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What's Wrong With My Bookcase?

mrarcher

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So, my bookcase is something I am very proud of. I love my books and enjoy reading when I can but a thought occurred to me today as I added a couple new books to the collection. There is something very VERY wrong, something I haven't noticed over the years as I've built my collection.

Can you see it?

20180519_174831.jpg

It may not seem obvious at first glance.
In fact my collection may seem respectable or maybe even similar to your own.

So, What's the problem here?

Today I came to the realisation that although I have a lot of "business" books, they are autobiographies, stories, about business. Only a select few are information on how to actually DO something!

This is something that HAS to change! I am going to work on collecting more books that give me useful SKILLS that I can actually use.

Does your bookcase look like this? It's a very easy trick to fall into and one that has taken me years to realise.
 

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JAVB

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I'm sorry but you have the PERFECT approach.

Autobiographies are the perfect way to acquire the skills you need.

Learning how others did the stuff you want to do is (IMHO) more effective than getting "how to" bullet points from authors you don't even know did what they recommend..

I learned more business, character and circumstances by reading Elon Musk and Steve Jobs biography than several "best selling" business books out there.

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It'd say your collection is great. The book on how to take action isn't very long because a book can't make you move your feet. Books can inspire, they can teach, they can alter perspective, etc, but they won't make you do anything.

I agree with the poster above, the books you have give you very useful timeless information that do help you a lot, you just don't notice it as much anymore.

Side note, books that try to explain in specific usually go out of date, just like programming books. The best source for that kind of information is experience.

I like how you have the books up top face out, I'm going to do that with some of my favorites on both my office and home book cases too. So thanks for the inspiration!
 
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mrarcher

mrarcher

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It'd say your collection is great. The book on how to take action isn't very long because a book can't make you move your feet. Books can inspire, they can teach, they can alter perspective, etc, but they won't make you do anything.

I agree with the poster above, the books you have give you very useful timeless information that do help you a lot, you just don't notice it as much anymore.

Side note, books that try to explain in specific usually go out of date, just like programming books. The best source for that kind of information is experience.
I like how you have the books up top face out, I'm going to do that with some of my favorites on both my office and home book cases too. So thanks for the inspiration![/QUOTE]

I realise they are good books for learning generalities, lately I feel i should dig more into specific skills, although I do agree that they will go out of date at some point.

I like how you have the books up top face out, I'm going to do that with some of my favorites on both my office and home book cases too. So thanks for the inspiration!
The top ones have all been signed by the authors :) as I gather more signed ones I am going to frame them and dot them around the house.
 

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“Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.”

Sure, read how-to books. But reading Titan will get you much further in life 9/10 times. I'd say biographies & autobiographies are a very good time investment. I read the how to's only when necessary. No point in learning useless knowledge (at the moment).
 
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mrarcher

mrarcher

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Spend less time wishing, more time doing :)
I don't control the forum, but I'm doing plenty. This is a bit of a side note thread from something I noticed today which is why its in the education, learning and BOOKS section. But yeah ... "take action" ... solid advice mate, very useful.
 

404profound

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I don't control the forum, but I'm doing plenty. This is a bit of a side note thread from something I noticed today which is why its in the education, learning and BOOKS section. But yeah ... "take action" ... solid advice mate, very useful.
Just trying to encourage focus on action. Did not mean to be a personal attack. When I see people overfocusing on things that aren't that helpful to their progress, I speak up. I don't care if you have a bad reaction to it.
 
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Real Deal Denver

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Do more.

If you combined your business books, you would not quite fill two shelves.

I have over two 6' tall bookcases - not shelves - filled with business books. Not all of them are about selling or marketing. Many are technical, such as using Excel. But I assure you that the sum total of knowledge at my finger tips is much more powerful than any four year business degree would provide.

They're always there for me. Patient and supporting.

And I add at least a dozen a year.

If you're going to dive in - then dive in. And don't waste your time trying to figure something out on your own. Do what I do - find a "simple" book on the subject - then buy it immediately. Like the "Dummies" books, which I see you have several. Then get an intermediate book and do the same. Inject these into your DNA! Don't pussy-foot around! You can have fairly advanced knowledge in almost any topic in a few weeks. You can be an expert in under a year - maybe only few months. (Even coding, especially if you use interactive training software and are diligent.) That is not to say you will be proficient at a "career" level, but you can master one or two "segments" of a career, and build on it from there. As they say, practice makes perfect, and some things take years of practice AND knowledge.

I also noticed you have two copies of unscripted. I have multiple copies of my favorite books which I buy when I can find them cheap. I keep them on hand to give away. I don't lend books. I either make them buy their own, or I give them the book. I quit worrying about getting them back that way.

As you can see by now, I can't say enough good about having a steady diet of high quality books. They feed and exercise your brain, as well as giving you insight to important things.

As can be said for anything: You're doing good, but you can do better. You're on the right track.
 

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Many are technical, such as using Excel.
What do you use Excel for? Data analytics?

I'm taking an intro course for data stats in university, and it requires Excel. Excel is pretty much a bitch, with all that clunky mechanisms and ordering around of variables. I'm looking to dump it in favour of
R-Code, from my lecturer's recommendation.
 

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I don't think there's anything wrong with your bookcase as its a great start. Those books give you good foundation to build up your most important tool: your mind.

I mean 90% of people don't have a bookcase like that.

But as you find an opportunity and purpose your books and reading material will become more focused.

When you are presented with a problem in your business all of sudden it becomes clear which books you need to read.

I mean the way I look at is that any book can help you make money if it helps you solve a problem or make you smarter it doesn't have to be a business book per se.

Or even sometimes you won't find a book that has the exact steps or solution rather you are gonna have to rely on your own ingenuity which kinda makes life funner and more interesting journey instead of always looking for answers outside yourself.
 
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Real Deal Denver

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What do you use Excel for? Data analytics?

I'm taking an intro course for data stats in university, and it requires Excel. Excel is pretty much a bitch, with all that clunky mechanisms and ordering around of variables. I'm looking to dump it in favour of
R-Code, from my lecturer's recommendation.
Never heard of R-code. But, here are the main things I do with Excel;

1) It is my master list of all work that I do. I code my work by year, then sequential number. I have the address, city, zip, borrower/owner name, what type of work I did, and the fee. This has been invaluable at being able to locate any job that I have done in the last 18 years, within seconds. That gives me the basic outline, and the file number so I can pull that file if I need detailed information.

2) It is a budget planner. I input my "list" of expenses, and then I have variables for "jobs" that I might do. These are totaled by week, month, and year. By changing any variable, the entire financial picture updates, of course. This has allowed me to make VERY good business decisions, which my peers just don't see. I tell them how to do this, but they chase after the one or two high paying jobs. I have found that a steady quantity of mid-range jobs is MUCH more profitable and MUCH easier to manage. This is a very powerful - although simple - financial tool that has been the backbone of my business decisions. I also incorporate "side" windows for special projects that I am/will be working on. I need VERY high quality information, and I need it in a easy to use format. I have Quick Books for financial information, but this is a "tool" that lets me manipulate data back and forth instantly. Couldn't live without it.

3) I use it to import CSV data I pull from the internet. I then sort specific columns to extract data, and I combine columns using the concatenate feature. When everything is "tweaked" in its new format, I import the data into different forms of my software. This saves a huge amount of time as I "copy" the merge formula down a column with multiple entries - and it also prevents errors as I am not typing in the data; I am using the data already there.

4) For consulting work in real estate, I can create formulas for the high and low ranges, averages, and means, and then "clone" that formula across many columns to compare prices, square footage, days on market, etc. This immediately translates the data into a short but powerful summary so I can instantly see the market trending for any project that I am working on.

5) I usually don't use it for graphs, but I have on occasion if I am working on a particularly "sticky" analysis that is hard to understand. A nice line or bar graph, and wah lah - we now "see" exactly what the data is doing over a certain time, instead of trying to "figure it out" crunching numbers in our heads.

I also use the multiple work sheet capability extensively. That makes breaking pieces of data into manageable parts so easy. I've see many multi-line graphs that are just confusing as all get out. Why not do a much simpler graph, or summary analysis, and not clutter it up showing 5 or 6 things at once?

I have also used it to do regression analysis, which is the "new hot thing" to analyze real estate trends, but I am not sold on this concept, so I dropped that application. It is so easy to get garbage results from this method if you don't fully understand what you're doing, and it's too complicated to explain, so I just don't do it anymore.

As you can see, this program is the most powerful program that I use to do the most things. I have also used it to do some incredibly complex things, which I can't even remember how it worked - and I hope to never have to figure it out again.

Excel is just a super versatile program that I have grown into. I can do the work of an entire "team" for what I do, because I know how to make this program dance.

I have my favorite programs, that I have switched out from time to time for different reasons. But excel is going nowhere. I just can't function without it.
 

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I have also used it to do regression analysis, which is the "new hot thing" to analyze real estate trends, but I am not sold on this concept, so I dropped that application. It is so easy to get garbage results from this method if you don't fully understand what you're doing, and it's too complicated to explain, so I just don't do it anymore.
Yes, not all the results that come out are all hunky dory.

Typically, we would do a p-value test or a critical value test for hypothesis testing. But even then I felt largely dissatisfied after working on a group project that needed regression analysis. Somehow the usual Fastlane mandate of 'diesel and coffee' seems more lively and appealing!

It is a budget planner. I input my "list" of expenses, and then I have variables for "jobs" that I might do. These are totaled by week, month, and year. By changing any variable, the entire financial picture updates, of course. This has allowed me to make VERY good business decisions, which my peers just don't see. I tell them how to do this, but they chase after the one or two high paying jobs. I have found that a steady quantity of mid-range jobs is MUCH more profitable and MUCH easier to manage. This is a very powerful - although simple - financial tool that has been the backbone of my business decisions.
What kind of variables do you factor in to look for jobs? Potential growth? Cost of resources required?

It's the first time I have heard of someone tracking down jobs like a well-trained hunter lol. I didn't think that even job filtering was that well-scaled to require a full blown data analysis.
 

Real Deal Denver

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What kind of variables do you factor in to look for jobs? Potential growth? Cost of resources required?

It's the first time I have heard of someone tracking down jobs like a well-trained hunter lol. I didn't think that even job filtering was that well-scaled to require a full blown data analysis.
This is one of those things that you have to do to understand it. Hard to explain. But I'll try...

Time management. I am a real estate appraiser and agent. I don't sell goods, I sell my expertise, which is limited by time. I also am developing some business side lines which are back burner projects that will eventually replace my present work/job.

So I have to budget my time very carefully. I don't book myself solid. My ideal goal is to devote half my available time to good paying clients, and the other half to developing and building bigger and better business ventures. Finding good clients is not easy. To guide my business, I need to track how much my clients pay, how fast they pay me, and if they are good or bad to work with. In the day to day rush of business, this is not easy to do. So I have to step back and have my business plan in front of me, and tweak it. What if Client A, who does not pay as much as I'd like, gave me one more job a week? Then I'd get rid of Client C, who pays very well, but pays slow, and makes my life miserable. And this is exactly what I do. Using this method, I can make more money and be much happier, using a "cheaper" client. It's not just about the money.

However, this story is coming to an end. I'm done with this business as soon as I launch my other ventures. But until then, I have to have some way to track the "pulse" of what is happening, and how I can improve it. Excel is ideal for that. Simple and powerful. At a glance. No PhD required.
 

Cashflow Queen

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So, my bookcase is something I am very proud of. I love my books and enjoy reading when I can but a thought occurred to me today as I added a couple new books to the collection. There is something very VERY wrong, something I haven't noticed over the years as I've built my collection.

Can you see it?

View attachment 19515

It may not seem obvious at first glance.
In fact my collection may seem respectable or maybe even similar to your own.

So, What's the problem here?

Today I came to the realisation that although I have a lot of "business" books, they are autobiographies, stories, about business. Only a select few are information on how to actually DO something!

This is something that HAS to change! I am going to work on collecting more books that give me useful SKILLS that I can actually use.

Does your bookcase look like this? It's a very easy trick to fall into and one that has taken me years to realise.
The average CEO reads 60 books a year! So there’s nothing wrong with your bookshelf. In fact it is great that you’re spending so much time with these great people, it really widens your reference group. Such that when you have awesome business ideas or work crazy hours of the entrepreneur life, you are more prone to take action and follow these leads than listen to the inexperienced naysayers around you.
 

JAVB

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The average CEO reads 60 books a year! So there’s nothing wrong with your bookshelf. In fact it is great that you’re spending so much time with these great people, it really widens your reference group. Such that when you have awesome business ideas or work crazy hours of the entrepreneur life, you are more prone to take action and follow these leads than listen to the inexperienced naysayers around you.
This to me is a myth. It is really hard for the average person to read 60 books a year, let alone CEOs. They barely have free time.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 

Cashflow Queen

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This to me is a myth. It is really hard for the average person to read 60 books a year, let alone CEOs. They barely have free time.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
The exact number is anecdotal but it’s true that CEOs read many more books a year than the average person, with such people as warren buffet and bill gates reading way over that amount. I read over 60 a year on many business related topics, run a full time business, and it only takes 1-2 hours a night (I read at a normal pace and take plenty notes too). It’s easily done if you just spend the time normal people do watching TV and surfing the internet reading instead. I’m sorry if you don’t know any avid readers personally, but don’t assume that such a thing doesn’t exist.
 

Real Deal Denver

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The exact number is anecdotal but it’s true that CEOs read many more books a year than the average person, with such people as warren buffet and bill gates reading way over that amount. I read over 60 a year on many business related topics, run a full time business, and it only takes 1-2 hours a night (I read at a normal pace and take plenty notes too). It’s easily done if you just spend the time normal people do watching TV and surfing the internet reading instead. I’m sorry if you don’t know any avid readers personally, but don’t assume that such a thing doesn’t exist.
It's only four a month. I read two a week sometimes. Not a big deal if the book is interesting. Sometimes I read one in an evening.

And I only watch one show on TV, so I gain untold hours every month. I've long thought TV is a drug to keep the masses happy, distracted, and sedated. Big brother does not want us paying attention and demanding progress - except maybe once every four years at election time. At that time, they just shovel the crap they want us to hear, by the truckloads - and then it's back to the same old same old. Am I the only one that sees that pattern?
 
Last edited:

WJK

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This is one of those things that you have to do to understand it. Hard to explain. But I'll try...

Time management. I am a real estate appraiser and agent. I don't sell goods, I sell my expertise, which is limited by time. I also am developing some business side lines which are back burner projects that will eventually replace my present work/job.

So I have to budget my time very carefully. I don't book myself solid. My ideal goal is to devote half my available time to good paying clients, and the other half to developing and building bigger and better business ventures. Finding good clients is not easy. To guide my business, I need to track how much my clients pay, how fast they pay me, and if they are good or bad to work with. In the day to day rush of business, this is not easy to do. So I have to step back and have my business plan in front of me, and tweak it. What if Client A, who does not pay as much as I'd like, gave me one more job a week? Then I'd get rid of Client C, who pays very well, but pays slow, and makes my life miserable. And this is exactly what I do. Using this method, I can make more money and be much happier, using a "cheaper" client. It's not just about the money.

However, this story is coming to an end. I'm done with this business as soon as I launch my other ventures. But until then, I have to have some way to track the "pulse" of what is happening, and how I can improve it. Excel is ideal for that. Simple and powerful. At a glance. No PhD required.
I too use Excel for a lot of different real estate spreadsheets. And I use it for my business accounting along with Quicken.

One of my favorites is the one that figures my sales taxes on my rents that I collect. The calculations are pretty intense since there are thresholds, a couple different exemptions, and amounts that already include the sales taxes. All those issues have to be figured, and the sales taxes have to be broken out. In the beginning, it took hours to sort out. I made an Excel spreadsheet, and now I just plug in a hand full of figures for each month, and the sheet fills in the numbers that I need for my tax form. It now takes minutes rather than hours.

Compared to the programs that came before it, Excel is very elegant.
 

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WJK

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This to me is a myth. It is really hard for the average person to read 60 books a year, let alone CEOs. They barely have free time.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
I read several books each and every month. 60 books a year, is just about 1 per week. To read so few, I'd really miss my reading.
 

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