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Dean Notes (Jul 2021)

Happy Monday! I'm back with the monthly Dean Notes—a roundup of things I'm exploring, learning, and creating to help you become a better thinker and leader.

A quick intro: I'm Dean Yeong (@deanyeong). Here, I write articles and share book notes on productivity, leadership, money, psychology, entrepreneurship, and more.

Let's dive in!

What's new (book of the month)

💼  Here are my reading notes for The E-Myth Revisited. Thanks to Alex Drysdale from Human Improvement for recommending the book in our chat back in 2019. I bought the Kindle version of it immediately but only got the chance to read it early this year.

It's a great book for anyone who wants to start or grow any business. While the book was originally published in 1986 (the author talks about franchises instead of startups), its insights and lessons still stay very relevant today. Here are three concepts that stood out to me the most:

  1. The purpose of going into business is to get free of a job so you can create jobs for other people, not to get yourself stuck in a job that you can't quit.
  2. "Getting small" is a reaction to the pain and fear induced by the lack of learning and preparation. In short, businesses that "get small again" die.
  3. Your marketing strategy starts, ends, lives, and dies with your customer. In the development of your marketing strategy, it is absolutely imperative that you forget about what you want—but your customer!

Articles of the month

🧠  What I learned from Elon Musk and Ray Dalio about making better decisions. Often, people claim good decision-making as a result of willpower or motivation. But what’s even more important is to adopt the right mental models so you can see the bigger picture. Here are three mental models that will help you to get closer to the truth, be less wrong, and ask better questions.

🙈  Don't end the week with nothing. A lot of day jobs structurally inhibit capital formation. Rather than mindlessly repeating the same job over and over, choose to work on things you can show—where people can see you, on things you can own. And if you cannot build things you can show at work, you should build things you can show outside of work.

🥳  The fun scale. There are three types of fun. Type 1 fun makes you happy now, Type 2 fun makes you happy later, and Type 3 fun expands what you think of as Type 2 fun. The harder the experiences you expose yourself to, the more you come to embrace the pain.

🔁  On redoing things. Great books are the results of writing and rewriting. So do many things in business and life. Good businesses are the results of testing and optimizing. Meaningful relationships are the results of communicating and learning.

🏝  The islands and bridges strategy. Great writings are hard because you have to start writing before you have all the answers. The solution is to make it modular. Write as many islands as possible and connect with bridges when you start seeing the structure. To me, it's similar to how I approach note-taking (and making). A single note is rarely useful. But when you connect multiple notes into new ideas and insights, the value is exponentially bigger than its sum.

Quotes of the month

To be both efficient and effective, we need two systems. The 1st one handles inputs and outputs. It’s where and how you plan, do, and review. The 2nd one handles all kinds of information and knowledge. It’s where you make notes, connect dots, and reinvent something unique.

(see tweet)
To make something good, just do it. To make something great, just re-do it, re-do it, re-do it. The secret to making fine things is in remaking them. —Kevin Kelly

More interesting finds

🗿 What people in 1921 predicted about 2021. Interesting read on how people from 100 years ago thought about the world we live in today. And it also made me wonder how the world would look like in 2121.

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