It's been well received by my wife and mother. So, what other proof do you need? As a smart man, my answer is, "None." :)
Aside from the shock factor, the point of the book is to encourage readers to be more conscious of how they make use of...uh...their "Holy fucking trinity: Time, energy, and money."
That is, if you're not careful, other people's priorities or expectations soon become yours. And then you're less happy and off-track when it comes to meeting your personal and business goals.
So, if you're looking for a good laugh (I mean, serious LOLing), and if you want a reminder that your needs and desires should come first sometimes (remember who gets the oxygen mask in an airplane when traveling with a child), then it's worth a read.
As a teaser, here are some chapter topics:
You need to stop giving a fuck about what other people think
Threat level red: The hardest fucks to stop giving
Old fucks, new fucks, borrowed fucks, blue fucks
Fuck the haters
If your ears are bleeding, then...Oops.
But there is a lot of value in helping us Entrepreneurs for Impact prioritize our precious resources — time, money, and energy — to increase our impact and profits.
Don't create a new product or service in the dark, investing too much time and money in order to deliver a "market ready" product, unless you get frequent feedback along the way, often far earlier than you'd be otherwise comfortably doing.
This should be a cycle of product creation, feedback, learning, and product enhancement.
If you instead follow a linear process, then the result is often a refined product or service that your target customer does not want to buy.
Sometimes it's said that if you aren't a little embarrassed by the first version of your product or service -- the Minimum Viable Product -- then you waited too long to get feedback.
We’d like to believe that we as company creators and leaders are not flawed. But au contraire.
In this article from Inc.com, Martin Zwilling notes that most founders are wrong to say that lack of cash was the reason that their businesses failed. Instead, he points to six common challenges associated with “Founderitis.”
Here’s my summary.
To be Entrepreneurs for Impact that avoid the pitfalls of others, read closely. :)
#1 - Setting arbitrary goals without team input.
No founder has a crystal ball. Nor will she be doing all the execution. So, get the team buy in and crowdsource input from all those smart and motivated people that you hired.
#2 - Team leaders and advisors picked as “yes” men.
We all like to be surrounded by friends. But when creating and growing a company, we don’t just need cheerleaders. We also need devil’s advocates and constructive critics who have the company’s success as their priority, not soothing the founder’s egos.
#3 - Vomiting on “processes” to avoid “bureaucracy”
Very few people love the excess forms, meetings, steps, etc. that are associated with large organizations such as corporations or governments. However, some level of systems, planning, and checks and balances is the foundation of a well-run business. Managing purely by “gut feelings,” anecdotal evidence, and fire drills is often flawed and exhausting.
#4 - Regular team meetings are a roller coaster ride
Instead of status reports and realigning on near term action items, meetings go too deep into single items (to the exclusion of many other topics that need attention) or go too high (emotionally) urging the team to “really be committed” and push harder (which can’t last forever).
#5 - “I’m right” versus “What’s right?”
As founders, we are only human. As such, when someone criticizes our business decisions or the progress of our company, it may sound like they are “calling our baby ugly.” But unless you’ve picked some terrible human beings as advisors and co-creators, then their criticisms are likely meant to improve the business’s chances for success. So, it’s time to get a thicker skin, shut up, and start listening more.
#6 - Paranoia and frustration take over
Launching and running a business is hard. But when times get tough, assuming the worst from people and prospects is no way to right the ship. Instead, this tends to make matters worse and conform reality to match negative self-talk.
So, be honest…Do any of those describe you?
They certainly described me at various points on my path.
If so, don’t worry. There is a solution.
Stop doing them.
Your team, investors, and customers will thank you.
Then 4-5 weeks later, the researchers asked them if they completed their goals, or were more than halfway towards their goal.
Below is a summary of the group’s approach to goal setting, and the percentage who were successful, on the two extremes.
Group 1 — 43%
Think about their goals.
Rate them as follows: “Difficulty, Importance, the extent to which they had the Skills & Resources to accomplish the goal, their Commitment and Motivation to the goal, whether or not they had Pursued this goal before and if so their Prior Success.”
Write down their goals.
Same rating as Group 1.
Write down action commitments towards their goals.
Same rating as Group 1 and 2.
Group 4 — 62%
Send their goals to a friend.
Same rating as Group 1, 2, and 3.
Group 5 — 76%
Send weekly progress reports to that same friend.
Same rating as Group 1, 2, 3, and 4.
Alright, Entrepreneurs for Impact, it’s time for us to…
Get out that journal, or better yet Microsoft Excel, or even better, Google Sheets.
Write down our goals.
Write down some action items for each.
Send them to a friend.
And send that friend regular (weekly) progress reports.
It was a Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller and Amazon Best Business Book.
I read it with gusto and sleep with the book every night, cuddling it close like a security blanket.
OK, not really, but it is near the top of the pile of business books by work area.
The big idea?
As The Economist put it, “Deep work is the killer app of the knowledge economy: It is only by concentrating intensely that you can master a difficult discipline or solve a demanding problem.”
And this skill is all the more important as more and more tasks become automated or outsourced to lower skilled (or lower paid) workers.
In one example, he tells the story of Carl Jung, the Swiss psychoanalyst who “founded analytical psychology” and spent months each year, seemingly chillin’ in at a lodge in the woods because he was so successful.
In contrast, Newport argues that because Jung spent months in deep work in the woods he was able to make major breakthroughs in psychology. That is, he was doing deep work.
My copy of the book is loaded with pen highlights of passages that I aim to remember and put into practice in my own work:
Blocking off 90+ minute chunks of time to go deep
Religious “calendar blocking” (with the occasional heresy of unplanned activity)
These words come from today’s version of “Fonzie” or “The Fonz” (image below), a TV star from the late 1970s and 1980s.
Today, the actor Henry Winkler (bio), has moved on to more mature roles, and I heard this wisdom when he appeared on the hilarious podcast (and fantastic way to hear depressing news told via comedy) — Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me on NPR.
For Entrepreneurs for Impact, meditation can be a life- and work-hack that boosts our focus, endurance, resilience, insight, and kindness (hey, don’t knock it...this comes in handy when building strong customer relationships and internal team rapport).
On the podcast, Ariel Garten — neuroscientist, psychotherapist, and the co-founder of Muse, the brain sensing headband that helps you meditate — talks about the benefits of meditation described by over 1,000 studies.
Long-term meditation can increase the size and thickness of these parts of the brains, which often degrade as we age:
Pre-frontal Cortex – Our attention control center.
Amygdala – Emotions.
Hippocampus – Learning and memory.
Corpus Callosum – Bundle of nerves that connect your left and right brain hemisphere.
Temporal Parietal Junction – Compassion, empathy, and perspective changing.