good to great

Deacon Hayes – Well Kept Wallet

Deacon Hayes is the financial expert at Well Kept Wallet where he helps people through writing, consulting, and coaching. These are his good things.

Good things to read.

Good to Great by Jim Collins. This book dives into what makes “good” companies “great”. I have learned so much from it as a business owner, however, there are many ways that you could apply the principles of this book to your everyday life. One of the things that stands out the most is the Stockdale Paradox. James Stockdale was a POW that eventually got his freedom. Collins says in his book,”You must retain faith that you can prevail to greatness in the end, while retaining the discipline to confront the brutal facts of your current reality.” It is important to be optimistic about life but you also have to embrace the reality of your situation to move forward. So many people are unrealistically optimistic and end up going bankrupt or going out of business.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. This book is great because it is an in-depth study of people that are Outliers like Bill Gates, The Beatles, etc and why they were so successful. One of my biggest takeaways was the 10,000 hour rule that states in order for you to be an expert at something you need to put in at least 10,000 hours. From Gladwell’s research all of these people did just that and it shows that if we want to be an expert at something, we have to invest the time to make that happen.

The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz. I am reading this right now and there are many similarities to the first book I mentioned Good to Great. However, he really focuses on how to be good at something by following the example of growing the biggest pumpkin. In a nutshell, in order to grow the biggest pumpkin you need to plant with the right seed and get rid of the unhealthy pumpkins and focus only on the one that has the best chance to win. This helped me to re-evaluate my business and weed out the “bad pumpkins” so that I can focus on what will really give me the best results at the end of the day.

Good things to watch.

Shark Tank. I love this show because it highlights what investors look for in a a business to which they are willing to invest capital. If you are an entrepreneur or just love hearing about new business ideas, I highly recommend checking out this show.

I’m Fine Thanks. This is a documentary about complacency in America. A crew of guys drives around the United States and interview people from all walks of life that at one point were miserable with the way that there life was going. Then they decided to do something about it. To stop being complacent and pursue something that they loved. One guy goes from being a lawyer to being a Yoga instructor in NYC and loves it. Another guy decided to buy a school bus and live out of it with his family. It is a great movie that helps you think outside the box of how you can actually start pursuing your dreams today.

Pitch Perfect. This movie is about College students who compete in A Capella. It doesn’t sound like much, but the classic one liner’s along with the song choices for this movie make it a great watch. If you are into music and enjoy a good laugh than this is a must see.

Good things to use.

My Fitness Pal. Tracking what I eat and my exercise routines is super helpful for me to stay fit and hit my health goals. This app allows you to scan the bar-codes of your food or just manually enter in the info so that you can monitor your eating habits so you can stay on track. It also allows you to enter in your exercises so that you can track you strength training and cardio as well.

Google Calendar. If it wasn’t for this calendar I would be lost. It reminds of meetings that I need to go to ahead of time, it tells me when people’s birthdays are, I even use it to enter tasks that I need to get done so that I remember to do them. It is truly one of the most useful apps out there.

Audible. I am an auditory learner so this app/service is amazing. I get one audiobook a month and I can listen to it anywhere I go through my cellphone. I even have a bluetooth radio in my car so I can listen to these books with ease while driving. If you like to listen to books instead of reading them, this is a good resource.

Marc Allred – You Might Ask, “So What?”

Marc Allred is a rock ‘n roller who is well read and well dressed, he blogs at and these are his good things.

Good things to read.

Declaration of Independence.  A good example of great writing. More importantly, it’s a great reminder of our responsibility to defend liberty and the pursuit of happiness of not just ourselves, but that of others; even those who make choices we don’t like.

Good to Great.  This book by Jim Collins has changed my life. Not only is it an amazing book about effective companies, it’s about how to live an effective life. The principles in this book apply to being a parent, manager, coach, and so many other roles. Summary of key points

The Element.  Another life changing book. While I am a product of the American graduate school system, I believe what Ken Robinson promotes in his book – that the education system as we know it in the United States is the exact opposite of what it needs to be. And those who make it through the system and do great things (I know many people in that category and do not consider myself yet in their company) are more a testament to the person than to the system because they accomplished things in spite of the failures of the system and not because of it. Summary of key points.  

Good things to watch.

Good Will Hunting.  Great writing by one of my favorites, Matt Damon. Great lines like, “Do you like apples?! Well I got her number, how do you like them apples?” Or, “You could have gotten the same education at the public library for only $2 in late fees.”

The idea that greatness doesn’t come from a degree, but ones inner passion to pursue greatness. That we all have something great within us is so empowering, but this movie also highlights how we are often the greatest impediment to our own success.

Bottle Rocket.  One of the first films featuring the Wilson brothers, Luke and Owen. You can see how Owen has since been pigeon-holed into roles similar to the one he played in this early movie – the wannabe fearless leader who is kind of clueless.

What’s great about this movie is the use of subtle dialogue and scene nuances. Some of the greatest lines can be missed if you’re not listening to what’s being said under Owen’s breath or what’s going on in the background. This movie teaches you to see past the action that’s happening in your face and try to pay attention to the overall context of the scene to really appreciate the significance of what is occurring. Much like life, there’s more to what’s going on than what you see in front of you.

The Transporter.  Just plain old senseless martial arts violence and great car chases. I dig this movie with Jason Statham because he doesn’t take his role into the dirt like he has in other movies with unnecessary sexual content, which in my opinion ruins the greatness of the martial arts highlights. Fun fights and car chases.

Good things to use.

Apple .  Yes, I go to the church of Apple. While there are a few things to gripe about regarding the company, I do love their products. From my indispensable iPhone to my MacBook laptop, I find a lot of value in how integrated all their products are.

HootSuite.  I use this product on a regular basis to manage my social media platforms. I use it to preload a weeks worth of tweets/status updates at time and this helps me maintain a consistent connection with those who are interested in the content I provide.

Bicycles.  Don’t have a good one right now, but intend to get one and use it to commute to work. For a good article on the value of using a bike, read Mr. Money Mustache’s take on it.

Connect with Marc on Twitter, @marcballred.