A very good book. The only reason it gets a 4/5 is that I knew most of the tips already, however, if you're new to marketing, you'll find it more than useful. A few of my notes:
Have a community page, e.g. on Facebook or on your own website. The effectiveness of that community page depends on:
There were tonnes of tips, I can't repeat them all but these few should be enough to get you going.
This is another timeless business classic. I have been wanting to read this book for years and I am so glad I eventuality got to it!
I mostly listened to this audiobook when I was driving so my notes are sketchy, not nearly as comprehensive as usual. That said, here are some useful takeaways:
On fate. "I am the master of my fate, the captain of my soul." I love that line because it puts responsibility on the individual - not your parents, the Government, siblings or friends. As much as a support unit is important, understanding that you can control where your life goes inspires me to work harder.
On desire. "Desire is the starting point of all achievement." Who can argue with that. What you visualise in your head, you can execute. No one thinks like you and only you can fulfill your vision or goal.
"You don't just need an ordinary desire to succeed and progress but a keen, pulsating, definite desire."
On visualisation. "Believe as though your desire is already a reality." This helps you to accomplish it. "Any subconscious thought which is repeatedly passed on to the mind is ultimately accepted by it... Faith is the only known antidote for failure."
On making sacrifices. "You and you alone must decide whether the effort required to achieve the reward you desire is worth it." Think about that one.
On worry. "Reach a blanket conclusion that nothing which life has to offer is worth the price of worry. With this decision comes poise and peace of mind." This suggestion was very important for me right now because I have been worrying far too much.
On troubles. "Don't expect troubles because they have a habit of not disappointing." I love that!
I liked Schwab's anti-greed principle. He believed that if you make a product cheap (steel in his case) more uses will be found for it leading to an ever-expanding market. That's profound.
A couple of verses I enjoyed:
Rating: 1/2 out of 5
You're wondering why I haven't read a book for over a month aren't you? Well in addition to going on holiday and being ultra busy, I landed myself a very boring book.
This is the last time I judge a book by its best seller ranking. It was at the very top of the table so I downloaded it without listening to an extract of the audiobook or reading reviews. A huge waste of my audible credits.
What's wrong with the book:
1. The author narrated his own book and he has the most awful monotonous voice.
2. The book is about dealing with anger and emotions and hence managing yourself and others better. I didn't realise this was a major problem. Are there really so many people failing to manage their emotions that they need a how-to manual for this basic function?
Overall, don't waste your time. I'll try to read a little more next month...
If I wasn't well educated before I picked up this book, I can now consider myself truly well-informed. I give the book a star (*) because I don't think such a tough subject matter could have been dealt with any better.
The book wasn't what I expected it to be but I'm not really sure what I was expecting. It started off with a topic I don't really care much about: cosmology but that was honestly the only subject I didn't like.
You can expect a little bit of everything just as the title suggests:
What I enjoyed the most was Bryson's research on the people behind scientific discoveries. For instance, Henry Cavendish's life as a recluse was truly intriguing; I was also surprised that Antoine Laurent Lavoisier and his wife were both scientists at a time when women were so severely subjugated - they tinkered away in their own kitchen. I also had no idea that Einstein was a clerk at some Government office earlier in his career or that radioactive material hasn't always been considered to be dangerous.
I felt like a little kid finding all this 'new' stuff out for the first time. Did you know that the brain is 2% of an average man's body mass but uses 20% of the average man's energy! Also, the brain completely refuses to use fat as an energy source - "it won't touch the stuff". It wants glucose only!
The book showed me how far we've come with science especially during the 20th century but importantly, how much farther we still have to go.
According to Bill Bryson, scientific discovery generally involves three stages:
1. Everyone denies something is true
2. Everyone denies something is important
3. A discovery is attributed to the wrong person
This book is perfect material for an audiobook, I don't think I would have finished it in any other format because it would have been far too much work!
One final thing, the narrator of the book was extremely engaging. So much so that when I wanted to download Bill Bryson's other history book in audio, At Home: A Short History of Private Life, I didn't like the sample of the narration so I stopped right there! It sounds awful but having a good narrator makes such a difference to my enjoyment of an audiobook.
3.5 / 5
I learnt something from this book but I think it would be much more helpful for someone very new to writing and book publishing.
I have a year and a half's worth of research on writing and self-publishing and I'm sure this book would have rated higher in my estimations if I'd caught it at the beginning of that journey.
If you want to get into writing and don't know where to start, get it for sure, I recommend it. Get the kindle book though, the paperback is overpriced!
This book was recommended by a good friend of mine. I liked it but I have to be the first to admit that I probably didn't fully understand the content. Either I've read it at the wrong point in my life or it's too deep for me.
The book is all about enjoying the here and now and focusing less on the past or the future.
Apparently, once you can fully surrender yourself to enjoying now, you become enlightened. Enlightenment is defined as the end of suffering in Buddhism. Tolle likes this definition because it doesn't go on to define what happens when all suffering ends.
By not going into life-post-suffering, people have nothing to fixate on. People like to create an image or a moving of how they want life their life or a future event; they then fantasise about it and obsess over it. This is not the way to enlightenment according Tolle. Enlightenment is not elsewhere, it's here, now and lies inside all of us. You need to tap into it.
I agree that thinking can be a disease when it's compulsive and involuntary. Tolle says the only difference between a mentally retarded person and you is that the mentally retarded person is constantly vocalising his thoughts and fantasies.
Tolle differentiates between one's life and one's life situation. He then goes on to say life is formless and timeless. The formlessness and timelessness of life is a concept that I am still struggling to grasp.
Whatever your present circumstance is, accept it as though you had chosen it and you will be happier. This doesn't mean you won't work your way out of an unpleasant situation but that you won't spend any time thinking about how hard done by you are. Or worse, complaining.
Tolle says some people live their lives through a "pain-body". Everyone has one but only some people live through it. The pain-body shows itself in the form of impatience, irritation, hurt, anger, grief, illness and other negative feelings. The sooner one is conscious that they are being excessively driven by these emotions, the sooner one can gain control. A negative inner state is more contagious than a disease.
Pain feeds on pain and the more negativity you allow into your life, the larger the pain-body grows. Pain can't feed on joy, it finds it indigestible.
"Ego"according to Tolle is the self-defined self. The ego (and everyone has one) is apparently very vulnerable and insecure; it sees itself as constantly under threat even if outwardly confident.
Overall, I took one real lesson from this book: now is all you have so enjoy it! Is there joy, ease and lightness in what you do, in how you live your life? If not: leave it, accept it or change it - anything else is madness. Complaining makes you a victim.
A final question for you: are you polluting the world or cleaning up the mess? Think about it.
This is not just a 5/5, I also had to give it a star. I've seen this book on the business bestsellers list for weeks and I randomly decided to give it a go. Boy do I not regret it! If you're planning on doing an MBA save your money: get this book and you'll learn most of what you need to start your business on the right foot.
What I liked the most about this book is that it affirms a standing belief of mine: don't leave enjoyment until retirement, earn now and enjoy it as you go. The New Rich, want money and time and in this world of technology you can absolutely have your cake and eat it too! The Old Rich had tonnes of dosh and very little to time to enjoy it, not spend it, enjoy it.
I already use some of the tools mentioned for automating a business, getting things done faster and delegating but I learnt SOOO much more e.g. I had never heard of fulfilment houses and this knowledge will come in very useful when I go into manufacturing.
The book is so good that I have just purchased the paperback after listening to the audiobook; I have to re-read it - I will pore over every page diligently to make sure I've got it all. Normally, I write out the best takeaways but on this occasion I cannot - every other line is gold dust.
There was a chapter on email management that I didn't find useful but that came very early on and it was relatively short.
There are plenty of tips on how to start a business whilst you're still in employment and how to convince your boss to allow you to work remotely.
On time management I have already implemented one suggestion: I am checking my email in batches and I can feel the efficiency benefits already. I was a prolific email checker because my previous job required it but carrying that into my life as an entrepreneur meant I wasn't getting as much done as is possible.
Want to increase your email efficiency too? This is what I have done:
As soon as I read the bit on virtual assistants, I got one and I am loving this new time saver. My assistant has helped me to effectively 'double' myself so I can focus on tasks that add more value to the business. She's much more efficient than I am at admin.
Some people don't get Tim Ferris, he is slightly arrogant which I personally found funny but it can turn others off. He chooses to spend all his time traveling and seeing the world and some people seem to take it as though he is telling them to do the same, he isn't saying that. His objective is to give you the tools needed to build a very profitable business and release your labour time at the same time so that you can pursue your own non-monetary interests e.g. charity work, spending time with your kids or indeed travel as he has chosen to do.
For the first time ever, I commented on a 1* comment on Amazon:
If you want to start a business or improve your business but have plenty of free time as well, read this book now!
3.75 / 5
A very interesting take on feminism. If you a) have a vagina and b) want to have control over it, then you are a feminist! This is Caitlin Moran's definition and I like it. It's a good definition because many women think being a feminist is radical.
Lots of people forget that not so long ago women could not vote, inherit assets or even work. You did not have the choice; it was all decided in advance for you. If you believe that we should have any of this stuff, you are a feminist.
Every woman is a feminist and the only question after that is just the degree to which one believes in women's rights and fights for them.
Men too can be feminists. I know because I married one! Frankly, I thought that a man had certain very basic expectations of a woman and that to be a good partner I had to fulfill these; being myself was not one of the primary ones. This is why I fervently never expected to get married. I thought that my partner's affections for me would rise with the number of household duties undertaken, the number of times I made his lunches and any other fawning that I could muster. One does not fawn very well.
A few interesting bits from Caitlin's take on life, I paraphrase or give my interpretation of what she says:
Overall: insightful and it is great to know her very balanced view on life and being a feminist. Ultimately, the book said to me: BE YOURSELF!
I highly recommend this book.
Because it's so different to my field of work and study, I felt so much better educated after reading it. Moreover, it's not just the information but the characters are spell-binding; I loved, Ann Trason, Emil Zátopek, Jenn Shelton, Barefoot Ted, Caballo Blanco and of course, the Tarahumara.
Because I loved the book so much, it has inspired these four blogs:
The women went hunting too!?!
You were designed to outrun deer
The "best" running shoes are the worst!
The hardest thing about banking that no one ever talks about
Interesting fact to know for when you get stuck somewhere thirsty and without water: urine is perfectly sterile, nutrient rich and apparently is great for whitening teeth, so give it a good swirl around your mouth before chugging it down!
I couldn’t have landed upon a better read.
This book is awesome. Described simply, it’s about understanding the psychology of other people and therefore learning to treat them better with the intention of getting the best out of them. The book is so good that I had to add it to the recommended reading list in my newly published book, To Become an Investment Banker.
The principles in this book can be applied to raising children, developing employees in one’s company, selling and any other interpersonal interactions. As usual, I will share some of the useful insights that were relayed. The book was also full of interesting examples and anecdotes but if you want these you will need to purchase it.
By Heather Katsonga-Woodward
Time allowing, I love to read. If I read anything interesting, I will blog about it here.