Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willink

Jocko Willink is a retired Navy SEAL Officer, I read this great book by him recently, and here are my notes on it. The lessons in it are mainly on leadership.

  • There are no bad teams only bad leaders.
  • Take full Ownership of your Life. You have to take full responsibility for everything you do, there is no one to blame but you.
  • The Leader has to believe in his vision. Without that believe he can’t inspire people, especially when the goal is something outside most people’s comfort zone.
  • People have to have a Why for doing anything. Dont just give orders but give them a meaningful answer to “Why?” doing X.
  • Keep the Ego in check, go forward with humility. keep your Ego in check.
  • prioritize and execute. When shit hits the fan prioritize the next best step and move on, don’t get paralyzed by chaos. Just take the first step.


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A Few Lessons from Sherlock Holmes, Peter Bevelin

A fantastic book I recently read, here are my notes on it:
What distinguishes Holmes from most mortals is that he knows where to look and what questions to ask.
Holmes first gathered all the evidence he could that was relevant to his problem. At times, he performed experiments to obtain fresh data. He then surveyed the total evidence in the light of his vast knowledge of crime, and/or sciences relevant to crime, to arrive at the most probable hypothesis. Deductions were made from the hypothesis; then the theory was further tested against new evidence, revised if need be, until finally the truth emerged with a probability close to certainty.
But only what is useful – it can be dangerous to know too much
All the knowledge which he possessed was such as would be useful to him.
With every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.
It is useful to know something about human nature and what motivates people
Work is the best antidote to sorrow,
Sorrow is often wisdom’s companion but it is better to learn from others sorrow to prevent our own
Note: Learn from the mistakes of others
Never jump to conclusions and try to collect facts as open-minded as possible
Dont make hasty judgments.
It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
The fatal mistake which the ordinary policeman make is this, that he gets his theory first, and then makes the facts fit it,
Observation – Start with collecting facts and follow them where they lead
More is missed by not looking than not knowing.
We can’t observe or collect facts without some kind of view – what to look for, how to look and how to interpret what we see
Make sure “facts” are facts – Is it really so? Is this really true? Are there exeptions?
Don’t miss the forest for the trees – It is not the amount of information that counts but the relevant one.
More information isn’t necessarily better information but it may falsely increase our confidence – What is not worth knowing is not worth knowing
“A wise man sees as much as he ought, not as much as he can.”
– Montaigne
We need to both observe the big picture – forest – and the details – trees.
Reasoning backwards – working back from observations/effects to causes
Note: Reverese Engineering
Before you try a complicated hypothesis, you should make quite sure that no simplification of it will explain the facts equally well.
But don’t try to over-simplify complex matters – especially when we deal with systems with complicated interactions
History often repeats itself There is nothing new under the sun. It has all been done before. So look for lessons in history
But sometimes we learn more by looking for differences – not similarities – in situations
But remember that we see what we are looking for – if we look for similarities, this is what we see, if we look for the differences, that is what we find.
Eliminate possibilities – What can we exclude? – Assuming the true solution or explanation is among the considered possibilities old axiom that when all other contingencies fail, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
These deductions, gentlemen, must however be confirmed by absolute and concrete evidence…Never neglect to ratify your deductions.
Facts don’t lie but we may have interpreted or stated them wrong and therefore drawn the wrong conclusion
Distance gives perspective – Sometimes we need to remove ourselves from the problem and get a fresh perspective
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes
It we could see the world the way others see it, we easier understand why they do what they do
A rule is only a rule if it’s always true!
Watch out for overconfidence
Do we really have an important case? Deal with things that really matter and that we can do something about
Don’t think about how to get things done, instead ask whether they’re worth doing in the first place

Lessons from Elon Musk

  • The Things that will affect the future the most are Genetics and Artificial Intelligence
  • Have a sense of purpose in everything you do. Have a meaningful Worldview.
  • Our state of Innovation is very low because people work for the most part on the same problems in the same industries.
  • Elon is a software maker at heart, he applies that to machines, in effect he merges atoms and bits.
  • “He does what he wants, and is relentless about it”
  • Elon was not considered the brightest students, his classmate didn’t saw a future billionaire. That debunks the Genius by birth myth.
  • Make a list of interesting people you want to meet, then contact them (relentlessly in Musk´s case) until you get on their calendar.
  • “When Elon gets interested in something he develops a different level of interest in it that other people. That is what differentiates him”
  • Hard Work is required to make it big.
  • Musk reinvested almost all the money he made in pervious ventures into his next one
  • He never got bothered that he knew nothing about the industry he got in at first. His formula was reading books and talking to smart people.
  • His level of stamina and an ability to deal with levels of stress that would have broke most people, set him apart.
  • Startup Life according to Musk is like: ” eating glass and staring into the abyss”
  • An optimistic outlook is essential
  • His ability to stay focused and keep a cool head is what saved his companies multiple times. He was able to make clear long-term decisions even under the danger of losing his lives work (Tesla and SpaceX). Also his ability to endure pain and work through it.
  • Elon would quiz experts until he knew everything they knew. That is how he learned how to build rockets.
  • He has a sense of urgency about everything
  • All of Elon’s companies are interconnected in the short and long-term.
  • “He is not chasing momentary opportunities (Money) in business. He’s trying to solve big problems”
  • What makes him also special is that he combines engineering /physic with business thinking.
  • “Musk just seems to have a level of conviction that is so intense and exceptional as to be off-putting to some people.”
  • Dont be afraid to think Big even world changing
  • Output more valuable than Input equals Profit
  • Ask if there is a Law of Nature that stands in your way, if not it is possible.

Lying by Sam Harris

Lying by Sam Harris, Book Notes

Is lying ever justified? This book goes to solve that question. Here are some of the quotes/ notes I got out of it:

We often behave in ways that are guaranteed to make us unhappy. Many of us spend our lives marching with open eyes toward remorse, regret, guilt, and disappointment.And nowhere do our injuries seem more casually self-inflicted, or the suffering we create more disproportionate to the needs of the moment, than in the lies we tell to other human beings. Lying is the royal road to chaos.


Endless forms of suffering and embarrassment could be easily avoided by simply telling the truth


The Mirror of Honesty

Honesty is a gift we can give to others. It is also a source of power and an engine of simplicity.

Avoiding a wide range of long-term problems, but at the cost of occasional, short-term discomfort.

Lying is the lifeblood of addiction.

Telling the truth can also reveal ways in which we want to grow, but haven’t jet.


Two Types of Lies

Two categories: the bad things we do (acts of commission) and the good things we fail to do (acts of omission)

We tend to judge the former far more harshly.

To lie about one’s age, marital status, career, etc. is one thing; to fail to correct false impressions whenever they arise is another.


White Lies

What could be wrong with truly “white” lies? First, they are still lies. And in telling them, we incur all the problems of being less than straightforward in our dealings with other people. Sincerity, authenticity, integrity, mutual understanding—these and other sources of moral wealth are destroyed the moment we deliberately misrepresent our beliefs

By lying, we deny our friends access to reality—and their resulting ignorance often harms them in ways we did not anticipate. A white lie is simply a denial of these realities.

False encouragement is a kind of theft: it steals time, energy, and motivation a person could put toward some other purpose.

When we presume to lie for the benefit of others, we have decided that we are the best judges of how much they should understand about their own lives

These silences are lacerating. Wisdom remains unshared, promises unmade, and apologies unoffered. The opportunity to say something useful to the people we love soon disappears, never to return



We have already seen that children can be dangerous to keep around if one wants to lie with impunity.


Faint Praise

“Honest feedback could have spared me an immense amount of wasted effort”


Lies beget other lies.

Lies must be continually protected from collisions with reality.

When you tell the truth, you have nothing to keep track of.

Lies require an extraordinary amount of work—all of which comes at the expense of authentic communication and free attention

The liar must weigh each new disclosure, whatever the source, to see whether it might damage the facade that he has built.


Research indicates that liars trust those they deceive less than they otherwise might—and the more damaging their lies, the less they trust, or even like, their victims



Vulnerability comes in pretending to be someone you are not.

Rumors, even if disproven, are always kept in our minds when we interact with that person. They sick essentially

“illusory truth effect.” Familiarity breeds credence



Lying is, almost by definition, a refusal to cooperate with others. It condenses a lack of trust and trustworthiness into a single act.

It is both a failure of understanding and an unwillingness to be understood. T

By lying, we deny others a view of the world as it is.

We also force upon ourselves subsequent choices—to maintain the deception or not—that can complicate our lives. In this way, every lie haunts our future.

How would your relationships change if you resolved never to lie again? What truths might suddenly come into view in your life? What kind of person would you become? And how might you change the people around you?

Want to buy the Book?



Some great Videos on that topic:

Sam Harris Talk

Tai Lopez Book Review

What makes Ideas stick?

What makes ideas stick and what makes them worth sharing? How can we make our Message stick? In the great book Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath we get an answer, they call it the stickiness Factor:

Ideas must be

  1. Simple
  2. Unexpected
  3. Concrete
  4. Credible
  5. Emotional
  6. Tell a Story
  1. Simple: Strip the Idea to the core! What is the most important thing you want people to take away from it? What is the main problem your idea seeks to solve? Keep it Simple
  2. Unexpected: Things that are boring don’t get shared so we have to grab attention by suprising people! How to do that?
    • Break a pattern people are used to
    • Pose a Question or a puzzle
    • Use a mystery story
    • Open a knowledge Gap, people get curios when they feel that they don’t understand something
  3. Concrete: Your Idea should be grasped and remembered! Be clear in your message.
  4. Credible: Make sure that your idea is believable! Some ways to do that:
    • Borrow someones credibility
    • Create stories with real people
    • No lies
    • Details matter
    • Give them something they can test themselves
  5. Emotional: People love drama so provide them with it. What emotions do I want to invoke in people?
  6. Story: Empower people to use an idea through narratives! Tell a story, the more hocks it has the more it will stick. Make sure to tell a compelling story.

These are the six factors that give your idea the biggest chance to get shared by other people.

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Related Blog Posts:

How to Fascinate?

Sell to Survive by Grant Cardone, Book Notes

My notes on the book:

Sales is Universal
Selling — (Merriam dictionary) the action of persuading or influencing another to a course of action or to the acceptance of something. Who does this not impact?
businesses fail first and foremost because their ideas weren’t sold quickly enough and in quantities great enough, and therefore they ran out of money
There’s no salary guaranteed in life. The whole world is on commission and the whole world is required to sell!
Health is a commission for taking care of yourself and your mind.
The point is, selling is about life and every area of life involves selling.
Every person, no matter what his profession is, relies on selling.
Become a Professional
COMMIT AND BE DONE WITH IT. Committing is when you make a firm decision, you quit wondering, and then
you follow your commitment through with actions.
The ability to predict is the first thing that happens when you become a professional,
(“objections” notebook and wrote down every customer objection.)
If you’re not getting your way, you’re not sold.
Because of their lack of conviction, they are not consistent producers.
Conviction is the Make Break Point
If you really want something great to happen, you’ve got to be unreasonable even if it means convincing yourself beyond reason that what you have is better.
Being unreasonable means that you are sold on what you’re selling, and it is your conviction alone that will sell others.
Anytime you find yourself having trouble getting your way, look no further than your own degree of conviction in what you’re selling.
If your product is a great deal then wouldn’t it make sense that you’d be willing to buy it yourself?
people sell products that they don’t own themselves!
To the degree that you’re in disagreement with some product or idea, you won’t be able to sell it
If a person won’t spend money or tends to be really cheap in how he spends his money, he’ll always have trouble getting other people to their spend money!
If you won’t buy it yourself, then you’re not sold yourself!
The Price Myth
Consumers want to take home lots of things, not just one thing.
People love showing off.
Therefore, the second purchase reinforces that the first purchase was the right decision.
The People Business Not the “X” Business
If you understand the product before you under- stand people, you are putting the cart in front of the horse.
It has been said that people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Communication = Sales If you don’t get into communication with the buyer you have no chance of ever making the sale.
Just talking about your product is not communicating because there’s no exchange of ideas between you and the buyer. In sales we’re interested in communication that gains access to information, which can be turned into action. To gain information means that your communication should include lots of questions.
People are senior to the products! People are senior to the processes employed by companies. No product or sales process will ever be successful if it doesn’t make people senior!
Never forget, people buy products and it’s your job to sell people on your product, not to sell your product to people.
The Magic of Agreement Always Agree With the Customer
The ability to agree with the customer is senior to all other rules in selling!
If you start the relationship off with agreement, you’ll have a chance to tell the prospect about your product.
Note: “I only have 5 min.”
There’s no easier way to instantly end an argument than by agreeing with the opposition.
Establishing Trust Show, Don’t Tell
Prospects Don’t Make Sales, Salespeople Do
Credibility is one of the most valuable assets you have as a salesperson. When something happens that puts your credibility into question, it becomes difficult to get the buyer to trust his decision to do business with you.
Great salespeople understand the buyer’s distrust, accept full responsibility for it and never take it personally.
I always assume that the buyer doesn’t trust a single word I say to them
People Believe What They See, Not What They Hear
The rule to handle a buyer’s distrust is to always use and show written material to support your presentation and proposal
When you’re documenting facts for your customer, it’s preferable to use third party materials that support what you’re saying.
Always, always, always write down what you’ve said, offered, proposed, promised, implied and suggested. Anytime you’re going for the close, insist on putting it in writing.
The more data, the better. Don’t be afraid to use a lot of data. – Keep your information current. – Have your written information available and easy to access. – Use third party data as much as possible. – The more you’re able to access the data in real time the better. Real time data is preferable to prepared data. – Use computer generated data whenever possible!
The Magic of Give, Give, Give
Selling is the act of giving not getting, serving not selling.
Tip: Problem = Opportunities for Future Sales.
Service is Senior to Selling
The Hard Sell
I do know that most people will not buy without someone asking them to and people will never say yes to someone who quit asking.
The willingness to stay and persist even when the prospect becomes noisy is what separates the professional, consistent closer from the amateur who randomly closes deals. If you don’t truly believe that your product will somehow bring the buyer more enjoyment, benefit or security greater than the numbers they have in the bank, then you’ll never be a great salesperson and you’ll never fully understand the concept of “hard sell.”
The Formula for Hard Sell
1. You must have the belief that what you’re offering is the right thing for the prospect.
2. You have to be trained to stay in the close no matter what happens. You’ll need to be armed with an arsenal of ways to handle stalls, emotional reactions and objections. My closing program is
Exercsise: Every morning I’d team up with another salesperson and we’d practice every possible situation we could possibly encounter that day. This turned me into a lethal individual at closing deals. If you can’t close, you lose.
Video yourself and perfect your techniques. I recorded myself everyday and watched my gestures, hand motions, even my emotional responses. Throughout the day I’d write down all of the objections I heard
Standing is for Losing, Sitting is for Closing
You’ll almost never close a deal if you’re standing up. Sit your client down and show them what you can do for them and support it with facts they can see and substantiate.
Take Massive Action
The fourth action, Massive Action, is by far the most successful tool I’ve had in my life and has resulted in more success for me than any other single thing I’ve done.
Massive Action = New Problems
When you’re not perfect and polished, the only way to compensate is by taking lots of action.
Production Yields Happiness
Most people don’t get enough in life only because they never do enough in life! Production makes people feel good
free advice like, “Slow down—smell the roses.” Disregard them and consider their suppressive comments as a sign that you are on the right track
Anyone who tells you that you’re working too hard is not working hard enough. Unfortunately, such people have given up their hopes of having an extraordinary life.
The 10X Rule If you want one thing, take massive action equal to at least ten times what you think it will take to ensure you attain that one thing.
Be mad in how much action you take until it becomes a habit, a way of life and normal for you.
Act like a madman when it comes to action and get completely unreasonable about what you think it will take to get the job done. Be without sanity or logic or reason when it comes to taking massive amounts of action
The Power Base
The first thing you need to do is make a list of your powerbase.
The purpose is to get in contact with them and to work and restore your powerbase.
Find out about them, what they’re doing, their work, the family and everything that’s going on. Restore the relationships.
Existing customers are the easiest sale there is to make and I always prefer them over a brand new prospect.
If you want to guarantee certainty in your sales production and assure yourself a long and happy career in selling, stay in touch with the people in your powerbase. Love them, call them, wine and dine them, send them presents and continue to show interest in them.
Starting today, I want you to take a look at how much time you waste in a day. Every time you find yourself doing something that is not productive, make note of it.
Write it down and become aware of all the things you’re doing that don’t add up to moving your team and your company down the field.
My rule is if they work with me, they won’t buy from me and that excludes them from spending lunch with me.
Today I invest my lunchtime, breakfast and dinners with buyers, prospects and even long shots.
If you aren’t where you want to be in life, you’ve got to work every angle, every minute and snatch up every opportunity.
Remember that a product can be shopped, but a great attitude cannot. A price can be beat, but a great attitude is priceless. There’s nothing more valuable to anyone than a positive person.
1) Avoid newspapers, television and radio.
2) Stay away from “can’t do” people, people that have trouble in life and people that don’t do well. You
3) Get everyone in your life on the same page
4) Avoid drugs and alcohol because of the negative influence
5) Avoid hospitals and doctors if at all possible.
6) Treat negative talk like garbage
7) Start the Negativity Diet today. Commit to no negative thoughts, ideas or talk for the next twenty-four hours.
While selling is a career for many, it’s a requirement for all. You need to sell, negotiate and persuade others in life to get what you want.

Habits of a Innovator

What are the most important habits that helped the most successful inventors in history to get their insights?

In the book Innovators DNA the authors give the three key habits that can help everybody to have creative ideas. It all starts with the courage to question status quo! You can’t innovate unless you question the rule others made.

The main habits are:

  1. Questioning: Every innovation starts with a question. So great innovators make it a habit to question rules. The questions should outnumber the answers! Make it a habit to ask “Why?” frequently.
  2. Observing: Successful Innovators watch their surroundings and make notes. Make it a habit to watch and observer your surroundings, be it customers, products, technologies etc.
  3. Networking: Great Innovators have a diverse network of people for very different backgrounds, this helps with getting insights from very different perspectives.
  4. Experimenting: Always try to test your ideas and make diverse experiences. Try new things, expose yourself to things you never done before. Make it a habit to test your ideas in the real world in some way.


You can buy the book I got this from here.

Mantra instead of Mission Statements

I got that Idea for Guy Kawasaki and found it to be very intrieging.

The idea here is not to put the mission statement aside and instead write down the mantra of your company. The reason for that is that mission statements are boring and mosty without any emotion. When you just starting out put the mission statement aside and start with the mantra.

A mantra us supposed to motivate your employees and give them something to believe in.

The important thing about writing your own mantra is that it needs to evoke emotion. That means it needs to be as short as possible and very simple. I can´t tell you how to write your own because it needs to come from within but I can show you some examples:

  • Coca Cola: Refresh the world
  • Red Cross: Stop sufferning
  • Southwest Airlines: Better then driving

You see they should not be complicated but thought evoking and powerful. So take the first step and write your own mantra.

The idea came fully from the book “The Art of the Start” writen by Guy Kawasaki.