Money is multiplied in practical value depending on the number of W’s you control in your life: what you do, when you do it, where you do it, and with whom you do it. I call this the “freedom multiplier.” (Location 454)

Different is better when it is more effective or more fun. (Location 563)

If everyone is defining a problem or solving it one way and the results are subpar, this is the time to ask, What if I did the opposite? Don’t follow a model that doesn’t work. If the recipe sucks, it doesn’t matter how good a cook you are. (Location 563)

“Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way. (Location 611)

  1. Ask for Forgiveness, Not Permission. If it isn’t going to devastate those around you, try it and then justify it. (Location 613)

It is far more lucrative and fun to leverage your strengths instead of attempting to fix all the chinks in your armor. The choice is between multiplication of results using strengths or incremental improvement fixing weaknesses that will, at best, become mediocre. Focus on better use of your best weapons instead of constant repair. (Location 623)

Eustress, on the other hand, is a word most of you have probably never heard. Eu-, a Greek prefix for “healthy,” is used in the same sense in the word “euphoria.” Role models who push us to exceed our limits, physical training that removes our spare tires, and risks that expand our sphere of comfortable action are all examples of eustress—stress that is healthful and the stimulus for growth. (Location 664)

Then a funny thing happened. In my undying quest to make myself miserable, I accidentally began to backpedal. As soon as I cut through the vague unease and ambiguous anxiety by defining my nightmare, the worst-case scenario, I wasn’t as worried about taking a trip. Suddenly, I started thinking of simple steps I could take to salvage my remaining resources and get back on track if all hell struck at once. (Location 744)

What are you putting off out of fear? Usually, what we most fear doing is what we most need to do. That phone call, that conversation, whatever the action might be—it is fear of unknown outcomes that prevents us from doing what we need to do. (Location 813)

As I have heard said, a person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have. Resolve to do one thing every day that you fear. (Location 816)

It’s lonely at the top. Ninety-nine percent of people in the world are convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre. (Location 863)

Excitement is the more practical synonym for happiness, and it is precisely what you should strive to chase. It is the cure-all. When people suggest you follow your “passion” or your “bliss,” I propose that they are, in fact, referring to the same singular concept: excitement. (Location 887)

This brings us full circle. The question you should be asking isn’t, “What do I want?” or “What are my goals?” but “What would excite me?” (Location 889)

If you look at my chronology, it is obvious that this didn’t happen until a meltdown forced it, despite the requisite income. Why? The goal wasn’t specific enough. I hadn’t defined alternate activities that would replace the initial workload. Therefore, I just continued working, even though there was no financial need. I needed to feel productive and had no other vehicles. This is how most people work until death: “I’ll just work until I have X dollars and then do what I want.” If you don’t define the “what I want” alternate activities, the X figure will increase indefinitely to avoid the fear-inducing uncertainty of this void. (Location 898)

“I believe that success can be measured in the number of uncomfortable conversations you’re willing to have. I felt that if I could help students overcome the fear of rejection with cold-calling and cold e-mail, it would serve them forever,” (Location 940) - Note: This is effectively the takeway of lean startup machine

He e-mailed a Princeton dean asking for it. No response. Two weeks later, he e-mailed the same dean again, defending his request by reminding her that he had previously met Schmidt. The dean said no, but Marrinan refused to give up. He e-mailed her a third time. “Have you ever made an exception?” he asked. The dean finally gave in, he said, and provided him with Schmidt’s e-mail. (Location 955) - Note: If you never ask, you will never get it. This is that times 1000

Determine three steps for each of the four dreams in just the 6-month timeline and take the first step now. I’m not a big believer in long-term planning and far-off goals. In fact, I generally set 3-month and 6-month dreamlines. The variables change too much and in-the-future distance becomes an excuse for postponing action. The objective of this exercise isn’t, therefore, to outline every step from start to finish, but to define the end goal, the required vehicle to achieve them (TMI, TDI), and build momentum with critical first steps. (Location 1032) - Note: Have a clear goal and key first steps to help get started now.

The most important actions are never comfortable. (Location 1048) - Note: Lean Startup Machine taught this, but I havent out this to the test on the sales side in a very long time if not ever.

Remember: There is a direct correlation between an increased sphere of comfort and getting what you want. (Location 1055) - Note: Only way to get more comfortable is to do it.

For the next two days, practice gazing into the eyes of others—whether people you pass on the street or conversational partners—until they break contact. (Location 1060)

In conversation, maintain eye contact when you are speaking. It’s easy to do while listening. (Location 1063)

Perfection is not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away. —ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY, (Location 1072)

Being busy is most often used as a guise for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions. (Location 1080)

- Note: Might I be subconciously doing this?

Effectiveness is doing the things that get you closer to your goals. Efficiency is performing a given task (whether important or not) in the most economical manner possible. Being efficient without regard to effectiveness is the default mode of the universe. (Location 1106) - Note: I am efficient. Am I effective?

  1. Doing something unimportant well does not make it important. 2. Requiring a lot of time does not make a task important. (Location 1114)

What gets measured gets managed. —PETER DRUCKER, management theorist, author of 31 books, recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom (Location 1119) - Note: Perhaps this was my subconcious fear when Gordon and Jeff came in that made me cautious/quiet.

His seminal work, Cours d’economie politique, included a then little-explored “law” of income distribution that would later bear his name: “Pareto’s Law” or the “Pareto Distribution,” in the last decade also popularly called the “80/20 Principle.” (Location 1125)

I was spending 98% of my time chasing the remainder, as the aforementioned 5 ordered regularly without any follow-up calls, persuasion, or cajoling. In other words, I was working because I felt as though I should be doing something from 9–5. I didn’t realize that working every hour from 9–5 isn’t the goal; it’s simply the structure most people use, whether it’s necessary or not. I had a severe case of work-for-work (W4W), the most-hated acronym in the NR vocabulary. (Location 1150)

Being overwhelmed is often as unproductive as doing nothing, and is far more unpleasant. Being selective—doing less—is the path of the productive. Focus on the important few and ignore the rest. (Location 1192)

It’s easy to get caught in a flood of minutiae, and the key to not feeling rushed is remembering that lack of time is actually lack of priorities. (Location 1196) - Note: Identify what we’re focusing on now and hone in on that.

Parkinson’s Law dictates that a task will swell in (perceived) importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion. It is the magic of the imminent deadline. If I give you 24 hours to complete a project, the time pressure forces you to focus on execution, and you have no choice but to do only the bare essentials. If I give you a week to complete the same task, it’s six days of making a mountain out of a molehill. If I give you two months, God forbid, it becomes a mental monster. The end product of the shorter deadline is almost inevitably of equal or higher quality due to greater focus. (Location 1226) Parkinson’s Law

If you haven’t identified the mission-critical tasks and set aggressive start and end times for their completion, the unimportant becomes the important. Even if you know what’s critical, without deadlines that create focus, the minor tasks forced upon you (or invented, in the case of the entrepreneur) will swell to consume time until another bit of minutiae jumps in to replace it, leaving you at the end of the day with nothing accomplished. (Location 1234)

- Note: This speaks to the importance of setting daily highlights and perhaps weekly goals/focuses

Am I inventing things to do to avoid the important? (Location 1264) - Note: Plan to use this to check yourself throughout the day

If you had a heart attack and had to work two hours per day, what would you do? (Location 1276)

What are the top-three activities that I use to fill time to feel as though I’ve been productive? These are usually used to postpone more important actions (often uncomfortable because there is a chance of failure or rejection). Be honest with yourself, as we all do this on occasion. What are your crutch activities? (Location 1288)

Poisonous people do not deserve your time. To think otherwise is masochistic. (Location 1302) - Note: This reminds me of a conversation I had with Marshie regarding Alexa in college

you are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. (Location 1309) - Note: I’ve never thought in these terms, but it showcases why I need to network more.

Learn to ask, “If this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied with my day?” Don’t ever arrive at the office or in front of your computer without a clear list of priorities. You’ll just read unassociated e-mail and scramble your brain for the day. Compile your to-do list for tomorrow no later than this evening. (Location 1312) - Note: Daily Highlights again. I wait until too late to plan my day.

There should never be more than two mission-critical items to complete each day. Never. It just isn’t necessary if they’re actually high-impact. If you are stuck trying to decide between multiple items that all seem crucial, as happens to all of us, look at each in turn and ask yourself, If this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied with my day? (Location 1317) - Note: Adjust Daily Template accordingly. Perhaps go back tothe Daily Highlight.

Put a Post-it on your computer screen or set an Outlook reminder to alert you at least three times daily with the question: Are you inventing things to do to avoid the important? (Location 1323)

There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant. (Location 1385) - Note: Knowibg everything seems brutal and a significant responsibility

I read the front-page headlines through the newspaper machines as I walk to lunch each day and nothing more. In five years, I haven’t had a single problem due to this selective ignorance. It gives you something new to ask the rest of the population in lieu of small talk: “Tell me, what’s new in the world?” And, if it’s that important, you’ll hear people talking about it. (Location 1394) - Note: I do this better now than i once did, but I do consume Feedly daily. Perhaps I should try this small talk trick

Using the book to generate intelligent and specific questions, I contacted 10 of the top authors and agents in the world via e-mail and phone, with a response rate of 80%. (Location 1411) - Note: You don’t have to come up with everything from scratch.

Replace the newspaper at breakfast with speaking to your spouse, bonding with your children, or learning the principles in this book. (Location 1452) - Note: Put the phone down and be present. Whatever is on the phone can wait.

Develop the habit of asking yourself, “Will I definitely use this information for something immediate and important?” (Location 1465)

Learn to be difficult when it counts. In school as in life, having a reputation for being assertive will help you receive preferential treatment without having to beg or fight for it every time. (Location 1513)

Time wasters: those things that can be ignored with little or no consequence. Common time wasters include meetings, discussions, phone calls, web surfing, and e-mail that are unimportant. (Location 1522)

Time consumers: repetitive tasks or requests that need to be completed but often interrupt high-level work. Here are a few you might know intimately: reading and responding to e-mail, making and returning phone calls, customer service (order status, product assistance, etc.), financial or sales reporting, personal errands, all necessary repeated actions and tasks. (Location 1524)

Empowerment failures: instances where someone needs approval to make something small happen. Here are just a few: fixing customer problems (lost shipments, damaged shipments, malfunctions, etc.), customer contact, cash expenditures of all types. (Location 1527)

Check e-mail twice per day, once at 12:00 noon or just prior to lunch, and again at 4:00 P.M. 12:00 P.M. and 4:00 P.M. are times that ensure you will have the most responses from previously sent e-mail. (Location 1538)

Over the following weeks, he trained me to recognize when I was unfocused or focused on the wrong things, which meant anything that didn’t move the top two or three clients one step closer to signing a purchase order. Our meetings were now no more than five minutes long. (Location 1601)

Meetings should only be held to make decisions about a predefined situation, not to define the problem. If someone proposes that you meet with them or “set a time to talk on the phone,” ask that person to send you an e-mail with an agenda to define the purpose: (Location 1625) - Note: I am guilty of this. Write the agenda (at least a draft of it) while scheduling the meeting

Don’t give them a chance to bail out. The “thanks in advance” before a retort increases your chances of getting the e-mail. (Location 1629) - Note: I never understood why people do this. Now it makes some sense.

Speaking of 30 minutes, if you absolutely cannot stop a meeting or call from happening, define the end time. Do not leave these discussions open-ended, and keep them short. (Location 1633) - Note: This is why I currently find Product Standup so frustrating. Why do we spend the time of the most expensive people in the company triaging incomplete requests? What are we worried is going to get missed by having Amanda and Gail triage it first?

My approach was to put headphones on, even if I wasn’t listening to anything. If someone approached me despite this discouragement, I would pretend to be on the phone. I’d put a finger to my lips, say something like, “I hear you,” and then say into the mic, “Can you hold on a second?” Next, I’d turn to the invader and say, “Hi. What can I do for you?” I wouldn’t let them “get back to me” but rather force the person to give me a five-second summary and then send me an e-mail if necessary. (Location 1642)

A schedule defends from chaos and whim. —ANNIE DILLARD, winner of Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction, 1975 (Location 1672) - Note: This is true. I need to make a high level schedule and then try to stick with it.

There is an inescapable setup time for all tasks, large or minuscule in scale. It is often the same for one as it is for a hundred. There is a psychological switching of gears that can require up to 45 minutes to resume a major task that has been interrupted. More than a quarter of each 9–5 period (28%) is consumed by such interruptions. (Location 1685)

The vision is really about empowering workers, giving them all the information about what’s going on so they can do a lot more than they’ve done in the past. —BILL GATES, cofounder of Microsoft, richest man in the world (Location 1714) - Note: We fail at this by having too much information being privledged and only available at the leadership level.

Empowerment failure refers to being unable to accomplish a task without first obtaining permission or information. It is often a case of being micromanaged or micromanaging someone else, both of which consume your time. (Location 1717) - Note: This has been a historical failure of mine. I have been ttying to mitgate this by asking our team what they think we should do.

Hi All, I would like to establish a new policy for my account that overrides all others. Keep the customer happy. If it is a problem that takes less than $100 to fix, use your judgment and fix it yourself. This is official written permission and a request to fix all problems that cost under $100 without contacting me. I am no longer your customer; my customers are your customer. Don’t ask me for permission. Do what you think is right, and we’ll make adjustments as we go along. Thank you, Tim Upon close analysis, it became clear that more than 90% of the issues that prompted e-mail could be resolved for less than $20. I reviewed the financial results of their independent decision-making on a weekly basis for four weeks, then a monthly basis, and then on a quarterly basis. It’s amazing how someone’s IQ seems to double as soon as you give them responsibility and indicate that you trust them. (Location 1735)

returns dropped to less than 3% (the industry average is 10–15%), (Location 1745) - Note: Potentially useful statistic to have when making assumptions

If you are a micromanaging entrepreneur, realize that even if you can do something better than the rest of the world, it doesn’t mean that’s what you should be doing if it’s part of the minutiae. Empower others to act without interrupting you. (Location 1756) - Note: Avoid this. The quicker you can empower people to make decisions thefast you can scale.

It is your job to prevent yourself and others from letting the unnecessary and unimportant prevent the start-to-finish completion of the important. (Location 1769) - Note: Can you print and hang this in our virtual office?

Eliminate the decision bottleneck for all things that are nonfatal if misperformed. (Location 1788)

Doodle ( The best free tool I’ve found for herding cats (multiple people) for scheduling without excessive e-mail. Create and poll in 30 seconds with the proposed options and forward a link to everyone invited. Check back a few hours later and you’ll have the best time for the most people. (Location 1834)

Freedom ( (Location 1857)

If I can do it better than an assistant, why should I pay them at all? Because the goal is to free your time to focus on bigger and better things. (Location 2013)

unless something is well-defined and important, no one should do it. Eliminate before you delegate. Never automate something that can be eliminated, and never delegate something that can be automated or streamlined. Otherwise, you waste someone else’s time instead of your own, which now wastes your hard-earned cash. How’s that for incentive to be effective and efficient? Now you’re playing with your own dough. It’s something I want you to get comfortable with, and this baby step is small stakes. (Location 2034)

Golden Rule #1: Each delegated task must be both time-consuming and well-defined. If you’re running around like a chicken with its head cut off and assign your VA to do that for you, it doesn’t improve the order of the universe. (Location 2052) - Note: I believe this is why I have been historically bad at handoffs.

Commit to memory the following—never use the new hire. Prohibit small-operation VAs from subcontracting work to untested freelancers without your written permission. The more established and higher-end firms, Brickwork in the below example, have security measures that border on excessive and make it simple to pinpoint abusers in the case of a breach: (Location 2197)

Never use debit cards for online transactions or with remote assistants. Reversing unauthorized credit card charges, particularly with American Express, is painless and near instantaneous. (Location 2216)

Request someone who has “excellent” English and indicate that phone calls will be required (even if not). Be fast to request a replacement if there are repeated communication issues. (Location 2244) - Note: This would be a must for me.

Sentences should have one possible interpretation and be suitable for a 2nd-grade reading level. This goes for native speakers as well and will make requests clearer. Ten-dollar words disguise imprecision. … Ask foreign VAs to rephrase tasks to confirm understanding before getting started. (Location 2249) - Note: Use simple precise words, not illustrative language.

This brings us again to damage control. Request a status update after a few hours of work on a task to ensure that the task is both understood and achievable. Some tasks are, after initial attempts, impossible. (Location 2254)

Use Parkinson’s Law and assign tasks that are to be completed within no more than 72 hours. I have had the best luck with 48 and 24 hours. This is another compelling reason to use a small group (three or more) rather than a single individual who can become overtaxed with last-minute requests from multiple clients. (Location 2256)

I advise sending one task at a time whenever possible and no more than two. (Location 2262) - Note: Have them focus instead of multitask and context switch. (Search “virtual assistants,” “personal assistants,” and “executive assistants.”) The client feedback reviews on Elance enabled me to find my best VA to date, who costs $4/hour. Similar marketplaces with positive reviews include (Location 2297) ($6.98/hour for a dedicated virtual assistant) Based in Mumbai, available via phone and e-mail from the U.S., UK, and Australia. Must choose between 20 or 40 hours per week and pre-purchase hours. (Location 2306)

  1. Which social, industry, and professional groups do you belong to, have you belonged to, or do you understand, whether dentists, engineers, rock climbers, recreational cyclists, car restoration aficionados, dancers, or other? Look creatively at your resume, work experience, physical habits, and hobbies and compile a list of all the groups, past and present, that you can associate yourself with. Look at products and books you own, include online and offline subscriptions, and ask yourself, “What groups of people purchase the same?” Which magazines, websites, and newsletters do you read on a regular basis? (Location 2517)

Use Writer’s Market to identify magazine options outside the bookstores. Narrow the groups from question 1 above to those that are reachable through one or two small magazines. It’s not important that these groups all have a lot of money (e.g., golfers)—only that they spend money (amateur athletes, bass fishermen, etc.) on products of some type. Call these magazines, speak to the advertising directors, and tell them that you are considering advertising; ask them to e-mail their current advertising rate card and include both readership numbers and magazine back-issue samples. Search the back issues for repeat advertisers who sell direct-to-consumer via 800 numbers or websites—the more repeat advertisers, and the more frequent their ads, the more profitable a magazine is for them … and will be for us. (Location 2525) - Note: Does this still work today?

It Should Cost the Customer $50–200. The bulk of companies set prices in the midrange, and that is where the most competition is. Pricing low is shortsighted, because someone else is always willing to sacrifice more profit margin and drive you both bankrupt. Besides perceived value, there are three main benefits to creating a premium, high-end image and charging more than the competition. (Location 2543)

Higher pricing attracts lower-maintenance customers (better credit, fewer complaints/questions, fewer returns, etc.). It’s less headache. This is HUGE. (Location 2548)

I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.      —WOODROW WILSON (Location 2587) - Note: Great Quotes

Create the content yourself, often via paraphrasing and combining points from several books on a topic. (Location 2646)

If you read and understand the three top-selling books on home-page design, you will know more about that topic than 80% of the readership of a magazine for real estate brokers. If you can summarize the content and make recommendations specific to the needs of the real estate market, a 0.5–1.5% response from an ad you place in the magazine is not unreasonable to expect. (Location 2652)

- Note: I often assume everyone is as knowledgable as I am on things and the general public usually is not. I need to look to target those people instead of designers and engineers.

What skills are you interested in that you—and others in your markets—would pay to learn? Become an expert in this skill for yourself and then create a product to teach the same. (Location 2661)

First and foremost, there is a difference between being perceived as an expert and being one. In the context of business, the former is what sells product and the latter, relative to your “minimal customer base,” is what creates good products and prevents returns. (Location 2671)

The M.D. is what I term a “credibility indicator.” The so-called expert with the most credibility indicators, whether acronyms or affiliations, is often the most successful in the marketplace, even if other candidates have more in-depth knowledge. This is a matter of superior positioning, not deception. (Location 2674) - Note: This explains something I’ve often felt, but fail to communicate well. You don’t need the title to do the skill, but you may need it to get others to trust you

Give one free one-to-three-hour seminar at the closest well-known university, using posters to advertise. Then do the same at branches of two well-known big companies (AT&T, IBM, etc.) located in the same area. Tell the company that you have given seminars at University X or X College (Location 2686)

Join ProfNet, which is a service that journalists use to find experts to quote for articles. Getting PR is simple if you stop shouting and start listening. (Location 2693)

Call at least one potential superstar mentor per day for three days. E-mail only after attempting a phone call. (Location 2706)

Use if need be, and base your script on the following. (Location 2710)

Compete ( and Quantcast ( Find the number of monthly visitors for most websites, in addition to the search terms that generate the most traffic for them. (Location 2737)

Affiliate Networks: Clickbank (, Commission Junction (, Amazon Associates ( (Location 2749)

Thomas’s Register of Manufacturers ( (800-699-9822) Searchable database of contract manufacturers for every conceivable product, from underwear and food products to airplane parts. (Location 2764)

InventRight ( (800-701-7993) Stephen Key is the most consistently successful inventor I’ve ever met, with millions in royalties from companies like Disney, Nestlé, and Coca-Cola. (Location 2794)

ProfNet via PR Leads ( and HARO ( Receive daily leads from journalists and TV and radio producers looking for experts to cite and interview for media ranging from local outlets to CNN and the New York Times. Stop swimming upstream and start responding to stories people are already working on. HARO offers select leads at no cost, and you can mention my name with PR Leads to get two months for the price of one. (Location 2810)

Strive to be the largest, best, or first in a precise category. I prefer being first. (Location 2842)

Focus groups are equally misleading. Ask ten people if they would buy your product. Then tell those who said “yes” that you have ten units in your car and ask them to buy. The initial positive responses, given by people who want to be liked and aim to please, become polite refusals as soon as real money is at stake. To get an accurate indicator of commercial viability, don’t ask people if they would buy—ask them to buy. The response to the second is the only one that matters. (Location 2874)

For expanded examples of the following PPC strategies, visit and search “PPC.” (Location 2888)

Best: Look at the competition and create a more-compelling offer on a basic one-to-three-page website (one to three hours). (Location 2890) - Note: I currently feel it woukd take me longer than this to stand this up. What am I doing incorrectly?

Test: Test the offer using short Google Adwords advertising campaigns (three hours to set up and five days of passive observation). Divest or Invest: Cut losses with losers and manufacture the winner(s) for sales rollout. (Location 2891)

Google Adwords Keyword Tool ( Enter the potential search terms to find search volume and alternative terms with more search traffic. Click on the “Approx Avg Search Volume” column to sort results from most to least searched. SEOBook Keyword Tool, SEO for Firefox Extension ( This is an outstanding resource page with searches powered by Wordtracker ( (Location 2911) - Note: Assessing adword keywords SEO

Both register domain names for their soon-to-be one-page sites using the cheap domain registrar (Location 2938)

Sherwood uses to create his one-page site advertisement and then creates two additional pages using the form builder If someone clicks on the “purchase” button at the bottom of the first page, it takes them to a second page with pricing, shipping and handling,43 and basic contact fields to fill out (including e-mail and phone). If the visitor presses “continue with order,” it takes them to a page that states, “Unfortunately, we are currently on back order but will contact you as soon as we have product in stock. Thank you for your patience.” This structure allows him to test the first-page ad and his pricing separately. If someone gets to the last page, it is considered an order. (Location 2942) - Note: Clever way to presell

They aim also for second through fourth positioning, but no more than  .20 CPC. (Location 2958) - Note: Clever tip for not overspending while testing interest

Weebly, which the BBC labeled “a must,” allowed me to create in less than two hours and have it appear on the front page of Google for “timothy ferriss” searches within 48 hours. It is, like below, designed to be very SEO-friendly (Location 3042) - Note: SEO

Clickbank ( Provides integrated access to affiliates willing to sell your product for a percentage of sales. (Location 3080)

CrazyEgg ( I use CrazyEgg to see exactly where people are clicking most and least on homepages and landing pages. It is particularly helpful for repositioning the most important links or buttons to help prompt visitors to take specific next actions. (Location 3143)

This intentional absence has enabled him to create a process-driven instead of founder-driven business. Limiting contact with managers forces the entrepreneur to develop operational rules that enable others to deal with problems themselves instead of calling for help. (Location 3267)

Put your phone number on the site for both general questions and order-taking—this is important in the beginning—and take customer calls to determine common questions that you will answer later in an online FAQ. This FAQ will also be the main material for training phone operators and developing sales scripts. (Location 3336)

Is PPC, an offline advertisement, or your website too vague or misleading, thus attracting unqualified and time-consuming consumers? If so, change them to answer common questions and make the product benefits (including what it isn’t or doesn’t do) clearer. (Location 3338)

Before making your final selection, ask for at least three client references and use the following to elicit the negatives: “I understand they’re good, but everyone has weaknesses. If you had to point out where you’ve had some issues and what they’re not the best at, what would you say? Can you please describe an incident or a disagreement? I expect these with all companies, so it’s no big deal, and it’s confidential, of course.” (Location 3354)

Serving the customer (“customer service”) is not becoming a personal concierge and catering to their every whim and want. Customer service is providing an excellent product at an acceptable price and solving legitimate problems (lost packages, replacements, refunds, etc.) in the fastest manner possible. (Location 3387)

Offer low-priced products (à la MRI’s NO2 book) instead of free products to capture contact information for follow-up sales. Offering something for free is the best way to attract time-eaters and spend money on those unwilling to return the favor. (Location 3424)

For negotiation purposes as well, remember that it is best not to appear to be the ultimate decision-maker. (Location 3471)

Also, Facebook groups has (almost) every niche imaginable. So what I have found success in doing is: (1) Finding a niche group that would buy my muse, (2) sending a message to each admin telling them how my muse will help their group members. Then politely asking them to put a blurb in the “Recent News” section of the group. (Location 3620)

The key to cutting the leash was simple—he asked for forgiveness instead of permission. (Location 3670)

Being bound to one place will be the new defining feature of middle class. The New Rich are defined by a more elusive power than simple cash—unrestricted mobility. (Location 3676) - Note: This is what Greg does

The average man is a conformist, accepting miseries and disasters with the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain. —COLIN WILSON, British author of The Outsider; (Location 3905)

“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” the American then asked. “I have enough to support my family and give a few to friends,” the Mexican said as he unloaded them into a basket. “But … What do you do with the rest of your time?” The Mexican looked up and smiled. “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Julia, and stroll into the village each evening, where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, señor.” (Location 4036) - Note: The importance of knowing what is important

It is impossible to realize how distracting all the crap is—whether porcelain dolls, sports cars, or ragged T-shirts—until you get rid of it. (Location 4242)

I asked every vagabond interviewee in this book what their one recommendation would be for first-time extended travelers. The answer was unanimous: Take less with you. (Location 4256) - Note: The importance of packing light

I box, race motorcycles, and do all sorts of macho things, but I draw the line at favelas,76 civilians with machine guns, pedestrians with machetes, and social strife. Cheap is good, but bullet holes are bad. Check the U.S. Department of State for travel warnings before booking tickets ( (Location 4323)

Here are just a few of my favorite starting points. Feel free to choose other locations. The most lifestyle for the dollar is underlined: Argentina (Buenos Aires, Córdoba), China (Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei), Japan (Tokyo, Osaka), England (London), Ireland (Galway), Thailand (Bangkok, Chiang Mai), Germany (Berlin, Munich), Norway (Oslo), Australia (Sydney), New Zealand (Queenstown), Italy (Rome, Milan, Florence), Spain (Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla), and Holland (Amsterdam). In all of these places, it is possible to live well while spending little. I spend less in Tokyo than in California because I know it well. Hip, recently gentrified artist areas, not unlike the Brooklyn of 10 years ago, can be found in almost all cities. The one place I can’t seem to find a decent lunch for less than $20 U.S.? London. (Location 4326) - Note: Travel

Virtual Tourist ( The single largest source of unbiased, user-generated travel content in the world. (Location 4413) - Note:

Escape Artist ( Interested in second passports, starting your own country, Swiss banking, and all the other things I wouldn’t dare put in this book? This site is a fantastic resource. (Location 4417) - Note: Travel

GridSkipper: The Urban Travel Guide ( For those who love Blade Runner–like settings and exploring the cool nooks and crannies of cities worldwide, this is the site. (Location 4424)

Round-the-World FAQ (includes travel insurance) ( This FAQ is a lifesaver. Originally written by Marc Brosius, it has been added to by newsgroup participants for years and now covers nuts and bolts from financial planning to return culture shock and all in between. How long can you afford to be away? Do you need travel insurance? Leave of absence or resignation? This is an around-the-world almanac. (Location 4442)

One-Bag: The Art and Science of Packing Light ( (Location 4453)

Global Freeloaders ( This online community brings people together to offer you free accommodation all over the world. Save money and make new friends while seeing the world from a local’s perspective. (Location 4503)

The Couchsurfing Project ( Similar to the above but tends to attract a younger, more party-hearty crowd. (Location 4506)

Hospitality Club ( Meet locals worldwide who can provide free tours or housing through this well-run network of more than 200,000 members in 200+ countries. (Location 4508)

Home Exchange International ( This is a home exchange listing and search service with more than 12,000 listings in more than 85 countries. E-mail directly owners of potential homes, put your own home/apartment on the site, and have unlimited access to view listings for one year for a small membership fee. (Location 4511)

But there’s more! Retirees get depressed for a second reason, and you will too: social isolation. Offices are good for some things: free bad coffee and complaining thereof, gossip and commiserating, stupid video clips via e-mail with even stupider comments, and meetings that accomplish nothing but kill a few hours with a few laughs. The job itself might be a dead end, but it’s the web of human interactions—the social environment—that keeps us there. Once liberated, this automatic tribal unit disappears, which makes the voices in your head louder. (Location 4684)

I believe that life exists to be enjoyed and that the most important thing is to feel good about yourself. (Location 4741)

Network for Good ( Visitors to this website will find links to charities in need of donations as well as opportunities to do volunteer work. (Location 4833) - Note: Volunteering

For the duration of this trip, note self-criticisms and negative self-talk in a journal. Whenever upset or anxious, ask “why” at least three times and put the answers down on paper. (Location 4839)

What are you good at? What could you be the best at? What makes you happy? What excites you? What makes you feel accomplished and good about yourself? What are you most proud of having accomplished in your life? Can you repeat this or further develop it? What do you enjoy sharing or experiencing with other people? (Location 4867)

Not performing a thorough 80/20 analysis every two to four weeks for your business and personal life (Location 4911) - Note: Working on this. Should likely look for some structure here.

If you cannot find meaning in your life, it is your responsibility as a human being to create it, whether that is fulfilling dreams or finding work that gives you purpose and self-worth—ideally a combination of both. (Location 4919)

Surround yourself with smiling, positive people who have absolutely nothing to do with work. Create your muses alone if you must, but do not live your life alone. Happiness shared in the form of friendships and love is happiness multiplied. (Location 4925)

As tempting as it is to “just check e-mail for one minute,” I didn’t do it. I know from experience that any problem found in the inbox will linger in the brain for hours or days after you shut down the computer, rendering “free time” useless with preoccupation. It’s the worst of states, where you experience neither relaxation nor productivity. Be focused on work or focused on something else, never in-between. (Location 5008)

Favorite reads of 2008: Zorba the Greek and Seneca: Letters from a Stoic. These are two of the most readable books of practical philosophies I’ve ever had the fortune to encounter. If you have to choose one, get Zorba, but Lucius Seneca will take you further. (Location 5029)

Don’t accept large or costly favors from strangers. This karmic debt will come back to haunt you. If you can’t pass it up, immediately return to karmic neutrality with a gift of your choosing. Repay it before they set the terms for you. Exceptions: über-successful mentors who are making introductions and not laboring on your behalf. (Location 5032) - Note: I do this naturally, but this perhaps explains why I do it.

Slow meals = life. From Daniel Gilbert of Harvard to Martin Seligman of Princeton, the “happiness” (self-reported well-being) researchers seem to agree on one thing: Mealtime with friends and loved ones is a direct predictor of well-being. Have at least one 2-to-3-hour dinner and/or drinks per week—yes, 2–3 hours—with those who make you smile and feel good. I find the afterglow effect to be greatest and longest with groups of five or more. (Location 5042)

Eat a high-protein breakfast within 30 minutes of waking and go for a 10-to-20-minute walk outside afterward, ideally bouncing a handball or tennis ball. This one habit is better than a handful of Prozac in the morning. (Suggested reading: The 3-Minute Slow-Carb Breakfast, (Location 5055)

books: Lonely Planet Hawaii and The Entrepreneurial Imperative. (The latter comes highly recommended. Check it out.) (Location 5111)

It’s deliberation—the time we vacillate over and consider each decision—that’s the attention consumer. Total deliberation time, not the number of decisions, determines your attention bank account balance (or debt). (Location 5191) - Note: Today I spent significant time researching the differences between the Nest Cam and Arlo. Can they really be that different? This was likely a waste of time.

“Not-to-do” lists are often more effective than to-do lists for upgrading performance. The reason is simple: What you don’t do determines what you can do. (Location 5200)

  1. Do not agree to meetings or calls with no clear agenda or end time. If the desired outcome is defined clearly with a stated objective and agenda listing topics/questions to cover, no meeting or call should last more than 30 minutes. Request them in advance so you “can best prepare and make good use of the time together.” (Location 5211)

  1. Do not check e-mail constantly—“batch” and check at set times only. I belabor this point enough. Get off the cocaine pellet dispenser and focus on execution of your top to-do’s instead of responding to manufactured emergencies. (Location 5218)

If you don’t prioritize, everything seems urgent and important. If you define the single most important task for each day, almost nothing seems urgent or important. Oftentimes, it’s just a matter of letting little bad things happen (return a phone call late and apologize, pay a small late fee, lose an unreasonable customer, etc.) to get the big important things done. (Location 5227) - Note: I have been working on this by differentiating between Strategic Work and junk work to help with this. Aya askedd me to review her release notes, but I was swamped with Strategic work. Eventually she sent out the email and everything was fine.

Work is not all of life. Your co-workers shouldn’t be your only friends. Schedule life and defend it just as you would an important business meeting. (Location 5238)

The financial goal of a start-up should be simple: profit in the least time with the least effort. (Location 5246)

Once per week, stop putting out fires for an afternoon and run the numbers to ensure you’re placing effort in high-yield areas: What 20% of customers/products/regions are producing 80% of the profit? What are the factors that could account for this? Invest in duplicating your few strong areas instead of fixing all of your weaknesses. (Location 5310)