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Month: June 2021

Crippled CEO Blog #089: My Audiobook Library

Crippled CEO Blog #089:

I listen to a lot of audiobooks.

I figured out the secret (for me) is to stack the habit of listening to the audiobook on top of something I’m going to do anyways.

I put an Alexa near my bathroom. And whenever I come in to tinkle, I tell her to play my audiobook. 

This process takes me five or six minutes, so that’s all I listen for, but I do it every time. Every day. And I have consumed a decent number of audiobooks this way.

Connecting one habit to another is a great way to start a new routine.

I’m going to attach screenshots of all of my recent listens for you all to look through. The ones highlighted/circled are the books that aren’t about running a business and are good for everybody. I would only recommend the rest of them if you’re currently running an organization. 

If you’ve read/listened to any of these, let me know your favorite. If you have a book you think I should check out, please let me know.

(Do you know who reads me like a book? Your mom. She’s also a genius who signed up to get a weekly text message from me with a link to the latest blog. Just send a text to the number 484848 with the word CRIP as the message and you can, too.)

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Crippled CEO Blog #088: The Mimetic Desire Hack

Crippled CEO Blog #088:

One of my favorite podcasters is MIT professor, AI researcher, jiu jitsu black belt, and incredible psychopath Lex Fridman. 

Recently, Lex and his guest were discussing mimetic desire.

Mimetic desire is a bourgeoisie term for the observation that we learn to want the things we see other people wanting. 

Mimetic, like mime or mimic, plus desire, as in want, equals mimetic desire. 

Apparently, memetic desire is hardwired into our lizard brains.

We all kind of know this, right? There is a reason that people spend a lot of money on Supreme stuff, and it has nothing to do with the quality of their shovels. 

Now, at first glance, this idea is a bit depressing, and even a bit insulting. The insinuation is that we are incapable of our own original desires. We just want the things, the moments, the relationships, the careers, and so on that other people have deemed desirable.

And if you think about it a bit further, you then realize that if we want what other people want, conflict is inevitable. This phenomenon means we are often competing for the same things. 

So, armed with this information, what do we do about it?

Well, the wrong thing to do is try and fight it. This thing is baked in deep. Attempting to battle behavior forged over millions of years of evolution is a fight you are going to lose. You are better off accepting it and making peace with it: you are going to want the things you observe other people wanting. 

The good news is that once you have accepted this, you have a very powerful opportunity.

You get to use this to decide the person you want to be.

Because at the end of the day, we are the sum of our desires. The job we want, the partner we want, the house we want, the lifestyle we want, the body we want, the abilities we want — the first step to becoming is WANTING. You can’t learn Mandarin until you decide you are a person who wants to learn Mandarin. Lifting heavy weights every day to become a bodybuilder is either a great idea or really dumb, and it depends entirely on what you want.

The secret, then, is to find the kinds of people who want what you want to want. If you think you want to be a person who travels, go join some travel groups on Facebook. Follow some professional travelers on YouTube. Make friends with people who aspire to travel. I guarantee you that seeing and hearing other people talk about the places they want to travel to will focus your desires, and if you stay in these groups long enough, it’s just a matter of time before you are boarding an airplane yourself.

If you join a group of long distance runners, chances are, you are going to start wanting to eat healthier, because they want to eat healthier.

You can use this tick that is programmed into your psyche to hack your motivation and help you shape your life for the better. 

And you should, because this is happening whether you do it consciously or not. If your friends are all people whose main desire is to cheat the government, then soon that will be your goal as well.

And if you’re not sure what you want, when you see people living an awesome life, try to get to know them. And the friends you have who aren’t living awesome lives, try to stop knowing them, too. 

Become the pilot of your wants and motivations. They don’t have to be arbitrary. You get to choose. Why not choose things that are amazing?

(You know whose desires I like to mimic? Your mom. She also desires to get a text from me every Sunday. You should copy her in this. Just send a text message to the number 484848 with the word CRIP as the body of the message and I’ll send you a link to the latest blog every week.)

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Crippled CEO Blog #087: Do you change lives?

Crippled CEO Blog #087:

I’ve made a recent observation that getting to know me well frequently means that your entire life is going to change. 

You weren’t planning to change your career, your residence, or your relationship status, but you get to know me, and suddenly your life is being transformed for the better. 

Of all the things that I like about myself, this is probably the thing I’m most proud of. This realization has made me reevaluate my purpose. 

You might be wondering what I’m talking about, so I’m going to embarrass some people and give abridged examples.

Casey Buckley, my oldest friend, never planned on owning a pool fence business, but after selling his last enterprise, that’s exactly what I talked him into doing, and due to his hard work, dedication, and intelligence, he is now the owner of one of the top pool fence installation companies on Earth. 

After getting to know the wonderful Kate well, when she expressed displeasure at her job, I convinced her to come find a home in the Life Saver office. Nearly a decade later, she continues to do amazing there, and now her husband earns his living with Life Saver, as well, and is also crushing it. 

My other BFF, Michael McGahee, wasn’t sure what he was going to do when he came back from Chicago. Life Saver’s office made a role for him, and then for his wife, too. 

Mr. Michael Doscher came over to install a TV for me. After that project was completed, I recruited him to do additional work around my house. I mentioned to him that my roommate was into him, and now they’ve been dating for almost 2 years. Oh, and despite loving the job he had, I helped him level up… to Life Saver, where he’s coming up on a year of blissful employment. 

His girlfriend, my roommate, Lauren has been living with me for seven years, which is a role she probably didn’t expect to fill when we initially met. The man I hired as my chess coach didn’t know he would be starting a pool fence dealership in St. Louis and also becoming our CFO a year later, either. 

There are a bunch of other smaller stories, like Gizmo moving in to my parents’ former house across the street to be my neighbor. 

So I’ve helped people get careers, significant others, and places to live, what’s my point? Would I like a cookie? First, yes. I do want a cookie. 

But my point is that this has all only been possible because I helped myself first.

It’s only after climbing the ladder myself that I could steady it for the next person and help them climb up. 

If you want to be a force of positive change in the lives of those closest to you, you need to first change your own life. We all know the metaphor of putting the oxygen mask on ourselves first on a plane before assisting the person next to us. Despite this, we often have a hard time doing it in practice.

And if you are in a position to help, if you have the oxygen mask on yourself, then you have an obligation to assist the person next to you. If your life is going great, and you don’t see the people closest to you having their lives transformed by knowing you, what is going on? Why aren’t you positively impacting the people in your life? Chances are there are ways that you can, you just need to be willing to try. 

Because the real secret to all of this is that the life that has been most transformed through all these people’s upgrades… is mine. 

(Your mom also likes making a transformation. It involves cosplay and leather. She also gets my weekly text message with a link directly to the most recent blog article. You can sign up for this text by sending a message to the phone number 484848 with the word CRIP in the body of the text.)

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Crippled CEO Blog #086: I’m not just busy

Crippled CEO Blog #086:

We see people always on the move, always in a hurry, always busy, and we think, “That’s success.”

The cause of success and the result of success: constant, non-stop hustling. Picking the phone up every free moment to check and send that email. 

And then there’s the cousin to this: the person with the totally booked calendar. Virtually inaccessible. So busy. 


We are envious of this. It looks so appealing. And we feel guilty if we aren’t doing the same, so we, too, create ways to be busier. 

Because we all know that working hard means getting ahead, and therefore working harder means getting ahead further, and being busy is working. 

I’m going to tell you a secret: I’m not that busy. If you call me, I will probably answer. If you want to meet tomorrow or in a couple hours, 70% of the time, I am probably available.

I’m allegedly pretty successful. 

So, why aren’t I booked solid with tasks, meetings, and appointments?

The first one is easy to overlook, but arguably the most important. I don’t want to be. While the idea of that does look appealing, in reality, it’s not an enjoyable way to live life.

But besides that, I also don’t think it’s the best way to be successful. 

The reality is that you only need to get a few things right. There might be only one or two things in a given day that are really going to move the needle and impact your business. And if you are busy with less important stuff, there’s an excellent chance that you might miss out on the most critical things. Without the breathing room to think, step back, and assess, you might be too stuck in the desert to see the cacti. Or however that saying goes. Getting stuff done is great, but if it’s not stuff that’s truly pushing things forward, you might actually be better off doing nothing, and not wasting the energy and mental bandwidth that may have led to an important new idea. 

And this is hard to do. It’s especially hard when you have your phone with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The other big benefit to not being fully booked every hour of every day is you leave yourself open to meetings and opportunities and conversations that could be far more worthwhile than the things you put in that space just to fill your calendar. I can’t tell you how many TV interviews, big clients, and so on I have gotten because I was free right away. Being busy and inaccessible means you are also inaccessible to the occasional random gems life throws at you. Missing out on these isn’t worth looking important to people you don’t like anyways.

So, stop envying the busy people. If you get done the one really important thing that really matters every day, you will soar past them in no time.

(Do you know who always wants to keep me busy? Your mom. And I’m never too busy for her. She’s also never too busy to get my weekly text message. You, too, can get a link to the latest blog each week by sending a message to 484848 with the word CRIP as the body of the text.)

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