Paul Jarrett has launched million dollar brands such as Neebo and executed multi-facted campaigns for Lowe‘s and Nike. In 2010, he joined Complete Nutrition where he became the Vice President of Marketing and an Executive Board Member. Paul’s experience at Complete Nutrition led him to found the award-winning nutritional subscription service Bulu Box in 2012, where he is currently CEO. You can reach him here.
I was either gifted or lent this book years ago. I was 25 years old and in over my head as a Marketing Director position. I thought I should at least appear to know what the fuck I was doing, so I kept this book and a bunch of other marketing books on my office shelves — whether I had actually read them or not. To my own surprise, I actually ended up reading this book. Made To Stick reshaped my entire strategic thinking process (or lack thereof). In the position I was in over my head at, we ended up growing from $3MM to $83MM in 18 months and I ended up being promoted and joining the Executive Board. I like this book because it gives concrete takeaways to become a better marketer. Since then, I’m proud to say I’ve read through every Marketing book on my shelf and added several more. (You can read our review here)
After listening to me complain for years about “how dumb everyone at work is” my wife Stephanie (with whom I started Bulu Box) recommended this book to me. I credit her and this book as the first time I really experienced true self-reflection. Reading this book I came to understand I was “Stage Three” tribal culture, I was a “lone warrior” harboring valuable knowledge for myself in order to feel important and advance in my career. This me-against-the-world mentality meant I was setting the rest of my team up for failure. After reading this book I had a serious “Damn, it’s me…I’m the problem. Not them!” moment which has been crucial to my professional development. At Bulu Box, I made this book a mandatory read for all new employees… well, actually a mandatory read or listen. A little company called Zappos is so passionate about this book they provide an audio version for free! http://www.triballeadership.net/book
This book can get cheesy but sometimes cheese is okay. If you’re in marketing or advertising you’re going to get your ass handed to you a few times. Why? Because marketing and advertising require risk to be successful. If you’re a creative you’re letting people subjectively judge your work. If you’re determining ad buys, chances are you’ll burn some cash until you discover what works. If you’re pitching, you’ll probably stand up with your powerpoint about 10 times before landing a big client or job. That tallies up to a lot of possible failures in a career that’s already heavily criticized. It’s easy to develop a little voice in your head challenging everything you do and encouraging you to be “safe”. After years in marketing and starting my own company I ended up with a fairly loud “voice”. After some heavy research online I learned about “negative talk” and how you can unintentionally train your brain to reward itself for failure (scary cool!). Ultimately What to Say When You Talk to Yourself made my list because the content is powerful and unexpected. I found myself not being able to read it fast enough.
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