The 12 Week Year PDF Summary

The 12 Week Year PDFMore Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 months

Want to hear a strange thing?

There’s absolutely no reason why you should adhere to an annual plan!

Just like there’s no reason you should have an 8-hour workday: something not only Tim Ferris, but also the Bushmen known full well!

All of these things are merely social conventions.

Brian Moran and Michael Lennington propose a new one: “The 12 Week Year.”

Who Should Read “The 12 Week Year”? And Why?

If you have the talent but lack the commitment, then “The 12 Week Year” will help you discipline yourself in a way which should maximize your potential.

Consequently, it should prove a great book for anyone who feels capable of doing more work in less time – but can’t find a way to.

Business leaders should profit from the advice in this book as well.

Michael Lennington

About Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington

Brian P. Moran is a recognized expert in the fields of leadership and plan execution and has over three decades expertise as a CEO, entrepreneur, corporate executive, consultant and life coach.

Brian P. Moran

He has held important roles in companies such as PepsiCo, UPS, and Northern Automotive and has consulted many successful corporations, such as Coldwell Banker, Tiffany & Co, Medtronic, Mass Mutual, and New York Life.

Michael Lennington is a consultant, coach, and leadership trainer, as well as Vice President of the Execution Company.

He has a BS from Michigan State University and an MBA from the Ross School Business at the said university.

The two authors have written few books together, all related to productivity and the 12 Week Year concept.

“The 12 Week Year PDF Summary”

Here’s an interesting comparative statistic:

Two in three Americans are either overweight or obese, even though there are almost 50,000 diet books available, and the diet and fitness industry weighs about $60 billion dollars a year!

The reason for the discrepancy is quite simple:

Knowledge is not power if not acted upon.

In other words, it makes no difference that so many people know what to eat and how much to exercise – when so few of them actually do something about it.

The gist of the problem?

According to Moran and Lennington – the fact that most of us think annually, setting ourselves New Year’s resolutions not for the next few weeks, but for the next 52 weeks!

Nobody can plan that far ahead.

In other words, annualized thinking is a trap:

We mistakenly believe that there is a lot of time left in the year, and we act accordingly. We lack a sense of urgency, not realizing that every week is important, every day is important, every moment is important. Ultimately, effective execution happens daily and weekly!

Athletes have known this for quite some time, which is why they have embraced techniques such as periodization and chunking-up to help themselves reach their final goals.

There’s no point in thinking about winning the NBA championship the third game of the season!

Well, unsurprisingly, the same works in the business world as well!

It starts with a timeless vision which should inspire action, which in turn brings the progress and the results.

However, to make the connection between the vision and the results, you need to reframe your dream into something more achievable and more specific.

After all, “a vision without a plan is a pipe dream.”

Change this step by step:

Start by listing what you want to be in ten years’ time and, then what you should achieve during the next three years of your life so that you are sure that, by the end of the 1,000 or so days, you have been working tirelessly toward your goal.

Only then it will be time to break that strategy further into a set of 12-week plans.

How to create your first?

Well, start by breaking down your ultimate ten-year goal into a three-month one!

Want to earn a million dollars by the end of the decade?

Then you’ll need to earn $100,000 dollars during the next year, or a third of that in the following three months.

Sounds much more realistic now, doesn’t it?

Next, think about what you should do to achieve this broken-down goal during the next 12 weeks of your life?

In our case, it basically means to give an answer to the question: what actions you should do to earn about $30,000 in 12 weeks?

Surely, cold-calling ten prospects per week, building a stronger business network, and creating a sales tracker are good ways to do this.

Even more – they are tenable and, even if not perfect, they will help you get the wheels rolling.

And that’s the whole point of knowledge!

After all, never forget what George Patton once said:

A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.

However, having a good plan is pointless if you don’t execute it properly.

And in order to do so on a more consistent basis, you must set up some controls that will keep you on track when you’ll inevitably lose your focus.

A weekly accountability meeting is a good way to do that!

Discussing your progress with one or two committed individuals will basically force you to focus on your project even when you don’t want to.

That’s why all great athletes have professional trainers: someone has to nudge you in the right direction when you’re not feeling like it and you want to find an excuse not to do it.

Speaking of which –

It’s also a good idea to find a way to measure your progress.

Because numbers don’t lie and they won’t let you hide behind futile explanations.

In other words, if the numbers say you’re going in the wrong direction, you have one of two choices:

Quit or double the effort.

And this is one of those cases when it is good to not have an alternative.

Key Lessons from “The 12 Week Year”

1.      It’s Not About Knowing – It’s About Doing
2.      Stay Focused by Breaking Down Goals and Plans into Shorter Timeframes
3.      The 4 Keys to Successful Commitment

It’s Not About Knowing – It’s About Doing

Knowledge is power, right?

Guess again!

Power is actually the thing you gain when you act upon your knowledge!

We all know that we need to exercise to stay healthy.

Guess who are the ones who are actually in good physical shape?

Stay Focused by Breaking Down Goals and Plans into Shorter Timeframes

The main problem you are facing in terms of not achieving your goals is the annualized thinking.

A year is just too long for an annual plan to work at all.

In other words, when you have 360 days ahead of you, it costs you nothing to lose a week or so procrastinating.

When all you have is 12 weeks, a week is just too much!

So, do that: break down your ten-year goal into a more specific three-year objective. And split that up even further into a set of manageable 12-week chunks!

Now, you can commit and focus to a plan which is neither short-sighted nor leaves you too much room for excuses and apologies.

The 4 Keys to Successful Commitment

Successful commitment begins with strong desire.

Without it, you will give up the minute the going gets tough.

Only if you truly want to achieve something, you’ll be able to put your plan into practice.

Once you have an intense desire to accomplish something,” write Moran and Lennington, “you then need to identify the core actions that will produce the result you’re after.

This is the step that ultimately makes the difference. Most people choose to be spectators in spite of their strong desire.

Be a participant.

However, count the costs beforehand.

Because, whether it is time, money, or – above all – comfort, you’ll definitely need to sacrifice something to achieve your goal.

Do that consciously, because, otherwise, when you face them, you may hesitate and back down.

Which brings us to the fourth key: act on commitments, not feelings.

Because it’s inevitable that sometimes you just won’t feel like doing anything.

But do you think that Michael Phelps chooses when to train and when not to?

Learning to do the things you need to do, regardless of how you feel, is a core discipline for success.

Like this summary? We’d like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“The 12 Week Year Quotes”

The number-one thing that you will have to sacrifice to be great, to achieve what you are capable of, and to execute your plans, is your comfort. Click To Tweet

It’s not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about? (Via Henry David Thoreau) Click To Tweet

If we did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves. (Via Thomas Edison) Click To Tweet

The secret to living your life to its potential is to value the important stuff above your own comfort. Click To Tweet

Stop thinking in terms of a year; instead focus on shorter time frames. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Other than the insistence on applicability, we don’t really have the feeling that “The 12 Week Year” will add something to what you already know about planning – especially if you’re reading us regularly.

But, in that case, it’s much better that you buy “The 12 Week Year Field Guide”” which purports to be a “full-color, hands-on template for implementing advice” from this book.

We haven’t cast a look at that one yet – but we certainly intend to.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

The Slight Edge PDF Summary

The Slight Edge PDFTurning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success

The only person you are destined to become” – supposedly said Ralph Waldo Emerson once – “is the person you decide to be.

Jeff Olson’s “The Slight Edge” should help you transform your decision into reality.

Who Should Read “The Slight Edge”? And Why?

According to its blurb, “’The Slight Edge’ is ‘the key’ that will make all the other personal development books and tools that you consume actually work.”

In other words, it’s a practical application of all the self-help manuals you’ve read so far.

So – if you like to see how they may work in practice, please, be Olson’s guest!

Jeff OlsonAbout Jeff Olson

Jeff Olson is the founder and CEO of Nerium International, a leader in the direct sales industry, and “a perpetual student in personal development.”

His successes as an entrepreneur and CEO inspired him to become a life coach, founding “The People’s Network,” one of the largest personal development training companies in the United States.

Through it, he has produced over 900 television programs and has earned himself the reputation of an inspirational speaker and motivator.

“Slight Edge” is his only book so far.

He is also the owner of Live Happy.

“The Slight Edge PDF Summary”

Remember the story of the Tortoise and the Hare?

Of course you do!

In case you’re one of the very few people on this planet who doesn’t know it, you should: it’s the ultimate underdog story.

In a nutshell, a slow tortoise wins a race against the mightily fast and overconfident hare, simply because it perseveres in crawling – slowly but surely to the finish line – as opposed to the hare who decides to take a nap in the middle of the race since he’s miles and miles ahead.

Well, that’s the essence of Jeff Olson’s “Slight Edge”!

It’s a simple philosophy based on the premise that over time, small daily actions result in an earth-shattering compound effect:

What you do today matters.

What you do every day matters.

Successful people are those who understand that the little choices they make matter, and because of that they choose to do things that seem to make no difference at all in the act of doing them, and they do them over and over and over until the compound effect kicks in.


Of course it is – it’s one of the simplest things you’ll ever learn.

And Jeff Olson isn’t someone who’ll try and hide this!

In fact, “The Slight Edge” is rife with many references and quotes from many life-transforming books, the bulk of which are listed in an addendum.

That’s, in fact, Olson’s point: it’s not about learning more, it’s about doing more.

In fact, as far as he’s considered, you already know everything you need to know.

And it’s about time that you started doing the things that, in the long run, will result in turning your dreams into reality.

It’s wisdom as old as the agrarian civilization:

Plant, cultivate, harvest. And that second comma, the one between cultivate and harvest, often represents a loooong period of time.

So how should you cultivate the slight edge habits?

In the all-important 15th chapter of “The Slight Edge,” Olson suggests “seven positive, productive habits of attitude and behavior, steel cables that will unflinchingly bear you up under any circumstance and support you on the path to your dreams.”

Let’s have a look at them all:

Habit #1: Show Up

Be the frog who not only decides to jump off the lily pad,” writes Olson, “but actually jumps.

Believe it or not, showing up means winning half the battle – because basically one out of two people don’t.

“The world is rife with hesitation,” comments Olson, and, unfortunately, hesitation is “the cornerstone of mediocrity.”

You don’t want to live a life of not trying.

As “Nike” says – just do it.

You’ll have plenty of time to think about it later.

Habit #2: Be Consistent

80% of success may be showing up – as Woody Allen famously quipped once – but only if it means showing up consistently.

If you will commit to showing up consistently,” notes Olson, “every day, no matter what, then you have already won well more than half the battle. The rest is up to skill, knowledge, drive, and execution.

Habit #3: Have a Positive Outlook

If you had a nickel every time some self-help author told you this – well, you’ll have a lot of nickels!

But, have you ever wondered why so many people have written volumes and volumes about the power of positive thinking?

There’s a simple reason: it works!

So, from now on, the glass isn’t just half full – it’s overflowing!

And when say “from now on,” we mean starting today!

Habit #4: Be Committed for the Long Haul

From Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” to Matthew Syed’s “Bounce,” they all say the same: if you put in about 10,000 hours of practice, no endeavor is impossible.

That’s about eight hours a day, forty hours a week, fifty weeks a year, for five years.

Are you willing to sacrifice as much to excel in something?

Habit #5: Cultivate a Burning Desire Backed by Faith

The power of “desire backed by faith” is what Napoleon Hill to be the driving force behind all successful people.

I believe in the power of desire backed by faith,” he wrote in his unforgettable classic, “Think and Grow Rich,” because I have seen this power lift men from lowly beginnings to places of power and wealth; I have seen it rob the grave of its victims; I have seen it serve as the medium by which men staged a comeback after having been defeated in a hundred different ways.

Habit #6: Be Willing to Pay the Price

If you want to put 10,000 hours into something you will have to put a lot less into something else. That’s just how it goes.

But it’s not that bad: it ultimately more than pays off.

It’s just something you need to be aware of.

That way – and that way only – you’ll be able to live in the present.

Habit #7: Practice Slight Edge Integrity

Edgar Guest, America’s beloved English-born People’s Poet, once wrote a great little poem called “My Creed.”

Among its lines, there’s a famous distich you should take really seriously: “to be the same when I’m alone/ As when my every deed is known.”

That’s called integrity.

Don’t skip these 10 pages because nobody is looking.

Read them – for the very same reason!

Key Lessons from “The Slight Edge”

1.      The Simple Philosophy of the Slight Edge
2.      The Seven Slight Edge Habits
3.      The Three Simple Steps to Your Dreams

The Simple Philosophy of the Slight Edge

If you save a penny today and double the amount you save each passing day, by the end of the month, you will have earned $10 million dollars!

If you improve in any area of your choice just 1% on a daily basis, by the end of the given year, you will be 365% better!

That’s the essence of the slight edge philosophy: steady wins the race.

Or, in other words, by making the same small step day by day – in time, you’ll have walked a thousand miles.

Laozi said that.

And he was a smart guy.

The Seven Slight Edge Habits

Your actions turn into habits, which develop your character, which, in turn, shapes your destiny.

So, start acting today – and act that way every day!

There are seven simple tweaks you should do, and, in five years’ time, you’ll be exactly where you want to be:

Show up.
Show up consistently.
Show up consistently with a positive outlook.
Be prepared for and committed to the long haul.
Cultivate a burning desire backed by faith.
Be willing to pay the price.
And do the things you’ve committed to doing—even when no one else is watching.

The Three Simple Steps to Your Dreams

Achieving a goal is nothing difficult.

It’s based on three simple steps.

First, you need to write it down and give the goal both a what and a when (i.e., a clear, detailed description, and a specific timeline).

Then, don’t forget about it. Look at it every day, and “soak your subconscious in it.”

Finally, start with a plan. May it be as simple as possible in the beginning. Remember – the point, for now, is to start acting.

Like this summary? We’d like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“The Slight Edge Quotes”

Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Click To Tweet

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. (Via Ralph Waldo Emerson) Click To Tweet

Successful people do whatever it takes to get the job done, whether or not they feel like it. Click To Tweet

The journey starts with a single step—not with thinking about taking a step. Click To Tweet

People on the success curve live a life of responsibility. They take full responsibility for who they are, where they are, and everything that happens to them. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The Slight Edge” doesn’t offer anything new to the table, but it organizes the old wisdom in such a way that reading this book may serve as a substitute for reading hundreds and hundreds of similar books.

In fact, that’s the very essence of Olson’s argument.

Which means: buy this book, read it, and once you finish it, start doing the things it says.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

A More Beautiful Question PDF Summary

A More Beautiful Question PDFThe Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas

Why do teachers award children points for giving them the right answer, and not for posing a good question?

What if the point of it all is to ask a more beautiful question?

How should you do that?

Well, let’s just ask Warren Berger.

Who Should Read “A More Beautiful Question”? And Why?

Contrary to what we’ve been taught at school, the learning process is less about memorizing answers and much more about asking questions.

Warren Berger’s book is interested in finding the best ones.

Consequently, it should be an essential read for anyone who wants to become an innovative thinker, since, after all, innovation stems from asking the right questions.

And since innovation is what drives all aspects of society, dear company leaders and entrepreneurs, even dearer scientists and artists – to quote Seth Godin – “what’s keeping you from reading this book right now?”

On a side note: dearest teachers, take copious notes!

Warren BergerAbout Warren Berger

Warren Berger is an American journalist and a bestselling author, who mainly writes about topics such as creativity and innovation.

Berger has written for a wide variety of publications, among others, the “Harvard Business Review” and “Fast Company.” He was also a longtime contributor at both “The New York Times” and the “Wired” magazine.

He has authored and co-authored 11 books, one of which was the critically acclaimed “Glimmer” which “Business Week” named one of the “Best Innovation & Design Books of 2009.”

A More Beautiful Question” was published in 2014, and recently it was announced that, by the end of the year, it should be joined by a companion piece, “The Book of Beautiful Questions.

Find out more at

“A More Beautiful Question PDF Summary”

Computers are useless,” said Picasso about half a century ago. “They only give you answers.

The point is – says Warren Berger, borrowing a line from the American poet E. E. Cummings – to find “a more beautiful question.”

That’s what people such as Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs did throughout it certainly did whole humanity a favor:

The author Stuart Firestein, in his fine book ‘Ignorance: How It Drives Science,’ argues that one of the keys to scientific discovery is the willingness of scientists to embrace ignorance – and to use questions as a means of navigating through it to new discoveries.

‘One good question can give rise to several layers of answers, can inspire decades-long searches for solutions, can generate whole new fields of inquiry, and can prompt changes in entrenched thinking,’ Firestein writes. ‘Answers, on the other hand, often end the process.’

So, in a nutshell, humanity profits more from a beautiful question than from a beautiful answer.

Then, why are we living in a world of answers?

In other words, why do the inquiring children in us grow to become the adults afraid of admitting that they don’t know the answer to some question?

You’ve guessed it already:

It’s our schools’ fault!

Preschool children, on average, ask their parents about 100 questions a day,” states Professor Kyung-Hee Kim, “By middle school, they’ve pretty much stopped asking.

And it’s not like they’ve learned all the answers in the meantime!

They’ve just memorized the answers to the questions their bosses want them to know.

In other words, schools were never meant to be outlets of creativity, but merely preparatory courses for a worker’s career.

And even though Google and Wikipedia have rendered memorizing answers practically useless, children are still awarded at our schools for knowing the correct answer to a specific question.

News flash: that’s only a mouse click away!

What’s not – is the beautiful question!

And according to Warren Berger – and a series of interviews with over 100 creative thinkers in science, technology, business, and entertainment – there are three kinds of beautiful questions: why, what-if, and how queries.

Key Lessons from “A More Beautiful Question”

1.      The Naivety of a Child: Behind the Zen of a “Why?” and a “Why Not?”
2.      Dream Your Way Out of a Problem: Ask Yourself “What If?”
3.      Acquire the Perseverance of the Realist: Experiment Through the “How?”

#1. The Naivety of a Child: Behind the Zen of a “Why?” and a “Why Not?”

I know one thing,” claimed Socrates. “And that is – that I know nothing.

Well, contrary to what they’ve taught you at school, it turns out that this is a great way to think about the world – naïvely, with a fresh mind.

Take, for example, Edwin Land, the guy who co-founded the Polaroid Corporation, widely considered the Steve Jobs before Jobs.

On a family vacation in the 1940s, his three-year-old daughter asked him why she couldn’t see the photo just taken by her father.

Edwin Land knew why: the only way you could develop the film was in a dark room. But he also knew that there was another bigger why in his daughter’s question.

And that was the one which – many years later – led to the invention of the Polaroid camera.

The actual Steve Jobs – the Edwin Land after Land – firmly believed in the power of this why-oriented beginner’s mind.

And he was influenced to do so by a 1970 Zen Buddhism classic written by Shunryu Suzuki, “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.”

The mind of the beginner is empty, free of the habits of the expert,” writes Suzuki in the book. Such a mind, he adds, is “open to all possibilities” and can see things as they are.

Knowledge imposes limitations, and that kinda helps when dealing with mechanical tasks.

Want to get creative?

Step back from it by asking why.

And you can even add a great twist: why not?

#2. Dream Your Way Out of a Problem: Ask Yourself “What If?”

Once you’re done with the whys and why nots, it’s time for some dreaming.

In other words, it’s time to ask yourself the what ifs.

Discovery depends on questions such as these.

Because a “what if” question gives you the right mental foundation for a few processes which are essential when it comes to creativity, invention, and imagination: mixing, connecting, and recombining ideas.

We mentioned Einstein and Jobs before.

Do you think that their grand ideas came to them out of the blue?

Of course not!

They just recombined some old ideas in a new way, once they had the step-back luxury of a “why” or a “why not.”

Einstein’s revelation came when he asked himself a fairly childlike question: “What if you could travel on a motorcycle at the speed of light?”

#3. Acquire the Perseverance of the Realist: Experiment Through the “How?”

Of course, once you’ve dealt with the whys and the what ifs – and moved from freshness of naivety to the endlessness of dreaming, it’s time that you transform your knowledge into something much more tangible.

In other words, it’s time for the how.

Of course, this third stage of the “actionable inquiry” process is the most difficult one, since it requires time, knowledge, experimentation, and a lot of endurance.

But, persevere long enough – and the sky is your limit.

Like this summary? We’d like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“A More Beautiful Question Quotes”

Don’t just teach your children to read. Teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything. Click To Tweet

The main premise of appreciative inquiry is that positive questions, focusing on strengths and assets, tend to yield more effective results than negative questions focusing on problems or deficits. Click To Tweet

Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air, and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you. Click To Tweet

I’ve always been very concerned with democracy. If you can’t imagine you could be wrong, what’s the point of democracy? And if you can’t imagine how or why others think differently, then how could you tolerate democracy? Click To Tweet

What if our schools could train students to be better lifelong learners and better adapters to change, by enabling them to be better questioners? Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

The best way to get the answers you need is to ask the questions you want to have answered.

And asking the right questions – as Warren Berger demonstrates in this book – is an art, and one of the highest order.

Thought-provoking and practical, rife with real-world examples and inspiring anecdotes, “A More Beautiful Question” is a fascinating book.

Possibly even of the kind that may make you question your present and inspire you to start working toward a better future.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Retire Inspired PDF Summary

Retire Inspired PDFIt’s Not an Age; It’s a Financial Number

When are you planning to retire?

At the age of 66, of course – that’s what the law says!

Well, Chris Hogan says something else:

Retire Inspired” – when you like.

Who Should Read “Retire Inspired”? And Why?

If you want to retire earlier and you want to retire with more money – you need to have a proper plan.

In that case, Chris Hogan’s book is just the right one for you: it is certainly one of the best on the topic, if not the very best.

As Hogan says: “You are the CEO of your own retirement.”

And this book will tell you how to execute the hell out of it!

Chris HoganAbout Chris Hogan

Chris Hogan is a former All-American football player, a popular motivational speaker, a best-selling author and, quite probably, “America’s leading voice on retirement.”

Published in 2016, Hogan’s “Retire Inspired” instantly rose to the top of many bestseller lists, and his eponymous podcast has millions of downloads.

Hogan is a regular contributor to the EntreLeadership podcast and constantly works with numerous leaders, athletes, and entertainers.

Find out more at

“Retire Inspired PDF Summary”

Let’s start our summary with the subtitle of Chris Hogan’s book.

Spoiler alert: we’ll end it with its title!

So, according to Chris Hogan, retirement is not an age, but a financial number.

But, of course it is an age, you say, since lawfully I can’t really retire before the age of 62 even if I want an early pension plan.

And the last time I read the normal retirement age in the United States was 66 – and should be 67 by 2027!

And that’s where it already gets suspicious!

Namely, just like our 8-hour workday or our 5-day work week, these numbers are merely provisional and, what’s more, are a remnant of an age past which shouldn’t concern you!

In the United States (and, more or less, the world) pension laws are merely a century old, going back to the Sherwood Act of 1912 when the Government decided that all veterans of the U.S.-Mexican War and Union veterans of the Civil War are entitled to a pension once they reach the age of 62.

Two decades later, and the Social Security Act of 1935 established (among other things) a system of old-age benefits for workers, which stated that anyone over the age of 65 is entitled to a pension from the state.

But, why 65?

Well, to understand this we must go back a bit and cross over the Atlantic.

Namely, in the second half of the 19th century, Communists were threatening to take control of Germany, so, in an attempt to outwit them and stifle their pleas for the workers, the German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck practically invented retirement, announcing that he will pay a pension to any nonworking German over the age of 65.

However, there was a catch!

And what a catch, Mr. Otto!

You see, before people invented penicillin and stuff, not many people made it to 65!

And even after that, when Roosevelt staked his reputation on the Social Security Act of 1935, the average life expectancy in the U.S. was no more than 60!

So, in other words, it was no problem for Social Security to satisfy the needs of the retired population, for the simple reason that there was barely any!

Fast forward eighty years and the world’s average life expectancy is above 70 and America’s almost 80!

So, now you see the problem!

And you can understand why many people – including us – are afraid that Social Security won’t be around for them when they retire.

Not that it makes much of a difference that it is there now!

Namely, since the sheer number of people who retire is way bigger than before, and since most of them take pensions for a lot longer than ever expected, the amount they take gets smaller and smaller by the year.

Two frightening statistics:

The average payment for social security is $1,194 a month!

One in three Americans relies solely on it!

Hence the 401(k) and your duty to save yourself enough money for your old age.

And hence the subtitle of Hogan’s book: retire not when the law says you should depending on the age, but when you calculate that you’ve saved enough money so that you can see Social Security as nothing more but an icing on the cake:

It is time that we started reclaiming the idea of retirement. Retirement is not the finish line; it is the new beginning. Retirement is not your last paragraph; it is the long, rich, rewarding final chapters of your own book—as many pages as you can dream up. Retirement is not the end of your life; it is the beginning of the best years of your life!

Be aware that you’ll face four obstacles along the way. Hopefully, we’ve already helped you to conquer the first two: misunderstanding what “retirement” means and depending on Social Security alone.

The other two are people’s tendency to act like sheep and their lack of planning capabilities.

This book helps to overcome both with a ton of good advices.

So that you can finally – retire inspired.

Key Lessons from “Retire Inspired”

1.      The Invention of Retirement
2.      The Four Obstacles to Retiring Inspired
3.      The Five Fundamentals of Inspired Retirement

The Invention of Retirement

Retirement is not an old phenomenon.

In fact, it was first introduced by German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in 1883 in an attempt to thwart Communist efforts to take control of the Government.

And when he proclaimed that he would pay money to every nonworking individual over 65, Bismarck had a somewhat sinister plan.

Because, you see, the average life expectancy at the time in Germany was below 60!

Today, it’s way over 70 when the whole world is taken into account!

And it’s almost 80 in the United States.

So, you really think that Social Security can keep up the pace?

The Four Obstacles to Retiring Inspired

Retiring at the age of 65 – or 62, or 67 – is a social construct, one that has nothing to do with reality for decades.

The point:

Retire when you earn enough money to retire, not when you get to a certain age.

However, you need to overcome the four obstacles to retiring inspired:

Obstacle #1: Misunderstanding “Retirement”
Obstacle #2: Depending on Social Security
Obstacle #3: Acting Like Sheep
Obstacle #4: Not Having a Plan

The Five Fundamentals of Inspired Retirement

Chris Hogan’s retirement plan is based on five fundamental premises.

First of all, dreaming – but in a specific, detailed way which will motivate you and help you commit to a long-term plan.

Of course, you need to execute that plan and never back away from it for a second, which means that you should need to be vigilant all the time.

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“Retire Inspired Quotes”

For I know the plans I have for you… plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) Click To Tweet

In my opinion, Chris Hogan is the voice of retirement in America today. (Via Dave Ramsey) Click To Tweet

We need to start by getting rid of all the negative feelings and assumptions we have attached to the word ‘retirement’: ‘dried up,’ ‘end of life,’ ‘insecure,’ ‘winding down,’ ‘broke,’ ‘disengaged,’ ‘worst years of my life,’ ‘afraid.’ Click To Tweet

It’s hard to live your dream in your golden years when you’re trying to make it on an income that’s actually below the poverty line. Click To Tweet

Studies have shown that half of 401(k) participants have less than $10,000 saved for retirement – and those are the people who are actually doing something! Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Chris Hogan is a protegee of Dave Ramsey, and we don’t need to tell you who Dave Ramsey is.

But, basically, when it comes to money, if Dave Ramsey approves of a book, you’re going to need a lot of arguments to say otherwise.

And we have none.

Because, even though it’s true that many books may improve your life, this one can do that literally.

And, what’s more, dramatically.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Emotional Value PDF Summary

Emotional Value PDFCreating Strong Bonds with Your Customers

Well, every company will face imminent disaster if the managers cannot devise a strategy that can keep expanding the loyal base of clients!

In this technically advanced and competitive market, that’s harder than you can imagine.

This book examines some fundamental principles that you should keep in mind, to overshadow your competitors.

Who Should Read “Emotional Value”? And Why?

Every person prefers being in charge of a business that appeals to its nature. Quite often we found ourselves in the midst of confusion, where the company stagnates and is unable to flourish – financially speaking.

Emotional Value” is particularly useful for managers and leaders whose incentives and intentions motivate others to take action.

About Janelle Barlow

Janelle BarlowJanelle Barlow is a celebrated writer, and the author of a best-selling book named A Complaint is a Gift.

She is a partner in a consultancy company whose clients are Hewlett-Packard, Avon, and many others brands.

“Emotional Value PDF Summary”

The digital era is filled with revolutionized ideas and CRM systems that try to bring the company’s service closer to consumers’ hearts. That’s right – HEARTS, not needs. Emotions represent the most critical asset in running a business that generates a change in leaders’ behavior.  

An honest review or feedback can put your company on the map. Then again, the feelings your products or offerings arouse is the difference between success and failure. One negative reaction can hamper the production or delivery of goods.

By now you are starting to get the big picture and absorb the pivotal role emotions have in determining the quality of service an organization has to offer.

Pursuing product satisfaction is not enough for gaining momentum, and you need a little bit more than just a friendly response.

As soon as you begin to put emotions up front, your business will show signs of improvement and motivation. Customers need to be emotionally fulfilled by your goods, and that’s the only way you are ever going to build a loyal base of consumers, in an overly competitive marketplace.

How about paying more attention to customer preferences? Are your products build for specific users or masses? Big brands realize that it’s hard for making the customers accommodate to the new realities, and they accelerate their profits by doing the hard work for them.

In other words, an emotional reaction is the poster boy for a successful launch of a product. To drive this point home further, the author gets us introduced to some stimulus or incentives that inflame the call-to-action mentality:

  • I wanted it
  • I wish I could have this
  • I felt like needing this
  • I must have this
  • I deserved a little reward

From a business standpoint, how to interpret emotions and what do emotions tell us about the needs of the customers?

  • Emotions signify how essential some feature is to the customer.
  • Emotions tell us whether the business provides excellent or mediocre customer service.
  • Emotions help us understand how customers react to changes and how they behave in a given situation.

Renowned psychologists agree that greater awareness both on and off the field is vital for being one-step ahead of any response.

Such mindset reduced hostility and promotes good will. If you cannot learn the ropes of the problem, you’ll drain your mental and physical supplies of energy, and plunge into psychological tiredness that leads to antagonism.

In business-related terms, that actually signifies that the effectiveness of the process is dependent on your ability to anticipate the environmental response. To be in tune with the needs of your target group, one must fixate its attention on keeping the customers in high spirits.

Here’s how:

  • Getting to the bottom of what went wrong.
  • Creating a mental barrier between yourself and the idea of making snap judgments.
  • Running brainstorming sessions to understand the customer problems and design schemes to prevent similar issues.
  • Monitor all the other processes performed by the staff, especially those that involve direct interaction with the users.
  • Adjust your mindset and change your habits.

In a recently commissioned survey, the researchers realized that analyzing the customer emotions is an excellent way to define the company’s mission, vision, and long-term plans. It’s impossible to please all of them, but you can make some strides in delighting the larger percentage of people.

If service transactions had no value to customers, customers wouldn’t have emotions about them.

For instance, the department which handles customer complaints is more than just a service-providing level of control. It actually is a data-collection center, that views, interprets and measures the responses coming in different shapes and forms.

We are looking at a possible grand slam home run, if the company knows how to impress the customer with a dose of professionalism and technological sophistication.

Even though, we live in times where you can buy 150 different types of soda, 1000 unique faucets, and millions of incomparable vehicles; THE CUSTOMERS prefer loyalty.

Why? – For one simple reason; it’s easier and much more convenient than switching or jumping from one product to the next.

They’ll save time, save money, and rest assured that their needs are well met.

Loyal customers, unlike newcomers, are more tolerant of product errors, delays and shipment mistakes. The quality of items is their primary concern, and if they know that at the end of the road, they’ll receive superior service, they would have no problem to stick around for a while.

Key Lessons from “Emotional Value”

1.      Be open-minded and flexible
2.      Deliver the best service possible
3.      Take advantage of the circumstances

Be open-minded and flexible

To handle these emotional reactions, one must take into account all possible outcomes.

Being aware of what could happen as a result of something, can give you the upper hand in a potential clash between competitors.

Deliver the best service possible

Rudeness can be attributed to low-level of control and mismanagement that can ruin the organization.

In all honesty, your customers for every penny paid expect nothing less than a pure brilliance, because if your team is unable to deliver superior service, your competitors will catch hold of them!

Take advantage of the circumstances

It’s pretty evident that emotions trigger the decision-making attitude, and brands ought to use this particular situation to turn things in their favor.  

You must know the rules of the game, before becoming a master.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“Emotional Value Quotes”

One powerful way to distract adults is through humor. Click To Tweet Positive moods tend to generate more creative thinking. Click To Tweet The emotional sting of poor customer service stays with customers much longer than most realize. Click To Tweet Emotional value, as much as quality or any other dimension of an organization’s worth, can make or break a business. Click To Tweet Customers want and expect to be positively, emotionally, and memorably impacted at every level of their commercial existence. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

In our opinion, a book that is not applicable and informative has no real value.

This one extends beyond the boundaries of “useful” and enters into the category of “priceless.”    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

The 21st Century Gold Rush PDF Summary

The 21st Century Gold Rush PDFHow the Refugee Crisis Is Changing the World Economy

The media often reports about the refugee crisis, which affects the new world order.

In this book summary, we outline the main triggers and explain the whole confusion.

Who Should Read “The 21st Century Gold Rush”? And Why?

If you can’t make heads and tails of this issue, stay with us to learn more about the crisis. It’s impossible to chew everything down to the bone, but we can at least provide some basic coverings.

The 21st Century Gold Rush is an excellent book for all those people whose countries are inhabited by immigrants. Knowing their story will help you understand them better.

About Malia Politzer and Emily Kassie

Malia Politzer is an award-winning journalist and author who is an expert in European affairs, especially in refugee crisis triggered by immigration.

Emily Kassie is also a renowned journalist who is an expert in social injustice and matters that affect the entire society.

“The 21st Century Gold Rush PDF Summary”

Every single day, a river of immigrants appears on the news, which evidently illustrates the biggest resettlement in modern history. Driven by an unfortunate turn of events, these refugees populate the regions of Western Europe, trying to find jobs, and integrate into the society.

Nonetheless, not every soul feels pretty much the same way, because deceitful people have identified a way to bypass the law and turn immigrants into profits.

Let’s start in Agadez, the largest city of Niger. For years, this town with an estimated population of over 115, 000 people has been labeled as the main transit point for smuggling drugs, people, and weapons.

Generally speaking, smugglers and real lawlessness have prompted the people of Sub-Saharan Africa to look for a way out and find an alternative route to escape the scarcity of food and jobs.

On the way over to Europe, they settle in Libya temporary. On the Niger-Libyan border, there have been serious allegations of bribable activities by the officials, but nothing has changed.

Especially in Nigeria, but also in other African countries, female refugees are turned into prostitutes, a business that is as profitable as smuggling weapons.

These women try to get out of the way of Boko Haram, and instead of landing on European Soil, they fall into the hands of other criminals. They are promised jobs in Europe, but after they arrive at Agadez, they are threatened and forced into “slavery.”  

Over the years, transporters and traffickers found many alternative routes that lead to the desired destinations, with an intention to avoid bribing and police searches as much as possible.

Although these drivers make a lot of money by transporting people, their primary business is smuggling drugs across the borders.

After the collapse of Muammar Gaddafi regime, many groups that had strong ties with European Mafia started to gain momentum and expand at the cost of many emigrants.

The Libya-Italy route has never been more active, and some of the refugees that managed to land on the shores of Italy got asylum and settled across the country.  

One of these large networks is the Sicilian Mafia – Cosa Nostra. This organization successfully managed to establish a fruitful partnership with many trafficking groups, and therefore expand its influence over the continent.

Once these refugees arrive in Italy, Mafia members extort massive amounts of money, by intimidating and threatening the emigrants that if they don’t pay they will get killed, tortured, or deported back.

Indeed, Cosa Nostra has to evaluate the strength of newly formed Nigerian gangs, which may in the future outnumber the Italian Mobsters. The methods involving revenge, or reprisal are not that effective with immigrants who don’t have anything worthy or nothing to protect.

When it comes to the country torn out by war – Syria, a real wave of immigrants has decided to “colonize” some parts of Turkey, making it very difficult for native Turks to prosper. According to them, the Syrians are responsible for the bad economy, and the hostility is growing with each passing day.

Although these low-skilled Syrian workers have a hard time integrating into the Turkish labor market, many business people have identified loopholes.

As we mentioned, the Syrian businessmen have created a network that is able to export tons of food and other resources to the people of war-demolished Syria. According to foreign statistical analysts, the value of these goods has surpassed $1.4 billion in 2014 alone.  

Many wonder – why does Germany accept so many refugees? Experts argue that the German people, don’t want to be labeled as nationalists once more, after Hitler, so they are prepared to give up their space for the sake of the refugees.

Angela Merkel acknowledged that the German Society wasn’t well-prepared for accommodating the basic needs of so many immigrants.

The government plans to spend approximately $100 billion in the next five years to assist the refugees and help them to fit into the German society.

Not all private business owners were “in high spirits” about this decision because the economy is experiencing a massive shock due to the changes which are triggered by the resettlement.  

For the time being, the German officials had opted to place a large portion of the immigrants in abandoned buildings before the “hotel offer” was set in motion. Immigrants received €50 vouchers to stay in some of the hotels, which the hotel owners perceived as an opportunity to make money.

Ordinary citizens also offered rooms, garages, everything possible to those newcomers who could pay. The Government didn’t realize that the refugee program is not effective, and without a permanent solution to this problem, the economy would stagnate.

If the German Society and the European Union fail to provide the immigrants with jobs, and settlement, the whole system could collapse.

The truth is, this massive undertaking has triggered many right-wing political parties to express their anger towards this integration process. The reports of violence and abuse caused by immigrants, inflame the situation even further.

Finding a peaceful solution is easier said than done, we’ll see what happens next.

Key Lessons from “The 21st Century Gold Rush”

1.      Measure twice cut once
2.      Integration is not a straightforward process
3.      Violence solves nothing

Measure twice cut once

It seems as high circles of power direct this whole crisis.

These sources are often operating in the shadows, and it’s evident that we didn’t lay the groundwork to handle the massive wave of refugees.

Integration is not a straightforward process

People with divergent backgrounds who decide to settle in Europe, cannot merely absorb the European way of life – in a flash.

It takes time and well-devised strategy to make them blend into the group.

Violence solves nothing

Anger and hatred lead to more destruction, and we have to be wise regarding this sensitive issue.

Hopefully, we must locate some of the missing links to deal with the escalating tensions.

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“The 21st Century Gold Rush Quotes”

The refugee crisis may be the greatest logistical, political, economic challenge to face Germany since reunification. Click To Tweet Germany is showing the rest of the world how to monetize refugees on an industrial scale. Click To Tweet Around one-third of Syrian families in Istanbul now rely on their children’s income to pay rent and buy food. Click To Tweet With the help of a growing pool of child workers, Syrians are manufacturing goods to send to their stricken homeland. And in the process, they’re fueling the very war that they fled from. Click To Tweet After the sun goes down and devout Muslims answer the fifth and final call to prayer, the pimps release the prostitutes, they lock up all day into the streets to approach potential clients. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Excellent, well-researched book that answers the biggest problem in modern history. Political leaders have a duty to impart moral principles to the ordinary citizens.

To untangle the clues of this dilemma, one needs to be open-minded, we consider ourselves as such.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

The Culture Map PDF Summary

The Culture Map PDFBreaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business: How People Think, Lead, and Get Things Done

Some time ago, business went global.

Culture, however, didn’t.

Erin Meyer’ “The Culture Map” is your guide to effortlessly transcend the cultural barriers and acquire the much-needed skills to “decode cultures foreign to your own.”

Who Should Read “The Culture Map”? And Why?

It’s only common knowledge that cultures significantly differ from each other and what’s complimentary or conventional in one may be rude and eccentric in another.

If you are a business executive, failing to address this issue may cost you deals worth millions of dollars.

However, even though “The Culture Map” is explicitly written for leaders of international teams who want to rise above cultural clashes in the workplace, Erin Meyer’s exceptional book may help anyone who wants to improve his or her communications skills as well.

Erin MeyerAbout Erin Meyer

Erin Meyer is a Minnesota-born American author and a professor of Cross-Cultural Management at INSEAD in Paris, where she currently lives with her husband and two sons.

She developed her interest in cultural differences while volunteering for Peace Corps in Botswana. Before moving to Paris, Meyer also worked at McKesson, HBOC, and Aperian Global.

In 2013 “Business Inc.” selected her as one of the ten best business school professors worldwide. “The Culture Map” – her only book so far – was published the following year and was met with wide critical acclaim.

In 2017, Meyer was selected as one of the most influential thinkers worldwide by both “Thinkers50” and “HR Magazine.”

“The Culture Map PDF Summary”

At the heart of Erin Meyer’s exceptional book, “The Culture Map,” is an “eight-scale model” which should help managers and leaders of culturally diverse teams improve their effectiveness by offering them a platform to analyze the positioning of one culture relative to another and, thus, correctly decode the meaning of some actions and gestures.

The eight scales in question – and the two extremes between which Erin Meyer scatters many of the world’s countries – are the following:

  • Communicating: low-context vs. high-context
    Evaluating: direct negative feedback vs. indirect negative feedback
    Persuading: principles-first vs. applications-first
    Leading: egalitarian vs. hierarchical
    Deciding: consensual vs. top-down
    Trusting: task-based vs. relationship-based
    Disagreeing: confrontational vs. avoids confrontation
    Scheduling: linear-time vs. flexible-time

Meyer dedicates a chapter to each of these eight areas.

And so should we a key lesson – each one borrowing the title of the relevant chapter!

Key Lessons from “The Culture Map”

1.Listening to the Air: Communicating Across Cultures
2. The Many Faces of Polite: Evaluating Performance and Providing Negative Feedback
3. Why Versus How: The Art of Persuasion in a Multicultural World
4. How Much Respect Do You Want? Leadership, Hierarchy, and Power
5. Big D or Little d: Who Decides, and How?
6. The Head or the Heart: Two Types of Trust and How They Grow
7. The Needle, Not the Knife: Disagreeing Productively
8. How Late Is Late? Scheduling and Cross-Cultural Perceptions of Time

Listening to the Air: Communicating Across Cultures

Communication is a complex thing.

Just listen to a British comedian comparing American and British movies, or an American comparing the humor of both countries.

According to Erin Meyer, the reason why Americans have trouble understanding British humor and the British consider American humor all but stupid is fairly simple.

Namely, the US is a low-context country (in fact, the lowest one), and the UK is a middle-context nation. In other words, Americans say everything they mean, and the British leave some of it to the context.

Japan is on the other side of the spectrum: it’s the highest-context country, closely followed by other East Asian nations, such as Korea, China, and Indonesia.

In their cases, most of the communication is implicit.

The Many Faces of Polite: Evaluating Performance and Providing Negative Feedback

If you’ve happened upon the Anglo-Dutch translation guide so far, you probably know that what the Dutch hear when the British say “That is an original point of view” is “They like my idea!” even though what the British actually mean is “Your idea is stupid!”

This is because different nations evaluate differently – anywhere from giving direct to indirect negative feedback.

Interestingly enough, the evaluation scale doesn’t coincide with the communication scale, i.e., some nations (such as Israel) may be high-context (implicit) nations but still give direct negative feedback – in fact, “the directest.”

You’ll get direct negative feedback in Russia and Germany too, but the Americans, just like the British, will sugarcoat it.

There’s a high chance you won’t even know what kind of a feedback you’ve gotten from a Japanese executive since Japan is not only the highest-context country but also the least direct one in giving negative feedback.

Why Versus How: The Art of Persuasion in a Multicultural World

Persuasion is an art – but what kind of art depends on the country you’re in.

In fact, Erin Meyer says that there’s so much difference between Asian countries and European-influenced cultures, that “an entirely different frame of reference, unrelated to the Persuading scale, comes into play” when we’re talking about Asia.

In a nutshell, Asian countries are more holistic and want to know how things connect with the environment (the big picture), while Western countries are more specific and react better to detailed instructions.

Within the latter, old countries such as Italy and France are why-oriented (principles-first), and the newest countries (US, Canada, Australia) are more concerned with the how’s (application-first).

(And Simon Sinek is interested in both!)

How Much Respect Do You Want? Leadership, Hierarchy, and Power

While analyzing 100,000 management surveys at IBM in the 1970s, Geert Hofstede, the most famous cross-cultural researcher in history, developed the concept of “power distance,” i.e.,

the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations accept and expect that power is distributed unequally.

However, ask a Scandinavian what “a power distance” is, and he’ll probably laugh the subject right off the table: for the Danish, the Norwegian, and the Swedish “the best boss is a facilitator among equals” and “organizational structures are flat.”

Unlike the egalitarian North, the East is strictly hierarchical: in Japan, it will be a mindless act to disagree with your superior.

Big D or Little d: Who Decides, and How?

Expectedly, egalitarian cultures usually make important decisions consensually and respect the opinion of every member in the group; however, so do the hierarchical Japanese, who actually rank highest at one end of the deciding spectrum, since their directorial boards are flat structures.

Their nearest neighbors, China, is on the other end of the spectrum, just second to Nigeria in terms of top-down deciding.

There – as well as in India and Russia – decisions are made by individuals, and the others simply follow.

The Head or the Heart: Two Types of Trust and How They Grow

There are two types of trust: cognitive and affective.

Cognitive trust stems from knowledge: you know that someone is capable of doing a job based on his previous record. Affective trust has a lot more to do with the future: you expect someone to do a good job, merely because you’re close to him and her and you believe that, for personal reasons, he/she will not disappoint you.

Cognitive trust is task-based, and if you are an American, you know what it means: business is business. Affective trust is relationship-based and is shared through meals and drinks over the long term in Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, India, and China.

The Needle, Not the Knife: Disagreeing Productively

The art of disagreement may be dying – or, who knows, it may have just taken a different form!

Because, historically and traditionally, nations disagree differently.

In Israel and France – and to a lesser extent in Germany and Russia – you are expected to get confrontational, and this will not impact the relationship in any negative way.

However, you are better off avoiding confrontation altogether in East Asian countries, since it is harshly frowned upon.

How Late Is Late? Scheduling and Cross-Cultural Perceptions of Time

You can be on time if you live in Switzerland, Germany, and Japan – countries which respect the idea of linear time and believe in sequential steps, promptness and strict adherence to deadlines.  

However, that’s not the case with Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Kenya, and India, where adaptability is much more important and time is flexible.

In other words, as strange as it may sound to you, if you are a German in Nigeria, your Nigerian friend isn’t wrong if he/she comes 32 minutes after the agreed time.

You are wrong to have expected him/her to come on time.

Like this summary? We’d like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“The Culture Map Quotes”

Unless we know how to… avoid easy-to-fall-into cultural traps, we are easy prey to misunderstanding, needless conflict, and ultimate failure. Click To Tweet

The vast majority of managers who conduct business internationally have little understanding about how culture is impacting their work. Click To Tweet

Just as fish don’t know they’re in water, people often find it difficult to see and recognize their own culture until they start comparing it with others. Click To Tweet

If you don’t know what your behaviors signify, you’ll have no control over the signals you send, and the results can be disastrous. Click To Tweet

When in doubt, the best strategy may be to simply let the other person lead. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The Culture Map” is a unique book – so it’s unsurprising that it was met with positive reviews from the public and professional reviewers alike.

In fact, according to “The Huffington Post,” “whether you’re a corporate or traditional diplomat, global traveler, government official, or passionate world citizen, this is the one book you should not miss.”

“Inc.” called it “superb,” and we share the magazine’s opinion. And that’s even though we are not leaders of an international team or CEOs of a multinational conglomerate.

But thanks to Meyer – now we can travel much more safely and relaxed!    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 PDF Summary

What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 PDFA Crash Course on Making Your Place in the World

Are you an angsty teenager or a somewhat lost student in your early twenties?

What would you give for a crash course of no more than 200 pages which may help you find – and even make – your place in the world?

The good news is – you don’t have to give anything.

Because, by proxy, we’re giving it for free:

Here’s the summary of Tina Seelig’s “What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20″!

Who Should Read “What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20”? And Why?

Someone – maybe George Bernard Shaw – once said that wisdom is squandered by the old, while youth is wasted on the young.

In other words: life would have been much better if we had the wisdom of our old selves in our younger years.

Fortunately – books such as this one make that possible.

And since the wisdom you’ll find here is actually timeless, you can even forget about the 20 from the title! It’s never too late to learn these things.

This is the kind of stuff I wish I knew now,” comments Guy Kawasaki. “Tina is doing us all a big favor by giving us a roadmap to life!

Tina SeeligAbout Tina Seelig

Tina Seelig – in the words of Robert Sutton (which most of her students share) – “is one of the most creative and inspiring teachers at Stanford.” Fittingly, the courses she teaches are on innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship.

She boasts with a uniquely diversified portfolio, having earned a Ph. D. in Neuroscience from Stanford Medical School, to subsequently work as a management consultant, a software producer, and an entrepreneur.

She has received many awards, such as the National Olympus Innovation Award, the SVForum Visionary Award, and the Gordon Prize from the National Academy of Engineering.

So far, she has written 17 books, including “inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity” and “Insight Out.”

“What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 PDF Summary”

According to Mag Jay, your twenties are the defining decade of your life.

If so, you better listen to Tina Seelig’s advice – since following even some of it may effectively redefine your life!

The best part: “What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20” is a short and entertaining book comprised of just ten easy-to-read impossible-to-forget chapters.

The first one, “Buy One, Get Two Free,” starts with an interesting question: “What would you do to earn money if all you had was five dollars and two hours?”

If your answer is “Buy a lottery ticket” or “Go to Las Vegas,” (or even set a lemonade stand), join the multitude: these are the answers most of Seelig’s students give.

However, the ones who actually end up earning the most money are those who don’t even use their five dollars. They reinterpret the problem and free themselves from the limitation: “What can we do to make money if we start with absolutely nothing?”

Don’t believe it’s possible?

Just think of Canadian blogger Kyle MacDonald, who started with one red paperclip and traded up his way to a two-story farmhouse in Kipling, Saskatchewan, in 14 transactions and no more than one year!

Indeed – everything is possible!

Removing the limitations of a problem may mean changing the world in the long run.

The catch is to see the problem as an opportunity!

And the second chapter, “The Upside-Down Circus,” uncovers how: Cirque du Soleil, for example, was created when Guy Laliberté, a Canadian street performer, decided to challenge every assumption about what a circus could be.

In doing so, he transformed the problem – the circus industry was all but dead at the time – into an opportunity and a success story.

Seelig uncovers the underlying philosophy of this transformation in Chapter 3, “Bikini or Die.”

Namely, you can take on impossible tasks if you just realize that no matter how good, every rule can (and is all but meant to) be broken:

Knowing that you can question the rules is terrifically empowering. It is a reminder that the traditional path is only one option available to you… there are boundless additional options to explore if you are willing to identify and challenge assumptions and to break free of the expectations that you and others project onto you.

There are always and everywhere things that can be improved!

Seelig uses an interesting exercise to prove this in her classes, telling her students: “Please, Take Out Your Wallets”– which is the title of chapter 4.

In no more than thirty minutes, all of her students (young, old, professionals, amateurs) realize that their wallets can be improved.

And, even better – some of the improvements “require little more than a good designer to make them feasible right away.”

So, why shouldn’t you at least give a try?

At worst, you’ll fail – and you’ll know how to do it better the next time!

After all, that’s “The Secret Sauce of Silicon Valley” (Chapter 5): a failing forward resume.

None of your idols – those entrepreneurial giants in Palo Alto – made it work from the start:

If you do take a risk and happen to fail, remember that you personally are not a failure… Keep in mind that failure is a natural part of the learning process. If you aren’t failing sometimes, then you probably aren’t taking enough risks.

In the sixth chapter – “No Way… Engineering is for Girls” – Seelig explains how one of the worst things you could do in life is guiding yourself by other people’s words and recommendations for a career.


Your goal is to “identify the intersection between your skills, your passions, and the market.”

Of course, sometimes you’re going to need some luck to “Turn Lemonade into Helicopters” (Chapter 7).

But, the best part is that the harder you work, the luckier you’ll get.

Even the Romans knew that: fortune favors the brave!

However, while you’re working hard, don’t forget that your life is interconnected with the lives of thousands and millions.

So, “Paint the Target Around the Arrows” (Chapter 8) and create a network of people who may help you in the future by helping them and, simply, being nice to them.

Don’t ask “Will This Be on the Exam” (Chapter 9): this is life and you have only one chance to live it! Everything is and will be on the exam.

In other words, your one and only life is not a good place to start quarrels, to not try, to miss opportunities or to look for excuses!

It’s the place and time for mounting a heap of “Experimental Artifacts” (Chapter 10) – the proof that you’ve given yourself permission to forge your own path through life!

Key Lessons from “What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20”

1.      Always Act Like You’re in a Foreign Country
2.      The Rule of Three May Change Your Life
3.      Never Miss an Opportunity to Be Fabulous

Always Act Like You’re in a Foreign Country

Remember that scene in “Friends” when Chandler finally sees New York?

The reason why he hadn’t seen it before – though spending all his life there – is quite simple: he thought he knew everything about it.

The truth is – he didn’t. None of us do.

So, if you want to see things from a different angle, learn how to be observant and open-minded, optimistic and friendly.  

Always act like you’re in a foreign country, aware of your surroundings and taking an interest in all things and people.

That way, you’ll actually see them.

The Rule of Three May Change Your Life

The Rule of Three is not a new concept: as Seelig informs us, the U.S. Marine Corps has used it for some time.

And that’s all the evidence you need that it works!

And what they’ve found is – through years of trial and error – that “most people can only track three things at once. As a result, the entire military system is designed to reflect this.”

So, limit yourself to three core priorities!

You can do the rest of them later.

Never Miss an Opportunity to Be Fabulous

We really like the ninth chapter, so we’ll leave it to Tina Seelig to cap this summary:

Never miss an opportunity to be fabulous… This means going beyond minimum expectations and acknowledging that you are ultimately responsible for your actions and the resulting outcomes. Life isn’t a dress rehearsal, and you won’t get a second chance to do your best.

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“What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 Quotes”

There's a big difference between trying to do something and actually doing it. We often say we're trying to do something-losing weight, getting more exercise, finding a job. But the truth is, we're either doing it or not doing it. Click To Tweet

Never miss an opportunity to be fabulous. Click To Tweet

Attitude is perhaps the biggest determinant of what we can accomplish. Click To Tweet

Even though it is always difficult to abandon a project, it is much easier in the early stages of a venture, before there is an enormous escalation of committed time and energy. Click To Tweet

The bigger the problem, the bigger the opportunity. Nobody will pay you to solve a non-problem. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20” is one of those very special books which can turn your life around and which come only a few times in life.

Short and energetic, well-written and full of practical advice, it’s a book which will teach you how to look at the same problems from a different angle – which makes all the difference!

Once you finish it, this will become your new mantra: “Never miss an opportunity to be fabulous.”    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

The Social History of the Machine Gun PDF Summary

The Social History of the Machine Gun PDFIf a drink can profoundly change the world, then why shouldn’t the same hold true for a gun?

A machine gun, to be more precise.

That’s the cue for our summary of John Ellis’ “The Social History of the Machine Gun.”

Who Should Read “The Social History of the Machine Gun”? And Why?

John Ellis has been described by none other than Len Deighton as “one of the best historians” out there, so if you like to read historical books, be sure to check his full bibliography.

In this case, Ellis is masterful in recounting the social history of the machine gun from the 19th century to the present day in no more than 180 easily-read pages, which should make the book appealing even to those who care about history only in so far it gives them a neat fuller picture of the present world.

Of course, those who are interested in weapons and weaponry, should check this book out right away!

About John Ellis

John Ellis is an English historian.

He obtained an MA in International Relations at the University of Sussex before taking a PhD course in Military Studies at the University of Manchester.

He is the author of more than a dozen highly praised books, including “A Social History the of Machine Gun,” “Brute Force,” “Eye-Deep in Hell,” “One Day in a Very Long War” and “The World War I” and “World War II Databooks.”

“The Social History of the Machine Gun PDF Summary”

In 1861, just as the American Civil War got under way, the world had the unfortunate privilege to experience for the first time the monstrosity on this photograph.The Social History of the Machine Gun Summary

Its inventor, the American Richard Jordan Gatling, was a doctor by profession, and his idea behind creating a rapid-fire gun which is considered today the precursor of the machine gun, was a rather strange one.

Namely, since one machine gun could effectively substitute several soldiers, Gatling believed that his invention will reduce the size of the armies and, thus, reduce the number of war casualties.

“My gun,” he noted” bears the same relation to other fire-arms that McCormack’s Reaper does to the sickle, or the sewing machine to the common needle.

Little did Gatling knew that half a century later, his gun – and its offshoots (the Maxim gun and the Thompson submachine gun) – will be responsible for the deaths of millions of people, in the unprecedented bloodshed we, unfortunately, remember merely as the First World War.

However, John Ellis argues that it wasn’t merely Gatling’s fault.

Even more, it was the fault of European – mostly British and French officers and generals – who, unlike their American and German counterparts, believed in the old “élan and esprit de corps” Napoleonic type of warfare way into the first half of the 20th century.

In fact, even after the First World War, British Field Marshal Douglas Haig had the audacity to claim that “airplanes and tanks are only accessories to the man and the horse – the well-bred horse.”

Audacity – since Lord Haig is today mostly remembered as “Butcher Haig,” the guy whose “epic but costly offensives at the Somme (1916) and Passchendaele (1917) have become nearly synonymous with the carnage and futility of First World War battles.”

And that’s the main thesis of John Ellis’ fascinating book:

Untold millions died due to the fact that numerous British and French officers were aristocrats and conservatives, who didn’t want to introduce machine guns into warfare, since they were still firm adherents to romantic military ideals and values such as heart and courage, putting their faith in the horse, the sabre, and the cavalry charge!

News flash, rattled the machine gun on the fields of modern Europe:

Heart and courage mean nothing in the face of new technologies!

In fact, Ellis recounts one example when two German machine guns defeated a six-hundred-man British infantry battalion in just a few hours, experiencing not one casualty.

In other words, six hundred were defeated by six – since the officers of the former believed that machine guns are an abomination to the beautiful thing that is a horse and a sabre battle!

Ah, the British!

They just never learn, do they: this happened barely half a century after the Charge of the Light Brigade! Into the valley of Death rode the six hundred… twice.

And it’s not like the British didn’t know the terrifying power of the Gatling gun!

They just didn’t think it’s honorable to use it against other civilized nations!

Which means they didn’t blink an eye to use it in Africa, against the savages. The first time they did this in 1874, when they sent a few Gatlings into action against the Ashanti, under the command of Sir Garnet Wolseley.

“The Times” was poetic and vivid – not to mention utterly inhuman – in its desires and descriptions:

…if by any lucky chance Sir Garnet Wolseley manages to catch a good mob of savages in the open, and at a moderate distance, he cannot do any better than treat them to a little Gatling music…. Altogether we cannot wish the Ashantees worse luck than to get in the way of a Gatling well served.

Well, some of the very people who used the Gatlings in Africa will find themselves on the other end of them (and much better-developed machine guns) just a few decades later.

In fact, David Lloyd George calculated that about 4 in 5 deaths during the First World War were caused by machine guns.

Needless to add: the world was red with blood.

And warfare was never the same.

Key Lessons from “The Social History of the Machine Gun”

1.      The Machine Gun Was Invented and Developed in the United States a Reason… or Two
2.      For the Africans, Machine Guns Were Giant Penises
3.      The Machine Gun, a Contemporary Icon

The Machine Gun Was Invented and Developed in the United States a Reason… or Two

In “The Social History of the Machine Gun,” John Ellis’ main premise is that European notions of Napoleonic military ideals and a romantic love for sabers and horses led to the death of millions by means of machine guns.

In fact, it should surprise no one that Americans were the first to invent the machine gun: a country of immigrants, the United States didn’t care too much about aristocracy or guild craftsmen.

And the first Europeans to use it: the new-formed countries, the ones without a feudal, aristocratic past!

For the Africans, Machine Guns Were Giant Penises

Even the fabulously romantic British used machine guns here and there.

And by “here and there” we mean Africa, where things like “honor” and “heart” and “courage” didn’t seem to mean as much as they did in Europe.

The Africans, on the other hand, had no idea what was happening to them.

And they started to confuse the reality with their myths, believing that these machine guns were giant penises ejaculating bullets.

The only reason why they rebelled from time to time was because, their priests encouraged them to, convincing them that the next time, the Gatlings will be impotent.

They never were.

The Machine Gun, a Contemporary Icon

The machine gun, writes John Ellis,

has become something of a contemporary icon. The sheer violence of its action, and the indiscriminate deadliness of its effect, has made it a useful symbol for expressing modern man’s frenzied attempts to assert himself in an increasingly complex and depersonalized world.

[I]n the First World War the machine gun helped to engender this feeling of individual irrelevance in the face of the new technology of death.

Since then, however, technological innovations have left the machine gun far behind. The machine gun has now become personalized, itself the means by which men desperately try to make their mark on a world in which they feel increasingly powerless. In the fantasy world, at least, technology is turned against itself.

Yeah, we know what you’re thinking about right now:

Say hello to my little friend!

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“The Social History of the Machine Gun Quotes”

Fear not, my friends, this terrible machine/ they’re only wounded that have shares therein. (via Anonymous) Click To Tweet

The general aspirations and prejudices of particular social groups are just as important for the history of military technology as are straightforward problems of technical efficiency. Click To Tweet

Guns, like everything else, have their social history. Click To Tweet

Military history… can only be understood against a wider social background. Click To Tweet

For most (manufacturers of machine guns) the idea of commercial success was of overriding importance, and they made few concessions to either patriotism or normal business ethics. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Heavy on anecdotes and engagingly written – in addition to being appealingly illustrated – “The Social History of the Machine Gun” is, as one reader has described it, “a light read about a gruesome topic.”

It’s also an interesting one – since its thesis – though sometimes flaky and too generalized not to be flawed – is very original and well worth a serious thought.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Tribe of Mentors PDF Summary

Tribe of Mentors PDFShort Life Advice from the Best in the World

Every now and then we feel cornered. The inner tension is escalating and finding that strength to endure amidst all the confusion can turn out to be a nightmare.

In this book summary, you’ll learn what it takes to break from the daily grind and tailor your strategy.

Who Should Read “Tribe of Mentors”? And Why?

Do you have your mentor – that person who has looked after you? – If not, you don’t need looking for one; just psych yourself up with the right attitude!

Tribe of Mentors is a comprehensive piece that puts an accent on the present moment, and all the benefits emerging from this state. As such, it’s suitable for everyone, because it provides an excellent cover for every person’s actions.

About Tim Ferriss

Tim FerrissTim Ferriss is one of America’s finest authors, entrepreneurs, and keynote speakers whose words spark decisiveness and eagerness.  

He is the author of The 4-Hour Workweek; Tools of Titans; The 4 Hour Body, and The 4-Hour Chef.

“Tribe of Mentors PDF Summary”

In the modern era, the term “success” has extended beyond the everyday ordinary meaning, which refers to the momentary satisfaction of job well-done. One word signifies and takes the shape of an evaluator, which displays the person/mentor’s level of achievement.

So, before we outline a few mentors whose careers speak for themselves, it’s crucial to ask – what is common for all these leaders and decision-makers?

Let’s find out!

Tim Ferris in his study or should we say research, discovered that books have a pivotal role in both inspiring and providing solutions for people. These leaders or mentors are highly dependent on new ideas, which can derive in various forms, and one of them is through reading.

You are not human if everything so far, went according to your plans and predictions. Experiencing defeats or stumbling right before the finish-line is an integral part of life.

Self-esteem is just the reputation that you have with yourself. You’ll always know.

Making the most out of it, involves getting up, and making gigantic strides towards the final goal.

Revolutionizing your mindset is highly essential in order to suffocate the negative influence coming from all sides. Life isn’t a fairy-tale story; if you go about portraying yourself as a victim, the others will become your predators.

Patton Oswalt clearly states that without failure, a person can’t reach a mind-stage where it can actually start accelerating its career.

Nevertheless, this development or progress can’t flourish if you underestimate your abilities. Questioning your second nature is a must for every individual who intends to make a radical internal shift.

There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant.

Trading bonds, stocks, and other securities is not the only type of investment. You can invest in your health, well-being, education, information, the availability of resources, and so forth.

Taking your career onto the next level is one of the few ventures you wouldn’t want to miss or sidestep. Top mentors argue that remaining calm under pressure is perhaps the greatest asset one can have. For the same purpose, they suggest meditation.

Tim compiles a list of meditation practitioners, who also express the benefits of having a quiet time with yourself, and defeating the endless chatter of thoughts.

Jimmy Fallon, Jim Carrey, Yuval Noah Harari, Oprah, David Lynch, are among them. Not knowing the world tells the meaning of not knowing yourself; being self-aware means being vigilant about the world.

Happiness is a choice you make and a skill you develop.

Even if you are at the top of the world, you can’t say – That’s it, I know it all. There’s always enough space for you to grow or enhance personally and professionally.

So, what about the methods, which ones maximize the effect, which ones should be held responsible for eventual failure? – You need to find the control button, and pave your own way; the only thing mentors can give you is attitude and basic schooling.

Bear Grylls has a lot of nicknames throughout the world for his “craziness” and passion pointed at nature and adrenaline adventures. As a former military man and Star of his own TV-Show Man vs Wild, he understands the exact meaning of the notion “cracking under pressure.”

He implies that there’s nothing wrong with being afraid, but not doing something because of it, is horrible.

Living in the moment is the only advice you’ll ever get, and fears shouldn’t stop you from being what you are!

Social Media sensation Gary Vaynerchuk argues that saying No while feeling Yes, is like signing your capitulation. Being open to life requires more than words, it depends on attitude, determination, and eagerness to build your future.

Imagine that you are in such position, where you can share your story with first-year students, or recent graduates. What would be your advice? – How would you advise them to start and nurture their careers?

These days, you’ll often hear comments about the digital age, and the importance of engaging your audience online.

Growing on social media and building your brand, must not become your primary concern. Wise people focus on delivering superior quality because they thrive on their work.

Before drawing the final conclusion, let’s underline the fundamental priorities! – It’s not about making more money, but about enjoying your work, and develop into a real master.

Reading more, can definitely help you soar above the clouds and give you another perspective!

Key Lessons from “Tribe of Mentors”

1.      Design the perfect formula that works for you
2.      Quality comes first
3.      Get in the right frame of mind and define your goals

Design the perfect formula that works for you

Not all mentors believe that practice absent strategic orientation can bring about success and happiness.

According to them, becoming a specialist revolves around two sets of things: craft, and healthy habits. Without exercising your mastery, you’ll never be really good at it!  

Quality comes first

In general, you don’t have to be overcommitted to anything, just be fully aware of the endless opportunities that are just behind the corner.

Beware of ideas that reduce the quality of your output, and emphasize the short-term money-making approach.

Get in the right frame of mind and define your goals

Mentors fully agree that there’s one hint in being successful.

If you don’t focus your energy on remaining productive, creative and innovative – your talent and craft will never rise to the surface.

Put more effort than you did yesterday, and strive to set new boundaries!

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“Tribe of Mentors Quotes”

Never let a good crisis go to waste. It’s the universe challenging you to learn something new and rise to the next level of your potential. Click To Tweet I’ve realized that instead of following the trends, you want to identify the trends but not follow them. It’s good to recognize trends, but if you follow them, you get sucked into them, and then you also fall with the trend. Click To Tweet Life punishes the vague wish and rewards the specific ask. After all, conscious thinking is largely asking and answering questions in your own head. Click To Tweet I believe that the key to self-sufficiency is breaking free of the mindset that someone, somewhere, owes you something or will come to your rescue. Click To Tweet Don’t do things that you know are morally wrong. Not because someone is watching, but because you are. Self-esteem is just the reputation that you have with yourself. You’ll always know. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We all need that corner guy that will push us over the limit and help us to get through this difficult time.

Wise mentors understand your suffering and respect your agendas. They have a habit of encouraging you to get up, even if the whole world has turned its back on you.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF: