Book-Talk with Nextiva’s Marketing Manager, Jeremy Boudinet: “Once you make reading a priority, it becomes a habit and part of your daily routine”
Jeremy Boudinet is the Marketing Manager at Nextiva, a VoIP company based in Scottsdale, Arizona. They focus a lot on the cloud-based communication services and they offer everything a business needs to communicate with customers and teams. What is most relevant for us, here, at The CEO Library, is that Jeremy`s an avid reader and you can see it in the interview below. As a marketer, you`d think he`d be consuming a lot of social media, but his advice is not to overdo it. I find really interesting the comparison between social media and food that Jeremy makes: it`s there for you, but it`s up to you what you choose to "eat". Is it junk food or healthy food? And don`t you think you shouldn`t eat as much as you can, but only as much as you need? Finally, based on his book recommendations, you can see he`s aware of the principles of the stoic philosophy, which he says helped him in some difficult moments in life. Find out which are the books that Jeremy recommends.
What’s your favorite book and why?The two most impactful books I`ve ever read are Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook (from a business standpoint) and the Bible (from a life standpoint). Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook came out right as I was beginning my marketing career, and has shaped the way I think about marketing, sales, and business in general from the outset. Vaynerchuk nailed one of the most important concepts in business - to truly reach your highest potential, you have to stand out, add value, and build trust at maximal levels. Only then can you ask something of your customers - whether it`s to buy your product, sign up for your email list, attend your conference, or any other business objective you`re seeking. The Bible is the ultimate source of wisdom, serenity, and elemental life principles, for me. It`s shaped the way I live my life and will continue to do so as long as I`m here on Earth. There`s a reason it`s the most widely read book in human history.
Was there a specific moment when something you read in a book helped you?I read Ron Chernow`s biography of Ulysses S. Grant at a crucial point in my life, when I was struggling with a few personal and professional career ups-and-downs. Grant is a fascinating character in U.S. history. His life was a dramatic roller coaster of major personal and professional triumphs that were inevitably followed by periods of massive failure and disappointment. Of course, all of this led up to his historic date with destiny as the winning General the U.S. desperately needed during the Civil War. An important takeaway from Grant`s story is his primary character virtue - a stoic determination that ultimately carried him through periods of disenchantment and brought the Union victory in the Civil War. There`s a lesson in there for all of us fighting in the trenches of business - we`ll inevitably face some of the same ups-and-downs that Grant did. And we should aim to carry ourselves like he did.
What books had the biggest impact on you? Maybe changed the way you see things or dramatically changed your career path.The 48 Laws of Power is a phenomenal read that eviscerates conventional wisdom and has proven itself true time and again in my life. It`s a must-read for any business professional. I read The Alchemist at a crucial point in my life last year. It really reframed how I saw my own life. There`s a lot to be learned from the Narrator`s quest to find his life`s treasure - and the role that love, faith, perseverance, kindness, and experience plays in his journey to find it. The Obstacle is the Way is another great book that challenges conventional wisdom and outlines the virtues of stoicism in the face of adversity and how to apply stoic principles in your own life.
How do you handle information overwhelm or manage social media?My recommendation is - if you`re going to be on social media, follow people with nourishing content. Social media content is just like food for your brain - you can either consume content that`s going to nourish your brain or create the equivalent of mental diabetes. Follow positive, insightful people with no agenda but to help others and add value. And watch your portion sizes.
What five books would you recommend to young people interested in your career path & why?Every young marketing professional should read Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, The 48 Laws of Power, Grant, Blue Ocean Strategy, and From Impossible to Inevitable. I highly recommend the first two books for the reasons listed earlier. Blue Ocean Strategy is a fascinating look at how innovative companies create new markets and demand for products that previously did not exist. It`s a landmark book with some fascinating case studies (ex. Cirque de Soleil creating a new product - the high-end circus). From Impossible to Inevitable is very tech-focused, but Jason Lemkin and Aaron Ross are two of the most brilliant business minds on the planet, particularly when it comes to creating hyper-growth companies using innovative marketing strategies. There are transcendent insights in here for anyone working in marketing, technology, or startups.
Reading habits: how do you make time for reading? How often do you read?I associate reading with rest and replenishment, so my favorite times to read are at night in bed, on airplanes, and wherever I`m relaxing (usually by a pool). Once you make reading a priority, it becomes a habit and part of your daily routine. Find a time where you can consistently commit to reading nourishing content, find a new book you want to read, then make reading it a part of your daily routine.
Do you take notes?I have a journal I write in on a near-daily basis. Oftentimes, a lot of what I write pertains to something I`ve read that day. It`s not the most sophisticated means of note-taking, but it`s more rewarding than just bookmarking content I like.
How do you choose what books to read next? Do you prioritize books recommended by certain people?The best book recommendations I`ve gotten have come from close friends, usually after a heavy conversation about life, work, and so forth. Your friends and family know you better than anyone else. They`re the best bets for good book recommendations, I`ve discovered.
What book are you currently reading and what are you expecting to gain from it?I`m currently reading Lifescale by Brian Solis. Oddly enough, it`s a book about overcoming digital distraction and boosting your happiness, creativity, and sense of purpose in life. It`s a powerful cautionary tale against spending too much time as a digital consumer. As someone who spends - at minimum - 40 hours a week staring at a computer screen where digital distraction is just one click away, I`m always looking for useful strategies for overcoming distraction and maintaining focus. It`s already delivering on that front. Links where you can follow Jeremy Boudinet or find out more about his projects:
- Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World, by Gary Vaynerchuk
- Grant, by Ron Chernow
- The 48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene
- The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
- The Bible
- The Obstacle is the Way, by Ryan Holiday
- Blue Ocean Strategy, by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
- From Impossible To Inevitable: How Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue, by Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin
- Lifescale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive, and Happy Life, by Brian Solis