Five Books I’ve Read 2x in the Past 12 Months

It’s one thing to read a book once.

But it takes an extra special book to read twice.

Go on. Take a moment. Think about all the books you’ve read more than once.  I’d bet that they’re pretty special to you, am I right?

This year I read a bunch of books for the second time.  But what’s especially interesting about these books is that I read them a second time within twelve months of reading them the FIRST time.

Any books like that in your life?

Since these books had such an impact on me, I wanted to share them with you, because, well, quite literally, they helped me have one of the best years of my life.  So I owe it to the books and to the Authors of those books to get them out into the world.

And, because I know so many of you want to do big things in the theater, in business, or in whatever, I have this 2x in 12-month feeling that they’ll help you.

So here you go . . . Five Books I’ve Read 2x in the Past 12 Months.

Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, turned me on to this one.  She said it helped her go from door-to-door fax machine salesperson to billionaire entrepreneur. That was enough for me to give it a listen.
The subtitle of this book is “Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration.”  Get why I recommend it?  It’s also a great history of the development of Pixar Studios, one of the coolest and most creative hitmaking orgs in Hollywood.
What started as a few seconds at the end of a Ted speech turned into a mass movement. Mel Robbins teaches you a simple concept to get you out of bed in the AM that can also help you accomplish anything.
It’s hard to write.  Like waging a war sometimes, am I right?  Steven Pressfield teaches you how to fight . . . and win.
The classic.  It’s not just about money.  It’s about success in everything you want in life.  Oh, and the masterminds we run?  And that I’ve been a part of for years?  The idea is in this book.

If you have any recommendations of your own, post on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and tag me in it – maybe you’ll see your suggestion in another upcoming blog.

Happy reading!

My 5 Friday Finds: Killin’ it, Zippin’ it and Colorin’ it.


  1. Zip it up.

Weeks ago I was looking for a CFO.  I found one on ZipRecruiter.  So I gotta give ’em a shout.

  1. What’s the next one of these?

To Kill A Mockingbird is killing it at the box office.  This week it became the highest grossing single-week play in Broadway history with a tally of over $1.7mm.  Super props to Superstar Producer Scott Rudin for wrestling these rights to the ground.  Can you believe the estate almost pulled their permission?  I bet those lawyers are thanking their luck 1-2% underlying rights royalty that they let it happen.

Now how many other Authors of classic family novels do you think are being approached now that these box office numbers have come in?

  1. Speaking of hiring . . .

I like to hire entrepreneurs.  One of my questions during my interview process is, “Have you ever run your own business?”  Well, my marketing director has a kick-ass niche coloring book company.  She makes custom books based on whatever subject you want.  My favorite?  “Dress The Drag Queen”.

  1. The Notebook is coming to Broadway . . . and it’s NOT this one.

Waaay back in 2009, I wrote a blog about an actress who had defied the odds and snagged the rights for a musical version of The Notebook.  I even went to see it and spoke to Nicholas Sparks myself.  Well, The Notebook is finally coming to Broadway . . . but with an entirely new team including Ingrid Michaelson.  See here.

  1. I feel “Medium” about it.

It took a few years, but is making more of a name for itself now, even though it’s struggling to make more money. Founded by the founder of Twitter (which is also struggling), it mixes pro and amateur publishers together in an online magazine.  I think it’s pretty nifty to read what real people think, and I’ll actually be publishing an article there soon myself.  It’s worth signing on and getting articles in your inbox that you actually want to read.

Enjoy your weekend, and I hope you find a top five worth writing about.

My 5 Friday Finds: Hello Trello

Happy last working Friday of 2018!  (I know we’ve got another Friday to go, but it seems like the entire world is taking off next week, so if you’ve got business to do before the end of the year, I’d pick up that phone!)

  1. Hello to Trello

I love productivity tools.  I love them so much, that sometimes researching them and implementing them gets in the way of my productivity.  🙂

But not this one.

Trello is a like Basecamp but cooler.  It’s a visual way to keep all your projects in front of you on “boards” and “cards.”  And if you collaborate with folks, you can assign tasks and keep track of what everyone is up to.

I’ve got boards for my creative projects, my biz projects, and more.

Takes a beat to set up, but already it’s helping me make sure nothing falls through the cracks, and that I get more done towards my goals.

  1. Are your New Year’s Resolutions set yet?

Setting a good set of resolutions is a science.  Did you know that 80% of resolutions fail by February?

That’s why we’re doing something about it.  Click here to learn more.

  1. Fosse/Verdon

Everyone’s buzzin’ about the next attempt at a TV show about our world, especially since it contains so many Broadway peeps, from Norbert Leo Butz to Laura Osnes to Gettin’ The Band Back Together’s Kelli Barrett.

No release date yet for the FX show, but anything on television that has the word Broadway in it is good for the industry.  #ContentMarketing

  1. Someone at the NY Times actually LIKES jukebox musicals.

Interesting article from a female reviewer about a jukebox musical about a female.  Read here.

  1. Another show goes from Broadway to Off.  And it’s one of mine!

In the tradition of Avenue Q (now closing on April 28th), The Play That Goes Wrong, which I produce, will close on Broadway on January 6th and then REOPEN Off-Broadway at New World Stages on Feb 11th.  See here!

Happy to see this model continue (I blogged about it way back here) and hope it goes all WRONG.

Enjoy the weekend, folks, and your week off as well.  If you’re looking to see a show this coming week, remember, it’s the busiest time of year on Broadway, so get tickets now.  Especially to THIS ONE.

Oh, and fyi, this Blog will be on vacation next week as well, so don’t get all worried if you don’t see a post 🙂

My 5 Friday Finds: A hiring tip that saved me time.

Happy Freezing Friday for those of you in the Northeast!  Here are a few finds to keep you cozy.

  1. A hiring hack.

I recently posted a classified ad looking for a new CFO (although the folks are big investments for small companies, a great CFO should pay for himself/herself and then some . . . so how can you NOT invest in one?).

Knowing I would get a hundred-plus resumes (177 to be exact), I needed a way to weed out some of the folks that didn’t have the attention to detail I needed.

So, in order for a potential candidate to get to the 3rd round, they had to answer 10 questions ranging from what show they saw last, to what software they were proficient in, to whether or not they ever owned their own business.

But it wasn’t the questions that made it easy for me to filter the responses into keep or trash.  In addition to the 10 Q’s, I also asked the candidates to respond to my email by replacing the subject with “CFO – 2nd Round [LAST NAME]”.

You would be AMAZED as to how many people didn’t do that simple task.  The responses fell in three buckets:

1)  People who did it perfectly right.
2)  People who did it half-right.
3)  People who didn’t even pay attention at all.

And not coincidentally, the 1’s were the best qualified . . . and they got interviews.

If you’re looking for a CFO or an intern, try this trick. Saves you OODLES of time.

  1. BroadwayCon is about the Business of Broadway too!

BroadwayCon isn’t just for people who want to dress up like Elphaba.  If you want to learn about the biz of Broadway check out “Industry Day” at this year’s BwayCon on Friday, Jan 11th.  The day is curated by Broadway Thought Leader, Damian Bazadona of Situation Interactive (and my TEDxBroadway co-founder), so expect smart things.  Get tix here.

  1. Avenue Q is only “for now.”

Back in 2008 (!), years before Avenue Q downsized from Broadway to Off, I blogged about the concept.

I just blogged about it.  But it took courageous Producers like Kevin McCollum, Jeffrey Seller, and Robyn Goodman to actually give it a shot.  (Thankfully they allowed us to General Manage it.)

Boy, did their guts pay off.  Q ran longer OFF Broadway than it did on Broadway.

Other shows have tried this move and it didn’t quite work.  Why? Was it because we GM’ed it?  Haha.  I’d like to think that’s part of it.  But I’m going to blog about the three reasons why this worked so well next week.  Sign up to make sure you don’t miss the blog.

In the meantime, get your tickets now.

  1. The Coat.

This year’s in-demand Christmas gift isn’t a toy.  It’s a coat.  Seriously.  If you google “The Coat,” it’ll come up.  That’s some powerful buzz.  Why is it such a thing?  Cheap.  Fashionable.  Useful.  I bought one for my wife.  Check it here.   DON’T TELL HER!  😉

  1. I sent Christmas cards this year.

Want one?  Email me and I’ll send you one.

Not too late to get your holiday gifts.  “The Coat” may be out of stock but this and this are, and they’re perfect for the Broadway fans on your list.

My 5 Friday Finds: Cash isn’t king.

It’s Friday y’all.  Celebrate with these Friday Finds.

  1. Being “Fit” is not just about looking good, it’s about getting ahead.

Two years ago, I made a pretty big lifestyle change and left Coca-cola, McDonald’s and sugary Frappucinos behind.  Add some meditation and other mindfulness practices to that, plus an early morning wake-up call, and I got a crap ton more done.  And I’m not passing out at my desk.

I can’t believe in my search for a more “fit,” lifestyle I hadn’t run across before.  I don’t want you to miss it either.  Check it out here.  And listen to what super smart founder and art-trepreneur, Jane Jourdan, has to say.  She just wants to help you succeed.

  1. Who needs cash anyway?

I did it again.  I’m now 10 out of 10.  During my last TEN trips to international destinations, I have refused to exchange any currency.  And I didn’t need it.  I paid with apple pay, credit cards, and apps.  With no problem.  How long before cash disappears?  (It’s why I invested in a  “cashless currency”  stock – that is the only stock in my portfolio that is currently up, amidst this big pullback this week).

  1. Torch Song Announces A Quicker Than Expect Closing.

That’s four Broadway shows now . . . including my own Once on this Island that are closing in the next 30 days.  And School of Rock follows, and Kinky Boots in the spring and even long Off-Broadway runner Marvelous Wonderettes.  Yes, shows always close this time of year . . . but something feels different.

And I hear rumors that at least a couple more announcements are coming.

  1. Finish your shopping yet?

Need some ideas for the theater lover in your life?  Or do want to send someone a few hints on what to get you?  Click here for some great Broadway gift ideas.  There may be 18 days until Christmas, but you really only have about 14 shopping days left.

  1. Simple solutions make millions.

It was cold this week. So I put these on.  And I thought, “Wow, here’s something that I didn’t have when I was a kid.  And then someone saw a problem, and fixed it with a simple solution, and made a fortune.”  Takeaway?  Keep your eyes open for problems that others or YOU are having . . . and hack a solution.  Then sell it.  Then take the millions you make and produce shows.  🙂

Enjoy the weekend. Go see a show!