34. Top 10 Reads For School Leaders with Aubrey Bursch & Tara Claeys

In this episode, Aubrey and Tara go over their Goodreads list, picking out their top 10 books for school leaders to read for personal and professional development. Genres ranging from novels to financial literacy, Aubrey and Tara offer a wide selection of suggestions that will be sure to captivate your interest and promote your small school!

About Aubrey Bursch & Tara Claeys:

Aubrey Bursch is founder + CEO of Easy School Marketing. She’s also a mom, lover of green smoothies and Peloton and podcast host. She is passionate about supporting small + independent schools to increase enrollment, retention and revenue.

Tara Claeys is the founder of Design TLC – a professional website agency for small schools. She’s passionate about helping organizations provide enriching experiences for children by creating a great first impression online.

Find Aubrey Bursch & Tara Claeys:

Aubrey’s Instagram & LinkedIn

Tara’s Instagram & LinkedIn

MSM Instagram 

Thank You To Our Sponsor

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Show Transcript

Aubrey: Welcome to Mindful School Marketing, your go-to podcast for personal and professional growth. 

Tara: We’re school marketers, business owners, and moms passionate about connecting other school professionals with tools and strategies for success. 

Aubrey: We love solving problems, exploring new ideas and thinking outside the box, let’s transform your school and life, starting right now. 

Tara: This episode is brought to you by EnquiryTracker. Easily, manage all your inquiries, tours, open houses and applications with a system designed by K through 12 education marketing and admissions professionals. 

Welcome to Mindful School Marketing. I’m Tara Claeys.

And I’m Aubrey Bursch.

Today, we are going to talk to each other and to you about books. So we have a goal during each of our episodes to talk to our guests about books because Aubrey and I both love to read books and it’s an important topic for people who work in schools as well. So modeling reading is important too. So we do ask, as you may know, if you’ve listened to some of our podcasts, we ask all of our guests to recommend a book that they think should be on the curriculum for high school students.

And then we also talk about the books that they might be reading right now. And from that, from that year of doing this podcast now, we have developed a good reads list, which you can access through the show notes of this episode, and also on the footer of our website, where you can see the books that have been recommended, and it’s an amazing extensive list. And so Aubrey and I sort of talked about how we were approaching this one year anniversary and what we wanted to talk about with each other and with you. And we thought books would be a great thing to talk about. And so that’s what we’re going to do. We’re, we’re totally winging it. We don’t really have, you know, a lot of notes or anything that we’re going to follow. We’re just going to talk about books, the books that we’ve talked about on the show, the books that we each have really taken to heart in our lives, and just an approach to our goals for reading this summer. So that’s what we’re going to do. I’m excited. Aubrey, how about you? 

Aubrey: I am so excited as you know, I’m a big believer in reading and professional development in general, but I think that reading is so powerful. It’s one of those skills that I was like, I want my kids to do what I did when I was little. It was just check out the maximum number of library books every week. And we’ve hit that. We’ve even negotiated above a hundred, which is the max for where we live by the way. So I feel like I’m doing my job. And so, and it’s like you said, I love that almost every person who’s come on our show has talked about how impactful books are for their personal and professional journey. And so I’m excited to dive in today about this conversation about books, and hopefully we can inspire you, you know, as you’re gathering your summer reading list, or maybe it’s in the fall now, when you’re listening to this and you know, you just are inspired to maybe check out some of these from the library or from wherever you’re going to get your books. 

Tara: Yeah. So, I’m going to start by talking about a challenge that I’m doing and I probably have come across in some of the episodes that we’ve shared as an Enneagram one, as a perfectionist, and I love setting goals for myself and I love joining challenges. So I listened to a podcast called the Daily Stoic, and it has some great points about values in your life. And how to think about what you have control of and don’t have control of, and they have launched a reading challenge, which I’ve joined, and it’s several weeks long. I think it’s about six weeks long and it gives some email tips. There are some live Q&A sessions. But what I really took to heart was the very first week they shared a video and I will, um, share that here and it talks about bookstores, but it also talks about how to read more books in the golden age of content is what it’s called. And it’s really fascinating. And they take a very mathematical approach to reading what they actually, what this challenge actually has you do, which is based on this YouTube video, is it, has you calculate your life expectancy? So how many years you have left to live? I know this sounds completely wacky, but how many years you have left to live and then how many books you sort of typically read in a year?

I don’t actually read a ton of books. I enjoy reading, but I go through phases where I’ll read a lot and then I’ll, and then I won’t read at all. And so if I say I read five or six books a year, and I have, let’s say 30 years left, so you do that math. And then you say, if you read a little bit more, how many more books could you read? And I do have a Goodreads list and it has a lot of books on it. And when I think about how many of them I may actually be able to get through in my life, I could be totally dorky here. It’s inspiring to think about how to read more. So the challenge is reading 30 minutes a day, and that could be an audio book or sitting with a book. And I have a couple of books in the queue that I’m working on at the same time. And so I’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks and it’s really been exciting to see, to think about just that challenge of reading more, whether it’s how many books I’ll have left in my life or not. And then the other component of this challenge that I’ve learned is using what’s called a commonplace book, which is taking notes as you read. If you use a Kindle, it’s kind of easy to highlight sections, and then you can actually sort of copy those into a commonplace book. It can be a handwritten notebook. It can be a notes app on your phone or your computer. So I’m trying to do that as well. That’s a harder thing to learn how to do if you’re not used to it, but as we were talking about. Before we recorded, even if I’ve tried to read 30 minutes a day, and I accomplish all these books, the way that my brain works, it’s kind of like a sieve. And I won’t remember, I won’t remember them. So it’s helpful to kind of keep that record and refer back. And I’ve also been using it to note down quotes from podcasts, if I’m listening to a podcast and there’s a point that resonates with me, I’m putting it in there as well. So it, it helps you focus and pay attention a little bit more. So that’s what I’m doing this summer is trying to read more. And I actually referred to our Goodreads list from our guests and picked out a few books to read over the next few months. 

Aubrey: That’s so exciting. I love that because when you were talking before we hit record, I was like, oh yeah, that would be really good idea to take notes because I’m like, this is such a great book. I’m so excited to execute all these things and then life happens, right? And you’re like, oh, if I had just taken the points that I really wanted to focus on out of the book, I actually would be doing them. So I appreciate that. That was very tactical and actionable for me. So I appreciate you bringing that up.

Tara: Yeah. So let’s, let’s talk a little bit about what we have maybe encountered or learned in our chats about books with our guests. And if there are any that we think that have resonated with us, I know there have been a few that have come up a number of times that people have mentioned as well that have repeat mentions. I’m looking at our Goodreads list now. And I think there are 79 books on it, which is pretty amazing. And I can’t wait to read a lot of them, many of the books that people have mentioned that I hadn’t read yet. So how about you? 

Aubrey: Yeah, I’m so excited. So I love that we have this Goodreads books because every time someone would say one that I hadn’t read, I was like, I need to read that. And then, you know, I’m glad that everything is here in one place. I mean, some of these books, I never knew about, I had no clue. And after we got off our recording session, I went and immediately put it on my library holds because I was like, ah, that’s so good. So yeah, I’m really excited. It’s a very diverse book, like list. 

Tara: Yeah. I’m going to share. Yeah, I’m going to share it for a second. So for people who are watching this on YouTube, they can see our Goodreads list. It’s a group. So if you go into groups in Goodreads and you search for Mindful School Marketing, you can also find it that way. If you don’t go through our website, but there are a lot here. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. I think a couple people mentioned that book. That’s a classic, right? There are novels and there are nonfiction books. A combination of both. There are. Parenting books, productivity books. The Big Leap is a book that a few people have mentioned and that I hadn’t heard of, but I know you are a fan of that book. So just touching on a couple of books that jump out at us as we go through this list here. 

Aubrey: Yeah. I’ve read Untamed, which I thought was very impactful. Which one of, some of our, one of our guests mentioned. Also the, where was it? The Sum of Us. I think I’ve heard a lot about and I think that’s a really powerful piece that I would like to dive into.

Tara: Yeah.

Aubrey: Miracle Mornings came up. I feel like that came up a couple of times. 

Tara: Yeah. Some good parenting books, right? My computer’s not letting the second page load, but anyway, these are some good options and I hope people can refer to the, to our Goodreads list for some ideas of what to read over the summer.

Aubrey: Absolutely, that’ll be fun. 

Tara: Yeah! 

Aubrey: I’m envisioning them laying by the pool or the beach taking that much needed downtime, which you all need to rejuvenate for the fall and just picking out one of these to dive into. 

Tara: Yeah. Well, let’s talk about some of our favorite books. You want to start out with a book that you’d like to share with everyone and, and what you like about it?

Aubrey: So, on my way to Charleston, I drove and for, from where I’m driving, it’s about nine hours. And so I had to figure out like what kind of book I was going to listen to. And so I chose, Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman. And I was warned in advance that it really is not about time management. So I should put that out there. So you’re not like I’m a productivity geek. I should go get this, because you will be promptly disappointed because it is not. What I mean, the premise behind this book is like, it’s the average human lifespan is really brief and assuming you live to be 80, you just have over 4,000 weeks, which is super depressing. And you think, oh, but what his messages and he used to be a productivity  geek, quote unquote, right? He would try all these systems and, you know, he would get frustrated and if only he could find the right system, then life would be easy, right? It will get easier. Everything would be better, right? But like the end result is, no matter how efficient we get, we’ll never do everything that we feel we’re supposed to do, especially in this more and more complex era that we live in. So the answer he said is this is to acknowledge our limitations and be honest with ourselves that the life we’re living right now is what we have. And I really liked someone wrote this in one of the views and it just resonates with me. It was like, “when the reviewer said it gave me permission to go slow, experience, deep time, and really immerse myself in moments instead of planning the next thing. As I begin to do this, the constant feeling of rush and my compulsive need to try to control time, vanished, not at first, but in time. I’ve realized this is the state. I want to spend my life and not running around, trying to do everything only to never experience any of it.” And I think that was  really powerful to me, especially as a parent, because I’m really trying to hold- I mean, those kids are growing up so fast and I’m trying to hold on to like every second. And so I felt like it was a good kind of wake up call for me on, you know, how to embrace that, and how can I embrace that? So I would recommend this if you are trying to fit everything into your life and finding that you can’t, and maybe it’s just, this will give you some of the, you know, a new perspective on things.

Tara: It’s really interesting that the approach that they take is similar to what I talked about with the book challenge, right? Like figuring out how much longer you have. That’s a little bizarre sounding, but one of the things about the daily stoic and stoicism is this a term: memento mori, which means that we’re all dying. And so if you think about the fact that, you know, and this is not depressing at all. It’s sort of, it’s motivation to get the most out of your life. And, I really groove on that kind of concept. It’s motivating for me, but I know everybody has a different approach to life. My book that I’m going to talk about next is Atomic Habits, which made, which is a productivity book. And it may sound like it’s very different from what you were describing. But it’s actually, I think it makes your approach to getting things done more manageable and maybe in a different way than what you’re talking about, but still that’s the goal of it. It’s it’s to think about how to build habits, that kind of become just a natural part of your life and to be healthier, better person. And so, also to drop bad habits as well. And then you can get more done that way too. So I love the book, atomic habits. It has a huge following James Clear is the author, and he has an interesting backstory. He has a podcast and a big following. His book is super popular. So any people may have read it already, but it’s based on the four rules of behavior change. Which is to, in order to, to do something, to add a new habit into your day or your life is to make it obvious, make it attractive, make it easy and make it satisfying. I like to use an example of drinking more water. Because one of my goals was to drink more water. And so if I just say, I’m going to drink more water. I probably won’t do it. So making it obvious: what I do is I have three water bottles and I fill them up every morning and I put them next to the coffee pot. So I know when I’m going to get my coffee, I have to fill up my water bottle. So I’m making it obvious by putting it right where I see it. And then making it attractive: I’m not sure if I’m really doing that so much, except that I know that if I do it, I’ll feel better. Making it easy: it’s filling up those water bottles and then I take them into my desk and they’re sitting there. So I don’t have to, what would happen is if you get a glass of water or one water bottle, you finish it and then you’re too busy or wrapped up in what you’re doing and you put off getting another bottle and refilling it. So it makes it easy. If you have all the water that you need for the day with you, from the get-go. And then making it satisfying: you know, you could put some lemon in it or, you know, do something to make it taste better if you don’t like the taste of water. It’s satisfying for me just to know that I’m, to that, that I’m getting it done. Of course it’s refreshing when, you know, with you’re talking a lot. So I have my water bottles here and that’s one of the ways that I’ve applied his philosophy to my life. So I think thinking about how to make small steps also is the other part of the book. So if you say to yourself that you’re going to try to lose weight, then you maybe just set out the gym clothes the night before which is making it easy, right? You’re doing something to build a habit, but you’re also saying I’m just going to put my gym clothes on tomorrow morning. I’m just going to do that one thing. I’m just going to go to the gym, just go to the gym, make it one small step at a time. That’s what atomic means. These small little steps in order to build better habits. And the opposite applies to breaking habits too. If you are using your phone too much, put it in another room when you’re working during the day, so that it’s not, it’s not obvious, it’s not easy, right? It’s set in a different place. You have to actually get up and go get it in order to use it. Or if you’re going on Facebook too much, take the app off your phone. The concept is a little bit obvious, but I think if you read it and you actually start implementing those things, it’s very helpful. So I refer to it a lot and, it’s been really transformational for me.

Aubrey: I love Atomic Habits. I read it. I think I have it somewhere in this room. I do love it. And I currently have four water bottles sitting right next to my desk. So apparently we both are trying to do the drink more water. So it is, and I love that it’s it’s habits. And once you have those habits and they become part of your life, it’s easier to do things and easier to reach your goals.

Tara: Yeah. Something else that he talks about a lot. Is focusing on not on what you want to achieve, but what you wish to become. So instead of saying, I want to lose 10 pounds. Say I want to be someone who is fit, right? Or I want to be someone who doesn’t eat sugar or whatever that is. So you’re defining yourself in a certain way, because I, if I think of myself as, you know, as someone who’s lazy and that’s how I consider myself, I have to change the way I view myself as a person in order to achieve a goal, to be more productive or something. If I’m the procrastinator and I label myself as that, I want to become somebody who does not procrastinate and what are the habits that I need to build to do that? So it’s, it’s a mindset as well. 

Aubrey: I really enjoy that and appreciate that because I always write in, I always write, like I am someone who, you know, moves my body. I am, I’m an athlete. Like I think those are, instead of saying like X goal, it’s more like, who are you becoming in this process? So really appreciate that. Shall I go on to the next book? 

Tara: Yeah! 

Aubrey: Let’s hit it. All right. So I’m really excited about this next book because our friend and colleague, Brooke Carroll wrote it, it’s Governing Small the Small School, and why I love this. Yes, I do adore my friend, but it’s more than that. It’s because this is such a needed book. And I actually sent this to so many clients because, look, small schools are unique, right? And so their board needs are unique. And I think boards in general for schools are unique as well. And a lot of problems we see, is either, you know, a board doesn’t actually know what they’re supposed to do, their role and responsibilities. There’s no training really around it. They’re like, yes, I’m a volunteer. I want to help the school. And you know, the heads of school are like, yes, I have a board. I’m not quite sure what my board is supposed to do, or they’re realizing maybe their board’s not as effective as it is. It can be. And they’re not sure why. And so this book is really tactical. Like I love it because it’s actionable. Like she doesn’t just give you an overarching, like, oh, this is what’s happening in the world. It’s like, oh, here are questions to ask your board. And I really appreciate it. And she makes a distinction between the difference between small and large school boards. And there is a difference and that there’s a fine line between governance and operations, especially for small schools. She talks about like how board members are volunteers, right? They’re volunteers and they want to do things, but we have to give them the tools. And really there hasn’t been a concentrated effort of like training people who come on your board. And like, board recruitment, like, and so it’s just, I really appreciate it. She even gives you templates. She even goes into details of like, how do you effectively run a board meeting? You would think like this would be, you know, sure, everyone must know how to run an effective board meeting. Actually having been to a lot of board meetings. It’s amazing how they don’t. And so she gives you a template for how to run it. And so I really highly recommend it to all small schools. Especially if you’re a new head or if you’re board, you know, something’s not quite right. Or you’re building a board, or you’re in that transition process where you need to recruit new members, like all of that, like, and everyone should read it for sure. So I definitely would recommend it. And I think boards are so critical to schools, right? And so how we prepare them and tools that we give them are equally important. I mean, they can literally make or break a school. I mean, we’ve seen so many instances where, you know, without the right board leadership, schools don’t end up making it through tough times. So I highly recommend this. It’s governing the small school by Brooke Carroll. And thank you, Brooke, for writing this because it was very helpful and I’ve sent it to many people. 

Tara: That’s awesome. Yes, I have it too. And we’re very fortunate to have some friends who have written some great books for school administrators, marketers. And I’m going to talk about one as well. So Jen Cort is another friend of ours who just recently published a book called Help Us Begin Again. Hubs strategies and mindsets for meaningful conversations with kids, especially when you are challenged by the topic, which is brilliant. I loved attending her book launch, where she actually had some exercises that she uses in the book. And she took us through some of those exercises to have meaningful conversations and difficult conversations and make them not so difficult. She’s really brilliant with this. I mean, it’s what she does and she makes it seem really easy. And it’s an excellent guide for people who, especially during these times, right? How to have these conversations and some suggestions on how to talk about them. I think, you know, I love this review where someone said, “I cannot think of a better time or a greater need for this book then now about the challenging topics we need to discuss with kids.” She says, “Help Us Begin poses simple but powerful suggestions that remind me of what I say and do and I am being my very best self. Simple tips like avoiding direct eye contact during difficult interactions, allowing student voice and selecting the time and place for this discussion and finding everyone’s physical location of feeling reminded me to listen and understand rather than listen to respond.” I mean, that is such a hard thing to actually do. And so to have some tactics, some strategies to try to remind yourself of these things during these conversations is great. And I think it’s not even just with children. I think this is applied to conversations with your colleagues, with your family. To anyone. So congratulations to Jen on this book. And I really highly recommend that everybody get a copy. 

Aubrey: Yay! Congrats, Jen. So I, that this is a good transition to the next book that I was going to talk about because it has to do with kids and parenting. Now, Tara, how do you want me to do this? Because like, you know, probably know me very well. I’m super indecisive and I like to just break all the rules and so I chose two parenting books. So should I highlight both of them right now? Or do you want me to break it up? 

Tara: Yeah, go for it! 

Aubrey: Alright, I’m’ breaking the rules folks. So the first one is, The Collapse of Parenting: How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them like Grownups by Leonard Stacks. And this is probably going to be, maybe this will resonate with you all. It certainly resonated with me. So I’m sure like many of you, I questioned my parenting choices on a regular basis, maybe an hourly basis. Like how did these small humans get entrusted to me? And how much am I screwing them up? It’s constantly going through my mind. So at the bottom of what, of, like, I guess if I’m digging deep, like a bottom of what I’m feeling and thinking is this concern of not being able to raise strong, healthy, confident, independent kind and thoughtful people. And so when I picked up this book, that was kind of like, okay, that’s where I’m coming from. And I really resonated with it because- and I felt better and worse after reading it. I don’t know if anyone ever has those feelings where you’re like, I’m so glad I read this and I feel awful too. Because it was like, yeah, better because you know, now I know, here are the steps. Worse because I totally think I’ve made some of the mistakes they list there. And so hopefully I can navigate myself out of there, but basically, some key takeaways from this book are like, teach your children people skills, spend time with your child, teach your kids humility and educate the desire in your child. They touch on like really what’s happening and today, and how it’s so different from any other time when you’ve been a parent in, in human history, right? And also the different things that are pulling on your attention, like one point that they made, which really kind of resonated with me was, today, what’s important, either as parents thinking important for their child or children thinking is important for themselves is peers, their peer, you know, classmates or social people, sports, schools, school activities, and what’s become less important it’s actually time with parents. And that was really eye-opening, and he threw some stats on that, of course, right? And so it really, they talked about spending time with your child and, and enjoying them and that really resonated with me. You know, I’m always trying to do that, but this made it more intentional. So I highly recommend that book. Hopefully I didn’t scare any of you away from reading that. And then the second book that I really wanted to share, because so often people come on our podcast and when we ask them, what book would you put in the high school curriculum? And they’re like anything, finance. They’re either like, I wasn’t taught finance as a child, or I’m really worried, like with what’s happening with this system, like our children learning about real world finances, like financial literacy, right? And so as a mom and marketer, I see this firsthand, I see the need for this firsthand. I mean, we have so many people walking around with huge amounts of debt or being released in the world not knowing how to manage money or make it work for them. And so as a mom, obviously that’s on the top of my mind. And I also come from a history of where, although my mom was really great with money, no one ever taught me those principles. And so when I turned 18, I went to a 311 concert, which I’m totally dating myself right now. But that was back in the time a long, long time ago, where, where they had credit card people, because it was legal then where you could just stand there and at concerts sign up for credit cards and sure enough, what did I do? I signed up for a credit card. And of course, what sort of rate was that credit card? You know, not good, right? And so I spent like the next, like three years paying off the credit card and learning an important lesson, but, you know, maybe we should learn those lessons before we do that, right? So I think this book really addresses how to teach your kids about money. It covered pretty much anything you can think of, including allowance, materialistic trends, peer pressures. How long do we make our kids wait for what they want, how to prevent our kids from becoming spoiled, which I also I do worry about that, right? I mean, our kids are pretty privileged compared to like, you know, other people in other countries in different socio-economic backgrounds. I worry about that. And then they even get into like the tooth fairy, like they get very practical, like what should you do in these situations? What should you do around the home? And he’s like, and it also teaches, you know, it’s, it gives you tips for teaching kids, how to be more grateful and humble, more compassionate, and understanding to the less fortunate and how to behave among the more fortunate and what to do, you know, and, and addressing like when enough is enough, right? We live in a society of a lot of excess, right? So these were important values to me. And so that’s why I really resonated with this book. And if those are important values to you, then I highly recommend you read it. Those are my two parenting books. 

Tara: That’s great. That’s great. I have a finance book as well, but I’m going to talk about a different book first. So after my kids were grown, and Aubrey, I love your attention to being a good parent and trying to learn how to do that. And you know, there’s no formula for it, but there certainly is a lot of information that we can arm ourselves with to try to be better prepared. And no matter what you do though, once your kids are grown, you’re always going to question whether you did a good job. At least I find that to be the case. And, you know, my kids don’t live near me, so I don’t see them very often. And I savor every second that I have on a zoom call and, you know, the rare times that we’re together. So I also really appreciate that you’re savoring the time when your kids are, they’re young with you and, and sort of soaking up who you are and admiring you and worshiping you to a certain degree cause that changes as well. So, you know, coming from the other side of this mountain of parenting, when my kids we’re in high school approaching graduation I was running my own business as I am now, but kind of thinking about what my goals were in life, because when you are focused on being a good parent and raising your kids, you’re not as focused on, at least I wasn’t, focused on who I was and what I wanted from my life. I wanted to be a good parent. That was, you know, that was the main goal. And I wasn’t thinking really much beyond that. So when I had the opportunity to think about what comes next, I found a book called Designing Your Life, and that book really helped me define the next phase of my life and what was important to me. It had me do a deep dive into my values and what I wanted from my life. So it’s by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. And it basically has you think about a lot of different things- it takes a design approach to what you want out of your life that has you do some sketches and different things. It has, you asked questions, like why do we work? What does work mean? And it also has you think about who you are and what you believe and what you do. Talking about wayfinding, which is the ancient art of figuring out where you are going. And when you don’t actually know your destination. So trying to define all of these things has had you had gauges about different aspects of your life, like, work, love, and, play time, how important play is to you. So you kind of do a gauge of what’s important- health, work, play and love, I think are the four things and you put what percent each of those things are in importance in your life. And it helps you kind of think about how you want to be spending your time. So it really helped me narrow down what was important to me after my kids left and still becoming a business owner, but focusing my business on work that was meaningful to my heart and my view of the world and my view of my life. So I think it can apply to you when you are raising kids, but I think it’s very applicable when you’re in a transition in your life and you’re trying to figure out what you’re going to do. So I highly recommend that book, Designing Your Life. 

Aubrey: That’s fascinating. I will add that to my list as well. Cause I appreciate you- you’re always such a- I am so grateful that you’re in my life, Tara because you come at this with such a different perspective. And you also acknowledged, like, I remember when I had small kids and I remember when this is what happened and you kind of, you give me ideas and inspiration for, you know, what’s happening next. So thank you. I appreciate that. I’m going to dive into a book that is completely off all these topics so far, it’s called, Never Lose a Customer, by I think it’s Joey Coleman. Yes, it is. So this one, retention is something that is gaining popularity. But for the longest time, the buzz in the room was all about enrollment numbers and conversions. And actually this is probably still the case, but retention is really the true hero for schools. It costs more time, energy, and resources. to attract new students and then to keep the ones you already have, right? And so this is why this book is really important for anyone who works in schools. So my copy is tremendously marked up because when I read it, I applied every single of these topics to how a school could implement them. This is my copy right here. As you can see I’m a hard copy kind of person. So most schools don’t realize that, for example, he goes through like these eight phases a customer goes through and I don’t think schools actually know that there are customer phases, right? First of all, we don’t even like to say the word customer because they’re parents, right? It doesn’t feel like a customer, right? But they are, and so most schools don’t realize that the minute a family signs a contract, they have buyers remorse. You’ve probably witnessed it yourself. For example, I finally, after much market research purchased a Peloton bike during the pandemic and the minute I hit purchase, I doubted myself. I was like, was it worth it? Did I just waste a bunch of money? Maybe I should just get a plain old bike and not do this. And maybe it’s not as good as I thought, is it too late to cancel the order? So all those things are going through my head. So if I did that for a Peloton bike, how do you think parents feel about their most precious thing in their life, their child, right? And where they’re going to school. So I really think knowing those eight phases and figuring out how you can apply them to your school is really beneficial. So highly recommend, Never Lose a Customer Again.

Tara: I love that. That’s really, really smart. And I appreciate that you’re sharing that in the context of schools so that our listeners can really get something out of that. So smart. Okay, I’m going to talk about a finance book since you did as well. This one is called, Profit First, and it is probably more relevant for people who own their own business then for people who maybe work in a school. But, but they, I think the main underlying philosophy behind it applies to anything. And that is that you want to be able to put money aside for when you need it. And so this carries on from what you’re talking about in terms of teaching kids about money, but the idea is that you’d have different envelopes. And if, once you run your own business, you have, you really have to pay attention to this so that you have money for taxes.

So if you’re a contractor, it applies to you specifically as well, but just making sure that you have your money earmarked for different things and that you have a savings and you’re using a budget planning system to keep your money straight. So that Profit First, great book, and he has a few other books as well, which are really good too.

Aubrey: I love profit first. I read it and I actually listened. I think audible listened to it, but I also have a hard copy too, because don’t you find that way. Like, you’ve listened to things that you want hard copies too, but I’m glad you brought that one up. So my next one has to do with, it’s going to be completely something we haven’t talked about. It’s called How Not to Die by Dr. Greger. And you’re wondering why I’m actually bringing this up on a school, like a Mindful School Marketing podcast. It’s because I see so many school leaders approaching burnout and they have spent so much of their time giving, like to schools and students, and many of them are not prioritizing their physical and mental health. And I’m thinking as you’re heading into summer, what better time to refocus on you, my amazing school leaders than this summer, right? So this would be an awesome time to pick up this book. If you’re looking to kind of recenter yourself around health and maybe your priorities. For me, this book, I came across this book, when I, when I had a frozen shoulder injury. I can’t even tell you, like, I’ve been so active my whole life to have something put me down for 15 months was eyeopening. And I was like, I don’t ever want to go through this again, and I actually, health is a priority and I feel like so much of our culture and perhaps, you know, subconsciously my focus has been like, oh, the latest fad diets, losing weight, all this stuff. Or like, and this really re-centered beyond health. Like I want to be mobile and healthy and strong for myself and my children in the long run.

So what can I do to try and prevent disease and make sure I’m living like energetically and focused. And I found this book and immediately connected. It’s actually, what I really like about it is it’s written by a doctor, but he’s not trying to sell you anything. A lot of these other books are trying to sell you like supplements or like, this is the way to do it and here by my whatever, but he is a nonprofit. And so I think the profits of the books go back to his nonprofit or something, but he has, he’s very good at like, he wants the world to kind of be healthier. And his book is super thick because, and I would say the last, there was like a hundred pages of reference, like of studies and data. Like it’s very data driven, which I’m a data geek. So I love that, right? So if you’re looking for something like that, this summer to read, I highly recommend that. 

Tara: Awesome. Okay, well we are gonna just, I’m going to mention one more book and then we can wrap up. So people can go out and get their books. I have a, a non-fiction I mean, a fiction book, a novel it’s a historical fiction book written by a friend of mine. So I have another friend who’s an author. Her name is Betsy Withycombe, and she’s written a book based on a story that she uncovered doing genealogy. It’s called, The Murder of Sarah Grosvenor. And it takes place back in the 1700’s, mid 1700’s. And it’s a compelling story. It has to do with a murder that was covered up in the town. And so it’s beautifully written. It’s pretty short. It’s a great sort of suspenseful page turner read. And I highly recommend people go out there and, and look that up on Amazon. And then I want to also mention a couple of books that I’m, that are next on my list. And these come from our Goodreads list from people who have been on our show. Whistling Vivaldi, is a book that I’m super interested and just starting to read, it’s about stereotypes. And then there’s another book I’m reading called, Deep Kindness, which I just got from the library, which has mentioned. I think you may have mentioned that book as a matter of fact. I’m tackling those two books. And then I also just finished, Codependent No More, which is a psychology book about your working with difficult relationships in your life. Yeah, that’s what I’m tackling right at the moment. 

Aubrey: That’s awesome. I love that I’m reading like 15 billion books at the moment because I find that I’m a fair-weather reader. Like if I don’t, if I, if topic doesn’t resonate with me at the moment, I’ll jump to like another topic. So I have a lot of books going on, but I did want to mention one last book before we hop off. And that’s, The Ideal Team Player, and the reason, How to Recognize and Cultivate Three Essential Virtues. The reason I want to mention this is because leadership is super important and school teams can either make or break your school’s efforts. And I’ve seen wonderful schools collapsed under the wrong leadership and the wrong teams. And alternatively, I’ve seen schools thrive when they hire the right people. And every time I look back at like those great effective teams, they have three virtues in common, like they had three virtues that he talked about, which is humble, hungry, and smart. Humble is, great team players lack excessive ego or concerns about status. Hungry, hungry people almost never have to be pushed by a manager to work harder because they were self-motivated and diligent, and smart, which you think smart means smart, but it actually, doesn’t. Smart simply refers to a person’s common sense about people. So like their interpersonal relationships and stuff. So I highly recommend that, especially as you’re growing and expanding your teams. 

Tara: Awesome. This has been super fun. I’m really excited that we were able to get on with our busy schedules and connect and talk about books. I hope that people found this helpful and it gives them some ideas of things to read and ways to approach reading in general. 

Aubrey: Yes, I am too. And please, we want to hear from you, like, what are your favorite books? We’re always looking for suggestions, as you can see. And Tara is going to be reading a lot of books in the future. So definitely with her 30-minute-a-day plan. So please send them our way. 

Tara: Yeah. Send them our way. Thanks so much. Thanks, Aubrey! 

Aubrey: Thank you, Tara. Bye. 

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