Two book recommendations (one for your business, one for your mind)

Hola!

Quick email as I know you are busy with life’s wonders and inevitable tribulations.

Last week I read two books which I highly recommend in you are interested in building products people want and becoming more focused.

Book #1: “Badass – Making Users Happy” (by Kathy Sierra)
What makes some products succeed and others fail? Kathy takes us in a visual journey (lots of pictures in this book) into the mind of our potential users so we can understand how to design products that delight users.

Main takeaways:

  • When promoting your product don’t focus on its features but on how the product will make your users awesome. It’s not about the product, it’s about what the product can do for your users.
  • You can learn faster by just by working along people that have mastered the skill you want to learn via what’s called perceptual exposure.
  • Our ability to focus is limited. Design products that don’t drain your users limited cognitive resources. Only add features that will directly contribute to the users expertise and results.

The lessons in this book can be applied to any product and I found them specifically useful to improve my approach to online course design. (ie: focus on getting results, understand how people learn, focus on the essential)

You can check out the book HERE.

Book #2: “10% Happier” (by Dan Harris)
This is a book about the benefits of meditation written by someone who was extremely skeptical about anything self-help and new-agey related.
Dan’s story on how he got into meditation and became one of its top advocates is very compelling and it’s told in a light and humorous way.

Main takeaways:

  • Meditation is very simple to practice. Just sit straight on a chair in quiet space, close your eyes and focus on your breathing for 10-20 minutes a day. Your job is to refocus on your breathing (or mantra) every time your mind wonders.
  • Benefit #1: More Focus: meditation is like going to the gym for your mind. You are working out your focusing ability. The more you practice the more you can keep your inner voice from distracting you.
  • Benefit #2: Mindfulness: the skill of knowing what’s going in your head right now without taking the bait and acting on it. Ie: someone cuts you off in traffic. Instead of getting angry (react) you develop the ability to detach from your reaction and don’t let it affect you (respond)

You can check out the book HERE or if you are in a hurry you can watch his talk at Google HERE (and if you are in a super hurry install Video Speed Controller for Chrome and watch the video at 2X speed like I do hehe)

Like Dan I was (and still am) quite skeptical about the benefits of meditation so the only way to see if it works is to give it a fair try.

So far (after only two days) I feel more relaxed and less worried about work during the day. It’s too early tell so I’ll give it a try every morning for the next week and report back.

That’s all folks!

Peace, Love and mindfully badass cookies 🙂

Miguel

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P.S: I want to say thanks to all of you that filled in last week’s Ask Method inspired survey and shared many topics ideas for me to cover on future emails. You guys rock!

P.2: I’m still processing all the responses from last week. So far the results indicate that the two main topics of interest within my audience are how to grow your business and productivity tips. If you are interested in learning more about the Ask Method you can grab a copy of the book HERE or check this video HERE.

P.3: What do you think about this shorter email format with recommendations?

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