Recommended Reading

Some literary gems that we recommend you check out...

Hope your mind’s hungry, cause this one’s a brain food buffet...

Hint: Click on each cover to view the book on Amazon

The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness

Doing well with money isn’t necessarily about what you know. It’s about how you behave. And behavior is hard to teach, even to really smart people…

Money―investing, personal finance, and business decisions―is typically taught as a math-based field, where data and formulas tell us exactly what to do. But in the real world people don’t make financial decisions on a spreadsheet. It’s actually quite the opposite, they make them at the dinner table or in a meeting room, where personal history, your own unique view of the world, ego, pride, and odd incentives are scrambled together.

In this book, Morgan Housel shares 19 short stories exploring the strange ways people think about money and teaches you how to make better sense of one of life’s most important topics.

Delusions of Brandeur

If you’re a fan of books by people like Gary V and Simon Sinek, you should probably stop reading now. This book is the opposite of those. And not just because it won’t be anywhere near as popular. Delusions of Brandeur is an antidote to the insanity that now pervades the marketing industry. A collection of articles, satirical posts and assorted miscellany, it is a no-holds-barred commentary on modern marketing, advertising and business.

Buy Back Your Time

Written by one of our members, Dan Martell, we gifted this book to everyone in the group and it has quickly become a favorite. If you want help designing the freedom to engage in the high-value work that brings you energy and fulfillment then this is right up your alley.

As entrepreneurs, time is the most valuable resource we have, and we have to prioritize it ruthlessly. Our to-do list is never-ending. There’s always more we could be doing, more we should be doing, and more we want to be doing. But we can’t do it all! We need to be strategic with our time and focus on the tasks that will have the biggest impact on our businesses. Which means we need to get laser-focused on the things that really matter and let the rest fall by the wayside.

Toxic Positivity

In this refreshingly honest guide, sought-after therapist Whitney Goodman shares the latest research along with everyday examples and client stories that reveal how damaging toxic positivity is to ourselves and our relationships, and presents simple ways to experience and work through difficult emotions. The result is more authenticity, connection, and growth – and ultimately, a path to showing up as you truly are.

The Power of a Positive No

This book is one of Hollis’ favorites… It outlines the power of the word “no” in our day-to-day lives and how we can use it in the most constructive way possible.

It will show you how to assert and defend your key interests; how to make your “no” firm and strong; how to resist the other side’s aggression and manipulation; and how to do all this while still getting to “yes”. In the end, it will help you get not just to any “yes” but to the right “yes”, the one that truly serves your interests.

Fooled by the Winners: How Survivor Bias Deceives Us

This book focuses on the conundrum of survivor bias, which is the cognitive error of focusing on the winners, the successes, and the living. When in reality, in many instances, we can learn more from those who have lost, failed, or died.

In reading you will learn how survivor bias is often used to deceive us. You will learn how to stop paying for financial services that promise more than they deliver, for health care that doesn’t make us healthier, for diets that don’t make us slimmer, and for advice books that don’t offer good advice.

Pity the Reader: On Writing with Style

A close look at how Vonnegut approaches writing. This book is full of heart, and not only shows a great way to write… but also a great way to think. In addition, you can get some insight into how the folks at BBW think, as Vonnegut is one of our biggest influences on how to look at the monkeys 😉

How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness

This book examines Adam Smith’s forgotten masterpiece The Theory of Moral Sentiments… in which Russ Roberts finds a treasure trove of timeless, practical wisdom.

Smith’s insights into human nature are just as relevant today as they were three hundred years ago. What does it take to be truly happy? Should we pursue fame and fortune or the respect of our friends and family? How can we make the world a better place? Smith’s unexpected answers, framed within the context of current events, literature, history, and pop culture, are at once profound, counterintuitive, and highly entertaining.

Status Games: Why We Play and How to Stop

The best book on why you can NOT, NOT play status games. Refreshingly based on science and unapologetic in its conclusions. Learn how you must “one up” to get serotonin and how this leads to all of mammalian evolution. Then, learn how not to play junk status games while gaining status by actually creating value.

5 Types of People Who Can Ruin Your Life

Filled with expert advice and real-life anecdotes, this book is an essential guide to helping you escape negative relationships, build healthy connections, and safeguard your reputation and personal life in the process. And if you have a high-conflict personality, this book will help you help yourself.

Thinking in Bets

This book is a refreshing take on decision making. Annie Duke, a former World Series of Poker champion turned business consultant, draws on examples from business, sports, politics, and (of course) poker to share tools anyone can use to embrace uncertainty and make better decisions. For most people, it’s difficult to say “I’m not sure” in a world that values and, even, rewards the appearance of certainty. But professional poker players are comfortable with the fact that great decisions don’t always lead to great outcomes and bad decisions don’t always lead to bad outcomes.

Profit First

This book was recommended by BBW members Steve Maly and Mikal Abdullah. The two said it has helped give them some great actionable insights into how to run their businesses.

The book outlines a behavioral approach serial entrepreneur Mike Michalowicz has developed to accounting to flip the formula: Sales – Profit = Expenses. Just as the most effective weight loss strategy is to limit portions by using smaller plates, Michalowicz shows that by taking profit first and apportioning only what remains for expenses, entrepreneurs will transform their businesses from cash-eating monsters to profitable cash cows.

The Narrow Road: A Brief Guide to the Getting of Money

This book shows readers exactly what it takes to start a business and make it successful… Unlike other books of its kind, this one has a spin of dry wit and tongue-in-cheek humor to it that is right up our alley.

Felix Dennis offers a pithy guide for readers to attempt what he calls “the getting of money-regardless of the consequences”. A few of the eighty-eight tips in this book include:
– Do not fall in love with any project. You may believe in it wholeheartedly, but must remain prepared to abandon it should it show signs of failing.
– If you are unwilling to fail, sometimes publicly and even catastrophically, you will never be rich.
– You will never get rich working for your boss

The Passionate State of Mind

Eric Hoffer lived for years as a Depression Era migratory worker. Self-taught, his appetite for knowledge – history, science, mankind – formed the basis of his insight to human nature. This book is a collection of timeless aphorisms taken from his brilliant writings.

The Inevitable

Technology is moving faster than ever… And those who can get a grasp on future trends now will have a significant advantage in the years to come.

This book provides an optimistic road map for the future, showing how the coming changes in our lives – from virtual reality in the home to an on-demand economy to artificial intelligence embedded in everything we manufacture – can be understood as the result of a few long-term, accelerating forces. Kevin Kelly both describes these deep trends – interacting, cognifying, flowing, screening, accessing, sharing, filtering, remixing, tracking, and questioning – and demonstrates how they overlap and are codependent on one another.

The Book of the SubGenius

What began as a couple of post-hippie era pamphlets has helped spread the face of “Bob” everywhere… It is a religious parody mixed and mashed with wonderfully absurd conspiracy theories (way before they became all the rage).

It is a book Lovitch recommends everyone reads at least once in their lifetime.

The Laws of Human Nature

This book highlights how we are truly social animals… showing us how our very lives depend on our relationships with people. Knowing why people do what they do is the most important tool we can possess, without which our other talents can only take us so far. Drawing from the ideas and examples of Pericles, Queen Elizabeth I, Martin Luther King Jr, and many others, this book teaches us how to detach ourselves from our own emotions and master self-control, how to develop the empathy that leads to insight, how to look behind people’s masks, and how to resist conformity to develop your singular sense of purpose.

A Beautiful Constraint

This book was originally recommended to us by BBW member Mike Le. He said this book has been a key tool in helping use constraints to actually unlock creativity…

It is a book about everyday, practical inventiveness, designed for the constrained times in which we live. It describes how to take the kinds of issues that all of us face today – lack of time, money, resources, attention, know-how – and see in them the opportunity for transformation of oneself and one’s organization’s fortunes.

Not Fade Away: A Short Life Well Lived

With unflinching candor and even surprising humor, this book finds meaning and solace when confronting mortality. Celebrating life as it dares to stare down death, this story addresses universal hopes and fears, and redefines the quietly heroic tasks of seeking clarity in the midst of pain, of breaking through to personal faith, and of achieving peace after bold and sincere questioning.

The Medici Effect

This came out of a convo between two members who explained THIS effect as being why they will be a part of BBW forever…

This book shows how breakthrough ideas most often occur when we bring concepts from one field into a new, unfamiliar territory and offers examples of how we can turn the ideas we discover into path-breaking innovations.

High on Business: The Life, Times, and Lessons of a Serial Entrepreneur

A fantastic book of entrepreneurial mistakes and lessons learned and written by Alan Newman, who co-founded Seventh Generation Inc. in 1988 (later sold for $700 MILLION), and also co-founded Magic Hat Brewing Company in 1994 serving as CEO before leaving in 2010…

Lovitch and Hollis somehow got to know Alan over lots of drinks and he has become their unofficial and unpaid “mentor.” They think his book is the best business book they have ever read… take that as you will…

The Persuasion Code: How Neuromarketing can help you persuade anyone, anywhere, anytime

This book is supercharged with crazy interesting lessons on brain science… Even better, if you make it past page 114, you’ll uncover the REAL gold in this book that you need to see — the actionable, science-backed marketing nuggets that you can actually apply to your businesses.

We somehow convinced the author, Patrick Renvoise, to join our book club discussion so our members could pick the brain of a man who understands the primal brain on another level.

Patrick knows what it takes to pique your customers interest and persuade them to buy through the application of “neuromarketing”!

Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life

This book is loaded with nuggets of gold. Our members did a deep dive on how to use “Signalling” to increase customer acquisition, customer loyalty, obliterate competition and collapse the quantum wave in their favor. The book is also heavy on why we should let go of logic so we can generate powerful ideas, solve problems creatively, and successfully influence the world around us.

Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets

Our members voted to read this for our first book club, and it did NOT disappoint. We even wrangled one of the authors, Chris Lochhead, into joining our group discussion to talk about what it takes to be a category king! “Winning today isn’t about beating the competition at the old game. It’s about inventing a whole new game—defining a new market category, developing it, and dominating it over time. You can’t build a legendary company without building a legendary category. If you think that having the best product is all it takes to win, you’re going to lose.”

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

This book came in a close 2nd in our members book club. It makes a compelling case for actively cultivating inefficiency. Failing a test is the best way to learn. Frequent quitters end up with the most fulfilling careers. People who think broadly and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives will increasingly thrive.

Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries

This is another book that was recommended heavily in the group. It’s written by a physicist and entrepreneur, and reveals a surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behavior that challenges everything we thought we knew about nurturing radical breakthroughs.

Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable

This one’s a favorite in the group. It talks about figuring out why you do things that empower you, and to use that as a source of energy, showing you how to be relentless and achieve whatever you desire.

Traction: Get a Grip On Your Business

Are you running your business, or is it running you? This book has been a game changer for a number of Baby Bathwater members. It’s great for scaling teams and folks who struggle with operations and company structure (operating structure, not legal). The Entrepreneurial Operating system is a sort of guiding framework from the book that can be implemented into your business.

The Road Less Stupid: Advice from the Chairman of the Board

This one was recommended by a few of our members….because smart people do dumb things. This one’s all about the exercise of thinking time, which is asking yourself questions in a certain way so you can solve problems in your life and your business faster.

Contagious: Why Things Catch On

BBW member Maegan Scarlett recommended this book to us during a virtual content session she did on “Using Psychographics to Model Your Direct to Consumer Business”. She reminded us that people don’t give a f*ck about your product. People don’t listen to advertisements. They listen to their peers. But why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral? For these answers and more, Maegan recommends you read Contagious – a book that reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission and lays out six basic principles to drive all sorts of things to become contagious, from consumer products and policy initiatives to workplace rumors and YouTube videos.

Pre-Suasion - A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade

We’re fascinated with persuasion tactics in this group. Hell, we even have a member that’s a former DEA agent and one of the nation’s most recognizable experts on the topics of applied persuasion, human influence, and cults… This book, Pre-Suasion, has been brought up a number of times in this group. It explains how it’s not necessarily the message itself that changes minds, but the key moment before you deliver that message. Optimal persuasion is achieved only through optimal pre-suasion. In other words, to change “minds” a pre-suader must also change “states of mind.”

This Won't Scale: 41 Plays From The Drift Marketing Team To Help Your Business Cut Through The Noise, Grow Faster Than The Competition & Thrill Your Customers

We first heard about this book from BBW member Juliet Starrett. It’s an unorthodox approach to marketing, which will redefine how your company views traditional marketing activities like brand building, demand generation and PR. While most B2B startups obsess over scalability and tracking, Drift takes a different approach. The book contains 41 plays organized into easy-to-read and reference chapters. Keep it on your desk, thumb through it when you’re looking for inspiration and come back to it over time. You’ll discover not only Drift’s abnormal approach, but also hear never-before-told stories and learn how to implement Drift’s marketing plays into your own marketing strategy.

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