When it comes to literature, I love biographies.  They can be biographies around people, cities, world wars, or history.  Whatever they are I love biographies.  Now I fully understand they have their limitations based on who wrote the biography and that they can have huge swings based on the perspective or the agenda of the author.  With that knowledge they are still some of my favorite books to read.  It almost feels like my nerdy version of a reality tv show.

Today, I look at the life of Jackie Robinson.  Baseball recently celebrated Jackie Robinson day where all players wore the number 42.  Outside of Jackie Robinsons day, the #42 is retired across all of baseball.  Jackie Robinsons has been inducted into the baseball hall of fame and was a beacon of hope, courage, racial equality, and athletic excellence.  In terms of athletic excellence, Jackie Robinson was a collegiate athlete at UCLA that played four sports; baseball, football, basketball, and track.  When i was a kid Bo Jackson and Deon Sanders were considered athletics geniuses because they were able to play two sports at a time.  Jackie Robinson was an all american level athlete at 4 separate sports.

Obviously the huge impact that Jackie Robinson made was off the field with civil rights movement in America.  Unfortunately we still have a long way to go, but key men like Jackie Robinson, leveraged the platform and talents they had to impact the quality of life of others.  The book highlights some of the daily threats that Jackie and his family faced.  It was interesting that one of Jackie Robinsons teammates came to the general manager when he received one threatening letter and was concerned for his own safety.  At that point the General Manager shows Jackie teammate the pile of threatening letters Jackie had received.  It was an eye opening moment and strikingly showcased white privilege and the daily inequality that Jackie faced.  I encourage you to check out the book.  Open your ears, open your eyes, and soften your heart.  There is much to learned from the life of Jackie Robinson.

One book, hundreds of ideas!

I recently read $100 Start up by Chris Guillebeau, and it has been an incredibly impactful book on my life.  Since I was a young kid I could remember running around in the forest and dreaming of being an entrepreneur building impactful and meaningful businesses.  I was also drawn to the idea on controlling and growing my income with the need of approval from a boss.  I attended college and studied Business Economics filled with excitement and anticipation to the day I would run and own my very own company.

 

Then I graduated college with a degree in one hand and no clear cut path to owning a business in the other I went out and got a job working ironically for a large non profit organization.  I loved my time there and what I learned but during that time I became risk averse.  I had grown accustomed to the consistent pay check and the employee paid benefits.  But deep down I had a burning desire to start and run my own company.  Now as a result of what I have read and learned from the book $100 start up, I am once again inspired to step out and become an entrepreneur.

 

Inspired by a business owner friend

I had coffee with a friend named Adam.  We have known each other for years and he has his own company locally serving the Burbank and Glendale communities.  He shared what being a small business owner was like for him.  Among the positive elements was the ability to create his won work schedule and to have a greater sense of control over his income and business growth.  He determines who he works with and what business opportunities he pursues or not.  His company is a residential window cleaning company.  I was floored when Adam told me how much money he has made in different years and different months.  What stood out to me was how much it cost him to start his business.  Almost nothing.  And this is why the $100 start up has been so inspiring to me.  For the last decade I have worked in a Multi-million dollar international non profit organization.  This has given me great experience.  But it has also left me feeling like I need a bunch of money to either buy a business or start one.

 

In his book Chris breaks down how simple it can be to start a side hustle and begin making money often times with very little cash actually needed.  So while I’m not ready to start gutter cleaning like my friend Adam, I am inspired to begin doing something on the side and seeing where it takes me.  My goal is to start with an extra $500 in my pocket and see where I can go from here.  While I have a long way to go making the money my friend Adam makes, my most recent read has me inspired that I can take the next step.

Keep reading, keep learning, keep growing into the best version of yourself.

 

 

1. Reading makes us more empathetic
2. Postpones alzheimer’s
3. Help you relax and sleep better
4. Help you better understand yourself

I personally connect to each one of these reasons. There was a time where I would regularly be on my phone just before going to bed and i was having a hard time falling asleep. I later “read” that the light from our phone stimulates our eyes and brain to much and make it hard to fall asleep.

The video mentions audible.com as a great source of finding audio books. I personally do not have a subscription to audible.com, but I do have an App overdrive on my phone. I connect this with my local Glendale library card and I am able to read and listen to various books. They are free to check out and I have access to them for 14 days.

So far in 2018 I have read or listened to 43 books.  I am both impressed and energized by all of the new things I have learned and read so far.  I know with great confidence that I am becoming a better version of myself with each passing week.

I hope you are inspired to read more or listen more, but knowledge is power, freedom, and hope all wrapped into one.  Keep reading, keep learning, keep growing into the best version of yourself.

I am going to continue blogging and I have planned to write about some of the books I have read or now listened to in 2018.

This post shares an interesting video i recently watched that highlighted some of Bill Gates favorite books.  I have added some of these titles to my list of books to learn from over the coming months.  I once heard I will be the same person in 5 years that I am today plus or minus the people I meet and the books I read.  I figure if I read like Bill Gates that has to translate in a positive direction right?

Well at least I figure it wont hurt and so I am adding these titles to my most interesting reads.