“You have to start somewhere. You don’t need perfect – or a lot of money or an investor – you need passion, drive, determination, focus, and execution.”Jaime Cross
Back in my days as a banker I spent one year working at a branch that was a pretty good daily commute. Those daily commutes were when I discovered my love for self-education. I remember listening to a Tony Robbins CD and he said when he was first getting started he read 700 books. I wasn’t a reader but I remember thinking, “If 700 books can get Tony Robbins to where he is, I’m going to read 700 books.” I’ve been an avid reader ever since.
I often think about how I will maximize my benefits of reading. What are the best habits and practices I need to have to get the most out of what I read?
What Am I Reading and Why Am I Reading It?
When I first began reading it was just a race to 700. I was focused on reading books on leadership, management and a variety of different business topic. But I’d finish one, put it on the shelf and start the next one. My thought was that if I can even retain a little from each book, if I read a lot of books, that’s a lot of new knowledge. Looking back I jumped around from topic to topic. Some of the first books I read were: Secrets of Power Negotiating, Good to Great, Raving Fans, and Man’s search For Meaning. I usually chose the books I read because they were mentioned in another book I was reading or someone suggested it. A lot of the time that is how I still choose books today, but I have more intent and focus on what I’m choosing to read now.
When I added Audible to my tools, that really gave me the ability to get through some books. I spend a lot of time on the road and whenever I’m in my truck I have an audio book playing.
Now, when I choose a book to read, I look for something that is applicable to me at the time. A book that I feel will help me in what I’m dealing with in business or life at that moment. I no longer read just to get on to the next book. I read with an intent to learn and apply what I learn in my life.
Learn Less, Study More…
Darren Hardy is an author I enjoy learning from. I remember him saying that we need to “learn less and study more. Learning is not the problem; lack of real study and implementation is.” I spend a lot of time taking about and reviewing things I’ve read with my brother-in-law, Sheldon. He studies Darren Hardy’s work a lot and he brought this topic up with me shortly after I had read it. He made me realize that this is something that would be beneficial to me. After our conversation I made some changes to my reading habits.
I take more time going through a book now to study the content and learn it better. If I find a book I really like, right after I finish reading it I’ll often turn to page one and start over.
I’ll often finish a book and then get it on Audible so I can listen to it as well. Or, if I first listed to it on Audible I’ll listen to it again and/or also get the hard copy to read.
Rather than flying through books now, I spend more time studying what I’m reading. That way, rather than hoping I’ll retain a little from each book, I feel that I can retain a lot more.
Highlight, Mark, Dog Ear
I take pride in my home library. In fact, when I started to use Audible I would often still buy the hard copy of the book so it would be in my library. As my library grew, those books were by pride and joy. I don’t lend my books out because I don’t want them to disappear like the neighbor’s borrowed tools. I keep them in good condition, organized exactly how I want them. I use to want every book in perfect shape. No markings, no dog eared pages. But I have found so much value in learning and accepting the fact that to get the most out of my books I need to mark them up, write in the margins, bend some corners, etc. When I read I have my ruler, my pen and my highlighter with me. They are just as important as having the book.
I find by marking things in the book I remember them better. But I also find that it helps me to find things a lot easier. I’ll often be on a call or in a coaching session when something pops into my mind from something I’ve read. My library is behind my desk and it’s usually quite easy for me to jump up, grab the book and quickly find what I’m looking for.
When it comes to using Audible it’s easy to clip a note in the app and then I’ll add my own notes to the clip.
When I read a quote that I like I’ll often add it to my blog as well. At JeffHeggie.com each Tuesday I post my “Book Quote of the Week.” I also add many of them to my Instagram page, www.instagram.com/entrepreneur.next.door/
Teach What You Learn
One of the best ways to learn something is to teach it.
I find that when I read with the intent of teaching I am able to learn the subject matter a lot better. So as you read, whether you are going to have to teach it or not, read it as if you will have to teach it. Learn it well. Learn it good enough to teach it. You’ll find that you’ll know it better, be able to apply what you’ve learned better and you’ll find yourself referring to it more often in conversations.
We had something we called our Education Plan at Kodiak Mountain Stone. We would ask one of our team members to read a specific book and then we would have a team meeting where they would teach what they had learned from the book and how it would be applicable to us in our business and personal lives. The conversations and things that would come out of those meetings were amazing. But it was always the team member that lead the meeting that got the most out of it.
A while ago I read the book Expert Secrets, by Russell Brunson. It was a great book and I loved what I learned from it. I’m preparing for a Mastermind Event coming up soon and knew there were a few things in the book that I wanted to review for it so I could include them in what I would be teaching. As I was going through the chapters that I wanted to review, I was seeing things in a completely different way. The fact that I was going to be teaching some of the concepts and they were a lot more applicable to my current situation, I was understanding things even better. So rather than just review what I was going to need for the Mastermind, I turned to the front of the book and started to read it all again.
Knowledge is useless if you don’t do anything with it. The sooner you can take the things you learn from your reading and apply them to an area of your life, the better you will understand and remember your new knowledge.
Hopefully these are some practices that can help you to get the most out of your reading. Give them a try. I’d love to hear what you think. Send me your comments in the form below!
You can check out my reading list HERE
How do you perform under pressure? How do you perform under emotional pressure? When something goes wrong, you’ve failed, how do you react?
As a basketball coach I have to admit that I have had experiences when things were not going right and things got emotional, and I didn’t respond in the best way. If a referee makes a bad call in a basketball game that has a negative impact on my team at a key point in the game, will it make things better for us if I lose my mind on the ref? Is there a chance if I scream and yell that maybe he will apologize and change his call? Of course not.
But on the other hand what negative could come from it? To begin with, that negative emotion is absorbed by my team. I’m showing my team, through my actions, what is acceptable. The referee isn’t going to be looking to give me any breaks or do me any favors going forward, maybe even beyond this one game.
I’m not writing this to talk about basketball referees and how you should react if they make a call you don’t agree with. What I want to look at is how we can take all of our experiences, both good and bad, and learn from them so that when we face a similar circumstance in the future we will be prepared to deal with it in the best possible way.
Whether we are in a team environment or as an individual we can look at both our good and bad experiences and learn from them. In both cases there are emotions tied to the experience that we need to be able to work around. In a positive outcome we may be flooded with positive emotions that give us the false belief that everything went right and we don’t have to think anymore about it. In a negative outcome you may feel that nothing went right and you don’t even want to think about it anymore. But the reality is that we have much to learn from both outcomes that can transform our futures.
As an individual, as a family, as a business or as a team this is an exercise that could have a major impact on your future outcomes.
After an event, either positive or negative, take the time to learn from it. Capture what the situation was, what are the facts? What about it wasn’t great and could get better? What worked? Strategize about how to make sure it happens for the better next time.
Dan Sullivan talks about “The Greatest Teacher” in his podcast INSIDE Strategic Coach. He suggests making three small boxes on a piece of paper to work through the situation:
- What Worked – This should open the flood gates and allow everyone to appreciate the there were things that worked
- What Needs to Improve – Here you can identify the problems, the things that didn’t work, so that you can improve on them for the future
- Strategies for the Future – This will make you alert to all situations in the future. You may not have an identical situation, but by going through this exercise you will be aware of how you can apply this experience to others situations in the future
Dan says that by going through this process you can create a positive momentum for the future and not be bogged down by the past.
In my basketball example I have two opportunities to go through this. First I could sit down with my assistant coaches and have a discussion and secondly I could go through the process with my team. This would allow us to look at the situation and the outcome. It would allow us as coaches and as a team to strategies on how we would react to a similar situation in the future which will hopefully bring us a better outcome.
Today in the entrepreneurial world failure is often looked at almost as a badge of honor. We hear the quotes:
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again”
“Failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success”
“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something”
The last quote in this list is key because for anything good to come out of failure, we have to learn from our mistakes. Otherwise, failure is just failure.
As I have mentioned earlier, this is an exercise that should be used after both successful and unsuccessful outcomes so that we can learn from each of them. But this is an exercise that will allow us to look at our failures to learn from them so that we can be successful in the future.
“Your experience when you’re having intense [positive or negative] emotions is the greatest teacher you can possibly have. Channel it and you’ll always come up with amazing breakthroughs.”– Dan Sullivan
If you’d like to learn more about our mastermind groups where as a collective group we help each other learn from our combined experiences click the button below:
“The second reason deep practice is a strange concept is that it takes events that we normally strive to avoid – namely, mistakes – and turns them into skills. To understand how deep practice works, then, it’s first useful to consider the unexpected but crucial importance of errors to the learning process.” – Daniel Coyle
“Deep practice is built on a paradox: struggling in certain targeted ways – operating at the edges of your ability, where you make mistakes – makes you smarter. Or to put it a slightly different way, experiences where you’re forced to slow down, make errors, and correct them – as you would if you were walking up an ice-covered hill, slipping and stumbling as you go – end up making you swift and graceful without your realizing it.” – Daniel Coyle
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.
- …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
- “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.
- Success, however you define it, is achievable if you collect the right field-tested beliefs and habits.
- 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.
- Tell people what you want, not what you don’t want, and keep it simple.
- “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.
- Make Your Bed (<3 minutes)
- Meditate (10 to 20 minutes)
- Do 5 to 10 reps of something (<1 minute)
- Prepare “Titanium Tea” (2 to 3 minutes)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it. What matters is how many people do.
- 10% of people will find a way to take anything personally. Expect it and treat it as math.
- When in doubt, starve it of oxygen.
- If you respond, don’t over-apologize
- You can’t reason someone out of soothing they didn’t reason themselves into.
- 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
- 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
- Living well is the best revenge. — George Herbert
- 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.
- 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.
- What if I did the opposite for 48 hours?
- What do I spend a silly amount of money on? How might I scratch my own itch?
- What would I do/have/be if I had $10 million? What’s my real TMI?
- What are the worst things that could happen? Could I get back here?
- If I could only work 2 hours per week on my business, what would I do?
- What if I let them make decisions up to $100? $500? $1,000?
- To get huge, good things done, you need to be okay with letting the small, bad things happen.
- People’s IQs seem to double as soon as you give them responsibility and indicate that you trust them.
- Whats the least crowded channel?
- 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.
- What if I created my own real-world MBA?
- Do I need to make it back the way I lost it?
- What if I could only subtract to solve problems?
- What might I put in place to allow me to go off the grid for 4 to 8 weeks, with no phone or email?
- 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?’
- Could it be that everything is fine and complete as is?
- What would this look like if it were easy?
- 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
- 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.
- 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.’
- 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.
- Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
- Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harai
- Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
- The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss
- The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande
- Dune by Frank Herbert
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition by Robert Cialdini
- Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
- Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom
- Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character) by Richard P Feynman
- The 4 Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat Loss, Incredible Sex and Becoming Superhuman by Tim Ferriss
- The Bible
- The Hard Things About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
- The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield
- Watchmen by Alan Moore
- Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel with Black Masters.
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:
“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.”
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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!