My Top 10 Reads for 2013 – “Reading for Profits”

As you know I’m big on  Reading for Profits, which means I like to read books, take one or two ideas from them and implementreading for profits on the street right away.

Why else would we read business books for?

That’s right, to get smarter and better at what we do!

I read a total of 35 books this year, but I’m going to share with you my “Reading for Profits –Top 10”

Every single one of these books will help re-shape the way you think about Money – Business – and People.

As you probably know, no good fortune will ever come to you unless you change the way you think… These books will help you do precisely that!

…but don’t take my word for it.

Here we go:

The 100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future – Chris Guilleabeau takes us through real life examples of regular people who are not only making money doing what they love, but have attained financial independence and personal freedom in the process. Great read if you still have doubts about getting something going and finally getting off your butt and start doing what you were meant to do… which believe me, it’s probably not what you are doing right now for someone else!

The Monk and the Riddle: The Art of Creating a Life While Making a Living – Randy Komisar is one of those guys I just need to meet one day. This book took me into the mind of a business genius in a story telling format rare for VC guys like him. Not only did I learn about the way Venture Capitalists think about business opportunities but I also had fun reading it! Highly recommended.

My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising (Advertising Age Classics Library) – by Claude Hopkins. If you are in sales, marketing and advertising, this book is a must read. I read it once a year, together with The Magic of Thinking Big and How To Win Friends and Influence People.

Screw Business As Usual – by Sir Richard Branson. All aspiring entrepreneurs, business people and leadership pundits should read this one. It’s full of practical anecdotes, real life examples and people stories. The main message I got from it whether you run a small business or a fortune-500 one is: Be different and don’t lose your way! Remember why you did it in the first place and search for that passion.

Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear – Rarely is a book so necessary as this one. Frank Luntz makes and inarguable case for how important and indispensable words and overall language are to get your message across. It’s an essential read because its value crosses genres and impacts so many different areas of our culture.

Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think – Finally a book were optimism, abundance and hope are the main message regarding the outcome of our species. Written by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler. I’m so tired of reading about wicked problems and the problems found in solutions that when reading this book I just felt instantly better, optimistic and with a renewed vigor and strength to fight for the things that are truly important in life.  These guys really do a good job of addressing some of the major challenges that we face as a people, but with a witty, insightful and problem solving mindset. Top 3 read for me this year!

Ten Powerful Phrases for Positive People – By Rich DeVos. The greatness of this book lies in the simplicity of its message! How can Ten simple phrases be so powerful? – Probably has something to do with how much meaning is behind them. I’m not going to spoil it for you. Pick this one up, it truly is a game changer! Top 3 read for me this year!

How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It – Mark Cuban doesn’t pull any punches on this one. This book is written for all kinds of entrepreneurs and business people that are still not digging deep enough. I won’t hold it against him that he owns the Mavericks, me being a die-hard Heat fan and so on… but, he does get my respect and admiration for being a bad-ass business man! Definitely a guy I’d want to meet and play some golf with one day!

The New Wellness Revolution: How to Make a Fortune in the Next Trillion Dollar Industry – The wellness industry is now a Trillion dollar industry. Paul Zane Pilzner makes an incredible case and backs it with more than enough data pointing to only one conclusion: If you are looking to start a business, your chances of success in this industry are drastically higher than in any other in the next 15 years… Make a move now!

Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got: 21 Ways You Can Out-Think, Out-Perform, and Out-Earn the Competition – Jay Abraham is the Godfather of Business Strategy! This read not only shaped but completely rearranged how I look at strategy in small, medium and large businesses. Top 3 read for me this year!

If you are looking to make a move from Cubicle nation on to the entrepreneurial arena -Or maybe not a complete move but you are starting a business on the side, every single one of these books will be not only inspirational but practical in that endeavor.

As a business man or woman, reading is an essential part of your education, your growth and evolution as a person. Largely because new ideas in combination with your own mojo shape your mind and instigate action. If you don’t read, you don’t learn about options, outcomes, ideas, people, research, money and mostly… “yourself”

This wraps the 2013 “Reading for Profits” updates my friends… I’ll be sharing my monthly reads weekly from now on, so stay close!

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Make Yourself Irresistibly Wanted and Shamefully Well Paid for It!

Regardless of what your chosen profession, business or employment is. You can make yourself ultra-influential any time you so wish it!Claudio Alegre - Marketing Style

Developing a Profitable Marketing style simply means becoming more influential.

With influence comes opportunity, money, relationships that last, plus a lifestyle of abundance, respect, and consistency.

This topic got me thinking about all the big names in business and marketing  I’ve learned from over the years.

Not only the famous ones, but also guys that you may not have even heard of unless you are a marketing geek like me.

But even household names like Steve Jobs, Dr. Oz, Robert Kiyosaki, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates… etc

What do these ultra-successful people and entrepreneurs have in common?

What makes them so successful at attracting attention?

How can you achieve the same level of irresistibility?

I believe it comes down to idea sharing (being genuine), personal experiences and service (leadership) and conscious style building (modest self promotion).

There are a million Realtors, Financial Planners, Attorneys, Consultants and Fitness Professionals out there…

Are they not selling from the same supply source and to the same demand pool?

Name one product or service out there where there’s only one supplier for it.

Your style is the way you do things … the proverbial secret sauce, is in essence “YOU”. Your Ideas, and the way you communicate and execute them!

But how do you develop your style? 

Here’s the not so secret SECRET!

You’ve always had it!

You were born with a unique personality and character signature.

“In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and in action.  I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”


Chisel away the rough edges and your true self and awesomeness will reveal itself.

You’re already irresistible in your own unique way, you just don’t know it yet!

But you have to be OK with being YOU!

All you need to do then is to enhance and develop that unique signature and style in your business or profession.

I always laugh when people tell me:

“…but Claudio I don’t know how to sell anything”

Well, you date don’t you?

What do you think dating is?

It’s the biggest sales job ever!

But I’ll make it really easy for you…

Follow these simple steps and start making yourself irresistible to your friends, clients and prospects:

Have a “renaissance approach” to your marketing style process – In other words forget the “always be closing” BS, that’s archaic old thinking and doesn’t apply to today’s market place. Instead,“always be learning… and doing”. Be interested in people first!

You can only develop a style by being yourself. Stop wanting to be someone else – Being different doesn’t necessarily mean being first, at least initially. You have to work hard regardless, but it’s how you work that makes the difference. Your ideas and how you execute them is what makes you “YOU”.

I read at least 4 books a month, not including fiction, and listen to 2-4 podcast from someone successful in my industry – You have to reprogram your way of thinking, and develop new mental models. So Yes! Brainwash yourself as often as you can… Challenge your thinking, put it to the test. The best way of doing this is to learn from others that have something worthwhile to offer and that have results. Join a mastermind group, get a couple of mentors, take time to work on your personal growth.

Make a list right now of the things you do that make you unique from your peers – be honest with yourself and when in doubt ask your friends and clients for feedback. I like this approach:  “…what worked, and in your view what can I do differently?” If nothing stands out, then that’s your first clue!

Play to your strengths – focus on the things you excel at. Keep your weaknesses in sight, but your focus must be on the things that already make you great. That is what’s going to make you influential and incredibly productive!

Your style will evolve naturally and unbeknownst to you at first. Others may notice before you do. Then as you become aware of how you are perceived by others, you start to have an active and conscious input into the process.

By this time you have a clear picture of Who you are (in this context), and What degree of influence you can exert in your business network.

Does this help?

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Read Faster for Profits! – How to read 5 books a month for pleasure, knowledge and money

Just in case you are wondering why you would want to read faster for profits:Reading for Profits

  • Exposure to more Business ideas than you’ll know what to do with.
  • Cutting edge strategies on unique topics from smarter people that have already done it!
  • Authority and Social Leadership – you read it? You lead the conversation!
  • Personal growth in this order: data-information-knowledge-wisdom-enlightenment
  • World Class Knowledge for pennies on the dollar.
  • Reach out and meet the author real-time and extend the value and network.
  • Cheap research from already researched topics
  • You’ll become a better writer and speaker!


Here’s what you DON’T need to do:

  • Take a speed reading course (…even though they are awesome and useful!)
  • Stay up till the wee hours of the night slobbering over the pages or your Kindle
  • Get up at monastic hours for a reading schedule
  • Sacrifice productivity or daylight to read
  • Spend a fortune at your local bookstore
  • Ignore your family
  • Medicate yourself


Here’s the only catch to be able to read faster for profits:

You have to Re-Learn how to read a book!


Reader Misconceptions – This applies to over 90% of so-called avid readers.

A quick *Note – I’m referring here to mostly self help, informative and business books. Not fiction or other leisure type reading.

Misconception #1 – The author must be really good if he wrote a book.

You know what you get really good at when you read a lot?

Spotting BS a mile away… I haven’t bought a book that blows in over 4 years… How?

Nowadays you can read a good chunk of it including the table of contents on Amazon. Plus if the author has a blog you can also go there and get a feeling for what this guy is about to pump in your head.

You can also check out their Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles for conversations regarding their book. Also endorsements from people you already know, like and trust.

Misconception #2 – You must be a super-fast reader to read that many books.

Nope, you just need to know what you are after and a plan on how to get it really fast. Organizing your reading material by topic and dates is key here.

Misconception #3 – You can only read with your eyes.

Negative. Heard of audio books? Let me ask you… How many hours a week do you spend in your car? That’s right, most people listen to the radio, or chat on the phone, or pick their nose while driving.

My point is that you could be listening to an audio book or a podcast while you drive, workout, run, you get the idea.

I recently finished 100 episodes of a 1hr marketing related podcast. It was FREE by the way.

The information I learned by episode 20 had already made me money! I learned while driving. In others words, I got paid to drive!

…and I hate driving unless I’m hitting the open road with the family. I’m convinced that if I ever do a country wide road trip I’ll end up with the equivalent of a Doctorate degree based on reading volume alone.

Misconception #4 – Reading is for people that have time.

Right… and making money is for people that don’t?

I don’t think I should spend too much time on this one.

Misconception #5 – I multitask and that’s how I read.

Multitasking is as most people define it or understand it, a misnomer, an oxymoron of cataclysmic proportion. There isn’t such a thing as multitasking, which is nothing more than lower percentage or quality completion levels of activity.

The most insanely productive people I know are not multitaskers and they would never consider themselves one.

What most people mislabel multitasking as, is really triaging. A task World War II doctors were already doing in the battlefield by visually assigning a priority scale to the wounded depending on whether they had a bullet in the leg vs. the neck.

A strategy you can also apply to your reading portfolio by the way. I’ve been triaging my reading for years with awesome results.

Misconception #6 – I never finish the books I start!… that’s why I don’t even bother.

Yes I know, and you shouldn’t either.

Who says you have to finish a book that sucks. If you’ve learned all you are going to, or don’t feel like the author can teach you anything else, dump it.

If you get one or two good ideas from a book, that’s great! If you get more than that… Awesome!

Now put them to work!

Let me share with you briefly how I approach my reading,

The best authors write their chapters somewhat interrelated, but not interdependent.

The best books are the ones that I read as reference guides, where each chapter is a gem on its own.

That’s why I spend some time studying the table of contents, researching the author, reading Amazon reviews, etc.


Remember the focus and ultimate goal of reading any book is to walk away with 1-2 relevant and applicable ideas,

names, dates, anecdotes, quotes are a bonus, but not the main focus,

…and to use it as a Reference Source.


Here’s my process:

I read clusters of books by topic. Say for example I’m reading 3 marketing books from unrelated authors.

I never ever read the basics, or what I consider myself to be proficient in, unless I’m learning what their method to teach is, -but for self consumption I go straight to areas where I’m going to learn something insightful or at least skinned in a different way.

Everything else I scan. If something catches my eye, I grab it.

This allows me to cut the time that would normally take me to read that book by about 60%

So say I find the chapters or pages related to “email marketing”, I then hit everything there is on those books on that topic but from different authors. This gives me a wide perspective and different views on the subject. I’m already very familiar with the topic, now I’m looking for unique insights (gold nuggets) from these guys!

The average book I read form vetted authors I know has 3-8 good insights or ideas that I can apply.

A lot depends on the book also, for example I’m reading about 4 books on Copywriting this month, one of them a re-read because it’s a classic. The other 3 are from well known proven authors and master copywriters.

From these guys you can expect a lot more than just 3-8 ideas, so the challenge for me is the same as when I go to a buffet, don’t eat with my eyes.

I ask myself how I can take one or two, preferably only one of these ideas and implement it right away…always, always be implementing.

Always be testing, trying new things and learning what works for you and what doesn’t.

I also listen to 4-5 podcasts at any time, and about 2 audio books a month.

The downside of listening: it’s considerably slower than reading.

The upside: It’s attention independent.

You can be running, working out, driving, walking and be listening to any selective content you want, the catch is that you are constrained by the duration of that content.

Right now I consume about 10-12 books a month on average without it really making a dent on the rest of my personal or business schedule.

By the way, I also schedule reading sessions as part of my work, kind of mandatory.

I block time for it. Like when I’m doing marketing research for a client I’m working with, I block chunks of time.

I should mention that a major factor that allowed me to go from 4-5 books a month to double that at half my prior cost was… you guessed it… Kindle!

I buy 90% of my reading material digitally via Kindle/Amazon bookstore. When you think about the space-time efficiencies in carrying that much information and knowledge in your pocket, is mind blowing …isn’t?

Just the other day, not too long ago, we invented paper, then the printing press!

Here’s the other thing that wows me.

Think of all the effort, knowledge and time that goes into writing a book, of everything that person had to go through to make that production a reality… And then you and I pick it up for less than fifteen to twenty bucks… IF… because the average price for a kindle book these days is $9.99.

I better leave it off here. This is a topic I love to write, talk and obviously read about.

There might be an E-book in the process here. Something along the lines of “Reading for Profits”…something like that.

I don’t know, we’ll see… if I decide to write it that might drop me down to about 8 books a month.

What do you think… Fair trade?

[Bonus] – Read PX: The PX Project, a single 3-hour cognitive experiment, produced an average increase in reading speed of 386%.

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