Great Books

I am a strong believer that if someone knows how to do something well, it makes a lot of sense to learn from them. In the past few years, I've been listening to books about famous successful people.

My goal is to soak in as much as possible from these books, hoping my mind will start putting concepts and multiple examples into success blue prints & patterns and guide me to my 50-door goal sooner rather than later.

It's also fascinating to read various life stories. When I was little, my grand mother used to tell me stories about Russian Tsars, dynasties, and adventurers of our own predecessors. I loved to listen to them. I am grateful for Audible :)

Here is the list of books I listened to with some impressions that got stuck in my mind.

NOTE: Please note that this page contains affiliate links. The good news is that if you click these links to purchase the books you'd like to read, you will pay exactly the same price as when you buy directly from Amazon. So I hope you'll find the links helpful!

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life 

by Alice Schroeder

  • Snowball effect that Warren Buffett describes at the beginning of the story resonates very well with me. I can imagine how tiny snow flakes add up to a ginormous snow ball, as long as you keep pushing your snowball down the road. Many of my friends smile when I say I make less than a hundred dollars a month from a property and such a little profit isn't worth the effort, but I do believe that these tiny cash flow streams will eventually add-up as long as I can keep adding them. Being a steady collector suits my personality.
  • Getting the "Last puff" strategy made a lot of sense to me. In fact, I now often think of my own business in terms of selling it off by pieces and assessing how much I'd be paid for the pieces. 
  • I was very impressed on how Warren Buffett negotiated his deals (without negotiating). He simply knew his price and didn't pay any more than that. One of my real estate coaches told me that the deals that you don't get are as important as the deals that you do get. As I get more and more experienced getting doors, I know that it is true that you make money when you buy.
  • I admire the life and business story, family relations and many characters in the book. I'd definitely want to re-read the book one day.

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

by  Phil Knight

  • I loved the book so much that when I finished listening, I stopped at a book store and bought a paper copy for my son. He is finishing high school this year and I wanted him to read the story of a boy and how his life turned out. I think taking chances, being adventurous and going with the flow towards your dreams is a great way of living a life fully. It does help when your family and friends support you and chip in when you start out.  It was cool & very touching at the same time to read about Phil's core team becoming millionaires the night of the IPO, after all the curve balls they've been getting along the way. 
  • It was fascinating to read about the stages of a company life, going from one person shop to a large corporation, facing numerous obstacles and loads of down-to-earth hurdles. One of the most memorable stories in my view was about tax burdens and cruel competitors' attacks that almost killed Nike. I usually assume most people are nice and won't purposely torture a business, but based on various books I read and Nike's tax episode specifically, it seems like many business people are predators by nature and would aim to kill competition. It's better to be prepared to either avoid the attacks or fight back.
  • Most of all, I loved the ending of the story. I watched the "Bucket List" soon after reading Shoe Dog. My son finished reading the book too. I am sure he had a completely different understanding, but all I know is that he enjoyed it.

The Virgin Way: Everything I Know about Leadership

By Richard Branson

  • "Screw It, let's do it." is now one of my favourite expressions and often crosses my mind when I'm about to do something new. Both my husband and I agree that most important reason people fail is because they never even start.
  • Richard Branson's book made me lough so hard that I think people in other cars thought I was completely crazy and shouldn't be driving. I retold Virgin condoms and April Fool's day alien prank stories to everyone I know. 
  • I think I'll get a printed version of the book and skim through it from time to time. It's such a happy & easy read loaded with a ton of wisdom.

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It

By Chris Voss

  • I listened to Never Split the Difference twice and took notes. 
  • This book gave me LOTS of practical advice to follow and apply right away. My first and immediate success was to negotiate a lease with a new tenant and get more than what my original asking price was. This was very exciting and unexpected based on my previous poor record of standing my ground.
  • Background stories in the book are really interesting to listen to. They  helped me realize that negotiations does make a life/death difference. I gained lots of self-confidence.  

Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader

By Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli

  • My mother-in-law had cancer and I was afraid to read Becoming Steve Jobs. I thought the book would bring back a lot of difficult memories and emotions. In opposite, the book had a healing effect on me.
  • I was inspired by Steve Job's journey to and through success. It was interesting to learn about his weaknesses, strengths and discoveries. 
  • I am even more convinced after reading this book that observing and learning from successful people around you is crucial for success. 

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

By Brad Stone

  • The Everything Store book made me a fan of Jeff Bezos.
  • I had fun learning about Jeff's methods in business, his pursuit of perfection and being the first and in many cases the only. 
  • I took away several nuggets for myself including the fact that we don't always see the mountain until we climb the hill in front of us and making one improvement at a time and eliminating errors and hiccups leads to incredible compounded results over time. 

The People's Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century

By Steven Watts

  • Henry Ford's life story is amazing. The People's Tycoon walks you through an incredible time in our history that became the beginning of the technological boom. 
  • Being a former Human Resources professional, I loved and really appreciated the way Ford created the type of workers that his business needed and all the efforts he put in into building an incredible employee factory. 
  • Being a mother, it was heartbreaking for me to read about Ford's relationship with his son. I decided to adjust some of my own behavior and will be putting in effort into being more open minded and accepting of the strengths and personalities of each of my sons. It's so hard to let them be who they are and refrain from imposing my own opinions. Especially during their teenage years!

The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

By T.J. Stiles

I'll continue adding to the list. If you come across this page and have a book or movie suggestion, please leave me a comment.