PURPLE COW by Seth Godin Notes

Work has been giving me an emotional beat down with fists wrapped in quarters lately. Last month, I’ve nearly torn out my eyebrows over the bullshit monotony of scheduling, rescheduling, and emailing. It’s an assistant’s mental equivalent of “I-pick-stuff-up-I-put-stuff-down.” At the end of a day, I’ve spent 90 percent of my time pushing around paper, minus the paper. This isn’t a rant against who I work for, my role, or my industry. I understand this shit has to get done, and why I’m the one shoveling it. My “win-days” have become those when I manage to carve out 30 minutes
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Round-up: MOONLIGHT MILE by Dennis Lehane and Behind the Brand

I finished Dennis Lehane’s MOONLIGHT MILE recently. It’s disheartening to say, but I felt he didn’t bring his A-game on this one. It was as if he tried so hard to be relevant, to cover every iota of modern day society, from adoption to Twitter to unemployment, that he lost sight of the razor sharp characterizations that made Patrick and Angie novels so enticing. I can’t say I’m the foremost expert on Dennis’s writings, though I’d like to think I’m in a pretty good position to comment on his work — at least in the top 5 percentile of “critics
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LEAN IN by Sheryl Sandberg — Review

As I mentioned, I’ve been reading Sheryl Sandberg’s LEAN IN. There are parts that feel too much like a gender studies class (though, what did I expect?) but there are more than plenty of insights into the mind of Facebook’s COO for us to apply at work and at home. This is doubly true if both partners in a relationship (I hate to use the phrase, “Type-A”) have ambitious career trajectories. My highlights below, with my notes in italics. We hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising our hands, and by pulling
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Ramit Sethi’s interview Derek Sivers, creator of CDBaby

This week we’re listening to a great interview, conducted by Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You to be Rich, of Derek Sivers, the creator of CDbaby. Derek also blogs here. The first time listening to this interview, my girlfriend and I were driving to Chatsworth for a lunch (yes, that’s correct — instead of a long, meaningful conversation, we hooked up the iPod and got our learn on. That’s true love.) and we followed Derek’s story of the creation and eventual sale of CDBaby on a beautiful Sunday drive, catching the sun at it’s peak as we came down
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LEAN IN, Videos, and Evernote

The more I dig into Sheryl Sandberg’s LEAN IN, the more it feels like a gender studies book. I’m surprised at how surprised I am. I thought it was going to pull a reverse psychology trick on me, like, “Here’s this book that seems like it’s just a book about how women are treated differently in the work place… but it’s actually much more than that… except, it’s actually not.” Perhaps I over thought the whole thing. Hardly outside the realm of possibilities. I will say this for LEAN IN: the book opens with huge promise. Some highlights below, my
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The Rise to the Top Interviews Ryan Holiday

I’d been writing a screenplay and used Ryan’s book as a reference. Then I saw that David Siteman Garland had interviewed Ryan a while back and immediately downloaded the audio.  The Rise to the Top Interview with Ryan Holiday covers Ryan’s book, TRUST ME, I’M LYING: CONFESSIONS OF A MEDIA MANIPULATOR (DSG’s affiliate link). I read the book when it first came out in July 2012) and watched Ryan speak at a signing at the Book Soup book store in West Hollywood. Here’s the Interview This interview serves as an excellent primer for Ryan’s book, which covers the techniques of
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Reading: Going Paperless

Going Paperless is a blog post series by SF writer Jamie Todd Rubin that documents his process for removing paper from his life. More than changing how I think about using paper (which it has), it changed the way I think about organizing my work flow. I’ll detail how this took place for another post, but if you’re interested in getting started, here’s my favorite post: Tips On How I Use Evernote to Remember Everything While it does offer some tactics, the two major insights into Jamie’s methodology about going paperless are: You do this because it can make your
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Reading: Amarillo Slim’s Memoir – In A World Full of Fat People

I finished Amarillo Slim’s memoir, In A World Full Of Fat People as my non-work related read. For work reads, the challenge is dealing with volume, so they require intense focus, and brute forcing my way through manuscripts and scripts. Basically, it sucks 80 percent of the joy from reading. Allocating time for non-work related reads is my way of saying, “I never want to not enjoy reading.” One hand washes the other. I broke into this memoir because I love gambling and books on gambling. I didn’t read it with the idea of finding takeaways… But I just couldn’t
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Listening to: Jenny Blake Interview

I’m listening to David Siteman Garland’s interview with Jenny Blake of Life After College, on The Rise to the Top. I finished the interview yesterday, on my way home after my first visit to SoHo house. Which, by the way, I had zero idea on how to find the entrance to. #FirstWorldProblems. The two major discussion points I found really interesting were: 1. The process of product development, from book deal to course creation. 2. Transition of a brand, as Jenny shifts her focus away from Life After College and into the next iteration of the Jenny Blake brand. Full
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Five Kindle Features That Maximize Workflow

The Kindle has dramatically improved my workflow. I sympathize with the “I-love-holding-a-book” camp, but I also don’t argue with results: results trump nostalgia. I’ve included the five Kindle features that will change the way you read and work, and some pointers on how to implement them. This list is based off the 3G non-touch Wi-Fi-capable Kindle. Maintain Your Reading List The trumpeted feature of the Kindle Bookstore is you can buy a book anytime, anywhere, and be reading in seconds. You can even read samples of books. But the real highlight of the Kindle Bookstore goes unmentioned: searching for books
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