I believe one of the most powerful things you can do to impact others is to refer a book to them that could transform their outlook on life. In this week’s episode of the Creating Superfans podcast, I’m recommending my FAVORITE books that I read in 2023. Whether you’re looking to improve your customer experience or employee experience, or you’re looking for a practical guide to achieve your fullest potential, I’ve got you covered with some of the most impactful books to take with you into 2024.
listen to the EPISODE
7:00 – All It Takes Is A Goal by Jon Acuff
13:45 – Unreasonable Hospitality by Will Guidara
19:53 – 10x Is Easier Than 2x by Dr. Benjamin Hardy and Dan Sullivan
25:09 – Creating Superfans by me, duh!
Brittany Hodak [00:00:03]:
Hello, and welcome to the Creating Superfans podcast where you learn how to turn your customers and employees into super fans. I’m your host, Brittany Hodak, and I’m a speaker, author, and entrepreneur obsessed with all things customer experience. Here’s the thing. We’re living in an experienced economy right now, and regardless of the size or age of your company or even the products or services you’re selling, one thing’s for sure. If your customers aren’t telling their friends about you, you’re in trouble. If you wanna create super fans, being great is no longer good enough. You’ve got to be super. This is the show that teaches you how.
Brittany Hodak [00:00:46]:
Hello, and welcome to A very special episode of the Creating Superfans podcast. Today, I’m going to share my favorite books of the year and tell you why I think you might love some of them too. Let’s jump right into the list after a word from this episode’s sponsor. If you’re looking for a proven system To make more impact and income, I wanna highly recommend that you talk to my friends at Brand Builders Group. Brand builders group are the best in the world at helping people find their uniqueness and building on it to monetize their personal brands. Right now, Brand Boulders Group is offering free brand strategy calls to everyone serious about taking their personal brands to the next level. Just visit free brand call .com/brittneyhodak to request your call. I’ve been a customer for 5 years, And I can tell you the team is absolutely incredible.
Brittany Hodak [00:01:39]:
You may have even heard cofounder Rory Vaden on a past episode of this podcast. They’ve created a system that really will help you get clear on the shortest path to grow your impact, your influence, and your income. So go to free brand call.com/brittanyhodak today to schedule your free strategy session. Now as an author, I feel like I look at books differently now that I know how much work, love, blood, sweat, tears Goes into creating them. I’ve I’ve always loved books. I’ve been a reader, you know, forever. My mom tells people I Slept with books in my bed instead of baby dolls. Like, I have loved books my entire life, but I feel like I love them even more now that I have a different active since my book, Creating Superfans, came out in January.
Brittany Hodak [00:02:31]:
So, these are all books that I love for the reasons that I will tell you about but also that I Think have the power to either shift your mindset or give you a road map to a reality that maybe you haven’t Thought about before, but, you know, has the potential to be your future. Just really, really incredible books. All of my favorites of the year. Here we go. Kicking things off, Amy Porterfield, host of a massively popular podcast called Online Marketing Made Easy, Published a book this year called 2 Weeks Notice, and I love this book because it gives you everything you need to know if you’re someone who has thought about launching a business but just doesn’t know how to start. It’s a step by step guide for leaving your full time job to build a successful business. Maybe even 1 you can run online. And what I really love about this book is how openly Amy shares.
Brittany Hodak [00:03:34]:
If you’re a fan of her podcast, you know that she is radically transparent. She tells you when she succeeds, when she fails, when she’s not sure what the outcome is going to be. And this book is no different. If you’re looking to take control of your career to achieve success on your own terms, maybe to do something different than you’ve ever done before, something that you feel like is going to push your abilities, this is the book for you. So check out 2 Weeks Notice by Amy Porterfield. And while you’re at it, Go back and listen to the interview that Amy and I did on this podcast. It’s in the episode that came out on February 21, 2023, Creating the business and lifestyle of your dreams. It’s a great episode where Amy gives you the highlights from her brilliant book, 2 Weeks Notice.
Brittany Hodak [00:04:22]:
Up next, a book by my friends, Bridget and Joe, who were also on this podcast. They wrote a book called Experiential Billionaire. Bridget and Joe, that was the only podcast I’ve done so far with 2 guests instead of 1, which made it really, really fun. In their book, Experiential Billionaire, How to Build a Life Rich in Experiences and Die with No Regrets, Came out the same day our interview dropped, which was September 12th this year. And in the book, Bridgette Hilden and Joe Hough give you The road map for how to think not in terms of how much money will you make, but what experiences will you have. And They share, their path of starting in, honestly, like, very, very meager beginnings, to getting the the wake up call that they needed to spend the precious time that that they were given on Earth, to doing things that are going to change both their lives and the lives of others. It’s a really thought provoking book, But it’s also really practical, like, they give you, really straightforward advice. One of my favorite things, that they say throughout the book is someday isn’t a day on the calendar.
Brittany Hodak [00:05:41]:
So if you want to Lead a life that is filled with the kinds of, like, gripping edge of your seat stories that your Friends will say, oh my gosh, I can’t believe you’ve done that. You need to read this book. It’s funny, I just a couple days ago Decided to go to New York City to celebrate my 40th birthday. And it was like 2 days before, and my husband And I and our 6 year old flew to New York so that we could see one of the final kiss shows. And it was so much fun. We almost didn’t go just because of how chaotic Life is right now. I’ve been traveling nonstop. And I thought, like, alright.
Brittany Hodak [00:06:22]:
Bridget and Joe would tell me to go Because this is a once in a lifetime experience, and I’m so glad that we went. We had the best time. I probably will do a future episode of this podcast where I talk, just about the genius of Kiss and the machine that they’ve built over the past 50 years, with the band. But if you are someone who feels like you Don’t always put experiences first in your own life, then definitely check out the book Experiential billionaire and go back and listen to the podcast interview that I did with Bridget and Joe on September 12th. Alright. Up next is another book from a favorite podcaster of mine. This book is written by An author who I love, his name is Jon Acuff and he has written several books that are brilliant. His book that came out this year is called All It Takes is a goal and all it takes is a goal happens to be the name of his podcast.
Brittany Hodak [00:07:21]:
I highly suggest you subscribe if you’re not a regular listener. Now, this book is perfect for anyone who needs a little bit of motivation or a manual for achieving goals. We are coming up on New Year’s as I record this episode. So goals are on the mind of a lot of people. John’s strategy is all about making your goal guaranteed. Like, how can you guarantee success? He teaches you how to focus on the best moments, how to navigate what he calls the 3 zones of performance, and finding ways to fuel your passions all while you actually enjoy the ride. Now, I feel like a lot of times, Like so called self help books are filled with, you know, like, woo woo motivation and, readers are like, Alright, cool. Good for you.
Brittany Hodak [00:08:11]:
But like, what do I do? Well, not this book and not this author. All of John’s books are packed with the manual, the actual takeaways of like what it is that you need to do and all it takes is a goal is no different. So if you need practical, practical, manageable advice for developing and achieving your goals, This is the book for you. Maybe you don’t even know what your goals should be. That is fine. One of the things that I love in this book is John talks Very openly about how, in college, he feels like he didn’t crush it. Like, he wasn’t very goal oriented, and he talks a lot of in this book about, like, wasted potential and how he feels like he wasted a lot of his and he wants to make sure other people don’t do the same. So check out All It Takes Is A Goal if you are looking to crush your goals in 2024.
Brittany Hodak [00:09:11]:
Alright, the next book on the list is one from a dear friend of mine who is also a guest on this podcast. His name is Joey Coleman, and the book is called Never Lose an Employee Again. Now Joey wrote a book a few years ago about Customer experience that has become something of a cult classic. I mean, it has sold like hundreds of thousands of copies. It’s one of the go tos for customer experience. I think even some colleges use it in their curriculum. It is a solid, solid book. And the question Joey started getting over and over and over again after the book came out was, can you write something like this for my employees? And so Joey said, hold my beer.
Brittany Hodak [00:09:56]:
He went back to the drawing board and he put together this book that is all about How to reshape the way you think about recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and most importantly, retaining amazing team members. This book is hacked with case studies. You can tell that my buddy, Joey, is a recovering lawyer in this book because homeboy knows how to do his research. He shares case studies from organizations on every continent detailing how you can forge your relationship with people during every into the phase of what he calls the 8 phases of the employee journey. He walks you through what all 8 of those phases are, why you need to Really have a handle on what all of them are and how they are so interconnected. So if you’re looking to hire your first few employees Or your next few employees. I don’t care if you are in a young organization or one that has been around for decades. This is a must read.
Brittany Hodak [00:10:56]:
If you have or want to, at some point in the future, have an employee, pick up Joey’s book, Never lose an employee again, and be sure to listen to the podcast episode we did together that dropped on October 30th about transforming your employees into advocates. Next up, let’s stay in the employee experience space. I’m cheating a little bit on this one. This is the 1st book on the list that didn’t come out this year, but I read the book this year and this is
Brittany Hodak [00:11:26]:
my list, so I’m going to
Brittany Hodak [00:11:28]:
count it. The book is called Thanks for Coming in Today, and it’s by Ryan Minton. And in this book, Ryan talks Very similarly, to Joey in the last book about the employee experience. What it means, why it matters, and how crushing it can give you a competitive advantage, not just with your employees, but also with your customers. So this book Is a really quick read. It’s it’s not that long. It won’t take you long to go through it, but It gives you tools that you can do today. One of my favorite stories in the book, and, actually, I was lucky enough to have Ryan on the podcast, You can listen to the episode that we did together that came out on September 19th, and Ryan talked in this episode about the number one thing that he does every time he takes over as manager or leader of a business.
Brittany Hodak [00:12:24]:
So, His background is in the hospitality industry, working mostly with hotels, and he said that one of the first things, if not the very first thing he always does when he takes over a hotel is to improve the break room because oftentimes everything that the guests The sea is like beautiful and spotless, but then the employees go back to their break area and it hasn’t been painted and it’s rundown and it’s dingy and depressing, and so people are not only not, like, really recharging when they’re on their break, But they’re getting this subtle cue that, like, the stuff the customer sees is more important than what the employee sees. So there are tons of tips like that in the book of things that you can do right away. I love this review on Amazon. Somebody said this is a must read for anyone in the service industry and helpful for everyone in the human being world also. So, if you are in the human being world, this is a great book For you, whether you own a business, whether you are a manager, or even if you’re just an employee who wants to learn how to provide customer service that becomes legendary. Check out Thanks for Coming in Today by Ryan Minton, and be sure to listen to the episode of this podcast that we did together. Alright. Next up on the list is another bit of a cheat in that this book did not come out this year.
Brittany Hodak [00:13:49]:
It came out, I think, in October of last year, but it’s my list, and I read the book this year, so I’m putting it on. Plus, I feel like it has really blown up. The book is called unreasonable hospitality. And it was written by a guy named Will Gadera, who is the former owner of a Super fancy restaurant in New York called 11 Madison Park. And in the book, he takes you behind the scenes of not just That restaurant, but also several others that he’s worked at throughout his career. So this is somebody who from The time he was a little boy, wanted to work in hospitality. He talks about all of these amazing restaurant experiences he’s had starting from when he was, like, literally a little kid, and how all he wanted to do was was work in hospitality. So it’s a really, really great story.
Brittany Hodak [00:14:37]:
He does an incredible job of storytelling, and he takes you behind the scenes to show how both service and leadership are intertwined and so important. This book is a masterclass for anyone who wants to win on hospitality. I love that he shares stories not only from, like, super, like, bougie high end restaurants, but also Shake Shack, like, being part of the of the team that, launched the Shake Shack concept and turned it into the to the global juggernaut that it is. So this is a really, really great book. Just so much detail. Like, get your notebook ready. You will be taking so many notes as you read this book because there are so many things that Will shares, you know, very, very generous shares that you’re gonna read it and say, oh my gosh. Why am I not doing this in my business? Or, of course, That worked.
Brittany Hodak [00:15:30]:
Of course, people loved that. I should absolutely be doing that. So, check out Unreasonable Hospitality by Will Gadera. You will love it. Now unreasonable hospitality, is a bit of a long read. Like, it I don’t know how many hours it took me to read it. I read the Kindle version first, and then I bought the hardcover because I loved it so much, and it like, it takes a minute. So we’re gonna balance it out with a book recommendation for a really short book that you can read in under an hour.
Brittany Hodak [00:15:59]:
The book is called The Time to Win, and it was written by my buddy, Jay Baer. He was another guest on the podcast. This season, I went heavy on authors, because every time I read a book that I loved, I invited the author onto the show. Really enjoyed my conversation with Jay Baer. You can listen to our episode from October 3rd. It’s called How Speed Creates a Competitive Advantage in Customer Experience. But in the book, The Time to Win, Jay talks about How critical it is to meet your customers’ need for speed. Because The reality is it does not take that long to find a competitor to you regardless of the industry you’re in.
Brittany Hodak [00:16:41]:
Like, Very, very, very few people on the planet are the only person who can help someone with something particular. So in the book, Jay talks about the need to meet your customers’ desire for speed, how to do it the right way. He offers a really great framework. I think it’s a six art framework, and you’ll finish the book in under an hour, like I said. So if you are short on time and you’re looking to a to the point book that will transform the way you think about your businesses operations and the most important imperative for customer experience moving into 24, check out the time to win. Alright. Up next, a book that is really unlike any book on this list. It’s called Good Awkward.
Brittany Hodak [00:17:28]:
It’s by my friend, Hannah Pryor, who, again, came on the podcast. She was my guest in an episode Launching on October 10th on how to embrace your uniqueness to connect with others. And it It’s such a great book. In the book, Henna talks about the fact that, like, all of us have cringe worthy moments, and instead of hiding from them or feeling super awkward, it’s a really powerful thing to understand that those Cringe moments can actually lead to really great business outcomes. Instead of them being super awkward, They can be a superpower because having little awkward moments will boost people’s confidence in your ability to do a great job, because they see you as more human and they see you as someone who is more, relatable. Right? So how can you Change your outlook on the moments that once embarrassed you and use them as a force for good to become the bravest you. Now I wish I had read this book 20 years ago. This book is perfect for anybody who finds themselves hesitating to take chances or maybe even take action toward a goal because you’re afraid of looking awkward in the process.
Brittany Hodak [00:18:49]:
The reality is, if you’re afraid to take that next step because you might look awkward, You are going to miss out on a lot of great things in your future. So, Hana gives you a road map for being more brave and also reframing those lapses that we’re all going to have those cringe or awkward moments. This is a beautiful book. If you read my book, Creating Superfans, and enjoyed the color and the layouts, you are going to love Hina’s book. It is absolutely gorgeous. She’s She’s got this, like, beautiful teal color throughout and so many fun diagrams and frameworks and cartoons to make it a really, really funny book to read. And, she shares a lot about her background, growing up, to Pakistani parents, in the northeast and and how that oftentimes, like, made her feel Awkward because she didn’t look or talk or eat like, her friends around her. So a really, really great book for anyone who’s ever Felt like an outsider or anyone who is ever afraid of feeling like an outsider.
Brittany Hodak [00:19:53]:
Alright. And last But not least, in fact, probably my favorite book of the year. So I guess we can go with saving the best for last. This is the book that was recommended to me more than any other book this year. One of the fun things about having a book out is when people tell you that they’ve read your book, which is still like my favorite thing in the world. They oftentimes tell you other books that they’ve enjoyed too, and probably around summer I started Hearing people say, have you read this book? And I hadn’t. And, like, the 2nd time somebody asked me, I bought it and honestly kind of forgot about it. Like, I downloaded the Kindle version and I was traveling and then more people asked me and I was like, oh yeah, I’ve gotta start that book and I finally started reading it around Thanksgiving.
Brittany Hodak [00:20:41]:
And I immediately was like, I understand why everyone has told me I have to read this book now. It is My favorite book that I’ve read this year, my favorite book that I’ve read in a really, really long time on mindset. So the book is called 10x is easier than 2x, and it is the foundational teachings of a guy named Dan Sullivan, Who is the founder of Strategic Coach, which is a group that works with high performing entrepreneurs. So I have I’ve been aware of strategic coach for a while. I know some people who’ve been through the program. They all have really great things to say about it. But a guy named Benjamin Hardy, who is a psychologist who studies high performance, specifically, I think, like, among entrepreneurs. He coauthored this book.
Brittany Hodak [00:21:30]:
So he worked with Dan Sullivan. He took a lot of the teachings and trainings that exist within the strategic coach universe and put them into this book. And, like, let me tell you, this book is a game changer. It opens up with just a Fascinating study on the life of Michelangelo and, like, what he did throughout his career first when he created David and then the Pieta and, like, the Sistine Chapel and, like, all of these things throughout his career. So they’re I mean, it’s, like, fascinating. You’ve got history. You’ve got psychology. You’ve got performance, like, human performance.
Brittany Hodak [00:22:09]:
It is it is so, so good. Benjamin Hardy interviews like probably a dozen entrepreneurs throughout the book, and he shares case studies from every industry. Tree. I mean, he like talks about Mr. Beast in there, which my kids would love, because they’re, you know, super fans of his YouTube channel. But entrepreneurs of every stripe and the entire principle of this book is that you can work harder or you can work smarter. And working harder is linear thinking. So like if I work twice as hard, I can make twice as much money.
Brittany Hodak [00:22:44]:
But what he argues in this book is that you’ve got to not go Two x, but ten x. You’ve got to grow nonlinear non linearly, I think, is it hopefully that is a word. Anyway, you’ve got to grow exponentially. You’ve got to think outside the proverbial box. And if you are intentional about where you put your time and your attention and your growth, you can have these exponential leaps. So in the book, they talk a lot about, you know, like, The 80/20 rule, and you’ve got to leave 80% of what you’re doing behind. And regardless of who you are, where you work, what you do, probably a whole lot of the stuff that you’re doing you should be delegating, automating, or eliminating as my friend Rory Baden would categorize those 3 things. But you’ve got to, like, get rid of some of the stuff to focus on the things that matter most.
Brittany Hodak [00:23:36]:
Like, what do you want to be most focused on to change your life and change your world. And that’s what going 10 x is all about. And in the book, they talk about, you know, when you go 10 x, everything in your life changes, everything shifts. You leave the 2 x behind. You become more focused. You quite literally turn into a better version of yourself. And, you know, like I said throughout the book, there are all these case studies of People who have repeatedly gone 10 x. And after a decade or a couple of decades, you are unrecognizable to your former self because of of what you’re doing.
Brittany Hodak [00:24:11]:
In the book, they talk a lot about, you know, you’re either in the gap or the gain, meaning you’re judging yourself against This, like, impossible future standard or you’re judging yourself based on how far you’ve come and using that to propel you even further. So I will shut up about it because you should just read the book. It is so, so good. My favorite book, the best book that I have read in 2023. All of the others are wonderful too, but the one that I know will shift my perspective and my my time, honestly, like, the way that I spend My days, the way that I design my life moving forward. 10 x is easier than two x by Dan Sullivan and doctor Benjamin Harvey. Get a copy. You will not regret it.
Brittany Hodak [00:24:58]:
And that, my friends, is the list. I did count these, and there are 9. So just to round it out and call it a top ten, I’m gonna do a shameless plug for my book. If you have not yet read Creating Superfans, How to Turn Your Customers Into Life long advocates. I highly recommend that you do. I think that you will love it. I hope that you will love it. You could get it in an ebook, in a beautiful full color hardcover edition.
Brittany Hodak [00:25:23]:
Or if you enjoyed this podcast, you would probably like the audiobook. So thank you for joining me in this countdown of my top books of 2023. If I forgot any that you love, please let me know. You can send me a DM. You can email me email@example.com, but I want to hear. And, hey, Sharing is caring. So if you think that you have a friend that would enjoy any of these recommendations or could benefit from any of these books on the list, Why don’t you send them this podcast? Or you can order a couple of the books on Amazon and surprise them. Every single book On this list will transform the life of someone you know, maybe even you.
Brittany Hodak [00:26:06]:
Thanks so much for listening. I’ll see you right back here next time for another episode of
Brittany Hodak [00:26:10]:
the Creating Superfans podcast. Alright. That’s all the time we have for today’s episode of the Creating Superfans podcast. Thank you so much for tuning in. Now remember, if you’re a super fan of today’s episode, you can help us out in a big way by leaving a review and a rating wherever you get your podcast. It may seem like a little thing, but it can make a huge difference in and helping others discover the show. Now until next time, remember, super fandom is a two way street. Show your love for your customers and your employees, and they’ll love you right back.
Brittany Hodak [00:26:43]:
We’ve got an exciting show lined up for next week, so I hope we’ll see you right back here. Bye bye.