One of the goals I didn’t achieve in 2017 was my goal to read, at least, 20 books.

I don’t think I read up to 10 books in 2017.

And I didn’t like that painful fact one bit.

So, I set the same goal this year but this time, I am going to hold myself accountable by making sure I write a blog post on the books I read at the end of each month

If you don’t see a book review blog post, just know that I didn’t read any books that month and feel free to send me an email to ask what happened.

I have started off on a great note. I succeeded in reading 4 books in January. Whoop! Whoop!

Err…to be honest, I have 2 other books I started in January that I haven’t finished reading yet.  I’ll do a review on those books and more next month once I’m done.

The 4 books I read in January include;

  • Working on a dream by Gbolahan Fagbure
  • How would you measure your life by Clay Christenson
  • Royalty by Bolatito Bez-Idakula
  • The richest man that ever lived by Steve Scott

You may have noticed that they are not really investment books. That was deliberate.

They are mostly what I call ‘lifestyle’ books. I figured I had my head in investing articles and books all through 2017 and it was time to diversify my thinking.

And diversify, I did.

I plan to do a mix-up of money management/investing books and lifestyle books in the subsequent months

This week, I thought I would share my thoughts on 2 of the books I read in January.

Here we go!


Working on a dream

‘’Ideas are generated from an open mind. When last did your mind get fresh air?’’

This quote from Gbolahan’s book is one of the reasons I set a goal to read more this year and it was only right for his book to be my first this year.

As the book’s title suggests, Gbolahan shares his story working on building his dream life and dream business. My favourite stories include his college come-back story; He finished college initially with a third class, went back to get another degree and finished with a 1st class. He also shared the challenges of starting an e-commerce company in Lagos; getting started, raising finance, hiring, managing staff, building a family etc.

What I love about the book, is the fact it is an easy read, in simple English (I read it in 3 days), laced with life lessons (some of them random but funny) and it all came together nicely. This book also highlights key things we are afraid to talk about publicly in this part of the world, such as a big integrity gap in our local business circles, how our culture encourages waste and ego trips (Basically living to please the Joneses), our politically driven news reports

If you need a book to read written by someone who grew up in this part of the world like you and tells it as it is, you should pick up a copy of his book. Great thing is, his book is easy to find and purchase in most local supermarkets and bookstores.


How will you measure your life?

Clayton Christensen is someone I deeply admire. I have read some of his articles and attended events where he lectured, and they always featured enlightening insights from his extensive research

But that’s what I knew about him. Excellent forward-thinking business insight.

This book showed a different side to him. I guess his cancer diagnosis set him on a path to discover if his life really had meaning and how he would measure its impact. To be fair, prior to his medical diagnosis, this was a topic he always discussed in his Harvard Business School classes, but it became a book after his diagnosis.

The book starts by painting a picture of his Harvard Business School class reunion parties. The fifth-year reunion party had a big turn-out. His classmates seemed to be doing extraordinarily well; They all had great jobs, some had married spouses that were better looking than they were. They all looked polished and prosperous. It was good to have classmates who had made a mark in industry.

By the tenth-year reunion party; most of his classmates were moving up on the career ladder to the c-suite. However, most of them were clearly unhappy. ‘’ Behind the facade of professional success, there were many who did not enjoy what they were doing for a living. There were also many stories of divorce or unhappy marriages.’’

Something had gone wrong.

What changed? Was this the life they set out to have? No.

Did the career achievements get in the way of truly living impactful lives? According to the book, it did. While their professional lives prospered, their personal relationships suffered.

The book highlights and discusses theories based on these three questions

  • How can I be sure that I will be successful and happy in my career?
  • How can I be sure that my personal relationships will become an enduring source of happiness?
  • How can I live a life of integrity?

Our everyday choices lead up to the results we see play out in our lives eventually. Getting into a scandal at work doesn’t happen in a day. Being broke doesn’t happen in a day either. They are a result of simple everyday decisions.

Grab a copy of the book to learn the difference between what to think and how to think about life’s daily tests and challenges. I plan to read this book again every year.

It’s that good and thought-provoking.

What books are you reading? I would love some recommendations to add to my book list for the year