Often, though not always, whenever I participate in small talk with folks at work, it turns into a discussion about favorite tv shows, movies, or sports. At that point, I fall silent and become an observer, because my extent of tv is watching The Grand Tour and Silicon Valley, and if the Cowboys are winning I might get myself to watch the last 15 minutes. Beyond that, I’ve lost interest in all things tv, and don’t have Hulu or Netflix even (Amazon Prime only). I’m not about to start a lecture on not watching tv though, to each their own, but after years of not having television, I lost the desire for it, even though we own a tv now again. So while this clearly makes me socially awkward in many situations, it’s a price I’m willing to pay for being able to select my inputs very carefully. So in this post, I thought I’d share those inputs for anyone looking to pick up some new ones.
I’ve gone through many podcasts, but I ultimately reduced the ones I subscribe to to only 3. I generally prefer to listen to audiobooks, since I feel like more effort is put into the content, but these three podcasts are good enough that I’ll always listen.
The Tim Ferriss Show – Of course I have to stay true to my Tim Ferriss obsession. This is a podcast I’ve mentioned before, but he brings on top performers in every possible field and interviews them. Amazing insights and ideas. If you want to catch up just grab his book, which is a refined recap of many of his interviews.
eCommerceFuel – This is one I only recently started listening to. I joined the forum and have found it to contain a ton of high-quality content and contributors. Prior to coming to this forum and podcast, I had only come across subpar content that was geared specifically towards eCommerce. This is the place to go for details on actionable e-commerce ideas.
The Jason & Scot Show – Having lived in Raleigh for years and being a Channel Advisor customer I was well aware of Scot Wingo, so when he tweeted about his podcast I subscribed from episode one. I always thought his conferences and talks at other conferences were among the most useful, so I was excited for this. It didn’t disappoint. These guys give an excellent bird’s eye view of the e-commerce landscape and interview many e-commerce ecommerce executives. Worth the time for sure.
Ebooks – I quit using my Kindle because I missed reading physical books, but I do keep the app on my phone instead of having social media apps. I generally keep something relatively lightweight and fun on there since I’ll usually only read a few pages at a time, like if I’m waiting for a meeting to start or something. I started this when I wanted to get out of the habit of using social media on my phone and it worked! Right now I’m reading the incredible Arnold’s Bodybuilding for Men from the 70s and it’s as awesome as you’d expect. Just make sure you read it to yourself in Arnold’s voice.
Audio Books – I listen to audiobooks while commuting and when I’m at the gym. As I mentioned above I prefer audiobooks over podcasts. I know I don’t retain as much by audiobook though as by reading, so I choose books that are a little less important to me. I tend to crank through at least two a month though, and I don’t know where I’d be if it weren’t for Audible.
Physical Books – This is what I reserve for the books I’m most excited about reading. Right now I’m on a biography kick and just completed John Adams, which I recommend. I have a shopping addiction when it comes to books though, so my nightstand is full of the next several books I plan to read, some are Sam Walton: Made in America, Discipline Equals Freedom, and Don’t Shoot the Dog! (We’re getting my son a puppy for Christmas).
Mr Money Mustache – Ok, I know the name isn’t exactly confidence inspiring, but this blog is amazing. I only came across it maybe 6 months ago, but I got so into it I have read every post since he started it. I’ve never come across someone who I agree with to this extent on the purpose of money. I used to be really into Dave Ramsey and that enabled me to get my financial act together, after cluelessly getting into debt while in college, but this blog is commonly referred to as the graduate degree where Dave Ramsey is the bachelor’s degree. The gist of it is just that the best thing money can do for you is to give you freedom. Not freedom to lay around on the beach all day, but freedom to live a life where you work on the things you work on not because you need the paycheck, but because you want to spend your time working on it. This may even be what you’re currently doing! But wouldn’t it be twice as amazing if you didn’t have to stress out over making sure it covers your bills? Ever since I dropped my entrepreneurial side projects, I’ve been looking for a long-term goal to work towards, and this blog has given me that. I’m not nearly as frugal as he suggests you be, and I have no desire to “retire” in 5 years and live on $30k a year like he does, but I would like to ensure that my job here at JMB is the last job I ever have to work as a salaryman. This is also the blog that inspired me to switch to commuting by bike, so you could say I’m a near full convert to “mustachianism”.
Ryan Holiday – Ryan Holiday has authored some excellent books on Stoic philosophy that I’ve mentioned before on this blog. I currently read his Daily Stoic book nightly as the last thing I do before bed. His personal blog and posts on Thought Catalog are also great reading, and all the more incredible because the guy is only thirty. He’s clearly a deep and mature thinker and often provides an alternate perspective to many of the topics beaten to death in the blogosphere.
Seth Godin – Seth Godin’s daily blog is something I’ve been following for years, and usually it’s the first thing I read in the morning since it’s emailed to me. Seth’s insight is always amazing, and it’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular blogs on the internet. His book Linchpin is one of my all-time favorites, and anything he writes is worth your time, period. If you’re even remotely involved in marketing, you need to be reading his stuff.
Wall Street Breakfast – I don’t follow any news source, but my company deals in precious metals, which means I should have a basic understanding of whats happening in the markets and the world. I get that by subscribing to Seeking Alpha’s Wall Street Breakfast. This is a brief article summarizing all the important things of the day and is more than enough for me to be able to be up to date on what is going on. To be honest though, if I wasn’t in a market-driven business I wouldn’t subscribe to this, as I believe the daily news and even daily market analysis will only result in negative things in your life, but if you’re looking for an efficient way to stay up to date, here it is.
The Moynihan Letters – As a Catholic, I’ve found Dr. Robert Moynihan’s, letters on the global Church to be the best way of keeping up with whats going on. They are incredibly insightful and his insider knowledge makes each letter fascinating. Obviously, this one is only useful to interested Catholics, so I’ll leave it at that. Make sure you subscribe by email though, as the blog doesn’t appear to be updating.
There are other blogs I’m subscribed to that post so infrequently that they aren’t worth mentioning, seems like many of them converted to podcasting nowadays.
So with all this amazing content available, I don’t know how anyone could ever found time to watch tv. Always looking for new stuff though. Any great finds you’ve had recently? Let me know in the comments!