Michael Port’s new book just came out. If you’re trying to redefine or improve how you focus professionally, it would be a good read. If you run your own company, or want to, it is a great read. Michael has good advice, good reasoning for his advice, and he writes well – a very easy to read style. Not dumbed down, not full of jargon. As someone who exactly matches his target audience, I highly recommend Beyond Booked Solid.
Getting Beyond Booked Solid
Out of the blue, one day, I get a pre-release copy of Michael’s book. I sometimes get books in advance of publication, so that I may review them and spread the word. It’s a good word-of-mouth marketing investment for the publisher. In full-disclosure, I feel a mild sense of obligation to review the book. But I feel no obligation to write a good review if it isn’t deserved. And as someone who’s now written about half a million words at Tyner Blain, I personally have no interest in panning a book that I don’t enjoy. If I don’t like it, I don’t write about it.
Usually, the books I get are related to product management or business analysis – or occasionally development and architecture. The publishers send me books that Tyner Blain readers are likely to benefit from – the books fit our niche. I was a little surprised that I got Beyond Booked Solid – it doesn’t fit that mold. I started reading it anyway. I just assumed it was from one of the publishers that sends me books.
A little while later, I got an email from Michael’s assistant, and we started a good conversation.
It turns out, I like the book. As the founder of Tyner Blain, and as someone who sells consulting services, the notion of getting booked solid is definitely something that resonates. And I’ve been really fortunate over the past three years, and I find myself getting more requests for help than I can fulfill.
Michael’s book is about exactly that – what do you do when you’re successful enough that your business model is working perfectly? So well, that you’re booked solid? How do you move beyond that stage?
Anyone who listens to audio books will tell you that sometimes the reader is more important than the work. The best novel, poorly read, is excruciating. But a good reader makes anything enjoyable. George Carlin actually made people laugh by reading the phone book years ago. Seriously. Belly Laughs.
Michael’s writing is so conversational that (1) you feel like you’re listening to an audio book with a good reader, and (2) I feel a connection with the guy. It would feel awkward to call him Mr. Port at this point.
The best part – the content is great too!
Taking your business beyond what already works great couldn’t be a more compelling topic for me. There are things that Tyner Blain will do that go beyond today’s business model. After reading Michael’s book, not only are they likely to happen sooner rather than later, I believe they are now more likely to succeed.
Breaking Out of the Box
Innovative solutions usually require thinking “outside of the box.” Whatever your box may be. Michael provides some occasionally inspiring, often analogous examples. He’s not writing about software consulting, or enterprise product management. But the challenges are the same. The small business owner that reaches “capacity” with his store, and decides to open a franchise. His writing is fluid enough that I can’t remember if he suggests that we (as readers) imagine parallels in our own worlds, or if I just did it.
Thinking outside the box. That’s what it boils down to. And Michael’s writing style is such that he encourages you to break out of the box. He isn’t a pitch man, there’s no “hard sell.” You just read what he’s writing and think to yourself – “Yeah. That’s what I need to do.”
He provides sound advice – almost a layman’s SWOT analysis approach to managing your business or career. What are the strengths you can leverage, the weaknesses you need to avoid? What do you love to do or hate to do? What are your goals? Good stuff in general. Fantastic advice when you’re already doing everything you thought you wanted, and you have that niggling thought in the back of your head asking – “Yeah, but what’s next?”
Payback and Pay Forward
While not “obviously on-topic” here, everyone who reads here is trying to improve themselves – either getting better at what they do, learning to do something else, or just learning how to accomplish the same things in less time.
And that means Beyond Booked Solid may be right up your alley.