Reading Lists

Harper’s Reading List – September 2018

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Anyone who knows me knows that I am a voracious reader. Many of my conversations begin with, “Have you read that book…” or “I was reading about…” Reading has always been one of my great pleasures in life. Between running The Lazo Group and managing a busy household with young children, admittedly most of my reading these days gets done via Audible.

September is a great signifier for me, as we head back to school and begin thinking about the coming year. Given this headspace, this month I am focused on self-development non-fiction. This month’s reading list encompasses the following:

168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam


The actual title of this book may be all you need to contemplate to reap the benefits of this thesis. Depending on the scholarship you consult, you will find the seven-day week attributed to either the Babylonians or the Romans, between 500 and 45 BCE. The purpose of sharing this is that the people of the western world have been living with 168 hours for many generations. Past or future, rich or poor, young or old, we all have the same number of hours. In many ways, the block of time known as a week is the great equalizer. Vanderkam wanders the familiar time management paths of work, home, and leisure, as well as self-improvement, but where her advice is most sound is to track your time each week and then match it up with what you want to be doing. I have been tracking for going on three weeks, and have found this exercise to be extremely enlightening, and not as overwhelming as it may seem. Drop me an email if you would like additional details.

Available on Audible | Amazon | B&N

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success In A Distracted World by Cal Newport


Yes, I am one of “those people” – I generally have three to four books going at the same time. This should give you some insight as to why this book appealed to me. I am at a stage of life where long periods of deep focused work are rather elusive. However, this book is opening my eyes to choosing one area of focus at a time. Reading this book is part of what sparked my decision to ask Robert Hart to join TLG in the COO role.



Available on Audible | Amazon | B&N

September Backlog:

The other non-fiction books that I am reading this month include:

The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google by Scott Galloway


Available on Audible | Amazon | B&N


The Book of Joy by HH The Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Carlton Abrams


Available on Audible | Amazon | B&N


I would love to hear what you are reading this month, as well as your thoughts about my choices. Connect with me on social media or drop me an email!



A New Way of Working: Marketing Expertise Is Within Reach with the Gig Economy

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Not every company launches a product line or offers a new service on a regular basis, but every company requires some level of marketing support – whether it’s ensuring that a website is employing SEO best practices, sending a newsletter to established customers and interested prospects, or networking to discover new opportunities, to name just a few. For all these “business as usual” tasks, organizations need specialized support that is cost-effective and able to meet deadlines.

More and more organizations are discovering that the professionals who can best serve them do not solely work as fulltime employees or for traditional agencies. In fact, for a variety of reasons, many of these professionals are actively seeking a more flexible alternative to the 9-to-5 paradigm. Management is able to reap the benefit of this gig economy trend in marketing by trimming their staffing bottom line, while availing themselves of a more specialized talent pool.

Another benefit of this model is that entities who couldn’t otherwise afford these specialized marketing services are now able to achieve objectives and results that were previously out of reach. These entities include not only startups exclusively focused on their core competencies, but also municipal agencies and nonprofits with low marketing budgets. This broader client set effectively expands the marketing industry’s client base when met with the gig economy model.

The agency isn’t going away: for large, multinational corporations undertaking a campaign that needs to synchronize messages across multiple brands, a large agency might be the best choice. Nor is the function of marketing management, although it is increasingly focused on metrics and less on creative and content. As technological advances have made it possible to target potential customers at a granular level, clients of all sizes are demanding data that shows the effectiveness of every campaign—and proof that every dollar they’ve spent has yielded value.

The ability to access expertise that might otherwise have been unavailable in the marketplace can give companies a unique advantage. A smaller team comprised of such resources established to meet specific, time-sensitive marketing needs can be the most effective solution for companies of all sizes. The trend is clear: gig marketing is part of the answer to meeting your most strategic business needs.

— Deborah Nam-Krane