Much has been written about Nassim Taleb’s famous passage in The Black Swan about the antilibrary. (Farnam Street and Maria Popova) From The Black Swan (p1, 2008 Random House International Edition) “The writer Umberto Eco belongs to that small class of scholars who are encyclopedic, insightful, and nondull. He is the owner of a large personal library (containing thirty thousand books), and separates visitors into two categories: those who react with “Wow! Signore professore dottore Eco, what a library you have! How many of these books have you read?” and the others — a very small minority — who get the point that a private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means, mortgage rates, and the currently tight real-estate market allows you …[Read More]
You guys have got to check out these books. Following his formula for crushing it and building my personal brand, this blog is going to be about road-testing self-improvement and life hacks. Stuff like minimalism, getting up early, getting a six pack, learning new things, marketing and making more money. At the moment, I’m trying to do 30 days of daily exercise. It’s currently day 4 and it’s 4 x 25 push-ups. Join me in this challenge and let me know how you’re going!
Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday is the third book in my Book a Week Challenge. I must admit that I didn’t find this an easy read. Street Smarts was a page turner. Ego is the Enemy less so. That’s not to say that it’s not got an important message. It does. And it’s a message that you can apply to your own life. Key Takeaways Don’t let your Ego get in the way of proper progress I’ve been playing golf for since I was 13. That’s more than 20 years ago. I’m still a pretty poor player knocking around a 24 handicap. You’d think that in 20 years I might have improved. Even one shot better a year would have meant I’d be a single figure golfer by now. So why haven’t I improved. Holiday would say that my Ego has prevented me from improving. I think …[Read More]
Jim Rogers is an investing legend. His Quantum Fund was up 4,200% when he retired at the age of 37. Since then, he’s taught at Columbia and travelled around the world twice setting Guinness World Records in the process! Street Smarts is a book that opens your mind. It’s an exhilarating read. The opening chapters are a memoir, which takes you from his beginnings in Alabama to Yale to Oxford to the US Army to Wall Street and to Quantum. He’s definitely a man to listen to (unlike the likes of Greenspan, Geithner, Paulson at al. who Rogers excoriates). Key takeaways from Street Smarts Think really long term Rogers thinks about not just the last bear market (2008) but about the dot.com crisis, the Asia crisis, the savings and loans crisis, OPEC, The Second World War, The Great Depression, the 1907 crash and so on. Don’t think about this news cycle; …[Read More]
I picked up Shoe Dog on a recent trip through Hong Kong airport. I’d first heard about it on Bill Gates’ excellent blog. I read this in less than a week. It’s that good a page turner. It’s the story of how Phil Knight went from selling shoes in Oregon to building a $30bn empire. What stands out about this book is its raw honesty. Knight never puts a nice spin on things. In many ways, he’s a very difficult man. He doesn’t omit this. He’s uncommunicative to colleagues and can be a complete asshole. But he’s a man you respect and by the end of the book, I really liked him. It reads more like a novel than a business book. One of the best memoirs I’ve ever read. Key takeaways from Shoe Dog Pursue something related to what you love Knight wanted to be a professional athlete. He …[Read More]