Most Entrepreneurs Read Voraciously
Warren Buffett says he spends about 70% of his time reading. Tim Ferriss says he does not know any entrepreneur that does not read. On the other extreme, Maria Popova, reveals that she reads a whopping 15 books a week, saves between 10-100 snippets of text and quotes and writes three long blog posts a day!
But who has time to read?
Lucky for me, I discovered a brilliant Youtube Series Evan Carmichael’s Top 10 Rules for Success where he profiles people like Tim Ferriss, Howard Schultz (Starbucks), Steve Jobs (Apple), Jack Ma, Will Smith… the list is too long.
Each video is 4-5 minutes long, and Evan distills down to 10 succinct bullet points everything you need to know about that entrepreneur.
Tim Ferriss talks about how one of the few unifying factors that all the best entrepreneurs have is that they are all good communicators. And they only get better with practice. But unless you video yourself every time you speak, it’s hard to review yourself speaking. That’s why writing is so important. “Writing is thought captured and crystallised.”
Writing and speaking are not our strengths. It has to be practised. Swipe, reflect, write.
Howard Schultz, Starbuck’s CEO wanted to create a company that would be known as much for its value, its principles, and itsculture as it would the quality of coffee. He talks about how Starbucks maintains a balance between profitability, shareholder value and heart. He decided not to franchise Starbucks as it would not maintain the culture and values of the company — “it’s just access to cheap capital.”
When a shareholder disagreed on Starbuck’s support of gay marriage, arguing that it would hurt its share price, Howard Schultz replied that he had delivered 38% shareholder returns. As the leader of his people, he would embrace diversity. For those that are not happy — “short Starbuck’s stocks and buy something else”.
Steve Jobs spoke about how it was only after he dropped out of college and took a typography class (that has no practical value) that made Apple design so successful. An appreciation of beauty and elegance and form and factor must be taught because that cannot be mastered with technology. Typography should be a compulsory component of education, as must graphic design.
My favourite part is Will’s mathemagics: “2+2 equals what I want it to be!”
Here are a few more of my fave videos:
Evan says all top entrepreneurs he knows keeps a list of their favourite quotes for inspiration / guidance. Whenever I see a good collection of quotes published by Inc or by Fortune, I save to G/sheet & Evernote. My 2015 modus operandi was to push mine out to Git for practice.
My favourite TED talk of all time:
7 years of research distilled into 3 minutes.
Pro Tip: Watch them at 1.5X or 2X speed.
This has doubled my media consumption speed! (As a result I no longer have the patience to sit through online courses that do not have the 1.5- 2X speed functionality.)
But it’s the perfect thing to do when you’re learning to code – the ONLY time I can’t listen to a podcast or a video is when I am writing. Almost all other times, I can be on Canva or working one of my websites and listening to these videos.