The One Thing Review | Rating 10/10

Dr. Frankl has taught us to know our why in Man’s Search for Meaning. That why has to be tied to our actions regardless of who you are an athlete, entrepreneur, writer or one of the other countless titles in existence. Said actions lead to an endgame your definition of success. That’s all fine and dandy, but the devil is in the details. Fear not, Gary W. Keller shows you how to live and think like the 1% in The One Thing. It starts with a straightforward question. What one thing can I go right now, that will make everything else pointless? This means going under the microscope past the 80/20 principle. Gary calls this going small and ignoring everything else.

The most powerful visualization of this is the domino analogy that Garry used. If you start with a 2-inch domino that can drop a domino that is 50% larger in fifty-seven dominos you will hit the moon. Now in terms of success, if you drop the most important domino every week in roughly fifty-seven weeks, you should hit self-actualization.

Gary starts off the book with the six lies of success:

  1. Everything matters equally – reality if full of priority, use the 80/20 rule, and only focus on “should do’s.”
  2. Multitasking – cut out the dead weight (pointless tasks) and go extreme, spend at least four hours a day on your one thing. Multitasking increases the time spent on a task due to decreased mental efficiency; because you have to remember where you left off, which also increases the number of mistakes.
  3. A disciplined life – say no to distractions and pointless gestures until your one thing is complete. Do not strive to be that perfectly disciplined person that you always hear about instead have a selected discipline. Build one habit at a time the most important one and give it sixty-six days to mature.
  4. Willpower is always on will call – everyone has their limits. The best way to increase your battery life is to eat healthily. Why do you think that Tony Robbins eats fish and salad for breakfast every day! Willpower has its spikes throughout the day, so know yourself and schedule key tasks appropriately. Also making decisions take up willpower, so script as much of your life as possible. Programming your brain will pay off, if x happens then perform y, no matter what!
  5. The balanced life – if you’re going gun-ho balls to the wall you can’t have a balanced life. To stay sane, you have to get good at counterbalancing life and work/ hit two birds with one stone. For example, if you have to travel for business why not the family with you?
  6. Big is bad – Garry said it best, “No one knows their ultimate ceiling for achievement, so worrying about it is a waste of time.” To that respect, double your initial goals, act boldly by copying the great, and don’t fear failure you will undoubtedly learn something from it.

You will then be instructed to recruit support similar to the mastermind group from Think and Grow Rich, or allies from Super Better. The purpose of this is to have a constant reminder of your big question. What’s the one thing that I can do to achieve x? This question should be big and specific. For example, what can I do to double my fan base in the next six months? Or, what can I do to cut 50% of the risk in my portfolio over the next six months? Creating this question might require research and other peoples experience.

If any of you are interested in business, Garry provides a model to live by. It is a pyramid with four levels, one is the base:

  1. Purpose – marketing 101, communicate your why to build a tribe within the company and the customers.
  2. Priority – use the 80/20 rule to save time and increase productivity.
  3. Productivity – get the right people on the bus, and make sure that everyone delivers constant contributions to the company’s wellbeing.
  4. Profit – invest in your employees and the customer experience only.

Profit needs productive people. “Our purpose sets our priority, and our priority determines the productivity our actions produce.” Back to knowing yourself, realize if you are a manager or a maker there is nothing wrong with either, but know your place on the board. The first person that came to mind here was Steve Jobs, “I play the orchestra.”

Whether you are in business or not, you need goals. Again, you want to start small, right now, daily, weekly, monthly, one year, five years, and a someday goal. Then visualize the process starting from the top making your way backward. This was my first time doing this, and it was gratifying. I would always start from the now and work my way up.

Now you have to start blocking time. Spend one hour every Sunday planning your week. Remember if you are serious you will commit at least four hours a day. Here are the laws of blocked time:

  1. Build a bunker where you cannot get distracted. If you struggle with this, read Deep Work.
  2. Store provisions like water and snacks so that the only reason for you leaving the room is the restroom.
  3. No phone, email, or Internet. If you absolutely need music lightly play classical music on your phone and keep it at a distance.
  4. Enlist support, tell your regular contacts what you are doing. Do not go into details and try not to state your goals. Just say that it is something that you have always wanted to do. When you share your goals, you subconsciously brainwash yourself into thinking that you are already doing something but, you haven’t done jack squat.

Garry brings up Malcolm Gladwell’s ten-thousand-hour rule. Stating that it takes ten thousand hours of practice to be the best in the world. In ten years that is three hours a day, that is why picking your one thing is such an important matter. If your crazy enough you can put in more hours, simple math here. Six hours a day will make you a grandmaster in five years. Just watch your health if you do this. Regardless of your output live and die as a student. When you get your black belt ask to be buried in the white one.

Towards the end, Garry provides another mental hack. It is going from an entrepreneurial mindset to a purposeful one. An entrepreneur is off to the races full of energy but stops at a level that is good enough. There is nothing wrong with this it is the basis of lifestyle businesses. Eventually, you will start thinking about your why or your legacy. In that respect, the only way to reach self-actualization is to be purposeful. The four steps to being purposeful:

  1. Focus
  2. Models
  3. Systems
  4. Breakthrough

Other hacks would be to find a coach and to take ownership of everything that you do.

Time to look at the roadblocks in the four thieves of productivity:

  1. The inability to say no. Your time on earth is limited spend it wisely. When you say yes what are you saying no to?
  2. Fear of chaos. It is human nature to fear the unknown. Realize that taking risks can have amazing returns. If you are still reluctant, read Extreme Ownership and embrace controlled chaos.
  3. Poor health habits. This is being posted in 2018, we don’t have any excuses for not being healthy.
  4. An environment that doesn’t support your goals. Don’t be scared to change your environment, whether it’s the coffee shop down the street or another city altogether.

This book was an experience unlike any other. I want you to go through it too, so I am not including my last three notes. Which go over daily rituals, the five regrets of the dying, and one thing questions to ask.

Click here to find your one thing. 

Freelancing For Dummies Review | Rating 8/10

Have you ever thought about freelancing, but didn’t know where to start? Fear not, Susan M. Drake will be your sensei. Regardless of if you want to freelance for more experience, full-time, or just for side cash this book will make sure that you fail less. Why go into the wild on your own, when you can quickly learn from Susan’s mistakes? Susan shows you how to plan and carry out your career pivot. That’s if you decide that going all in is worth it. When going through Freelancing For Dummies, I recommend taking tons of notes. Now let’s go over some of my key takeaways.

Contracts should be thorough to make sure that there is no room for disagreements later on. Having a detailed consistency with all of your clients will make your life that much more comfortable. While we are talking about consistency, your rates should be the same for all of your clients. It is a small world, and nobody wants to waste their life arguing about prices. If you mess up, don’t charge the customer a lower hourly rate instead confess that you messed up and give them free hours. For example, if it takes me five hours to set up a small network, but it was a three-hour job I will charge the customer for three hours at full price. Once you improve, you have to know when to raise your prices and the worth of your consultations. Billing plans are another key to keeping your sanity. Payments can be made on completion, timed, or as project milestones are met.

Susan also brought up a model that I have never heard of; a retainer is someone that is on call on a specific day and time. This seems perfect for night owls and IT professionals. Doing this will require some basic time management which Susan will cover. Freelancing can get hectic that is why it is essential to keep your work area organized and to understand your psychology and biology. Taxes must be a high priority along with hiring a CFP or CPA. To that respect, everything should be adequately tracked and invoiced if applicable. Lastly, customers can get wild, but Susan covers that too. Freelancing at any level can be extremely rewarding, beyond the monetary values. My favorite pros are the ability to pick your battles, regarding what jobs you accept. Along with the chance to network with other people, to complement each other’s skills.

Click here to start working for yourself. 

Good to Great Review | Rating 9/10

Have you ever daydreamed of running a successful business? What if you knew the secrets of how to run said business before you even launched it? Luckily for us, Jim Collin and his team did the research and put in the work for us. Good to Great is a fifteen-year case study of eleven companies that will take you to level five. Jim’s passion for the project shows itself multiple times throughout the book. First, let’s clear up what a level 5 leader is; an intelligent yet humble individual. That lives by the Stockdale paradigms which are unwavering belief and faith in the company. Some level 5’s that I have recently read about are Howard Shultz, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos.

Here are some essential facts that you should think about when starting your hatchling company. You must hire the right people, make sure that they are fanatic about your company’s mission. Then those people must be in the right place like a game of chess. For example, the first Apple team would show interviewees a MAC, to study their reaction to it. If people were no ecstatic about seeing a computer they were not hired. Furthermore, if someone does not turn out to be the right fit for the company, the cancer must be cut out immediately. Making sure that the company is fit enough to survive the market.

Next, find your core competencies, what can the company be the best at. Hands tied loaded barrel to the head do not lie to yourself, otherwise, you will end up wasting resources. When you find that one thing put all of your resources towards it. Find your key economic drivers and their metrics. Finding KPIs should be taken seriously and everyone in the company should have a say in what the company tracks. Lastly have a counsel, that respects each other, and honors the facts and nothing but the facts. These were just my favorite tips Good to Great is a treasure trove, with much more knowledge.

Click here to become a level 5 leader. 

Crushing It Review | Rating 8/10

If you want to start a personal brand Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk is the Archimedes Lever that you need. First, it will be nearly impossible to be an overnight success. Some have taken years just a build a small following but remember all you need is one-thousand true fans. You must grind, socialize, and provide massive value. While respecting your audience. Do not think that your audience is dumb. If you sell people a $60 course for a few hundred dollars and start to plateau, do not wonder why. This will also lower the number of promoters that you have and your reputation as a reliable brand. People want other people and not hustlers.

Your one mission is to provide what you can’t find and to humanize it with your own humor. Make sure that your brand is not tied to or reliant on one platform, physics states the nothing can live forever. Make sure that you give everything a chance to expand your footprint. Then record yourself going through the grind. Your high energy and passion must show. Realize that you can turn your passions into a living and get after it.

Click here to start crushing it. 

Dot Com Secrets Review | Rating 9/10

Online marketing 101, learn how to find your one-thousand true fans. Russel provides you with a solid blueprint for Click Funnels, his funnel generating tool in Dot Com Secrets. You will learn how to bring your dream customer to life so that you can effectively market to them. Then you will set up your value ladder, just to flip it upside down into a funnel. Russel even provides one with step by step marketing scripts. Making sure that the prospects feel as if you were right in front of them explaining everything. This section reminded me of the Wolf of Wall Street. All that was missing was the money hum.

One will also learn how to properly run an email marketing campaign. Everything that is needed to make the sale is in this book, except for tutorials on all the tools, apps, and websites that you will have to use. This book would pair perfectly with The 4 Hour Work Week. If you are starting an online business or brand, you or your marketing team have to read this book, ASAP.

Click here to learn the magic of funnels. 

 

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Review | Rating 9/10

When the sh*t hits the fan, how many people can put all their chips down and go all in? Elon Musk can, and his biography which only covers a fraction of his life will show you why he is the demigod of Quora. I recall watching an interview where a person stated that “Elon was sent from another planet to show us, mortals, how to run a business.” As a child, he was smarter than his programming teacher and read the encyclopedia. One can assume that he started making mind maps and strong neural connections around that time.

Watching Elon realize the vast opportunity in the internet and then digitizing yellow pages was a treat. Everything from the PayPal Mafia to the inception of Space X and Tesla shows one what a zenith being is capable of. Most biographies do not have a cinematic climax, but when Elon was running out of money with both companies struggling I got a shot of adrenaline, and the pages started turning themselves. Elon is easily going to be one of the most significant people of this century, and I can’t wait to watch him accomplish his goals.

Click here to watch Iron Man get after it.