August Reading List: Churchill, The Daily Stoic and More

Greetings from the Oakland Hills bunker. I, like most of you are probably still sheltering-at-home. The company continues to grow as we run our company isolated but together, as boxes on a screen. We continue to hire and onboard new clients. We are up 30% in new clients in an industry that is down 30% in claims. I have had less time to read this month than normal or maybe I just haven’t been making the time. 

I’m about half way through Churchill: Walking with Destiny by Andrew Roberts. An account of Churchill’s life, life on the world stage. Roberts is an incredible storyteller and likely crafts the best account of Churchill’s history and legacy. Many of us know about Churchill’s legendary leadership as the wartime Prime Minister of England. Churchill’s history is far more complex and layered than I could have ever imagined.

22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, Violate Them at Your Own Risk by Al Ries and Jack Trout. I read Positioning by Trout many years ago. Jack Trout is one of the godfathers of American advertising. Great marketing allows a business to stay in business. Product is marketing, price is marketing, service is marketing. If you are the leader of your company, you better understand marketing. I personally find marketing a fascinating conundrum, especially for law firms. The vast majority of lawyers are simply terrible at it. Which is probably why we outsource our marketing to people who don’t care enough to truly learn your business. Lawyers are lazy marketers. The most common phrase is some form of “We are the Best!”. In fact, I have yet to find a law firm website that says “We are second best”. If you are going to lead your firm, you better figure out what makes you special. Trout’s book can help you do this.

The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Handelman. Holiday originally began as a marketer come modern day philosopher. His medium is stoic philosophy. The Daily Stoic contains a stoic quote for every day of the year with a comment of how it can be applied to everyday life. I have had the book for quite some time but honestly failed to crack it open. When the pandemic began, I started reading it. I actually own three copies. Ryan just came out with a special edition of the book. The new book has a leather cover, embossed with the four stoic virtues of wisdom, courage, justice and temperance. I had a copy on order when my wife spilled wine all over the table covering my original copy. She ordered me another before I could tell her I had ordered the leather edition. The new ones have arrived and I now have three copies on my desk.

The last book is a bit difficult to find but worth the search. Kiss-Ass Copywriting Secrets of a Marketing Rebel by John Carlton is a practical guide to advertising copywriting. This is where you can learn what really moves people and how to actually write copy. As a business owner or marketer, you better get great at copywriting. Truly amazing copywriters find their own products and services to do sell, so they are incredibly hard to hire. This book will help you craft the story of your business, great ads and message, and show you how to get it out there into the world. I’ve read it many times and get something new each time.

For more advice on building an amazing culture, you can find The Case for Culture on Amazon.

The Case for Culture, narrated by Jamie Renell, is now available on Audible

Eric Farber is on a mission to change how law firms operate by showing lawyers the value of putting culture first. During his twenty-five years as a lawyer, Eric has lived the transformation from scarcity to abundance that becomes possible when you shift your perspective and prioritize people. As the CEO and chief legal officer of Pacific Workers’ Compensation Law Center, Eric’s focus on culture helped him build a seven-figure firm that’s gone from four people to forty in just five years, been an Inc. 5000 company twice, was named to the Bay Area 100 list of fastest-growing companies, and spent two consecutive years in the top fifty of Law Firm 500. 

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