Last year, I read almost all of the books I read early in the year when I was unemployed. By the end of the year, I was finding it a bit difficult to read as much as I wanted - so this year, I full embraced audiobooks, which have helped me to read more despite the fact that I actually have less time than I did last year.
I spent most of 2019 as Sparrow’s only sales person, and even now as the year comes to a close, I’d say that sales is still probably at least 60% of my job. These are some of the books that I’ve read this year.
Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount
To continuously close sales, you need to continuously keep the top of your sales funnel full. This was a great compilation of concrete suggestions to make it happen. I highly recommend this book to anyone getting started in sales.
Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss
This was a really nice compilations of tips to better understand the situation you are walking into and therefore, negotiate more effectively.
Flip the Script by Oren Klaff
It’s easier to talk to people when they see you as an expert in their field. This book shares a general framework to make people feel like you are one of them.
The Like Switch by Jack Schafer
It’s easier to get people to talk to you when they like and trust you. This book shares some concrete tips to make this happen.
Monetizing Innovation by Madhavan Ramanujam & Georg Tacke
I read this at someone’s suggestion. I’d say that it is a good book, but it is written for someone who is still in the very early stages of determining pricing and product market fit.
The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhuo
I really liked this book, because it is written by someone who became a manager early in their career, and thus, had to deal with a whole host of extra issues due to inexperience. It was really a nice balance of storytelling and advice.
Atomic Habits by James Clear
This was a really nice book that suggested concrete ways to form habits.
High Growth Handbook by Elad Gil
This is a really nice step-by-step of things to think about as a company is scaling. That said, I think it is best read as a hardcopy that you keep on a shelf and use as a reference manual. Listening to it as an audiobook at 1.5x speed was a bit brutal and not the best for retention.
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
While this is not explicitly about scaling a company, I found that reading it while we were trying to scale was helpful to get me to trust my gut feelings a little bit more, which enabled me to make decisions faster.
When I read most leadership books, they are written about (and for) men, so I’m always on the look out for books about powerful women. These were all great, but I especially enjoyed Becoming and Black Fortunes.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
The Hungry Ocean by Linda Greenlaw
Black Fortunes by Shomari Wills
This year, I joined a book club, which got me to read all sorts of books that I normally would not read. I usually read exclusively non-fiction. But most of these were really thought-provoking books that I think expanded the way that I think and approach problems.
The 5th Season by N.K. Jemisin
Passing by Nella Larsen
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas
How To Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings by Sarah Cooper
How To Be An Antiracist by Ibrahim X. Kendi
Ghettoside by Jill LeovyWritten on August 16th, 2020 by Deborah Hanus