BBOTM-04: “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

In this month’s Business Book of the month episode we discuss “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. Paulo Coelho was born in Brazil, and he has now sold more than 100 million books.

Top quotes & bullets from “The Alchemist”

The Alchemist

The Alchemist

  • “What’s the world’s greatest lie?” the boy asked, completely surprised. “It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.”
  • He had to choose between something he had become accustomed to and something he wanted to have.
  •  ‘The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.’”
  • He picked up the two stones and put them back in his pouch. He didn’t consider mending the hole—the stones could fall through any time they wanted. He had learned that there were certain things one shouldn’t ask about, so as not to flee from one’s own Personal Legend.
  • it’s the thought of Mecca that keeps me alive. That’s what helps me face these days that are all the same, these mute crystals on the shelves, and lunch and dinner at that same horrible café. I’m afraid that if my dream is realized, I’ll have no reason to go on living.
  • every blessing ignored becomes a curse.
  • “When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream,” said the alchemist, echoing the words of the old king.
  •  “Isn’t wine prohibited here?” the boy asked “It’s not what enters men’s mouths that’s evil,” said the alchemist. “It’s what comes out of their mouths that is.”
  •  “And what went wrong when other alchemists tried to make gold and were unable to do so?” “They were looking only for gold,” his companion answered. “They were seeking the treasure of their Personal Legend, without wanting actually to live out the Personal Legend.”
  •  “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.
  • When I have been truly searching for my treasure, I’ve discovered things along the way that I never would have seen had I not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible for a shepherd to achieve.”
  • happiness could be found in a grain of sand from the desert, as the alchemist had said. Because a grain of sand is a moment of creation, and the universe has taken millions of years to create it.
  • The boy remembered an old proverb from his country. It said that the darkest hour of the night came just before the dawn.
  •  “When you possess great treasures within you, and try to tell others of them, seldom are you believed.”
  • When the pan had cooled, the monk and the boy looked at it, dazzled. The lead had dried into the shape of the pan, but it was no longer lead. It was gold. “Will I learn to do that someday?” the boy asked.
Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action

What score do we give  “Ask”?

Mark Asquith gave it a nine-and-a-half out of 10, Colin gave it an eight-an-a-half out of 10, Chris have it a nine and I gave it an eight. That means that it gets thirty-five out of forty – that’s 87.5 percent!

What we’re reading next

Next up we’re going to be reading a book called Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action by Simon Sinek, so make sure you’re subscribed to our email updates and we’ll tell you when we go live with the next show!

BBOTM-03: “Ask Formula” by Ryan Levesque

It’s Chris, me and Colin for this, the second episode of Business Book of the Month. Unfortunately Mark couldn’t make it but he hopes to be back at 8.00pm GMT on the 21st December when we host the next live discussion!



In this month’s episode we discuss Ask” by Ryan LevesqueLevesque has apparently used his Ask Formula to help build businesses in 23 different industries, generating over $100 million dollars in sales. It’s essentially a step-by-step formula to follow;  to learn how to ask your subscribers about them and their background. So you as a business can deliver a much more tailored message.

Top quotes from the book

It’s about appealing to people’s sense of self-discovery and curiosity

The help you do 4 things: define your market, engage your market, refine your marketing and redeem your marketing efforts

the only incentive you want to offer is the promise of a solution to their problem

what is your #1 single biggest X challenge you’re struggling with right now?

lastly, i may want to follow up with a few people personally to learn about your situation. If you’d be open to chatting for a few minutes on the condition that I promise you not to sell you anything – please leave your name and phone number below

so you want to combine and consolidate those buckets until you’re left with, ideally three to five buckets that address 80% of your market

The Alchemist

The Alchemist

by asking you a few questions we can help diagnose your problem, give you the solution, and even customize that solution to help your particular situation

What score do we give  “Ask”?

Chris gave it a 9, I gave it an 9 and Colin gave it an 8, giving it a very good score of 87%.

What we’re reading next

Next up we’re going to be reading a book called “The Alchemist” by @paulocoelho so make sure you’re subscribed to our email updates and we’ll tell you when we go live with the next show!

BBOTM-02: “The $100 Startup” by Chris Guillebeau

It’s Chris, me and Mark for this, the second episode of Business Book of the Month. Unfortunately Colin couldn’t make it but he assures us that he’s going to be part of the gang next time!

The $100 Startup

The $100 Startup

In this month’s episode we discuss “The $100 Startup” by Chris GuillebeauTwitterGuillebeau has travelled the world, never had a real job & met with hundreds of entrepreneurs who started their businesses with almost nothing, trying to find the common thread of success between everyone.

Top quotes from the book

A well-designed FAQ page also has another, extremely important purpose. You could call it “operation objection busting”.

Generally you should offer an incredible guarantee or no guarantee at all. A weak guarantee, or one that is unclear, can work against your credibility instead of helping it.

The goal of a good launch is not just to convert as many prospects as possible; it’s also to preserve your relationship with other prospects and increase your influence.

What if you deliberately said yes to every request unless you had a good reason not to? The next time someone asks for something, try saying yes and see where it leads to.

When you’re presented with an opportunity, don’t just think about its merits, or how busy you are. Instead, think about how it makes you feel.

The role of paid advertising in marketing has long-since changed. The vast majority of case study subjects I talked with build their customer base without any paid advertising at all; they did so largely through word of mouth.

Offer a limited range of prices: Not so many as to create confusion but enough to provide buyers with legitimate choice.

Some of the best advice is none at all.

Be careful of letting clients take your business in a direction that makes you hate your job.

The quest for personal freedom lies in the pursuit of value for others.

The most important lesson in the whole book: Don’t waste your time living someone else’s life.



What score do we give  “The $100 Startup”?

Chris gave it a 9, I gave it an 8 and Mark gave it an 8.5, giving it a very respectable score of 85%.

What we’re reading next

Next up we’re going to be reading a book called “Ask” by Ryan Levesque, so make sure you’re subscribed to our email updates and we’ll keep you informed when we’ll be recording the next show.

BBOTM-01: “The ONE Thing” by Gary Keller

In this, the first episode of the Business Book of the Month Podcast, Mark, Chris and I and joined by guest Mark Traphagen who kindly join us at short notice to replace Colin, the man with the flaky internet connection. Mark – if you make it on another episode you’ll get your own page on! :)

"The ONE Thing" by Gary Keller

“The ONE Thing” by Gary Keller

In this episode we discuss “The ONE Thing”, a book by Gary Keller and split into 3 main sections – “The Lies” – looking at things like why multitasking isn’t efficient. “The Truth” – how to formulate the focusing question and get a better answer.  And thirdly, “Extraordinary results” – how to put the focusing question into action.

Top quotes from the book

The path of mastering something is the combination of not only doing the best you can do at it, but also doing it the best it can be done.

Multitasking is a lie.

It is not that we have too little time to do all the things we need to do , it is that we feel the need to do too many things in the time we have.

Extraordinary results happen only when you give the best you have to become the best you can be at your most important work.

What score do we give  “The ONE Thing”?

Mark give the book 8 out of 10. I give it 7. And Colin gives is a 7 too. Chris gives it a big 9. This means that the ONE Thing scores a very respectable score of 31 out of 40. Difficult, but not impossible to beat!

What we’re reading next

At the end of the podcast we ask the audience to take a vote on what we should read next. Mark suggested the Miracle Morning. Chris wanted to read the E-Myth Revisited and I suggested that we read the $100 Startup. The audience voted and they selected my choice – the £100 Startup by by Chris Guillebeau. Here’s where you can sign up to join us discussing that book live.

BBOTM-00: A few thoughts before we begin!

This is a short audio episode to share a few thoughts with you before we begin.

In this ‘Episode Zero’ I cover the following:

  • How Business Book of the Month came about
  • Why I feel it’s important to have others reading the same book with you, at the same time
  • Who’s going to be taking part
  • When we’re going to start
  • How to find out what the first book will be
  • When we’re going to be publishing the first ‘official’ podcast episode
  • How to get involved too