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The Three Books That Will Change Your Life

It’s not often that a book can change the way you approach your day to day life or impact some of the most important decisions you make. Once in a while you come across something so timely that it feels like it was written just for you – just for this exact moment in your life.

In this episode we discuss three incredible books that shaped our outlook on life and the way we approach our businesses and careers. We start with Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People, which taught us how to interact with people in a way that helps build stronger relationships. We then discuss how Richard Branson’s story in Losing My Virginity taught us to take risks and be open to opportunities we would normally say no to.

We conclude the show with a review of Viktor Frankl’s brilliant story of survival and finding purpose in Man’s Search For Meaning and how this book shifted our perspective of the importance of having meaning behind everything you work towards.

Show Notes


1:39 This week’s topic is about the three books that completely changed our perspectives

2:03 Vadim and I were not big readers growing up. It wasn’t until after college that we started reading without being forced to.

3:14 A big reason to read is that good ideas and inspiration doesn’t come from nowhere. Reading about others shows you that other truths may be different from the things you assumed to be true.

4:50 The 3 Books we cover in this episode are

  1. How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  2. Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson
  3. Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl

5:30 Our Mother actually introduced us to Dale Carnegie in high school, but back then we didn’t really care about the lessons he was teaching. Not until college. The book was written in the early 1900s (1936).

6:47 Dale Carnegie built up his credibility by studying entrepreneurs like Charles Schwab for decades to understand what made them successful

7:22 The main mission of the book is to teach people how to be more likable, grow your relationships etc.

7:39 The biggest takeaway is that it’s not all about you. You need to make every interaction about the other person.

9:00 Dale Carnegie tells a story of a gala he went to where a conversation he had with a woman turned into her trying to convince him of her political views. Instead of trying to prove to her that he was right, like most people would do, he just nodded his head in agreement. She later told him how amazing the conversation was.

9:55 When you’re inquisitive, agreeable, show that you have an interest in someone else’s opinions, they will come away from that conversation thinking it was a great time.

10:30 To really connect with others you have to seek to understand them instead of worrying about yourself

11:00 In fact the key to winning an argument and convincing someone of your point is to first show that you empathize with their beliefs.

11:30 Even something simple like getting out of paying a fee. Telling someone they’re wrong won’t motivate them to work on your behalf. But being good to them might.

12:40 The next book we’re talking about is Losing My Virginity which is an autobiography that Richard Branson wrote in the 90s.

13:00 Richard started his first business at the age of 15 and dropped out of high school to pursue it. He became a millionaire by his 20s.

13:36 The biggest takeaway from this book is Richard’s ability to say yes to any challenge, even if he didn’t know how he was going to execute on it. Many successful entrepreneurs don’t spend too much time worrying about how they’ll get something done, but worry more about getting the opportunity to do it.

14:38 That’s where we learned that you don’t actually have to have experience in something to do it and to potentially succeed at it. That’s why we like to interview founders who had no experience before they got started.

14:45 Richard didn’t let a lack of experience stop him from trying

15:54 When Richard started his student magazine, he got advertisers by cold calling, and pinning brands against each other. He told Coca Cola that Pepsi was buying an ad spot, and got them to buy an ad that way.

16:30 They then got into the music business by selling records through their magazine and decided to open a physical store without having any experience. This led to many more stores and ultimately his record label.

17:19 This taught us to always say yes even if we’re a little worried about how we’re actually going to make it happen.

18:30 Sergei applied this saying yes principle recently when he had the chance to take over a 600 person podcast meetup. It was going to be a lot of work organizing events and he didn’t quite know how he would execute it. But because of it we’re already meeting so many amazing people that we otherwise wouldn’t meet.

19:30 The last book we’ll talk about is Man’s Search For Meaning. We read this book when we were approaching 30.

19:52 Disclaimer that this is a story from a holocaust survivor. Viktor Frankl talks about how he survived the concentration camps.

20:25 Reading this book makes you realize that most of us live pretty privileged lives.

21:00 Despite grueling conditions when Viktor spent 3 years in various concentration camps, he was able to maintain a survivor’s mentality

21:50 In a situation like this, most people’s survival instincts go away

22:30 Viktor found a purpose for himself to want to life, to survive. In the beginning it was simply to see his wife again.

22:49 His other motivator was the body of work he wanted to finish before he died. He wanted to rewrite the manuscript that was taken from him.

23:29 In the book he talks about the concept of logotherapy, that survival and happiness depends on your feeling of purpose in life.

23:35 You can’t rely on motivation alone. We learn from Viktor Frankl, that if you have a larger purpose, bigger than you, that’s what keeps pushing you.

25:51 If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a rating at mnt.rs/itunes and please reach out if there are topics you want us to talk about on the show.

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