The second week of my 52 books in 52 week journey ended on Monday after I finished the outstanding book by Tony Hsieh titled Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose. I had been meaning to read this book for quite some time but never really got around to it. After embarking on my 52 week journey this year however I knew I wanted to read it right away as I had heard so many positive things about it from friends, family and business colleagues. After I began reading the book it didn’t take long for me to realize that the title should’ve been “Path to Culture, Risk Taking and Happiness”, and I mean that in the best of ways. Im going to talk about each of those three things below and give you all a better idea of what I mean and of course what I learned in the reading of this book.
While it takes a little bit for it to get going, the end of the book is all about the culture of Zappos, how it was formed, what it means and why its important. For me, working as a sole proprietor at a desk by myself with no physical employees to speak of the term “culture” never really meant much to me, although it had been something that i’d heard in the past. Anyone who has ever order a product from Zappos or called their customer service can tell pretty quickly that this is not your typical company. In fact, if every company embodied the values set forth by the Zappos culture the business world (and entire world for that matter) would be a better place. Unlike most companies, Zappos doesn’t time their phone conversations nor do they give their customer service agents any kind of script to work with. They want you to talk to a customer like you’re talking to a friend as you help them resolve whatever issue it is that they’re having. The book goes into great detail about what the culture of Zappos is all about, and for me it all boiled down to making your customers, employees, vendors, buyers, etc. all as happy as possible. Whether its a surprise upgrade to free overnight shipping, paying more severance than is required after a round of layoffs, or paying for dinner with the likes of Steve Madden, its all apart of what Zappos such a great company to work for and deal with. I could go on for days (and so could Tony) about how important the culture is to Zappos, what it means and how it was created, but I won’t. Rather, if it sounds like something that is of interest to you (and it should be) I would advise you to read the book.
A short while after graduating from college, Tony was employed at Oracle, a job that most of his peers would’ve killed for. What he realized however that sitting at a desk all day running tests as an engineer didn’t really interest him, and so he left, taking the first major risk of his life to start a company with a co-worker and former college roommate. The company, “LinkExchange” would be a primate startup by todays standards, but after working tirelessly on their product they were eventually bought out by Yahoo for $165 million dollars. For most people that is the end game, never again would you need to work to live happily and its time to pack up your things and start traveling the world. For Tony however that wasn’t the end game, and while the book goes into more detail the long and the short of it is that he and a friend launched a venture capital firm “Venture Frogs” and began investing in startup companies in the Bay Area of San Francisco. Then one day a man approached him with an idea for an online shoe store that he’d started; he had a website to take orders, and was selling shoes out of his home. He knew that it was the next big thing and ultimately Tony did as well. It didn’t take long for Tony to fund the startup and become the CEO. What then happened however was a resistance from Sequoia Capital and other venture capital firms in terms of investment. Over time this amounted to Tony eventually selling all of his worldly possessions and putting (literally) every dollar he had into what became Zappos. Their were times wherein he and the company almost went broke, but he believed in what he was doing and we obviously know how it turned out. The moral of this story is simple, don’t be afraid to think big and take bigger risks. For more information in regards to the story of Zappos you should of course read the book.
Towards the end of the book Tony talks quite a bit about what it means to be happy. Theirs a pretty interesting chart that talks about the three biggest things that people want to achieve in life. They include; growing a company, getting a great job, finding the perfect soulmate, and being healthy. In the chart it goes through a condensed version of what each leads to for instance if you grow a company you’ll get to retire early, spending more time with the family and it ultimately leads to happiness. If you are healthy, and can run faster and then ultimately run a marathon whats it all for? So that you can be happy. If you get a great job, and make a lot of money and someday buy a home whats its all for? So that you can be happy. I think you get the idea. He then talks about how happiness is really about perceived control, perceived progress, connectedness, and vision/meaning. The end result of all this is to help you realize that if you want to be happy you really need to do something that has a higher purpose beyond just money, profits or being number one in a market. Tony talks about some of his happiest moments in his life and surprisingly none of them revolved around money, for instance he talks about climbing to the summit of Mount Kilamanjaro and just being overcome with emotion and thats just one of the many things he delves in to.
Beyond those three things I highlighted a few passages from the book that I thought were pretty educational and interesting.
“I walked away from that experience with the lesson that sometimes the truth alone isn’t enough, and that presentation of the truth was just as important as the truth”. Full story on page 19.
“I thought about how easily we are all brainwashed by our society and culture to stop thinking and just assume by default that more money equals more success and more happiness, when ultimately happiness is really just about enjoying life.” Full story on page 53
“Never outsource your core competency.” Full story on page 130.
While the book might sound like a hip hip hooray type of journey, its actually super informative and takes you inside the mind and thought process of one of the worlds best entrepreneurs. I would HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who wants to run their own company, as you’re sure to walk away from it with a greater understanding of what it means to have a good company culture, what it means to be happy and why takings calculated risks is sometimes worth it.
To purchase this book and read it for yourself, simply click here
Next weeks book is Through My Eyes by Tim Tebow and Nathan Whitaker. Im only 4 chapters into this one and I can already tell that its going to be a great book from start to finish.
For those of you that have read the Tony Hsieh book, what were your thoughts? Id love to converse a bit about the book, its teachings and whatever else you found interesting. Please feel free to leave a comment below and lets chat!
I have always been a huge proponent for reading books, for me they’re the bridge to the gap that was created when I decided not to attend a University any longer. It is my opinion that one can learn all of the nuts and bolts being taught at college by reading comparable works and saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process. Last year however I didn’t read as much as I wanted to and finished the year with less than 10 completed titles under my belt. This year i’ve decided to embark on a 52 books in 52 weeks journey, and yesterday marked the end of both week 1 and book 1. With that end came the start of what is to become my weekly book review. Its my opinion that writing down a brief summary/review of the previous weeks work will help to further reinforce the knowledge gained from the reading.
Week ones’ book was titled, “WillPower” and was written by world renowned psychologists, Roy Baumeister and John Tierney. I wanted to kick off my year with this mainly because I had heard such glowing reviews from several people that I respect greatly in my industry. Furthermore, I couldn’t help by realize that reading a book on how to increase your willpower would only be of further benefit to me as I attempt to accomplish some rather lofty goals that i’ve set for myself this year (more to come on those later). For now however lets jump right into the book.
For starters let me just say that the entire book at a very “Freakanomics” feel to it in that he proposed different situations and helped you to understand them in a way that you’ve never thought of before. For instance ill bet you didn’t know that the best time to go for a parole board hearing in Israel is first thing in the morning, or first thing after lunch did you? The reason, is based on a central concept of the book and that is the fact that your brain uses glucose whenever its trying to make a decision. Upon eating you’re body has its highest levels of glucose present and consequently you’re more apt to making a good decision. In the case of the Israeli prisoners, those that saw the judge first thing in the morning (after he ate breakfast) or first thing after lunch were exponentially more likely to receive parole than those who saw him after his glucose had been depleted (later in the day).
The book talks about some main concepts, with glucose depletion being one of them. Another one however that I found rather interesting was the concept of decision fatigue, and the example that is uses is that of Elliot Spitzer. When people are in positions of power (like Spitzer was) their job is to essentially make decisions all day long. Each time you do that of course your glucose level drops a bit and by the end of the day you’re “brain is fried” and thus you’re more apt to making poor decisions just as Elliot did. As a New York state governor (or normal person for that matter) a non fatigued brain would’ve never purchased hookers using a government expense account, but he didn’t think that like when making his poor decisions. The decisions that he had made during the day depleted his willpower at night and allowed him to join the likes of Bill Clinton and countless other politicians that let their secondary desires ruin their careers.
Another primary concept of the book is the idea of ego depletion which was first introduced by Freud many moons ago. Roy Baumesiter however adopted the term and in essence it is the definition for when peoples ability to regulate their thoughts, feelings and actions becomes deteriorated, or its capacity is greatly diminished. Basically if you use energy by exerting your willpower then eventually you’re going to fail. This is a very dense concept one that while discussed at length in the book probably has entire books written about it already. Before this book however I had never heard of ego depletion but the science behind it all made a ton of sense to me. For instance if you are trying to lose weight and someone offers you a cookie early in the day and you decline you’ve just used willpower. Then suppose you have to make the decision at lunch whether to drink a soda or a water, when you choose water you’ve further depleted your willpower. By the end of the day you’re much more likely to make a poor decision if your ego has become depleted.
The last major concept that I wanted to touch on was that of the hot-cold empathy gap which is basically a nice way of saying that everyone is a hero in their own mind. Most people when they’re home and in their cozy confines will tell you that if they were ever in a situation wherein someone was being raped that they’d jump in, assault the rapist and call the authorities immediately. Or they might say that if they were ever walking along on the street and saw someone drop a $100 bill that they’d give it back without thinking twice about it. The book makes the point however that when you’re actually in those situations you’re much more likely to do the opposite of what you see. You might run away from the rapist in fear of being assaulted. You might keep the $100 and justify it by saying that the lady had a $500 Gucci purse so she couldn’t possibly need the money to live and that you’re not hurting anyone. Those are extreme examples and the book uses some more interesting ones, but I won’t ruin them for those who’d like to read it in the future, which by the way, I recommend in a big way.
I have every intention of reading this book again at some point in the future, because while it was only 300 pages it contained a plethora of information that I want to read over again. Its my personal recommendation that if you haven’t already, you purchase this book TODAY. While its titled WillPower, this is not a self help book perse and I think that everyone would benefit in some way shape or form from reading it.
For those interested, next weeks books is Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh.
Before I get into the business of why exactly PeerFly rocks, I want to go ahead and wish everyone a happy new year. I’ve set several goals for myself going into this year, and I am looking forward to it being my most prosperous yet, I hope you are as well. With that aside, lets rewind about a week or so to why my favorite affiliate network PeerFly, sent me a Christmas “gift basket” that literally and figuratively blew my socks off. For starters let me just say that in all likelihood I am more of a pain in the ass for PeerFly than a legitimate affiliate. For one, I only have two affiliate/seo projects going on at the moment, as 90% of my time is tied up with my main project that is DailyFantasySports.org. Nonetheless they were still kind enough to send me this package to wish me a Merry Christmas and I cannot express how thankful I am in a single blog post.
Really dude? You’re getting this excited over some cookies?
YES. Listen folks, you can count on a single hand the number of legitimate and caring affiliate networks out there, and my boys at PeerFly just so happen to be on that very list. The fact that they would go above and beyond the call of duty to send one of their smallest affiliates such a gift is not only impressive but it shows that they care about their affiliates which is something that many companies fail at. I won’t name any names but I did more revenue last year with at least one other company, and I didn’t receive so much as a Merry Christmas email from them this year. Guess what. I don’t work with them any more.
Onto the gift basket (and some pics).
When the package first arrived I had no clue who it was from or what it contained. I obviously wasn’t expecting anything from my network, nor had I ordered anything for Christmas from around that time. Regardless I swiftly ripped open the box to see what was in store for me.
The tin that it came it said PeerFly which I thought was super cool (again, above and beyond) and once I saw it I knew it was some sort of Christmas gift.
Once I saw the contents any hope that I had of maintaing some healthy eating over the holidays quickly went out the window. The cookies were amongst the best i’ve ever had (super soft, just the way I like em). Im a sucker for chocolate covered pretzels, and their was some kind of little mound of chocolate with crunched up pretzels inside that also tasted amazing. Oh, and the white chocolate covered oreos were solid as well, I need to find a spot to buy those at in the near future.
Take a look at that box of goodies and tell me you didn’t wish your affiliate network was as awesome as PeerFly
At this point I would like to again thank the guys at PeerFly specifically Luke and Corey who i’ve bugged repeatedly in the past year whether it be for an offer inclusion, pay bump or tip on running offer XYZ, they’ve been awesome.
The best part about all of this is that I am again motivated to work on my SEO projects which involve PeerFly offers, which is exactly what I plan on doing here very very soon.
Want to be apart of this amazing network? I figured you did. Go ahead and click here to get yourself signed up. The registration process is relatively painless so get up and start making money with one of the best networks in the business.
Once again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
P.S. Stay tuned to PeterFoti.com in the near future as i’ve got some plans for this site in hopes of reviving it as best I can.
I am always on the look out for new ways to make money online (as if you couldn’t already tell) and some time ago I came across daily fantasy sports. At first I thought it was a fun way to wager a few dollars online but as it turns out this is one of the most lucrative businesses on the internet, and whats more is that it is in an infancy stage. Why do you care? Well I’m not sure that you do but this weekend I worked out a deal with two of the top daily fantasy sites on the net to bring my readers $450 worth of free rolls for this Sundays football games.
What is a free roll?
For those who’ve never really “gambled” before a free roll might seem foreign, allow me to explain. The basic premise is that you are able to win money without having to actually risk any of your own. Its a great way for websites to recruit players and an even better way for newer players to get out there and try out the game risk free! The links to the free rolls are at the end of this post, but for a little better explanation of what daily fantasy football is I suggest that you watch the post below as it does a very good job of explaining the whole thing.
Are you excited? I know I was when I first heard about all of this and now I’m playing every day and making a few bucks in the process. Go ahead and sign up for the free rolls below, see what you think and if you like it great, if not no harm done at least you had some fun in the process
P.S. When you sign up you’ll also be given a deposit bonus of up to 20% should you decide that you want to play for real money (but you don’t have to).
IF you have any questions, comments or concerns feel free to reach out, ill do the best I can to help everyone.
While I have touched on the subject on the past (snoring that is) I have never really gone into much detail nor have I ever given a product review on one particular aid. Today however I am going to be discussing the science behind these devices, and one device that I found in particular which is low cost and offers a great return on your money. For those of you wondering why you would need a stop snoring device, the answer is pretty simple and it comes from the fact that snoring can and often is hurtful both to your marriage (or other sleeping arrangements) as well as your health. Yes thats right, snoring is actually bad for your health! Read on and learn how you can curtail the issue before it becomes an even bigger one.
So for starters we will look at the gimmicky product that has been on the shelves of pharmacys and online retailers for years, the stop snoring spray. These sprays are meant to act as a lubricant to alleviate some of the vibrations that occur when a person is snoring at night. The reality is that while they are a step above a glass of Gatorade they are not that far above, meaning that for the money you would be spending on these things every year, its simply not worth it.
The next product that has garnered a variety of attention over the years are stop snoring chin straps. These devices are meant to ensure that your jaw is in a proper placement while you are sleeping. The great thing about these products is that they actually work! The issue? Well for starters you are going to be hard pressed to find one of these bad boys for less than a hundred bucks, and even then the level of comfort that you are going to receive is wayyyy less than stellar. So the final verdict here is that they work, but cost and comfort quality are lacking.
So what is the best snoring device on the market you ask? Well I would not be fair if I said its the best, but I do think its one of the best out there, and that is the Vital Sleep Stop Snoring Mouthpiece. So what makes this particular product so special? Well for starters it works, secondly it costs less than $50 and lastly, it is flat out comfortable. These devices perform in much the same way as the jaw supporter chin straps in that they are meant to ensure your jaw is pulled forward to increase the airflow.
So what happens if you purchase the mouthpiece but you decide that it is simply not for you? While we realize that this is going to happen on occasion, we hope that you will find out product very useful for you and yours. However in the event that a product does not meet your standards for any reason, simply return it within 30 days and we will provide you with a full refund.
So what are you waiting for? Click the banner above and get yourself sleeping more soundly tonight (for both you are your partners sake).