top 3 books for 2017

Nothing beats a good ol’ book, let’s be honest. Whether you’re subscribed to Playboy or an avid reader of everything Eckhart Tolle, there is a certain sense of liberation, confidence or intelligence a good book is able to offer above any Hollywood blockbuster or One Direction hit song. So, in order to prepare you for a solid year of growth and smiles, we’ve organised some of the [Haimat] family to share their top book recommendations. Enjoy:


‘The One Thing’ by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan

Last year I was at a crucial point running the [Haimat] agency. We had just started making enough money to employ some new characters and move into a small office close to Manly beach (yes, correct, close to the beach).

However, the entire time I felt there was simply not enough time in the day to get everything done, from finding new business opportunities, pitching to potential clients, ensuring the cash flow and profitability was stabile, implementing internal processes, planning the next big thing and working on another dope Spotify playlist for the agency, the list was endless. It was obvious I was drowning in work, which ultimately carried over into my private life.

One day, I saw my old boss from Ogilvy & MatherChris Savage, who recommended a book to me, which, according to him would change my life. It was called The One Thing by Gary Keller. That day, I went home and ordered it straight away. It took me the next 5 months to read, given I was still drowning at work, but then it began to impact my life quite positively.

In the book, Keller gives the one great piece of advice: “be absolutely single-minded about the ‘one thing’ that will underpin your success.”

For me, the key learnings for [Haimat] in addition to my private life were:

1. The Domino Effect – It’s bigger than you think.
2. Success Lists – These are much better than to-do lists.
3. Extreme Pareto – 80/20 to the max
4. Habit Formation – Using finite discipline wisely
5. The Focusing Question – Creating this helps us arrive at The ONE Thing

“When everything feels urgent and important, everything seems equal. We become active and busy, but this doesn’t actually move us any closer to success. Activity is often unrelated to productivity, and busy-ness rarely takes care of business.” ~ Gary Keller

I highly recommend it to anyone who has a lot going on in his or her life and struggles to focus on the big HOW – how do I want to live my life and how do I get started – because the hardest of it all, is to get started, so don’t waste anymore time, read it and thank me later. High-fives all around

Benjamin Kassel, Managing Director



‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert

I’d heard of Elizabeth Gilbert, but reading her massive best seller “Eat, Pray, Love” never apealled to me. I was introduced to her thoughts on creativity through a TED talk of her’s and it instantly spoke to me. “Big Magic” is an extended version of that talk, which is all about how to live a creative life – not necessarily making a living from your creativity, but being brave enough to follow your creative intuitions, even if that just means taking up a painting class. Her ideas on creative genius – that basically everyone is creative, we just need to open ourselves up to inspiration – and ideas – that they’re floating in space, and are looking for a partner in crime – seem to take the pressure out of creativity. Even if you’re not working in a creative role, or don’t consider yourself creative, this book helps you to get perspective on your own skills and role. A great book to read at the start of the year to take to pressure off your goal setting!

Alex Gourlay, Client Service Director



‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck’ by Mark Manson

It wasn’t before I’d managed to get three quarters of the way through this book that I thought to myself, “just get up and grab the highlighter because a lot of this stuff is gold!” A lot of the time, these somewhat philosophical and psychologically flavoured books make you think intensely about some existential occurrence, which you’re more than likely going to forget by morning-time anyway. But, for once, I had found a book that blends a series of extremely valuable life-lessons along with some appropriate and entertaining stories from human history all blended together in a humorous, no-shits-given-but-this-is-real-talk kind of way. Manson does an epic job of questioning modern society and what it means to live a good life, I’d say this book is well-worth the twenty or so bucks.

Jake McCann, Digital Account Manager

Any books you’ve read recently that really tickle your fancy?