The book I’m reading now: How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This is a book that I wanted to read a long time ago and since it’s been recommended to me by so many people lately, it intrigued me to the point of actually reading it at last. Apparently, there are these principles that, when correctly followed, will make people like you:

  1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
  2. Smile.
  3. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
  6. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

Although I’ve applied some of the above principles myself, mostly without even noticing, I’m not always in the “making people to like me” mood. On top of that, in the last few year, I have developed an internal filter (like a defense mechanism) that tells me what kind of people I want to attract into liking me and vice versa. I’m not proud of it, but I’m not making a secret out of it either: it works by simply being honest and open and this is not really the recipe for being people’s choice :)

Just recently I came across a sales person that tried to apply the above principle on me and it made me so furious cause I could tell she’s just faking it. It was so transparent and it hurt me seeing her struggle like that. I prefer to be the recipient of a natural interaction and base my buying decision on something that has substance rather than on an overdone smile. I don’t like kiss-asses. Period.

However, How to Win Friends & Influence People is not just about these 6 principles. Because human interaction is more complex than that, it continues with chapters on:

  • The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it
  • Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong”
  • If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically

and many others.

Read it and it will surely trigger an introspect that will hopefully lead to a better you.

The book I’m reading now: Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo

I’m reading a book every 2-3 weeks and I thought of sharing that with any that might be interested. I’ve started reading Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds a couple of days ago and without being so much of a TED material myself, I have to say that I understood what makes a TED talk stand out, at least in theory:

  1. Unleash the Master Within
  2. Master the Art of Storytelling
  3. Have a Conversation
  4. Teach Me Something New
  5. Deliver Jaw-Dropping Moments
  6. Lighten Up
  7. Stick to the 18-Minute Rule
  8. Paint a Mental Picture with Multisensory Experiences
  9. Stay in Your Lane

That’s it, 9 rules to follow and I will become TED material :) Read it and you’ll become one too.

Winning without losing

I always evaluate a book based on what stuck with me after reading it.  At first, I didn’t think “Winning without losingwould be the type of book that could have an impact on my life. Boy, was I wrong!

I met Martin Bjergegaard during the Startupbootcamp-Copenhagen program back in 2010. He is a Rainmaking associate and acted as one of our mentors at Startupbootcamp.  He gave a speech about achieving balance in life, practicing Yoga and what it truly means to be happy, which got me thinking that maybe this guy was too soft :). The only thing that stuck with me was: “At Rainmaking, we don’t deal with assholes!”, which was kind of a side note of something that he said, not actually related to the subject of his talk.

It got me thinking because (and I’m sorry to say this), dealing with assholes is what we were trained to do. By “dealing” I mean keeping our guard up and trying to make things work even though our gut feeling tells us it is not worth it. This was a remnant from a time when we were either too inexperienced or too nice to say NO, when there weren’t that many good people around or we were having difficulties spotting them.

Martin’s statement changed the way I deal with people ever since: I have started to develop an asshole filter, which I refined over time and morphed it into one of my most trusted senses. This helped us sanitize our business and was one of the best things that ever happened to us :)

That being said, Martin’s side note preceded the impact that his book would have on me.

I got my hands on the book while I was in Dublin, at the Startupbootcamp Alumni Day, back in May.  I read it all in one big gulp, absorbing the contents of each and every page and feeling sad that it it’s only about 300 pages long.

Winning without losing

 Winning without losing by Martin Bjergegaard and Jordan Milne comprises a set of 66 strategies for succeeding in business while living a happy and balanced life. Even thought it sounds utopian, after reading it I couldn’t stop recommending it to friends around me.

It’s the type of book that simply touches you at the most deeper level: I can definitely guarantee that at least one of those 66 strategies would relate to your case.  Just start with the first one :)

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