7 Books for Becoming a Change-Making Animal

When I am on my deathbed, I want to be able to look my loved ones in the eyes and say with a smile “I kicked some ass.”  If you do too, then read these books:

1. “Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?” by Seth Godin

Inside all of us is a Change-Making Animal. But, for a lot of us, it’s been tamed and caged by our standardized-testing-industrial complex. So, how do you return to your natural feral state of creative destruction? Read this book. Read it again and again and again. Read it until the binder breaks. Dog-ear it into an accordion. And, freely fill its margins with thoughts like “Let’s go break something!”

2. “Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World” by Michael Hyatt

You have a vision for the kind of world you want to live in. It’s time to spread your ideas. This is your playbook. Step by step, Michael teaches you how to build your platform. He teaches you how to set up your branding tools. He even teaches you how to set up your email signature!

3. “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World” by Gary Vaynerchuk

Damn it’s noisy out there. You gonna need social media to support your vision. But, not all channels are the same. Each has its own culture, language, vibe and set of expectations for its members. Let Gary school you in the nuances. And, give, give, give and give again before asking.

4. “How to Be a Power Connector: The 5+50+100 Rule” by Judy Robinett

It’s a big world. And, you’re trying to change it. You don’t have enough time, energy or resources to do it alone. You need others. You need community leaders, politicians, religious figures, and business magnates. How do you rally them to your cause? Harness your network. Outside of your creativity it’s your most valuable asset. Learn how to use it strategically.

5. “Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You about Being Creative” by Austin Kleon

Content – whether it’s a blog, doodle, thought, video, or photograph – you need to produce it. It must be of you. Do not get caught up in its absence of originality. Nothing is original. It has all been said before. But, it has not been said by you. Put your spin on it. Everyone else did before you. You can too. So, surround yourself with those who inspire you. Take down notes. Poach ideas. Mash it up.  There are no proprietary rights in this space.

6. “The 4 Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss

You have to work. You have to hustle. You have to get shit done. Yet, you operate under a 24/7/365 time constraint.  Learn how to optimize your effort, set goals, and heighten your productivity. Learn how to say “No.” (an incredibly important skill) and secure your time from the grabbing hands of others. And, while you are at, learn about an alternative to the materialist-consumerist lifestyle that marketers relentlessly shove down our throats.

7. “The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles” by Steven Pressfield

There are going to be setbacks (most of them self-inflicted). Things will get dark. You will crave the guaranteed comfort of your aforementioned cage. And, you will want to retreat. You will close the shades, lie on the floor, and curl up in the fetal position. Our culture will tell you that you can find relief in material possessions and empty calories. It is a lie. You cannot. The only path to freedom is to create. Steven’s words will get you off the floor.

One more bit of advice. Lean into your fears. Lean into your failures. Lean into your shame. Lean into your scars. Lean into your discomforts. Lean into it all. That is where your Change-Making Animal resides.

And, get to work.

We need you.


If you enjoyed this blog, you may enjoy my Halftime Speeches monthly email.

Thanks. – shawn


You may also enjoy:

4 Steps to Becoming a Change-Making Animal

11 Promises of a Change-Making Animal