Nik’s Book Summaries Newsletter I like


Hi, it’s Nik again with 3 more free and life-changing book summaries just for you!

Do you like audiobooks? We do! It’s an extra way of learning from great books anytime, anywhere. But if you bought 300 full audiobooks, that’d take you 100 days of straight listening – and $6,000.

To speed all that up for you, we put together 300 audio recordings of our short summaries. For just $49, you’ll get 900 great lessons from the world’s best non-fiction books, available through an exclusive SoundCloud playlist and for you to download offline and take wherever you go!

Get 300 Audio Summaries for Just $49 >>

And now, on to our books of the week!


Own Your Everyday by Jordan Lee Dooley

1-Sentence-Summary: Own Your Everyday shows you how to let go of comparison, stress, and distractions so you can find your purpose and live a more fulfilling life by sharing inspiring lessons from the experiences of author Jordan Lee Dooley.

  1. Always dive deep enough to find the root of your problems if you really want to solve them.
  2. Let go of the pressure to perform by eliminating the habit of comparing yourself to others.
  3. To beat distractions, look at their future consequences with the 10-10-10 rule.

If you need some powerful lessons to motivate and inspire you, this book is for you.


Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly

1-Sentence-Summary: Resisting Happiness shows you how to get more joy in your life by exploring the roadblocks you unknowingly put in the way of it, explaining why it’s a choice, and giving specific tips to help you make the decision to be content.

  1. Remember to read and that money isn’t everything if you want more meaning in life.
  2. Learn the joy of being alone.
  3. Practice delaying gratification and make sure you keep good friends close to reach your full potential.

If you want to become happier, this book is for you.


The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

1-Sentence-Summary: The Art Of The Start is your guide to beginning a company and explains everything from getting the right people on board to writing a winning business plan and building your brand.

  1. Your first goal as an entrepreneur must be to create meaning, not make money.
  2. Prepare your Milestones, Assumptions, and Tasks to have direction and purpose right from the start.
  3. Set yourself up for success by creating a business plan.

If you want to start a company that gets off on the right foot, this book is for you.


That’s it for this week, have a great weekend!

Happy reading,
-Nik

Nik’s Book Summaries Newsletter


Heyo, Nik here with your free summary of the day.

If you enjoy these, check out our reading guide. It’ll help you learn and remember more from everything you read.

Happy reading!


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1-Sentence-Summary: Own Your Everyday shows you how to let go of comparison, stress, and distractions so you can find your purpose and live a more fulfilling life by sharing inspiring lessons from the experiences of author Jordan Lee Dooley.

Read in: 4 minutes

Favorite quote from the author:

Own Your Everyday Summary

Do you ever fell like the pressure to follow your dreams and do amazing things is just too much? Sometimes it’s overwhelming, especially when it seems like you’re getting it from every angle.

Those who are crushing it make “finding your calling” sound easy. But the reality is it’s not so easy to figure out your life.

The burden of this too often makes you try the wrong paths to get things together and reach your full potential. You might be looking to Instagram, your degree, or getting a good job as ways to show everyone, including yourself, that you’re a success.

But these only lead to temporary satisfaction and more stress. But you don’t have to stay stuck here forever. You’ll discover how to truly find your purpose and live a life you’re proud of in Jordan Lee Dooley’s Own Your Everyday: Overcome the Pressure to Prove and Show Up for What You Were Made to Do.

Here are 3 inspiring lessons from this one:

  1. Always dive deep enough to find the root of your problems if you really want to solve them.
  2. Let go of the pressure to perform by eliminating the habit of comparing yourself to others.
  3. To beat distractions, look at their future consequences with the 10-10-10 rule.

Are you ready for some motivational life lessons?! Let’s get into this book and get some!

If you want to save this summary for later, download the free PDF and read it whenever you want.Download PDF

Lesson 1: If you want to finally solve your problems, dive deep enough to uncover their true roots.

Have you ever felt embarrassed by a huge zit on your forehead? Maybe this was a common occurrence for you as a teenager. The author had acne too, even into adulthood.

Her outbreaks were embarrassing and presented a problem when she needed to get on camera for her job. It was so bad that she tried to cover these imperfections with makeup. Slowly, it got worse, eventually resulting in painful breakouts deep in her skin.

Although it was tough to get over the embarrassment enough to go to a doctor, Dooley eventually made it only to find the truth about her acne. Unexpectedly, she also got an even more profound truth about life.

The doctor told her that smothering the acne with makeup was just making things worse. The true root of the problem wasn’t something she could just hide like that.

Dooley quickly realized that her acne is like our imperfections. Her covering it with makeup is like when we try to hide our flaws. And just like with acne, your habit of doing this only makes your insecurities about yourself worse and keeps you from reaching your full potential.

The real you has weaknesses, and that’s okay. Only by discovering who you really are, imperfections and all, can you truly find your purpose.

Start by taking a 30-day challenge during which you don’t criticize yourself. As a standard, avoid saying things about yourself that you wouldn’t say to a friend.

Lesson 2: Stop comparing yourself to others and you’ll be less stressed.

How often do you scroll through social media only to feel depressed afterward? Everyone you see is doing amazing things and you’re left wondering why you aren’t doing the same. You feel anxious wondering how your life could be better if you’d just work a little harder.

This is known as comparison-induced pressure, and it’s something you need to get rid of. The angst and insecurity that you experience while checking what everyone else is posting on social media isn’t good for you. But it’s hard not to get sucked in.

The author knows about this, especially when she visits the gym. While on the treadmill, she’s often comparing her speed to that of those around her. But just like running on a treadmill gets you nowhere, so does this habit.

Instead, you need to beat the comparison-induced stress by recentering yourself on your purpose.

Ask yourself why you’re going to the gym in the first place. Is it to “race” the people around you? Of course not, you’re there to become fit and reach your goals!

If you’re starting a business, consider whether you’re doing it for the Instagram pictures or for a more meaningful reason. Maybe you really just want to make a living, be financially free, or improve the world.

Also focus on joyful thoughts each time you’re tempted to be jealous. You might think about how impressive the jogger next to you is for running so fast, for instance. Or even better, about how you’ve improved your own speed recently.

Lesson 3: Use the 10-10-10 rule to uncover the hidden consequences of distractions so you can beat them.

In the last couple of years I’ve found a dozen or more different graduate programs that I could do. I also purchased multiple online courses, most of which I haven’t finished yet.

It seems nice to live in a time when we have so much information available to us, but there’s a hidden danger in it. All of these opportunities make it really difficult to make the right choices, which also makes it harder to live a life of purpose.

To beat this, begin by listing the things that most often distract you. What do you have a hard time saying no to after a long day? These are important to know about because the more distracted you are, the less meaning your life will have.

Once you know all your go-to time-wasters, utilize the 10-10-10 rule that author Suzy Welch first came up with. Whenever you have to figure out what you should prioritize, think of the consequences of that choice in the following time-periods:

  • 10 minutes
  • 10 weeks
  • 10 years

This is an easy way to make better choices immediately.

Consider, for instance, the effects of putting off your blog post to scroll through social media. In 10 minutes it might not even make you happier, and in 10 weeks or 10 years you’ll wish you’d written it and started building your business!

Own Your Everyday Review

What an empowering and encouraging book! Own Your Everyday really got me pumped up, especially because I can relate to so many of the situations the author speaks about. I’m certain that this will be a game-changer for your life!

Read full summary on Blinkist >>

Free Preview >>

Learn more about the author >>

Who would I recommend the Own Your Everyday summary to?

The 31-year-old mom of three kids that feels overwhelmed and wants more purpose, the 53-year-old that wonders if there’s more to life than the daily grind, and anyone that gets tired of the emptiness they feel after endlessly scrolling through social media.

The post Own Your Everyday Summary appeared first on Four Minute Books.

Keep learning,
-Nik

PS: Want to get more out of everything you read? Check out our guide!

Nik’s Book Summaries Newsletter I like


Heyo, Nik here with your free summary of the day.

If you enjoy these, check out our reading guide. It’ll help you learn and remember more from everything you read.

Happy reading!


Want to get just one weekly summary roundup? Switch to weekly.


1-Sentence-Summary: The Art Of The Start is your guide to beginning a company and explains everything from getting the right people on board to writing a winning business plan and building your brand.

Read in: 4 minutes

Favorite quote from the author:

The Art Of The Start Summary

You’ve heard that “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” This is sound advice, but too frequently we get stuck before we even make the initial push forward.

This is especially true if you’re thinking about starting a company. And who can blame you? With such a momentous task at hand, it’s no wonder you’d get stuck in the planning stages.

But if you don’t ever start, you’re not going to experience the success that becoming an entrepreneur will bring you.

That’s why you’re going to love Guy Kawasaki’s tips in The Art of The Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything. It’ll teach you all the planning you need to do and just what your first steps need to be so you can build a winning company.

Here are the 3 biggest lessons I’ve learned from this book:

  1. Your first goal as an entrepreneur must be to create meaning, not make money.
  2. Prepare your Milestones, Assumptions, and Tasks to have direction and purpose right from the start.
  3. Set yourself up for success by creating a business plan.

Got your winning business idea ready? Let’s jump into these lessons and discover how to make it happen!

If you want to save this summary for later, download the free PDF and read it whenever you want.Download PDF

Lesson 1: Making money isn’t as important as creating meaning.

Before I began my entrepreneurial journey, I was apprehensive about it. I’d see corrupt billionaires and guys advertising their get rich quick scheme with flashy cars and big houses. I wanted nothing to do with any of that stuff. And I definitely didn’t want to become that kind of person.

The reason these things are so tacky and obnoxious is that they go against everything that business should be. It’s more about the money than making a difference, which is what winners focus on before cash.

Your company does this by making a product or service that makes the world a better place. And the more what you do or sell improves the lives of your customers, the more successful your business will be.

This happens because when your primary focus is money, the main motivation is greed. That attracts dishonest people that make your customers feel uncomfortable, just like the guys with sports cars.

Contrast this with a company that focuses on creating value and truly helping people. If you’ve ever worked at such a place then you know the powerful motivation that trying to make a difference brings.

You can build this meaning into your company from the start by identifying a mantra that supports it. This is different than a mission statement but is also a short and powerful phrase that reminds everyone of your why.

Nike’s, for example, is “Authentic athletic performance.” And Disney uses the mantra of “Fun family entertainment” to remind themselves of their purpose.

Lesson 2: If you want purpose and direction from the beginning, prepare your Milestones, Assumptions, and Tasks with the MAT framework.

Have you ever worked at a place that seems like it’s going nowhere? I’ve been there before and it’s not really fun. You don’t want to create this kind of environment for your employees. To avoid this, use the MAT framework to get direction:

  1. Milestones
  2. Assumptions
  3. Tasks

The initial step is to identify milestones, which are the big events on your way to accomplishing your business goals. This is vital because it lets you see clear steps in the path to success and review how well you’re doing at each of them.

You might, for example, set a milestone of establishing a “proof of concept” for your product to make sure it will actually work. A good follow-up step would be to finish the prototype. And last, you’d want to track the milestone of getting funding to make it.

Next, you must review the assumptions you’re making about your business. Brainstorm a list of everything that you think is true about your idea that might not actually be accurate. You want to look specifically for thoughts that you have no data to back up. Keep track of them to see whether or not you were right about them.

Last comes listing the tasks that you need to do on a daily or weekly basis to meet your milestones. These can be anything from setting up insurance policies for your employees to acquiring office space.

Lesson 3: A business plan will set you up for success.

In the words of Benjamin Franklin:

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

A plan is anything that identifies our objectives and the steps we’re going to take to reach them, and this is no different for a business. Although it might sound formal and even maybe useless for a startup that has a lot of unknowns, but this is a vital step on your path to profit.

Think about your stakeholders, for example. They might not ever read it, but you’d better bet they’ll ask for it. And you’re never going to get funding from investors unless you have a business plan.

Having one is great, but the steps you’ll take to make it are also helpful for many reasons. The process of writing it gives your team a chance to work together more efficiently, for example. 

It might even tell you how much you don’t want to work with the people you’ve got on board. That’s a really important piece of information to have as early as possible!

Additionally, the process of reviewing all that you need for a good plan will show you gaps in your thinking. For instance, you might have nobody on your team preparing for customer service.

The trick to making an effective business plan is making sure the executive summary is spot on. It’s a four-paragraph abstract of the entire plan and is the first thing anyone reads. Make it good and you’ll attract attention and success!

The Art Of The Start Review

It’s funny, with all the talk The Art Of The Start had of iPods and Hummers, I definitely got a big 2004 vibe from it and guess when it came out? 2004! I think that’s also a big reason why I struggled with many of these ideas-because they’re already outdated! Luckily he recently released version 2.0 which we’ll have to summarize soon. I’m looking forward to it too because I felt like this version makes starting a business more difficult than it needs to be!

Read full summary on Blinkist >>

Free Preview >>

Learn more about the author >>

Who would I recommend The Art Of The Start summary to?

The 24-year-old who is thinking that they want to become an entrepreneur, the 56-year-old CEO that has a new idea for a product but needs some help planning it out, and anybody that wants to know how to start a business.

The post The Art Of The Start Summary appeared first on Four Minute Books.

Keep learning,
-Nik

PS: Want to get more out of everything you read? Check out our guide!

Nik’s Book Summaries Newsletter I like


Heyo, Nik here with your free summary of the day.

If you enjoy these, check out our reading guide. It’ll help you learn and remember more from everything you read.

Happy reading!


Want to get just one weekly summary roundup? Switch to weekly.


1-Sentence-Summary: Resisting Happiness shows you how to get more joy in your life by exploring the roadblocks you unknowingly put in the way of it, explaining why it’s a choice, and giving specific tips to help you make the decision to be content.

Read in: 4 minutes

Favorite quote from the author:

Resisting Happiness Summary

You want to be happy. But every time you try to catch joy, it seems to slip through your fingers, replaced by worry and stress. You can’t put a price on fulfillment because it’s so valuable, but it also comes at the cost of hard work.

The trouble is, figuring out just where to put in the effort to make it happen isn’t always so easy. In the information age, there are infinite routes you can go down to try to grab a sense of wellbeing. The trick is just to find the right ones for you.

Interestingly, you need to begin looking for happiness by identifying what’s making you sad. Once you uncover these roadblocks, then you can begin removing them to let joy have free reign in your life.

Figuring this all out is just the topic of Matthew Kelly’s book Resisting Happiness. You’ll see what practicality, philosophy, and Kelly’s personal experiences teach about how to eliminate what holds you back from true fulfillment in life. And you’ll learn every step you need to take to get there in your own life.

3 of the best principles I got from this book are:

  1. Remember to read and that money isn’t everything if you want more meaning in life.
  2. Learn the joy of being alone.
  3. Practice delaying gratification and make sure you keep good friends close to reach your full potential.

Let’s get right into it and discover what Kelly has to teach us about happiness!

If you want to save this summary for later, download the free PDF and read it whenever you want.Download PDF

Lesson 1: For a more meaningful life, remember to read and that money isn’t everything.

In college, reading wasn’t at the top of my to-do list. It was difficult to manage a schedule full of classes and a social life and still find time to get into a good book.

But what I didn’t realize was that my lack of reading was one of the things holding me back from happiness.

Today I see that reading is an important window into the world around me. And as I pick the right authors, it’s like having their guidance right next to me when I’m trying to figure something important out.

Think of books like friends that you can turn to for an escape when life gets difficult. They have the power to change your perspective and improve your attitude.

Another important factor that could be holding you back from joy is placing too much emphasis on money. You do need it, but looking for opportunities to help others without the expectation of a reward is a sure path to fulfillment.

Picture this. The author goes to his neighbor Joe and offers to pay him $1,000 an hour to plan trees at the elementary school down the street. Joe puts in a couple of hours of half-hearted work and leaves richer but feeling empty.

Contrast this with the feeling Joe would have if the author asked him to volunteer his time. He might work hard all day to do what the school needs rather than just get paid and ends up happier and more fulfilled as a result.

Lesson 2: Nurture the relationship you have with yourself through solitude.

One time in college I was having difficulties with relationships and tried what I thought was a strange idea at the time. I took a day off work and made a plan to hang out with myself for the entire day. I even left my cell phone at home!

It turned out to be one of the most memorable and enjoyable days of my life. I spent time eating food I love, took a drive into the mountains for a picnic, and watched one of my favorite movies.

Unknowingly, I’d unblocked one of the most common roadblocks in the way of happiness-discovering the joy of being by myself.

Loneliness can be a scary prospect, especially if you’re used to always being with other people. You might even go to great lengths, making stupid decisions and getting into bad relationships, just to avoid it.

But consider that by spending more time alone, you’re nurturing a relationship with the one person you’ll never be without-yourself! It might sound counterintuitive, but more time alone will help you beat loneliness.

You also get a chance to dive into who you really are every time you plan to spend time by yourself. In fact, this is the only time you have to get to know your personality, so use it wisely and get plenty of it!

Lesson 3: If you want to reach your full potential, you’ll need to have good friends and to practice delaying gratification.

Being alone is important but it’s not everything. You’ve got to have friends, but the right kind if you want to truly be happy.

In tenth grade, I was terrified of social situations. I wouldn’t even ask a girl on a date I was so scared. But at the beginning of the next year, I met a group of friends that improved all of that.

I began spending a lot of time with one in particular who completely changed my life. The first weekend after we’d met he pushed me to ask a girl to the Homecoming dance.

I didn’t want to, but I knew that it was good for me so I did it anyway. Not only did I have a great time, but I also got out of my comfort zone and grew as a person.

In the months afterward, I transformed from an awkward and shy kid to a far more confident young man. If it weren’t for the help of friends that cared about my progress, I wouldn’t be who I am today!

Don’t keep holding yourself back from reaching your full potential by hanging around with mediocre people. Find a new friend group, and specifically look for high-quality people that you know will push you to be your best self.

It will change your life, and in the process, you’ll find a lot more fulfillment along the way!

Resisting Happiness Review

Resisting Happiness is a great book and one that I would highly recommend to anyone. I really like the idea that the path to joy comes from removing the roadblocks we put in the way of it. The tips this book gives are already giving me a lot of great ideas about what makes my life more fulfilling and how to double down on those practices!

Interesting Newsletter from Nik


Would They Miss You If You Were Gone?

A simple definition for doing work that matters


Four years ago, after six months of hard work, I finally did it: My email list reached 10,000 subscribers. I was ecstatic.

10,000 people. That’s a small stadium. Imagine a sold out arena, waiting for you — just for you — to share your latest work. This would be my big break. I was sure of it. With 10,000 people marching behind me, nothing I make would ever fall flat again.

You can see where this is going. I’m about to swallow a bitter pill here.

Later that year, I heard Seth Godin define permission marketing:

If that email you were going to send to 10,000 people tomorrow — if it didn’t go out — how many of the 10,000 people would say: “Where is the email?!” If the answer is none, then you don’t have permission. You’re just being tolerated.

Convinced that my dedicated subscribers loved me, I decided to run an experiment: That week, I didn’t send out my newsletter. No announcement. No warning. I just skipped one email. What would happen? Who would ask for it? How many people? Would they be concerned? What would they say?

I woke up the next morning to a sobering realization: No one had emailed me. No one had asked for the newsletter. I waited. One day. Two. Three. Nothing. Crickets. No one missed me when I was gone. Ouch.

The all-important question in marketing, art, and doing great work is this: “What does it mean to matter?” According to Seth, there is a simple answer:

Would they miss you if you were gone? I don’t know who they are, I don’t know what gone means, but those people that you’re seeking to have an impact on, would they miss you if you didn’t show up tomorrow?

In my case, people didn’t. Maybe, they thought my newsletter was nice. Maybe, they enjoyed an article or two of mine. Clearly, however, none of my readers considered my work essential. They could easily do without it.

It hurts to find out that the tribe you’ve assembled with your blood, sweat, and tears will disband the second you stop talking to them, but the message it sends is clear: You never formed a real tribe in the first place. You just talked enough people into following along. You convinced them to take the flyer, to try the free sample, to sign up for the trial subscription — but you didn’t do the hard work of building a loyal relationship.

You just did “the hustle dance,” as Seth calls it:

Would they miss you if this new product, this new project didn’t come to the world? Or do you have to do that whole hustle dance, “Look at me, look at me,” jump up and down, offer for a limited time, bla bla bla… To game it so they’ll actually transact with you. That work doesn’t feel like it matters to me.

It’s easy to think you’re doing work that matters. That, somehow, your marketing is different. You have good intentions. You really want your audience to succeed. But you might still cut corners. We all succumb to the temptation sometimes.

Clickbait is still clickbait, even if you deliver on your promise. Selling is still selfish if your main goal is to make money. Giving gifts is not generous if it comes with expectations. In many ways, reciprocity has been corrupted.

If what you’re doing feels like playing a game, chances are, not many will miss you when you’re gone. You’re just another player who dropped out. Fine. Less competition. Less hassle. Less clutter in my inbox.

Here’s another question: Where is the sacrifice? How much are you really sweating? If we can’t see your effort in what you make for us, how can we know you mean what you say?

The only way to show people you have their best interest at heart is to actually do. You can’t fake it. You either do something selfless, or you don’t. It’s one of the few things in life that are surprisingly black and white and, most of the time, plain to see — at least on a long enough timeline.

When I didn’t hear back from my fans, when no one missed me when I was gone, I was devastated. I questioned everything I was doing. I changed things. I tried to do better.

Last year, I started another newsletter. I put in hard work. Real work. It grew fast. It was free. I sent it every day. I came up with themes. I wanted to help so badly. I really tried.

To this day, it’s not as big as my first one. It has about 5,000 subscribers. But, often, when I missed a day or didn’t share something in a while, a few people checked in. “Hey, Nik, are you okay?” “Hey Nik, where are the emails?”

It’s great to see you’re moving in the right direction. It feels good to be missed when you’re gone.

It’s okay. You’re not perfect. Take your time. Learn to stop dancing. Start making. Take your ego out of the equation. Not for a while. Not for this one thing. Completely.

Watch what happens. Watch how, slowly, the magic unfolds. Watch them start to miss you when you’re gone.

Write like a pro,
-Nik

PS: Want to take your writing game to the next level? Check out Write Like A Pro.