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.

The Art of War Review

Rating: 9/10 | Timeless Business Tactics

 

The Art of War has been praised by many successful CEOs for its timeless tactics. Some even read it once a year just because they know that their interpretation of it will be different depending on their current circumstances. I know what you are thinking, “what the heck does war have to with business?” Well, it has been said that “business is like a war without bullets.” I had heard this a few years ago and ordered The Art of War due to its great reputation. What really got me deep into military history and tactics was the Tim Ferris Show’s episode with Reid Hoffman and Michael McCullough.

 

Two of the most prodigious investors out there. Reid expresses the importance of studying tactics to learn how to outmaneuver the competition. Enough of the back story let’s get into my interpretation of the key tactics from this book. I will update this post every year with a time stamp. Just to record how my interpretation changes as I spend more time in the trenches. Being only a single person with limited time and experience my interpretation will be lacking. Some of the bullet points will not have any comment from me. Either because I couldn’t think of anything or it’s a repeat interpretation. I ask you to use the blogs comments section at the bottom and share your business interpretations of this text. Only legal tactics will be allowed, remember when it comes to business you play by the rules or lose your right to play at all.

 

Part 1: Laying the Plans

 

There are five governing factors of war:

 

  1. Moral Law – causes people to follow the leader to the death. If you look at many successful CEOs like Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, and Elon Musk. Part of the reason that they are so successful is that people want to be part of their journey and the grand mission. They are also very demanding leaders, the only reason why people put up with them is, because of their belief in the company.

 

  1. Heaven – night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons. To me, this was all about your surroundings. If you are not aware of your surroundings, you will never make it. In business, this is known as the blue and red ocean. Where the red ocean is very saturated with completion and the blue ocean is somewhat of an untapped market or niche. With the Internet and social media, it has gotten easier to compete in red oceans. By making personal connections with the audience as an individual, and not just a brand. Something that many corporations struggle with today.

 

  1. Earth – distance, terrain, danger and security, open ground and narrow passes, the chances of life and death. Again, we are still on surroundings, but this focuses more on your chances of survival. For example, is the barrier to entry in a specific market so high that the first mistake will put me out of business? Richard Branson calls this the silver line of staying profitable and going under. The next thing that came to mind was legal requirements. What tests must be passed for the company or product to exist?

 

  1. The commander – stands for virtues and wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage, and strictness. The leader must have intentions that others care about too. They must be knowledgeable in whatever business they are in. Mark Cuban states that you should research your business idea, to the point that you know more about it than anyone else.

 

  1. By method and discipline – the graduation of ranks among the officers, maintain the supply roads and control military expenditure. You have to give people something to work for. While at the same time making sure that they are in the right place regarding their abilities. Then make sure that you have a solid system for curating new promoters.
  • All five boil down to a disciplined force and knowing your environment and the enemy.

 

  • Have a counsel, this is bought up in Good to Great. Your counsel should respect each other and only analyze the facts.
  • Be ready to pivot. Steve Jobs asked Apple what business they were in. When the board responded PC’s, he told them that they would go out of business.
  • All warfare is based on deception, when ready to attack seem unable when near the enemy appear far away and vice versa. Keep a tight lid on proprietary information to make sure that the specifics of your companies next moves are not made public. Yes, that means you have to invest in cybersecurity and training.
  • Bait the enemy – temp your competition into marketing in the areas that you are the best at and have the larger following. This will waste their resources and make your company look good at the same time.
  • Evade those with superior strength or holding all of the key points. Modern strength revolves around money and attention. Don’t compete against billions of dollars, without testing out your niche and its ROI.
  • Irritate an enemy with a choleric temper, pretend to be weak to make them arrogant. This seems to be more relevant among influencers and certain CEO’s. The influencer would be easier to anger due to smaller counsel around them. Regardless these days it is best to not speak ill of others in public. It is one of those few things that will only have a negative ROI.
  • Don’t let the enemy rest and divide their forces. This applies to tech more than anything. Make sure that you are constantly improving and investing in the user experience.
  • Attack the unprepared. Prove that your company is keeping up with the times. A big one now is cybersecurity. Your either trustworthy or you’re not.
  • Make all necessary calculations before the battle. Research everything that you do. To make sure that you fail less and move as efficiently as possible.

 

Part 2: Waging War

 

  • Your soldiers and their weapons will eventually get dull. Celebrate victories and make sure that you give people the time off that they need.
  • Have the resources to fight a long battle. Make sure that you have a financial cushion instead of blowing that money on something stupid.
  • Long wars have no benefit. Don’t try to always one up the completion. Be the best at your core competencies and ignore everything else.
  • A skillful soldier does not equal a second levy and never carries more than 2 of everything. This depends on the individual. If the person cares about the mission they will work at it for as long as they possibly can, f*ck serving once. Next, your one thing will take years to achieve. Lastly, you must have a backup, but do not carry so much that it slows you down. This applies especially to data, why spend money on onsite backups? When you have AWS for a fraction of the price.
  • Bring extra supply and take the enemies. Make sure that your marketing budget is well spent with wiggle room and tap into the competitions traffic lines.
  • The state does not want to contribute to any war that is at a distance. This depends on the type of company that you have. In most cases, this can be overcome by getting the right people on the bus and scripting everything. As Starbucks has with other twenty-seven-thousand global locations.
  • An army at home will drain substance so use the enemy’s provisions. Ha-ha, this one was rough. All that I could think of was a sales team that isn’t producing or taking action.
  • Soldiers must be angered to kill the enemy then rewarded. Follow Tim Ferris’s advice and let people know that you trust them. This will increase their productivity. Then compare your company’s stats to the industry and celebrate outperforming the rest and hitting goals.
  • Great object equals victory not a lengthy campaign. Again, it depends on the context. Marketing campaigns, for example, can be long and brutal. On the other hand, creating something can be hurried. Bust a Henry Ford and lock a bunch of engineers in a room for a few months. Feeding them pizza and monsters under the door.

 

Part 3: Attack by Stratagem

 

  • It is better to capture than destroy. Why make the completion go out of business when you can buy them out? Look at Jeff Bezos and Zappos.
  • Supreme excellence is breaking the enemy resistance without fighting. Be so perfect that the competition does not even have a chance to compete.
  • Prevent junction of the enemy’s forces. Make sure that you get all the right contracts and channels of attention on your side.
  • Do not besiege walled cities. Don’t poke the giants. For example, trying to start a search engine in 2018 will be a waste of your life. Seriously Google is a verb!
  • If you outnumber the enemy by four times or more divide your army. Divide the company into smaller groups that work together and not against each other. The hardest part is making sure that the right information is moved up the hierarchy.
  • Don’t govern your army like a kingdom for each live under different conditions. People that are in business with family and friends call it having two modes. You have work mode and non-work mode. When working with loved ones and friends set a baseline of everyone’s duties. Let’s say that I start a company with a close friend. The first thing that I would do is have us both sign a contract that we will put in the same amount of work. Doing this will avoid drama and lost time.
  • Don’t command your army when they cannot obey you. If something hectic comes up like an influx of physical orders to ship. Everyone should know what they must do if you have the right people around you. Therefore, the extent of your orders in this situation should be minimal or non-existent.
  • Don’t employ officers without any discrimination. Read psychology books or hire a master’s in psychology to do your interviews for you. Everyone on the team must click if you want that modern fun to work at environment. For technical roles, make sure that you put people through multiple problem-solving tests.

 

  • The 5 Essentials of Victory

 

  1. Know when to fight and when not to. #commonsense

 

  1. Know how to handle inferior and superior forces. There are a ton of random startups that can move the tectonic plates of any market. Make sure that you are aware of the competition. Regardless of how big or small your team is.

 

  1. The army is animated by the same spirit throughout all of the ranks. The companies culture should make sure that everyone performs and is appreciated.

 

  1. Be prepared to take the enemy when they are not. Value investing basics have reserves for when the sh*t hits the fan.

 

  1. Have military capacity not interfered with by the sovereign. Make sure that politics do not hinder the troops capacity. There is a saying that sh*t only rolls downhill. Make sure that your culture isn’t damaged by one executive having a bad day.

 

  • “Know yourself, and the enemy win every time, only know yourself and win every other battle, know neither and always fail.”

 

Part 4: Tactical Dispositions

 

  • Visualize defeat. Elon Musk, “only the paranoid survive.”
  • Secure ourselves against defeat, but the opportunity to defeat the enemy is probably provided by the enemy.
  • Win with ease. Win as quickly as possible while using as little resources as possible. Standard tools for this would be the 80/20 principle and six sigma.
  • Win battles by making no mistakes. Be perfect by double checking everything at least once.

 

Part 5: The Army on The March

 

  • Camp in high places facing the sun. Take strategic points with patents, influencers, and contracts.
  • Don’t climb heights to fight. Don’t waste resources.
  • After crossing the river get far away from it. Not making your position obvious is difficult due to the internet and similarweb.com. In that respect just focus on your quality.
  • While the enemy is crossing the river attack when half of the army has crossed.
  • Notice changes in the environment that could indicate the enemies position. Know the history concerning your business. While staying aware of where tech is taking all the attention.
  • When the enemy makes a move, they will make it appear as if they are doing the opposite.
  • A peace proposal with no sworn conviction is a plot. Make sure to put everything in writing and make contracts.
  • If the enemy sees an advantage and does not take it, its soldiers are exhausted.
  • Men whispering together in small knots or speaking in subdued tones points to dissatisfaction among the rank and file. Make sure that you maintain the company culture as it grows.
  • Don’t pick fights with enemies that are too big.
  • Enemies with compliments in their mouths want a truce.
  • If your and the enemies forces are equal watch the enemy and wait for reinforcements. When your competition is your equal, you must outwork them, “ten X baby.”
  • Discipline soldiers before they get attached to you. Do this to make sure that people do not get lazy just because they are “cool” with you.
  • Generals must show confidence in their orders for the men to obey. Confidence has always attracted people, it indicates perceived security in an uncertain future.

 

Part 6: Energy

 

  • Leading a large group is the same as leading a small one. Divide the total number of soldiers into smaller groups and institute signs and signals. When your system is properly automated people should not be able to question their role. Since everything is documented.
  • Indirect methods are needed for energy. Work smarter not harder.
  • There are only direct and indirect attacks together they make an endless series of maneuvers. It’s the same concept as chess you can always make a better mousetrap.
  • Quick and quality decisions are needed. If you truly know your business, this should not be a problem.
  • Make sure that your army is defeat proof in your absence. Again, document everything and have reliable generals.
  • Concealing courage under a show of timidity presupposes a fund of latent energy. Its ok to be the underdog. Just make sure that you dominate your niche.
  • Set bait to keep the enemy moving.
  • Pick the right men and utilize their combined energy and not the individuals. This will create a snowball effect of output.

 

Part 7: Weak & Strong Points

 

  • Arrive at the field first to be well rested when the enemy comes. First mover advantage is a double-edged sword that depends on the timing. But hey if you can pull it off, you will be a god.
  • Be well supplied to starve the enemy. Wisely re-invest the companies profits to give it the upper hand.
  • March where the enemy is not. Build your own bridge over a red ocean.
  • Only attack undefended places and only defend places that cannot be attacked. Avoid targeting the die-hard followers of your competition. This would be like Direct TV trying to take Comcast’s customers based off speed and quality. Furthermore, don’t fix it unless it’s broken.
  • Force the enemy out of a strong point by attacking a weak point that they will have to aid. Emerging economic markets would be a good example of this. Quality is another big one that you can use to differentiate yourself.
  • Find the enemies position without being located.
  • Compare the opposing army to your own to see their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Everyone can see the tactics for conquering but not the strategy for victory. Just like chess, you must be able to see five moves into the future in order to win.
  • Do not repeat tactics that have led to victory before. Fake news, if it works reuse the f*ck out of it.
  • Avoid what is strong by attacking the weak. You can buy out the competition that is smaller than you. To secure your fragment of the market more tightly.
  • Warfare has no constant conditions. Nothing is predictable so always be ready for the worst.

 

Part 8: Maneuvering

 

  • Turn devious into the direct and misfortune into gain. Promote honesty in all areas of your life and business. Turning misfortune into gain is the right to passage of a true grandmaster, but in reality, all it is admitting to your faults and correcting them. For example, Facebook recently had a major data breach. So, what does Zuckerberg do? He goes on testifies in front of the whole world and he lays out a blueprint of what must be corrected to make Facebook more secure.
  • Take the long route if it gives you the upper hand. You can let others fail and learn from their mistakes.
  • Moving with an undisciplined army is dangerous. Most major corporations are doing this and don’t even know it. Most low-level workers at many companies spend half of their day dicking around instead of working. This lost productivity does cost money that’s why more and more companies are offering people money to quiet.
  • Don’t march for too long or the troops will not be able to fight. Not everyone is crazy enough to disregard their well being for an objective. Let people rest and make sure that they have great working conditions.
  • The army needs supply.
  • Analyze and understand whoever you go into alliances with. This is key regardless of the company’s size. When you’re starting out and tight on money there is no room for dead weight. If you grow to a medium or large business; hiring one person who is so entitled that they believe that they don’t have to put in as much work as everyone else. When this happens others, moral will change. Why is this person able to put in less work, but getting paid the same as me?
  • Leaders must know the environment, know the pitfalls and use local guides. Know everything about your market. Then hire others to cover your weaknesses.
  • Only concentrate or divide your troops if the circumstances call for it. As fires come up, you will have to pull people from their task at hand. Make sure that a detailed disaster recovery plan is set up, and that everyone knows their place in it.
  • When you move fall like thunder and use the dark of night as cover. Be so knowledgeable that you are always decisive in your decision making. Also, try to get the whole company in a constant state of flow through the culture.
  • Ponder and deliberate before you make a move.
  • Make sure that the mass understands that it is a unit, regardless of skill no separation. Make sure that both ends of the hierarchy can communicate with each other.
  • In the night use flares and drums to influence the enemy’s eyes and ears and in the day use flags and banners. Garry Vee says that you should have self-awareness on social media. Then be thoughtful of what you put in and on which channel.
  • An army can be robbed of spirit and a commander of his presence of mind. Remind your troops of the why and make them feel appreciated. Then have a council that makes sure that you are always aware of significant events, while you focus on the most important task.
  • Study moods and attack when the enemy is sluggish. It’s like a bear market when the competitions output is decreasing. Increase your output and marketing budget.
  • Studying circumstances – do not attack armies in a calm, confident and organized array. It is difficult to break a well-assembled system/competitor. The best thing to do in this case is copy what is relevant to you.
  • Do not follow an enemy that simulates flight, like the Genghis Khan and the Mongols. Who would run away to separate and ambush the enemy. PR is the only thing that comes to mind. A company could be pulling out of a PR campaign to launch something bigger else ware.
  • When you surround an enemy give them room to move and escape, so that you do not make them too desperate. I don’t think that this is the case in business. When Amazon took over they took over with no indecision.

 

Part 9: Variation in Tactics

 

  • There are certain key points that must not be attacked. Don’t publicly call out the competition on subjects that could blow back on you.

 

  • The five dangerous faults of a general:

 

  1. “Recklessness – which leads to destruction.

 

  1. Cowardice – which leads to capture.

 

  1. A temper that can be provoked by insults.

 

  1. A delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame.

 

  1. Over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble.”

 

 

Part 10: Terrain

 

  • Types of terrain

 

  1. Accessible ground – freely traversed by both sides, occupy high grounds first and guard your supply line. Markets that have a low to no barrier to entry are most Internet based companies. Make sure that you start collecting emails right away. While providing a ton of value to build trust.

 

  1. Entangling ground – abandoned ground that is hard to re-occupy. Don’t try to revive the dead, without testing the market first.

 

  1. Temporizing ground – neither side can make the first move. The cost to entry is so high or risky that no one will move. On the other hand, the greater the challenge the greater the reward for solving it.

 

  1. Narrow passes – occupy them first and make sure that they are strongly garrisoned. Own your niche by building a cult-like following.

 

  1. Precipitous heights – occupy high points and make the enemy come to you. Make your brand the go-to for removing x or gaining y pleasure.

 

  1. Positions at a great distance from the enemy – fighting a faraway enemy will be difficult and to your disadvantage. Study foreign markets and consult the locals before dipping your toes.

 

  • Six calamities that an army could face

 

  1. “Flight – caused by fighting an enemy ten times your size.

 

  1. Insubordination – caused by strong soldiers and weak officers.

 

  1. Collapse – weak soldiers and strong officers.

 

  1. Ruin – caused by angry officers giving commands in battle.

 

  1. Disorganization – weak general with no authority, gives unclear orders and lack of assigned duties and haphazardly formed ranks.

 

  1. Rout – fighting a larger enemy without having the strongest soldiers in the front.”

 

  • Make sure that sure that your generals have self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Make sure that your vanguard is full of the best and brightest. Like a flock of birds or drifting behind another car. The infantry will make everything easier for the rest.

 

  • Treat your soldiers like your children and they will stand with you till the death.
  • Make sure that you are always aware of the enemies standing and condition. You can learn a lot from your competition so be humble enough to study them.
  • An experienced soldier in motion is never bewildered. Make sure that everyone is well trained so that nothing catches them off guard.

 

Part 11: The Nine Situations

 

  1. Dispersive ground – fighting in your own territory.

 

  1. Facile – stepping into the edge of the enemy’s territory.

 

  1. Contentious ground – give advantages to both sides. Making alliances with the competition can have many benefits when possible. This is usually the case with small to medium size companies, like the two precursors of PayPal.

 

  1. Open ground – both sides have the liberty of movement.

 

  1. Ground of intersecting highways – has three contentious states that you must get to first.

 

  1. Serious ground – once the army has penetrated the heart of the enemy leaving fortified cities in the rear.

 

  1. Difficult ground – hard to traverse. For example, mountain forests, rugged steeps, marshes, and fens.

 

  1. Hemmed-in ground – narrow gorges that are difficult to travers, a small group can hold off many here.

 

  1. Desperate ground – we can only be saved from destruction by fighting with no delay.

 

  • “On dispersive ground fight not, on facile ground halt not, and on contentious ground attack not.”
  • Open ground does not block the enemy’s way on intersecting highways join hands with your allies.
  • On serious ground gather in plunder in difficult ground keep steadily on the march.
  • On hammed in ground resort to stratagem, on desperate ground fight.
  • Drive wedges in the front and rear to isolate weak segments of the enemy.
  • Create disorder in a united enemy.
  • Only move forward if it’s to your advantage.
  • Seize something that your opponent holds dear to bend them to your will.
  • Take advantage of the enemies unreadiness.
  • Facing death your soldiers will put forth their uttermost strength. The greater the challenge the more pumped up people will be to solve it. Even if it is for narcissistic reasons like proving to themselves that they are smart.
  • Making the best out of the strong and weak involves proper use of the ground.
  • The skillful general conducts his army just as though he were leading a single man willy-nilly by the hand. Creating an organizational system will make sure that no time is wasted in the communication processes.
  • A general must always have the courage to walk in to danger first. Lead by example.
  • Reward those who follow the rules and be willing and able to issue orders on the fly, to guide an army as if it were a single man.
  • Know the enemies purpose.

 

Part 12: The Attack by Fire

 

  • Five ways to use fire:
  1. Burn soldiers in their camp
  2. Burn stores
  3. Burn baggage trains
  4. Burn arsenals and magazines – you could buy out the competitions suppliers.
  5. Hurl dropping fire amongst the enemy

 

  • The five developments of using fire:

 

  1. When the fire breaks out attack at once.
  2. If the enemy stays quiet during the fire, don’t attack.
  3. Make sure that all attacks have been practiced.
  4. You can attack before the fire breaks out.
  5. Make sure that the wind does not blow the fire into your direction.
  • Only fight if you see an advantage and the position is critical.
  • Rulers shouldn’t put troops in the filed for self-gratification.
  • A dead kingdom can never come back into being.

 

Part 13: The Use of Spies

 

  • Most companies make you sign a contract that you will not disclose any proprietary information. Also stealing preoperatory data or spying on other companies is illegal. Making the last section obsolete.

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