. (p. 32)"

"Where a finite-minded player makes products they think they can sell to people, the infinite-minded player makes products that people want to buy. (p. 10)"

Any leader who wants to adopt an infinite mindset must follow five essential practices: Advance a Just Cause, Build Trusting Teams, Study your Worthy Rivals, Prepare for Existential Flexibility, Demonstrate the Courage to Lead (pp. 24-25)




38. 'Atomic Habits' by James Clear

How to get long term gain? In Atomic Habit James Clear explains the science of forming habits with hands-on tips and tricks. Must read!

"Small changes often appear to make no difference until you cross a critical threshold. The most powerful outcomes of any compounding process are delayed. You need to be patient."

"We are so focused on figuring out the best approach that we never get around to taking action. As Voltaire once wrote, “The best is the enemy of the good.” "We do not change by snapping our fingers and deciding to be someone entirely new. We change bit by bit, day by day, habit by habit."




39. 'Mindset: The New Psychology of Success' by Carol S. Dweck

Never stop learning. How to get a growth mindset: to learn, to thrive, to fuel yourself with feedback.

In 'Mindset' Carol Dweck explains the power of mindset. 'In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed.' 

Note: the second visual is stolen with pride from Google, not directly related to Dwecks' book. 


40. 'Make Your Idea Matter: Stand out with a better story' by Bernadette Jiwa

Great no-nonsense checklist to make your idea, brand, product or whatever you are doing, sparkle. A few quotes:

  • The story makes the product better.
  • No matter what you’re pitching, selling or talking about, talk to one person. You might want to appeal to.
  • Most companies wonder how they will get their product noticed, before thinking about why on earth it will matter to customers.
  • What makes anything you do unique is your voice. The story that only you can tell, from a perspective that nobody else can have. There is more than one way to say something important that needs to be said, and there are a million ways to bring ideas that matter to the world.
  • Unsubscribers, critics and naysayers are a gift. Say a mental thanks to them for saving you the job of working out who your right people are. Then go out and do everything in your power to woo the people who matter.
  • What you want your website to do is probably very different from what your customers want it to do. The trick (as with most elements of your business) is to build for customers and community first so you can realize the benefits later.




41. 'Je kunt het maar één keer doen' by Barbara van Beukering

A recommendation from my personal bookshelf...  'Je kunt het maar één keer doen. Een persoonlijke zoektocht naar sterven, het grootste taboe in ons leven' by Barbara van Beukering. Unfortunately at the moment only available in Dutch. I really hope it gets translated.

Without spoiling your read, this book is light-hearted, easy to read, humorous, and with some fun about death and dying. Not the heavy emotional stuff. A must-read for who is in the process of losing a loved one due to illness (my situation) or who has lost a loved one. That sums up about everybody in our society. 

'We learn to live, we forgot to learn how to die'. 


 Barbara van Beukering Je kunt het maar een keer doen



42. ‘The story of Lululemon: the stretch black pants’ by Chip Wilson

All about market insights, strategy, and marketing. Chip Wilson tells the story behind the brand and the business. Along the way, he explains how he uses trends in society and innovation to thrive in business.





43. 'Leading the Starbucks Way, 5 Principles for Connecting with Your Customers, Your Products, and Your People' by Joseph A. Michelli

Be inspired by how Starbucks grew its business. Amongst others, involving the people on the work floor in the decision-making that impacts their daily work. Light and easy to read.





44. ‘Girl, Wash Your Face’ by Rachel Hollis

Yes, it's a typical American go-get-it book. Yet, Rachel gives you the much-needed kick in the ass to start your own business and go for what you want. Inspiring and gets you started right away.

Especially if you read this in combination with ‘The 5 Second Rule’ by Mel Robbins with her ‘5-4-3-2-1-GO’ to launch yourself before your mind takes over and holds you back.


 girl wash your face 



45. 'Living with a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet' by Jesse Itzler

Dare to challenge yourself. As we all know, out of your comfort zone is where the magic happens. If you dare to push your (physical) limits, you'll grow mentally. Jesse takes you on his journey.

 Be inspired; that's all I can say. Even better if you read 'Can't hurt me' by David Goggins first.


living with a seal 



46. 'Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds' by David Goggins

It's almost scary what you can accomplish if you set your mind to it. And if you're willing to go deep. David takes you into his darkest place. Weirdly reading him suffer makes me dig deeper to achieve my own goals.


 cant hurt me 



47. ‘Life SCALE’ by Brian Solis

Just. Read: all about creativity, productivity, and getting your focus. Loved (almost) every page of "Life SCALE" by @BrianSolis.

"Being creative isn't as much a talent or gift as it is a choice."

"Without creativity, we would dwell in comfort zones, mediocrity, and complacency. Without creativity, there would be no innovation. Creativity pushes us to take risks, which can open new doors." (Chapter4 Believe)

With the personal recommendation by Brian himself 

Visit https://lifescaling.me/




48. ‘Eat your Greens’ by Wiemer Snijders

'Razor-sharp overview of the marketing myths, misconceptions, dubious metrics and tactics that bear little relation to our actual buying behavior'.

Again... absolutely love this book: crap-cutting nonsense eliminating inspiration, no-brainers, and opening doors at the same excellent level as the 'How not to plan' by Les Binet.

Cherry-pick the chapters that are relevant to you and your job, industry, or profession. To be honest and speaking for me, myself and I: not every page of this book was equally interesting ... and I skipped a few of them due to the subject or the way the chapter was written.

"First, we diagnose the situation of the brand via consumer research and understand just what is going on. Secondly, we use that diagnosis to build a clear and simple marketing strategy. Finally, with that strategy in place, we select the appropriate tactics to deliver the strategy and win the day. Strategy is a very complicated thing to work out, but should be a very simple thing to eventually explain."

"Who am I targeting? What is my position to that target? What are my strategic objectives for that target market? My current estimate is that around 20% of brands could adequately or semi-adequately pass this test, and the rest have not the faintest clue how to even approach these questions."

"Talk to agencies about the quality of the briefs they currently receive from clients, and you will get the kind of hard stare usually reserved for the most outrageous agency gossip." (all three quotes in Chapter 3 Mortification, Tactification, Communification and digitization by Mark Ritson)

Get this brilliant collection by Wiemer Snijders with great minds like Mark Ritson, Peter Field, Eaon Pritchard, Robert van Osnabruggen, Phil Barden, Bob Hoffman, Tom Goodwin, and many many more:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eat-Your-Greens-Wiemer-Snijders/dp/1789016754