Book Notes: Give and Take by Adam Grant

Why Give and Take?

Book Notes and Review of Adam Grant's Give and TakeI first heard of Adam Grant while editing Lewis Howes’s podcast, the School of Greatness. I was really impressed with the idea that people who give are either the ones on top of the world or they end up on the bottom. To me, it was imperative to understand exactly what separates the ones on the top from the ones on the bottom…. but I took no action on it at first. The next time I heard of Adam Grant was on Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields (not released at the date of publishing.) This time, Jonathan went really deep with Adam and the breadth of his knowledge really intrigued me. I went out and got the book on audible right after listening to the show. These notes are not conclusive. While listening to this book, I was wrapped up in massive emotional turmoil due to a peak performance leadership conference I was attending in Los Angeles. I do think I’ll return to it, but for now, I’ll just share the notes I did get as well as how I responded to it all.

Reading Notes for Give and Take

Reciprocity styles: Givers, Matchers and Takers Givers dominate the top and the bottom of the success curve. Givers are more likely to be champs or chumps Expedition Behavior – putting the goals of the team ahead of those of the individual. Givers are less likely to be caught in sunk cost traps. Inman, the talent scout made a mistake in missing out on Michael Jordan in exchange for drafting someone a little less valuable. But he recovered from the mistake and was a leader in drafting players. Inman was a giver. Michael Jordan on the other hand shows sings of being a taker (pay players more as a player, pay owners more as an owner, leaves out thanks in his hall of fame speech in exchange for belittling those who didn’t believe in him.) As the owner of the Wizards, Jordan went all in on a player who turned out to average 7 points per game in his career. He oversaw the Wizards at a time when thy had the smallest winning percentage in NBA history. Because Jordan was a taker, he was more susceptible to sunk cost errors because of the nature that takers are unwilling to be wrong. When attempting to gain dominance of a situation, takers are more powerful due to asserting anger, large motions and getting louder…. But are they more effective leaders? Dominance is a zero sum game Prestige is not a zero sum game Prestige therefore has more lasting value. Powerless communication is worse at asserting leadership and confidence. Powerless communication is the most powerful sales strategy in the studies Advice seeking can be a powerful way to assert influence in a situation. Giver seek the most effective advice because they genuinely seek the learning from others. Advice seeking is a way to open yourself up to the possibilities of the universe. Benjamin Franklin was an expert at this. important note: it only works when it’s sincere and genuine.

My overall take away from Give and Take

I loved this book. My notes left out a pair of important parts of the book. The example of the editor of the Simpsons and the silicone valley connector that helps so many people. Though I can’t recall the names of these characters, I know that they where integral parts in creating many amazing things because they allowed themselves to give and receive without an immediate expectation for reciprocity. This is how I live my life now. I’m constantly on the lookout for how I can give to people. This just came to me though, what does separate the givers on the top from the givers on the bottom. Funny enough, after going through the whole book and I can’t recall this. I think I’ll have to give Give and Take another reading.

With Luck, You Found These Notes on Give and Take Useful

If you go to  this link and sing up with Audible you can get a free version of this book so you can read it just like I did and forget the most important part. Just kidding. If you’re more conventional and like to dog ear the book and mark it up, please feel free to pick it up on amazon here.

Book Notes: Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosake

Why Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Rich Dad Poor Dad Book Notes and ReviewThis is one of the books that I had seen on the shelves of a thousand walls. I’ve known about it since I was young but I never actually took the time to read anything about how to become rich until 2010.

After working my way around the world picking fruit, cattle station handing and being a tour guide in various places, I realized that I wanted to hack the whole money game. Though all my previous jobs were adventures and really enjoyable… I was getting tired of resetting over and over again from broke to flush. I knew rich people and I knew what was possible, but I also knew there was a big gap in my financial knowledge. So I picked up this book up in Hawaii in 2011.

The lessons in this one are super important for anyone out there seeking to make lots of money. Hell, I haven’t made lots of money yet, but I’m starting to get to the point where cash flow is coming in without me actively spending time on it. This is the meaning of wealthy. When your income derived from your assets out paces your expenses.

So the lessons learned in this book are indispensable and if you’re reading this, you’ve gotta do yourself a favor and listen/read this book. While you do, take notes and make actions to get your way there.

Reading Notes for Rich Dad, Poor Dad

This is my second reading of this book. The first one was years ago.

What’s blowing me away is the focus on emotional intelligence in the first chapter. I remember none of this from reading years ago. If you asked me last month what the book was about I would have remembered the mechanics of of the cash flow quadrant and other superficial aspects of the book. Now I see that I missed a core ingredient of financial success: identifying fear and desire and work with it rather than it it.

“Harness money’s power.”

“Learn to use your emotions to think, not think with your emotions.”

“The rich really do, make money. They do not work for it.”

If you want to build the Empire State Building you have to dig really deep an pour a giant foundation. If you want to build a home in the suburbs, you have to pour a 6 inch slab. Most people trying to build massive wealth do it on a 6 inch slab.

Rule #1 and only. If you want to get rich you must know the difference between assets and liabilities and buy assets.

Wealth is a persons ability to survive so many number of days forward or, if I stopped working today, how many days could I survive?

Wealth vs Net Worth | wealth is how many days you can retire on… Net worth is a wushu washy number if what your junk is worth.

The rich but assets. The poor expense. The middle class but liabilities that they think are assets.

A corporation is just a file in an attorney’s office. Nothing more. It’s a structure that allows you to manage your risk of government invasion.

4 Areas of Exertise:

1. Accounting: being specific with every penny

2. Investing: money makin money

3. Expertise of Market: understanding the markets around all of us

4. Law: knowing what corps can do that individuals can’t

Self doubt is the #1 aspect holding people back. Many people know the answer but take no action.

It’s not the smart that get ahead, it’s the bold.

The poor and middle class work for money, the rich make money.

If you can grasp the idea that money is not real you will grow richer faster.

Investment Strategy.

Technical skills tht make up financial education:

1. Financial Literacy: the ability to read numbers

2. Investment Strategies: the science of money makin money

3. The Market: Supply and Demand.

4. Law: knowledge of state and federal laws and regulations regarding accounting.

Lesson 6 work to learn don’t work for money.

My overall take away from Rich Dad, Poor Dad

This is a game changer. I’ve begun to see my finances in this light and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. These are lessons that where never taught to me neither in my home nor in my International Business course work. Yet it is essential.

Kiyosake is a big fan of real estate but I’m bearish on real estate. As freedom and movement are integral factors in my view of what wealth is, I’m trending more towards internet properties that allow for cash flow.

But hey, he even says in the book, “this is just what I used to get rich. Anyone can get rich in other fields as long as they understand the importance of Cash Flow in their finances (paraphrasing.)”

I Hope These Notes on Rich Dad, Poor Dad Were Useful to You

You can get a free copy of this book by singing up as a new member with Audible through this link.

You can purchase the book on amazon here.

Book Notes: On Writing by Stephen King

Why On Writing

Book Notes and a Review of On Writing by Stephen KingStephen King’s books are too scary for me. I was working with the guys over at Asymetrical Publishing and I found in their forum a discussion in which King spoke about what it takes to be a writer.

Hell, I don’t know if I want to be a writer. I don’t even know what that means. I write a lot, I guess that makes me a writer. The labels seem off balance to me. I appreciate craft and if to be a writer you have to hone the craft, I think they should take on another word for what it is that they do. Perhaps author is that word.

I digress. Anyways, I listened to this one while walking around the illuminated streets Fitzroy in the city of Melbourne, Australia. It was winter and while walking around listening to Stephen King narrate the book to me, I enjoyed the week of projections that the local artists had set up in all the stores windows. Each wall was bathed in light from a projection show that the artists had put together. It was a truly mesmerizing experience and I was constantly stopping to take the following notes. Here you go…

Reading Notes for
On Writing

“We are writers, we never ask each other where our ideas come from because we all know; we don’t know.”

No one asks about the language. This is the idea that hit this book.

“To write is human, to edit is divine.”

Massive poverty for these kids growing up in Durham in the mid 50s. = Another example of the abundance society we live in these days

“The idea that creative endeavor and mind altering substances are entwined is one of the great pop intellectual myths of our time. The four 20th century writers who’s work is responsible for it are probably Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Sherwood Anderson and the poet Dylan Thomas.

They are the writers who largely formed our vision of an existential, English speaking wasteland where people have been cut off from one another and live in an atmosphere if emotional strangulation and despair.

These feelings are very common to alcoholics. The common response to them is amusement.”

“…I’m going to tell you as much as I can about the job [writing].

As promised, it won’t take long.

It starts with this:

Put your desk in the corner and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room.

“Life isn’t a support system for art, it’s the other way around.”

You must not come lightly to the blank page.

The first rule of vocabulary is to use the first word that comes to your mind.

“Grammar is not just a pain in the ass; it’s the pole you grab to get your thoughts up on their feet and walking.”

Avoid the passive tense
The passive voice is safe
Unsure writers think the passive tense is majestic
One place or the passive tense:

A fellow dies in the kitchen but the body ends up somewhere else:

The body was carried from the kitchen and was placed on the parlor sofa.

= ok but was is used too often =

Freddy and Myra carried the body out of the kitchen an laid it on the parlor sofa

Why does the body have to be the subject of the sentence anyway? It’s dead for Christi sake! Forget about it!

Too much use of was sucks.

Powerful Stephen King…. I never really understood subject of a sentence until now…

Another one

My first kiss will always be recalled by me as how my romance with Shaina was begun.

Shit… Better=

My romance with Shaina began with our first kiss. Ill never forget it.

Not in love with this because it uses with twice in 4 words…

At least it’s rid of that awful passive voice

Also notice how much simpler it is to understand as its broken up into two thoughts

The reader must always be your main concern

The writer threw the rope; NOT; the rope was thrown by the writer

Adverb is not your friend. It’s used by the timid writer

Adverb = words that motify (often end in -ly)

The road to hell is paved with adverbs

Fear is at the root of most bad writing

Good writing is often about letting go of fear and affectation.

Good writing is about choosing the right tools to work with.

“You can’t be serious,” bill said unbelievably = shit writing because the adverb is inherently redundant.

Writing is refined thinking.

The more you write, the more your paragraphs take form on their own.

My overall take away from On Writing

Stephen King uses On Writing as an excuse to tell his life’s story and its a beautiful accomplishment to blend together; as they are such entwined existences.

King’s life is exciting in only a way that he can explain. His is immeasurably good writing because he can make a life story like his exciting. In truth, his life wasn’t too remarkable. He grew up in a lower middle class household, held crappy jobs until he sold his writing for a high price tag. He then got addicted to drugs and then kicked the habit. Finally, he was hit by a van on a long walk. To be perfectly honest, it’s a mediocre life story in terms of radical adventures and remarkable accomplishments. It’s in the way that he explains his life and passion that makes this book a 5 star, “you must read this book because it is all important if you want to write” type book.

I’m a better writer because of this book and I appreciate grammar for the first time in my life. A lifetime of ignoring English teachers and cheating on tests couldn’t get me to give a damn about what the subject of a sentence was; but King brought it to my attention and I retained it almost immediately when he discussed the importance of grammar.

So yeah, this is a must read. Even if you don’t want to be a writer, it’s a beautifully written autobiography with lessons that could just as easily be used if you want to be a painter or a banker.

On Writing is a Must Read and I Hope These Notes Were Valuable to You

If you want to listen to King read the book to you, you can get it for free through this link.

Amazon sells the book too. Surprise, surprise.


Jellaine Ross: The Mindset Behind Cherry Blooms

The first time I met Jellaine was when she showed up for a CouchSurf. She was working on a travel blog then called Backpacking in Stilettos. Her mindset was fascinating back then, and where it took her is the stuff of legends.

Despite debt, career and family problems she grew a million dollar business on her own. She didn’t have investors or a team to help her out. All she had was an unbreakable confidence that she would make it.

That’s exactly what she did.  I’m honored to introduce, Jellaine Ross.

“Law of attraction works. If you want something, put it out there and go and get it.” – Jellaine Ross (Tweet It)

Travel Topics:

  • The story of the birth of Cherry Blooms
  • Identifying ultimate dreams… and achieving them
  • The story of the first product and taking it to the flea market
  • How to leave the corporate job, and commit to the dream of creating financial freedom
  • Inspirational books and authors
  • Her six week trip to Europe that shaped her as a dreamer
  • How previous experience in PR cultivated a vast product knowledge
  • Advice for starting a new business, developing a new product and making the first million
  • The importance of studying and reading
  • Listening to audio books to grow business acumen on the road
  • Three things Jellaine recommends to keep in mind when building a business
  • On the struggle of building a business
  • On fearlessness
  • The future of Cherry Blooms

Lovely Links:

Cherry Blooms | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Music Credit:

Ilya Brotzky: Tech Startups, Brazil and Moving to New Countries

Following your heart is the path to freedom.

Doing so could take you to all sorts of places.

Perhaps even Brazil…

This guy is doing it.

Here is his story.

Welcome my next guest, Ilya Brotzky.

“F$#k the BMW, follow your heart.” – Ilya Brotzky (Tweet It)

Travel Topics:

  • Who is Ilya Brotzky?
  • Help in the Philippines (Fundraising Closed)
  • Volunteering in Brazil
  • Florianopolis
  • Rio de Janeiro
  • VALE
  • Mt Kilamanjaro
  • Who is Seth Cochan?
  • Mountains for Moms
  • His involvement with Tech Startups
  • Developing a global mind
  • Traveling to create world peace
  • Why he moved to Brazil… Twice!
  • About his blow up mattress in a favela
  • Advice for moving to a different country

“Everything was a little bit harder, everything was a little bit easier.” – Ilya Brotzky (Tweet It)

Lovely Links:

  • Connect with Ilya Brotzky:

WebSite | Twitter

Music Credit:

Take Action:

Did you enjoy the show? When are you moving to Brazil?

Jonny Blair: Unstoppable Travel Mindset for Going Wherever You Dream

He has been on the road for 10 years.

He’s gone everywhere and he writes about it.

He can find a job anywhere and his stories are unreal.

If you want to see the world this is the mindset to make it happen.

Say g’day to the travel connoisseur, Jonny Blair.

“Anyone can do any thing if you want it.” – Jonny Blair (Tweet It)

Travel Topics:

  • How Jonny got started on his 10 year journey
  • How much money he saved
  • How picking apples in Tasmania got Jonny to Antarctica
  • What separates long term travelers from the still
  • On the perils of international travel
  • On the road less traveled
  • The key to a successful travel blog
  • Personality traits of  successful travel bloggers
  • From travel jobs to entrepreneurship
  • How he developed an Unstoppable Travel Mindset
  • Getting to Antarctica
  • How to do the Inca Trail
  • How a Northern Irish man sees world peace and how travel impacts his perspective

Lovely Links:

  • Connect with Jonny:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Music Credit:

Take Action:

What are your thoughts? Do you have faith that you could go to any country on earth and find a job?

Maker’s Schedule – A Discussion On a Paul Graham Essay

I’d like to discuss this article: Maker’s Schedule.

Let’s use the comments below to open up a dialogue and see what comes up.

Are you a maker or a manager? Do you suffer from trying to play the different roles?

Do you produce your value from a manager schedule or a makers schedule?

What is a speculative meeting to you? Damaging or empowering?

Thanks to Ryan Holiday’s article for brining this to the forefront.

My Research on Bitcoin

You can find the original bicoin creation document written by Satoshi Nakamoto here.

I found it empowering to follow along with the audible version embedded below. Reading while hearing is a powerful way to internalize complex ideas:

This is a challenge to wrap ones head around, but what I’m gleaming is about the Bitcoin system is that the system’s security becomes more robust as it grows.  The complexity is built out by miners who are rewarded with Bitcoins. These miners are getting increasingly sophisticated. One entrepreneurial miner moved to Iceland to take advantage of an abundance of cold air.

So these entrepreneurs are running tremendous computers, specially designed to make hacking the Bitcoin system more challenging (using the Hashcash system.) With each use of a bitcoin, with each creation of a bitcoin, the currency becomes more robust.

But I’m skeptical because, while I understand this all very vaguely on an intellectual level, I wanted to know about who was behind it all… What do the faces of the guys who are running this show look like?

So first off I went into how to set up a bitcoin wallet and how to buy coins. I got to this article which makes it far easier.

But again, who is this CoinBase group? Is this some elaborate scheme? Sure their website is designed beautifully and seems legitimate… but this is the wild west of crypto currencies and I image the pirates could figure this one out.

Of course, I paused for a long time when considering to enter my bank account information in order to purchase these abstract coins… who were the guys behind the coins? Where they to be trusted?

Then I found an interview with the co-founder.

This made it seem much more real.

I’m kicking myself for not getting in earlier to be perfectly honest. A friend of mine who is passionate about RoboCoin suggested buying coins 3 months previous. The price was $120. Now it’s $630…. If I’d listened to him I would have seen about 430% growth.

So I’m in. Tweet me @IndependentIan if you think this was a good idea. Even better, tweet me if you bought some too.

Update April 19th 2014: I bought in at $630 but got out at $830. Afterwards it’s tanked considerably. I’m still holding off. The current cost is $495 so it’s back on the rise. Stay vigilant people! 🙂

Sean Ogle: The Location Rebel who Builds Businesses that Can Be Run From Anywhere on Earth

Dreaming of quitting the high paying 9-5 job?

Our next guest proposed a remote work agreement and received his resignation papers in exchange.

Now he runs his own business and lives where and how he desires.

He shares his lifestyle with the world.

Please welcome the Location Rebel, Sean Ogle.

“People are getting more creative with businesses they create. It’s sort of the best of all worlds.” – Sean Ogle  (Tweet It)

Travel Topics:

  • Sean’s transition from portfolio analyst to Location Rebel
  • Agreeing to move to Thailand to work with Dan Andrews
  • The story of building a profitable blog
  • The value of giving back with a location independent business
  • Why the a selfish investment in lifestyle can lead to greater impact
  • Sean Ogle’s favorite places in the world
  • Reminiscing over the magnificence of Bali, Indonesia
  • Bali vs. Thailand – Starting a business and designing a lifestyle
  • The evolution of Location Independent hotspots
  • How Sean is making playing the Top 100 Golf Courses in the USA into a business exercise
  • The abundance of entrepreneurial solutions to be capitalized on
  • All the other lovely stuff

Three steps to becoming a Location Rebel:

  1. Build relevant skills – Basic Copywriting, SEO Basics, WordPress
  2. Freelance that skill
  3. Apply the skills you master to your own project

“Instead of complaining about what’s wrong, always look for problems so that you can provide answers for people.” – Sean Ogle (Tweet It)

Lovely Links:

  • Connect with Sean:

Personal Site | Location Rebel | Twitter

Music Credits:

Take Action:

Do you love toasters? If so, we’re sorry about all the negative toaster talk. But hey, you’ve got amazing potential as an affiliate blogger so maybe this is a turning point in your entrepreneurial career.

Thank you for listening. Comment below and tell us something you’re going to put to action from listening to Sean.

Steve Oddo: Walks of Italy Founder on Building Profitable Travel Companies Around Passions

Moving to Italy on a passionate whim.

Finding a business to fall in love with.

Making a lifestyle out of it.

Here is how to live the long term travel lifestyle.

With, Steve Oddo.

“Different people I met on my travels were open-minded, outside of the box thinkers that were doing great things to make money.” – Steve Oddo (Tweet It)

Travel Topics:

  • Growing up in a family of international travel
  • What it’s like exposing the Sicilian mafia in a documentary
  • The mechanics behind big business taking out small bloggers
  • Investing in yourself to become a travel entrepreneur
  • Being a Rome history fan and visiting Tunisia
  • A surfing tangent involving California
  • His side of the Turner Barr vs. Adecco story
  • Putting it on the line for massive payout

Lovely Links:

 LinkedIn | Twitter | Google +

Take Action:

Another episode with a traveler who turned to travel entrepreneurship. If you remembered the last episode of this kind with Stephen Brooks, you remember that lots of people build their lives around the tourism industry in the places they wanted to be the most.

Have you ever thought about making this happen? Is moving to another country and setting up a passion project something you dream of?