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4-Hour Work Week

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Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss has done so well promoting his philosophy and after reading his book The Four Hour Work Week, belief that you could actually have a 4 hour work week had more definition.  Read my initial thoughts here.

Tim has extended his book or revised it with new information, however today’s comments only address the four hours discussed in the book.  Four hours to make a living seem somewhat improbable.  Really, can you support yourself, let alone a family by putting in four hours, mostly spent outsourcing to others?

Certainly the feasibility is a rare opportunity, however there is an unstated principle that Tim talks about and it glaring to the reader who is paying attention.  The four hours of work, is the time you must spend working, doing thing that you must do and probably don’t want to.  It is the paper pushing, the phone calls, the organization, the number crunching,

Four Hour Work Week Expanded and Updated

whatever it is that you don’t really like to do.  This is the work that you must put in, even if you aren’t enjoying it.

The remainder of the time you spend creating the necessary income is not really work.  Most professional athletes will comment on how lucky they really are to “play” for money.  They are grateful for their opportunities and recognize that they are the uncommon.  This does not mean that they don’t spend time and significant effort doing what makes them money.  They may spend four hours a week working at the parts of their job they prefer not to do, but he remainder of the time that makes money is doing what they love and thoroughly enjoy.

That is the answers – the four hour work week is not a week where you spend four hours working and could sit on the couch the rest of the time doing nothing!  No.  The four hours are the hours you must spend doing and outsourcing the stuff you don’t like.  The rest of your time is spent doing the stuff your really do like!

Find what you love to spend your time doing, making money in the process of doing that or those things, and the effort become enjoyable.  You no longer work 40 or 50 hours a week doing stuff you could really care less doing.  You spend 4 hours of that stuff and the other time is spend enjoying your time doing what you like.

Put that in you smoke and pipe it!

Written by ebookwisdom

May 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Emotions and Logic

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Jonah Lehrer’s,  How We Decide, is an intriguing look into way the brain and mind work to utilize all the known experience they have to come to an answers.  When I say “they”, what I really mean is “us”.  How we work seems to have an never ending pull on our want for self discovery.

How We Decide

The historical view of our decisions builds off of what is rational and what is instinctive.  What is logic and can be constrained, directed and organized in order to build a “right” answer, then there is the emotional mind that is quick and powerful but without controls and potentially runs amiss without any forcible leverage.  These parts, as Lehrer introduces, where processes of thought from Plato to the twenty-first century.  Ideals and beliefs that have lasted an incredible amount of time and therefore must have truth and validity to them.

Well, maybe to a degree.

When considering any split second decision or a choice that must be made under a short time period, what do we pull from in order to make the best decision?  We have this great desire to know that we have made the best decision, however there are times when we are building off of a feeling, an emotion.  As Lehrer reviewed cases where these type of situations took place, he identifies that “feeling” that the person has or at least can recall.

Jonah Lehrer

The common thread is not the feeling though.  The common thread is that it is unexplainable to the person, why they did what they did.  They cannot readily explain their thought process they had or the cause for the choice.  They can only explain the feeling, good or bad, depending on the situation.  That emotional response that the brain pointed the mind to lead to the choice.

Responding this way does not excuse the choice to emotions alone, but to the cause for choosing what they chose.  The emotional response instigated or pushed the logic part of the brain to try and use that information as best they could.  Those that often used the emotional prod, found that right or best decision.

Why would this be so?  How could emotions possibly know better than logic and be utilized in a constrained environment to produce a result that is accurate?

In How We Decide, Lehrer argues the point that the emotional brain is not to be controlled by logic at all, but rather how do we use emotions in improve our logical response to questions, situation, etc?

Very interesting read.  Although the cover was almost a deterrent for me, I found the content extremely interesting.  For those that enjoy psychology and the human nature of choice and how to learn from that to improve how you work and response, this book  is worth the time.

Written by ebookwisdom

April 19, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Being Fully Engaged Through Periodic Replenishing

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Roller coaster riding through life takes as much out of you as the amusement rides at a park. Whatever it may be that causes energy to do, we have ups – moments of purity, and we have downs – times when we are just down, lost, whatever.

Significance

Book: The Power of Full Engagement

The rides up and down, have to and will happen but the thing about them is that they don’t have to be as dramatic. The ups can be as high as we would like, but the falls don’t have to be as low as they currently are.

James Loehr and Tony Schwartz author an explanation of the energy fluctuations that everybody experiences and why we cannot sustain a steady flow of high performance.

The answers begin with concept that every period of extreme or continuous high performance resides is only as good as the time spent in recovery. This doesn’t mean that both are equitable, but that they are both necessary.  Just as a physical work out requiring unusually high exertion of effort will rip the smallest muscle fibers, the recovery of 1 to 2 days will not only rebuild the muscle, but make it stronger in the body’s anticipation of having to sustain that sort of effort again.

James Loerh

Getting back more than what was put in, is always a smart investment. In the same breath, too much recovery time will atrophy the muscle, weakening it so it will not be able to sustain the previous performance.

This is applicable to all types of energy efforts. Whether you are a mom or dad trying to balance the household duties of kids and laundry and dinner and whatever, or whether you are a professional athlete needing to excel on a regular basis in order to maintain the huge contract you just signed. If creating through mental concentration is what is needed

Tony Schwartz

continually, a recovery is just and valuable as the genius idea.

How to? Well, there is a science to that, so check the next posting for it.

Reaching For Salvation

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Reaching For Salvation

Jim Collin’s fantastic book, “How The Mighty Fall”, teaches that the third stage for a company that is falling or failing is “Reaching For Salvation”.

This imparts a sense severe desperation on behave of the company and big decision makers. As the once success of the company seems to be under the examination by a higher power, beyond the control of the company, who is slow separating, cutting, pulling and breaking parts of what the company was once so solid in.

In an attempt to halting this operation, those with the most beneficial interest in stopping the fall and the torture are those able to make the significant decision that will “save” the company.

The situation has put everyone who really cares (those not sharpening and sending out resume’s as a fail safe) in a need, hope and fear position.  Hardly what is healthy for correcting wrongs, identifying corrective actions and pursuing initiatives with passion.  Struggling to come up with an answer when you have tried cause you to reach for salvation, not because you want to, but because you feel like you need to.

The action typically involves some sort of “savior” solution.  A person or product or structure where all the eggs are put into.  It is like being in Vegas, not having enough money to get home because weekend had started off well, but quick dissolved and with you last dollar you put it into the slot machine, literally praying for some divine intervention that can save you bacon.

There isn’t a calculated solution or a proven process, just a final change in an attempt to succeed.  At first there is a positive reaction.  Not because of the reach but because all others have a renewed hope and work effectively and with passion toward effective, high performance.  It is short-term.

Eventually, the reality comes to fruition and all realize that it is on them, not something or someone else.  They collapse under the realization and expectation.

This is not to say that all situations play out the same way.  Not all outcomes are demise and failure.  Few learn that it is in their innate ability that they rose to greatness, and it requires the same characteristics to re-rise or rise again.  But that is for another posting.

Salvation is spiritual (an physical, in my opinion), however it is not business and there are is not a divine interest in building your company (just a divine interest in building you, in my opinion).

Reference:

“How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In”; Jim Collins; 2009

I Hate Arrogance!

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Hubris – Noun – arrogance, excessive pride, excessive self-confidence.

Exessive Arrogance

The Hubris Leader - Leading To Stage 1 Of Their Fall

As a quick sub-post to How The Mighty Fall, stage one of the fall, as Jim Collins puts it, is the evolution of hubris. The characterization of becoming overconfident in ones abilities, creating and “everything I touch turns to gold” type of approach to maintaining (although the hubris is not conducive to maintaining, so this is somewhat said tongue in cheek) or growing a business.

Can the hubris nature be at a lower level in the company? Typically not. In fact, it is usually quite the opposite. As with most structural situations where hubris exists, leading a company to an unhealthy confidence is usually an false emotion distilled by the top of the company.

The lower levels; those crunching the numbers, doing the market research or responding to the customers are those who first become unweary at the sight of such confidence, asking, “Do they really not see what could happen?” They are those presenting caution in their findings, but often falling on deaf ears of because those ears a this hubris filter that only allows findings and research that reinforces that great achievements of the company.

The leader is so confident that they are forward facing, that they mistake their vision for a mirror, presenting them only with historicals and blocking the actual view. Just as if they were driving their care with the hood up, the leader things that they drive well enough that they can still respond to any potential dangers, when in fact, their vary actions of allowing this to take place are a danger. It isn’t that they aren’t aware of the possible danger, they are actually promoting it.

As the story goes of the drive who is able to drive the vehicle over the mountain pass with treacherous terrains and at one point requires tremendous skill to take the vehicle through a narrow pass, where a mountain side is on one side and a stark cliff falls off immediately on the other. The owner of the product that needs to make it over the pass interviews drivers with most expressing how close they can come to the edge without falling off, while one drive expresses that he will do everything to stay as far away from the edge as possible. Of course the interviewer goes with the “safest” solution.

Many hubris situation have a “pushing the envelop” sort of approach” (not result), which is what poses the danger. This arrogance has a precondition of success, regardless of the field and often leads to a lack of preparation or a reckless disregard of the facts and cautions.

Often these hubris leaders throw the lower level employee, expressing caution and restraint, under the bus and in some cases label them as not being a team player or not fit for the company.

Good for the employee, they have the chance to find the right leadership and avoid the painful fall into stage one and likely onto stage two of Jim Collin’s description.

More opinions to come.

Written by ebookwisdom

April 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Madoff – Books Abounding

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Strolling through B&N this week I came across a book about the major Ponzi scheming events of  recent with the largest scam ever in the 65+ billion dollar thievery.

Bernie Madoff - Arrested

Madoff Arrested

Wow, all I can say is that the first two books are out and there will be several more as the months pass and as the stretching impact.  I sat down and starting reading the more credible of the two books, To Good To Be True.  Since this is an extreme “precursor” to the book itself, I think because most people will find that they are impacted by or know somebody personal who has been impacted by Bernie Madoff’s trickery and unparalleled theft it is worth mentioning.

In just the first 50 pages or so (which I read while in the store and plan on buying the book in the coming days) I found two major things that I think are worth mentioning.  First, Bernie plead guilty, which for most of us think is a great thing, an admittance of wrong doing.  To the victims, this was a slap in the face, since this is the point that Madoff was going to make, that nobody else was involved and that he wasn’t going to cooperate with finding out all of the detail and involvement in the scam

Second, we find that Madoff had a close and influential relationship with the SEC.  This will lead to why he wasn’t investigated fully, when well warned a decade before the arrest, which could have saved millions, if not billions of dollars for investors.

Bernie Madoff

Madoff - $65 Billion +

Very interesting and looking to be a great read.

See the June 17, 2009 filing here.

UPDATE: April, 2010

Noeleen G. Walder of the New York Law Journal recently posted and updated to the happening of the Bernard Madoff case, specifically regarding the work  that Irving H. Picard of Baker & Hostetler has been performing in the effort to recoup investor funds.

Although there has been much infighting to who is deserving of how much of the recovered funds, the report is that $1.5 billion in assets has been gathered.  See law.com’s report here.

As significant as the $1.5 billion is assets is, when considering the overall Bernie Madoff fraud via ponzi in the $60 to $70 billion, we are talking about 2.1 to 2.5 percent of the overall take.  This does not account for how much of that $1.5 billion will be assessed to fees and costs associated with the recovery itself.  The investors may be looking at a 2 percent return, however the likelihood of it dropping below that mark is high.

The infighting for who deserves how much really becomes a true cause for concern and although the officials involved with do their best to be fair, the wise and resourceful investor will seek to be held and to make an early claim on the recovered funds, with the consideration that their entitlement is arguably better or more necessary than others’ claims.

Answers-Purlinks; Who is Bernard Madoff?

UPDATE: May 14, 2010

Judge awards $24.6 million in counsel fees to Irving H. Picard for the trustee work and responsibilities associated with the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme case.  OpenReport Blog

UPDATE: August 2, 2010

So let me understand this – Madoff Investments funneled money from investors into Madoff Energy Holdings LLC, Madoff Brokerage and Trading Technology, Madoff Technologies LLC and let’s not forget Madoff Family LLC, among

Ruth Madoff

 others.  In total Irving Picard believes about $30 million has been spread through these ventures, which are believed to give some beneficial interest to Madoff family members.

Among those being sued for this $30 million are Bernie’s wife, Ruth, sons Andrew and Mark, brother Peter and niece Shana.  Let’s see, after and over the decades of fraud, do any of these parties who ever due or received money from any

Irving Picard

Madoff company, can they really think that they have a leg to stand on.  The sons are contesting the suit via their attorney and it would be surprising if the others don’t.

I am sure all of the world that is falling apart, as they knew it, is only getting worse and should end with the inevitable of facing a 40-hour a week gig with some garnishment hanging over their head, although some of that will be lost to the attorney fees they will pay to keep from form such a judgment.

Good luck Picard – get it all – we are cheering, whether you care or not.

UPDATE:  November 10, 2010,

And now OWN a piece of MADOFF.  The auction of items from two of his homes puts a historic possession in your hands.  Take a piano and burn it, grab a desk and smash it, frame his embroidered slippers like a Capone tommy gun – whatever.  The next step is getting money due the investors of the worlds largest ponzi scheme

Check it out here.

Resource:  CNNMoney, Own a Piece of Madoff

  

UPDATE:  November 18, 2010

The string of arrests continues and will continue as the FBI, SEC and other organizations continue to comb through decades of information and draw connections to what should and is expected to be a rather sophisticated infrastructure.  For a successful and long as the scheme was, Madoff’s guilty plea cannot keep all responsibility to the crime.  Although there have only been five arrests now made, in addition to Bernie Madoff himself, time should deliver a more complete result . . . meaning more criminals who knew and did nothing to stop the crime.

Overnight Joann Crupi and Annette Bongiorno were arrested by the FBI in connection to the Ponzi scheme.  One was living in New Jersey at the time of the arrest and the latter in Florida.

We will watch the slow churn continue.

Resource:  New York Times, 2 Former Madoff Aides Are Arrested (see article here)

 

 

UPDATE:  January 13, 2011

PAYDAY!!!  At least $7.2 billion, yes with a “b”.  As the recovery of the largest cash turnover in US history is handed to Irving Picard, a bankruptcy judge approved the distribution of those funds among the victims of the unparalleled scheme.

The money was relinquished by the widow of Jeffry Picower, who had invested $619 million and withdrew over $7 billion since the 1970’s.  Although Mrs. Picower continues to hold to her stance that her husband knew nothing of the fraud taking place, the “interest” earned was so high that it says otherwise.

Finally some relief for the general population of victims.

Irving Picard has also pursued many others who withdrew more than they invested during the operations of Madoff’s ponzi plan.

Written by ebookwisdom

October 27, 2009 at 6:26 am

Escaping the 9 to 5 – I LOVE THIS BOOK!

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The Four Hour Work Week – What a freakin concept!

ebookwisdom.com

ebookwisdom.com

I recall seeing this book on the bookshelf at a Borders and thought, “yeah right, who is gonna fall for that?”  I, of course, didn’t buy the book and didn’t even consider it, the title was way to unrealistic and far beyond achieving, except for some heir to a fortune, which I am not.  I don’t know what book I bought that day, but I am sure it was some educational, “how-to”, mechanical book on climbing the ranks or mustering the courage to be just different enough to leave the dungeon of corporate expectation and take a chance in order to climb the ranks.

Holy cow, was I wrong.  A close friend MONTHS later said he picked up this book and read it and found Tim Ferriss to be a fascinating personality, presenting a concept that is not far fetched and in fact is rather logical in so many ways.  The premise being that we all think that there is a magic number out there that we need to get to in order to say, “Yes, I have made it, I can now do nothing for the rest of my days.”  Mr. Ferriss says that this very common approach is a gross indication of a strong desire to be lazy, not to live the life you wish to live.

Living the life you dream about and say “wouldn’t it be nice” or try to image what that thing/place/freedom/etc would feel like is what Mr. Ferriss calls Lifestyle Design or basically, creating the circumstances that all you to be, do and go where whatever you want.  It isn’t the million bucks that you want, it is what the million bucks will do for you that you want; and in most cases, you don’t really need a million bucks to achieve what you really want.

Don’t be the “fat man in the red BMW”.  The concept of the corporate employee who is climbing the ranks, who buys the fancy BMW because it is the cool new car (not necessarily the car he wants) and ends up fat because he spends his 80 hours a week at work and only drives the fancy car to and from work.  This indicator has been adopted by my friend and I in order to remind each other where we want to go (in life) and how we want to live it.

That is truely the basis of Mr. Ferriss’s work – Living the life that you would like to live.  What kind of time freedom are you looking for and what lifestyle do you want to maintain in order to achieve that  freedom (essentially, how much money, if you break it down to the penny, do you need to earn in order to get there).  Consider how little you would have to do; the least amount of time and effort to establish that lifestyle.  This isn’t a substitute for being lazy, in fact this is just the opposite.  The Lifestyle Design of the New Rich (NR) is to free up your time from doing the things you don’t want to do, so you can spend the maximum amount of your time doing what you want to do.

I have personally adopting a new approach to my current “job” and how I spend my time there in order to get to where I want to go with my time and money.  I see things changing and hope to publish a case study for Mr. Ferriss when the day arrives.

Building a Business Through Independent Innovation