Crippled CEO Blog #075:
I’m currently making my way through Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss. If you don’t already know, Tim Ferriss is great. 4 Hour Work Week sounds way cheesier and dumber than it is, and Tools of Titans is an encyclopedia for life that’s really worth checking out.
In this book, Tim sent a list of 11 questions to a gang of super performers, and then curated their best responses.
I’m no super performer, but I thought it might be a fun exercise for myself to go through the questions, and I figured I could share those answers with you all as well. I will do five of them this week, and then do the rest next week.
And if you have a few minutes, go type Tim Ferriss into YouTube and watch a few things. You’ll thank me later.
- 1. What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?
Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss.
Chris Voss was the chief international hostage negotiator for the FBI. He was forced to learn and develop simple, practical, teachable negotiation methods that worked every time, because in his work, when they didn’t, someone died. He then went to the top business negotiation classes in the world (e.g. Harvard), first as a student and then as a teacher, and quickly figured out that his methods didn’t only work on hostage taking criminals, but they worked well in business and life as well.
It is rare to get a book on a topic and have the advice inside be so useful, so not obvious, and so well taught. And how many skills are more important than talking to the people around us, which is really what he is offering in the book? If you are a person who talks to other people, highly recommend this one for you.
- 2. What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? My readers love specifics like brand and model, where you found it, etc.
I’m hardly sharing any unknown secrets here, but my Yeti cup has really changed my life. As a person who needs another person to refill their beverage, having a large cup of it that always stays cold is rather nice. Also, using the Delivery Dudes bodega / concierge service to get me small stuff like four gallons of milk — that’s been a game changer.
- 3. How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?
I failed pretty spectacularly at being born. Seriously, I screwed that up so royally that I ended up permanently crippled. Way to start things off on the right foot, or in my case, the right wheelchair wheel. I could argue that being gimpy has been pivotal in many of my successes.
If you don’t think that one counts, we will do one more. I started Child Safety Store originally in 2001. I built the website myself. I entered in every product. I wrote every description. I edited all the photos. I ran the Google AdWords campaign. And in just a couple years, it was doing $300,000 a year in revenue. A person could have easily lived off of that income alone. But then I left it on auto pilot. I didn’t care about it. And I just let it… fizzle… until it died. It is the saddest kind of failure, because it’s the one that happens because you didn’t even try.
I started it back up again in 2017, and it is already on its way towards something more special than what it could have been before. I think it needed to die, and I needed to grow some, so that we could get it right the second time.
- 4. If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it—metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions—what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)
I’m cheating. I have two.
The first would be:
Keep Showing Up
Because that’s the key to everything, right? Whether you are writing a novel, learning how to cook, starting a new business, exercising, parenting, whatever it is, the key to succeeding is that you just keep showing up. If you keep showing up, then eventually success is undeniable.
And the other would be:
Drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for children between the ages of one and four years old. Multiple layers of protection, like pool safety fencing and infant swim self-rescue training, are the solution.
- 5. What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)
I put an Amazon Echo on my night stand, right outside my bathroom. Whenever I go into my bathroom to go pee (which takes me a few minutes longer than you — start to finish about 6 minutes), I tell her to start playing my audio book. That small amount of time, energy, and money to buy the thing and the books has paid off exponentially.
That silly thing aside, I would say the biggest investment I have made, that has most affected my life, is in the people around me — curating them, building my relationships with them, and weaving them into my life by doing everything I can to change theirs for the better. I have realized that when I find a new diamond in the rough that I want around me forever, I invest heavily in making my life an awesome place for them to reside. I do this primarily because I want people I care about to be prosperous and happy, but a side effect is I end up with friends deeply embedded in my life — we work together, roommates, neighbors, etc. — and I have the very best humans as friends for decades.
So, that’s it for this week. Next week we will do the remaining questions. Let me know if you enjoyed this, and maybe I’ll do something similar in the future.
(You know whose questions I always answer? Your mom. And I answer them thoroughly and in detail. Your mom also gets my text every Sunday about the latest blog post. You can, too, by sending a text to the phone number 484848 with the word CRIP as the message. You should do it. Don’t let your mom have all the fun.)