How can an app change your life?
First, I am NOT an affiliate for Audible, and I’m receiving no incentives for writing about the product.
Yes, an app can change your life. I downloaded Audible onto my phone on New Year’s Day, 2019, and my life has been enriched by the books I’ve “read” in the past year. I do have a penchant for hyperbole, but having the ability to listen to industry standard, best-selling books (usually during my work commute) has been transformative. I truly believe you become what you think about, and thinking about music lyrics – even classic rock music – just isn’t what I need at this time in my life. I began a new job in Workforce Development last year, and I needed to learn about leader development and work culture and have the knowledge and vocabulary typical of folks in this line of work in order to plan great development events at the office. I’ve learned so much about those topics and about self-development, too. Plus, I’ve even enjoyed some fiction (not included in the list I’ve provided) just for fun. I will have read (listened to/digested/ingested/finished – bibliophiles may choose a term other than the word “read”) 17 books by the end of December, and almost all of them during my commute to and from work, which is 30 minutes (one-way) on a good day, and 45 – 60 minutes on a bad day. Audible has been ABSOLUTELY life-changing.
How do you choose books to read/listen to?
When I set up my membership, I chose three books: Brian Tracy’s Goals!, Liz Wiseman’s Multipliers, and Jon Acuff’s Do Over. I was laser-focused on setting goals and accomplishing great things on New Year’s Day, so I selected THAT Brian Tracy title – Goals! – over his many other books because of its subtitle promise: How to Get Everything You Want Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible . My close friend and mentor John had recommended Multipliers a year or two earlier, and I decided to finally see what that book was about. My friend Val recommended Do Over in her 2019 book club list, and it sounded like a great way to start the year. I read that one in November, only ten months after the purchase – but it was the perfect time for that book.
Val (who I mentioned above – Valerie Rivera) owns a company called Take Back Work, and her book club continued to influence my reading choices throughout the year. Click below (this graphic will take you to a PDF of the entire list with dates of purchase) to see the books I’ve downloaded and finished (whether the graphic says so, or not – I’ve listened and re-listened to some of these many times) in 2019, and the purchase dates. I’m still working on Thinking: Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (because it is a 20-hour read/listen!) and Teaming by Amy Edmondson.
Other ways to choose is to pay attention to books referenced by authors you like, articles you read, and people you respect. You can also look at the suggestions in Amazon/Audible. When you select (or just look at) a book, there will be other suggestions below that may be a good choice for you.
How do you get started?
I started out on a quick road trip when I took my niece and her husband to the airport (a 2-hour drive, one-way) shortly after downloading Audible and getting my first set of books. I began listening to Brian Tracy’s Goals! on the drive back, and I was HOOKED! That book is a really quick read (listen), and I was halfway done by the time I got home. Then, I grabbed my earbuds, notebook, and pen and sought the silence of the back of the house for DEEP study time. I followed Mr. Tracy’s recommendations and came up with a solid set of goals for myself for the year. For me, a quick “win” always helps me understand the value of a new undertaking. I recommend everyone start with a quick book that will provide quick wins.
What if the book isn’t good?
I have purchased one book that was absolutely awful: the content was overly simple and the performance was dismal. I got a refund on it! I didn’t realize refunds were possible for about 3 months after I listened to the first chapter or two, and I was really disappointed in that one book. I was thrilled to learn I could get rid of “lemons.” Most of the Audible books have been read by the authors, and some of them are more polished performers than others. Try to get past it if an author’s voice is irritating. Overall, I’ve had a genuinely positive experience with all the books on the list below.
I want you to have a transformative year in 2020!
What are you planning to do in 2020? What are your goals? What will you do in the coming twelve months to get the results you want? What improvements do you want to see in your life?
I have an extremely busy life at work and at home, and I have not succeeded in setting aside 30 minutes to an hour each day for reading and studying since completing my Master’s Degree in 2005. When it is an optional activity that would OBVIOUSLY benefit me, I can’t seem to make it happen. However, I can listen to books while I’m commuting! Trading driving time for learning-while-driving time takes zero additional minutes out of the day, and I can DO THIS. There’s a bonus: the brain is processing that new information from the book in the background throughout the day, and things from these books will just pop RIGHT out of your mouth in conversation.
Do I have to use Audible to get the benefits you’re describing?
No. You can get these books at the library – even e-books and audio books.
If I decide to use Audible, how does it work? How much does it cost?
If you decide to look at Audible, regular membership is $14.95 per month (or less, if you buy multiple months up front). You can use the app on your computer, tablet, or phone. Each month, the $14.95 fee gets you one “credit,” and most books cost one credit. I have taken advantage of the “buy 3 extra credits for $35.88” deals, which makes each book cost about $12. If books are on sale for less than $12, I usually just buy them with my card and save my credits for more expensive purchases.
You can even give gift memberships! Check it out by going to their website.
Have you tried Audible or something like it? How was your experience? Comment below.