Craig Durosko: Books that can Improve Your Life and Business

This month, I wanted to review a few good books I’ve read that focus on personal growth as well as your business.

October 05, 2014
 Craig Durosko: Part II: Books that can Improve Your Life and Business

Craig Durosko, GMR, CR, CGP

In a recent blog post, Darren Hardy, publisher of Success Magazine, asked, “What do you think is the main bottleneck to your organization’s greater success?”

The answers Hardy gets most often are the economic climate, competitive threats, technology issues, hiring great people, gas prices, and supply chain issues. His response: “Yes, these all might be considerations; however, the main constraint to the future growth of your organization is you.”

Whether you believe that or not, and no matter how many hats you wear in your organization, you may be limiting your own success and your organization’s success.

This month, I wanted to review a few good books I’ve read that focus on personal growth as well as your business.

QBQ (The Question Behind the Question): What to Really Ask to Eliminate Blame, Complaining, and Procrastination, by John Miller. He writes, “QBQ is a tool to help individuals and leaders at all levels practice personal accountability by asking better questions and making better choices in the moment. Personal accountability is about eliminating blame, complaining, and procrastination. Taking charge of your thoughts can literally transform your life.”

Miller later followed up with another book, Flipping the Switch, which helps you put QBQ into action with examples and shares five essential principles. His latest book. Parenting QBQ, about how you can incorporate QBQ into your family and parenting.

The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz. He defines The Four Agreements as:

  1. Be impeccable with your word
  2. Don’t take anything personally
  3. Don’t make assumptions and
  4. Always do your best

Understanding each of these will allow you to thrive in any environment. He later followed up with a book, The Fifth Agreement, where he recaps the Four Agreements and adds a fifth, “Be skeptical but learn to listen.” Even after sharing these points, you should read this book to understand the “why” behind each one.

Rich Habits, by Thomas Corley. This is an easy read and a reminder to some about setting up your daily habits for success. It identifies how two people making the same amount of money can lead totally different lives. Corley writes, “By recognizing our daily habits we gain keener insights into our individual strengths and weaknesses.” In the book he identifies the 10 Rich Habits.

Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending, by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton. This book may challenge the beliefs about how you spend your money. Dunn and Norton write, “Shifting from buying stuff to buying experiences, and from spending on yourself to spending on others, can have dramatic impact on happiness.” They share five principles that you can apply to your daily spending. If you enjoy this book, you might also enjoy Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence, by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. They share a nine-step process to create a new road map along with 101 ways to save money. Although it may be outdated and you may not agree with all of their points, you should be able to see your finances in a different perspective and finish the book with a few takeaways.

How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton Christensen. He shares many insights in this book, one of which stuck with me: “With every moment of your time, every decision about how you spend your energy and your money, you are making a statement about what really matters to you.” From the perspective of your professional life Christensen writes, “If an organization has a clear and compelling purpose, its impact and legacy can be extraordinary. The purpose of the company will serve as a beacon, focusing employees’ attention on what really matters. That purpose will allow the company to outlive any one manager or employee.”

Die Empty, by Todd Henry. I’ve highlighted points on almost every page of this book, but one specific passage sticks out: “How do you set in motion a course of action that will allow you to unleash your best, most valuable work? This book is about cultivating the mindset and the methods you need to unleash your best work each day, and to increase the odds that, at the end your life, you will not regret how you spent your days. With minimal regrets about how you spend your focus, time, and energy. To bring a newfound clarity and sense of urgency to how you approach your work on a daily basis, and over your lifetime. We live with a stubborn illusion that we will always have tomorrow to do today’s work. It’s a lie. We need to live with a sense of urgency about the work we do today.”

As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” As you look at next year, which areas in your world do you want to improve? Which books have had impact on your life? Share yours at PR
Craig Durosko is the founder of Sun Design, a design/build firm located in McLean and Burke, Va. He can be reached at


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