The 4-Hour Body Book Review and Slow-Carb Diet Results (Before & After)

What if I told you that I lost 5% bodyfat and 13.6lbs in 30 days with no exercise and only dieting 6 days a week? That’s exactly what I’m telling you.


January 1 – February 7th (I forgot to take after pictures on the first of Feb.)

If you had told me a year ago there was a way to lose 13.6 lbs as well as 5% bodyfat in 30 days with no exercise, I would have laughed at you. In the past month however, I experienced this first-hand. This post explains which book I got the information from and how things happened.

Tim Ferriss is at the top of the list of podcasters that I listen to on a regular basis. Until buying his books at the end of last year, passive listening was all I had done. Now that I’m not under a self-imposed deadline to read a book a week, I figured 2017 is time for self-experimentation. Ferriss excels at this (a self described “Human guinea pig”) and advocates that people optimize their lives.

His second book, “The 4-Hour Body”  was published in 2010 and reached #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list. I purchased this book with a specific outcome in mind, rather than filling my mind with fitness information, I wanted a measurable result.

Derek Sivers, one of Ferriss’s podcast guests and founder of, is on record as saying

“If information were the answer, we would all be billionaires with perfect abs.”

I knew that having access to information wasn’t the answer, it was having a framework which I could consistently apply select information to my life.

If you’re wondering why you would pick up The 4-Hour Body, this is why. You’ll read a portion of the book and get an an actionable experiment to try.

One last mindset before I show you the nitty-gritty of my last 30 days. Arthur Jones, the inventor of the Nautilus Exercise machines, is the father of what Ferriss calls the “Minimum Effective Dose.” Put simply, this is the mindset that says that a certain input that creates a desired result is exactly what you do. Anything less and you don’t get the result, any more and there will be side effects. In order to build this mindset, Jones admonishes on pg 20:

“REMEMBER: It is impossible to evaluate, or even understand, anything you cannot measure.”

Feeling armed with knowledge, I set out on the first of the year to find out what I could change in one month following the Slow-Carb Diet.


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1.1.17: 222.0 Pounds // 24% Bodyfat // 122.0 Total Inches

Inspired by stories of people in the book and posts like “How to Lose 100 Pounds on The Slow-Carb Diet” I was ready. I stepped on the scale, calculated my bodyfat percentage, and found my “Total Inches” by measuring around my waist, my hips, my arms, and my thighs.

This is the extent of the rules I followed, according to the above-linked post:

Rule #1: Avoid “white” starchy carbohydrates (or those that can be white). This means all bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and grains. If you have to ask, don’t eat it.
Rule #2: Eat the same few meals over and over again, especially for breakfast and lunch. You already do this; you’re just picking new default meals.
Rule #3: Don’t drink calories. Exception: 1-2 glasses of dry red wine per night is allowed.
Rule #4: Don’t eat fruit. (Fructose –> glycerol phosphate –> more bodyfat, more or less.) Avocado and tomatoes are excepted.
Rule #5: Take one day off per week and go nuts. I choose and recommend Saturday.

That’s it. 


30 days later I couldn’t believe the change.

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I did take this on February 7th (Oops!) but my Feb 1 numbers were: 208.4 Pounds // 19% Bodyfat // 112.37 Total Inches

I know I was able to implement this diet because I had a psychological “out” on Saturday. I ate everything in sight, the one saturday I documented for the video review came in at a whopping 6275 calories… Check out the video below and skip to 5:20 to see pictures of all the junk food from that day.


In conclusion, I only read a part of the book, but that was the minimum effective dose that I needed to get on track to where I want to be. I’m not to either my goal weight or muscle mass yet. But as I write this post on Saturday (“Faturday”) at a Panera Bread after eating two chocolate pastries and downing a Crystal Pepsi, I can honestly say I’m having fun with this experiment.

Keep Reading, Friends!


ONE Thing to do this year. ONE Thing Book Review

You meant to do it, but….

We all have goals, dreams, and priorities that never get done. I have things that I procrastinate regularly as I’m sure you do too.

Here’s the rub. We often think that if we will just use our willpower and get back on track, we can blast through our to-do list, multitasking to keep everyone happy along the way, and emerge victorious winners of the rat race.

Gary Keller advises the opposite.

His book, The ONE Thing, co-authored with Jay Papasan, encourages you to think through your various roles withthe lens of what they call “The Focusing Question.”

What is the one thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else becomes easier or unnecessary?

This focusing question is an extension of the “Pareto Principle.” The Pareto Principle states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the activities. Because of this, we look specifically for the highest value for effort. Another great application of the Pareto Principle can be found in the book Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy (it’s about overcoming procrastination).

Pause a second and read the quoted question again. This shouldn’t be a trite process as you determine your one thing. It has to be something you can do. Picking out unrealistic activities helps no one. Saying, “such that by doing it” implies that you are committed and can finish this one thing. Most important, it has to have a ripple effect on the rest of your to-do list. And not only that, you must push yourself to ask if it will make EVERYTHING else easier or unnecessary?

So what was your new years resolution? Did you do it??

New Years resolutions statistics state that only 8% of people succeed in achieving their resolutions.

Make it ONE Thing this year.

Here’s my story. After graduating college I wanted to continue rigorous reading, to work on public speaking skills, to be more literate in the digital world, to create passive income, to add value to the world, to inspire people of my generation, among other things. 🙂  Way too lofty? That’s just how I think.

I hadn’t read this book but I figured if I could be accountable to an audience, I would have built-in pressure and would be less likely to wimp out. I decided to start a book review YouTube channel.

Looking back, I see this principle in action. By committing to weekly uploads for the first 8 months, I had no choice but to read a book a week and bring value to the videos I was making. Making videos had a direct effect on my ability to communicate and I had no choice but to learn how to edit video in the process. Do I make thousands of dollars or reach millions with useful content? No. But if I don’t start somewhere, I’ll never get to serve that many people.

The Why Should I Read That YouTube channel became the “ONE Thing” for me in 2016.


What’s your ONE Thing?

P.S. Check out this document by the authors called “A Few Things about The ONE Thing” for a proper summary.


Why Should I Read | The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Great fiction writing highlights a familiar truth in an unexpected way.

Gaiman writes about the world of the dead as he reminds us to cherish the time we have in this life. Because most of the characters in The Graveyard Book are eternal, the experiences of the mortal main character, Nobody Owens, are seen in stark relief.


The Graveyard Book came recommended to me via Tim Ferriss as he consistently promoted it on his podcast in conjunction with Audible. I picked it up for a recent vacation, an easy way I could justify adding a fiction book to my reading list, and was not disappointed! I was immersed into a world that swirled with mist and creaked as I opened the gate to enter the graveyard.

If you enjoy the fantasy genre, you’ll find yourself walking with werewolves. If you prefer mysteries, this book opens upon a Man outfitted entirely in Black immediately after a murder has taken place. If you’re like me and you enjoy a great history reference, the inhabitants of the graveyard are stuck in the years in which they died. Because of this, they bring their culture with them as they interact with one another.

Gaiman has written a book that entices the reader ever deeper into a mythology that parallels modern life. You find yourself in small-town England amid rolling hills as soon as you turn the first page.


Since the book follows the opening years of Nobody Owen’s (Bod, as he’s known to his friends) life, you experience the passage of time in a graveyard which is incongruous to the inhabitants, who are eternal. Bod can converse with the inhabitants of the graveyard, and is raised by them, with the specter of the Man in Black in the background of the story, until he isn’t.

I won’t spoil the rest of the story. I trust you’ll enjoy this book as much as I did.

Happy Halloween folks!

Until next week,

Keep Reading friends.

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Why Should I Read | The Difference Maker

“Attitude isn’t the only thing, but it is the main thing.”

As one of the most respected authors and speakers on leadership over the past four decades, John Maxwell has made a lifelong pursuit of adding value to those around him. That’s important to realize before picking up any of his books because they are each designed to give you actionable strategies to use today.

I won’t steal any of his thunder, and let you hear from the author about his own book here:

Did you watch the video? The rest of this post requires you hear Maxwell say the phrase, “Attitude ISN’T everything.”

Wait, what about the great book (recommended by me) Attitude is Everything

At first glance it seems I’m caught recommending two books that are total opposites. However, here’s what I found. It comes from a surprising source.

I was reading a blog by Mike Vacanti of On The Regimen. Here’s what he wrote in a blog post titled 12 Things I Learned From The Creator of Nike after listening to the memoir, Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, founder of Nike.  

Nine: As A Strength Coach, I Disrespect Running Too Much 

In my content, I turn a nose up to running.

There is a specific reason for this: misinformation is best defeated with hyperbole. And such a high percentage of the general population believe cardio is the secret to fat loss progress.

He goes on… it’s mostly fitness stuff.

But did you catch it? As soon as I read the phrase “misinformation is best defeated with hyperbole,” I got thinking. I don’t 100% agree with Mike, but the conclusion I reached is close.

Misinformation is shaken by hyperbole, and when your incorrect beliefs are shaken, new information has the chance to take root. 

So how does this all fit with Maxwell and attitude??

John Maxwell takes an approach to attitude that is extremely correct. He tells you what attitude can do, he tells you what attitude cannot do, and he gives techniques and strategies for dealing with five major attitude anchors.

On the other side, Jeff Keller, shakes the mindset of the public by overstating the situation and shouting, “ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING

Is that the case? No, but now that Keller has your attention, let’s let him talk about what your attitude can do.

Bottom line, both books have valuable information and insight into what can be your greatest asset and competitive edge, your attitude.

Until next week,

Keep reading, friends!

P.S. Extra content: a connection can hit you any time, anywhere. I was wrestling with these contradictory mindsets of attitude until I read a fitness article about Nike, weightlifting, and distance running.

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“Why Do People Do That?” New Series 

Hey readers,

Trying a new approach to the blog this week, if you like it I’ll do more of them!

We’re breaking down human behavior based on principles from books and authors that have already been reviewed here. We’ll answer questions about people’s behavior in general.

Have you ever wondered why people don’t start the things they say they want to start?

We all know someone who wants to start a business or get in shape or learn an instrument. What holds them back?

In thinking this through it seems like there are two central issues, though there could be more. First is fear, second is misunderstanding success in your chosen area as being driven by talent rather than skill.

Fear is real. Fear is success enemy number one.

The Magic of Thinking Big starts chapter three with those twin sentences. But how to overcome fear? That is shared there too. 

Action cures fear. -pg 110

You can always take a positive action that will diminish your fear. 

Afraid of that phone call? Make it, and the fear is gone.

Seems like a pat answer, but its power is in the simplicity. Just do it. 

A great way to push yourself to action is through accountability. I remember making plans to start this YouTube/blog series at the beginning of 2016, yet I was fearful because I didn’t know how to edit video. I missed the first weeks of January and decided I couldn’t back out if I told my friend Russ I would start in February. 

This series launched the first week of February. 

The second thing is a misunderstanding of how people who are successful in your chosen field got to where they are. 

Seth Godin wrote on Friday, Sept 23, on his blog “If even one person is able to learn it, if even one person is able to use effort and training to get good at something, it’s a skill.”

Jeff Olson calls the skills mindset the Slight Edge philosophy. The idea that your habits have a cumulative effect either positively or negatively on your life.

How does this relate to people not starting the things they want to start?

People who have the talent mindset don’t realize they can improve slowly but surely in their chosen endeavor. They also tend to compare their beginner skill set with world class skills. For reference, Malcolm Gladwell says in his book, Outliers, that world class abilities are developed over 10,000 hours before mastery can occur. 

We’ve all thought “I’ll never be like that.” But we have to remember that there may be thousands of hours of practice between our point A and our hero’s point B.

My friend Carlos, who runs the YouTube channel ProyectoGTG, gave me this advice before I started the series. He said its more important to just get started than than to be good when you get started. I agree, just start, and you can develop your skills along the way just like everyone else.

Hopefully this gives some insight into your interactions with others! Let me know if you like this format, I would like to bring helpful content on the weeks I don’t have a chance to read an entire new book. If you’ve got a better format idea or a question about “Why do people do that” Let me know! 🙂

Until next week,

Keep reading friends!

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#Whyread The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

We’ve all got problems. We also think a handful of Benjamins can fix them, right?

Don’t get me wrong, you and I might be able to fix some things with cash. However, the life of Ben Franklin offers wisdom quite a bit more valuable than his face on the $100 dollar bill.


This post isn’t a recap of his life, there are textbooks for that. What I hope is that you’ll use his tactic of being creative when faced with problems. So many of us are afraid of action if the outcome is uncertain.

Read this book to see how Franklin handled difficulty.

Ben Franklin was many things during his life, founding father, printer, inventor, international diplomat, military strategist, philosopher, and “the greatest conversationalist in the colonies,” were among his roles.

We can draw present-day wisdom from his 18th-century accomplishments.

Most people focus on his 13 virtues that he developed in his 20s and lived throughout his life.

Again, not deep diving here, go check out these posts and books to learn about his 13 virtues:

However, I was fascinated by his method of thinking through problems in a creative way. Backed up by a group of men who met weekly to discuss ideas, Franklin instituted the first fire department during his lifetime. He invented a stove that heated the house safely and consumed so much less wood that it’s design was used for over a hundred years. He franchised his printing businesses all around the American colonies and trained entrepreneurs.

My favorite story was this one about getting his soldiers to attend daily prayers during the French and Indian War using a chaplain and alcohol. I share that one here:

Again, I believe that a creative approach allows us to be more effective. I hope you’ll read this book and learn directly from the only founding father who signed the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States, and the Treaty of Paris (ending the Revolutionary War).

For kicks and giggles, count how many times Franklin says “ingenious” in his book. It seems to be his favorite adjective.

Until next week,

Keep reading Friends!

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Why Should I Read | The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

For me, you pursue what you love regardless of what else happens. If you fail or fall flat on your face, and that’s the worst thing that can happen, it’s OK. When did pursuing what you love become such a bad thing? I’ll make all the sacrifices to be the best I can.                         -Tim Tebow quoted in The Atlantic

Tebow Showcase

Former NFL quarterback, Tim Tebow smiles during a work out for baseball scouts and the media during a showcase on the campus of the University of Southern California, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016 in Los Angeles. The Heisman Trophy winner works out for a big gathering of scouts on USC’s campus in an attempt to start a career in a sport he hasn’t played regularly since high school. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Some would say Tebow’s baseball ambitions are a sideshow, I say it’s a world-class example of Stephen Covey’s first habit.

Did Tebow’s MLB tryout this week inspire me to pick up The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People?  No, but because I’ve read this book, I see the results of these habits played out more clearly in the lives of people around me.

Back while reviewing The Slight Edge I wrote, “If we can structure our habits so that they feed our positive progress up the slight edge, we can use the momentum we build over time to ride our way to goals that may seem incredible at this time.”

Will picking up The 7 Habits magically transform you into a highly effective person? Absolutely not, and the late Dr. Covey would be the first to tell you the same. What makes this book so foundational and powerful is the consistent application and awareness that it can spark in a life.

People like Elon Musk or Sam Walton offer us the opportunity to scrutinize their lives for traces of these habits. It’s a fascinating foray into the psyche of success ( and a little alliteration alights the senses ;).

That’s the main reason I believe you should read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective PeopleIt allows a framework for understanding success and then using that understanding for your own development. 

This post isn’t a summary of the book, click on this great summary from Hubspot for that, rather it’s about understanding the habits played out in the real world.

So let’s get back to Tebow.

Habit #1 in the book is to “Be Proactive.” Regardless of your opinion on Tebow’s performance for 46 MLB scouts this week, you have to admit, he’s taking control of the things that he can control.

The Washington Times reports that he said playing quarterback and hitting a baseball were his favorite things as a boy. At 29, prospects may seem slim that he will ever play in the Major Leagues but his determination to pursue what he loves to do is unmatched.

I think we could all learn a lesson from Tebow here.

Until next week,

Keep reading friends!


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Why Should I Read | The Ideal Team Player

Are you a Jackass?

Patrick Lencioni can tell if you are.

Lencioni, the NYT Best Selling author of The 5 Dysfunctions of a Teamhas followed that foundational work on teams with his newest project on the individuals that make up a team.

As the founder of The Table Group, consultant to 78 of the Fortune 100 companies, Lencioni is perhaps  the most qualified individual to teach about jackassery within teams.

A fable like several of his other books, The Ideal Team Player addresses the three core virtues that an individual must possess to be an effective member of a high functioning team.

The story revolves around CEO Jeff Shanley of Valley Builders as he and his core executives take on two new projects and need to radically expand their team. They endeavor not to hire “jackasses” and come up with three essential virtues and innovative ways to identify and cultivate these into their employees.

The three virtues are not new concepts. An individual must be humble, hungry and smart to be an ideal team player. These are not interchangeable, they must ALL be present in the same individual else the person falls into danger of being a “jackass” as Shanley puts it.

Semantics of the story aside, the Table Group has been building a culture around these three virtues for nearly 20 years. They actively hire and fire on the presence of humility, hunger, and smarts.

Humility, according to Lencioni, is “the single greatest and most indispensable attribute of being a team player” (pg 157).

Check out Why Should I Read | Humility: True Greatness for a fuller discussion of humility.

Hungry workers never have to be told to work harder by their boss, they are diligent and self-motivated (p. 159).

Finally, Smart is simply having common sense in dealing with people (pg.160).

You may be thinking, “I could have told you that!” You would be correct, these attributes are not news to most people. However, identifying the presence and cultivating all three simultaneously is the challenge.

If you’d like to access a self assessment or to learn more about these attributes, visit the free resources page available at

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What is a Book? | The Inevitable

I’m currently listening to Country Rap. I’m not joking.

Check this playlist out.

If that isn’t proof that the world is changing, I don’t know what is.

Some changes are great, and we’ll discuss one here. Some changes are terrible, like that playlist I just shared.


My opinion in a shirt. 

Seriously though, we’re going to talk about a significant change predicted by Kevin Kelly in his new book The Inevitable. We’ll answer the question, “Who the heck is Kevin Kelly and can he predict the future?” approach the question, “What is a book?” and give some perspective as we move into an uncertain future.

Kevin Kelly writes about the technological forces in play in our culture and how they will shape the next thirty years. If you’ve heard of him before, this premise makes sense, if not, why is he suddenly our cultural psychic? Kevin Kelly helped launch Wired Magazine and was its executive editor for its first seven years. Wired Mag is dedicated to tracking and understanding the changes in the digital age.

Kelly has been in the eye of the storm when it comes to the changes technology has brought us over the last 20 years and is uniquely qualified to comment on the coming trends. Worth noting, he makes assertions on almost every page in this book, and some have come to opposite conclusions based on the same evidence. However, he raises a plethora of great questions in his chapters that are wonderful for making the reader trace the possibilities of potential futures.

One of my favorite questions that Kelly brings up is “What is a book?” He asks this question in the chapter on “Screening” so let’s examine what he means by this. To do so, come with me to ancient Egypt. For thousands of years, us humans were “People of the word.” While language and writing existed, it was reserved for the gods and kings, everyone else had to make do with memorizing information.


Hieroglyphics from my friends’ trip to Egypt (visit their site for the 20 Most Surprising Things About Traveling to Egypt)

About 500 years ago though, Gutenberg transformed the world in the space of a few generations with the invention of a printing press. Soon anyone who was literate could have their own ideas, pass along technical knowledge, or mount a revolution. This transformed human beings into “People of the Book.”

Exploding in popularity in the 1950s, the television was the herald of the age of screens. Today we see a profusion of screens every where we look, snaking around buildings, peeking out of our pockets, screaming for attention along roadways, they’re everywhere.

Kelly says we are becoming “People of the Screen.” This changes the way we experience information, and according to him we will cease to merely read words, we will also “watch words and read images” (pg. 89). Before you scoff, when was the last time you sent a text with no words, all emoji? Before you dismiss this out of hand, what about this video that summarizes the entire book of judges in 7 minutes and 29 seconds?

So before we pull back from this potential new identity, it may be worth exploring. And what better way to explore than to ask the question, “What is a book?” After all, if we aren’t people of the book anymore, and we associate books with knowledge, are we forsaking deep knowledge for an existence of sound bytes and video clips?

Kelly subscribes to the idea that a book is more than simply the pages and text. After all, is a blank “sketchbook” a true “book?” It has no content whatsoever. What about a “phonebook?” It has no narrative structure, and no one desires to read it in its entirety for information. We have machines for that. He says that a book is “a bunch of symbols united by a theme into an experience that takes a while to complete.” (pg. 91)

This sounds like a definition that could flow onto or live on a screen, and that’s exactly what we are witnessing.

So even if a “book” is able to live in a world of screens, and we are becoming people increasingly connected to screens, what saves us from death by soundbyte or asphyxiation from advertisements? Kelly predicts that as books flow into the ocean of the web, what will emerge is an interconnected, hyperlinked whole that will be something of a “universal book.” This, he predicts, will allow people to see the world as the series of complex interconnected wholes rather than merely isolated ideas.

Personally, this makes me excited, imagine having a portal to the sum total of knowledge of the human race. This development has enormous potential.

Others look at this type of trend (remember, there are 12 in the book) and recoil. Its easier to take it a day at a time, wonder when the next iOS update will actually be mandatory, and keep hitting “remind me later” until you upgrade your phone.

Kelly’s perspective on an uncertain future that we are facing is this, it’s better to paddle with the current because then you can steer around the rocks.

white water.jpg

If you’ve ever been white water rafting of kayaking, you’ll know that once you’re in a white water scenario, its unwise to fight the current. One must adapt to the situation, and roll with the flow. In this way, one can navigate dangerous waters with ease. Dealing with the world as it actually is.

Remember, there are 11 other trends like this to unpack in this book. Each of them could be their own book it seems. Or perhaps they already are.

Thanks for “screening” this book with me folks! Check out this week’s video for my personal screening of this same topic here:


Until next week!

Keep reading(screening?) friends!

Why Should I Read | The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

Who was the third person to fly across the Atlantic? You know the answer.

But before I remind you, Al Ries and Jack Trout have written a book with one of the most pretentious titles I have ever seen.

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk!

Quite the proposition, but several of their laws are devastatingly accurate. While their examples are dated (I read the 1993 edition) it’s almost more fun that way to examine their predictions in light of 23 years of marketing between publishing and today’s reality.

So who was the third person to fly across the Atlantic? You’re practically dying to know.

You may know that the first man to fly across the Atlantic was Charles Lindberg on May 20, 1927. You may even remember that his plane was called “The Spirit of St. Louis.” But you’re wracking your brain to try and think of who this third person was.

Well, SHE happened to be the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, Amelia Earhart.


Ok, this is Amy Adams, but she plays a great Amelia Earhart in Night at the Museum 2!

This is where marketing happens.

Let me explain.

Ries and Trout say that our minds stick on the first in any category, they call this the Law of Leadership. This means that for instance, Redbull will probably always have a big portion of the energy drink market, because it was the first in people’s mind. Their second law, the Law of Category, is that you can always be first if you create a new category. That’s what’s going on with Amelia Earhart.

She created the category, first woman to fly across the Atlantic, and it didn’t matter that she was the third person overall.

This book has 22 laws like these for you to digest. Personally, I disagree with their worldview that marketing actually changes truth. They say that there is no objective truth, that all truth is merely perception and that since perception is influenced by marketing, then marketing changes truth. This is quite the postmodern view, and I reject their conclusion. However, perception is real, and one would be hard pressed to argue that marketing doesn’t influence people.

You’ll also be hard pressed to read this book and not find a way to apply it to your business or life. If nothing else, I enjoyed it for fun nostalgia of the early nineties and to judge their predictions.

One has to take some of their “laws” with a grain of salt because according to the “Law of Line Expansion,” Microsoft is mere years away (in 1993) from failing as a company because they keep expanding their product lines.

I recommend this book with a caveat. Note the qualifications of the authors and the fact that this book is recommended by people like Tim Ferriss and Ryan Holiday. But remember, not all of the predictions they’ve made played out in that way in the real world. Don’t blithely follow a map that doesn’t accurately portray the territory.

What category will you be first in? Did you catch this week’s video?

Until next week,

Keep Reading Friends!


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