How To Read With a Purpose

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 NegotiatingGood to GreatRaving 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 each Tuesday I post my “Book Quote of the Week.” I also add many of them to my Instagram page,

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



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

Read Less and Study More

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 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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The Slight Edge





How to Set Goals and Achieve Your Dreams

I have read Napoleon Hill’s, Think and Grow Rich, many times and have listened to the audio book even more. A friend saw me reading my well worn and well marked-up copy and asked why I’m reading it again.  This was a great question. If I’ve read the book before, why read it again? Did I forget everything that was in it? Do I forget everything each time I read it? Is that why I read it the third, fourth… tenth time? No, to me Think and Grow Rich is a book that I seem to gain some new insight from each and every time I read it. The book was written about what Napoleon Hill personally learned from the 500+ most successful men and women of his time. The valuable information within the pages of this book is something that I know I can continue to learn from throughout the rest of my life.
But another reason I re-read this book is because it helps me to refocus. Hill teaches that for one to succeed they must possess a definite purpose; the knowledge of what they want, and a burning desire to achieve it.  What brought me back to read Think and Grow Rich again was a chapter I recently read in The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness by Jeff Oslon.
Chapter 16 in The Slight Edge is titled  “3 Steps to Your Dreams.” In this chapter Olson shares some of the same ideas that Napoleon Hill uses in his teaching. These two men have studied the most successful people of their times. If you have some dreams and goals that you want to achieve, it is well worth your time to learn from these two men. Of course you will learn much more by reading their entire books, but here I’m going to outline some of their thoughts that I think you will find very valuable in helping you achieve your dreams.
The Slight Edge
In The Slight Edge Olsen outlines three steps in achieving your goals. (1) Write it down; (2) Look at it every day; (3) Start with a plan.
Write It Down
  • He teaches that our most critical skill is envisioning and by writing down a specific goal or dream we can begin that process of seeing it in our mind as a reality.
  • When we write down our goal we need to be specific with the what and why behind it. In great detail, what is our goal and why is it so important to us?
  • As it is said, goals are dreams with a deadline. So we also need to add the when. When are you going to achieve this goal by?
  • Write your dreams down; be vivid and very specific; give them a timeline. With this information you have taken a giant step in the process of making your dreams a realization.
Look At It Every Day
  • You need to constantly be reminding yourself of where you are going and keeping your focus on your destination. Life has too many distractions and this will help you to stay on your path.
  • This will also trigger the subconscious mind to help you recognize the opportunities in life that cross your path that will help you to reach your target.
Start with a Plan
  • Simply come up with a plan to get you started. Olson recognizes that it’s probably not the plan that will help you to get to the end, but you need a plan to start the ball rolling. Writing your plan down and reading it every day as you sit and wait for the world to serve you won’t work. You need a plan and you need to act on this plan.
  • “People make the mistake that they can’t start until they have the perfect plan. There is no perfect plan.” – Jeff Olson
Think & Grow Rich
There’s a lot from Think and Grow Rich that could build upon what Olson has taught. But I’m just going to refer to a small section in the chapter on Desire where Hill states, “The method by which desire for riches can be transmuted into its financial equivalent consists of six definite, practical steps.” These six steps that he outlines will help us to achieve all of our dreams and goals.
  1. Be very specific and fix in your mind exactly what you want.
  2. Determine exactly what you are willing to do or give to achieve this dream you desire.
  3. Establish a definite date by which you will achieve your goal.
  4. Create a definite plan and begin at once.
  5. Take the above information and write a clear, concise statement of what you desire, the time frame by which you will achieve it, what you intend to do and give in return to achieve such a goal, and the clear plans you intend to act upon.
  6. Finally, read this written statement aloud, twice daily.
We’ve all heard it before. We all have the same number of hours in a day but it’s what we do with those hours that determines our future. Both Olson and Hill have studied the most successful achievers to come up with these steps. If you’re not where you want to be, maybe it’s time to give this a try!
If you really want to get on your path to success, read, study and apply what is taught in Think and Grow Rich and The Slight Edge.

Prompt: Dream

Kodiak Mountain Stone – Small Business Superstar

Small Business Superstars

I’ve dedicated a lot of my blog to our Education Planat Kodiak Mountain Stone.  This week I want to thank all those who took the time to vote for us in the Alberta Venture and ATB Financial Small Business Superstars contest.  Over 160 businesses were nominated for these awards and we were lucky enough to be chosen as one of the finalists in the HR Superstars category due to our Education Plan.  Throughout October and November people voted online for who they thought were the most deserving of this award in each category and we (Kodiak Mountain Stone) were fortunate enough to be the winner in our category.

Please take a moment to read our story on the Alberta Venture Website: Kodiak Mountain Stone Education Plan

I’m very proud of our Education Plan and feel that even though it has been great so far, we can develop it into something much more than it already is.

If you are interested in finding out more about our Education Plan and how it might fit into your company, feel free to contact me:

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Education Plan

One of the things that I (D. Jeff Heggie) like about being an entrepreneur and running my own company is that when you have an idea, you can implement it however you want.

I remember sitting in my office one morning reading the most recent business book that had been suggested to me.  A while later my first employee of the day showed up to work and poked her head into my office to great me good morning.  As I heard her footsteps coming down the hall I put my book away and began working on the project that was sitting on my desk.  I’m the leader in my company, I need to set an example for everyone.  They need to see me working every time they look in my office.

That was then.  I had a meeting with my CFO (Dave) a short while later that changed my perspective on this situation.  Yes, it’s still very important for me to be an example in my company.  It’s still very important for my staff to see that I have a good work ethic, etc, etc. But the thing that made me question my actions was, “why am I hiding from my staff that I’m reading or studying material that will make me a better leader or improve our company is some other way?”

Dave is someone that I enjoy having meetings with.  We work well together and we often look at things from different perspectives.  So from our meetings we often come up with plans or solutions that are much better than either of the plans or solutions we each entered the meeting with individually.  Dave is like me in the fact that he loves to continue learning.  We love reading and/or listening to new materials and ideas.  In this particular meeting I told Dave about the habit I had gotten into.  The habit of coming to work early to spend time reading, but hiding my materials and rush to get my work in front of me as soon as I heard any staff coming down the hall each morning.  I was constantly doing it, but it really wasn’t something I should have been ashamed of or trying to hide.  That’s when Dave brought up Google’s 20% Rule.  Google’s philosophy of giving their engineers one day per week (20% of their time) to work on projects that are not necessarily in their job descriptions.  Why not use 20% of our time to learn and study?

That’s where Kodiak Mountain Stone’s Education Plan was born.

“One of our core values is that employees continually learn and improve.  Employees at all levels should be encouraged to continually learn and improve themselves…

…team members have the opportunity to participate in an educational development program with two components:
1. Required readings within a certain time after joining the company.
2.  30-60 minutes per day of free time to study material that covers information related to our industry &/or the role of the team member.We decided that not only should it be OK to be reading and studying things that will improve us individually and benefit our company, but we wanted to encourage the rest of our team to do the same thing.

Our hope is that we are adding value to the lives of our employees through our Education Plan.  Dave and I are both advocates of personal development and continued education.  Our hope is that with this plan our team members will benefit in their professional lives at Kodiak Mountain Stone, but also that they will take things from what they learn to improve and benefit their personal lives away from work as well.

The part of the Plan that I really enjoy is our monthly Education Plan Meeting.  Each month one of our team members will host a meeting that is focused around the current book or materials they have been studying.  They will teach the rest of the team about the things they have learned that they feel will benefit the team professionally as well as the things they have learned that will help all of us in our personal lives.

Our meetings are great because we can learn so much from each other.  We have had a number of meetings with Ken Blanchard’s book Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service as the topic.  Each meeting has been great and each meeting has been given from a different perspective that has helped each one of us in customer service.  I think that if you really want to learn something you need to teach someone else about it.  When our team members know they will be teaching the rest of the team about the current book they are reading, they get a lot more out of it than they would if they were just reading it in their leisure time.

In this blog I will write about many things.  I love being an entrepreneur and I love continued learning.  So I’m sure many of my blog topics will be focused around those things.  I think that our Education Plan is something that could benefit any company.  If you have any questions about our education plan, please feel free to contact me for more information at


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