Back in June, I had the fortune to talk with the director of Memphis Heat, Chad Schaffler, as the film was taking a tour of theaters around the title’s region. Just the bit that I had to talk with Chad about the phenomenon of Memphis “Rasslin’” gave me a sense of the energy and excitement of those memories.
Well, I shared some of that enthusiasm when a copy of Memphis Heat showed up in my mailbox the other day, and I’d been scraping for a moment to watch the movie. This is what you would hope. A complete retrospective with the names you know from the area, Jerry Lawler, Jerry Jarrett, Rocky Johnson, Jimmy Hart, Jimmy Valient (who is easily mistaken for Tommy Chong). But the laundry list of other stars of the area that I’d never really gotten to know.
As a longtime fan, this disc delved into just where guys like Jimmy Hart and Jerry Lawler came from. It was the perfect companion to reading Lawler’s book all those years ago (and might lead to me re-reading it with this context). Stories from the road, about the crazy crowds, and wars between promotions, and even a departure to WWF. When the movie was done, I sat through all of the outtakes from the interviews.
In an era when WWE is releasing revisionist history DVDs of WCW, World Class Championship Wrestling, ECW, and AWA, it’s nice to see something straight from the source, and from what I understand, one of the few libraries not currently owned by the big WWE. If you’re big into reading everything you can get your hands on about life in wrestling, this is a great flick.
You can find the trailer, and a shop for the DVD and book it was based on, at www.memphis-heat.com
Over a year ago, I had the chance to real Crush It in audiobook form. You could say this was one of a few books that inspired me to make some leaps in my life. I took to the book as something of a cheerleader. I’ve listened to the book about three times now as a reminder to just why I’m doing the things I am when things get a little tough to swallow and you need a little more faith.
I didn’t expect much of the same from the “Thank You Economy”. While “Crush It” is what I call an “independent’s pep talk”, this book is “the book of facts to convince people social media is important”. We get to hear Gary’s thoughts on how the one to one relationships were so important some 80 years ago, disappeared, then are coming back in the form or social media.
For me, this book supports and gives me even more samples and thoughts to flesh out my pitches of social media being a new level of transparency that a company should work to meet. Samples are given from Gary’s own company, restaurants, and even some samples and thoughts from the medical field, which is another nut I’m trying to crack.
As with the last book, I held out for the audiobook. Vaynerchuck brings so much more to his reading. You know what points he intends to emphasize by the passion, and repeatedly taking himself “off script” to bring some additional personal thoughts and updated information since he wrote these words. It’s a tremendous value add. I picked this up for a long six hour round trip to the middle of Pennsylvania, and the time passed with ease. As I listened through, I had a whole list of potential initiatives for our own Cafe and my own freelancing business. It got the juices flowing to kill the time like nothing, and will likely fall into a similar reread cycle like Crush It and Rework have recently.
You can currently get this audiobook FREE with Audible via our affiliate link at www.audiblepodcast.com/sorgatronmedia, no risk to you.
I’ve always saw the Tonight Show as one of those staple shows growing up. Carson raised my sense of humor, and I felt his leaving as one of those now rare moments in television. Since, it seems that show has been an oft battled for throne.
War for Late Night is another recommendation from TWIT’s long sustained Audible ads (affiliate link), which have fueled my wish list in that service fir some time now. I normally wouldn’t have delved into a book like this without a recommendation. What I found was a look at how truly screwed up the waning network television business really is. We discuss at great length at how much the content providers don’t “get it” when it comes to the battle of cable vs the Internet. It’s likely worse than thought if the history of this book holds true.
The book bounces back and forth in the timeline of late night in the last twenty years. First at thus up fronts featuring Jay Leno bombing at stand up heading into his 10 pm show. We get the story of elements of this plan being laid out five years earlier when NBC feared losing Conan and attempted to design a plan to keep both in the fold. Surprisingly, this book actually steps back and profiles anyone who’s mattered in the late night space in the last decade. Letterman, Ferguson, and Kimmel are all there, but so were Stewart and Colbert. Though with the final result of Conan ending up on cable, I shouldn’t be surprised.
In the midst of all of the motivations and conversations between execs, talent, and their representatives, there are also rumblings of the resistance of the “old ways and tradition” of something like the Tonight show as cable honchos and the pending Comcast merger are on the horizon. Conan is portrayed as the loyal employee, and a tiny bit neurotic, as most talents are. Jay is portrayed as all business, which is why he’s successful, and partially betrayed by NBC to begin with. We get incite into reactions and history of Letterman, Kimmel (including his Leno impression and shanghai’ing Leno on his own show), and more late night history than I ever wanted to know. The audiobook from Audible was very well read, and kept me into it for all 14+ hours of the book.
If your Team Conan, you’ll enjoy this one, for sure. I grew up on Carson and waned on Leno, and this was a great backstory for the last 20 years of that space!
It’s a week later, and I’ve managed to listen to is 1.5 times, and this was quite a different animal than Crush It. Rework starts by deconstructing business as we all know it, and suggests the way we should really go about things, or at least the ways in which 37Signals did it, and did it well. We find how the philosophy behind large business practices like meetings and prolonged decision making that fail to actually get things done. We took apart the entrepreneurial misconceptions that I’ve picked up from “Startup” talk around the internet about finding someone to fund your project, and what it costs to be beholden to a process like that.
Rework tends to go for some shock statements. For instance “Emulate drug dealers” sounds ridiculous for a business book at first, but upon reflection, you find that we’re discussing a shareware or trial model or some variation of either. The focus is on light products that are easily mobile and have more focus. Items like “ASAP is Poison” talks about how our communication can be broken at work.
As someone looking to build something for himself, this book came in handy. I had been looking at things from the entrepreneurial side, which became intimidating, and maybe it didn’t fit what I really wanted to do. On a recent net@night interview, the writers mentioned that this was an intentionally short book to be reread easily. I can certainly see doing that to mull over when I would actually have to consider looking at resumes and if to hire more people. Like Crush It last week, there is an undercurrent of an idea that you’re doing something important to you, and to step up and just run with your inspiration. You don’t sit on it.
For those looking to break out on their own, I have to recommend Rework and Crush It as a sort of one two punch to get yourself motivated. This as the nuts and bolts of thinking about your venture, and Gary V’s book as a cheerleader to destroy what you need to do.
While, I’m not particularly a wine connoisseur, I’ve loved everything else that I’ve heard from Gary Vaynerchuk . I’ve loved every appearance by him, whether it be on This Week in Startups, or his random videos on his own website. So when I heard he was putting out a book on the things he’s learned, I know one thing…there better be an audiobook.
And there wise, finally after a while. I had a chance to listen through the book over the last few days, and first of all, that’s a record for me. For the first time, I’ve wanted to put aside all of my regular podcasts to listen to this one, instead. I’ve read some dryly read, yet informative audiobooks since I’ve been introduced months ago, but like Total Money Makeover, this one is read by a passionate author, who, thankfully, has some on microphone experience. This one was a bit like the “DVD Extra” of audiobooks. Periodically, Gary would stop his reading to add a little something to clarify what he wrote, or how things have already changed in the past months since he turned this one in.
In this book, Gary goes over how you find something important to you that you can let everyone know about. Building yourself as a brand, and using the social media tools out there. More than a methodology and technique this book was more of a pep talk to get the hell out of your job you’re not happy with, and give a go at what you love to do. His philosophy seems to sum up as, if you love doing it, you’ll put the ridiculous effort into building your brand and community to be as successful as it can be. We’re taken down the paths of how to use the typical Twitter, WordPress, or Facebook, which many may already be familiar with, but it’s always interesting to see someone else’s take on these technologies and how you can build in a way you didn’t originally think of. Gary splashes the book with examples of people having the potential to talk about the most mundane of interests and illustrating how there’s an audience for it that can be tapped.
Now, next on my read list happens to be Rework by the folks at 37Signals on their take of business building and thinking. Some of the striking statements in just the ads and interviews include “fire the workaholics” and “Don’t not get sleep”. This feels, at first, to fly in the face of Gary’s take on this. So it will be interesting to see where the two may cross paths. At this point, both seem like good candidates for relistening to from time to time just to simply motivate myself in my personal development. I’ve been listening about the same time a a coworker, and turned to say “I want to go crush something right now”. Say hello to Gary Vaynerchuk. Your social media cheerleader.
Once again, I found myself following some recommendations, this time via TWIT, and it was along time listen. I’ve been looking to expand my skills, and I thought this would be an interesting book to relate to.
This book was nice (audiobook not read by the author, of course) to see the author was a local transplant from Latrobe, just a drive from Pittsburgh. There were several anecdotes of a small town guy moving out into the world.
I found that this book outlined, in great detail, a few concepts I’ve found myself already taking on, such as being a “selfless helper”. A more open approach of contributing where you can genuinely to make new friends and contacts. Many of the demonstrations were ways in which you make business relationships real friendships. It seemed to blur the lines between business and personal life, for the most part. Being maybe a little less formal. Even to the extent of taking your associates’ birthdays into account and how a small gesture can make the difference. This is a concept that is, of course, related to your business acquaintances, but I also find I’m able to apply to my closer friends that I find myself in danger of falling out of touch with. It’s a couple of years old, but it does cover the social media aspects of all this, which makes all of these tips so much easier to execute these days.
I wasn’t relating quite as much to the dinner parties that were often discussed. Maybe it’s something that I need to interpret to my own life and needs, or sorts of business, but the examples given seemed a little beyond my means. But maybe that’s a demonstration of where this guy got with his skills.
On the audiobook I listened to, the narration was a bit cheerier than I would have hoped. Whereas the Total Money Makeover author read his book with an evangelistic passion for his words, this narrator felt he had his nose in the air as he read this. It wasn’t so much of a dealbreaker, fortunately, and the information was fantastic.
For a bit of a cliff’s notes on the book in the area of Friendships, and a bit better explaination than I’m sure I could write, check out this article by The Simple Dollar.
I’m a 28 year old that has never really been that good at money. So when things sort of hit a point where I’m realizing I need to make some changes and get my act together, finally, I recalled my coworkers preaching for ages about this book by Dave Ramsey. I’d resisted for the longest time as I’m not one to gravitate towards self help books. Finally, I hit up the audio book, and gave it a shot.
At first you’re going to find Ramsey over the top. You can tell this guy believes his own snake oil, whether you believe him or not. He has a background story to support where this method came from, and it seems, a financial radio show that he also promotes his methods through. The first disc and a half (of a three disc set if you get the physical copy) seems more of a prep course for the main steps. It feels like he takes all of this time to sell you the book you already bought.
When you finally get to the guts of the book, the process, it’s as you would expect. Stuff that should have been common sense to most laid out in front of you. First with the concepts of establishing your Emergency Fund, and how you should go about tearing down your amounted debts. Attacking you’re mortgage (and takinng care of all of that in about 7 years). Then, we move on to amassing for retirement, children’s college, and so on. But by that time, maybe you don’t need this sort of advice anymore.
There’s certainly a bit of a religious undertone to this book. At first, it feels like you’re being preached the religion of money and how to use it effectively. We get a bit of a wrap up toward the end that brushes off that impression, insisting that the act of debt itself is devil’s play. A concept that doesn’t seem too far from the truth in a day when college kids commit suicide to escape thier ill gotten credit card debt.
Overall, this book matched the high recommendation that brought it my way. It’s just the thing you need if you’re fed up with doing things the wrong way and trying to get on your feet in this unfortunate economy.
Thanks to Jenda, I was introduced to another blog on financial matters, and hence, a more concise review of this same book by someone far more versed on the matter than I. Headover to The Simple Dollar to check it out yourself.