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The Five Books
Here are 5 books that helped me launch Better Sheets. And now I'm a Google Sheet guru, selling Google Sheet Tools, Templates, and Tutorials.
📚 Launch by Jeff Walker
📚 Lost & Founder by Rand Fishkin
📚 E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
📚 Discipline is Destiny by Ryan Holiday
📚 Competing Against Luck by Clayton Christensen
Launch helped me create a workshop along with my members. Didn't need to figure it all out before I launched. I just had to ask.
Lost & Founder helped me with my mindset around being my own business. It's a hard journey and this book helped just ease the ups and downs. It was like Rand was holding my hand the whole time.
E-Myth Revisited helped me understand the simple process of creating SOPs, Standard Operating Procedures. In the end it's a simple concept: write down what you do so that others can do it. But it's a mind-fuck if you're reguarly doing things you think nobody else can do.
Discipline is Destiny helped me figure out how to be consistent. Instead of forcing myself to be consistent through sheer will power, I realized I needed to find a sustainable way of working with what I have. It's not about how many resources you have but how resourceful you are with what you have.
Competing Against Luck helped empower me to think about my customers, my traffic channels, and ultimately my entire business offer differently. I didn't have to go out and find more information. It literally gave me another perspective on the information I already had.
Watch The Whole Video here on YouTube
, this is a true story. These five books have literally changed my business. The business that I am in is Google Sheets. I sell Google Sheets. I sell Google sheet tutorials. I sell Google sheet templates. I sell Google Sheet tools and how those mi and the mix of those has changed over the course of the last three-ish years.
Better sheets. I run better sheets.co. If you are watching this video, you're watching this video on youtube.com/better sheets. So I run better sheets.co. I sell Google Sheets. That's it. And so these five books that I'm gonna go through are all individually have a different. Change that they have caused.
And I'll go through each one. Also very weirdly, they all are blue color, like all of them ha. All of these books have a blue color. And I think that might be something to do with like the internet. Like the Internet's color is blue, right? All social media, especially like Lost and Founder here by Ren Fishkin.
is about, you know, SEO maz and maz.com and his journey, and he likes blue, I think. But all of them have some blue tint to it or blue color. Just a weird side thing. But they all have helped my business. Three of them are very much a business book about businesses and for businesses, and two of them are more about mindset.
And we'll get into. Two the two mindset ones later. But right now we'll talk about the three business ones that are very clearly four businesses by businesses about business. The first one here, the EMyth and it's the EMyth Revisited. I had a little bit of a hard time finding this because this is like the worst title I've ever seen.
This EMyth is like just by far the worst title for the best book. Everybody mentions this. A lot of, a lot of successful Twitter business people mention this book, but they only say EMyth. And then when I found the Euth Revisited, I was like, is this the same book I wanted to find the EMyth? I I wanted to find EMyth.
This is the, the sequel, the follow up. No, this is actually the book that they're talking about. Very odd choice of words or lack of clarity and lack of clarity on what the EMyth is. But what's interesting about this, And how it changed my business is I started just like the person in this book Sarah, who's a baker, and, and the book is around this sort of di dialogue, very, very much in the Socratic way.
Sarah is a baker who is constantly running into the issue of hire, trying to find someone to hire a hi, trying to hire a replacement for themselves so they can step away and work on the business and that person can work in the business and the. Point of this book is you will never find that person because you are unique.
And every business that runs like that will always die if not now, not next year. Eventually once you pass away, that business will be no longer viable. And so in order to create a viable, sustainable business that lasts much longer than you and can be scalable and sustainable in many other ways.
The, the seed of the idea is checklists or SOPs. Standard operating procedures. It's a document. Now, I knew about this. I used to work on a cruise ship, and there we created, we not only created a sop, we had an updated consistent. Think all the time, all the time. We're updating this essentially what is an sop?
Because our contract was only six months long and then when we left, we literally left. So all of our knowledge and all of our experience in that six months, we need to put in a document so the next person, if they ever have similar issues knows what to do. Now, I experienced this, I was part of this, and it wasn't until I actually read this book that I really put two and two together, that I really realized that that was.
A way that especially a fleet of dozens of ships and, and thousands of employees, how you can scale information and information about what to do. It also empowers people that work for you instead of having to instead of thinking about empowering others is like, oh, you get to decide what to do.
It actually empowers them to do the job they were hired to do and leave.
And that really is empowerment, not empowering people to make the decision, but to give them the actual tools and the resources to make a decision each and every step of the way, and to allow them , peace of mind in doing the work. So they didn't have to think about, you know, what are these higher levels?
And the EMyth really helped me understand checklists operating procedures that could be done again and again and again. I did work on this a little bit in a former job where I had to create these resources. But truly this, this book really put into stark clarity for me and allowed me to really hone down into what should I be off put outsourcing and managing, not by management what they call management by abdication, but actually managing the process and having review previously.
Previously, I. . Previously I had hired people and allowed them to just go do the job and then done. But actually the review process is very, very beneficial for me, the manager and also the employee to know where they're doing, what they're doing right, what they're doing wrong, and to tweak and.
Course correct. Consistently, instead of having to be like, you just did the job wrong and you're fired this book allows me to actually hire people and train them up. It it, it did a very good job of explaining that process in a very short book too. I, I have to say, this is not a very long book, and so if you don't read this, you're, you're like missing out.
And, and my summary might have some ideas for you, but, but I. . I don't normally enjoy the Socratic way of a dialogue of a book, how it sort of crafts a story of a dialogue. Cause I just know it's all fake. Right? It's, it's a, it's, it's, you know, it's fake. This person never existed and it's not real dialogue.
I would much rather have real case studies, but it allowed me to like see the, where I could put myself in there and in, in their shoes. So it was really nice. This one was particularly,
All right. The second business book, competing Against Luck, Clayton Christensen. This is the book that defines the, for the first time in a written form. I think the jobs to be done framework or the jobs theory I had been recommended this book, and I had been recommended jobs to be done about better sheets, about how to really figure out who was coming into the business, who, what were their problems they were trying to solve, and why were they coming to better sheets for those problems.
This did not solve any of my problems at all. In it, it actually created more problems for me, but it gave me a great framework to go see those problems and see those problems for what they are. To this day. Now this is, I'm, I'm working in year three of better Sheets. I don't have a single like most.
common an question. So I don't have a most common question that people come and ask me. And that became a problem because whenever I tried to talk to a marketer or get some advice on how to, what marketing channels or how to market or tactics or strategies, the number one question I got was, what, what do people come to you for?
What's the number one question you get about Google Sheets? And but I never had the, I never had a good answer for that. I, I always, Worked my way out of that question and talked about other things. But this book and also the jobs theory, in addition to just reading this book, the job I have, another book about the jobs theory and jobs to be done helped me reframe that and it, it gave me a different mindset to look at the same data that I had all.
and that, and that's what this book really does well. It talks about that. It talks about that you don't have to go do extra market research. It talks about how you can be innovative and you can create product and services without having to go and do extra market research and extra things. You might have the date already.
You might have analytics, you might have reviews. You might have comments, you might have emails, customer support. You might have all this data. Anecdotal data, and this gives you a great way to read that data again, underlying issues that are going on, and to see the underlying issues across many different people that are coming to you and trying to solve a problem.
The next book is launched by Jeff Walker. I've recommended this so much, I think now, this is going on year two of me recommending this book. This book again is such a quick read, short read. It's on Kindle for a. Dollar, no, $2, sorry. A dollar 99. It's, it's a dollar 99. I've recommended this book to so many people for dollar 99.
I almost guarantee you that you're gonna make a thousand dollars from this book. If you go through the process that Jeff Walker outlines about a launching even if you create a product yourself, like what this allowed me to. and changed my business completely was I was sort of stuck in asynchronous mode and I still sort of have this ideal asynchronous, autonomous business like apparatus.
This machine that sort of works on its own and I can keep adding to it asynchronously. But what launch did is it gave me another tool in order to talk to people in a different way. I realized that if I only respond to individual questions now, responding to IND individual questions has been a great part of better sheets, and it's become the main engine of better sheets where members will ask me questions and I will answer in a video.
And that video is one of the tutorial. So out of, you know, almost 300 tutorials to date and probably 300 , it'll probably be three, over 300 and a few weeks. A lot of those are answers to questions, but what this allowed me to do is have a deeper conversation. less people. So instead of just asking surface level questions and only the questions that people thought that I could answer, launch allowed me to create web webinars and workshops.
Actually not webinars, but really workshops, hands on workshops, and now I run through maven.com with live cohort classes. , but they're titled and they're about the things that I think you might need, and then we go super deep into them. So one I did about launching a Google sheet on Product Hunt. One workshop I did about high ticket templates where if you wanted a cr, if you already had a template they were giving away for.
2000 to $5,000 agency or services and like how to make that really like stand out, how to make this like checklist or Google sheet really look great. did a workshop on that. I did a workshop on app script and automating Google Sheets. That now has become a great part of my consistent messaging.
It became the spreadsheet automation 1 0 1 course that I sell on Udemy now, right? All from lunch. More than a year ago, I started doing these workshops and going deep onto these subjects and then working with people one-on-one, and that has become a great part of the engine. So instead of just sitting back and waiting for people to ask me questions, we work hard and deep on your sheets during these workshops, and it gives me an incredible amount of ideas for videos, but also for courses full on courses that are transformational.
So, This book launched doesn't necessarily get into, not, now that I'm trying to remember, is about transformation courses. And these sort of webinars are very much about information trans transfer. And that's what a lot of courses are, is like, I'm gonna transfer this information to you, but what people want is a transformation.
And so that's a little bit more than that book. But I would not have figured that out, and I would not have done it in that particular way unless I had launched these webinars and workshops that Jeff Walker talked about. So that really changed my business a lot. Got me deep into problems and solutions and transformations that I could create and then create for you.
And they've, they've become, , autonomous and asynchronous ways for you to learn so you don't have to sync up with me all the time. So a few people did. It was a high price for a, a short amount of time that we synced up, but now the outcome of that is that so many. m, so many more people can benefit from it because spreadsheet automation 1 0 1 is of course, it's 29 videos.
It's three hours long, and you can take it anytime, any day of the week. You'll be anywhere on the planet if you have internet and download the videos and watch 'em online. I don't have to sync up with you. It's great. Right. and some courses coming out later on this year are gonna be based on those workshops that I did before.
And now I don't have the mystery of figuring it out. I can go create a workshop and see, do people wanna sign up for that workshop, yes or no? Once they do, what do we talk about? Is it something completely different than I intended? Right? Is it something that is beginner, intermediate, or advanced that I didn't.
Be before having that workshop. So Launch has been a great change to my business to be able to go deeper with customers. The next two books are gonna be about mindset and more about the entrepreneurial journey. The last three books were really about business and businesses entrepreneurs.
are great and, and create a lot of value, but the mindset of an entrepreneur is very, could be schizophrenic, bipolar, could be rollercoaster of emotions, it could be a lot of things. And these next two books have helped greatly and have literally changed my mindset. So first one, discipline is Destiny by Ryan Holiday about stoicism and about the virtue of self-discipline.
This. Is telling me something that I know already, right? But it's telling it to me in another way that I've ever heard before consistently. And with, with great con, with great consistency and relevancy. It talks about lots of stories from history, but I take those stories and I apply them to what I'm doing day to day and it's
I don't know if you've noticed anything, and I'll tell you right now what you might not have noticed is my YouTube channel has become more consistent. A year ago I had been posting occasionally and only posting videos that I had already made for members. I took like a one out of 10 of them and put them onto YouTube and thought, okay, that would attract some attention.
midline results. Then in mid 2022, I thought, okay, I'm just gonna do this 100%, and I posted one video a day, every day for about two months. So I did about 60 days, and then I stopped doing that. I couldn't continue doing it. I had, I did, I had the discipline to start and I didn't have the discipline to finish.
And I said, I'm gonna do this for three years. I did not, I did it for 60 days. What ended up happening was I also thought about creating the situation and the physical. Place that I could create videos, and that's why you see this place here, these black curtains. The setup that I have now was all done over the course of about two to three months.
It took a little bit longer than I expected, but it did come together. . And then I read, then I read this. So after I had already had these ideas of creating the environment in an office that I could record in at any time whatsoever, having all the pieces of the puzzle together then I read this and it helped me understand that I actually didn't need, like something else.
I needed the discipline on the. To do it, not the external place or the or the subscribers. I didn't need subscribers in order to do something right. I don't need subscribers in order to make videos. I don't need a subscriber. I don't need a member, I don't need a question. I can make videos myself from within myself without external need.
but of course . The, the, the, I sort of read between the lines and it's like, actually you need both, right? You need external validation and internal gestation. You need both the internal ability to do and the external need to want that thing. Those two things are so important together. They neither can be alone.
But discipline is destiny allowed me that internal spark to be like, what? How can I make this consistent? How can I have the discipline to do this every day without having to post a new video every day? Like that posting of a new video a day was actually more like external validation. Oh, I saw that thing.
It wasn't really internal, like, oh, I can do this. So now for the last month, or. Maybe more than a month, I've been doing three videos a week. Right? That's much more consistent way that I can, I can separate not separate, I don't know what I'm trying to say here. It allows me the sustainability to do this consistently.
Even if I don't have the discipline to post, push, publish every single day. The product comes out consistently.
Okay, the last.
The second book about Mindset is Lost and Founder by Rand Fishkin. How this change? Okay, let me tell you about this book. This book is literally, I don't know if you can see it here, A painfully honest field guide, painfully honest. Rand Fishkin is very honest, painfully so. I had a little, a couple funny moments in this book where I was.
Rand, you did not need to say that, that. N not offensive in any way. . Oh, it was totally fine. Like it had no bearing. It was not good or bad. I was just like, man, you didn't really have to say that. And that's why it's painfully honest. He really went above and beyond sort of blog posts and, and let people know what was going on in his mind, even if it didn't affect.
And I, and I saw this, this book, it was very interesting to me to see how someone. Think so much, but the results and the actions spoke louder than anything else, right? His internal turmoil in his internal mind was one thing and it was not so cleanly connected to his business and the result of the business.
This was actually so empowering to me to know, like I could still have these turmoils, these trials, these tribulations. I could have these pauses in my life or these roller coaster moments. I could have the highest and the lows, and they don't necessarily have to be because of the business, and they don't have to impact the business at all.
this allowed me to separate myself from the business a little bit and start to hire a little bit more. It helped me hire the types of people that I should be surrounding myself with and also speaking of people surrounding yourself with, it brought me back to. The mindset that I physically had to be with people who I admire, and I had to be in the room with people much, much smarter than me.
People who made me feel dumb and slow. And even if I feel like other people look at my production and they look at maybe the YouTube videos I'm putting down, they're like, I could never make three vid YouTube videos a, a week, or I could never make all of these templates or all of these sheets, or all of these app scripts.
I could never do this as fast as you. And I get that a lot, right? Some people will, will, I'll do a one hour consultation with someone, and in the first 10 minutes I write one piece of app script and they're like, we're done. That's all we needed to do. Oh, that only took me 10 minutes. Or I'll reconfigure their Google sheet in a, in a 30 minutes that they could have never figured out themselves.
And they're like, oh, you're so fast. Right. , but I wanted to surround myself with people that made me feel that way of like, oh my God, how did you do that? What's, oh, that's so clever. That's so smart. Oh, you thought about that and see what they went through. See their trials, see their tribulations, see the pain of it all.
And experience it with them. Ride the highs, ride the low. Say that was shit. That was a shit storm. You didn't have to go through that. Oh, you did go through that. Now what? I'm so lucky to have a few people in my life that I'm connected with in, in very independent ways. We're sort of a group of independent people, but we come together very voluntarily.
It's not democratic in any way. Every single person is in independent, so we're not really. Interdependent in any way. And I'm so happy to know all of them and be a part of people, be a part of a group of people who are all with similar mindsets and actions beyond just the mindset. I think I previously, in many years ago was part of many masterminds and chat groups and things that.
Wanted to do stuff. I've tried to get into these smaller groups of people who I saw were trying to do things, and that's very different than being a part of people doing things being a part of a group, or at least seeing each and every step and even the steps that don't result in great success and also don't result in great demise.
Right. A lot of decisions we do sort of are a. , they have apathetic results. So there was a few things in this book that I don't think Rand intended for me to get out of this or, or intended any reader to get, have a key takeaway from. But Rand went through some pretty deep dark places. He was like 500, $500,000 in debt.
And I'm like, I've never even seen $500,000 like to go $500,000 into debt. , that's a good skill, I think. Probably not the takeaway he wanted. He is like, he's probably like just avoid being that much debt. And I take, took it, I took that takeaway and Shoe Dog I read as well in a very similar moment, I think within a couple weeks of each other.
And I was like, I need to reinvest every dollar that I'm making. And then I also have a friend or two friends that reinvested every single penny they had into their own business. And I was like, is this what I should be doing? Probably the wrong takeaway from. . So those were five books that happened to be blue or have some blue tint in their title, and also changed the course of my Google Sheets business.
All for the better I think. And I hope I hope you are enjoying this YouTube channel based on the change that I'm putting into this, and I hope that. Taking away from this a lot more than I intend. That's one thing that I think I learned from all of these books is that the actual takeaway that people have might not be what you put into it.
So if you got something out of this video that I might not have intended, or you don't think, like shine through and you're like, oh, I, you gave me this crazy other idea, comment down below what that is, and I'm happy to. Odd takeaways from this video. I would love to hear what you took, what you took away from this video that I didn't intend.