The Local Laundry Monthly Business Book Club
No matter what interests you, we all have that stack of books in our homes that we will eventually get around to reading. They could have been gifts, personal recommendations from friends and colleagues, or they could be books that you have wanted to read forever but never made the time to do it. I have a pile of them myself, and while I would always bring one on vacation to read on the plane or download an audio version of them, I could never quite shrink that stack.
If Local Laundry has taught me anything, it's the power of community. When people come together with the same values and vision, powerful and even magical things can happen. Sometimes we need a group of like minded-individuals to motivate us and keep us accountable to reach a simple goal like reading more. Here is how we were able to find that community that suffered from the same procrastination as I did, got me to read at least one book a month (or more) and how it's made our lives inexplicably better.
My brother-in-law and I started our business book club with just the two of us when the pandemic first started. We were always interested in learning more about ways to learn and develop to become better business leaders and people in general. We would always read one book or another individually and try to get the other as excited about what we just had learned and how we would apply it to our personal and professional lives.
We could never get on the same page because we weren't reading the same books simultaneously. So we had a genius idea to read the SAME books at the SAME time, and then we could chat about the book afterwards about what we liked and didn't like. From there, we thought, what if we invited others to read the same books we were reading! We reached out to a few colleagues, pitched them on the idea, and started reading the same book.
So here is how it works.
Each month someone is nominated to choose the book for the month and appoint the person to select next month's book. We meet once a month, typically on the first Wednesday of the month, at 12 PM MST (we're starting a 7 AM MST group as well) for 45 minutes to discuss the book and give our thoughts and insight.
What we started to notice was how much more enjoyable finishing a book had become. Suddenly, instead of snapping the final page shut and moving to the next thing, we had a group of people we could bounce ideas and thoughts about what we all just read about together. Sharing and learning from the diverse group of individuals who were all experts in their own fields brought a fresh perspective every time.
We slowly started to read books that weren't on my stack of stockpiled books, but books that I never would have thought to have read in the first place. I've learned the Art of Just Saying No. I've learned to Never Split the Difference: Negotiate As If Your Life Depended On It. I'm now also a proud member of the 5AM Club (this has had the most significant positive impact on my life). All of these tools, skills and insights that we now all use daily.
Our business book club has grown, and we meet once a month for 45 minutes to discuss the book we just have read. Some members have described these meetings as the "only video call they look forward to all month" or "haven't laughed that hard on a call in months". We've created a network of business thought leaders from all over the country, many different industries and different backgrounds. Some buy the physical book and read it, some download the audiobook and listen to it, some do both (a technique I learned from the club which helps you digest the content twice as fast)! Some don't even finish the book but still have lots to offer during the discussion.
The biggest takeaway was not the things we learned from the books or each other but the power of a community. That even in scary and uncertain times, people can come together to connect, learn and support one another. The business book club has helped me emerge from the pandemic as a better person, business leader and a little more well-read. That stack of books in my home is slowly whittling down to done.
Here is the complete list of all the books we've read so far if you want to catch up:
- The E-Myth Revisited - by Michael Gerber
- Extreme Ownership - by Jacko Willink
- Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less - by Greg McKeown
- Future Crimes - by Marc Goodman
- The Art of Saying No - by Damon Zachariades
- The Four Agreements - by Don Miguel Ruiz
- The 5 AM Club - by Robin Sharm
- Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters
- Never Split The Difference - Negotiate As If Your Life Depends On It by Chris Voss
- This is Marketing by Seth Godin
- Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman
- No Ego by Cy Wakeman
- Traction by Gino Wickman
If you'd like to join the Local Laundry Business Book Club, just click this link here!