Can’t Hurt Me Review

Rating: 10/10

If you were told to run one-hundred miles on three days’ notice, how many miles would you run? The average person probably can’t run half of a marathon or thirteen miles. Let’s say that one-thousand people are forced to run these one-hundred miles. Eighty percent of them will quit at thirteen miles or less. But if you think like David Goggins, you wouldn’t quit at thirteen miles. You would tell yourself that when your body starts telling you to stop you hit forty percent of your limit. Yes, that means nineteen-point-five more miles after your body is screaming stop. The forty percent rule is one of the many great lessons in David Goggin’s book Can’t Hurt Me.

If you were told to run one-hundred miles on three days’ notice, how many miles would you run? The average person probably can’t run half of a marathon or thirteen miles. Let’s say that one-thousand people are forced to run these one-hundred miles. Eighty percent of them will quit at thirteen miles or less. But if you think like David Goggins, you wouldn’t quit at thirteen miles. You would tell yourself that when your body starts telling you to stop you hit forty percent of your limit. Yes, that means nineteen-point-five more miles after your body is screaming stop. The forty percent rule is one of the many great lessons in David Goggin’s book Can’t Hurt Me.

            Goggins starts off by explaining why he should have been a statistic. His dad would regularly abuse him at an extreme level. With constant belt beatings for no reason whatsoever. When Goggins and his mother escaped from his abusive far, he was put into a racist school. Where he had to endure wounding levels of hate, all while struggling with his childhood education. Other childhood traumas include watching a child getting flattened by a bus and having his soon to be stepfather murdered. Throughout the book, Goggins gives one an assignment to complete at the end of each chapter. The first chapter’s assignment is to list your demons is a journal. List every time that you have been hurt or if you are currently going through pains. This will give pain form so that you can use it as fuel throughout your life’s journey.

In his young adult life, Goggins gained weight in his seek for comfort. While exploring the path of least resistance he ended up a three-hundred-plus-pound cockroach exterminator. This was after he had gone to air force training. Before going to air force training, he had to look at himself in the mirror (termed the accountability mirror) and tell himself that he was one “dumb mother*cker.” After this, he had to study his ass off just to qualify for the Air Force and make up for his disturbed childhood. He had to revisit the accountability mirror after seeing an infomercial for the Navy Seals. You probably guessed it already this chapter’s assignment is to set up your accountability mirror with sticky notes full of all our insecurities, goals, and dreams. By looking at this every day, you will have more incentive to do the next assignment by taking little steps every day.

In chapter four Goggins talks about taking souls. This is pushing yourself beyond the masses perceived limits. Goggins used this to get back at the Seal instructors that were trying to break him. Physical or not this can be applied to every aspect of life. If you want to be world class at x put in more hours, and work on the minor details like the great Michael Jordan. If you are in a physical competition, go beyond everyone’s expectations of reality to discourage the competition. Even if you are just working out for your health, take your own soul to discover the deeper parts of the mind. This was my favorite chapter, and I can’t wait to start implementing the process of taking souls.

The next chapter is all about your why and the power of visualization. When you want to quit ask yourself why and visualize the outcome. Goggins calls this the armored mind and what he had to go through to develop it is no joke. At the same time realize that not everything is about a trophy, but about being able, to be honest with yourself about what you have done. You can say x and people can say y, but the only one that knows the full truth is you. One can never lie to thyself. Now that you are being honest to yourself go through suffering that you can be proud of. Goggins discovered that the only way to find yourself is through suffering. The only way to grow and callas your mind is through suffering. So, make sure to expose yourself to constant pain.

The eighth chapter is about getting after it. Goggins explains how he never got anything easy in life and had to struggle at everything that he put his mind to. Part of his success was tunnel vision. Focus on one task at a time, multitasking is just myth. If you don’t believe me check out my Deep Work review. Now that you have the blueprint surround yourself with only the best. Goggins version is being uncommon amongst the uncommon. Once you are around the best, you will start to move up to their level. It’s your job to figure out how to go beyond that level and cement your legacy. The most important part of being uncommon amongst the uncommon is never to get complacent. You are only as good of what you did yesterday and what you are doing today.

Part of avoiding complacency is seeking out failure. Failures will teach you valuable lessons and keep you from saying what if. If you don’t pick up Goggins book than this review and I have failed, you. Let me know how to make it better in the comments. I could talk about this book all day, and this review will never give it or Goggins justice. If you decide to check it, I recommend the Audible version over the text version. Goggins hops in on the Audible version to explain everything in more detail. If you like reading more than listening, get both versions you won’t regret it.

Click here to get your copy today.

Social Media by David Kelly Review

Rating: 8/10

 

David Kelly’s book is the perfect book for anyone that is new to social media or looking to test out a new platform. In Social Media, you will be equipped with everything that you need to be a professional. I never really cared about Snap Chat, but after reading this book. I saw its value and learned how to use it. Pinterest was another one of my weak points that this book covered. Let’s go over some of the key points very quickly.

  • Keep consistency across all of your platforms regarding the contents message and posting schedule.
  • Keep everything simple with a high visual appeal.
  • Quality over quantity.
  • Differentiate what is your business, core values, your delivery method, why should the customer care?
  • Remember that Google + is 2/3 tech content.
  • When able tag and email influencers to interact with them.
  • Focus on planning, give importance to the content, keep a consistent brand image, blog, use links, copy the competition, and use analytics.
  • Use FB automatic messaging to reply to customers.
  • Use the 80/20 rule only 20% of your content should be a pitch.
  • Repeat what gets results.
  • Use Facebook’s survey and poll features.
  • Use trending hashtags.
  • Interact with influencers and the audience.
  • Create competitions and promotions.
  • Instagram hashtag and analytics tools that you can use are Icon Square and Websta.
  • IG needs scarcity and stress.
  • Snapchat is mostly used by 18-34-year-olds.
    • Use SC to show backstage happenings.
    • Offer coupon and promo codes.
    • Give the VIP access and demo products.
    • Focus on relevant issues.
    • Partner with influencers.
    • Share personal experiences.
  • On LinkedIn use groups and repeat what you want people to know about you.
  • Pinterest and YouTube are keyword heavy.
  • Pinterest descriptions should be brief, appealing, and relevant.
    • Use rich pins movies, recipes, articles, products, and places.
    • Create mutual collaboration boards.
  • Lastly, use bit.ly to track all of your links.

Thank you for taking your time to read these notes, don’t forget to pick up your copy of the book here.

How to Win at The Sport of Business Review

Rating: 9/10

Mark Cuban’s book is a collection of his blog posts, but do not let that deter you there are tons of useful business tips in this book. Let’s go over some of my key takeaways.

  1. Offer a 100% full refund guarantee. This builds rapport while showing confidence in your capability to deliver.

 

  1. Cater to your customers, get them lunch on your first meeting, offer to get them an Uber, you get the point. Treat them as if they are the most important person in your life.

 

  1. Read as much as possible. It is now easier than ever to hustle while you wait. If you are caught in traffic play an audiobook. Read a few pages on your break and enjoy every second of it.

 

  1. Here are Cuban’s two favorite lessons:
    1. How can the competition take you out of business?
    2. Always be ready to compete with billion-dollar corporations.

 

  1. Next, business is a full-time commitment, don’t expect to get results without going all in.

 

  1. Try your best to be the smartest person in the room. Part of this will involve getting a few failures under your belt. Once you fail do your best to mitigate those failures in the future.

 

  1. Have a competitive mindset and always look for failures.

 

  1. “You only have to be right once.” To that respect, always be prepared and realize when you are riding a trend.

 

  1. Delegating will give to time to put out the most critical fires.

 

  1. Here is a nugget from Good to Great. Focus on your core competencies, and nothing else.

 

  1. Know yourself weaknesses and strengths.

 

  1. Ask yourself what you will regret at 90 years old.

 

  1. Complains or dislikes can become a business.

 

  1. Sales are the key to growing your business. Make sure to target the right prospects to keep you from wasting time. Qualifying does take time, but most of it can be outsourced.

 

  1. Survey your customers and making everything as easy for them as possible for them.

 

  1. Find the job that will get you to were you want then take risks and put in work.

 

Towards the end of the book, Cuban gives us the 12 rules for startups.

  1. Your company should be a deep obsession.
  2. If you plan on an exit, you don’t love it.
  3. Hire others who share your passion.
  4. A sale a day keeps the doctor away.
  5. Be the best at x.
  6. Treat customers like a guest at your home, drinks, snacks, the works.
  7. Privacy should not exist and avoid executives that want to build a conglomerate.
  8. Have a set budget of around $1,000 per person and let people pick their own computer.
  9. Don’t build a hierarchy, managers should not be reporting to managers.
  10. Don’t waste your money on dumb sh*t. Only buy merch with logos at company events.
  11. PR firms are a waste of money, you can call media companies yourself.
  12. Have fun, have a set ceiling for stress levels, and celebrate your victories.

Click here to get your copy and start winning today. 

Steve Jobs: A Biography Review

Rating: 9/10

Steve Jobs has been the benchmark for many entrepreneurs after he died and while living. Listening to his biography was a real treat. Ha-ha, I consumed the 25-hour audiobook in three days. Relisting a timeline of Steve’s life would be no fun. Instead, I am going to list out the three things that Steve did that can help you throughout your journey.

  • Never follow the money, and only follow your passion. Steve’s passion was to create great products for people; which was his interpretation of moving humanity forward. This showed when he was let go from Apple. The replacement CEO was only seeking profits, and the company’s future dwindled. When Job’s serendipitously returned to Apple, he made sure that the company went back to being the best at its core competencies. Establishing his place in history as one of the greats. Steve said it himself in his commencement speech, “do what you love!” When you are about to die you will not be worrying about how many emails you didn’t promptly respond to.
  • Create a reality distortion field. If you told Steve that something could not be done he would tell you that you are sh*t or a bozo. Then he would hold you accountable for delivering his expectations. At the same time being completely honest about everything to everyone. Don’t get the wrong idea I still believe that you should treat people how you want to be treated. On the other hand, Steve teaches us that our limits are mostly self-imposed. That is the reason why people that worked under him said that it was the most difficult thing ever. While at the same time being the time of their lives. If we all had a virtual Steve reviewing all of our work and telling us that we could do better the world would be a different place. Another trend that I spotted was with Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk their biographies show that they followed in Steve’s footsteps. Demanding what we are capable of and not what we think.
  • Be a perfectionist. This must be taken with a grain of salt grasshoppers. Don’t be a perfectionist to the point that you will never get anything done. Instead be like a pilot and double check all of your buttons. Double checking everything will not consume your life, at the same time, the ROI on your time and output will be much higher.

That’s all folks, three short points to consider, but don’t let their conciseness dictate their value. Leave a comment if any of these have benefited you recently, and click here to get your copy of Steve Jobs: A Biography.

Money Master the Game Review

Disclaimer this information is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice.

Rating 10/10

Money, “Sshh don’t talk about that in front of other people it’s rude.” Money, it’s just a game, and in life, you either learn how to play it, or you don’t. Now, where can you get the manual for said game? Well, that’s easy from the one and only Tony Robbins and his book Money Master the Game. Being a novice investor, I was looking for that 101-109 book in finance. That would make reading all those other investing books easier to digest and implement. Instead what I found was the holy grail of defensive investing. That’s right it doesn’t matter if you want to join the upper echelon of investing or just make 10% a year this book is for you!

Let’s go over some of the basics, first take advantage of compound interest. Amount = Principal (1 + interest rate/compounds per year)^years. You can try plugging in numbers to see what you are missing out on or watch the Futurama episode about it. Next, don’t enter the game unless you know the rules. You will be eaten alive by the market who has no feelings or remorse. Then there are only two actions that you will perform in investing accumulating and decumulating money. The key is not to buy when everyone else is buying (a bear market) and sell when you are confident with your profits.

Now, what if you don’t care for trading individual stocks. You can invest in index funds which track a whole section of the market. The Intelligent Investor said it best, “why own a needle in a haystack when you can own the whole haystack?” What if this is still too much for you? Go ahead and seek out a fiduciary like the ones at Creative Planning. Never ever go to a normal broker and avoid managed mutual funds as much as possible. Another thing to avoid is 401K’s with high fee’s, only sign up if the annual fee is under 1%. “What I thought that 401K’s and Uncle Sam were looking out for me?”

Well, fees and taxes are the dragons of the investing world. So, you want to do everything in your power to avoid them. This is where Roth 401k’s and IRA’s come into play. You only pay for taxes on these when you sing up for them, and that’s it. Both have their limitations, so spend a bit of time researching them and your state’s laws. Other topics that need research are bonds and TDF’s. Target day funds are not the perfect defensive investment that they are advertised as. Next, bonds are highly liquid, but most come with low-interest rates. I know that this is going through things a bit quickly, but these are just supposed road signs to keep you from hitting a dead end.

Now for those that are stressing about their retirement, I have one word. Annuities, this is the ultimate investment. Everyone puts money into a pool then when you retire you keep getting monthly checks until you die. The book will go over the four major types of annuities for you. No, I am not being an A-hole I’m just in my twenties, so I have room to play before considering retirement. I digress, being a Tony Robbins book, you can bet your hinny that you will get some motivational bits. Make sure to change your story, strategy, and state. They all depend on each other so make sure to keep them in check. Then remember to never seek great wealth. There is always someone that is smarter, faster, and stronger that will end up kicking your ass.

My favorite section of the book was calculating my financial vitality. First, you need to figure out your cost of living. Rent + food/household + utilities + transport + insurance x 12 = annual cost of living. Then your vitality is what you need for the luxuries of life. This can include dining, entertainment, clothes, and your small personal indulgences. Then you add everything up and voila you have a target to hit. Having a precise goal makes everything more measurable and achievable. Another section that I enjoyed was the one about REIT’s (Real estate investment trusts). Which are a very affordable way of investing in a managed collection of real estate. “What’s the point of investing in real estate if you don’t get to walk around and look at properties?” Diversification my friend diversification, think of this as your life jacket.

Diversification is the foundation of a solid portfolio, but what if you want to go balls to the wall with your investing? Fear not Tony interviews a good number of heavy hitters for us. His first interviewee was drum roll please, David Swensen. Who gives us three rules to live by. First, the selecting of security, through healthy stocks and investments. Two, work on market timing, like short-term bets in the direction of the broader market. Lastly, a long-term strategy for asset allocation is needed. For example, you can partake in stocks, bonds, commodities, and real estate based on the economic climate.

 

While we are talking about allocation here are different forms of secure investing:

  1. Cast/Cash equivalents – banks offer insured money market deposit accounts, and US treasury money market funds with checking privileges are solid options.

 

  1. Bonds are a promise to give x your money and get it back with some interest. That is if x still exists when it is time to pay. Usually, with bonds interest rates go down when they are of high value and safe, and vice versa.

 

  1. CD’s – let the bank use your money for a low return, marked linked CD’s offer an 8% return with no downside.

 

  1. Homes – owning your home with a fixed-rate mortgage is a hedge against inflation and a tax advantage.

 

  1. Use your pension wisely!

 

  1. Annuities – a private pension if done right.

 

  1. Get a life insurance policy, nothing is guaranteed.

 

  1. Structured notes – you lend the bank money, which they then invest into an index fund. You get the majority of the upside plus the original investment after x time. Make sure to choose large banks like JP Morgan and the Royal Bank of Canada.

 

  1. Structured Notes
    • 100% principal protection for the security bucket.
    • High return notes that offer less protection if the index falls, market drops 25% you lose 0%, if it drops 35% you lose 10%. These can bring you 150% returns, meaning that when an index goes up 10% you get 15%.

 

US Treasury Bonds – #verysafe:

  1. T-Bills – government debt obligations that come due in less than 12 months.

 

  1. T-Notes – mature in 1-10 years at a fixed interest rate, paid every 6 months.

 

  1. T-Bonds – the same as T notes but mature in 30 years.

 

  1. TIPS Treasury Inflation Protected Securities – interest rates rise parallel to inflation.

 

  1. Corporate Bonds – bonds in a company.

 

  1. Municipal Bonds – bonds with a city, state, or country that needs money.

 

Forms of growth/risk investing:

  1. Equities – stocks or ownership of shares of individual companies or vehicles that hold many of them like funds and indexes.
    • ETF Exchange traded funds – have a theme like all small-cap stocks, municipal bonds, or gold. Can be traded at any time.
    • Index and Mutual funds – can only be traded when the market is open.

 

  1. High Yield Bonds – High risk and high interest.

 

  1. REIT’s – invest in large pools of real-estate like senior housing.

 

  1. Commodities – gold, silver, oil, coffee, and cotton.
    • Gold is worth buying during the correct economic season. Which season is that? What’s the fun in telling you? Do your due-diligence.

 

  1. Currencies – the forex market is ruthless. Forex is not for the faint of heart!

 

  1. Collectables – art, wine, coins, antiques, and cars.

 

Key Point: Diversify, diversify, and diversify across asset classes, markets, and time. Per David Swensen, 100% of gains are in asset allocation! Next, your portfolio should be a mix of growth and secure investments. The younger you are the more aggressive your portfolio should be.

 

Some of you may be half asleep at this point, so here is some more bullet points😉:

  • Find more ways to earn and save so that you can invest more.

 

  • Never get greedy and buy high.

 

  • Never get scared and sell low.

 

  • Buy like crazy during a crisis. Everyone praises the bull when the market is going up, but learn to embrace the bear for without it the bull cannot exist.

 

  • Make regular investments in a volatile stock market.

 

  • Dollar cost averaging – investing parts of your income as you earn them. Over time this works best with volatility.

 

  • Rebalancing – as your portfolio makes money you have to move it around to make sure that it is divided according to your predefined standards. For example, if you decided that 40% of your portfolio should be in stocks for security. But it grows to 60% you will move some of that money into bonds, commodities, or another section of your portfolio who’s percentage went down when the stocks grew.
    • Rebalance at least twice a year.

 

Tony recommends that you watch this economics video to learn how the machine works: http://www.economicprinciples.org/.

 

The Best Portfolio on Earth

Now, for the part that you have been waiting for. Ray Dalio’s 4 Seasons Portfolio. If you want to get the walkthrough of the four seasons, I would recommend getting Tony’s book. For those of you that just want to know what to do with your money here it is, the ultimate defensive investment:

  • 30% in stock indexes

 

  • 15% in intermediate-term 7-10-year treasuries

 

  • 40% in long-term bonds 20-25 year treasuries

 

  • 5% in gold

 

  • 5% in commodities

 

  • Rebalance annually for an average yearly return of 9.72%

 

  • Some quick math one-million-dollars in this portfolio would get you an annual average of $97,200.00. That is basically six figures for just moving some money around once a year!

 

I hope that your mind was blown just as much as mine, back to the notes.

 

The 4 Obsessions of Investing:

  • Don’t lose money – Warren Buffet’s rule #1

 

  • Risk a little to make a lot – #riskmanagement #CYA

 

  • Anticipate and diversify – never put all of your eggs and one basket and study your baskets.

 

  • You’re never done – Socrates, “All I know is that I know nothing.”

 

The 7 Tips for Investing Success:

  1. Make the most important finical decisions now. Money is just a game when you have enough of it. When you are lacking money, it can be a source of pain. Have those difficult conversations with your spouse and family to find a solution.

 

  1. Become an insider know the rules before you get into the game. When you lose money, it’s your fault. Just face it you sucked. In that respect, we have Google, so there are no excuses.

 

  1. Make the game winnable. Follow the basics diversification, risk management, and not getting emotionally involved.

 

  1. Make the most important investment decisions. This means that when you get a raise or start an online business that you don’t go out and blow 40k every 100k that you make! (Millennials cough, cough).

 

  1. Create a lifetime income plan. Always prepare for the worst.

 

  1. Invest like the .001%. This means making Tony’s book your code of conduct in all investing decisions.

 

  1. Just do it, enjoy it, and share it! Actions speak louder than words. Enjoy mastering the game and helping others get your level.

 

I hope that you are still awake and pat yourself on the back if you made it here. If this book made spaz out as much as it did to me, don’t forget to get your copy here.

Click here to master the game. 

Think Like A Freak Review

Rating 8/10

 

Before you can be a freak, you must learn how to Think Like A Freak. Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner will make you look at the world through different eyes with this awesome text. While providing you with some funny and interesting stories to tell. Let’s begin, the first point that I noted was that when something is free people will consume more of it and think less of it. Free health care would be a great example. Most people won’t think anything of it, but the people that really need health care will have to wait longer for it. That should be enough for the mental warm-up, let’s get into the real meat of this book.

 

4 Big Ideas to Memorize:

 

  1. Incentives are the cornerstone of modern life. People always have something to gain as they move up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This holds true even when we reach self-actualization.

 

  1. Know what to measure and how to measure it, thus making the world simpler. This is brought up in countless books. Whether your changing habits, getting in shape, running a company, marketing, investing, creating, or just trying to enjoy life; know what to measure.

 

  1. Conventional wisdom is often wrong. People just like many other animals move in herds. To that respect, make sure to research and test what matters to you thoroughly.

 

  1. Correlation does not equal causality; when two things travel together, we think that one causes the other. in my mind this could be labeled as a psychological fallacy. X causes Y in our environment so often that we just live life expecting it and looking for it.

 

The next key point is do not be scared of saying “I don’t know.” Everyone thinks that their reputation and ego will suffer if they don’t know something when asked. It is best just to admit that you don’t know. One because you will look like an ass if the other person knows the answer. Two, any pseudo-intelligent person will understand that it is impossible to know everything.

 

Now we will see how economics and psychological fallacies go hand in hand. We always tie price to quality. When it comes to quality, it is only significant a fraction of the time. The rest of that it is just savvy business people realizing that it is better to go high rather than low on price points.

 

We also have to learn how to ask the right question. I love the example that the authors used, about the school system being broken. Now from a different lens, have parents gotten lazy and stopped giving their children the attention that they deserve? Once said question is found, find the root cause. The freak-ample that they used has to do with poop cocktails.

 

It is, and it isn’t as gross as it sounds. All it is transplanting healthy poop into people that don’t have any good bacteria in their tract. For years the medical community would just fill out prescriptions without looking for the root cause. Being in IT I have to live by this way of thinking. In networking, we even have seven levels that we have to check when searching for the root cause. Now, what if you want to automate the process of finding the root cause?

 

The Steven’s go over the gameful theory. Which is eliminating false positives in a playful way that people will not notice. The freak-ample that the book used was of a rock band making sure that the stadium was safe for the crowd. The rock band would give every venue that they went to a ridiculously extensive list of items to check.

 

At a certain fraction of the list, they would add something ridiculous like making sure that the band was given a bag of MnM’s with no red ones. Then when the band arrived, they only had to look for the awkward request to see if the venue followed all of the steps; saving time and money. There is a caveat to this, and that is that our inputs are never accurate. So, have someone else or a few other people keep you in check.

 

The book uses wine tasting as an example of this. A blind study was conducted with the “upper echelon” of wine tasters. They would consistently say that the cheap wine was just as good as the expensive one. Mind you, that these are people who dedicate their lives to being wine aficionados.  Knowing that we aren’t perfect, we have to learn when to quit.

 

This book will teach you to quit on depressing jobs, hopeless people and relationships, and everything else that is doing more harm than good. The next step to becoming a true freak is to think like a child.

 

The Three Laws of Being a Child:

 

  1. Be free of assumptions and expectations. My fellow investing junkies, cough cough.

 

  1. Be curious. Curiosity killed the cat, but not the human.

 

  1. Pay more attention to your surroundings and don’t over think. The book Deep Survival covers this. When caught in life and death situations we will analyze our way into paralyzes and die. Keep an eye out for the red flags and do what makes you happy, it’s that simple.

 

Now that you are a real boy/girl. You have to remember to ignore your incentives. Regardless of if it is the bullshit 401k that a company is offering you or the promise of job security. Remember to live and think outside the box, while embracing the freaky side. I hope that you enjoyed this review, and may we freak again.

Click here to become a freak.