Community Manager
Community Manager

I’ve Got the Need, the Need To Read - USAA Member Community


I love to read. Books have been an important part of my life for over half a century now. It all started when my late parents introduced me to books long ago. I’m glad they did.


Growing up and raised by a preacher and a teacher, you really couldn’t escape books. In our house, you could find books everywhere. We had so many books - we didn’t need to add insulation to the house! Stacks and stacks of hard-covers and paperbacks. Enough magazines to fill 10 limousines. Newspapers as tall as skyscrapers! You get the idea.


So what I’d like to do in this article is share some brief information about two books I’ve read. These books might be helpful for two distinct types of veterans (or soon-to-be veterans), those who plan to enter the business world and those who plan to pursue a music career.


Now, although my story involves working in the private sector, the music part stems from my close associations with musician friends of mine. In addition, I play the saxophone as often as possible. I’ve been a fan of military bands for years and truly dig a wide variety of music.


That said: Let’s start with the business side of things. First up, two business books you might enjoy:


"Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It" by Marshall Goldsmith with Mark Reiter


When I first heard the title of this book, I immediately thought about growing up in West Texas and memories of our local city championship El Paso Irvin High School football team battling high school football powerhouse Odessa Permian. If you’ve never heard of this school, they’re the inspiration for the NBC television show Friday Night Lights. There’s a book about this phenomenal team too. Their panther mascot is primary, but they have another “mascot” or saying called MOJO. Lots of meanings behind this word, but essentially it is about making a comeback or as Bluesman Muddy Waters declared in song, he had his Mojo working! I digress.


The subtitle of the book MOJO says: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It. I think this is a great book for anyone involved in a military-to-civilian career transition as it provides some great ideas on how to get motivated again. Remember that super positive attitude you had when you first started making your transition? If things stalled out, if you got sidetracked or discouraged, the MOJO book can help get you back on track!


Overall, this is a book to help the reader find meaning and happiness in life. Well-written, concise, and timely for those who need a booster shot of self-motivation.


"The Power of Broke" by Daymond John with Daniel Paisner


Depending on how old seasoned you are, you might remember Mr. Daymond John from either ABC’s Shark Tank or the FUBU brand clothing line. I remember both, BTW.


This book is all about becoming a businessperson and entrepreneur. You’ll read plenty of stories about how this Shark experienced trial and error, street smarts, ingenuity, and versatility within his core business (check out the van story which all happened years before Uber, Lyft™, and the like).


"The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, A Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage" is not just a set of stories about this venture capitalist, John shares some humble beginnings and stories from brands you may or may not know about. In each, you get a glimpse into a specific aspect of building a successful business explained in great detail. This is a fun, interesting, and informative read.


Before I post Part Two of this article, I’m reminded of the many times I encountered military service members with musical talent. Stay “tuned” for the rest of this post!


Have something to add to this story? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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