Tag Archives: first friday book synopsis

Admiral McRaven’s Quote on Daring in Life

In the book that I will present at the First Friday Book Synopsis at the Park City Club this week, Admiral William H. McRaven, wrote this in Make McRavenBookCoverYour Bed:  Little Things That Can Change Your Life…and Maybe the World (New York:  Grand Central Publishing, 2017).

You Must Dare Greatly.

If you want to change the world sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first.

Life is a struggle, and the potential for failure is ever present, but those who live in fear of failure, for hardship, or embarrassment will never achieve their potential.”


You can still register for this event online by going to our home page.  The advance registration fee is only $29.  


What Hustle Means – FFBS September Selection

Hustle CoverIn the book that I will present on September 1 at the First Friday Book Synopsis entitled Hustle, there are four definitive quotes that characterize the content of the book.  This is the bibliographic citation:

Patel, Neal, Vlaskovits, Patrick, & Koffler, Jonas.  (2017).  Hustle:   The power to charge your life with money, meaning, and momentum.  New York:   Rodale.

Hustle defined “Decisive movement towards a goal, however indirect, by which the motion itself manufactures luck, surfaces hidden opportunities, and charges our lives with more money, meaning, and momentum” (p. xvi).

“Hustle is how we use our idiosyncrasies to find our unique means and our personal successes.  Discovering our own way, not blindly aping the success of others, is the truest way forward” (p. xvi).

To fully own your dreams, you’ll need three fundamental forces:  money, meaning, and momentum.  Your hustle aims to cultivate and amplify those three forces throughout your life, through all you do and all you are to become as a person.  When done right, hustle is the proverbial gift that keeps on giving” (p. xvi).

If we’ve learned anything, it’s that you don’t have to be privileged to hustle.  You only need to give yourself permission. The rest, i.e., money, meaning, and momentum, will take care of itself” (p. xx).


Buffini’s Seven Immigrant Secrets Debut on List at # 2

Since we started this blog a few years ago, only a few books have ever debuted as high as the EmigrantEdgeCoverone this week by Brian Buffini.  His work, The Emigrant Edge:  How to Make it Big in America, came in at #2 on the Wall Street Journal business best-selling list this weekend (August 19-20,  2017, p. C10).  It was published by Howard Books, and released on August 1.  As of today, it is in the top 25 best-sellers in two categories on Amazon.com.

Who is he?  Well, he’s a real-estate mogul.  Here is his biography:

Brian Buffini PictureBrian Buffini was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, and immigrated to San Diego in 1986 where he became the classic American rags to riches story. After becoming one of the nation’s top Realtors, he founded Buffini & Company, an organization dedicated to sharing his powerful lead-generation systems with others. Based in Carlsbad, California, Buffini & Company has trained over 3 million business professionals in 37 countries and currently has more than 20,000 members across North America. Today, Brian reaches over a million listeners a year through his popular “Brian Buffini Show” podcast and travels the world sharing a message of encouragement about how to “live the good life.” Brianâs classic Irish wit, hard-earned wisdom and motivational style make him a dynamic speaker, adept at helping people tap into their full potential and achieve their dreams. Learn more at www.brianbuffini.com.


His website is www.brianbuffini.com.   What does he say about his book?  “Take advantage of the opportunities that are in front of you and unleash the principles of the Emigrant Edge to build your own American Dream.”

And, on Amazon.com,

In The Emigrant Edge, Brian shares seven characteristics that he and other successful immigrants have in common that can help anyone reach a higher level of achievement, no matter their vocation. He then challenges readers to leave the comfort of their current work conditions to apply these secrets and achieve the success of their dreams.”
Even though this is a strong best-seller, I don’t see it as a choice we would make for the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas.  However, if it remains popular, we could change our minds, and if that happens, you will read it in a future blog post.


Holiday’s Newest Makes Huge Splash in the Charts

The book has only been available for 11 days, but it has catapulted into a # 2 position and two #4 positions in three Amazon.com best-selling categories.  It also debuted today on the Wall Street Journal business best-selling list at #5 (July 29-30, 2017, p. C10).

PerennialSellerBookCoverOf what book do I refer?  It is Ryan Holiday‘s Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts (Portfolio).  This book is already under our consideration, and is a prime candidate for presentation at an upcoming First Friday Book Synopsis.

Holiday, of course, is the author of five previous books, including The Daily Stoic, which we have raved about previously in this blog.

From his own website (https://ryanholiday.net/about),RyanHolidayPicturehere is how Holiday characterizes himself:

“I am Ryan Holiday and I am a writer and media strategist. When I was 19 years old, I dropped out of college to apprentice under Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power. I went on to become the director of marketing for American Apparel (you might have seen some of the controversial campaigns I was a part of). My creative agency, Brass Check, has advised clients like Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as many prominent bestselling authors, including Neil Strauss, Tony Robbins and Tim Ferriss. I am the author of five books, including The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy and The Daily Stoic. The Obstacle Is the Way has been translated into more than twenty languages and has a cult following among NFL coaches, world-class athletes, TV personalities, political leaders, and others around the world. Now I live on a ranch outside Austin, Texas where I do my writing and work in between raising cattle, donkeys and goats.

I originally started this blog nearly ten years ago to help me along in my journey of self-education. I wanted to write what I wished other blogs would talk about more often: life, dealing with assholes, how to be self-critical and self-aware, humility, philosophy, reading, learning, research and strategy. Aside from this site, I have written for the New York Observer, Thought Catalog, Entrepreneur, 99U, Fast Company, The Huffington Post, Medium, Boing Boing, Forbes, Columbia Journalism Review and multiple other outlets.”

Here is what a recent review of this book in Publisher’s Weekly had to say:

“Following in a long tradition in the self-help genre, Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way) brings a contemporary sensibility to the subject of making and marketing creative work. In clean, inspiring prose he lays out a process of setting goals, being diligent, making the product sell, and building a career out of what you love. Throughout the book, Holiday presents a playfully varied slate of examples of success: Seneca, Winston Churchill, Iron Maiden, and Kanye West, to name a few. Seeing Holiday’s ideas presented in a logical, step-by-step fashion is tremendously helpful. His injunctions include the following: be clear about what you are doing and what need it meets; think long-term, not short-term; pay attention to detail; be open to criticism; and test ideas. Creating is only the beginning and taking charge of marketing is just as important, he insists. The key here is building a platform for reaching an audience, which can mean anything from performing in small clubs to doing an author tour to compiling an email list….he builds a compelling road map to sustainable creativity.”   (Taken from:  https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-14310-901-3)



Rules of the New Renaissance in Jeff Goins’ Best-Seller

On Friday, August 4, I will present a synopsis of the best-seller by Jeff Goins, Real Artists Don’t JeffGoinsPictureStarve:  Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age (Thomas Nelson, 2017).  If you have not yet registered for the First Friday Book Synopsis this week, you can still do so at a discounted price at www.15minutebusinessbooks.com.

Goins’ premise is very simple:

“Making a living off your creative talent has never been easier….the idea of the Starving Artist is a useless myth that holds us back more than it helps us” (p. xvi).

RealArtistsDontStarveCoverHere is a teaser from Friday’s presentation.  If you cannot attend, you can access this within a few days at our 15MinuteBusinessBooks.com site.

In the introduction of the book, he discusses the myths of the starving artist, by presenting twelve rules of the new Renaiassance (p. xvii-xviii).

With those rules, he contrasts starving and thriving artists.

Here are those myths:

Starving Artist

Thriving Artist

Believes you must be born an artist Knows you must become one
Strives to be original Steals from his influences
Believes he has enough talent Apprentices under a master
Acts stubborn about everything Acts stubborn about the right things
Waits to be noticed Cultivates patrons
Believes he can be creative anywhere Goes where creative work is already happening
Always works alone Collaborates with others
Does his work in private Practices in public
Works for free Always works for something
Sells out too soon Owns his work
Masters one craft Masters many
Despises the need for money Makes money to make art

Recent Interview with Eric Barker

This morning, I presented a synopsis of Eric Barker‘s best-seller, Barking Up the Wrong Tree (Harper One, 2017).  Last month, Dan Schwabel of Forbes.com interviewed Barker.  I thought you might be interested in the content of that interview, and I have reproduced that below.  You can find the exact URL at “click here.”

Eric Barker:  Why He Believes Most Career Advice is False

By Dan Schwabel

Forbes.com – May 27, 2017 – CLICK HERE 

Dan Schawbel: Why is most of the advice about success wrong and why did you set out to write this book in the first place?

Eric Barker: Most of the maxims about success we grew up with (“Nice guys finish last. Winners never quit and quitters never win. etc.”) have never been verified by research or experts. My own career has been quite unconventional and, first hand, I’ve seen a lot of exceptions to those “rules.” I wanted to look at the science and get real answers.

 Schawbel: What can you tell us about what it takes to gain self-confidence from science?

Barker: California launched a state-wide initiative to raise the self-esteem of school kids, thinking this would improve grades, reduce drug use, etc. It didn’t achieve any of those goals. Turns out confidence is more of an effect than a cause. We all have a baseline level of confidence, but after that we usually become confident as our skill level increases.  Confidence is a very tricky thing because it’s often delusional or contingent. Delusional because we all know people who are overconfident and cut off from reality. And contingent because we often peg our self-esteem to our achievements. Then when we stumble, we think we don’t deserve to feel good about ourselves anymore and that leads to an uncomfortable roller coaster of emotions where we constantly need to prove ourselves to stay happy.

 Schawbel: Can you name a few pieces of advice that are commonly given but are actually proven untrue?

Barker: Adam Grant’s research at Wharton showed that nice guys do finish last… but they also finish first. “Givers” are disproportionately represented at the bottom and the top of success metrics. Some may say “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” but introverts are far more likely to be experts in their field. They get better grades, more PhD’s, and make up the majority of elite level athletes.

 Schawbel: Do you think there is such a thing as work-life balance? Explain.

Barker: There absolutely is — but the line needs to be drawn by the individual now. The doors to the office don’t close at 5PM. Your phone is ringing and buzzing with emails 24/7. And you don’t need to wait until tomorrow morning to get those documents off your desk; they’re in the cloud. The world is not going to say “stop.” Everyone has to have their personal definition of success and draw a line for themselves. The work-life balance problem is caused by people thinking that it’s still like decades ago when the world would say, “You can stop. You’ve done enough for today.” That’s not going to happen. You need to make a decision for yourself and that’s uncomfortable because it often means sacrificing something.

 Schawbel: What are your top three pieces of career advice?


You need to have a personal definition of success. It will change and evolve but if you don’t have an idea of what you want, you’re going to be on a nonstop treadmill towards “more” and that’s going to make you awfully busy but not necessarily happy.

You need to know yourself. Know your signature strengths — those things you are uniquely good at. What do you bring to the table? Doing what you’re good at not only makes you better at your job, research shows it also makes you happier and respected.

Pick the right pond. Find a place that rewards your signature strengths. A great company isn’t a great place for you if it’s not aligned with your talents and your goals. That’s also true for personality and ethics. If you’re a good person working at a place full of sketchy people, you’re not going to thrive.