RESOURCES WE LOVE & RECOMMEND
We love to recommend our favorite books, tools, and products that have added value to our lives. If you are looking to be inspired on a topic or area we don’t cover at Inspirer, this is a great place to start!
We’ve read more books than we can count over the past several years and below are the ones that stood out, made an impact, and inspired us.
Why we love it: At Inspirer, effectual action is something we believe in, teach, and practice on a day-to-day basis. This goes against what most schools teach and is very different from the common methodology most people are familiar with (The Lean Startup). We believe this is the secret to successful entrepreneurship and and recommend it to everyone!
Marketing: A Love Story by Bernadette Jiwa
Why we love it: Bernadette helps you understand why you need to start focusing more on the story about what you are selling vs. the product of services. Stories touch people’s hearts, marketing doesn’t. Great marketing shouldn’t feel like marketing and Bernadette helps you understand how to do this beautifully. This is by far one of our favorite books on marketing!
Meaningful: The Story of Ideas that Fly by Bernadette Jiwa
Why we love it: Again, Bernadette writes a great book about marketing from a totally different perspective than most marketers. She reminds us that marketing is not about you, it’s about your customer. She includes perfect examples of businesses, both big and small, that are taking a customer-centric approach to make their businesses meaningful for every customer.
Eat More Chikin: Inspire More People by S. Truett Cathy
Why we love it: Truett is one of the most incredible entrepreneurs of our time (may he rest in peace). This is a great story about his journey and all of the ups and downs and mountains he had to climb to create Chick-fil-A. He writes about what worked, what didn’t, and all of the stories in between. It’s a great read for any business owner who wants to create something special.
The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam
Why we love it: Dan clearly understands why people tend to grasp visual ideas vs. verbal ideas and walks you through it in a way that we really enjoyed. Visuals are powerful and have higher retention rates because people can associate it with something in their minds. This book is great for anyone who wants to learn and cultivate this skills for their business.
The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur by Mike Michalowicz
Why we love it: Mike breaks down why being an entrepreneur doesn’t require the education, resources, and money that most people think is required in a comical and entertaining way. We are entrepreneurs and we understand this SO well, so it’s a great read for entrepreneurs and for people who haven’t started a business yet.
The End of Jobs by Taylor Pearson
Why we love it: ,Taylor talks about how with technology our world is changing, and if you don’t adapt you will be forever trapped.This is a fascinating read because we believe this is a reality that we are going to experience sooner than later. Entrepreneurship is a less risky path to take than getting a job these days and Taylor elegantly breaks down why.
Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday
Why we love it: Ryan walks you through many examples as he paints the picture for you about why growth hacking works and what companies have done to be successful with their growth hacking efforts. Gone are the days of print advertising and media buys. If you are going to play in the market today as a business owner, this is a great book to read.
Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko
Why we love it: Michael truly has written a valuable handbook for creative thinking, and we are very critical on this topic since that is what we do best! But we think Michael breaks down creative thinking for his reader’s in a unique way that helps with both the intuitive aspects and the linear. It covers great examples and will help you change the way you think.
Visual Meetings by David Sibbet
Why we love it: we are a big fan of visuals and this is a great book for people who want to learn how to implement using visuals within their companies, both virtually and in person. David, naturally, uses excellent visuals throughout the book and helps you understand ways that you can do this effectively and creatively.
Creative Thinkering by Michael Michalko
Why we love it: Michael creatively shows how natural creativity is limited by the prejudices of logic and the structures of accepted categories and concepts. He walks you through real-world examples to help you expand your imaginations by learning to synthesize dissimilar subjects, think paradoxically, and enlist the help of the subconscious mind. Such a great read!
The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
Why we love it: Chris focuses on the 50 most intriguing case studies from people who took a $100 or less investment and turned it into income. In nearly all cases, people with no special skills discovered aspects of their personal passions that could be monetized, and were able to restructure their lives in ways that gave them greater freedom and fulfillment.
Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
Why we love it: Austin writes in a way that, to us, came across as very real and raw. A lot of people make things seem so much more complex than they really are and that is why this book is so awesome. It’s brilliantly simple. Most people need to be creative in one way or another and this book is a great way to learn the quick and dirty secrets, fast.
Talent Is Overrated by Geoff Colvin
Why we love it: we agree with this book 100%. It’s based on the premise that you don’t have to be talented to be great at something, you have to deliberately and relentlessly practice the craft in order to excel. We have done this so many times with the things we were passionate about doing and Geoff eloquently describes this to his reader’s.
Your First 1000 Copies by Tim Grahl
Why we love it: writing a book is hard, marketing a book is harder. We picked up this book when Inspirer founder, Mike, decided to write his book (which will be released mid-2017) because we understand that marketing is an uphill battle that needs to begin before the book is written. This was a great book to inspire us to action and get started on smart book marketing early.
WELLNESS BOOKS & PRODUCTS:
We know that one of the keys to success is linked to our wellbeing. Our professional lives can be stressful, all-consuming, and tiring, but we take wellness and health seriously and make time for it. These our our top recommendations for those who want to do the same.
Your New Prime by Craig Cooper
Why we love it: Craig wrote this book to speak directly to men who are 40 years or older, and Inspirer founder, Mike, who fits this demographic perfectly, read it and gained a new perspective on health. What is interesting is that Inspirer founder, Nina, read it as well because she wanted to understand how she could help Mike, and she loved it too!
Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson
Why we love it: Inspirer founder, Nina, battled insomnia for eight years, so she picked up this book after listening to Shawn’s podcast. This book helped her cure her insomnia. Nina has been insomnia free since May 2016. Shawn’s book is so valuable for those who have insomnia or for anyone who needs a better night sleep. It’s smart, scientific, and a clear winner.
The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss
Why we love it: For those who don’t know, Inspirer founder, Mike, ran the hardest foot race on the planet. It’s a 156 miles, self supported, across the driest place on earth. This is the diet he followed to prepare for the race, and it works. Not only did it help Mike get healthy, it helped him become stronger and faster. Mike finished the race and this book was a big reason why.
Why we love it: at the end of a long day, especially after we’ve been sitting at our desks for a long time, this is the best way we have found to relieve the pressure and tension that builds up in our bodies. This takes a few days to get used to but after you understand the benefits, it’s something you won’t be able to live without!
Himalayan Salt Lamp
Why we love it: these lamps are made with Himalayan salt and known to release negative ions into the air that are produced from electronic devices like computers, and create an effect similar to an ionizer, purifying the surrounding air. We love these lamps, especially when we are working late, it’s the perfect color light and if it does what it says, even better!
Vega One – Nutritional Shake – French Vanilla
Why we love it: this is not only a super healthy plant based protein powder that is made with superfoods and all kinds of other goodies, it’s the only one we have found that is super delicious too! We drink this by itself with only water and we also mix this in with frozen fruits and veggies to make a awesome shake. This is a great way to stay healthy!
SELF IMPROVEMENT & EDUCATION:
We never stop learning, growing, and improving our lives. We have listened to a podcasts, taken courses, and have bought tons of products to help do this successfully. These are the tools and programs that we have used that actually work. Notice there are not too many… we mostly learn from doing! But these are actually great and we hope you find them valuable too!
The Daily Greatness Journals – Use this special link to get 5% off!
Why we love it: there is something about journaling that just works! Inspirer founder, Nina, was looking for a journal to guide her through her days purposefully. This was a unique journal that she could not find in stores. She decided to give it a try and she loves it! There are many different types of journals that this brand sells so check them out to see which is right for you.
The Model Health Show Podcast by Shawn Stevenson
Why we love it: We love Shawn’s podcast as much of his book! This is one of the best podcasts we’ve listened to and one of the only podcasts we listen to consistently. Shawn and his co-host Jade talk about how to live a healthy life and the science behind it all. They bring on great guest experts and speak from experience. This is a great podcast for the gym or your commute!
Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn
Why we love it: Pat posts his income on his website and he is making, on average, over $150K/month. He knows how to make money online! We first got turned on to Pat through his podcast, Smart Passive Income (he has tons of other resources as well) where he brings on guests to break down strategies on how to make money online.
Living The Remote Dream by Darren Murph
Why we love it: We have the dream of living remotely, and we get closer to doing it everyday, and this book is one of the reasons why. Even if just for a period of time we think it would be so much fun to live like this! We will keep you posted if we work up the courage to actually do it! In the meantime read this if you are interested in the same.
Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins
Why we love it: okay, we admit it, we are Tony fans! He is one of the great motivational speaks, after all. And his personal brand is by far one of the best in the world! He is inspiring, motivating, and he knows his stuff… so we recommend this book for anyone who needs a burst of motivation in their lives. It’s great for entrepreneurs and business execs.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Why we love it: How could we not recommend this book, it’s one of the best books we’ve ever read! It combines magic, wisdom and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery, The Alchemist has transformed lives, including ours! It is one of those books you just have to read and recommend to all of your friends. You won’t regret reading this one!
The Power of Starting Something Stupid by Richie Norton
Why we love it: this is one of those books that makes you follow your dreams and pursue what fills your soul. It’s highly inspiring and so different than most books out there. Even if everyone in the world thinks you are working on something stupid, what does it matter if it feeds your passions and is successful for you? We’ve been there before and this book is a winner in our hearts!
The Art of Being Unmistakable by Srinivas Rao
Why we love it: this book is written from the heart and it will challenge you to go against the grain and go after what you really want in life. It will help you question why you do certain things that are not true to you and help you to stop doing that. We love how provocative this book is! This is another one of the life changing books we highly recommend!
I Was Blind But Now I See by James Altucher
Why we love it: this is one of those books that will always be on our bookshelf because it’s a great reminder that we have been brainwashed. Definitely not for everyone, but if you keep an open mind it will make you think. It’s one of those books that you can easily forget about, that’s why we like to see it on our bookshelf so we can revisit the content and think some more.
APPS & SOFTWARE:
We have tested SO many apps and software over the years and we’ve narrowed down our top three, which was very hard to do but we found there is so much tech out there that you don’t need. These are the ones we use on a daily basis (besides our Apple products).
Flux or f.lux App
Why we love it: it makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. It’s a great app to keep your eyes healthy if you work on the computer. We are on our computers a lot, and this is the best app, especially at night when the blue light starts to bother your eyes and effect your sleep.
Adobe Creative Cloud
Why we love it: Adobe has the best creative tools in the market. There are a lot to choose from but it doesn’t get better than Photoshop, Lightroom, InDesign, and Illustrator. If you are doing anything creative we highly recommend you learn to use these tools and use them often! They have changed the way we do business.
mSecure password manager
Why we love it: this is the only password management system we trust for our client’s and our personal accounts. Hackers are getting more and more clever when it comes to cracking the codes on your passwords, but mSecure’s encryption software has never been hacked. We use this app everyday, and the best part is, it syncs with all of our devices.
JUST FOR FUN:
Sometimes you need to take a break from learning and read something that makes you think in different ways, or just simple makes you laugh. Here are a few books we LOVE that do just that.
Grumby by Andy Kessler
Why we love it: it’s such a fun read, we were laughing our buns off to this one and found it fascinating. It’s about these coders/hackers that combine-state-of-the-art artificial intelligence code with old Furby’s (yes, Furby’s) and sell millions, go public, become rich and famous, and change the world in good ways and very, very bad ways too.
A Trip to the Beach by Melinda & Robert Blanchard
Why we love it: this is a true story that shows you even the simple life is not so simple – but if you really want something it’s worth it to go after. It’s a great read that takes you away to the Caribbean, which we certainly love to dream about, as a husband and wife build their dreams and open a restaurant on Anguilla.
We are adding more to our recommendations list soon! Join our email list to get more!
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