I learn from many different sources (articles, podcasts, documentaries, movies, etc.). However, most of my takeaways come from reading and studying books and courses. People put a lot of effort into producing these two mediums than any other medium.
On this page, I publish my summaries and notes, but I also mention what I’m currently studying, as well as what I intend to study. You might notice that I tend to study a lot of marketing books and courses since that’s my specialty.
- The Code. The Evaluation. The Protocols by Jocko Willink: This is the sequel to his Discipline Equals Freedom. It’s supposed to be more practical.
- Grow Your Blog Fast by Brian Dean: Has some fantastic blueprints for creating good content. Brian really knows his stuff!
- Pimsleur French: I’m at Level 5 right now. There is no detailed explanation of grammar, but the format is still very good.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie: A self-help classic.
Recently Finished (Summaries will be published soon)
- Discipline Equals Freedom by Jocko Willink: A book on how to develop discipline by a retired officer of the United States Navy.
- Pocket Full Of Do by Chris Do: A compilation of different lessons by an Emmy award-winning designer.
- Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday: I really liked The Obstacle is the Way, so I decided to read this one.
- Alchemy by Rory Sutherland: I’ve been waiting for Rory to write a book, and here it is!
- The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday: It presents a very simple and useful framework for dealing with all the obstacles that you face.
- You Are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren: A book about bodyweight exercises. Lauren made some really compelling arguments on why you need to stop going to gyms, and instead, use your body to exercise.
- The Ultimate Marketing Plan by Dan Kennedy: Lots of useful thoughts and examples on creating solid marketing plans.
- Create or Hate by Dan Norris: This one is similar to Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art.
- The Narrow Road by Felix Dennis: A British multi-millionaire shares his thoughts on how to become rich.
- Social Media Mastery by DigitalMarketer: This is more about the strategy of social media rather than how to use Facebook or Twitter.
- This is Marketing by Seth Godin: It seems like Seth put everything he knows about marketing in this one.
- Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith: Definitely the best book on marketing services.
- Traction by Gabriel Weinberg: The book to read if you’re launching a startup.
On The Radar
- My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising by Clause Hopkins: This is one of David Ogilvy’s top recommendations—he actually required that you read it seven times before you went to work for him!
- Nutrition Made Clear by TGC: I keep hearing a lot of nutrition terms that I don’t know, especially while listening to The Joe Rogan Experience. It’s time to do something about it.
Notes & Summaries
To get the book summaries and notes, click on the blue titles below. They’re ordered from the newest to the oldest. I included short descriptions to give you an idea of what the book or course is about, as well as a score from 1 to 10 indicating how strongly I recommend that particular book or course.
The Art of Reading by Farnam Street (10/10): Fantastic! This one gives a step by step system for reading and fully absorbing what you’ve read. If you’re an avid reader (or learner), this course is definitely worth checking out.
Gateless by Sebastian Marshall (8/10): Introduces a simple but brilliant framework to help you succeed on a personal and professional level. Very interesting!
The Win Without Pitching Manifesto by Blair Enns (8/10): What a great (and short) book! While it’s primarily written for creative agencies, it’s useful to anyone who exchanges their thinking for money.
Analytics & Data Mastery by DigitalMarketer (9/10): The more I study marketing, the more I understand the need for knowing and tracking your numbers.
Email Marketing Mastery by DigitalMarketer (8/10): DM never disappoints! I was really surprised by the number of things that I’ve never considered when it comes to email marketing.
The Unpublished David Ogilvy by David Ogilvy (10/10): A collection of many things that David has said or written but never published. It offers an even deeper dive into the world of the king of Madison Avenue.
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (9/10): The go-to book for getting yourself to work on the things you want to get done and becoming who you want to become. Truly life-changing!
The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert (7/10): A series of letters written by legendary copywriter Gary Halbert to his youngest son Bond Halbert.
Courage Under Fire by James Stockdale (5/10): The transcript of a speech given by a North Vietnam veteran who used Epictetus’s teachings to survive as a prisoner of war.
The Dip by Seth Godin (8/10): An amazing little book that talks about when to quit and when to keep on keeping on.
Content Marketing Mastery by DigitalMarketer (10/10): Probably, the only course you’ll ever need to when it comes to content marketing.
The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (9/10): A contemporary translation of one of Stoicism pillar books.
The 22 Immutable Laws Of Marketing by Al Ries (9/10): A brilliant marketing classic that was recommended to me by every marketer and their mother.
The Moral Sayings of Publius Syrus by Publius Syrus (7/10): A collection of timeless quotations by a former Roman slave, many of which are now common phrases.
The Manual by Epictetus (9/10): A contemporary translation of Epictetus’s book, which is also known as The Enrichidion. This is the one to start with if you’re new to Stoicism as it’s shorter than the other works on the topic, and it lays out all the important principles of the philosophy.
Recession-Proof Graduate by Charlie Hoehn (8/10): The book to read right after graduation! Charlie presents a solid blueprint to stand out from the crowd and get your foot on the door.
Train My Traffic Person by Molly Pittman & Ezra Firestone (10/10): The best paid traffic/media buying course I’ve taken so far. It’s an over the shoulder experience where Molly Pittman (former VP of marketing at DigitalMarketer) takes you through her entire process.
Let’s Build A Profitable Traffic System by Molly Pittman (9/10): Another great paid traffic course by Molly Pittman! In this one, she actually uses two companies to demonstrate her system.
Paid Traffic Mastery by DigitalMarketer (9/10): Molly Pittman, the instructor, takes you through how DigitalMarketer uses paid traffic to acquire customers and teaches you how you can do the same for your business.
Conversion Funnel Mastery by DigitalMarketer (8/10): A more comprehensive and systematic examination of marketing/sales funnels. It’s about optimizing each contact point with potential customers in order to convert and move them to the next stage. Plenty of examples were given to help you execute the principles.
No B.S. Direct Marketing by Dan Kennedy (7/10): A solid introduction to the principles of direct marketing from a veteran of the field.
The 1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib (9/10): Definitely one of the best books about the fundamentals of small business marketing that I’ve ever read. It doesn’t delve much in tactics instead, it focuses on the strategies and most importantly the mindsets of successful marketing.
The Productivity Blueprint by Asian Efficiency (8/10): One of the most practical productivity course I’ve taken. It covers a wide range of topics, such as creating and sustaining motivation, starting projects and finishing them, prioritizing, delegating, improving focus, reducing distractions and interruptions, developing self-discipline and willpower. Finally, the course ends with some really useful guidelines and strategies to manage email.
The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber (7/10): This is one of the most recommended books for people who want to start a business if not the most recommended. Although the book’s message is really important, I have to say that I hated Gerber’s writing style.
The Finisher’s Formula by Ramit Sethi (5/10): Even though it’s not as comprehensive as the other productivity courses I’ve taken, it still offered many great tips on achieving your goals or finishing a given project. I especially liked the interview he did with Cal Newport.
Learn How To Speak a Foreign Language in 6 Months by Mustafa Erdogan (7/10): This one changed a lot of misconceptions I had about language learning. The mindsets and strategies it presents are used by some of the most famous polyglots in the world, notably Alexander Argüelles.
Ogilvy On Advertising by David Ogilvy (10/10): What an exhausting read! Ogilvy, known as the father of modern advertising and founder of one of the biggest advertising agencies in the world, shares decades’ worth of advice ranging from how to produce advertising that works, how to get clients, how to run an advertising agency, and so much more.
How To Talk To Anybody by Ramit Sethi (4/10): I was expecting advanced social skills but it’s really just basic stuff. If you’re the extremely introverted type and you would like to improve your social life, this course might offer some useful tips.
The Wit and Wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew by Lee Kuan Yew (10/10): A great collection of quotes on many subjects by the founding father of modern Singapore. I learned so much about it takes to take a nation from third-world to first.
Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch (7/10): This one presents an introduction to the basics of good marketing. It’s a systematic approach for small businesses looking to effectively market their products and services.
Rituals by Asian Efficiency (6/10): Another great course by Asian Efficiency. It deals with building new rituals, making them stick, and resurrecting old ones. Their stuff is always practical.