As 2021 bleeds into 2022, I realized it was that time again – time to dust off the digital shelf, scan the titles that inspired me this past year, and share my thoughts on the books that enriched my life and have the potential to move you, too.

I am a champion of artists, after all, and as an adventurer, I take it upon myself to go mining for the gold nuggets that could make a difference in you career, and more importantly, your life.

Here are the top books that made the biggest difference for me in 2021.

Reality Transurfing Steps I-V by Vadim Zeland

Reality Transurfing Steps I-V by Vadim Zeland

Russian mystic Vadim Zeland’s Reality Transurfing Steps I-V is a book worthy of the title “tome.” I originally began reading this epic in late 2020, and continue to plod my way through it, a few pages at a time. But that’s only because this is a book full of gems, and it’s worth taking at one’s individual pace, leisurely or otherwise.

I recall settling in to read Reality Transurfing one weekend. “Life can be a holiday,” says Zeland. “You will make your greatest progress in areas where your heart and head are in alignment.” As I internalized these words, my heart started opening.

In comes a call from a friend. Our social circle had been trying to plan a trip for about a month, never agreeing on an Airbnb, with financial concerns a point of hesitation. But suddenly, while on the phone, things began moving with speed. We found a beautiful location in White Rock, BC, and the booking was confirmed in minutes.

Coincidence? Perhaps. But Zeland’s work is nevertheless a thing of supercharged alien wisdom and anyone reading it for the first time will come away slack jawed and dumbfounded. As a precursor to this reading, however, I prescribe, at least, The Secret, and if possible, a couple of works by Abraham-Hicks, with an open mind.

Learn more about Reality Transurfing Steps I-V

Content Marketing For Traffic And Sales by Daniel Danes-Hutt

Content Marketing For Traffic And Sales by Daniel Danes-Hutt

Entrepreneurs, as well as small and independent business owners aren’t publishers, says Content Marketing For Traffic And Sales author Daniel Danes-Hutt. They don’t have the budget or the time that big companies can dedicate to publishing the nautical ton of essays they do every single day. Which is why, he explains, entrepreneurs need to approach publishing differently. Because entrepreneurs publish to promote their product, not their content.

And all this sounds good and well. But this is also where the book goes off the rails, at least for me. Frustrated by repeated failure in blogging and content, Danes-Hutt claims to have studied every resource he could possibly find on psychology and persuasion to come up with a new way of approaching the problem. I have no doubt he is well-studied, but every resource?

Even setting that aside, what Danes-Hutt claims is a “simple and easy” method for content creation is incredibly long-winded, tedious, and sorry to say, complicated. That doesn’t make it bad, it’s just false advertising.

Reading this work, you can see that it all makes sense in his mind, but he has trouble relaying his thoughts concisely and accurately. Either that, or he just wants you to pay for his coaching to get the full meal deal, which is ballsy but trendy.

This book, nevertheless, did make a difference for me in 2021 in seeking answers to pressing questions. And I have written a few pieces in the manner Danes-Hutt suggests, with no data to back up that they were any more effective than my other expertly written content.

Update: Our top ranking post / podcast episode on Music Entrepreneur HQ from 2021 was written in the manner Danes-Hutt suggested. Maybe there is something to his method after all.

Learn more about Content Marketing For Traffic And Sales

The Road Less Stupid by Keith J. Cunningham

The Road Less Stupid by Keith J. Cunningham

Has me wanting a book less stupid.

…would be my one-sentence review for The Road Less Stupid. So, you can tell that my sentiment on it is not on the up and up, which is kind of a theme this year. That said, I can’t say it didn’t make a difference, thus its inclusion here.

The premise of The Road Less Stupid is that the quality of our questions guides our life. Sounds like a sound foundation, and it echoes the catchphrases of gurus like Tony Robbins.

But this book is a bit much. It’s like the very epitome of Millennial decision fatigue with the sheer number of prompts it hits you over the head with. And it doesn’t stop. It’s one of those long, thick, slimy books (not a euphemism) with too many thoughts in too many directions to be useful or applicable.

Best focus on digging for a few rare treasures, and call it a day before you dig up a mine.

Poor communication is one of my biggest turnoffs, and while I’m not suggesting that author Keith J. Cunningham doesn’t know how to put pen to paper, what he expects me to do with this volume is well beyond my comprehension, besides using it as the occasional reference guide. But its use, even in that sense, is suspect.

The one takeaway that seems to have made a difference for me is the idea that business owners have four hats they must wear if they wish to succeed – Artist, Operator, Owner, and Board. Seeing your career or business from these distinct vantage points can help you ask better questions that lead to massive progress in areas desired.

But depending on where you are in your career, there will be other gems worth mining for, and as they say, you never know how a book might hit you.

You never know how a book might hit you. Click To Tweet

Learn more about The Road Less Stupid

6 Steps to $1 Million by Gordon Pape

6 Steps to $1 Million by Gordon Pape

Canadian author and investor Gordon Pape’s 6 Steps to $1 Million focuses heavily on the world of investing in Canada, and how that can lead to you earning your first $1 million and beyond.

At this pivotal moment in history, call me a skeptic of any investment portfolio that doesn’t focus almost entirely on precious metals and other stores of wealth. I can’t be bothered gambling away my hard-earned income on an unprecedentedly inflationary market whose writing has been on the wall for months if not years. It’s financial suicide.

Fortunately, Pape also covers aspects of his entrepreneurial career, and key lessons he learned on his journey, some of which I detailed in my holiday reflections. I like that Pape doesn’t beat around the bush and serves up a reality check to anyone who thinks they might be a rare genius microwave entrepreneur. But if you’re cut out for it, Pape asserts, working in your strengths and talents is a worthy (if challenging) path to $1 million.

Learn more about 6 Steps to $1 Million

DotCom Secrets by Russell Brunson

DotCom Secrets by Russell Brunson

The crowning jewel of 2021, for me, was marketer Russell Brunson’s recently revised DotCom Secrets, a playbook that shows you the ins and outs of becoming an internet entrepreneur, setting yourself up as an “attractive character,” and of course, developing your own sales funnels and value ladders. If I am the champion of artistic success, then Brunson is the champion of sales funnels, so what else would you expect?

I have often felt that there’s been a missing in my entrepreneurial education, and no book filled the knowledge gaps I was looking to fill like DotCom Secrets. It wasn’t just a nice read I would sit around a campfire reminiscing wistfully about. It tangibly changed the way I thought about my own work, the way I shared information with others (in presentations or otherwise), and even my daily activities and behavior.

My only complaint is that, like Content Marketing For Traffic And Sales, Brunson seems to be under the impression that what he is teaching is “simple and easy,” and it’s the furthest thing from. In his own mind, it is, but setting up one funnel, let alone the many types of funnels introduced in this book, is challenge enough for even the experienced entrepreneur.

DotCom Secrets is an essential for internet entrepreneurs and I would strongly encourage artists gain a better understanding of the world of internet direct response marketing as well.

Learn more about DotCom Secrets

More Books That Made A Difference

Wanna see what other books made a difference for me? Here are my summations and recommendations from years past:

2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014

Final Thoughts

I’ve authored six books on music and creativity to date and am currently ghostwriting a book for a client. If you’re interested in the world of self-publishing and would like to work with me on your next book project, be sure to get in touch. I’m not cheap, but I do work fast and create quality work.

What books did you read in 2021? Which ones made a difference for you, and how did they make a difference?

This post originally appeared on http://www.davidandrewwiebe.com/ on January 4, 2022.
David Andrew Wiebe
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