Personal Brand Book Reviews: 18 Minutes – Find Your focus, Master Distraction and Get the Right Things Done

Personal Brand Book Reviews
By Paul Copcutt

Wondering if you should read “that” book? A seasoned personal brand strategist offers his in depth reviews.
18 Minutes – Find Your focus, Master Distraction and Get the Right Things Done

© 2011 by Peter Bregman, 263 pages, Hardback

18 Minutes – Find Your focus, Master Distraction and Get the Right Things Done by Peter Bregman

5R Score: 28/35

The 18 Minutes

  • Part One – Pause
  • Part Two – What is This Year About?
  • Part Three – What is This Day About?
  • Part Four – What is This Moment About?

On a scale of 1-7

  • Relevance – is it right for personal branding? – 6
  • Resonance – does it make sense to the reader? – 6
  • Relation – is there a connection for everyone? – 6
  • Remarkability – does it stand out, will it get noticed? – 5
  • Real – does the personal brand come through? – 5

Would you pick it up?

For me there is always one book each year that has the most impact on the way that I think or act and what I say. At the end of last year this was the one.

There are far too many books out there that espouse the very latest ways, ideas and ‘simple’ systems to implement and make your life easier. I have tried many of them and found that most of them require a PhD to understand or operate.

What I like about 18 Minutes is that it boils things down to the core basics of what is most important to you and ‘forget’ the rest.

As you slip out of all the good intentions you had at the start of the year, this book can get you back on track fast.


It’s not immediately evident that this is a book about your personal brand. But once you have clearly identified what your personal brand is and who needs to know about it, then you have to get on with living and communicating that brand. The challenge is remaining focused and not getting distracted. This book and its easy-to-follow 18 Minutes a day looking at the 5 most important areas of focus for the year make staying on brand much more effective. It also means at the end of the year you are going to be much further forward.


I found the 18 Minutes approach easy to understand, implement and in most cases stick to regularly (a failing in many of the more complicated systems – one I have followed has almost 20 pages to act on – weekly!).

For me though the most compelling part of the whole system is that when I have not followed it for a day or I find my day got away from me, I can check back in and identify right away where I was falling down AND find a quick solution to getting back on track.


In today’s world of multiple demands on seemingly less and less time we can all relate to the desire to want to take back control of our lives and simplify them. But deep down we also want to know we are making a difference (whatever we define that to be), 18 Minutes gives us the framework to focus on what is most important.


Because the approach is so simple there is a danger that people do not see this as remarkable. That would be a shame. We do not have to complicate or over think things to have them make us more effective or successful.

Just the simple suggestion of setting a one-hour alarm to do focused and concentrated work has made a huge difference to my productivity. This book review and one other article were effectively completed in one of those 60-minute bursts.


The author is constantly using personal and real life work as well as client examples to communicate his points. His blog posts do the same. The book is broken down into bite size 2-4 page chapters that get one key point across. This makes for easy reference and more likely I’ll pick it up again. But once ingrained it’s certainly one to keep on the bookshelf.

Paul Copcutt, Personal Brand Architect, is a sought after speaker and coach who uses real client stories and practical applications to help successful professionals and executives get clear about their uniqueness.


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