April 2014 Reading List

1. Darth Plagueis

This was actually finished March 31, but I already had the March post written, so I let it bump over to April.

Darth Plagueis takes places starting a while before Star Wars Episode I and finishes as Palpatine is elected Supreme Chancellor of the senate. We get to see Palpatine’s master and how he is shaped by the force.

I think it’s a great book and it was my 2nd time reading it.

2. Bird by Bird

This was my first listen of April, and it was funny. It’s all about writing fiction well, but has a number of principles that transfer to freelancers.

Just like the title says (when writing a report on birds of your state) take projects bird by bird. Take one step and then the next to get it done.

Don’t look at the whole thing, create a list of tasks that you can truly fit in your brain and then just do one after the other.

I’ve added this to my Kindle wishlist for the future so I can dig in again and take notes.

3 Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

I’ve got 2 little girls and I want to be a good father. In fact, I don’t care one bit if someone talks about the business I run at my grave. I do, however, care that they say I was a good husband/father.

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters was the second book I listened to this month and it was great. It works to reclaim fatherhood as something that’s truly needed in a girl’s life.

I’m not sure that this is a book that you need to actually read and take notes on, but it’s certainly one that should be put on your list to listen to every few years as your daughter’s enter different stages in their life.

4 Rework

Rework is about running a business in today’s information age. I enjoyed it and think it’s a good gut check for business owners to take every few years.

I wrote a longer review if you’re interested.

5 Don’t Let Your Business Run You

Super awesome, down to earth, book on all aspects of running your business. It’s written by real people, running a real company called LessEverything. Want some talk about rates, marketing or budgeting it’s all there.

Even better, it’s written with personality and opinion. It’s not combed over with all the emotion pulled out by some editor.

Here are a few of my favourite quotes.

Look at your work. Don’t lie to yourself. By thinking you’re better than you are, you’re only hurting your potential. If you’re happy with your work then you’ve lost your passion, and you need to find something else to do.

On copying

Most people are so afraid of failure that they don’t take leaps anymore. They look around and think, “Well, this is how other companies are doing it, so I guess we’ll copy them” – not realizing they’ve just blended themselves into to looking just like their competition.

On starting (and I’ve been there as well)

Like most companies, when LessEverything started taking clients, Allan and Steve had no money and did practically anything they could to get money flowing.

That’s it for April. On to reading in May.

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