The time today.
The Value in Not Finishing a Book
I didn’t actually expect to be writing this book review so quickly.
But again, like Richard Dawkins God Delusion – I stopped seeing the value in this around half-way through…
And after about another 15 minutes of sticking with it further I decided to call it a day
I’m beginning to see the value more and more of not finishing books.
I read somewhere recently about the sunk cost fallacy – that just because you’ve invested time in a book, but then suddenly it’s value drops – it doesn’t mean you should invest more time in it.
Also – I’m never going to read all the books I want to in my lifetime – it will rather be an eternal chase of reading the best books that I’ve heard recommended.
I was reflecting with Daniela yesterday how much things have changed for me.
Yesterday during lunch (bought to me via Key To Food – cooked fresh and ready) – I sat calmly and listened to a book about lessons learnt from Formula One.
It seems I don’t miss watching television and I’m curious to see this unfold and if I remain without television for a long while yet.
When coupled with me blocking all my social media news feeds and no longer watching the new...the only news sources I have are the Alexa updates, and what Daniela and my family and friends tell me.
It’s a decidedly quieter life and one that I’m beginning to enjoy more and more.
But back to the book – because I did get some value from it – and I’d like to run through some of the things I’ve learnt from reading this one and seeing if I can make some of them stick –
As I’m seeing actually – it looks like I got a LOT of value from it – and seeing this list is half making me ponder whether I should jump back in ha 😛
But let’s focus upon some of the most pertinent things I learned –
‘Never a naked thank you’ is a good one for a dinner party or any kind of party.
Adding a ‘for’ X and then saying I especially enjoy ‘Y’ is something I definitely can practice doing more.
Never make a joke at someone else’s expense ever – surprisingly perhaps – this is great advice for me. My family and I have a bad habit of making jokes at each other’s expense and I see how unbecoming this is.
It would be excellent to have the ability to laugh and make joke’s in general and at my own expense but never someone else’s.
The exclusive smile is something worth considering – and recognising that there are many kinds of smiles that you can deploy depending upon who the person is – so developing your smile ‘range’ is useful – probably specifically when you’re at a networking event.
(Indeed this is one of the criticisms of the book – that it feels specifically designed for use at American dinner parties)
Nonetheless – reflecting upon my notes – I can recognise the value from the ‘important’ notes.
Using the word you is powerful – this is a subtle but powerful shift I think that I can definitely take into my work and sales.
e.g the difference between Alex we will build 30 links a month for you Vs You’ll really like the links we’ll build for you every month.
‘Or you’ll feel much more confident with your marketing moving forward if we work together instead of I think we’ll do a really good job for you’
Starting with the word ‘you’ is much higher impact than the alternatives so this is a little shift that I definitely think can make a big difference.
As is ‘replacing your common words’ – this little hack is an excellent way to make yourself seem more intelligent. The rule is – is to pick ultimately the 50 most common words you use and then learn a couple of interesting (or even one to begin) synonyms to replace it.
The trick with sounding more intelligent and refined is to swap a word or expression you commonly use such as ‘let me think about it tonight’ into ‘let me ponder over it this evening’
Let me now think of five examples of what I mean to further demonstrate this piece of advice’s huge power:
Change ‘book a call’ to ‘setup an appointment’
Change ‘where do you want to eat?’ to ‘where would you like to dine this evening?’
Change ‘I’m working then’ to ‘I’ll be at work then’
Change ‘that was excellent’ to ‘that was sublime’
Change ‘well done’ to ‘phenomenal work today X’
When you look at some of these shifts – it’s possible to see the power the latter half reveals. I’m definitely going to seek to incorporate such shifts in my vocabulary permanently.
This is one that deserves greater depth for sure:
Now – Daniela has told me about this several times – that the way I introduce myself is pretty poor.
I’ve been accustomed to telling people I work in marketing – because I didn’t want to come across as arrogant and generally don’t like talking about myself to people I’ve just met.
However – at business networking events that’s precisely what you do – introduce what you do for a living.
This angle that Lowndes takes is pretty impressive.
Making your open a benefits statement – and thinking of how to introduce yourself in a way that’s useful and relatable to the person in front of you (and the listening audience potentially).
Imagine the difference (as is screenshotted above) between saying:
‘I run an SEO agency’ to (imagine I’m talking to a financial wealth manager) – ‘we help financial services businesses attract high net worth individuals and sometimes SMEs to make investments with them via being found at the top of Google for specific keyword searches’
The second version of that is the one that could actually land you SEO work and is a MUCH more effective way of introducing oneself.
This will be something I’ll need to come back to when I head to my next business networking event (as far and few inbetween as they are)
I’ll wrap up my learnings from this book with the other one that perhaps is perhaps more obvious to others but again is a big insight for me (because I catch myself doing this on multiple Zoom calls) –
This is one that’s again significant for me – and I like to think about Barack Obama and whenever I’d see him making a speech.
He’s poised. Perfectly still – and in full control of his body.
So ‘limiting the fidget’ is an excellent insight for a restless soul like me to focus upon seeming more poised, listening intently and in control of my body.
If i can immediately stop doing the above then I’ll definitely come across much more like a consummate professional.
That’s Lowndes finished with 🙂
Now back to Total Competition – Lessons in Strategy from Formula One 🙂