Book Quote of the Week -42

“Tell ten people, show ten people, share it with ten people; ten people who already trust you and already like you. If they don’t tell anybody else, it’s not that good and you should start over. If they do tell other people, you’re on our way.” – Seth Godin

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Review Notes from Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

As I read I like to highlight, mark up and take notes in the book I’m reading. After I’m done the book I’ll go back through it and transfer those notes into Evernote. Especially in a long book like Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss, transferring my notes gives me the opportunity to review the entire book again but it also puts the things that most stood out to me from the book into a place that is easy to search when I want to refer back to them.

Below are a copy of my notes from Tools of Titans. For a book of over 600 pages I really could have taken a lot more notes but these are the things that stood out to me the most and things I wanted to be able to remember. This book is filled with “the tactics, routines, and habits of billionaires, icons, and world-class performers.” I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first ordered the book but I thought it was an interesting read and would recommend it to others. If you enjoy The Tim Ferriss Show, you’ll definitely enjoy the book. The people in this book are absolutely amazing.

Throughout these notes I’ve included links for the people that you may want to learn or read more about. Just click the person’s name or highlighted note and you’ll find more information there. To get your copy of Tools of Titans, click HERE.

Top Quotes

  • …you don’t have to wait to start something. So if you’re planning to do something with your life, if you have a 10-year plan of how to get there, you should ask: Why can’t you do it in 6 months? Peter Thiel pg 232 This was probably my most impactful quote in the entire book
  • When you’re thinking of how to make your business bigger, it’s tempting to try to think all the big thoughts, the world-changing, massive-action plans. But please know that it’s often the tiny details that really thrill someone enough to make them tell all their friends about you. — Derek Sivers pg 185
  • in business and in life — you don’t have to be on the extreme, but you have to ask for things, and you have to put yourself out there. — Noah Kagan pg 325
  • I now have a very simple metric I use: Are you working on something that can change the world? Yes or no? The answer for 99.99999% of people is no. I think we need to be training people on how to change the world. — Peter Diamandis pg 369
  • If you want to be tougher mentally, it is simple: Be Tougher. don’t meditate on it. — Jocko Willink pg 412
  • Often-times, everything you want is a mere inch outside of your comfort zone. Test it. — Bryan Johnson pg 609
What Makes These People Different?
  • “If you have a 10-year plan of how to get [somewhere], you should ask: Why can’t you do this in 6 months?”
  • You [have] the ability to renegotiate your reality all along.
  • while the world is gold mine, you need to go riffing in other people’s heads to unearth riches.
Just Remember Two Principles
  1. Success, however you define it, is achievable if you collect the right field-tested beliefs and habits.
  2. The superheroes you have in your mind (idols, icons, titans, billionaires, etc.) are nearly all walking flaws who’ve maximized 1 or 2 strengths. Humans are imperfect creatures. You don’t “succeed” because you have no weaknesses; you succeed because you find your unique strengths and focus on developing habits around them…. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. The heroes in this book are no different. Everyone struggles.
  • You’re not responsible for the hand of cards you were dealt. You’re responsible for maxing out what you were given.
Acroyoga – Thai and Fly
  • Tell people what you want, not what you don’t want, and keep it simple.
Deconstructing Sports and Skills with Questions
  • “The quality of your questions determines the quality of your life.” – Tony Robbins
  • when you’re a leader, people are going to mimic your behavior, at a minimum… It’s a guarantee. So here’s the key piece of advice, this is all he said: ‘Calm is contagious.’
  • Kids don’t do what you say. They do what they see. How you live your life is their example.
  • Is that a dream, or a goal? Because a dream is something you fantasize about that will probably never happen. A goal is something you set a plan for, work toward, and achieve.
  • Why would I be wound up? I’m either ready or I’m not. Worrying about it right now ain’t gonna change a damn thing. Right? Whatever’s gonna happen is gonna happen. I’ve either done everything I can to be ready for this, or I haven’t.
5 Morning Rituals That Help Me Win the Day
…if you win the morning, you win the day.
  1. Make Your Bed (<3 minutes)
  2. Meditate (10 to 20 minutes)
  3. Do 5 to 10 reps of something (<1 minute)
  4. Prepare “Titanium Tea” (2 to 3 minutes)
  5. Morning Pages or 5-Minute Journal (5 to 10 Minutes)
  • If the pursuit of excellence was easy, everyone would do it.
  • The secret is to show up, do the work, and go home.
  • A blue collar work ethic married to indomitable will. It is literally that simple. Nothing interferes. Nothing can sway you from your purpose. Once the decision is made, simply refuse to budge. Refuse to compromise.
  • Accept that quality long-term results require quality long-term focus.
Chris Sacca pg 164
  • We get behind leaders who stir our feelings. In the early days of your venture, if you find someone diving too deep into the numbers, that means they are struggling to find a reason to deeply care about you.
Marc Andreessen Pg 170
  • Is your product any good if people won’t pay more for it?
  • Forward, like: We don’t stop. We don’t slow down. We don’t revisit past decisions. We don’t second guess.
  • “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” – Steve Martin
  • Life can be much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call ‘life’ was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.
  • My goal is not to fail fast. My goal is to succeed over the long run. They are not the same thing.
  • To do original work: It’s not necessary to know something nobody else knows. It is necessary to believe something few other people believe.
  • My confidence came from my vision… I am a big believer that if you have a very clear vision of where you want to go, then the rest of it is much easier.
  • I wasn’t there to compete. I was there to win.
  • It’s not what you know, it’s what you do consistently — Tony Robbins pg 210
  • When you’re earlier in your career, I think the best strategy is to just say ‘yes’ to everything. Every little gig. You just never know what are the lottery tickets.
  • don’t be a donkey. You can do everyone you want to do. You just need foresight and patience.
  • Even when everything is going terrible, and I have no reason to be confident, I just decide to be. — We are whatever we pretend to be.
  • When you’re thinking of how to make your business bigger, it’s tempting to try to think all the big thoughts, the world-changing, massive-action plans. But please know that it’s often the tiny details that really thrill someone enough to make them tell all their friends about you.
  • Investing in yourself is the most important investment you’’ ever make in your life…There’s no financial investment that’ll ever match it, because if you develop more skill, more ability, more insight, more capacity, that’s what’s going to really provide economic freedom…It’s those skill sets that really make that happen.
  • “If you let your learning lead to knowledge, you become a fool. If you let your learning lead to action, you become wealthy.” — Jim Rohn
  • The reason you are suffering is you’re focused on yourself
Casey Neistat pg 217
  • TF: How can you make your bucket-list dreams pay for themselves by sharing them?… If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing.
  • What is the ultimate quantification of success? For me, it’s not how much time you spend doing what you love. It’s how little time you spend doing what you hate.
  • Hope is not a strategy. Luck is not a factor. Fear is not an option.
  • Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious. — Thomas Edison
  • …you don’t have to wait to start something. So if you’re planning to do something with your life, if you have a 10-year plan of how to get there, you should ask: Why can’t you do it in 6 months?
  • What I prefer over trends is a sense of mission. that you are working on a unique problem that people are not solving elsewhere.
  • The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them.
  • If you generate enough bad ideas, a few good ones tend to show up.
  • tell ten people, show ten people, share it with ten people; ten people who already trust you and already like you. If they don’t tell anybody else, it’s not that good and you should start over. If they do tell other people, you’re on your way.
  • Because the fact is, there are plenty of countries on Earth where there are people who are willing to be obedient and work harder for less money than us. So we cannot out-obedience the competition. Therefore, we have to out-lead or out-solve the other people… The way you teach your kids to solve interesting problems is to give them interesting problems to solve. And then, don’t criticize them when they fail.
The Law of Category pg 276
  • If you didn’t get into the prospect’s mind first, don’t give up hope. Find a new category you can be first in. It’s not as difficult as you might think.
  • in business and in life — you don’t have to be on the extreme, but you have to ask for things, and you have to put yourself out there.
  • for anything important, you don’t find time. It’s only real if it’s on the calendar.
  • ‘Likes’ don’t pay the bills. Sales do.
  • The biggest mistake you can make is to accept the norms of your time.
  • Inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and get to work — Chuck Close
  • Sometimes you need to stop doing things you love in order to nurture the one thing that matters most.
  • It’s not about ides, it’s about making ideas happen.
  • Truth is, young creative minds don’t need more ideas, they need to take more responsibility with the ideas they’ve already got.
How to Earn Your Freedom pg 362
  • The more we associate experience with cash value, the more we think that money is what we need to live. And the more we associate money with life, the more we convince ourselves that we’re too poor to buy our freedom.
  • I now have a very simple metric I use: Are you working on something that can change the world? Yes or no? The answer for 99.99999% of people is no. I think we need to be training people on how to change the world.
  • we’re here today having this conversation because I did not give up. I’ll leave it at that.
  • Money can always be regenerated. Time and reputation cannot.
    • Discipline equals freedom
    • Better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have
    • If you want to be tougher mentally, it is simple: Be Tougher. don’t meditate on it.
    • If I have a problem, I’m going to handle them. I’m going to take care of them, and I’m not going to complain.
    • …being able to detach as a leader is critical.
    • I strongly suggest reading Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, great book!
  • How would you disrupt this plan or how would you defeat this plan?
  • …you should have a running list of three people that you’re always watching: someone senior to you that you want to emulate, a peer who you think is better at the job than you are and who you respect, and someone subordinate who’s doing the job you did — one, two, or three years ago — better than you did it.
  • You can tell the true character of a man by how his dog and his kids react to him
  • What you should have in your mind is a picture of controlled chaos.
  • To not do something because you might get injured is a terrible reason not to do something.
  • Why do we teach girls that it’s cute to be scared?… By cautioning girls away from these experiences, we are not protecting them. We are woefully under-preparing them for life.
My Favorite Thought Exercise: Fear-Setting
  • Risks weren’t that scary once you took them.
  • What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do…. a person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.
  • Memento mori — remember that you’re gong to die. It’s a great way to remember to live.
  • To me, success is you make your own slot
Bryan Callen pg 483
  • I think you should try to slay dragons. I don’t care how big the opponent is. We read about and admire the people who did things that were basically considered to be impossible. That’s what makes the world a better place to live.
Rick Rubin pg 502
  • Learn from the greats, not your competition.
  • “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” — Mark Twain
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein: “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.”
  • When you’re told that something is impossible, is that the end of the conversation, or does that start a second dialogue in your mind, how to get around whoever it is that’s just told you that you can’t do something?
  • TF: “These ideas” = having a “secret” as described in Peter Thiel’s Zero to One: knowing or believing something that the rest of the world thinks is nonsense.
  • Very often it’s a question of being the first person to connect things that have never been connected before.
8 Tactics For Dealing With Haters
  1. It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it. What matters is how many people do.
  2. 10% of people will find a way to take anything personally. Expect it and treat it as math.
  3. When in doubt, starve it of oxygen.
  4. If you respond, don’t over-apologize
  5. You can’t reason someone out of soothing they didn’t reason themselves into.
  6. Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity. You’ll avoid the tough decisions, and you’ll avoid confronting the people who need to be confronted. — Colin Powell
  7. If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid — Epictetus
    • To do anything remotely interesting, you need to train yourself to handle — or even enjoy — criticism
  8. Living well is the best revenge. — George Herbert
Rainn Wilson pg 543
  • dig deeper. We can make the world a better place. We can ask more of ourselves. We can do more for others. I think that our life is a journey… Dig deep on your journey and the world will benefit from it.
Naval Ravikant pg 548
  • If you want to be successful, surround yourself with people who are more successful than you are, but if you want to be happy, surround yourself with people who are less successful than you are.
  • There’s a theory that I call ‘the five chimps theory.’ In zoology, you can predict the mood and behavior patters of any chimp by which five chimps they hang out with the most. Choose your five chimps carefully.
  • Free education is abundant, all over the internet, it’s the desire to learn that’s scarce.
  • So the best advice I learned by mistake, and that is: Be willing to fail or succeed on who you really are. Don’t ever try to be anything else.
  • give people questions they’re not expecting
  • Write everything down because it’s all very fleeting
  • Once you don’t start at the beginning, your life just gets so much simpler.
  • TF: “The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero uses his fear, projects it onto his opponent, while the coward runs. It’s the same thing – fear – but it’s what you do with it that matters.” Cut D’Amato (Mike Tyson’s legendary first coach)
  • When I had the opportunity, did I choose courage over comfort?
  • If I’m not a little bit nauseous when I’m done, I probably didn’t show up like I should have shown up.
  • Be clear that your ladder is leaning against the right building.
Testing The “Impossible”: 17 Questions That Changed My Life pg 594
  1. What if I did the opposite for 48 hours?
  2. What do I spend a silly amount of money on? How might I scratch my own itch?
  3. What would I do/have/be if I had $10 million? What’s my real TMI?
  4. What are the worst things that could happen? Could I get back here?
  5. If I could only work 2 hours per week on my business, what would I do?
  6. What if I let them make decisions up to $100? $500? $1,000?
    1. To get huge, good things done, you need to be okay with letting the small, bad things happen.
    2. People’s IQs seem to double as soon as you give them responsibility and indicate that you trust them.
  7. Whats the least crowded channel?
  8. What if I couldn’t pitch my product directly?
    • People don’t like being sold products, but we all like being told stories. Work on the latter.
  9. What if I created my own real-world MBA?
  10. Do I need to make it back the way I lost it?
  11. What if I could only subtract to solve problems?
  12. What might I put in place to allow me to go off the grid for 4 to 8 weeks, with no phone or email?
  13. Am I hunting antelope or field mice?
    • The analogy of the field mice and the antelope. A lion is fully capable of capturing, killing, and eating a field mouse. But it turns out that the energy required to do so exceeds the caloric content of the mouse itself. So a lion that spent it’s day hunting and eating field mice would slowly starve to death. A lion can’t live on field mice. A lion needs antelope. Antelope are big animals. They take more speed and strength to capture and kill, and once killed, they provide a feast for the lion and her pride. A lion can live a long and happy life on a diet of antelope. The distinction is important  Are you spending all your time and exhausting all your energy catching field mice? In the short term it might give you a nice, rewarding feeling. But in the long run you’re going to die. So ask yourself at the end of the day, “Did I spend today chasing mice or hunting antelope?”
    • Another way I often approach this is to look at my do-do list and ask: “Which one of these, if done, would render all the rest either easier or completely irrelevant?’
  14. Could it be that everything is fine and complete as is?
  15. What would this look like if it were easy?
  16. How can I throw money at this problem? How can I “waste” money to improve the quality of my life?
    • If you’ve got enough money to solve the problem, you don’t have the problem
  17. No hurry, no pause.
  • If the answer isn’t simple, it’s probably not the right answer.
  • entrepreneurs have the ability to author their lives with companies.
  • What can you do that will be remembered in 200 to 400 years?
  • I have a lot of conversations with people who want to start their own thing, and one of my favorite questions to ask is, ‘Is this an itch, or is it burning?’ If it is just an itch, it is not sufficient. It gets to this point of how badly you really want it. For me, I burned to boats. there was no  way I was going to get a job. Failure was never an option. I had to make this work.
  • Life is not waiting for the storm to pass, it’s learning how to dance in the rain.
  • Often-times, everything you want is a mere inch outside of your comfort zone. Test it.
Brian Koppelman pg 613
  • If it’s truly important, schedule it.
  • Is that a dream or a goal? If it isn’t on the calendar, it isn’t real.
  • It’s good not to follow the herd. Go the other way. If everyone’s going that way, you go this other way. You’re gonna stumble, but you’re also gonna stumble upon an idea no one came up with…
  • Try to look bigger…
  • You can go back and you can look at it and go, ‘oh, that wasn’t a failure. That was a key moment of my development that I needed to take, and I can trust my instinct. I really can.’
“Good” – by Jacko Willink pg 640 (Jacko Willink profile pg 412)
  • When things are going bad, don’t get all bummed out, don’t get startled, don’t get frustrated. No. Just look at the issue and say. “Good.”
  • Accept reality, but focus on the solution. Take that issue, take that setback, take that problem, and turn it into something good. Go forward. And, if you are part of a team, that attitude will spread throughout.
The Most-Gifted And Recommended Books of All Guests pg 650
  1. Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
  2. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  3. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harai
  4. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  5. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss
  6. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande
  7. Dune by Frank Herbert
  8. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition by Robert Cialdini
  9. Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
  10. Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom
  11. Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character) by Richard P Feynman
  12. The 4 Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat Loss, Incredible Sex and Becoming Superhuman by Tim Ferriss
  13. The Bible
  14. The Hard Things About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
  15. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield
  16. Watchmen by Alan Moore
  17. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel with Black Masters.
Many of these top 17 books are some that I have already read. But for those that I have not, they are next on my list. If you’re interested in any of them click on their title above or join Audible to have the opportunity to listen to them during your commute, while you exercise or any other time. Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

Books You Should Read

Quote

Business Books

 

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had a number of people asking me for suggested books to read. There are a lot of great books that I’ve read and there area always new great ones being published.

I refer most people to my Reading List if they are looking for a book to read. My Reading List is the list of all the books I’ve read split up into different sections. It also has my top must read and currently reading lists. If you are interested in any of the books on my list just click on the title and it will take you to the Amazon page where you can learn more about the book and order it for yourself.

But there are two books that I have suggested in the past couple weeks that I’ll point out.  The first one was one that made me think a little more than normal. The reason was because of the person who asked. It was my 14 year old son who came into my office and asked if I had a book he could read. It made me sit back and think about the books that I’ve read that I would really like my son to learn something from. I’ve had him read books such as The Compound Effect and The Richest Man in Babylon. This time I thought the book that would be great for him to learn from at this time in his life was The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure. So if you are looking for a book that will help you to learn how to take massive action to achieve your goals, it’s definitely a book you need to read.

Another book that I suggested to someone yesterday was Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice. This is a true story that will grab your attention and you won’t want to put it down!

A New York Times bestseller: “[Red Notice] does for investing in Russia and the former Soviet Union what Liar’s Poker did for our understanding of Salomon Brothers, Wall Street, and the mortgage-backed securities business in the 1980s. Browder’s business saga meshes well with the story of corruption and murder in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, making Red Notice an early candidate for any list of the year’s best books” (Fortune).

If you are like me and travel a lot, take advantage of your travel time and listen to your books on audio.  For a free trial of Audible and two free audio books, click the link below:

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Fail and Learn

Failure is such a common word when people talk about entrepreneurship. We hear things like, fail fast or fail often. It’s a known thing, all business don’t succeed. Things happen that are out of the entrepreneurs control. A good idea doesn’t work out because of an outside force or situation. Or a business fails because it was a bad idea from the beginning. Maybe it was a good idea but it was poorly executed. Whatever the matter, some businesses fail.
As an entrepreneur I am well aware that failure is part of business. But a lot of entrepreneurs think like I have, that failure is something that happens with other people’s businesses. Sometimes, as hard as it might be, failure is the best option, or the only option. I have operated in situations with the attitude that failure is not an option and in the long run it was a mistake. In those situations I believe that if I would have allowed myself to fail I would have been able to pivot and get back on track a lot sooner than I had by trying to keep something going that should have failed sooner.
The most important part of failure is the lessons learned. I hope that the future will show that I have learned from my mistakes and moving forward can be a better entrepreneur because of it.

Be Obsessed with Learning

be-obsessed
I recently wrote the blog, Read Less and Study More. Today as I was reading Be Obsessed or Be Average by Gant Cardone he mentioned something in the chapter titled Feed the Beast that made me think about this topic some more.
Under the title, Obsessed with Learning, he said:
“The easiest way to feed your beast is to spend time learning something new or learning how to be even better at something you’re already doing.”
In my blog, Read Less and Study More, I talked about Darren Hardy teaching that rather than moving from book to book as we complete them, we need to spend more time studying what we read to really get a better understanding of the topic.
Cardone teaches that, “What we pay attention to is what you get.” and  “The more attention you give something, the more you feed it, the stronger and more powerful it grows.”
 
As we are learning something new or trying to be even better at something we are already doing, we will have more success as we dedicate more of our time and focus to that topic. As Cardone would say, become obsessed with the topic.

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Read Less and Study More

books
I really enjoy reading business and personal development books. There are so many good ones out there that I got into the habit of feeling like I had accomplished something when I could finish one book and already have the next one waiting to get started. How many could I read in a year?
I also loved to have the audio version of some of the books so I could listen to them when I was in my vehicle or working out. But the real blessing came when I discovered Audible.com. I continued my reading habits but my books on audio were supercharged. I was able to read and listen to so much!
But a while ago I was listening to Darren Hardy and had a paridigm shift. He addressed exactly what I was doing and suggested that rather than reading 32 books in a year it would be better to read one book 32 times. He said that we should try to read less and study more. Rather than just reading a book and moving onto the next one, make sure you have really learned what the book is teaching. How are you going to implement the ideas? What actions are you going to take?
It really made me think about what I was doing. If I really liked a book I often read it a number of times or also got the audio version and listened to it a few more times. But if I really want my reading to help me improve in a specific area or reach a specific goal, I love what Darren Hardy teaches.
We each need a specific plan to develop and improve our skills. Darren Hardy suggests that we set quarterly goals and determine the skills we need to learn in order to reach our goals. He suggests that we buy the top five books, three audio programs and one seminar on that topic that we will study for those three months. During that time we need our own plan or schedule for both reading and listening. He suggests 30 minutes per day, no more, no less. In The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson suggests 10 pages per day. Whatever it is, just make sure you stick to it 100%. As Jeff Olson would say, this is the part that is easy to do, but just as easy not to do. Make sure you do it!
Also figure out your listening time. Whether it’s during your workout or while you are driving spend that time learning. My suggestion with the audio books during this time would be to listen to them as many times as you can to really absorb the information. You will pick up new things each time you listen to a book. Don’t just hear it, learn it!
Whether it’s from your reading or your listening, pick out the top three things that you get from each book and implement them right away.
Though I’m easily distracted and become anxious to read or listen to the next great book I hear about, Darren Hardy’s plan is great and will help me develop a much better understanding of my area of focus for that quarter.
I love learning from Darren Hardy. These are two books that I would suggest reading if you are interested in any of his work. Click on the images below to learn more.

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Reading List

The Slight Edge

 

 

 

Learning

The Slight Edge

I have a lot of books that I love because I’ve learned so much from them. Whether it’s business or just everyday life I’m able to apply things I’ve learned. Many of them I will read multiple times because I want to absorb more of the information. The ones that I really love I have both the physical book and the audio book. As I sit at my desk writing this I can look at my book shelves and pick out so many great books that I could refer to people, but there are a few that stand out to me as their own group. Some that for whatever reason have just meant a little more to me. Books like Think and Grow Rich, How to Win Friends & Influence People and Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t. They are the Must Read books that I suggest when people ask what books they should read. A while ago a book fell into my possession by accident. I hadn’t hear of the book before and I wasn’t in a big rush to read it. But when I finished the book I was reading at the time this book was still sitting on the edge of my desk and I decided to read it. Turns out, this book jumped into my Must Read list.
The book is The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness by Jeff Olson. As they state on slightedge.org, “The Slight Edge isn’t just another personal development book. It’s an entirely new way of thinking; a way of processing information that enables you to make the SIMPLE daily choices that will lead you to the success and happiness you desire.”

In the book, Jeff talks about the ripple-effect, the long-term impact that your everyday decisions and actions have on your life and others. He focuses on seven areas where the slight edge can make a transformational difference — health, happiness, relationships, personal development, finances, career and impact.  Many of the things that I’ve learned in this book remind me of things taught by Darren Hardy in The Compound Effect, another book that I love. The Slight Edge is published by SUCCESS, so there is a link between the two.
Out of all the great things that I have learned from this book, there is one concept that stands out more than the others. “The simple things that lead to success are all easy to do. But they are also just as easy not to do.” This concept is hit on throughout the book. It’s the simple, little habits that you do every day that lead to success. The simple, little habits that are easy to do, but just as easy not to do. This phrase runs through my head every single morning now if I want it to or not. I set my alarm for 5am. When it goes off I have two choices. I can slide out of bed, put on my running shoes and go for my morning run. Or I can hit the snooze button, curl up in bed and fall back asleep. I’ve really done both quite a few times in my life. I’m pretty disciplined so getting up early to run or workout usually isn’t a big deal. But I’m not as disciplined in going to bed at a good hour. So some mornings when the alarm goes off at 5am and I’ve only been in bed for a few hours it’s pretty easy to justify skipping the workout that morning and usually hitting the snooze two or three more times after that. But now each morning when my alarm goes off, before I have the opportunity to realize how tired I am, the words, “Easy to do. Easy not to do.” are running through my head. That’s motivation enough to get me going.
Jeff talks about the “little things” a lot. If I hit the snooze and skip my run it likely isn’t going to kill me or have a drastic impact on my health. But the compound effect is always working. It’s either working for us or against us. So as I get out of bed for my workout those actions are compounding with all the other times I take those positive actions. That one workout might not have much of an impact on my health, but compounding them all together will. Just like when I hit the snooze, that action compounds with all the other times I take those actions and works against me.
It’s the simple, daily disciplines, little productive actions repeated consistently over time, that add up to the difference between failure and success.
You have complete control over the direction your life will take. The Slight Edge is a great book to help you get on track to use the power of compounding to catapult your life in the right direction.

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Personal Accountability

Back in August of 2012 I wrote about our Education Plan at my company, Kodiak Mountain Stone.  If you have never read about it, click on the link and find out more because it has been a pretty good thing we came up with.  From each Education Meeting that we have, everyone on our team learns something. But I think the most value comes to the person who is hosting the meeting.  As the saying goes, “the teacher is the one who learns the most.”

 

In the past I’ve shared thoughts and ideas from some of our Education Meetings, but it has been a while since I have passed any of this on.  Yesterday we had one of these meetings and I think that the subject that was addressed is awesome and I want to share a little bit about it.

 

Before I get into the details of the meeting I want to take a step back.  A few months ago I was on a conference call with my store manager at my store in Calgary AB.  He was frustrated and told me that one of the team members had come in late for the second time that week and used the same excuse as the first time.  “Sorry that I’m late, traffic was terrible.”

 

As soon as he told me about this I had a memory flash into my mind.  I remembered back to January 9, 2002.  That day I was working as a bank manager for ATB Financial, which is a bank located in Alberta, Canada.  I had the opportunity that day to attend a managers training meeting where David Irvine spoke to us.  The topic that he spoke about that day was one that he had written a book about, “Accountability – Getting a Grip on Results.”  The new, updated version of the book is, Bridges of Trust: Making Accountability Authentic
The reason I remember the exact day of this meeting is because I have that book in my library signed and dated by David.  I know it was a good meeting because almost 13 years later there are a number of things that I specifically remember him saying.  But there are two things that really stood out to me that day.
He told us to imagine ourselves leaving our house with just the right amount of time to get to an important meeting.  You are well prepared for the meeting and things are looking good.  But then when you are about half way to the meeting you hit some crazy traffic that just about brings you to a halt. You are anxiously putting along and starting to stress more and more about being late for your meeting.  Pretty soon the starting time of the meeting comes and goes and you are still blocks away from your meeting place.  You finally arrive, park your vehicle and dash to the meeting room.  As you enter the room, all eyes are focused directly on you.  Sweat is dripping down your forehead and you say…

At that point what words leave your mouth?  Most people respond exactly how my employee responded. “Sorry that I’m late, traffic was terrible.”  At that time, that is probably exactly how I would respond.  But that is not being accountable for your actions.  I vividly remember him explaining that the proper response should be something such as, “sorry that I am late, I didn’t leave my home in time to account for the traffic.”

 

That was an ah-ha moment for me.  It completely changed my perspective on personal accountability.  As an employer, how would I receive someone coming in late to a meeting who said, “sorry I’m late, traffic was terrible” versus someone who said, “sorry I’m late, I never left home early enough to account for the traffic.”  I want to work with the person who is showing me that they can take personal accountability.  It doesn’t excuse the fact that they are late, but they are not trying to blame something or someone else for them being late.  Thirteen years ago and that story still comes to mind whenever I hear someone not taking personal responsibility.

 

Another thing that has always stood out to me since that meeting was when David talked about consequences.  That negative word, consequences.  All my life, whenever I’ve done something wrong or bad, I’ve had to deal with those darn consequences.  But what about the times you have done something good.  What follows?  Those are consequences too, but positive ones!  I had always looked at the word, consequence, with negativity.  But in reality, there are consequences for everything we do.  It’s our own actions that determine if those are positive or negative consequences.  Today this is not just an important thing to talk about in our work environment, but as I’m raising four kids from ages 3 to 15 it has been a huge thing we have tried to teach them about too.

 

So after my conference call with my store manager I immediately emailed David Irvine and asked him to send a copy of his book to my store in Calgary.  When it arrived I explained to this particular employee that I wanted him using it for an Education Meeting.  I know that he got a lot of good out of the book because my manager told me that there were a number of occasions that he came to him to tell him something he had read about in the book.  Yesterday he did a great job with the Education Meeting.  I hope that all of my staff learned something from this great book.

 

The number one lesson that this employee thought our staff needed to learn from the book was that you always have a choice to start with yourself!