Books That I Read Just After The Recession In 2010

by James Ker-Reid - March 31, 2020

With recent events going on with the virus, I thought I’d take a look back 10 years and see what I was reading back then when I first entered the workplace.

Here are the books that I read just after entering the marketplace as a new salesperson, in honesty, I didn’t really read for the first 4 years after graduating! This drastically changed when I bought a Kindle e-Reader and borrowed a book from my best mate from university, who said I reckon you might like this story.

The books I read that had an impact on my thinking actions:

  • If You’re Not First, You’re Last by Grant Cardone
  • The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
  • Screw It, Lets Do It by Richard Branson
  • Entrepreneur Revolution by Daniel Priestley

Insights – If You’re Not First, You’re Last by Grant Cardone

  1. “Set A Deadline To Finish A Book In 4 Days Or Less”, e.g. I will finish this book by Thursday 6:00pm.
  2. “Activate Your Power Base” – at times of an economic struggle you need to reconnect with your network, your friends, family and past colleagues. Hold catch up calls as they’ll either know someone that can help or they’ll spread the word for you. And the same in reverse. Enter LinkedIn!
  3. “Past Client Activation” – after the crash, I came into a job where the previous year, the consultant had worked on over 200 opportunities, I was told from the key accounts team they were 4 this year. So I decided to look elsewhere and stumbled across this company I recognised called American Express. I found an advert online for an ‘FX Sales Executive’, I cold-called from the switchboard and was put through to an in-house recruiter, and competitor from Hays (didn’t even know they existed at the time), persevered and got the job on. I then called up my friend from my last company whom I’d trained as a young salesperson and said I’ve got a new role for you, I want you to consider. He sent me the CV, they rejected it outright, I called them again saying, I trained this guy, at least hold a phone interview. I coached him through the interview spending over 4 hours helping my buddy, he did well at assessment and he signed the contract with American Express 2 weeks later.
  4. “Converting The Unsold” – I scoured all the jobs that had ‘Final Interview’, ‘2nd Interview’ and ‘1st Interview’ and started calling them. After I’d asked American Express who their competitors where they mentioned a company called Travelex. I remember seeing that foreign exchange desk in the airport as a kid! I saw that we’d had some interviews at Travelex before and then called the Fx desk, where the Senior Dealer put me through to the hiring manager. After much persuasion, he allowed me to recruit for the job, I placed the role 3 weeks later.

Insights – The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

This was like no ever book that I read before. This was not on the recommended reading list of my bosses.

  1. Ask for forgiveness not for permission” – became my mantra for quite a while to do things that other people were unwilling to do or didn’t want to do. This has always stuck with me. I was never a goody-two-shoes.
  2. “Busy yourself with the money wheel, pretend it’s a fix-all and you artfully create a constant distraction that prevents you seeing how pointless it is.” Ok, what’s this money wheel thing? This seems like something I need to work out…
  3. “Relative income is more important than absolute income – £50,000 for 80 hours or £50,000 for 10 hours.” Ok right, James, what’s my hourly rate? Holy crap, my hourly rate is £6.72. That’s the same as a McDonald’s employee. And my boss keeps telling me I’m the future of the company?! Ok, what’s the percentage of salary & bonuses/ revenue created. Wow, it’s 2.5%. So I’m working for another person to earn 97.5% of all the work I do and I’m getting paid £6.72 an hour for a lot of hours. This is an important lesson. I need to change direction now!
  4. DEAL – Definition, Elimination, Automation, Liberation. What 20% of sources are causing 80% of unhappiness? Which 20% of sources are creating 80% of my happiness? “The goal is to find your inefficiencies in order to eliminate them and find your strengths so you can multiply them.” Sounds like a pretty good plan to me. I’m never going to be the best at everything, I’d rather be a rockstar in some things.
  5. “Being overwhelmed is often as unproductive as doing nothing and is far more unpleasant.” Very true. Being selective – doing less – is the path to being productive. Focus on the important few and ignore the rest. Easy to get caught up in the minutiae but the key lies in remembering that not feeling rushed is remembering that lack of time is actually lack of priorities.
  6. If this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied with my day?? Nevermore than 2 mission-critical items per day. Ok, I can do that! Really cool app
  7. Automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. Automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency. Also, your problems are going to hit you quick and hard.
  8. Delegation – Virtual Assistants. There are other people around the world that can work for you and do some of your admin, that sounds amazing. Need to remember this!

Insights – Screw It, Let’s Do It by Richard Branson

I think this is one of the shortest most uplifting stories I have read of a man trying to work out life and its challenges and adventures at the same time.

  1. “Just Do It” – believe it can be done, live life to the full, never give up, try and try again and have faith in yourself.
  2. “Have Fun” – don’t waste time, grab your chances, when it’s not fun move on. I did.
  3. “Stand On Your Own Two Feet” – although I was responsible and wanted to chase my own dreams, this in practice took a while to do this properly.
  4. “Live The Moment” – love life and live it to the full, make every second count and don’t have regrets.
  5. “Sex Appeal” – a story about branding – walk the talk, create excitement in everything you do. Look beyond the obvious and put your ass on the line.
  6. “Be Innovative” – nothing is impossible, the system is not sacred, to win you have to break the rules, find another way.
  7. “Pow Shazam” – speed is the ultimate competitive weapon, be first in the field, do it now, cut the red tape, keep your eye on the ball.
  8. “Think Young” – you’ve got to challenge the big boys, everything is negotiable, do the right things for the band, move like a bullet, small is beautiful. Don’t lead sheep, herd cats!

Insights – Entrepreneur Revolution by Daniel Priestley

  1. “A business’s aim is to create IP. Income follows assets”, e.g. sales systems, marketing systems, operational systems. Very interesting, I think I’ll need to understand this further later down the line.
  2. Reptile, Monkey, Empire Builder brains. Reptile = Fight or flight, all or nothing, only resources it believes is what it can see – money, food etc. It will destroy everything in its path for comfort. Monkey – functional part of your brain, repetitive tasks, nit-picking, peak emotions on a daily basis. Only resources are those that it’s told. Only £45,000 or a credit limit that’s it, it is comfortable with scarcity. Empire builder – different to many, calculate future events, devise strategies, likes to live in a connected place and will work until the end. It focuses on resources it can have influence over, it doesn’t care on technically things they own.
  3. Stop spending time with people that bring you down. Inspiring people. Why am I learning from people who are not wealthy? Review my friends, done.
  4. Carry £2,000 around with you in cash, hand never left my pocket for the first few weeks. Wanted to earn it. What’s a lot of money for you? With cash in your pocket, you won’t be worried too much about immediate gain. Survival will not be an issue. Done.
  5. Tune out from the news – no TV, no radio, no papers. Done.
  6. Get a yearly calendar & plan your holidays- weekend and mid-week days, 8-10 weeks a year – how much do you need to earn then reverse engineer?
  7. Lean in. Dream of never retiring. Pursuing your dream, caring about your team, caring about the details and not wanting an easier way.
  8. Vital = be irreplaceable, own your space, business, marketplace and niche.
  9. Give up on passive income. Focus on things that I never want to give up on. Didn’t take this on board immediately and made mistakes but on my way now.
  10. Hard to scale your business by not writing. Agree.
  11. Influence comes from output and confidence comes from output.

Hope this was helpful. If you want to find out about the books that I re-read in January you can find that here too.

What books were you reading in the last recession?



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