I was never someone that got much out of school, or for that matter, reading and studying about business. I started my company in my early 20's and learned, and continued to learn, by adhering to one simple premise: "F'up as much as you can and learn from it!"
In all seriousness though, that's how I learned. No one makes as many mistakes as I do at work and of course at home, thanks for reminding me SuJin :). But, with all the mistakes I've made, I try to learn from them and grow each day as a result. Being self-critical and aware of my actions/consequences on a daily basis has served me well in my personal journey. Each mistake is a lesson learned in my book.
To be clear, it's not that I am above reading a book about business; I know millions benefit from them. Authors like Steven Covey, Jim Collins and Malcom Gladwell and countless others have made a lasting impact on businesses and professionals. While I see the benefits, I would rather read about an artist (Rothko) or a musician (Dylan) or a politician (Churchill) and learn lessons from creators of things from nothing. The “blank canvas” has always fascinated me more than anything else.
Recently, my friend Marc Eckō wrote a book about branding. Because he is a friend and a very successful businessman, I decided to give it a shot. I started his book, UnLabel: Selling You Without Selling Out, on a long plane ride to San Francisco last week and literally could not put it down. It's truly one of the best books I have ever read not just on business, but on life, growing up, making mistakes and starting over. Marc weaves his own personal journey and amazing business success into a funny, original and thought-provoking story full of lessons that anyone can relate to.
Because I have the pleasure of knowing him personally, I really enjoyed Marc's brutal honesty most. It's something incredibly rare to find in someone who has achieved so much.
Do yourself a favor and read this extraordinary book by Marc: http://www.amazon.com/Unlabel-Selling-You-Without-Out/dp/1480538779
It's a great read for young people and old farts like me as well.