2018 Refresh

We are two weeks into 2018 and I am redefining my goals for the new year. There are some that are related to my hobbies, some to my career, learning, etc. I want to split them out a bit here and write briefly about each for the why behind them.

Yoga & Meditation – I have been practicing yoga daily for the last three years, 2018 will be my fourth year of a daily practice. This year I am adding in a daily meditation practice. I did the same in 2016 after listening to Tim Ferriss talk about it all the time. It isn’t that it didn’t help quiet, but I kept a solid mediation practice until July of 2016 when my best friend was killed in a car accident. That was a major redefining moment in my life and it set me back in my meditation. Whenever I would try to quiet my mind I would think of him. While the scars are still there, I am committing again to a daily meditation practice, I have already found myself gaining some clarity and focus. I also want to touch on yoga for a second. I have had several goals and setbacks over the years, and I have found that my practice ebbs and flows like a wave. There are days where everything is easy and others when it feels like you are just fighting your body. I don’t think this will ever go away, but this year I am focusing on a few goals:

  • Pressing from crow to handstand. This is something I have ‘wanted’ to do for years, last year I committed to it in the first half of the year and had a setback when I had a hernia. This year I am renewing the goal and plan to stay healthy. One of the keys here for this one and the next is that I keep making excuses for why I can’t do it. I keep catching myself making excuses for myself which are really just justifications for inadequacy.
  • Pressing into handstand from forward fold. This is the big one. ‘the quest for the press’ that I will not achieve without the crow to handstand. It is also one of those iconic progressions that I really want to accomplish. I will be the first to admit that having ‘yoga goals’ is pretty much a contradiction since you are supposed to be content with where you are at today. For me though, I need something to strive for. This one will require me to lose a bit of weight, or at least change some of my body composition to press into the handstand. I am pretty close in jumping into a pike then pressing into a handstand, but the full press from the ground is still not happening – THIS YEAR.

Starting a Business – This is something that I have been over thinking since starting this blog. I have gotten into an analysis paralysis where I want to continue learning more and more, but what I am realizing is that I have all of the tools (and then some) that I will need to start a business. Anything I don’t already know I will learn on the job. I know several people who have started businesses that don’t have half the experience I do. That is not to sound arrogant, but it is something that I need to get over. It starts with action, then builds up to either pivoting or persevering: get over it, stop making excuses, and start building something. What do you have to lose?

Creating a Second Source of Income – This is something I really need to do this year. I currently have a full-time job that pays well, but a second source of income will be a great way for me to gain traction on starting a business. I have a few ideas that are VERY niche I amp pretty excited about. I spent a few hours last week sketching out a business plan and path to more financial independence.

Filling 2 deer tags (and the freezer)- I once told a friend at yoga that I hunt and her response was ‘Yogis don’t hunt’. Granted, about half the yogis I know are vegetarian, they find it crazy that I do yoga and hunt. The simple answer is that I see it as the most sustainable form of meat I can get. I also like to point out the logical dissonance about them not having as big of a problem with people who buy their meats wrapped in cellophane in the meat section of the grocery store. I do not like killing, but there is a certain level of pride in being able to provide meat on the table that I was able to harvest and butcher myself. I might write up a unified philosophy of hunting and trying to be a conscious omnivore in the future, but for this one I just want to fill both my deer tags. I am not a trophy hunter (and have never understood the draw), just looking to fill the freezer.

Continuing to Read – the last 6 months of 2017 my reading slowed significantly. I am currently reading two Eric Ries books in parallel and have a list of books that are pretty specific to my goals for this year: actionable, skill specific, and inspiring. The key is actionable, I need to have a clear action plan every week to move my business forward. My reading goal for this year is at least one book per month.

Write More –  I used to be really good about getting in here and writing up summaries. I will continue to do this, but I might get a bit more organized about specific case studies and things I am working through. It will likely become more of a journal than learning depository.

Travel – Right now I have the goal to travel once per year (to a different country each year), this year will be a bit strange since we have two destination weddings in Mexico – which is exciting, but put a significant dent in our travel budget. We also want to go to Greece this year and there is a chance I might go to Nigeria to help with a location led business the company I work for helped start.

There are a few other odds and ends of my goals that I didn’t bring up here since they are a bit more private, but I think these are the big ones I have for this year. I think it could be a huge year personally for growth and change!

RG

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Book List and SDMBA Update

Just wanted to re-loop back to the book list as it has changed a little bit as I progressed through the program. There was a 2-3 month period where my activity on this list fell pretty flat as I went through a bunch of stuff in my personal life.  I am a bit ahead in the books read than I am in the Read and Summarized category. After I finish The Effective Executive I will get after the book summaries I have missed before starting on the next book.

Key: Read but need to finish summary; Read and Book Summary Complete

Session 1- Soft Skills – March through June

  1. The Art of Learning – Josh Waitzkin. I started this book 3/22/2016 after hearing about it on the Tim Ferriss show podcast-finished 3/31/2016
  2. Getting things done – David Allen -Started 3/31/2016. Finished 4/20/2016
  3. Getting Results the Agile Way – JD Meier – Started 4/22/2016, Finished 5/2/2016
  4. Curmudgeons Guide to Getting Ahead- Charles Murray -Started 5/3/2016, Finished 5/9/2016
  5. Never Eat Alone: and Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a time – Keith Ferrazzi- Started 5/10/2016; Finished 5/24
  6. How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie. Started 5/25; Finished 6/1
  7. The 4 Disciplines of Execution- Sean Covey et al. – This book is part of my company’s “offsite learning” but it ties into this section really well. Started 6/3- Finished 6/13
  8. Hope Is Not A Strategy- Offsite book #2 is based on the complex sales function. it is something I want to grow in and fits into this curriculum so I added it to this list- started 6/14- Finished 6/20
  9. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert Cialdini Start 6/21- Finished 8/25
  10. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing Finished 9/5
  11. The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking – Dale Carnegie Postponed indefinitely due to priority

Session 2- Mindset – July through September December

  1. The 4 Hour Workweek- Tim Ferriss – Started 8/29, finished 10/11
  2. Five Dysfunctions of a team – Patrick Lencioni – Finished 10/30
  3. Choose Yourself – James Altucher- Finished 11/15
  4. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill – Finished 12/8
  5. Seven Habits of Highly Successful People – Stephen Covey – Finished 1/5
  6. Start With Why-Simon Sinek Postponed indefinitely

Session 3- Business Classics – October through December through March

  1. Good To Great – Jim Collins -Will only be skimming and summarizing -Start 1/7
  2. The Effective Executive – Peter Drucker Started 12/9, Finished 12/14
  3. Getting to Yes- Roger Fisher, William Ury (finished 1/31) 
  4. Getting past No – William Ury (Finished 2/6 no summary)
  5. Essays of Warren Buffet- Warren Buffet, Lawrence Cunningham. 3rd edition – Postponed
  6. Security Analysis – Benjamin Graham Skipping due to length and value to this SDMBA program. Instead I will read book summaries and pull together a graphic/summary of major insights
  7. Competitive Strategy – Michael Porter-Skipping due to length and value to this SDMBA program. Instead I will read book summaries and pull together a graphic/summary of major insights

Session 4- Thinking Like a Startup- January- March – June

  1. Hackers and Painters – Paul Graham: finished 3/6
  2. Zero to One – Peter Thiel: finished 3/11
  3. Steve Jobs – Walter Isaacson – finished 4/1
  4. Elon Musk – Ashlee Vance
  5. The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
  6. The Art of the Start 2.0 – Guy Kawasaki (added 12/13)

There it is… 1623 24 25 26 27 24 26 books. This list mostly came from the Thumotic post on the alternative MBA with a couple of books I added. http://www.thumotic.com/the-alternative-mba/  . I modified it a bit out of the ‘business classics’ section for a couple of reasons: I have read “the intelligent investor” which is the more basic version of Security Analysis. I intend to read a couple of Harvard Business Review articles and other summaries on Porter’s theories on competitive strategy. I also added the Essays of Warren Buffet as a supplemental learning – basically the letters to shareholders from over the years. These are highly regarded as having troves of information that should be required reading in any MBA.

I also added two books to to the “think like a startup” section: Elon Musk, who is one of my personal heroes due to his mindset of thinking big. You have to think really big when you decide you are going to start businesses in space exploration, Solar energy, and electric vehicles.  The Other book is “the art of the start 2.0” which is basically a guidebook for starting a business. As part of my ‘capstone’ project I will pick one of my best ideas from the 10 idea lists I have been doing and run through the entire business plan using The Art of The Start. I will possibly even act upon it if it shows promise as a side job.

The Thumotic SDMBA had an ‘act’ section after all of the reading and this is where I plan to integrate it.

RG

Recommended Books

List of books/series’ that I have read leaving a big impact on my life. I will continue to add more, but here is a quick start.

Non-Fiction/Self Help

  • Conscious Capitalism
  • Think and Grow Rich
  • The 4 Hour Work Week
  • Choose Yourself
  • The Rebel Rules
  • The Only Way to Win
  • Fooling Some of the People All of the Time

Fiction

  • Berserk- Kentaro Miura. This is a Japanese Manga series which I would recommend to anyone. A lot of people will disregard Manga/Comic books’ ability to have rich stories. I would argue Berserk is one of the greatest pieces of fiction I have ever read. You must read through the end of book 13 to give it a fair go. The Golden Age Arc is the one that the Anime/movies were made about and the story/character development is fantastic. I plan to read this series many more times. Beware- it is brutal, a friend of mine compared it to Game of Thrones.
  • Watchmen- Alan Moore
  • The Hobbit- I read all of the LOTR books as well, but The Hobbit was the first that introduced me to the Middle Earth world and the story is great
  • Atlas Shrugged/The Fountainhead
  • The Count of Monte Cristo

Reading List

OK – I know this is my third post and all three of them have a list of books. I just want to get the whole list out there. The timeline is very roughed out, but on average about 2 weeks per book

Session 1- Soft Skills – March through June

  1. The Art of Learning – Josh Waitzkin. I started this book 3/22/2016 after hearing about it on the Tim Ferriss show podcast-finished 3/31/2016
  2. Getting things done – David Allen -Started 3/31/2016. Finished 4/20/2016
  3. Getting Results the Agile Way – JD Meier – Started 4/22/2016, Finished 5/2/2016
  4. Curmudgeons Guide to Getting Ahead- Charles Murray -Started 5/3/2016, Finished 5/9/2016
  5. Never Eat Alone: and Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a time – Keith Ferrazzi- Started 5/10/2016; Finished 5/24
  6. How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie. Started 5/25; Finished 6/1
  7. The 4 Disciplines of Execution- Sean Covey et al. – This book is part of my company’s “offsite learning” but it ties into this section really well. Started 6/3- Finished 6/13
  8. Hope Is Not A Strategy- Offsite book #2 is based on the complex sales function. it is something I want to grow in and fits into this curriculum so I added it to this list- started 6/14- Finished 6/20
  9. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert Cialdini Start 6/21- Finished 8/25
  10. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing Finished 9/5
  11. The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking – Dale Carnegie Start 6/27

Session 2- Mindset – July through September

  1. The 4 Hour Workweek- Tim Ferriss – this one will actually blend into part of the curriculum. Each chapter ends with an exercise – I will be doing all of these exercises. Started 8/29
  2. Choose Yourself – James Altucher
  3. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
  4. Seven Habits of Highly Successful People – Stephen Covey
  5. Five Dysfunctions of a team – Patrick Lencioni
  6. Start With Why-Simon Sinek

Session 3- Business Classics – October through December

  1. Good To Great – Jim Collins – I read this several years back, but it will be a worthwhile revisit
  2. The Effective Executive – Peter Drucker
  3. Security Analysis – Benjamin Graham
  4. Competitive Strategy – Michael Porter
  5. Essays of Warren Buffet- Warren Buffet, Lawrence Cunningham. 3 editions, all 3?

Session 4- Thinking Like a Startup- January- March

  1. Hackers and Painters – Paul Graham
  2. Zero to One – Peter Thiel
  3. Steve Jobs – Walter Isaacson
  4. The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
  5. Elon Musk – Ashlee Vance

There it is… 1623 24 25 26 27 books. This list mostly came from the Thumotic post on the alternative MBA with a couple of books I added. http://www.thumotic.com/the-alternative-mba/