Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Check out the "virtual home" of Chris Guillebeau, the author of this week's highlighted book, "The Art of Non-Conformity."


I write, travel, and help people take over the world. This site hosts The Art of Non-Conformity blog and the diary of my travel adventures in 150 countries and counting. If you're dissatisfied with conventional beliefs and want to do something remarkable with your life, I'd love to welcome you to the revolution.
 Learn more about him, his work, and see what he's up to: Click here

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Tuesday, 26 July 2011

One way to be average? Accept what people tell you at face value. "The Art of Non-Conformity" by Chris Guillebeau is a great book.


Intro: The Art of Non-Conformity – Set your own rules / Live the life you want & Change the World – Written by Chris Guillebeau It is interesting how things fall into place. I read the 4-Hour work week by Tim Ferriss and was skeptical until I read it. Then this book shows up on my desk. Needless to say Chris Guillebeau has the right idea. People are sleepwalking through life. They get up, work, go to bed and get up again. Before they know it, they are 60 years old and wondered what the hell happened. When you’re a kid and followed the crowd typically you got in trouble and were told – “If everybody jumped off a bridge, would you follow?” Now when you are older it is go to school, get a secure job, buy a house and die. If you do not follow all the people off the bridge then you are an outcast. Chris is an outcast of excellent stature. This is a great book. Lets dig in…….
Click to watch video summary


Why is this important to me?
Well lets consider some things: Education today in the U.S. is a bit of a joke. We rank 25th of all the industrialized nations. This is horrible. Worse than that, kids are graduating college with mountains of debt and not getting jobs. Education cost is the only market that has been rising steadily and far exceeding growth in other areas.
You may ask: Why is Education so expensive and not really helping in the job market? There is so much loan money out there that the universities know they can charge more because there is money to be borrowed. It sounds like a bit of a paradox – students can not afford college so let them go get money and pay for it for the rest of their lives. Worse than that for every engineer/tech person that makes stuff, our universities graduate 18 Lawyers and 50 MBA students. This means that one person creates actual utility and 68 people manage it.
With stats like this you really need to evaluate what you want out of life and the direction you need to take to solidify your future.



This book will show you some absolute great ideas and concepts that you can utilize but it all comes down to – What do you really want out of life? In the book Chris talks about 11 ways to be average. I highlighted three kickers
                        1. Accept what people tell you at face value. This is a classic one and you need to question everything. Remember half the knowledge we know today will be proven wrong in the future.
                        2. Don’t try to learn another language, everyone else will learn English. This is just simple I- centered crap. I will admit that I only speak one language and frankly I am ashamed of it. This is currently being remedied.
                        3. Get the largest mortgage you can and spend the next 30 years trying to pay it. I can follow this one only if your money will be put to something with more utility. Remember that your house is a liability because it does NOT spit off monthly cash f low.

Don’t be average because – “Tomorrow is promised to know one.



Chris’s book is packed with excellent ideas and a ton of non-conforming thinking. I will touch on three key points for the sake of time.
                        1. Remarkable work - You need to define what this means for you. We touched on in the last slide how you can be average. The remarkable life needs to be defined in terms of health, happiness, relationship and work. Give this some thought and cut out the clutter.
                        2. Reclaiming Work – Chris tells a story about a person who was interviewing for bosses. Instead of putting a resume together and hoping to be picked out of a 100 people. She put out a blog post for an ideal boss and decided to work at that level. This is classic out of the box thinking. To reclaim your time, you need to use the stop doing list. This is a powerful tool for cutting away the clutter. Once you define what it is you want then you want to cut away all the crap and focus on what is important. If you work for other people then this exercise will free up your time and get you promoted. This is contrary to popular belief because people think there boss just wants them busy. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. If you work for a company that cares at all about growth then they want you to focus on the 20% of the work that creates 80% for the results.
                        3. Alternative Learning – For those of you that don’t know me, I am a big fan of self learning. With all the tools out there and the internet the possibility for



learning is unlimited. The key is to focus on what you want to learn. I realize that some of you are going to want the degree which is ok but if you are smart about it and short of cash then there are several ways to get it without going into major debt.
Here is a great quote from Malcolm Forbes - “The dumbest people I know are those who know it all” 4




One way to leverage your learning is the following. If you want to learn Spanish then you can subscribe to a language-learning podcast and listen to each 20-minute episode, five times a week for 1 year. You can do this and watch movies you like translated in Spanish. Things like this make it easier to learn. Also, if you follow Tim Ferriss’s advice from the 4-Hour Work Week, then you can get 95% of the conversational language in 3 to 6 months by focusing on the most frequently used words.

I hope you have found this short video summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days.
One thing you can take away from this book is eliminating clutter by using the Stop Doing List. This will leverage the 80/20 rule for you.. Start by eliminating one activity that has no meaningful output each week and focus on the top 5 things each day. Your production and paycheck will increase 5 fold.

If you enjoyed this video then please do not hesitate to pass it along and if you want more detail then click on the link below and purchase Chris’s book “The Art of Non-Conformity”
Thanks for watching and have a great day!

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Thursday, 21 July 2011

Apparently there is still room for "huge growth" at Apple...what?! Check out this insightful & kind of mind-blowing Fast Company article.


Apple's spectacular rise continues. The company's latest financial report reveals that 20.34 million iPhones were sold in the last quarter alone, which is 142% growth on the same quarter in 2010. And iPad sales are even more impressive, running at 9.25 million for the same period, which is a 183% increase over the same period last year. These high margin figures help explain how Apple achieved a record quarterly earnings of $28.57 billion and net profit of $7.31 billion--over 25% of revenues.

What's behind the increase? Apple's been squeezing its Eastern production lines for ever-greater efficiency, achieving reduced per-unit costs and greater production yields for the iPad 2 (Now In White, remember). Both the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 are now mature products, and as production techniques get polished Apple's margins increase with almost every passing week. This may also be an unexpected benefit of keeping the iPhone 4 in production as its headline smartphone for a little longer than Apple's usual product update timing.
Meanwhile, Mac sales were also up, 14% year-on-year, to 3.95 million--but that's a slight miss compared to analyst expectations, which were around the 4.2 million mark. The discrepancy may be sourced in delayed purchases of Macs as savvy shoppers wait for updated hardware carrying Apple's new OS X Lion code.

The drop in iPod sales--at 7.54 million units sold, this is a decline of 20% on the same figure for 2010--is easier to explain. Both iPhone and iPad sport MP3 players and actually have an "iPod" app built in, and sales of those devices are way up. Android smartphones, which are also excellent MP3 players, have undoubtedly cut into some of Apple's iPod market too. The intriguing question will now be what can Apple do to smartly route around this sales drift? The market is begging for an innovative solution, much in the same way Apple surprised the MP3 world with the launch of the refreshed, tiny-touchscreen-enabled iPod Nano.
With an iPod refresh expected in the fall, iCloud on the way, alongside the arrival of the next-gen iOS 5, hot rumors of a potentially pre-pay market-owning iPhone "lite," and then the predictable boost of the holiday season, the next couple of quarters may yet be bigger than this one. And then, in early 2012 we can expect the iPad 3...
After executing one of the most amazing turnarounds in corporate history, CEO Steve Jobs is well on the way to turning Apple into the first trillion-dollar company. With revenues up 92% and profits up 125% he's got every reason to be "thrilled"--since these quarterly figures should actually represent something of a lull in Apple's sales growth: The iPad 2 has now been on sale for months, and initial peak buying has died down, with a similar profile likely for the Verizon iPhone; Macs aren't experiencing the full "back to school" sales peak yet; and the iPhone 4 is very long in the tooth, with an update expected in a mere double-handful of weeks. But the figures say it wasn't a fallow quarter.

Interestingly, though, the Wall Street Journal had a story about board members speculatively hunting for Jobs' replacement as Apple CEO--and published it just hours before the numbers were revealed. The WSJ is something of an official leaky channel for Apple in the past, so it's likely there's a grain of truth here. Is Steve ready to be replaced yet? Nope--Jobs himself said it was "hogwash".

Click here to read the article 

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The Right Words at the Right Time - Written by Marlo Thomas

 Why is this week's book important to me? It's all in the forward: "Tell me a fact and I'll learn. Tell me a truth and I'll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever." -Indian Proverb
 
Click here to see the video summary on Successprogress.com
Introduction: The Right Words at the Right Time – Written by Marlo Thomas and Friends This book is a collection of letters from over 100 people about a particular turning point in their lives. This is interesting because when you can leverage the collective knowhow of really talented & successful people then it is worth the time to read it. The proceeds from this book go to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


Why is this important to me? Have you every had a point in your life when somebody said something or did something to you and it punched you right square in the forehead? If that has happened before then this book is worth your time to read. One thing that stands out is the human element across all the stories. The people in the book include high powered actors, musicians, athletes, senators and business people. There have been several points in my life when this has happened either through words or actions. When I was 14 years old, I attended the largest funeral I had ever been to. This funeral had police escorts. My uncle Bill had passed away at the ripe old age of 44. This mans actions spoke volumes. He did not have to say anything. People loved him because he made everybody around him bigger than himself. He was the type that would talk to the president of the United States the same way he would talk to the hotdog vendor on the beach. Here was a man of modest means who touched everybody who came in contact with him. My aunt (his wife) was shocked when I spoke at my mother’s funeral and paralleled his actions with my moms. She was shocked that I remembered him. This was 23 years later. Actions have meaning and you never know who is watching!!!! “Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.” - Indian Proverb
This book is packed with great stories but for the sake of time, I will profile four of them.
For those of you that don’t know, I am big boxing fan. Muhammad Ali was the Greatest of all time and if you ever seen any of his clips then he would be the first to tell you. What motivated him? One of his teachers told him – “ You ain’t never gonna be nuthin’……” Negative words can do some wonderful things. Muhammad Ali was not only a great champion but also a man of great belief and resolve.

George C. Scott was not profiled in the book but in our business we did some work on Student records and on his student record was a comment from a school councilor that basically said he was a below average person and won’t amount to anything significant. Unbelievable what negative motivation can turn into.
Carly Simon shuttered as a kid. Here mother told her a life changing two word statement that has benefited anyone familiar with Carly’s work – she said “Sing it” This helped her overcome her problem.
Rudy Giuliani tells a story about a fireman who was killed. He attended the funeral and the fireman's sister was getting married shortly after this happened. The family was encouraging the mother to postpone the wedding. Rudy asked Mrs. Gorumba – “Where do you get this strength, this focus? She replied – “When terrible things happen, I try to concentrate on the good parts of life and celebrate them even more than I had before. Think about it. At this moment I have my son’s death and dealing with my daughter’s wedding. Life is a combination of great tragedy and great beauty.”

Mr. Giuliani ended up walking Mrs. Gorumba’s daughter down the isle on September 16, 2001 just 5 days after the September 11th terrorist attack. This is a great life lesson.
Paul Newman was a great and giving man. He tells a story in the book about attributing all his success to “luck”. His good friend told him that most people are lucky and don’t have the brains to see it. If you go to newmansown.com here is what it says:
Newman's Own was supposed to be a tiny boutique operation-parchment labels on elegant wine bottles of antique glass. We expected train wrecks along the way and got, instead, one astonishment followed by another astonishment followed by another. We flourished like weeds in the garden of Wishbone, like silver in the vaults of finance. A lot of the time we thought we were in first gear we were really in reverse, but it didn't seem to make any difference. We anticipated sales of $1,200 a year and a loss, despite our gambling winnings, of $6,000. But in these twenty-six years we have earned over $300 million, which we've given to countless charities. How to account for this massive success? Pure luck? Transcendental meditation? Machiavellian manipulation? Aerodynamics? High colonics? We haven't the slightest idea.

The Right words is a great collection of life lessons. Each one makes an impact. Here is one last story that is not in the book but is telling just the same. Sylvester Stallone was poor and on the street peddling the script for Rocky. He finally was offered $300,000 to sell it but he wanted to play the part of Rocky. They initially turned him down. Mind you, he was broke but he knew he could play this part. The part was him. It got so bad that he sold his dog for a few dollars. Needless to say, he stuck with his gut instinct and the rest is history.
If you have every watched the first Rocky movie, the dog Butkus is the dog he sold. He ended up finding the guy he sold it to and bought him back for $15,000 and a cameo in the movie.
If you enjoyed this video then please do not hesitate to pass it along and if you want more detail then click on the link and purchase Marlo’s book - “The Right Words at the Right Time”
Thanks for watching and have a great day!

Joe Mosed
Successprogress
Learning Delivered




 
 

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Monday, 18 July 2011

Thoughts are things!


The inner voice can be your coach or the third grade teacher who told you that you would amount to nothing.   The choice is yours.  When you learn to manage your inner critic and turn him/her into your inner coach then good things happen.  Also, turn negative anchors into relevant questions:

I cannot afford it – How can I afford it?
I don’t know enough – How can I acquire the knowledge?
I can’t because I am in bad shape – How can I get and stay in shape?


When you open your eyes to the right questions, then your mind will search and find the right answers.  Check out Blair Singer’s good book about the little voice in your head. 

As always, your comments are welcomed.
Have a great week.

Thanks,
Joe Mosed
Successprogress.com
Learning Delivered

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Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The Ivy Portfolio - by Mebane Faber & Eric Richardson


Introduction:
The Ivy Portfolio – How to invest like the top endowments and avoid bear markets – Written by Mebane Faber & Eric Richardson Endowments have an investment outlook of forever. They know how to avoid bear markets and bubble crashes. These endowments use sophisticated investment strategies to limit the risk and maximize their gains.

http://www.successprogress.com/videos/ivy/

Why is this important to me?
There are two main points that make this book important to you.

1. We need to emulate the best. To figure out what these endowments have done on our own would result in lost time, money and opportunity. Why not emulate the best. Here is what the Yale Endowment has done. If you would have invested $100,000 in 1985 then your investment would be worth $4 million today compared to the S&P at $1.5 million, 10-year Government bonds at $950,000. The same amount invested in Harvard’s endowment would have gotten you $3 million. These endowments know what they are doing.

2. Get Rich Quick in stocks is not a smart way to go. Over the long haul you will probably lose money. This does not mean that you will not make money in stocks but it means you need to be educated. Think about it – we would be competing with guys like this who are the best of the best. When you see get rich quick scams on TV just think about these endowments. These guys are the best of the best and they know who how to invest. They beat the S&P by an additional 4% per year with 33% less volatility. Competing with these guys would be like advising your son to drop out of school to play basketball with the goal of becoming the next Michael Jordon.

The Ivy Portfolio is packed with a ton of information. This book is not for the fait of heart. They get into some pretty in depth stuff like mathematical algorithms, portfolio rebalancing, momentum, hedge funds, private equity, active management and passive management.
Rule one is critical. Don’t lose money. Think about this if you invest $1000 dollars and lose 50% of it then you have to make a 100% gain just to get even. This is the biggest destroyer of wealth.
The Ivy Portfolio – This book gives you some ETF’s and mutual funds as well as building core asset allocations that emulate the endowments. They back test with historical data to show you what you would have earned. This is powerful stuff. Please note that these endowments have investment opportunities that the little guys don’t have, given their size. The Ivy Portfolio uses rebalancing and passive management to achieve results. This is doable for the little guy.

13F’s – This is powerful stuff. I never heard of this until I picked up this book. These are powerful tools if you are a value investor with a long term view. You can go to SEC.GOV website and search for 13F’s. This will show what the top dogs are invested in. Thus you can simple see what Warren Buffet owns and buy the same thing. You can search once per quarter and tweak your portfolio accordingly. This is an excellent strategy. Note: You need to figure out a good price to buy in at because you make your money on the buy and not the sell.

The Ivy Portfolio is a pretty intense book on investing but it profiles the two best endowments and how they do it. The good news is there are a couple of things the small investor can learn from the book. They are asset allocation, rebalancing and 13F’s.

I hope you have found this short video summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work t into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is emulate the best. If you want to save time and explode your results then emulate the people who have already done it. You can start by researching 13F’s and seeing what Warren Buffet, Carl Icahn and George Soros invest in.

If you enjoyed this video then please do not hesitate to pass it along and if you want more detail then click on the link below and purchase Eric’s book - “The Ivy Portfolio” Thanks for watching and have a great day!

Thanks, 
Joe Mosed
Successprogress
Learning Delivered

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Sunday, 10 July 2011

The Slight Edge – Secrets to a Successful Life

This book has to be one of the best books written about execution. Jeff Olson is a highly successful entrepreneur and what sets this book apart is that it talks about philosophy. Have you ever driven to the office and once you got there almost forgot you drove? Basically the habit of driving is so ingrained that it does not require any thought. This is the whole concept of slight edge behavior.

Why is this important to me? Think about these 9 unbelievable stats:
 
1.- The average American eats 158 pounds of sugar per year. Processed sugar creates mood swings and deep crashes.
2.- 33% of adults are obese
3.- 33% of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives
4.- 42% of college graduates never read another book after college
5.- There were 1.5 million NEW bankruptcy filings in the last 12 months.
6.- Big Drug companies make billions of dollars each year on Ritalin, Prozac, Xanax and other mind altering drugs.
7.- 43% of American families spend more than they earn each year
8.- Average households carry $8,000 in credit card debt.
9.- The average person spends 26 hours per week watching TV and surfing the web.
These are all examples of bad slight edge behaviors. The great Jim Rohn said “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” This statement has real power and is the key to true success and happiness regardless how you define it.

If you understand this graph then it will change your life………..in either direction. The slight edge is always working. The human condition dictates you are either expanding or contracting. There is no steady state.
 
When a baby is born, they are one day closer to their death. This is not a cruel thing, it is just our reality. It is this paradox that makes life so precious.
 
If you had a choice of either $ 1 million dollars today or a your money doubled each day for 31 days starting with a penny, what would you do? Two people out of ten would chose the penny. The other 8 would take the $1 million. After 31 days of the doubling, you would have $10 million dollars. This is the concept of compound interest – the eighth wonder of the world. By the way, 8 people would also simply turn their financial future over to a stock broker or financial planner without taking accountability for the results themselves. I guess this is why everybody’s retirement is in question. – WISDOM is expensive!!!!!!!
 
The slight edge works in the same way. If you eat a Big Mac and large fries today, you are not unhealthy today but do it for three meals per day for 30 days and you will almost kill yourself. Watch the movie Super Size me for more details.
 
In a nutshell, the slight edge consists of the daily habits you do that can magnify your results with very simple changes. Think about this for one minute. If you cut out 145 calories per day – i.e. one can of Coca-Cola, do you know that in three years you would be lighter by 45 pounds? This is a very simple thing to do and a very simple thing NOT to do. For the numbers geeks, here is the math: 145 calories x 1095 days / 3500 equals 45 pounds. The opposite holds true if you add 145 calories per day. Result 45 pounds of additional pleasure!!!!!!!!


way. The slight edge is always working. Think of this as you would gravity. You can believe it does not exist but jump off a four story building and you will know that gravity exists. This is the same with slight edge behavior.
If you enjoyed this video then please do not hesitate to pass it along and if you want
more detail then click on the link and purchase Jeff’s book - “The Slight Edge”
 
Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Joe Mosed
Success Progress
Learning Delivered

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Welcome to Joe at Success Progress!

Thank you for stopping by my blog.  With technology today, people can connect regardless of where they are located.
My hope is that you find the content of the blog useful and please post regularly.

Thanks,

Joe Mosed
Successprogress
Learning Delivered

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