Jul, 2015

Step 2: Blue Footed Booby Birds, ESS, and the 500 Year Old Mind

The Big Idea: Change is the basic law of nature in life, so be an adaptability machine.   Read, learn, and expect occasional setbacks towards success. 

  • Change is the basic law of nature.
  • The species that survives is the one that is best able to adapt to change. — Darwin
  • Similarly, the most successful individuals and companies are the most adaptable (not the strongest or smartest.)
  • People tend to stay in dysfunctional relationships or jobs way too long.  We must respond more quickly.
  • If your IQ is above 130, you could sell the rest. –Warren Buffett
  • The 500 year old mind (cognitive bias) sees things in black and white, and therefore resistant to change.
  • I’ve never met a man who was less afraid to fail.  –a friend of Sam Walton
  • According to the Everything Store, Jeff Bezos was also unfazed by failure.  He persevered and moved on.
  • Thomas Edison viewed failures as a normal path to success.
  • Colonel Sanders started dozens of businesses (of mixed success) before Kentucky Fried Chicken, failed many times but adapted and persevered.
  • Change is the only constant.
  • Certain diets work with some people’s genetics but not others, so try lots of diets for yourself.
  • So many of the most successful businesses were built on a pivot.
  • Always be experimenting to test your hypotheses.  Your first idea and your first plan will inevitably be wrong.
  • ESS = Evolutionarily Stable Strategy.
  • When things change, find a new equilibrium.  Find a new Evolutionary Stable Strategy.  Be adaptable.
  • Don’t fall prey to the certainty bias.  When things change, what was true before may now be false.  This includes relationships and partnerships.
  • If you want results different from the masses, you can’t think like the masses (popular advice in magazines, mass blogs).

Tai Lopez is an entrepreneur, investor, and blogger who runs an awesome online book club. 67 Steps is a lecture series teaching how to be successful in health, wealth, love, and happiness.  I’m a big fan.

Step 1: The Billionaire’s Brain and Jennifer Lopez’s Voice

The Big Idea: To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want.  Awareness is key to success.  If you’re not successful, be self-aware enough to understand why.

  • The good life = health, wealth, love, and happiness.
  • To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want.  the world is not a crazy enough place to reward a bunch of undeserving people. —Charlie Munger
  • Avoid the lottery approach to life.
  • People who deserve a lot get a lot.
  • There are three types of people: people who make things happen, people who watch things happen, and people who wonder what happened.
  • Who would you have bet back in high school? What traits would they have? Would you have bet on yourself? — Warren Buffett
  • Awareness is probably the most important driver of success.
  • There is a time to stop and smell the roses but it’s not all time. —Joel Salatin
  • Jennifer Lopez does not have a great voice but she’s an amazing entertainer and that’s why she’s successful.
  • Ask yourself, who would you not bet on?  And don’t be that person.
  • Ideas don’t make you rich.  Successful people often borrow from others and improve.

Tai Lopez is an entrepreneur, investor, and blogger who runs an awesome online book club. 67 Steps is a lecture series teaching how to be successful in health, wealth, love, and happiness.  I’m a big fan.

Unbeatable Mind by Mark Divine, Part 2

A couple of weeks ago, I posted some notes on Unbeatable Mind, based on a quick skim and video from Philosopher’s Notes.  I’m adding some more in-depth notes today.

Mark Divine is a former Navy SEAL turned life coach, fitness trainer, business trainer, and entrepreneur.  Unbeatable Mind is about the mental training he learned as a Navy SEAL and beyond that can help you succeed in business and life.

1. The Five Mountains
You must train and integrate five separate lines of human development: physical, emotional, mental, intuitional, and spiritual/kokoro.  (Similar to Tai Lopez’s 4 Pillars of the Good Life: 1) health, 2) wealth, 3) love, and 4) happiness.)

2. The First Premise
Win in your mind first by practicing insight meditation, starving the fear wolf and feeding the courage wolf, and knowing your purpose.

3. The 3 P’s and the One Thing
Know your Purpose, Passions, and Principles.  Know the One Thing that is your mission in life.

4. Box Breathing
Practice box breathing (inhale for 5, hold for 5, exhale for 5, hold for 5) to reduce stress and focus concentration in chaotic times.

5. Big Four of Mental Toughness
Breathing, positivity, visualization, and goal setting.

6. Big Four of Emotional Resiliency
Self-esteem, orientation towards others, positive mindset, self-control.

7. Three Disciplines of the Warrior
Simplicity: reduce commitments, material possessions, and unsupportive relationships.  Dedication: training is not optional and embrace the journey. Authenticity: connect to your 3P’s and One Thing.

8. Three Spheres of Awareness.
The most happy and successful people in the world are also the most aware.  The three spheres of awareness are Self, Team, and Organization. Tools to practice self-awareness: meditation, contemplation, recapitulation (review your past), and journaling.

9. Universal Laws to Understand
a. The law of cause and effect: karma
b. The law of abundance: there is enough for everyone (Peter Diamandes’ Abundance)
c. The law of winning in your mind first (Sun Tzu)
d. The law of focus: fix your mind on what you want (Napoleon Hill)
e. The law of receiving: deliver value to the world and receive value in return
f. The Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have others do unto you
g. The law of surrender: surrender to the tide for enlightenment and peace (Lao Tzu)
h. The law of forgiveness (Nelson Mandela)
i. The law of non-attachment: detach from the material for contentment (Dalai Lama)
j. The law of nonresistance: fight violence with violence only as a last resort (Gandhi)

10. Trustworthiness
More trust increases transaction speed and lowers transaction costs.

11. Leadership
Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things.  Leaders craft a vision and motivate a team to fulfill it.

12. Humility
Take the blame and share the credit.

13. Determination and Perseverance
Give it everything — day after day. Find a way, or make one.  Do or do not, there is no try.

14. Cognitive Biases
There are three brains: the reptilian, the mammalian, and the neocortex.  Cognitive biases arise when we  listen to the reptilian and mammalian.  (Daniel Kahneman)

15. Execution Plans
Keep It Simple, Stupid.  A good enough plan aims for 80% solution. Execute on an 80% solution and achieve micro-victories with increasing velocities.

16. SMART Goals
Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and appropriate time frame.

17. Team Training
Team training, retreats, off-site sessions are great for camaraderie, accountability, and respect among teammates. Participation should be mandatory, someone must lead, rotate leadership, engage experts, and make it fun.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This book is on my top 20 books of all-time list. I must have been in middle school when I first got my hands on this book and read it cover to cover. Ever since then, I’ve had a copy on every bookshelf I’ve owned. Dale Carnegie included his own book summary at the end of the book, which I’m just reposting below.

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
1. Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain
2. Give honest and sincere appreciation
3. Arouse in the other person an eager want

Six Ways To Make People Like You
1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
2. Smile.
3. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
4. Be a good listener. Encourage other people to talk about themselves.
5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
6. Make the other person feel important-and do it sincerely.

Win People To Your Way Of Thinking
1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
2. Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”
3. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
4. Begin in a friendly way.
5. Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
7. Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
8. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
9. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
10. Appeal to the nobler motives.
11. Dramatize your ideas.
12. Throw down a challenge.

Be A Leader
1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
2. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
5. Let the other person save face.
6. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”
7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
8. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
9. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

Entrepreneurs Are Made Not Born by Lloyd Shefsky

Written by my Entrepreneurship professor at Kellogg.

Ch 1
  • luck is opportunity meets preparation
  • learn how to overcome rejection
Ch 2
  • believe in your dream
  • take the angel money
  • do what you know and love
  • believe in yourself
  • project conservatively
Ch 3
  • keep your business plan informal at first
  • be ready to pivot or even change ideas
  • when talking to investors only talk about one business idea
Ch 4
  • don’t let your fears hold you back
Ch 5
  • entrepreneurship means independence
  • don’t waste money on real estate if not necessary for your business
  • immigrants have an advantage
  • there is life after bankruptcy
Ch 6
  • to conquer a fear, first understand it
  • good enough never is
  • failing doesn’t make you a failure
  • in the long run failing may be better for you
  • an entrepreneur’s secret weapon is his spirit
  • projects fail, entrepreneurs do not
  • if you dwell on failure, you will fail
Ch 7
  • beware the comfortable and secure life
  • something the security of a corporate track may feel like a prison
Ch 8
  • entrepreneurship is not gambling
  • risk is unavoidable
  • managers avoid or reduce risk
  • entrepreneurs focus on the reward
  • investors want to know that you’re risking something too
  • venture capitalists want you to succeed
Ch 9
  • to entrepreneurs, work = life
  • work ethic is found very early in life
  • he who makes money pleases god
  • puritans work to work, entrepreneurs work to achieve a goal
  • entrepreneurial work is fun
  • do you work b/c you love it or to achieve your dreams
  • Bill Gates still works 80 hrs/week
Ch 10
  • entrepreneurs are sometimes unemployable
  • be different
  • some rules are sacred and some can be bent
Ch 11
  • rules that can be broken: it can’t be done, that’s the only way to do it, they are the only ones who can do it, anyone can do it
Ch 12
  • you don’t really fail until you give up
  • you make mistakes not really fail
Ch 13
  • practice endlessly before the opportunity arrives
  • pick a partner for the bad times not the good
  • useful advisors: CPA, insurance, lawyer
Ch 14
  • work hard
  • take care of your body
  • don’t forget your family
Ch 15
  • someone has to be the leader
  • leaders craft and communicate a vision and strategy
  • leaders inspire others to follow them
  • deep down, everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, let them be one through you
  • be the team’s biggest cheerleader
  • demonstrate publicly your willingness to sacrifice
Ch 16
  • you can do it
Ch 17
  • for entrepreneurs, money is the vehicle not the destination
Ch 18
  • keep trying