Author: Growing your tree of prosperity

Tools for Titans #11 : Which Philosopher to Start with ?

Reid Hoffman is co-founder and executive chairman of Linkedin. After covering 10 sections from Tools of Titans, I am starting to sense that I have an inherent bias for start-up business leaders and against folks who made it doing creative work. Hopefully readers will be mindful of this bias as we walk through the rest of the book together. a) One philosopher to start with. I spent more than a decade being a big fan of philosophy and even spent a lot of time attending philosophy cafes. All these years, no one has bothered to answer the question as...

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Tools for Titans #10 : Hope is not a strategy.

The next person to be featured in Tools for Titans is documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock who was nominated for an Oscar for his work in Super Size Me. a) Once you get fancy, fancy gets brokenThe book does not go into any detail on this idea but it does mention that this applies to a person’s gear. I see potential in this idea. As we live in a consumerist society, everything we buy gets successively more sophisticated as time goes by. Another words, our gadgets becomes progressively more complicated and fancy over time. A setup with many components gets...

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Tools for Titans #9 : On Anger and Doing What You Hate.

This section is on Casey Neistat who is a film maker and Youtuber. His online movies have been viewed 300 million times which is not bad for someone who ran away from home at age 15. I really enjoyed ripping apart this section of the book. In my view, Casey Neistat does not deserve an entry in this tome. ( But what do I know ? ) a) Anger as a motivation Casey’s first advice is use your anger to motivate you to create things and inspire your creative projects. One of his most viral videos was made over...

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Tools for Titans #8 : Awaken the Giant Within

Anthony Robbins needs no introduction on this blog. I’m quite sure many readers are already big fans of him and have followed him from his NLP days until his latest book on Money, which I felt, was a very credible read. Anthony Robbins is a one-man motivational army who has been credited with many successes today. In fact, I constantly try to compare Tool for Titans against Anthony Robbin’s latest epic Money. And so far, Tools for Titans comes up short. Regardless of his epic status as a first class self-improvement coach, a critique of Anthony Robbin’s ideas is in...

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Tools for Titans #7 : Nicholas McCarthy

Nicholas McCarthy is a pianist who was born without a right hand but proceeded to graduate from the Royal College of Music in London. As this section is really short, there is only one significant lesson to share today which is about : Playing the Long Game Nicholas could have made a fast buck using his malformed right hand to play the piano as a gimmick, but that would have given him a very short time in the limelight. Instead, he focused on serious playing with his left hand which led to a long lasting career. This lesson may...

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Tools for Titans #6 : Matt Mullenweg

Matt Mullenweg is the original lead developer for WordPress and is currently the CEO of Automattic, a company that is worth more than $1b USD. a) Words that Work Matt is obsessed with a person’s choice of words. Unfortunately the book does not have any examples which illustrate this point about Matt and instead directs the reader to a book called Words that Work by Frank Luntz which I purchased immediately. The books is probably about interpersonal communication and possibly a compulsory read for law students. b) Productivity tools and hacks.  The best part of this section are the...

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Tools for Titans #5 : Alexis Ohanian

Alexis Ohanian is the co-founder of Reddit and Hipmunk. This is a very short section of the book and has at most two major ideas for the reader. a) You are a rounding error. Alexis was once told by a Yahoo executive that their traffic was so small, they are just a rounding error. This is a lesson for us in taking some of the negatives being thrown at us and turning it into a motivation to push ourselves forward in our lives. The less obvious lesson is that you should avoid wanting to talk trash and act like...

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Tools for Titans #4 : Derek Sivers

I used to shut myself down when I read about Derek Sivers because I hear about him all the time from Internet Marketers. Fortunately, thanks to Tools for Titans,  I was able to acquaint myself with this person properly. Derek Sivers started a CDBaby, a business selling music CDs online and made $22 million from the sale. I think Tim Ferriss is more excited about this section than I am. But nevertheless, we can learn quite a bit from Derek Sivers: a) What I like – Don’t be a donkey Will an upcoming M&A succeed ? What going on...

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Tools for Titans #3 : Conan the Barbarian !

It is interesting that the section on Arnold Schwarzenegger  is parked under the wealth section and not the health section, but this is the best section so far. Here are the key learnings : a) Arnold was already a millionaire before his first movie break Arnold was already a millionaire prior to his breakthrough in the movie business. He already had a great business selling seminars, courses on bodybuilding before becoming a movie star. Having calculated that given the rate of inflation in those days, Arnold bought and held onto as much real estate as he could. b) Arnold...

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Tools for Titans #2 : Marc Andreessen

Marc Andreessen is the living legend who co-founded Netscape. Due to his godlike status, it is almost impossible to disagree with some of his points. Here are some which I think deserves further discussion : a) Don’t Fetishize Failure  I am really glad Marc said this. Failure is failure. It’s a fuck-up which destroys the value of investors who placed their trust in you. The Singapore Tech Community is guilty of this sin. In a country where some kids will  commit suicide if they have Bs in their PSLE scores, I was truly disgusted when so many people rushed...

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Tools for Titans #1 : Chris Sacca

[ I am starting a series on Tim Feriss’s latest book Tool for Titans which has a section on becoming wealthier in life. There will be no full summary of the section, just a discussion of the key points. I encourage readers to pick the book up to join the discussion on this blog. ] Chris Sacca is an early stage investor and is the first person mentioned in the Wealth segment of this book. a) What i like – Sweet and Sour Summers  Chris mentioned the way he was brought up as a kid. During his summer holidays,...

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Personal update and what to look out for in this blog.

Ok, here’s a quick personal update. a) Finances There is supposed a 100% probability that the Fed will raise interest rates before the close of the year. I think it’s already built into the REIT prices so even if it happens, a rally for REITs should be around the corner. More worrying is Singapore’s new found status as a sick man of the East. My position is that the downturn is built into the government goal to restructure the economy and not widen the rich-poor gap any further. If a recession is a deliberate strategy, then a more aggressive...

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Example on how to Review your Job and Relevance within your industry.

Just thought I would provide an example on how to review your current job and predict the degree of disruption which you will face over the next ten years. The example I will use is the task of a litigator and if you actually know some litigators, you will understand these are supremely confidant guys who will never believe that their work will ever be replaced by an AI. So to review the work of the litigator, the first task would be to break the work of litigation down into multiple parts, which according to my reference book is...

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Can your job be replaced ?

I’ve just started on my unpaid internship with a start-up that deals with smart contracts. The power of an unpaid internship is that it is very easy to fall into the trap of doing the bare minimum and I was very careful not to let it happen to me. My start-up has a a number of objectives which I can work towards which I intend to meet, otherwise I am spending my December trying to pick up two key skills : a) The first is to pick up the MEAN stack of writing software using MongoDB, ExpressJS, NodeJS and...

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Motivating readers to take control of personal finances.

Many of us bloggers face the same problem, our readers are already fairly motivated to take control of their personal finances. the challenge is to be able to reach out to the folks who can benefit from our articles the most. As such a mini-revision on personal motivation would come in useful today. The bulk of today’s material comes from Barking up the Wrong Tree Blog. There are three conventional ways to think about motivation but I’m going to offer one novel suggestion. a) Finding meaning in what you do. You can construct meaning behind your financial planning by...

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