This year, with my good friend Matt Haas, I’m launching The Bottom Line Books Podcast. This has been a dream of mine for many years and a long time coming. Here’s the short description:
No time to read? Tired of hearing all your friends talk about that one book you know you should read? Each episode we unpack one book and bring you the best ideas – the bottom line – of the book in about an hour.
I love to read. What I love more than reading is sharing what I learn from others to help them grow and learn. This blog has been an outlet to do that, and I’ve thought for years of exploring a podcast about books, but could never quite get my mind around it. Then Matt entered the scene. Matt Haas and I go way back to when we met on the basketball court. We were pre-middle aged men, just trying to exercise at lunch without blowing out a knee. I was wearing a UofL Cardinals T-shirt, and he was like, “You too?” And we were suddenly friends. We’ve exercised together for years and it seems our conversations often go something like this:
“Hey Matt, I just finished this amazing book that you MUST read.” He says, “I’d love to, tell me more about it.” Matt says he loves the idea of reading, and has read the first chapter of a bunch of books, but just doesn’t seem to find the time for more than that. He’s a business man/entrepreneur with a lot going. He loves to learn and grow though, so hearing about the books has been a help.
Somehow, over the course of the many conversations, we figured out that this could be the formula for a podcast. We get together and discuss a book. I come with the main ideas, and he reacts to them. We both share our own stories and insights along the way. We also try to apply the content to our respective settings: mine being ministry/family and his being business/finance/investing (Learn more about Matt here or on Linkedin).
So Matt might say, “Here’s how this works in the financial investment world,” and I’ll comment on applications to marriage and family – weave in our own stories and experiences. I didn’t want it to be just a book report, but something that was more alive. If people like Matt hear him say, “I’m not a reader, yet here’s how I’ve applied this concept in my work/life,” then maybe some will think, “Ok, I can see how this book would benefit me.” It’s meant to feel like you’re listening in on a conversation between two friends, not a book report or a performance. We’ve not set a time limit on any episodes, but so far most have come in around an hour.
So what about the title, “Bottom Line” though? Doesn’t that imply something shorter than an hour? By “Bottom Line” we mean we’re trying to distill down the book to the main ideas or the essence, the “meat and potatoes.” One hour is so much shorter than listening to the entire book (typically seven or eight hours for most books) and still allows time for us to tell our own stories and let it flow like a conversation and not be rushed. I hate being rushed more than almost anything else in life, so I don’t want to feel rushed on my own show.
Most of the books we discuss will be in the personal growth, leadership development, and business arena, though a few others that interest me will show up here and there. For instance, our first episode is on Atomic Habits, the second on Extreme Ownership, and the third Be Obsessed or Be Average, all squarely in the personal growth and leadership category. The fourth episode, however, is on Feeding the Mouth that Bites You, which is about parenting teens. It’s probably the most important book I’ve read on the topic, and even if you don’t have teens (or children), I think you’ll find it surprisingly relevant to many different settings.
You can check out our first two episodes and the ‘trailer’ (an overview of the podcast purpose) on all the major podcast platforms through this link. Would love to know what you think, and if you like it, please let others know about it!