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Who Not How by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy - Book Discussion

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MTF

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Who Not How: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork is a very simple book. In its essence, the authors posit that to achieve more, you need to shift your thinking from HOW you can do it to WHO can help you do it or WHO can do it for you. Ultimately, it's about leverage in the form of working with others instead of thinking that you can do everything best. This applies not only to business but also personal life (stuff like cooking, cleaning, having a good fitness program, even driving a car).

I'm a lone wolf by nature and find it very hard to work with other people but this book made me realize that perhaps it's a skill I need to work on more. Looking back, some of the best stuff I've created was actually the result of collaborations and/or just one piece of advice given to me by someone else (I owe just one person with her right advice at the right time most of my business results).

Here are my three favorite excerpts:

Do you have Whos in your life that give you the perspectives, resources, and ability to go beyond what you could do alone? Or are you keeping your goals so small to make them easier to accomplish them on your own? Do you really think you must be the one to put in the blood, sweat, and tears, bearing the whole load to prove your capability?

“As an individual, your time and attention are linear and finite. You only have so much. So, when you ask yourself, ‘How?’ then you have to be the one to find out where to learn, you have to be the one to actually learn how to do it, and once you’ve learned how to do it, then you have to be the one to actually do the task for the unforeseen future. If at some point in the future, you decide to hire someone to do it for you, then you’ll have to train them.”

Our culture has brainwashed us into avoiding costs rather than making powerful investments in ourselves and our futures. As a result, we willingly do all sorts of “busy” or ineffective work outside our expertise and passion, falsely believing that “working hard” or engaging in such tasks is worth it.

What are your main lessons from the book? Do you have any examples from your life how looking for WHO instead of HOW helped you achieve more?

Thanks @Tiago for the recommendation.
 
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VicFountain

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I saw your recommendation on the books thread and decided to give it a read. I was left amazed after 5 pages. Completely shifted my perspective. I've always thought that the best way to reach your goals was to screw up everyone else and just do everything by yourself, design, marketing, coding, and so on. Well, it didn't work out very well for me.

I ended up thinking that way because I had a bad experience with a business partner in the past and from there on I thought that having control of the production of your product is the most important thing. Now, I start thinking the problem was me, I was a bad leader.

I was the proverbial micro-manager, and my business partner left me. I think you need a balance...leading skills but also skills that are necessary to build the product you intend to sell, or at least have enough money to replace someone who leaves you.
 
D

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I haven't read the book, but the title annoys me. I'd rather say "Why, not how". But then Hardy, as good of a writer as he is, is not known for choosing particularly good titles for his books.
 

Tiago

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Happy that you enjoyed it. It’s a great book, I’ve referred it to many people.
 
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MTF

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I saw your recommendation on the books thread and decided to give it a read. I was left amazed after 5 pages. Completely shifted my perspective. I've always thought that the best way to reach your goals was to screw up everyone else and just do everything by yourself, design, marketing, coding, and so on. Well, it didn't work out very well for me.

I ended up thinking that way because I had a bad experience with a business partner in the past and from there on I thought that having control of the production of your product is the most important thing. Now, I start thinking the problem was me, I was a bad leader.

I was the proverbial micro-manager, and my business partner left me. I think you need a balance...leading skills but also skills that are necessary to build the product you intend to sell, or at least have enough money to replace someone who leaves you.

Same for me, except I never fooled myself I'm good at design or coding lol. But otherwise I also have issues trusting others with quality.

I haven't read the book, but the title annoys me. I'd rather say "Why, not how". But then Hardy, as good of a writer as he is, is not known for choosing particularly good titles for his books.

The book has nothing to do with "why" so the title is fitting as it is. It's about finding out WHO can help you instead of HOW you can do it. Why is irrelevant here.
 
D

Deleted78083

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Same for me, except I never fooled myself I'm good at design or coding lol. But otherwise I also have issues trusting others with quality.



The book has nothing to do with "why" so the title is fitting as it is. It's about finding out WHO can help you instead of HOW you can do it. Why is irrelevant here.


Ok I'll have a look at it once I finish Fox's book. By the look of it though, i already feel i am not going to like it.

I like to have control over my life and this goes by learning skills. I trust absolutely no one when it comes to...well, pretty much anything. Society failed me, academia failed me, modern medicine failed me, the government failed me, etc. Relying on no one to do my stuff enabled me to learn...well, pretty much everything i know today, from bike repair to stock investing.

This is why i commented that "why not how" was probably more powerful than "who not how". I know old people that have outsourced their entire lives and as a result, can't do anything by themselves. I'd rather avoid such a fate.

Knowledge is more than power. It's everything. So until i find better options, it won't be "who not how", but "me and no one else".

But i'll read the book with an open-mind, thx for the thread! : )
 

Alxf

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Feb 28, 2021
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Who Not How: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork is a very simple book. In its essence, the authors posit that to achieve more, you need to shift your thinking from HOW you can do it to WHO can help you do it or WHO can do it for you. Ultimately, it's about leverage in the form of working with others instead of thinking that you can do everything best. This applies not only to business but also personal life (stuff like cooking, cleaning, having a good fitness program, even driving a car).

This is extremely timely!

I'm about to turn 40, and I'm seeing more and more that although I love learning new skills, specific hard skills is not *nearly* as useful as learning "soft" social skills and creating leverage by effectively working with other people who are good at things that I am not (and don't want to be).
 
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MTF

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I like to have control over my life and this goes by learning skills. I trust absolutely no one when it comes to...well, pretty much anything. Society failed me, academia failed me, modern medicine failed me, the government failed me, etc. Relying on no one to do my stuff enabled me to learn...well, pretty much everything i know today, from bike repair to stock investing.

I'd encourage you to not base your life upon very limited personal experiences and your interpretations of them. Life isn't black and white. Modern medicine may have failed you at one thing but it's also modern medicine that will save your life if you're in an accident. Society is an abstract concept so I'm not sure how it can fail you. The government - if it failed you, then first you had expectations that it should do anything for you.

There are countless examples of successful people who trust others to do their jobs while they focus on their unique strengths. In fact, I don't know a single super successful person who isn't collaborative and doesn't own their success at least in part to someone else.

BTW, if you're investing in the stock market, you ARE giving away control because you believe that your money will be better used by the companies in which you invested. :) Same for buying groceries and pretty much anything else. This is just taking this concept to the next level in business.

Knowledge is more than power. It's everything. So until i find better options, it won't be "who not how", but "me and no one else".

As @Alxf comments below, this isn't about not knowing anything and delegating your entire life. It's about focusing on your strengths (and these are usually some kind of a soft skill that isn't easily replicable).

You'll quickly have to find better options once you encounter problems in business that require someone else's experience. Do you really plan to invest in a new skill each time you have a problem? Will you spend a few years learning logo design instead of hiring a graphic designer? Will you learn accountancy instead of hiring an accountant?

This book addresses all of your beliefs and I think that if you approach it with an open mind, it'll change you. Somewhere in the middle of the book there's a powerful story with a guy who wanted to sell his business, failed at it because he wanted to do it himself, later sold it for a much bigger price only because he relied on someone else's expertise only to almost die later while trying to rely on himself to save a few bucks. It took him a near-death experience to finally understand that none of us can be good at everything; we absolutely need others to prosper.

This is extremely timely!

I'm about to turn 40, and I'm seeing more and more that although I love learning new skills, specific hard skills is not *nearly* as useful as learning "soft" social skills and creating leverage by effectively working with other people who are good at things that I am not (and don't want to be).

Then you'll definitely enjoy the book. :)
 

Dami-B

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(I owe just one person with her right advice at the right time most of my business results).
Wow, there's so much "80/20" in this statement right here.

Anything from Dan Sullivan is excellent, He is one of the sharpest entrepreneurial minds out there, and yes, Who not How is a timeless concept, rather than trying to figure HOW to do it, stop and think about WHO can do it, that alone could save years of frustration, provide illumination and possible collaborations we didn't think was possible.
 

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