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These 20 Books Are Game Changers, Read Them Before You Turn 30

These 20 Books Are Game Changers, Read Them Before You Turn 30

Books offer wisdom that we ourselves might need years to figure out. Between 20 and 30, we all would undergo lots of struggles and have lots of doubts. Below are 20 books that can make your way much clearer, promising and easier.

Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job – Jon Acuff

quitter

    Through wit and experience, Jon Acuff takes us through a journey from dispising your current job to getting your dream job. Acuff shows us the way by making sure we don’t quit too soon or too late.

    This is a fun and very helpful read for those who want to make the jump and make their dreams a reality.

    The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg

    ThePowerofHabit

      Through the use scientific studies, author Charles Duhigg shares his labor of love by breaking down how habits are created and how we fail to stop them in life and in business.

      This is an excellent read for anyone looking to break bad habits and start new ones that lead to success.

      Total Money Makeover – Dave Ramsey

      money

        For over 20 years, personal finance coach and radio personality Dave Ramsey has brought his no nonsense advice to a very easy to follow how-to guide. His baby steps from establishing an emergency fund to living on cash are priceless.

        I highly recommend this book, as my wife and I have used it to great success in our finances.

        Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life – Henry Cloud and John Townsend

        Boundaries

          Having problems with people who keep stumbling into what you feel is your personal boundary? Whether you are looking for help emotionally, physically, or mentally, Boundaries is the book you want to read.

          Authors Henry Cloud and John Townsend give you the blueprint for setting clear boundaries in any facet of your life.

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          The $100 Startup – Chris Guillebeau

          100Startup

            Much like Tim Ferriss, Chris Guellebeau is a world traveling writer. In The $100 Startup, the author cites example after example of people who start businesses with very little money and make their businesses much larger.

            This book offers great inspiration for those who want to start a side business.

            Do The Work – Steven Pressfield

            do the work

              Known best for his fiction writing (The Legend of Bagger Vance) and his first book on work, The War of Art, Pressfield helps guide us through what it takes to get through any project we might be working on. A short and easy read, Do The Work is simple, yet very inspirational for those who long to do something outside of their own comfort zone.

              Pressfield writes:

              “The opposite of fear is love – love of the challenge, love of the work, the pure joyous passion to take a shot at our dream and see if we can pull it off.”

              The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success – Andy Andrews

              travel

                After being rejected by over 50 publishers, Andy Andrews finally published this book in 2005. Written as a fictional, but motivational, historical book, the story follows 46 year old David, who after losing his job is involved in a nasty car accident. While out cold in the hospital, David is transported back in time and meets Lincoln, Truman, and 5 other great historical leaders. He learns wisdom from them in their toughest hours.

                Andrews writes:

                “Those who are critical of my goals and dreams simply do not understand the higher purpose to which I have been called.”

                Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – Daniel Pink

                drive_book_page

                  Daniel Pink shows us that science and business are in very different realms in the 21st century. Science shows us that we are moving beyond the carrot and stick style of management (Motivation 2.0) to a self-motivated autonomy where employees are working with purpose, mastery, and in a state of flow (Motivation 3.0).

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                  This book is great help for those of us trying to understand our purpose.

                  Essentialism – Greg McKeown

                  essentialism

                    Less is more. That’s it. One great method Greg McKeown uses is a filter for choosing what to do in our lives. If the choice you need to make isn’t a 9 or 10 (10 being something you have to do), then don’t do it.

                    I highly recommend this book for pairing down your life and making a systematic discipline in whatever you do.

                    48 Days to the Work You Love – Dan Miller

                    48DaysBook

                      Career coach and author Dan Miller is a firm believer in getting people to realize that we all have certain skills, abilities, and passions. This book helps us understand that the road to happiness is finding work that is gratifying and profitable. 85% of the job search is understanding yourself and the other 15% is finding work that fits you.

                      It could save you thousands of dollars in unwanted student loans by helping you find a career that fits you.

                      The 4 Hour Workweek – Tim Ferriss

                      4HourWorkWeek

                        Originally published in 2009, Tim Ferriss introduced the Lifestyle Business to the world. After having a panic attack while traveling in Spain, Ferriss maps out how to build a business that can be run from anywhere in the world. In addition, he shows how to live very well in cities around the world.

                        While I would not suggest what Tim does is for everyone, his concepts and ideas are worth the read.

                        Blue Like Jazz – Donald Miller

                        BlueLikeJazz

                          While considered a Christian book, Donald Miller takes us on his unsuspecting journey to find his faith in Christ. As a college student in his late teens and early twenties, Miller takes us on his interesting ride of finding his faith in a city (Portland) not known for its religious fervor.

                          Donald’s conversational style of writing makes this an enjoyable read for anyone looking to understand their own faith walk.

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                          How to Win Friends and Influence People –  Dale Carnegie

                          HowToWinFriends

                            This classic self-help book has been around since the 1930s. Based upon what Carnegie learned from interviews with the business giants of the day (including Andrew Carnegie and Thomas Edison), the author lays out ways to maximize your potential through understanding how to interact with others.

                            This book is still relevant today as it was 70 plus years ago.

                            The Energy Bus – Jon Gordon

                            TheEnergyBus

                              Written in a inspirational fictional format, this fascinating book follows the hard luck times of a marketing team leader who is on the brink of losing his job. Forced to ride the Energy Bus because his car needs a lengthy repair, our protagonist learns the 10 rules of injecting fun and positive energy into his work and family life.

                              This is a quick and powerful book for anyone looking to turn their situation into a positive one.

                              Man’s Search for Meaning – Victor Frankl

                              MansSearchForMeaning

                                After surviving four Nazi death camps and watching much of his family die, Frankl became a psychiatrist. Countering Freud’s contention that man’s sole desire is finding pleasure, Frankl contends that what really drives men is their pursuit for meaning in their lives.

                                While rather deep at times, Man’s Search for Meaning is a must-read.

                                The Greatest Salesman in the World – Og Mandino

                                TheGreatestSalesmanintheworld

                                  Don’t let the title scare you. This book, while having some relation to sales and salesmanship, is more about living a life of servant leadership.

                                  The Greatest Salesman is a quick read but leaves you feeling inspired.

                                  Confessions of a Terrible Husband: Lessons Learned From a Lumpy Couch – Nick Pavlidis

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                                  ConfessionsofaTerribleHusband

                                    While not every 20-something will think of being a husband, Nick Pavlidis takes us through his journey from being a self-absorbed jerk to a loving husband.

                                    Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain

                                    Quiet

                                      Here’s a must-read for anyone looking to understand why they feel exhausted when they’re done talking to a group of people. Through psychology and neuroscience research, Susan Cain does a brilliant job of explaining how one third of us (introverts) cope with the rest of the extroverted population.

                                      The Bible

                                      TheNIVBible

                                        Do you know the one subject that the Bible mentions more times than any other? Money. That’s right – money. You don’t need to be a devout Christian to read the Bible. Take a year and breakdown the 66 books in the Bible. Look for the New International Version for one of the easier to read translations.

                                        You might be surprised how much our daily lives in Western culture stem from what the Bible teaches.

                                        The Obstacle is the Way – Ryan Holiday

                                        TheObstacleistheWay

                                          Through the use of stoicism, or the the ancient Greek philosophy of enduring pain or adversity with perseverance and resilience, this book shows that the way to success is through the very path that stands in the way of success. Ryan Holiday takes us through a myriad of leaders who have used stoicism to overcome any obstacle.

                                          This is a delightful read for anyone stuck on a project in need of help.

                                          Conclusion

                                          If you read more than one book per year, you are way ahead of the crowd. Take the time to read one or any of these great books. Then apply what you learn. You will grow immensely from it.

                                          If there are any other books I missed, let me know. Please share and leave a comment.

                                          Featured photo credit: Victor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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                                          Published on September 23, 2020

                                          6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

                                          6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

                                          I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

                                          If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

                                          What is Negotiation?

                                          First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

                                          Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

                                          In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

                                          Places We Negotiate

                                          I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

                                          1. Work/Business

                                          This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

                                          When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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                                          In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

                                          Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

                                          2. Personal

                                          I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

                                          I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

                                          Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

                                          3. Ourselves

                                          You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

                                          I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

                                          Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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                                          Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

                                          Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

                                          We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

                                          My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

                                          If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

                                          As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

                                          6 Negotiation Skills to Master

                                          Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

                                          Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

                                          1. Preparation

                                          Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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                                          It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

                                          For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

                                          After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

                                          2. Clear Communication

                                          The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

                                          If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

                                          3. Active Listening

                                          Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

                                          If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

                                          4. Teamwork and Collaboration

                                          To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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                                          If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

                                          When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

                                          5. Problem Solving

                                          Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

                                          Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

                                          From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

                                          There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

                                          6. Decision-Making Ability

                                          Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

                                          Conclusion

                                          There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

                                          Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

                                          More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

                                          Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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