Tools for Titans #19 : How tactics become commoditised.

Ramit Sethi is probably the most successful financial blogger of all time. He has more than a million views a month and his company makes easily $5 million a week. I must admit that I simply could not stomach his material because too much emphasis was made on bargaining. However, any write-up on how he succeeded would be something that should be worth reading. a) How tactics become … [Read more...]

Will there be sperm in the air in 2017 ?

In the final 2016 issue of the Economist, Vienna was declared the city of the century for its intellectual and cultural accomplishments. Vienna was the city which won the accolade because it could employ the diversity of its population to create new ideas and philosophies so much so that writer Stefan Zweig commented that "There was sperm in the air. " Singapore can potentially become an … [Read more...]

Tools for Titans #18 : Doing something you’re unqualified to do.

Dan Carlin is the host of the podcast Hardcore History. a) Don't be afraid to do something that you are not qualified to do Unless you are looking at legal or medical work, there are very few things that require an actual qualification to do. This suggestion makes sense because life is too short to seek permission to do something. It is often the only way to get promoted sensible … [Read more...]

Tools for Titans #17 : Specialisation is for insects.

Chase Jarvis is the CEO of CreativeLive and a highly decorated photographer who emphasises on dynamic shots and sports. While Chase is undoubtedly a creative, I find his ideas quite interesting. a) Going premium on day one. I am very familiar, and quite sympathetic to the systematic abuse of design and creative professionals in Singapore having worked ( and paid on time ) with book cover … [Read more...]

Tools for Titans #16 : The Value of Stupid Goals.

Shaun White is a professional snowboarder and skateboarder. He is also a two time Olympic Gold medalists. This section is rather short so I only have two points to make. a) Self-talk Shaun adopts self-talk which Andre Agassi used which goes like "I'm here. I'm going to try my best and I'm going to go home and my family's there." It's a great way to keep calm in a stressful … [Read more...]

Tools for Titans #15 : Systems, not goals.


Scott Adams needs no introduction to most readers because he is the creator of everybody's favourite engineer and corporate drone Dilbert. I find that Scott's section is one of the best sections in the entire book because which introduces elegant and effective tips on how to have a better life. If Scott were to stop drawing cartoons, I'm pretty sure his self-help books will end up being … [Read more...]

I am 42 years old ! Personal Update.

I became 42 years old yesterday and received a lot of well-wishes from social media. This is a good time to summarise the year for me before I talk about what to look forward to in the new year in a week's time. a) Year started out quite rough. 2016 has been a fairly bad year for me. The year started out rough with my mum's cancer diagnosis which was about the same time my second child was … [Read more...]

Tools for Titans #14 : You may not have a single purpose in your life.

James Altucher is hedge-fund manager who founded more than 20 companies. He is a polymath as over a decade ago, I remember reading a book on Algorithmic trading on Visual Basic written by him. These days his books tend to be more like self help books. a) What am I embarrassed with ? What am I doing about it ?   This might be secret formula to be a top blogger. Think about what embarrasses … [Read more...]

Tools for Titans #13 : Don’t retreat into a story.

Seth Godin is one of the most well-read blogs today although I can't seem to be able to appreciate why. I guess this is the power of one of the best direct marketers today. In my opinion, Seth Godin's write-up is quite long compared to the others but it is full of folk wisdom which people reading it are already inclined to agree with so I could not find any real insight into how to succeed in … [Read more...]

How the financial blogosphere does good for ourselves and our readers.

Ok, I'm going to stop my usual Tools for Titans programming to just quickly talk about some of the good stuff coming out from the financial blogosphere in Singapore. While I do not have a direct business relationship with Big Fat Purse, I am grateful for the the work that they have in put in to unite financial bloggers under one informal grouping. The gatherings and networking sessions … [Read more...]

Tools for Titans #12 : Failure is Overrated.

Today's section is a real treat to me for I have always been a big fan. Peter Thiel is one of the members of the Paypal mafia and is the founder of Palantir, which in my opinion, is one of the most important new companies in the world because it employs data analytics to make the world a safer place. Peter Thiel is special because he came up with this brilliant idea to pay off top-performing … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]