The CEO Library

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The founders of the largest companies in the world share a common trait: they’re all avid readers, driven by an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Every day they’re dedicating hours to deliberately learn new things.

Warren Buffett is renowned for spending most of his day reading and attributes his success to a book. He considers Paul Graham’s ‘The Intelligent Investor’ to be the best investment he’s ever made, saying that his financial life changed with that purchase.

When asked how he learned to build rockets, Elon Musk said: “I read books”. He didn’t just read them, he devoured them, even before planning to go to Mars.

Bill Gates is also known for reading tons of books per year and reviewing them afterwards on his blog.

Books are an underrated opportunity to access valuable knowledge and mentors. At the same time, they’re also potential huge time wasters. Let’s be honest: most of them are bloated (they should have been long articles!), filled with nonsense or media-hyped.

And just because we’re reading the same books that impacted those business leaders we admire, it’s no guarantee that we’ll ever become as successful as them. We need to take into consideration survivorship bias, as well as luck and context – important factors when it comes to maximizing a startup’s success.


What’s your favorite book and why? Business and non-business, if possible.

There are so many great books out there. My favorite often changes, but right now here are the two that jump out to me.

Business book: Heretics to Heroes by Cort Dial – This book is Cort’s memoir. Through it, he tells his story of working in the corporate world and then starting his own entrepreneurial journey. I love this book because he is intentional not only to tell his story but to give lessons you can apply to your own life while telling those stories. The core message of the book is on leadership.

Non-business book: The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson – This book is about chasing dreams and ideas. It is an allegory that shares the story of the main character named ‘Ordinary’. Ordinary chooses to leave the land of familiar to pursue his big dream. The book does a great job of walking those with big ideas and dreams through the process of making that a reality. This is a book that I read every year. It reminds me of why I’m on the journey to help others chase their big ideas and dreams.

 

Was there a moment, specifically, when something you read in a book helped you? Can you tell me about it?

I try to read books that are relevant to current challenges or topics that interest me. So if I’m not resonating with a book or it’s not helping me, I usually put it down and move on. I try to go back and try the book again to give it another shot a few months later. As for a specific book and moment…I would say ‘A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards’. This book is about biblical figures David, Saul, and Absalom. It talks about brokenness, following others leadership, and how to deal with authority. It helped me process some difficult experiences working in Churches. It also helped me to really think about how I treat others when I’m leading or working with them as a business owner.

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What books had the biggest impact on you? (perhaps changed the way you see things, dramatically changed your career path)

I would have to go back to ‘The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson’. This book has impacted my life most significantly by challenging me to not settle for an ordinary life, but to live an extraordinary life. It encourages me on that journey to keep going and push forward when things are difficult. This book illustrates what it means to live a life that is intentional and filled with purpose.

Michael Woodward: 'All big ideas, dreams, and careers filled with fulfillment start with a simple journey of understanding yourself.'CLICK TO TWEET

The other book that specifically had a lot of impact on my career path would be Now, Discover Your Strengths (better known as ‘Strength Finder’). All big ideas, dreams, and careers filled with fulfillment start with a simple journey of understanding yourself. Having a foundation of self-identity and understanding yourself is critical on a successful career. Strength Finder is an amazing tool to help you on that journey of understanding yourself. The book is easy to understand and gives you valuable information and insights into yourself. That makes this book one of the most powerful tools in the world of business and career.

 

What books would you recommend to youngsters interested in your professional path? Why?

1) Strength Finder (Now Discover Your Strengths) – Understanding one’s identity, how you think, and your strengths will be powerful tools as you build your career. This book will help you on that journey.

2) The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson – This book will help you in the journey as you discover your path forward. Knowing the challenges and obstacles you will face on your journey is an amazing gift to help you be prepared as you step into a career.

3) Born For This by Chris Guillebeau – There is nothing better than doing what you were born or created to do. This book is all about that journey of learning what you were born to do.

4) The Bible – Why the Bible you might ask. There are tons of lessons one can learn about character and living life well. These principles will help you on your career path journey. You can learn about how to do things well and how to do things poorly in the Bible. The Bible can encourage you when things get rough or keep you humble when things are great. The principles in this book can be the foundation for a life well lived. If you are living well then your career can flourish.

 

I’m interested in finding out more about your reading habits. How often do you read? In what format?

I try to read 1 – 2 books per month. There are seasons where I read more and other times I read less. I prefer to read physical books. I’ve tried the e-book think and it just didn’t work for me. I haven’t tried audio books because if I’m listening to something it will either be music or podcasts. I try to read in a quiet environment. If I can’t control the environment, I will usually toss on headphones to block out the world. I like to read to clear stopping points in the book. This helps me digest ideas shared at a clear finishing point until I move on. If I’m really into a book or learning from it, I may take notes on my computer (or in a paper notebook). I don’t often refer back to those notes, but it does help to solidify the concepts in my mind. Books that impact me I keep around. Books that didn’t leave a lasting impact are usually given away or sold.

 

How do you make time for reading?

I usually make time to read by either blocking time into my work day (the power of being a business owner) or late at night when the family is sleeping. I find when I can fit it into my busy schedule and then I’m intentional about making it happen.

 

Do you take notes or have any other technique for conquering the torrent of information?

I do take notes on books that are specifically impacting me, but typically I do not take notes. What I often do is write down key concepts as I go through the book. I keep that single sheet of notes on my desk and reflect on those concepts as I work. Eventually, I either toss those notes away or file them away for later. Typically things that are significant to me will stick in my memory and I can refer back to the book later to refresh deeper.

 

How do you choose what books to read next?

There are a few ways that I pick books. First I try to find books that are relevant to topics or challenges that I’m currently facing. This helps me to apply the content in real time. Next, I try to find books that cover topics I may want to cover on my podcast. I also try to go back to authors that I enjoy and read more from them. Some of my favorite are Erwin McManus, A.W. Tozer, C.S. Lewis and Malcolm Gladwell. I know that if just need a book to challenge me (but I will enjoy) that I can go back to these authors time and time again. Lastly, I read books that are recommended a few times by various people. I know that if multiple people are being impacted by them…then they most likely will impact me.

 

Do you prioritize the books recommended by certain people? Is there anyone that you consider a book-recommendations guru?

There aren’t specific people that I follow or look to find out what they are reading. Mostly if the people that are in my immediate sphere are digging something, I will try to check it out too.

 

Last question: what book are you currently reading and what are you expecting to gain from it?

I’m currently reading Not Like Me by Eric Bryant. The book is all about learning to love, serve, and influence others who are not like you. It’s all about healing a divided world. The book has been really great so far and gives some practical insights about diversity, building relationships with people unlike yourself, and ultimately how to value others that you don’t understand. It’s a powerful book and I think it’s really powerful for the crazy stuff going on the world around us.

The Blind Entrepreneur Podcast

REFERRAL STRATEGIES FOR YOUR BUSINESS AND PODCAST WITH MICHAEL WOODWARD



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Michael Woodward’s Tips on Getting Referrals

Referrals are a bit harder to get if it isn’t a client – Clients can have business acquaintances and partners that may have an issue that your business can handle. In that case, your client can simply refer you to their contacts, securing business indirectly for you. When you’re in an active network that specializes in this kind of thing, then referrals can come naturally; provided you build your reputation to a level where referrals are simple to get. What I find myself doing nowadays however, is simply reaching out to people we want to work with, building relationships and then working towards the long game. That way, when they do need help, our company would be the first they’d call. I’m also a fan of providing value, but within certain limits.

Michael Woodward’s Dream

I think right now, my biggest dream is to really help people see and attain their dreams. Sitting down with someone, finding out their dream and determining how we can make it a reality is one of my biggest aspirations at this point. Another big dream right now is that I’d love to get a place in SoHo; we live on a massive farm in Pennsylvania, as well as have an office in Manhattan. It’d be expensive, but it’s a dream I have.

Three Pieces of Advice From Michael Woodward

Firstly, community. You need to be in some sort of community. Why? Because you can’t do everything on your own – you need mentors, coaches, peers; people that you can mastermind with and get advice from. My second piece of advice would revolve around authenticity. You can’t have a persona that people see, but isn’t really you. Just be yourself and stop trying to measure up to everyone else. Accept your flaws and move on like everyone else; failure can be a beautiful thing. And the last piece of advice is play it for the long game. Hustling is kind of a lie – we need to work hard, but we need to have the mentality of making a life story – as opposed to becoming an overnight success, only to crash and burn a few years down the road. Stop measuring today’s situation for what could be 5 years later, for example.

Broke-ass to Badass by Best Life Ever

Overcoming Fear of the Unknown (Interview with Michael Woodward)

In this week’s episode, we talk with Michael Woodward, the founder and CEO of jumbleThink. His passion is to help individuals and businesses make their dreams attainable through creative thinking / idea formation and strategy which led him to create the jumbleThink podcast that inspires big dreamers to gain the courage to chase the life they were created to live. You’re going to LOVE our conversation about chasing your dreams and overcoming the fear of the unknown.

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/overcoming-fear-unknown-interview-michael-woodward/id1109233919?i=1000409053463&mt=2

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/2PmxzHCRUW0Feoz0JLGHkH?si=A7yfmikfRWuteppaA9qfSA

Stories that Empower

Captivate the Room with Tracy Goodwin

Stories that Empower

Episode #120 Thinking and Dreaming Big w/ Michael Woodward

Hosted by Internationally known voice expert, Tracy Godwin, an award-winning speaker who has taught hundreds around the globe to make a big impact with their voice. This podcast is for anyone who wants to step onto a bigger stage, make a bigger impact and have a voice that makes people listen. In this podcast, I'll teach you how to find your voice, sound more confident, compelling and captivating. I'll also share great techniques for presentations of any kind, storytelling and be captivating the room on video. I interview business leaders around the globe about their voice and communication struggles and triumphs. Voice is the most powerful tool you have, it's how we determine everything about you, in this podcast I'll teach you how to touch our emotions and change lives simply by using your voice. Presentation matters and the voice is the missing link.


Michael reminds us to embrace risk and step out in faith.  Also, he believes that we should remain hopeful and find gratitude in our breakthrough moments.

Welcome to the show!

You are in for a treat today!  I’ve got a very special guest, Michael Woodward who hosts one of my favorites podcasts jumbleThink.  jumbleThink is a community of dreamers who know that there is so much more they could be doing and they just need a little help to get there!

Today Micheal and I talk about:

  • Why dreamers get stuck,
  • How to get unstuck and move forward with your big idea,
  • What a dreamer is,
  • Stories and why they are so important,
  • Dealing with overwhelm when bringing the dreams to life,
  • What happens when we take the jumble and put a strategy to it and so much more!

 

Website: http://captivatetheroom.com/episode-120-thinking-and-dreaming-big-w-michael-woodward/
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/captivate-the-room/id1091333779?mt=2
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/captivatetheroom/

Stories that Empower

Michael reminds us to embrace risk and step out in faith.  Also, he believes that we should remain hopeful and find gratitude in our breakthrough moments.

Sean Farjadi is the host of the Stories that Empower Podcast.  Here’s the ‘story’ behind his podcast.  He took my dad to a pub, where nearby clients were immediately drawn to and fascinated by his life stories and experiences.  As the evening wore on, people were saddened that he was departing and therefore no longer able to enjoy to his stories.  Right then and there, Sean had the following awareness.  First, each of us has a story to tell.  Throughout our lives, from childhood to adulthood, we are drawn to stories.  It’s what connects us.  Second, He enjoys empowering others, especially when they’ve experienced a setback or challenge.  By bringing these two together, Sean strives to provide a service that brings inspiration, hope and empowerment through the power of stories.   

Website: https://storiesthatempower.com/
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/stories-that-empower/id1286546658?mt=2
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/storiesthatempower/

Stories that Empower

12 Minute Convos w/ Engle Jones

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Engel was born and raised on the twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago. He is the podcast host of  "Twelve Minute Convos w/ Engel Jones", an Entrepreneur and Life Coach. His passion and purpose is to help you the Entrepreneur find Y.O.U.R.S-Your Own Unique Real Self. After having 1001 conversations in 3 months he uncovered Y.O.U.R.S, a tool used to reconnect you to the hidden passion and purpose which are essential to creating a brand of Y.O.U.R.S. Engel believes and lives the principle of Zig Ziglar where you can have everything in life if you help enough other people get what they want.

Website: https://twelveminuteconvos.com/michael-woodward/

Podcaster's Coach

Alexander Laurin, is a Canadian who lives outside the city of Toronto. He is a Coach, a Consultant, and a Small Business Owner since 2005 and a lover of podcasting.

He brands himself as the world’s first ever Podcaster’s Coach, because he has not been able to find another authentic Podcaster’s Coach. There are people using the term and refer to themselves as Coaches, but they are Consultants.

The difference between a Coach and Consultant.... This comes from the International Coaches Federation. This is the largest and most respected coaching association in the world. They say –

*ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:

  • Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
  • Encourage client self-discovery
  • Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
  • Hold the client responsible and accountable

What is Consulting: Individuals or organizations retain consultants for their expertise. While consulting approaches vary widely, the assumption is the consultant will diagnose problems and prescribe and, sometimes, implement solutions. So with coaching, the assumption is that individuals is capable of generating their own solutions, with the coach supplying supportive, discovery-based approaches and frameworks.

* source:  https://www.coachfederation.org/need/landing.cfm?ItemNumber=978

Website: http://podcasterscoach.com/michael-woodward/
Speaker: https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-podcasters-life
 

Business Owner's Freedom Formula | Michael Woodward – Making Your Dreams Attainable Through Creativity

Paul Maskill chats with inspiring entrepreneurs and digs into their highs, lows and everything in between of their business building journey to learn about how they have been able to achieve ultimate freedom.  It's all about switching from working IN your business to working ON your business...so you can work less, make more and achieve ultimate freedom.

This show was created for you, the small business owner looking to finally break free from your business so you can achieve the freedom that you sought when you starting your business.  If you are looking for straight-to-the-point, no fluff interviews filled with actionable advice then this show is for you.

Website: http://www.paulmaskill.com/2017/07/25/episode-018-michael-woodward/
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/018-michael-woodward-making-your-dreams-attainable/id1225076443?i=1000390283212&mt=2

Tribe of Entrepreneurs | Michael Woodward: From Pastor to mastery of business and lifestyle

Tribe Of Entrepreneurs is hosted by Soren Skovdahl Hansen.  Are you struggling with how to launch your entrepreneurial dream? Is self doubt and imposter syndrome holding you back from starting your entrepreneurial journey because you are afraid what you have to offer is not good enough? Tribe of Entrepreneurs is here to help!

You will get actionable inspiration from amazing entrepreneurs who will share how they successfully over came their self doubt, took massive action and launched their business. You will learn how they found the the value and service that now bring them income, how their connect with their audience and grew their business.

Website:  http://tribeoe.com/
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/michael-woodward-from-pastor-to-mastery-business-lifestyle/id1236939353?i=1000386724567&mt=2

The Tim Laskis Show | 033: Michael Woodward – Getting Unstuck: Taking You from Idea to Dream Fulfillment

New episodes every Monday, Wednesday & Friday! Listen as Tim digs deep into the minds of his guests for nuggets of entrepreneurial gold! He interviews go getters from a wide range of industries including business, professional sports and entertainment. Michael Talbott (Miami Vice), Jay Baer (NY Times Best Selling Author), George Young (Bering Sea Gold), Kristy Arnett (Pro Poker Player), Gary Semics (500 cc. SX Champion), and Darieth Chisolm (former NBC News Anchor) are just a few of the interviews to date. Every episode gives you an inside look into the lives of those who are at the top of their fields. And, they share success strategies, resources and tips for you!

Website:  https://www.timlaskis.com/podcasts/
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/033-michael-woodward-getting-unstuck-taking-you-from/id1211864259?i=1000385440863&mt=2