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I take notes while I read. These book notes start with a short summary and my two cents, then follow by key lessons and highlights.
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New ideas emerge when we question the assumptions. Successful mentorship happens when we have a mentor guide our journey, not just our practice. Negative feedback spur improvement but we need to separate ourselves from the perceived failure and learn from it objectively. While hard work is important, deliberate pattern spotting can compensate for experience. Giving makes us a superconnector and creates serendipity. Momentum is the predictor of success. Simplification gets what we do from good to amazing. Constraints make us more creative. Going after a 10x goal forces better thinking and attracts supporters.
The simple formula to financial well-being: spend less than you earn—invest the surplus—avoid debt. Your goal is to save up F-You money, generally 25x of your annual expenses, to regain your freedom. During the wealth accumulation stage, allocate 100% of your investment portfolio to Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSAX) or its ETF (VTI). When you're closer to your retirement, adjust 20-50% of your portfolio to include Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund (VBTLX) or its ETF (BND). Aim for a 3-7% withdrawal rate during your (early) retirement.
Goal setting is more of an art than a science. OKR stands for Objectives, Key Results. Each objective is paired with a few— usually two to four—key results. Objectives are what you want to accomplish while key results are the outcomes you need to see to achieve your objectives. They help teams communicate and work with each other. OKR works best with CFR that stands for Conversations, Feedback, Recognition. CFR helps facilitate communications and collaborations. Together, OKR and CFR build a culture that helps teams strive.
The essence of writing is rewriting. Spend the time to strip every sentence to its cleanest components. Take extra care of the very first sentence, the lead of an article, and the last sentence of a paragraph. To be a professional writer, establish a daily writing routine and stick to it. The product that any writer has to sell is not the subject being written about, but who he or she is. Don't be afraid to share your values and be open with your intention. To write well, you must have the confidence to be yourself.
Before starting any business, understand that you have three roles: The Entrepreneur, the Manager, and the Technician. The Entrepreneur sets the vision and leads the way; The Manager manages the processes and the people; The Technician does the work. Your business needs you to be the Entrepreneur to build a systems-dependent business that could work even without you, the owner. Create systems around finance, marketing, management, and operations to serve (and innovate for) your customers with the experience they—not you—want and need.
Money decisions are rarely rational and almost always emotional. That said, doing well with money has more to do with our behavior than our intelligence. Instead of a specific case study, you’ll get closer to actionable takeaways by looking for broad patterns of success and failure. Rich is a current income; wealth is financial assets that haven't yet been converted into the stuff you see. The hardest financial skill is to have enough—so master it early. To build wealth, focus on what you can control: Increase your saving rate and the time horizon of you stay invested.
There is no shortcut to happiness and meaning in life. While success leaves cues, past data doesn't guarantee future outcomes. Until you allocate your resources to what's important, it doesn't matter. The best time to take care of your health and relationships is now, not when you most need them. Have guiding principles and commit to them. Things happen in small incremental. "Just this once" is a dangerous first leap that gets us to where we don't want to be. Lastly, create a life purpose—learn to look past the immediate reward—and focus on fulfilling it.
Seek clarity on your identity, values, and goals. Then, generate energy to maintain focus, effort, and well-being. Raise the necessity of exceptional performance by creating internal standards and external accountability. Increase productivity in your primary field of interest by focusing on prolific quality output. Then, develop influence with those around you to get help and support. Finally, show courage by expressing your ideas, taking bold action, and standing up for yourself and others, even in the face of fears and uncertainty.
Make products and services for the customers you want to serve rather than finding customers for the products and services you want to make. Marketing is about making change happen. To do that, create a culture by telling stories that match the built-in narratives and dreams of the smallest viable market you choose to serve. Then, show up consistently to earn permission—by building confidence and trust—to follow up and share your work.
Your body loves predictability. Reduce stress on your body by maintaining a routine for your sleep-wake cycles, eating times, periods of physical activity, and schedule for taking any prescribed medications. Consume foods that are as close to nature as possible. Maintain a correct posture, stand, exercise, and stretch more. Have a personal hygiene routine especially for your teeth and feet. If possible, take time off to relax and live with someone else to improve your mental health.
Productivity is all about our attempts to figure out the best uses of our resources as we try to seize the most meaningful rewards with the least wasted effort. To motivate ourselves, we must feel like we are in control. To be a great leader, build a culture where people feel heard and safe. To make better decisions, use mental models to direct our attention, rather than just react, and learn to think probabilistically. To get creative, connect existing ideas in new ways. To learn from new information, we need to force ourselves to do something with the data.
Money has no value, it represents value. Every financial decision has an opportunity cost. We assign money to mental categories, and that controls how we think and feel about money. We are willing to pay more when we see the effort involved even when it doesn't change what we get. Prices shouldn’t affect value, performance, or pleasure—but they do. Money is a means to an end. But because money is much more tangible than happiness, well-being, and purpose, we tend to focus our decision-making on money instead of on our ultimate, more meaningful goals.
Three common things in people who build a mass movement: 1) charismatic and attractive character, 2) focus on a future-based cause that was bigger than themselves, and 3) offer their audience a new opportunity. To get started, go out there and work for free and get some results. If what you’re doing works, then capture those stories and testimonials. Everything in business comes down to one thing: Belief. You must persuade people to believe in what you are doing, and you do that by mastering the art of storytelling.
Your desire to work less doesn’t mean you’re lazy. Being busy is not necessarily being productive. Focus on income-generating activities (and what you enjoy doing) and delegate everything else. To ensure you hire right, give them a task and see whether they can complete it capably. Building a relationship with your VAs is essential. When your VAs feel bonded to you, they’ll be vested in your success. Learning to delegate is challenging, but the better you know yourself and what you’re after, the more successful you’ll be.
Marketing is a battle of perceptions, not products. You need money to get into a mind and to stay in the mind. It's better to be first than it is to be better. Create a category you can be the first in. Discover the essence of the leader and then presents yourself as the opposite. If you want to be successful, you have to narrow the focus to build a position in the prospect’s mind. One of the most effective ways is to first admit a negative and then twist it into a positive.
The four Roman Stoics whose writings and teachings build the foundation of Stoicism: Seneca, Musonius Rufus, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius. In Stoicism, The good life depends on your characters, choices, and actions rather than your circumstances. The ultimate goal of life is Eudaimonia (to become good with your inner spirit) and Areté (to express the highest version of yourself in every moment). The four broad Stoic virtues are Wisdom, Justice, Courage, and Self-discipline.
As a company of one, you build your business around your life, not the other way around. To do that, start small, define growth, and keep learning. Execution is the only valid currency in business. Develop real connections by sharing simple messages, repeatedly, through your actions. Then, utilize simple rules, systems, solutions, and processes to reach profitability as quickly as possible.
Your brain removes unwanted toxins during sleep. Poor sleep slams cognitive performance. Sleep in ninety-minute blocks, e.g. 360 minutes (6 hours), 450 minutes (7.5 hours), etc. To improve sleep, avoid bright light before your sleep, keep your room dark and cold, and have a wind-down routine. Napping is good—make it a part of your daily routine. Your dreams help identify your worries and concerns, at the same time, see new and innovative solutions to your problems.
Two emotions that keep people in Rat Race: fear and greed. Assets put money into your pocket, liabilities take money out from it. Rich people acquire assets. The poor and middle class acquire liabilities that they think are assets. Raise your financial IQ by learning accounting, investing, understanding markets, and law. If you want to be a successful business owner and investor, develop three main skills: 1) find opportunities that everyone else missed, 2) raise money, and 3) organize smart people.
The best entrepreneurs know that they have an obligation to ask for the sale because that’s the best way to help their customers. Money is the marker that you're doing the right thing because people pay you for the value you create and the problems you solve. And the more you make, the more value you can create. Focus on what you can control, ignore what you cannot. Instead of focusing on the competition, focus on your audience.
Remember: Your readers are busy. Isolate and elevate a problem, and then, present a solution which is the flip side of the problem. To make your copy effective, choose one person and write for only him or her. Objections are your friends. If your prospects didn't care, they'd just walk away. Start your testimonials with an objection, and then share how your products resolve it. You don’t find your uniqueness; you invent it. Choose what you want to be the best at, and then build your business around it.
Resistance is a repelling force that prevents us from doing our work. The more important a call is, the stronger the Resistance. Next to Resistance, rational thought is the artist or entrepreneur’s worst enemy. We can accomplish nothing until we act. So start before you’re ready. Get something done, however flawed or imperfect. When we conquer our fears, we discover a boundless, bottomless, inexhaustible well of passion. The opposite of fear is love for the work, challenges, and growth.
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