Weekend reflection and reading

This is the first week in maybe 5 years when I’ve written as much as I have. I’ve posted every day for the last 5 days, and will continue to post daily for as long as possible just to keep the chain going. I’m enjoying the routine, and I’m enjoying the uptick in traffic too, so¬†if you’re reading this, thank you ūüôā

My big goal right now is building a¬†repeatable, scalable system¬†to generate leads for my copywriting business. Right now I’m doing a lot of haphazard, ad-hoc outbound sales and network marketing, which is OK, but isn’t systematic. I need a way to produce reliable, consistent leads and sales. I need to think about how best to do that, and how to build it.

On the plus side, I had some great conversations with potential clients and potential sources of leads and JV deals this week, which was really positive.¬†They were the type of things that will probably lead to good income streams in a few weeks or months, but won’t put cash in the bank right this second. Which is fine, it just makes me wish I’d done them a few weeks ago, but there you go. The¬†best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, and the second best time is now.

I didn’t work out at all this week — had a minor injury that I didn’t want to aggravate,¬†so I skipped the gym, but I can already feel myself getting out of the habit. I need to correct that as soon as possible.

Also, in future I want to make this weekly goal review more structured and systematic too. I want to figure out a way to do that that isn’t too burdensome. I’ve seen some people use systems like this¬†that look good on paper, but would be way too complex to start with, so I want something more basic. I’ll work this out this week.

Anyway, here’s a collection of things I’ve been¬†reading¬†this week, and recommend¬†you peruse over your leisurely weekend. Enjoy.


  • Real World Blueprint for a $5million week¬†– Ramit Sethi goes into deep, intense detail about a product launch at his company, I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Ramit is one of the best in the business when it comes to online sales and marketing, so you can learn a ton from him. But more importantly: don’t try super-advanced tactics if you’re just starting out. Get the fundamentals right, and build from there.
  • Career advice no-one tells you – job requirements are negotiable,¬†imposter syndrome is a good things, and other unconventional job hunting advice. What I love most in this article is the¬†concept of doing the job you want before you’ve got it. Just start doing stuff, and send it to the person you want to hire you. If it’s good, they won’t ignore it.
  • Don’t say “maybe” if you want to say “no” – good piece from Ryan Holiday on not being afraid to turn down things that you just don’t want to do. It’s your time, your life, so protect it.
  • The Million Dollar Question¬†– this is an older essay by Sebastian Marshall that PERFECTLY encapsulates the issues and insecurities of taking an unconventional path in your career and your life. It’s a big fear that I have as I move towards more freelance and entrepreneurial projects, and something that I’m wrestling with right now, so it was good to read this again.


  • The Millionaire Fastlane¬†– I love the¬†central idea of this book — that the only way to really get wealthy before you’re old is entrepreneurship and building income-producing assets — but god, the title is awful. It sounds like a bad infomercial and makes me not want to recommend it. A good read though.
  • Berkshire Hathaway Letters to Shareholders¬†– I’m a huge Warren Buffett/Charlie Munger fanboy, and there’s more wisdom in this book than an entire MBA course. But¬†it’s a long read — it’s just a collection of every letter to BH shareholders from 1965-2014. For edited excerpts of these letters, check out The Essays of Warren Buffett, and for more on Charlie Munger, Tren Griffin’s recent book Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor is really good.
  • The End of Jobs – my buddy Taylor Pearson’s first (but probably not last) book is a fantastic argument that traditional jobs are in terminal decline, and that you¬†should start to move towards a more entrepreneurial career path. Taylor’s a great writer — his essays are testament to that — and this is an important and timely book. Pair it with Choose Yourself, which covers similar ground but from a more inspirational point of view (Taylor’s book is more the nuts and bolts, practical advice).


What I’m reading

I’ve binged on books over the last couple of weeks – here’s some of what I’ve been reading:

The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson. Like I said a week or two ago, I’m a little behind the times with this book, but it was full of fantastic graphs, explanations and theories as to how the internet has changed so many business models for the better, and the important of niches.

The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. Again, I’m hugely behind the times, but I finally got around to reading this, and I thought it was great. I can’t instantly put into practice much of what Tim talks about (in order to escape 9-5 I would first have to find myself a 9-5 job from which to escape) but I really admire what he’s done, and I think it’s inspiring. Your life doesn’t have to be work all week, party on friday and saturday night, rinse and repeat for 40 years: you control it, you can shape it and you can do what you want. There’s some fantastic productivity advice in here as well.

The Game-Changer: How You Can Drive Revenue and Profit Growth with Innovation by Lafley and Charan. This book is a fascinating look at how Proctor and Gamble focus on customer-centric innovation and how every decision is driven by trying to improve the day-to-day life of the customer. I knew P&G were a big company, but I was blown away by the sheer number of brands they own. 21 brands with sales of over $1bn per annum. A lot of P&G’s success comes from hugely extensive market research, immersing themselves in the customer’s world and seeing things as they do, defining what the issue is and then coming up with a way to ‘delight’ the customer.