Profitable Nomad Couple

71. Our Favorite Business and Personal Growth Books in 2023

December 13, 2023 Austin and Monica Mangelson
Profitable Nomad Couple
71. Our Favorite Business and Personal Growth Books in 2023
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Monica and I are feeling reflective this holiday season, and are sharing with you the most transformative books that have reshaped our perspective on business, personal growth, and money mindset. 

Our top business/personal development books in 2023 are:

  1. The One Thing by Gary Keller
  2. Start. by Jon Acuff
  3. Grit by Angela Duckworth
  4. Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller
  5. Happy Money by Ken Honda
  6. You're a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero
  7. The EntreSpirit by Matt Law

Listen in to hear a short synopsis of the book and why they've been so important for us!

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Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome to the profitable Nomad Couple podcast. This is a show where we share all of our secrets about building a sustainable location independent lifestyle.

Speaker 2:

We are Austin and Monica. We're a digital Nomad couple here to help you develop an entrepreneurial mindset, ignite your passions and develop a purpose-driven online business.

Speaker 1:

Get ready for weekly insights and inspiring stories to empower you to live life on your own terms.

Speaker 2:

So are you ready to unlock the Nomad mindset and embrace a life of limitless possibilities? Let's dive in. Hey everybody, as we are getting close to the end of this year, Monica and I are feeling a little bit reflective and we wanted to talk about some books that have been really impactful for us, that we've read this year. I think let me double check I think all of these all but one well, all but two I think we've read this year, but either way, these are books that in the past year have been really impactful for us in our business and in our own personal self-development. So we wanted to share with you these books, give a little bit of a synopsis of what the book is about and what our biggest takeaways have been, and hopefully inspire you to go find these books and read them yourself.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, austin and I are self-development junkies, and so we love, love, love getting book recommendations, giving book recommendations and just consuming really good content. So we are super excited to share some of our nerdiness with you today. Okay, so jumping right in to the One Thing by Gary Keller and this is actually not a book that I read. This is a book that only Austin read, so I'll let you do most of the talking.

Speaker 2:

I want to hear. I've talked to you a lot about it, so I want your insights on it first.

Speaker 1:

Actually it's been really interesting as I was reflecting back on this book. I, like I said, I haven't read it yet, but just in the conversations that we've had about it there's been a total mindset shift for me as far as what I mean. Maybe do you want to give us an option of the book first, and then I can tell you my what's changed for me.

Speaker 2:

Sure. So before I read this book, when we were earlier in our business, I would hear people all the time say things like oh, focus on what moves the needle forward, or focus on the most important things, and I always struggled to figure out what those things are. When people said focus on what moves the needle, I would ask myself what.

Speaker 2:

I don't, I don't even know. I don't know what's moving the needle forward, how do I know what's the most important, like the best use of my time? And this book helps me answer that question. This book is all about simplicity and, you know, in your search for success or creating a successful business or even a successful life, simplicity is is of utmost importance, and so if you want to be successful, don't go big, go small.

Speaker 2:

He gives us really good analogy at the beginning that he he ties throughout the whole book and he talks about the domino effect and how a domino is capable of knocking over another domino that it's like 50% larger than the first domino. So really quickly, within just a small number of dominoes, by tipping over one small domino that's like an inch high, you can end up tipping a domino that's larger than the Empire State Building and all you had to do was flick your finger and tip that first domino. And that's kind of the main thing that he's talking about is finds the most important things that have the largest effect on the rest of your life.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, as we have been talking about this book and as I've seen you start to implement these things, the biggest thing that changed in my life from you reading this book was that I am the queen of to-do lists.

Speaker 1:

I have to-do lists up the wazoo and sometimes I have to-do lists like for my to-do lists, like I'll say, okay, do this to-do list for dinner first and then do this to-do list for work, and then you know like it's.

Speaker 1:

I don't know it's bad, but since Austin read this book and we were talking about it and I really started kind of letting it sink in, I've been able to look at my to-do list and say, okay, what are the top three things that I need to get done today and nothing else matters? And by focusing on those, our business has grown a lot, because I don't spin my wheels and things that aren't gonna move the needle as much. For example, on my to-do list for a while has been refresh our website copy, which is something that, yes, needs to get done but realistically is not something that's gonna move the needle. So until it becomes one of the top three things on my list, I don't worry about it, because the things that are actually moving the needle are creating content and going out and talking to people and getting on calls with people, and that's what's moving the needle and making us money in our business.

Speaker 2:

He poses this question in the book and the question is what's the one thing that I can do now that by doing it, will make everything else either easier or unnecessary? And asking yourself that question every morning, every week, maybe multiple times throughout the day if you need to, really helps you prioritize the things that are gonna make the biggest difference. So that one question, along with all the other examples that I've got, examples and insight that he gives to that the book has been really helpful for us. Okay, should we move on to book number two?

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Okay, book number two is called Start and it has possibly the longest subtitle I've ever heard. It's called Start Punch fear in the face, escape average and do work that matters. This is by John A Kuff.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, this book was a recommendation from a fellow coach named Sammy, so shout out to Sammy for recommending this to us. This book is super casual, super direct and really funny. It's super easy to read, it's so digestible and makes everything just seem so simple. And so the the point of this book is he talks about how getting started is often the hardest part about doing anything, and fear is what stops us from doing that, because we don't know what the outcome is gonna be. So he gives great insights into how to conquer that fear to get started.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, he also provides a roadmap for us of the five stages to success, or the five stages of success. They are in order learning, editing, mastering, harvesting and guiding. He goes into detail on each of those. That's just a big picture overview but, like Monica said, really funny book, really easy to listen to and, honestly, is really motivating. He has a lot of really good personal stories and anecdotes to illustrate and highlight his points and it's just a really fun, easy read but also has a lot of powerful takeaways.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, one of my biggest takeaways from this book was in those five stages learning, editing, mastering, harvesting and guiding and he talks about how each of those stages used to line up with decades and so, like, in your 20s you were learning, in your 30s you were editing, in your 40s you were mastering, in your 50s you were harvesting, in your 60s you were guiding. But he talked about how that has been condensed and how we can condense that to really start harvesting and enjoying a fulfilling life way sooner than what the typical quote, unquote, typical life path teaches you that you should be able to harvest and then turn around and guide other people. So that was really, really encouraging to hear.

Speaker 2:

And he gives really practical actions that you can do, things that you can do to move through these stages a lot faster. So great. Read the next one on our book. This is a super popular one. There's a good chance you've heard of it already. It's called Grit the power of passion and perseverance.

Speaker 2:

This is by Angela Duckworth. This one's different from the previous book in the sense that the last book is a lot more about John's kind of personal insights, his personal experiences with it. Not that it's any less good, but grit is very founded in research and studies and a lot of research that Angela Duckworth herself has done, or a lot of research studies that she cites from other psychologists and other people. So it's very well researched, very well put together. And the whole point of this book is how can we be gritty? I mean, how can we have more stick to it? And she talks about how grit is a lot more important than just natural born talent. And luckily grit is something that can be learned. It's going to take a lot of deliberate practice to learn, but you can learn it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think so many times we kind of look at people and we're like, wow, they're just naturally gifted and then we use that as an excuse not to try for ourselves. I really appreciated this book and this perspective of like grit is way more important than natural talent and it's something that you can develop. So it really puts the responsibility back on us to start chasing our dreams, to start actively working towards things that we want to become, instead of just saying, oh, wouldn't it be nice if? So, yeah, it was really good, I think. Going into this book, I was a little bit skeptical, I guess, because I've heard a lot about it. I've heard a lot of people talking about it, so I was like, oh, I'm not really going to get anything from this book because I probably have already heard all the things that are in this book. But that was absolutely false. Angela is a fantastic writer. It was super entertaining and fun to read and I also learned so, so so much from this book.

Speaker 2:

This was a good enough book. We were walking around the college campus a few months ago and there was a course that taught I don't remember what the course was, but one of the books for this class was this book and they I don't know if they changed the course or they were just outdated and they had a huge pile of these books that they were selling for $1 each, and Monica and I, if we weren't traveling, we would have just bought dozens of them to give out to people for Christmas gifts or birthday gifts, because it's that good of a book.

Speaker 1:

Actually, we ended up buying one for ourselves, which is really rare. We don't buy a lot of books because we are traveling, but it was not good of a book that we couldn't pass up on a $1 deal.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and at the beginning of the book she has a grit scale where you can evaluate how gritty you are and then throughout the book you'll go through different exercises and evaluations and practices to help increase your grit and then you can go through that extra or the grit scale again and kind of reevaluate where you are, and it's something you can do multiple times throughout the year and throughout your life.

Speaker 1:

Okay. So the next book is building a story brand Clarify your Message so Customers Will Listen, by Donald Miller, and this book offers you a framework to create a compelling story for your business and brand, and he uses a lot of movie psychology and then takes what he learned from the movie industry and brings it into marketing so that you can be good at your messaging and your marketing, and I absolutely love this book. This is the first book that really got me excited about marketing. It was so easy to understand, it was so relatable and it felt good in marketing. It didn't feel pushy, it didn't feel selzy, but at the same time it was very service-oriented, very sales-forward messaging.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, actually, if you go back a couple episodes, we just released an episode all about selling and how to have a better perspective towards selling and feel more comfortable with it. This book was pivotal in that transformation, in our own paradigm shift to having a better relationship with selling, and that's because, before this book, monica and I, in our marketing and our messaging, we would always position ourselves as the solution to people's problems and we're the hero of the story. One of the big takeaways that Donald Miller presents in this book is to make your client the hero of their story and you, as the business, you are the guide or you're just helping them get from where they want to go, or from where they are to where they want to go. It shifted our focus towards the transformation that our clients have and that made a really big difference in how we approached marketing and also how we approached selling.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, this book completely changed our business, not only from the internal marketing selling side, but also from the external output that we were giving to our web design clients. We became infinitely better web designers from reading this book. We actually attended a conference from him and had a coaching session through one of his trained coaches as well, to really help clarify our messaging and help us get clear on how we can help our clients. This book absolutely, absolutely worth the read.

Speaker 2:

Okay, up next is actually we have two money mindset books that have really been impactful for us. The first one is called Happy Money. It's the Japanese art of making peace with your money, by Ken Honda. This one was really good. It's all about how money can either be happy or unhappy. The difference between happy and unhappy money is energy, the energy that we put into it, the energy that surrounds our relationship with that money.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, this one really made me stop and think about how I am feeling every time I spend money or every time I receive money, and it really was really good at helping us understand that money needs to be flowing in and out constantly and it's kind of what was the example they use? Oh, breath. It's kind of like breath If you breathe in and hold it, then you're going to pass out, right. So if you're breathing in money, if you're taking it money and just holding it and kind of stockpiling it, it's going to get stale, it's going to not be great for life. It needs to come in and it needs to come out naturally and flow, and it's always going to come back tenfold when you're spending it with this positive energy of being confident, it's going to come back to you.

Speaker 2:

One really big takeaway for me was this chapter where he talks about having money IQ versus EQ. So money IQ is things like it's more the masculine energy of it. It's all about how to make money when you think of stocks and you think of accounting, and that's money IQ. Money EQ is more about the feminine energy of what's your relationship with money, how do you interact with it, what's your relationship with other people when money is involved, and how can you improve that, and so that was a really, really good chapter. A lot of big takeaways there for me. And then he talks about addressing your past, and how we view and feel about money today is heavily influenced by our past and previous experiences that we've had with money, and in order to improve your relationship now with money, you need to address those things in your past.

Speaker 1:

Okay. The next one is You're a Bad Ass at Making Money by Jen Sincero, and I literally read this book three times this year. It was so, so, so good, and essentially the idea is to help you heal your money mindset, to stop making excuses, to get over your bad relationship with money and to really start to internalize that money is an evil and it's okay to love and want money and this is a deep-seated belief that so many of us had that I mean, how often have you heard the phrase money is the root of all evil or things like that, and we blame money for all the bad things in the world? But the thing is that money doesn't make people bad. People make themselves bad and money just happens to be there.

Speaker 1:

And so this book absolutely turned around my mindset, my everything regarding money, and she gives so many practical exercises throughout this book to really help you dig deep into these deep-rooted beliefs that you have about money and then to turn them around. So one of the most impactful ones was to write a letter to money as if it were a person, and that was so interesting to to start to get all these feelings out that I had towards money, things like I kind of wrote a letter and it kind of seemed like a desperate lover right, like I was like I'm so happy you're here, please don't ever leave. I hate it when you leave, like I'll have a place for you all. But you know like it was so desperate sounding instead of just trusting that it it's gonna come back.

Speaker 2:

One of the other exercises that was really impactful for me was to get really specific about my money goals. For example, how much money exactly do I want to make per month, per year, and even more than that, what am I gonna spend that money on? And to write out everything I wanted to do with my money, the things I was gonna buy, the experiences I want to have, the things I was gonna buy for people, gifts I wanted to get you know, places I wanted to go, and writing through all of that was really helpful to see the good things that money can do and not just the bad things that it causes, but what positive things can be put out into the world because of the money that I could have.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it really. It really taught us to love and appreciate money and all of the amazing experiences that it allows us to have and the relationships that allows us to build, because we're no longer worried about the basics. You know, I've said this about every book it's such a good read, you have to read it. Obviously, you have to read it. That's why it's on the list. But if I had to recommend one book for me, it would be this one. This book changed my life.

Speaker 2:

Okay, and last but not least, the last book we want to talk about is called the Entrez Spirit the DNA of Self-starters and People who Get Things Done and this is by Matt Law. One of my favorite things about this book is it's an allegory. You read the book and it's just a story. There's a main character and there's a plot line and he he goes through these different adventures and meets different people. So it's not like your typical self-help book where it's just you know tips and action things and takeaways. But there's a story to this which makes the book really entertaining, makes it really fun to read. But woven throughout the entire story, from beginning to end, there's so many key takeaways. There's so many lessons to be learned.

Speaker 2:

The biggest one for me was about perseverance. The main character in this story lost his business, had a family relationship, you know, a relationship with his wife that was not doing super great at the time. He had lost millions and millions of dollars and he was just really, really struggling. By the end of the story he's picked himself back up and he's back up on his feet and he's trying again and he's, even though he had this really big setback, he's putting himself back out there and he's trying again. And so this lesson of perseverance and continuing after you've had failures but not just continuing after the failure, but learning from the failures and using them to fuel your efforts in the future that was probably the biggest takeaway for me from this book.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, one of the big themes in this book is that people with this entree spirit, people who are entrepreneurial or want to be, have five characteristics right, and the acronym spells out moves so, mission overcoming, vision, education and satisfaction. And the cool thing about this book is it kind of broke down each one for you so that you were able to see okay, like I am really lacking in vision, and it kind of gave you a good outlook of of how you can start to improve the vision through this main character who was also improving his vision.

Speaker 2:

So those are our books. If there's a book that you have read that's been really impactful for you, we really want to know about it, because Monica and I love reading these types of books. If you haven't heard of or read one of the books that we just talked about, go to your library or go find that audio book and read it. I promise you won't regret it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and if this is something that this is a conversation you really enjoyed, you need to get into our Facebook group, because we are hosting events really similar to this. We are hosting podcast book clubs where we we break apart podcasts together, we talk about how they improve. We are creating a community centered around self-development, building a business, becoming a digital nomad, and it is absolutely fantastic. We have a fantastic group of people in there and you need to be joining us.

Speaker 2:

Thanks so much for joining us here on the profitable nomad couple podcast. We appreciate you listening to us today.

Speaker 1:

If you enjoyed this episode, share it on Instagram and be sure to tag us. At Austin and Monica, together, we can inspire others to embrace a location independent lifestyle.

Speaker 2:

And while you're there, we'd love to connect with you, so make sure you follow us for more tips and inspiration on living your dream location independent lifestyle.

Speaker 1:

Until next week. Remember that you have the power to shape your own path. So stay curious, stay adventures and stay connected.

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