Books I’ve Read in the last 12 months

This is NOT a book review- whew, maybe I’ll launch into something like that eventually.

This is simply a list of most of the books I’ve read in the last year, give or take. I’m sure there are some I’ll forget and add later.

Supposedly, Make Twain said something like this:

The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.

And, I also like this one:

If you don’t read good books, you’re simply rearranging your prejudices

So, here’s my list in no particular order. Let me know if you’ve also read and enjoyed (or hated!!) any of the books below.

  1. The Culture Map, by Erin Meyer
  2. Napoleon, by Andrew Roberts
  3. 1984, by George Orwell (ok, read 1st in high school)
  4. Antifragile, by Nassim Taleb
  5. Leaders Eat Last, by Simon Sinek
  6. Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh
  7. How the Irish Saved Civilization, by Thomas Cahill
  8. A Game of Thrones, by George RR Martin
  9. The Woodlanders, by Thomas Hardy
  10. A History of Western Philosophy, by Bertrand Russell
  11. The Innovator’s Dilemma, by Clayton M. Christensen
  12. Many Lives, Many Masters, by Brian L. Weiss
  13. Never Eat Alone, by Keith Ferrazzi
  14. Bloodlands, by Timothy Snyder
  15. The Art of War, by Sun Tzu
  16. Naked Economics, by Charles Wheelan
  17. Reality is Broken, by Jane McGonigal
  18. A Clash of Kings, by George RR Martin
  19. Built to Sell, by John Warrillow
  20. The Prince, by Machiavelli
  21. A Storm of Swords, by George RR Martin
  22. Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  23. The Icarus Deception, by Seth Godin
old books
You HAVE to read good books!

Do “Blue Ocean” opportunities really exist? Or is it all just “Red Ocean”?

People love brainstorming “blue ocean” ideas where they’ll talk about how to create their own uncontested market space and make competition irrelevant. I’ve participated in those sessions and admit they are a blast. It’s a great tool for opening up business minds that might be stuck, get them out of the usual and explore where else you could go. At Beloved Brands, we always start with the consumer so that we ensure we are meeting the needs of consumers rather than blindly putting things out into the marketplace that no one wants. However, the second check is the competitive nature of your positioning to make sure I’m not blindly putting things out that someone is already doing. Murder and Strategy have one thing in common, they both start with opportunity. Yes, finding those blue ocean strategies, can create opportunities.However, the reality is that most brands play in a highly competitive space where every gain you make, comes at the expense of someone else, who is also constantly

Source: Do “Blue Ocean” opportunities really exist? Or is it all just “Red Ocean”?

There is NO such thing as failure

Failure doesn’t exist in this world.

I try, I fail, I learn, I try again, I succeed. 

See that at the end? The Success? Well then, it’s very simple isn’t it? Seeing failure instead of success is all a matter of timing. If you realize that it is part of the process towards success, then you know what will be coming next.

The real question is whether I’ll stick to a task or process long enough for it to become successful – the natural course of events. The Great Bambino, The Sultan of Swat, the one and only Babe Ruth once said “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” He could only say that because he had decided to go to bat enough times to run the numbers successfully. To borrow an analogy from another American pastime, the reason most people fail instead of succeed is because they “punt on first down.”

Keep in mind, doing what you’ve always done will greatly slow down the failure to success problem. It is a LIFE principle and to be sure, but plenty of people have hit pause on their lives right in the middle of failure and never moved forward. The best way to succeed is not to NOT fail, but to try to never make the same mistake twice. Also, try to fail as fast as possible. If you’re going through any process avoiding failure, you’re also avoiding success.

Failure, Success

I just created a new word: Solutionaire

Millionaire, Billionaire, Solutionaire.

We have monetary related “aire” titles and I thought a good word to create would be a “solutionaire.”

The definition of the first two is basically someone who has a million or a billion dollars, or relative value of other property. It’s about having.

However, the definition of this new word isn’t someone who simply has a million solutions. We all know someone who thinks they have all the answers but that’s not the point. My definition of a solutionaire is someone who not only has the creative mind to come up with many solutions, but then goes out and does something about it. It’s about taking action.


top 9 TV theme songs from the 90’s

Home Improvement
I’m not so sure, Tim.

#9 (’91-’99) Home Improvement: I loved the construction equipment noises and the “Hhhhuuuuh?????”


Step By Step
Brady Bunch 2.0

#8 (’91-’98) Step-By-Step: The build up whilst climbing the roller-coaster always got to me.


Hello, Jerry.

#7 (’89-’98) Seinfeld: Not really a theme song but gotta love the distinctive bass-synthesizer picking in between scenes.


Saved By the Bell sitcom
It’s all right!

#6 (’89-’93) Saved By The Bell: If only a high school could have been this much fun, maybe I would have gone. 


Animaniacs Logo
They have pay-for-play contracts.

#5 (’93-’98)  Animaniacs: They’re known for their epic educational songs. Check em out on YouTube sometime. 


Breaking Bad

#4 (’08-’13) Breaking Bad… wait just a minute… that’s not in the 90’s! Oops sorry! ;-)


Full House
Everywhere you look….

#4 (’87-’95) Full House: I loved these guys. Interesting to see where they’ve all headed from here. On one hand the Olsen Twins, on the other Candace Cameron. Couldn’t be more different!


Duck Tales
You might solve a mystery, or re-write history!

#3 (’87-’90) Duck Tales: Barely making it into the 90’s, Scrooge and the ducklings have to make it on this list. The way Scrooge dives into his money-bin for a swim will always amaze me. 


Baywatch Cast
Baywatch… don’t worry, I’ll be there for you.

#2 (’89-’01) Baywatch: Oh how I’ve missed you. We all learned so much about swimming, life-saving techniques and running on the beach.


Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
It all happened when a couple of guys…

#1 (’90-’96) The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Thank you. I really used to think I could actually rap. And I could never figure out why everyone laughed at Carlton’s dancing… 

10 reasons I hate puppies

cute puppiesIn no particular order:

  1. When they’re around, I can’t work or be productive in any way.
  2. When they leave I’m suddenly confronted with what a cold, dark place the world is.
  3. I get a sudden urge to buy a Jeep and move to the Adirondacks. And build a log cabin. And drink Natty Ice. And wear flannel.
  4. It’s embarrassing to hear myself talking to them (awww, uhuh uh, thurrrr, yeshshsh, yer so cuUUte yesh ew aaar!!!)
  5. After a while, all my shoes in the backroom closet start to smell like poop.
  6. I cry a lot knowing that their owners will probably raise them poorly, and turn that cute puppy into a stupid, fat dog… and knowing that is depressing.
  7. I actually grew angry once whilst arguing that Boo the Dog was indeed a real dog (Which he IS darn-it!!)
  8. They remind me of how friggen evil and cocky cats truly are.
  9. I want to jump up and down, drool and bark whenever I hear a cardboard box of cookies shake.
  10. On a cuteness scale of 1-10, puppies generally take spots 11-27. Human babies land at 1 or 2. Tops.

Fun stuff:

Cutest Ever


Boo is Real

Cats are awful

Man’s best friend

think you’re doing pretty good? watch this…

First off, this video is top-notch. An excellently produced and narrated piece. It did a swell job of visualizing complex ideas. Three cheers to them, but…

I like to ask questions not being asked:

Is my definition of fair, well… is my definition fair?

Where does happiness reside on this scale?

How are the bottom 90% really doing? 

How did you think you were doing before watching this video? Aaand after? Any change? Better or worse?

Fixation on inequality will lead us to ask the wrong questions and in turn, draw wrong conclusions. Instead of “fixing” the gap we should be educating ourselves on how money works, how/when/where to invest money, and of course, in ways we can all become creators of systems rather than worker bees along. We can close the gap by creating opportunities. Take a guess at the biggest hurdle to creating opportunity in America.

“What we should do about this?”

Hmm… sadly, I bet most viewers in AmUrica are conditioned to immediately picture the “WE” = our government. Well, Bull$#!+. Do we (WE = regular folk) believe handing them more power (THEM = gov’t bureaucrats) will accomplish anything fair? Methinks they  have plenty of POW-er already.

And remember my fine friends, these cold hard stats alone leave out an important historical fact: The “bottom __% in America” is doing fine. Great actually. (No, I’m not saying we forget about the poor and homeless: our society does and needs to continue taking care of them, etc etc). The working/lower/middle/upper-class in America all have opportunities, amenities, freedoms, and luxuries on an unprecedented level compared to most of the world and nearly all of the kings and queens throughout history.

We’re all the 1%ers, if just measured on a different scale. 



Some extras for ya:

A fair definition of fair

Constitutional Republic

How to become rich 



get to the point

writing_a_letterHis point is very clear to me: it is WORK to write succinctly.

 I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead

Mark Twain

Cut the fluff. Think hard about what you’re trying to get across and stick to it.







Thank you!


what could be worse than failure?


I like to keep score. There, I said it. Not just with games (I generally dislike games with subjective scoring methods by the way) but with regular life. And not just against others, but in more general terms I ask myself how I’m doing with something. “Am I doing a good job? Am I working hard? Was that last meeting successful?”

Do you do that too? Maybe you give yourself a score at work, volunteer organization, church or sports team. Whatever the place is might be irrelevant for now but many of us have mentally given ourselves an A+, C- or even pass/fail grade for some of the things we do.

Now, this next thought is very incomplete so don’t shoot me, but within all those organizations there are various actions that we could grade ourselves on. For simplicity we’ll call them boxes that need to be checked; Attendance, work ethic, input given, relationships built, win/loss record, belief, knowledge gained, concern for others, orderliness, timeliness, and many others. Check Check Check!

Two questions I’ve considered recently in this regard:

Should I be grading myself on a curve? This decision will greatly impact the outcome of participation. Some times and in some places it IS good to compare to others and determine the grade/score/performance as something framed in the context of the group. Some times it is not.

What if I’ve been checking the wrong boxes? I’ll put it like this… an A+/pass/excellent grade doing the wrong things ain’t good. I may be giving myself a great score at checking these boxes. Maybe I should spend more time looking at value of the boxes themselves, rather than my current score.

The only thing worse than failure is massive success at something that doesn’t matter

The 25 things you should do before you…..

The heck I should!

You’ve seen those lists before too, right?

“100 things to do before you die, 25 exercises you should try today, the top-50 places to visit on your next long weekend, etc etc…”

Now, they can be motivating can’t they? If you’re at all like me you see those lists and your think “hot dang, I’m gonna do that NEXT year! Yeah, that’s going to be great!” Shiny objects or not, I’m.All.Over.That. Next year. (haha)

You know what I dislike most about those lists? I’ll tell you, it is that they are so appealing. I know I can’t hit the whole list any time soon, but I just can’t take a look and not google/wiki/map/research all of them anywaysss. You think DOING all of those things takes time? Try researching them. THAT takes time.

With all these things that seem to be demands on our time, we need to realize:

1) they are not demands, only suggestions – really nice suggestions – so don’t feel negative pressure.

2) they are someone else’s ideas – not yours – so keep in mind they may be wrong.

3) there are actually a million and one things to do – no such thing as a top-10, 50, or 100 – so feel free to write your own list.


Here are a few interesting list in the meantime:

  1. Top 10 things to do in 2012 (They say it’s ever too late lol)
  2. 22 Unbelievable places (Have to admit this is more than pretty cool)
  3. 35 Books you must read (Happy to report I’ve read 12 of them)
  4. Top Crossfit workout (I believe my score last year was 421)

Send me your lists!!