Yearly Archives: 2009

New Homeless Experiment Formats

Something people find rather interesting is when they hear about my Homeless Experiment. Usually they hear it from one of my jackass friends mentioning to someone “Ask him where he lived this year!” or some question-inducing comment like that.

People generally want to read the experiment, but since it’s in blog format, it’s in reverse order and in general kind of hard to read.

People can always go to the NevBlog Timeline, scroll to the experiment and click through each post…however this requires first KNOWING you can do that, and a full 39 clicks to read!

A better way to read was needed so now the Homeless Experiment is now viewable in several different formats.

Putting the actual file together took the most time. I copy/pasted all the files in chronological order into a Word file then corrected all the wonky formatting.

The Word to HTML conversion gave even more “interesting” formatting errors, but a straight copy/paste from Word into Frontpage worked great. I turned this page into the HTML version of the ebook.

For the PDF I simply converted the HTML document into a PDF.

I figured getting this uploaded on the Amazon Kindle platform would be difficult, but it was actually unbelievably simple. This is quite possibly the simplest method to “publish” anything.

Anyone with an Amazon account is ready to go, enter a few book details, upload the file in pretty much any format and within a few seconds you have a preview:

I quickly made a cheesy book cover and uploaded that:

….set the price and you’re published! Wait a few days for approval and it’ll be on sale.

Micro Wha??

Hahaha… I never noticed that where I sit in the library to read
magazines are two "state of the art" microfiche machines!

I wonder if anyone still uses them…

Checked Out A Foreclosure Auction

Just out of pure curiosity I decided to visit a county foreclosure auction. I always hear about people buying property at a foreclosure auctions, so at 10am this Tuesday I went to the Travis County (Austin, TX.) auction which is held outside at the courthouse.

Beforehand I checked out the properties to get a general gist of what’s on the auction block. The auction I went to was for November 2009. Pretty much everything looked like crap to me, I’m not sure why anyone would want some of these properties, and many of them went unsold (aka “Struck Off”). Most of the listings with pictures looked like 100 year old shacks that might collapse at any moment….a far cry from the palaces going for $1,000 you see on TV. Many of the listings were just for plots of land, some of these plots sold for WAY over the minimum auction price, which probably means certain people know that area well and came prepared.

Keep in mind if you buy a listing, it almost always has some “back taxes” the former owner couldn’t pay, so you take on those debts.

As I arrived I saw a crowd of about 80 or 100 people from all walks of life crowded around a police officer and some office workers on an elevated area of the steps:

I got there right when it started, and was kind of disappointed the auctioneer DIDN’TSPEAKINTHATREALLYFASTWAY.

The man doing the auctioning was dressed like a state trooper, and was rather soft spoken, and was a little difficult to hear if you weren’t paying attention. One guy involved in a bid war kept looking down at his notes, and actually won the listing and didn’t know because he couldn’t hear! HA!

The whole thing was maybe 20 minutes long and was actually pretty….fun! It was comical watching people bid against each other and rather entertaining for the crowd. There was a woman at the front and a man in the back who obviously knew each other from these auctions who kept bidding against each other on almost every listing.

The crowd was very entertained watching them outbid each other to 2X, 3X, 4X and even 5X the minimum property value! Everyone was thinking “If these two just came on different days they could’ve saved $100,000 at this auction alone!”

I spoke with some people who come frequently, and sometimes there are great bargains to be picked up, but on a crowded day like today it’s difficult to buy popular listings for cheap. You also have to register to bid, which means you have to prove you have a certain amount of cash ready to plunk down….this keeps out much of the general public.

I’m sure a slowing economy will start adding some even greater bargains to these auctions.

A good experience!

I Ended Up On A German Book Cover

That’s right, I’m famous. Uber famous!

A few months ago someone from a German publishing company contacted my business House Of Rave to possibly buy some of the wallpapers featured on the site. They wanted to use one of the pictures on the cover of an upcoming book about the techno club scene in the 1990’s till present (or something like that)…

They offered to pay me a nominal fee for the rights, but I declined (in order to keep the full rights) and requested a copy of the book plus photo credit if it was published using pictures I own. I figured since I own a rave company, I should probably help support the rave community in whatever way I can…and it seemed like it would be decent publicity too.

So I provided them the original high-res files to a few of the pictures they requested, and didn’t really expect anything to happen.

Just recently I got a package from Germany with two copies of the book, and they happened to use a picture taken by me, of me demonstrating a product! While you can’t clearly see my face, you can see the silhouette of my face (so excuse the opening line…my SILHOUETTE is Uber famous)!

Front Cover:

Back cover:


That white line divide near the bottom quarter of the picture is actually a giant dry-erase board in my upstairs living room.

Photo credit on inside jacket:

Here’s the German Amazon link to the book.

So a picture of my hands are on the front cover of a book. This reminds me of when The New York Times did a full photo shoot with me, then just used a picture of my nose…but they used a full picture of Jim!

Ok, I finally get what everyone’s trying to tell me:
I’m too good looking to be printed.

5 Seconds to Vote

Update: Voting closed. Thanks to all those who voted!!

Hey…can you please take 5 seconds to click the image below and click “Vote for Me” on the page?

It literally takes 5 seconds or less, doesn’t require entering a lick of information, and would make me very happy!

I entered HouseOfRave in a competition and want to see if NevBlog visitors can sway the vote higher!

Very much appreciated,

P.S. If you’d like to find out more about how House of Rave works you can see the whole series here.

The 2009 To-Do List Format

A year ago made a post called “Evolution of The Daily To-Do List” and added on the 2009 formatting of my to-do list.

Here’s the section of update, although reading the original post is better to read. This update covers a simple trick I use to massively improve my productivity.

(updated 10-08-2009)

The 2008 formatting was very successful and I still use it till this day, however there was one problem: With so much work to do everyday, I’d get overwhelmed and scatter-brained about the work. Almost immediately I’d see tasks which I avoided doing or wanted to put off. This lead to many incomplete to-do lists, and postponing work till the next day, then next etc….

So one day I took a sheet of paper and covered the whole to-do list. I inched the paper down to reveal ONE task. I completed it. Then I inched down to reveal the next. Completed it.

Having a singular goal to work on helped imensely!

Towards the end of that day I inched down only to reveal I had completed every single task I assigned the day before! It was a great feeling to get through all the work in such a quick and easy manner. Since then I’ve been using this little trick to help me complete to-do lists, and it’s still working great.

Here’s a quick video documenting how I structure, complete and save my to-do lists:

At the end of every day I put each to-do list into a binder for future reference.

After doing this for several months, it’s nice to go back and look through them. If one month I didn’t progress much, I can clearly see why by looking at these daily performance reviews. I make notes of good days, bad days, workout regimens, interesting happenings etc.

4 Months of The Seinfeld Calendar

I made the original Seinfeld Calendar post 4 months ago.

It’s simply a giant year calendar that faces my bed so I see it all the time. If I accomplish my daily to-do list, I put a checkmark. If I don’t finish the to-do list, I put a dot:

The whole reasoning for this calendar is to make finishing my daily goals consistent. The quote I keep on top of the calendar sums it up:

Excellence is not an act, but a habit

Here’s the number results of these four months (weekends included):

Good Day: When my written-the-night-before to-do lists get completely finished.
Bad Day: When to-do list not fully finished. Most of the bad days are weekends.


The to-do lists I give myself are generally quite a bit of work. A standard to-do list generally will keep me occupied for a full 8-12 hours. Sometimes it takes less, sometimes it takes more. Most of this work involves me staring at a computer, so 8-12 hours of this per day gets a little straining.

I noticed when I tried getting a checkmark 7 days of the week, I burned myself out! The following days would be very unproductive and filled with low quality work because I was burning myself out. So after figuring out different ways of becoming more productive, I found out the best way is to allow myself about 2 bad days per week. This can be the weekdays or weekends…whatever I feel. This way the work is enjoyable and I still get large amounts of work done.

Here is a recent shot of the filled out calendar:

The first month I was getting REALLY pissed if I didn’t fill out a checkmark for the day, so I started working very hard the next day to fill it out. After a while I started making checking these off a habit. It’s helped me stop procrastinating as much, because in the middle of the day I think, “I can either continue to screw off and get a dot for the day, or just start doing this work, getting it out of the way and get a checkmark for the day.”

I also have less fun going out if I don’t finish all my work. When I finish off a great day of work, it feels good and well deserved to go out. So being more productive actually allows me to have more fun!

Anyhow, I’d highly recommend this Seinfeld Productivity Calendar method. It’s definitely helped me become more focused and productive through the day!

Good Comments, Bad Comments

I’m making this post so I can reference it later.

Dear Commenter’s,
If you’re going to comment on an article and leave a ridiculous comment, most people find them entertaining yet totally moot. If you want your opinion to count even an iota, express your feedback in a constructive manner.

When a person simply flames another person….I visualize them as the insane guy on the street corner yelling gibberish at other pedestrians:

What you look like.

I recently did a Homeless Experiment which delivered some pretty strong opinions on homelessness. In fact, I concluded that in my opinion I will no longer give money to homeless people holding signs in certain areas of Austin. This statement alone can elicit a fair amount of criticism because some people interpret it as “I am commanding you to NEVER give money to ANY homeless person ANYWHERE.”

Here’s an example of a person who very much disagrees with me, but clearly explains what he’s disturbed about, and even offers solutions. When I view this comment, I see this guy as intelligent, calm and someone I should probably listen to:

Nev, I’m the president of an agency that houses homeless families in Durham, North Carolina. I’ve been following your “experiment” with interest.

I must say I have mixed feelings. I find it admirable that you seemed to want to gain some understanding of how people very different than yourself live. But you seem to have viewed the experience as a lark or an adventure, a personal challenge or growth experience, a bizarre vacation rather than anything deeper. And it really bothered me to hear you keep saying how easy it is to be homeless. Sure it is, if being homeless is optional, if you didn’t have to really experience the final crisis (and the series of crises leading up to that) that makes most people homeless (eviction, illness, layoff, divorce, domestic violence that’s so bad that you finally leave), if at any minute you can go back to your 4,000-square foot loft and take a shower, and if that’s what you do after a few days. When you know you have a college degree and a good job.

I was also hoping you might express a desire to get involved to help homeless people in Austin in some way. I’ve read the whole blog, and I haven’t seen any inclination toward that yet, though you did seem to gain some understanding of the people you

I’d like to challenge you to volunteer at the ARCH or another agency that helps the homeless. It would also be nice for you to at least donate $50 or whatever to the shelter to make up for moral transgression of crowding a truly homeless person out of a bed that night you stayed there. (Nev Note: which I did partially thanks to this comment)

What I’m most wary about is that some people may read your experience as “evidence” that homeless people are not worthy of our help because they have it easy or because they are making poor decisions. Emergency shelters like the ARCH are an important community resource, but we also need agencies that help the homeless solve their problems (addiction, mental health, education, illness) and attain maximum self-sufficiency long-term.

Each of us fortunate to have more than enough has a moral obligation to share with and try to help our neighbors in need who were born without the advantages we have. So I agree you should never give money to a person begging on the street — you are often enabling addiction, and you are certainly enabling continued homelessness. But all of us who enjoy plenty should give money and time to agencies working to help homeless and other less fortunate people find long-term stability and return as contributing members of society.

Bryan Gilmer

See how eloquent that was? I’d say if anyone made me feel even remotely bad about taking up space in a homeless shelter for this experiment it was this comment. All the “You’re a stupid asshole” comments in the world can’t do that. He even agreed with my “no giving money” policy to homeless people with signs, but quickly noted the money could go other places that would be helpful to society.

So while this gentleman didn’t agree with many things, he didn’t make his comment a personal attack that would’ve fallen on deaf ears. Therefore his comment was actually read and taken to heart….and whoever else sees his comment will definitely listen to his opinion.

Here’s why I say don’t leave poorly constructed criticism…IT DOESN’T HAVE AN IMPACT.

If I read this:

Anonymous said:
How cute… an affluent geek pretends to be homeless for a few days with a sleeping bag and thinks he can make sweeping moral generalizations. How about you learn a little more about the mental health issues surrounding homeless (most of whom are vets) before you pretend to know what you are talking about.

….before even finishing the comment I have a million comebacks:

  1. I already stated I could never truly get a full homeless experience in such a short time and knowing I have other options.
  2. I never made sweeping moral generalizations. I always state these are things I observed in my tiny bubble of an experiment in certain parts of Austin, TX. (which I mention is very homeless-friendly many times).
  3. More about mental health? Ok sure….what resources are good? What books have YOU read? Do you actually know ANYTHING about this subject at all? I have previously done work with homeless shelters and HAVE seen true mental cases…but not every homeless person is a mental case. YOU sir are making broad generalizations.

You see? I barely listen to this comment because I have more retort than they have comment. It’s like arguing with a really irrational or stupid person….it just isn’t worth the time to bother.

So next time you have an ignoramus comment, please save it for YouTube!

Image Source:


Quote Bank

Whenever I come across a good quote from anything…a book, interview, podcast, magazine, TV show etc…I write it down either in a notepad, my Google Desktop bar or my iPhone.

Here is my quote bank:

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

Constraint inspires creativity.
–Jack Dorsey

Whoever feels pain in hearing a good character of a neighbor, will feel pleasure in the reverse.

The best things in life make you sweaty.
–Edgar Allen Poe

“….we looked at a human life up close and saw that it was just an ordinary Wednesday, again and again and again—and that achieving life happiness was all about learning to be happy on a routine weekday.”

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of.  You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.
–Albert Camus

Man is made for bustle and movement. A ship in motion, a fine woman dancing.
–Abigale Adams

People have everything we want.
–Earl Nightingale

Money makes people just more of what they were before.
–Biz Stone

Eating with utensils is like making love with your clothes on.
–Placemat in Indian restaraunt in South Africa from Diana Nightingale book

When asked if one should marry or not, Socrates responded, “You will repent it either way.”

The great majority of people do not achieve unusual success; why would we expect that getting in the same line as them in any endeavor would result in any sort of remarkable success?
–Earl Nightingale’s Greatest Discovery page 118

When asked what it was like as a comedian to perform in front of 80,000 people, Steve Wright answered:
“It’s like swimming in the ocean.  It doesn’t matter how deep the water is.  All you can do is swim.”

“The business of life is the acquisition of memories”

Climb mountains not so the world can see you, but so you can see the world.

Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.

“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
–Lao Tzu

“Sometimes I want to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice when He could do something about it, but I’m afraid he might just ask me the same question.”
–Abdu’l Baha

Good looks help and constitute an asset if the rest of the person is in balance.
–Earl Nightingale

The only thing about a man that is a man is his thinker. Everything else you can find in a pig or a horse.
-Archibald mcleish

Your stomach should be filled 1/3rd with food, 1/3rd with water and 1/3rd empty to be at your most productive.
–Muslim quote

If you can’t poke fun at yourself, you’re not much.
–George Steinburner

He who has health, has hope, and he who has hope, has everything.
–old Arabian proverb

The atitude must preceed the accomplishment.

When a man doesn’t know which harbor he’s sailing to, no wind is the right wind.

You can’t have your Kate and Edith too.
-Statler Brothers

If it feels right, smells right and tastes right, it’s almost surely the right thing to do. It really is as simple as that.
–Captain Michael Abrashoff

Talking about men in their forties experiencing a mid-life crisis:
“Suddenly the past seems a humiliating reminder of risks untaken, women unconquered, and chances ignored.”
–Nancy Mayer

If someone says a particular person spoke critically of you, just smile and reply, “I guess they don’t know about all my other faults. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have mentioned only these”

Books are the training weights of the mind.

Man cannot remake himself without suffering. For he is both the marble and the sculptor.
–Alexis Carrel

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet attested their wealth stems in part from being born in America where “innovation and risk are rewarded”

Aristotle said, “Happiness is a byproduct of healthful and successful activity.”

Everytime you do something, you throw a boomerang. Eventually the result will come back to you.

It’s true some of the best things in life a free, but it’s funny….have you ever tried getting them without money?

To get a great idea, come up with lots of them.
–Thomas Edison

Write as well as you can and finish what you start.
–Ernest Hemingway

When asked for the formula of success, Andrew Carnegie said, “Put all your eggs in one basket, then watch that basket.”

The purpose of ANY organization is to help man enjoy a more meaningful existence.
–Direct Line 18B towards end

I cannot become who I want to be by remaining who I am.

The bedrock values instilled by Sam Walton and his early lieutenants were all-american values: Hard Work, frugality, discipline, loyalty, a restless effort at constant self-improvement.
–The Wal-Mart Effect

Sam was no genius…he was a workaholic. He was not driven by money, but by competition. He could be playing tennis with a one-legged man in a wheelchair and would show no mercy.
–The Wal-Mart Effect

Any business needs to concentrate on two things: order volume and avg order value.

Like an hourglass, only one grain at a time can pass through. If we go one grain at a time, slowly buy surely we can get an enormous quantity done.

Willis H. Carrier:
I have bee using this same anti-worry technique for 30 years:
Step 1.) Analyze the situation fearlessly and honestly and figure out what’s the worst that could possibly happen.
Step 2.) after figuring out the worst outcome, I reconciled myself into accepting it if necessary.
Step 3.) from that time on I devoted my time and energy to trying to improve upon the worst which I had already accepted mentally.

Two men looked out from prison bars. One saw the mud, the other saw the stars.

Greek proverb: The best things are the most difficult.

To make things more pleasant for others is a reason for being.

The best laid schemes o’ mice and men often go astray.
–Robert Burns

Wise men ne’er sit and wait their loss, but cheerily seek how to redress their harms.

“Only hurt people, hurt people.”

A man is what he thinks about all day long.

Our life is what our thoughts make of it.
–Marcus Aurelius

I had the blue because I had no shoes,
Until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.

Find a problem, then ask the opposite.

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.
–Dr. Seuss

It’s nice to be part of something that will last a little longer than you will.

Doctors give up a year of life to specialize, but they reap the rewards for decades to come.
–The Dip – Seth Godin

Scarcity creates value.

Never retreat. Never explain. Get it done and let them howl.
–Benjamin jowett

We could be playing cards right now and I’d want to kick your ass. Not win, but kick your ass. There’s a difference.
–Tiger Woods

When asked, “What is your idea of happiness?”…Alfred Hitchcock replied, “A clear horizon.”

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.
–Zig Ziglar

Don’t write about what your readers want you to write about. Write about what you’re passionate about.
–Mark Cuban/Tim Ferris

If you don’t know what to write about, write about what makes you angry, but don’t attack people.

Excellence is not an act, but a habit.

Talent is the desire to practice. You love something so much, you’re willing to make a large sacrifice for it.
–Malcom Gladwell

It doesn’t take any more time or effort to dream a big dream than a small dream.

I’m a great believer in saying yes and not no.”
–Richard Branson

It HAS to be something you like, or you WILL bail.
Joe Liemandt

The first man gets the oyster, the second man gets the shell.
–Andrew Carnegie

You don’t go in the studio and think, “Ok, what would people want to hear me sing about.” I go in there and think, “Ok, what just happened this weekend? You just gotta keep it real with yourself”
-T-pain interview (Yes, I just included a quote by T-pain…you can learn something from everyone)!

If you could put a silver bullet in one competitor, which one would it be? You’ll quickly find out who the best is
–Warren Buffet

If you risk something that is important to you, for something that is not important to you, it’s just foolish.
–Warren Buffet

Build a moat around your business. When I invest in a company, the only guidance I give the managers is to continue building that moat. Make it bigger, make it deeper, throw crocodiles in it.
–Warren Buffet

The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.

If you stay ready, you never have to GET ready
–Will Smith

Take what you love to do and apply it to something profitable.

Almost everything you do should be building upon somthing which you can look back at in its entirety and be proud, or sell.

If your competitor is so dull they can’t come up with something original about their own products or services and have to steal things you create, they won’t be competition for long.

Define success:
A= Success
X = Work
Y = Play
Z = Keep your mouth shut
–Albert Einstein

The best people in any field are those who devote the most hours to what the researchers call “deliberate practice.” It’s activity that’s explicitly intended to improve performance, that reaches for objectives just beyond one’s level of competence, provides feedback on results and involves high levels of repetition.
–Malcolm Gladwell

Rules prevent disaster, but they ensure medicrity
–Barry Schwartz

There is only one goodness, it is knowledge. There is only one evil, it is negligence.

It may be that taking the focus off your own happiness is what makes happiness possible.
–From a satire article in Cracked

We tend to play things ridiculously safe…it seems as if some people think they’re going to live forever.
–Earl Nightingale

When asked where all his success comes from, Ted Turned simply replied, “Thinking. I read and I thought.”

Stanger, if we pass each other and you desire to speak to me, why should you not? And why should I not speak to you?
–Walt Whitman

If you’re just a distributor, where will you be in 5 years when the major suppliers begin vertically integrating?
–Ted Turner

In chess, a 1 or 2 ahead player always gets beat by someone who looks 7 or 8 moves ahead. I always wanted to think a few moves ahead of the competition.
–Ted Turner

When asked about the secret to longevity in show business, George Carlin replied, “Productivity.”

Lasting a long time is a function of pleasing a wide range of people.

To make more money: Motivate yourself by trying to solve peoples problems, not looking to sell them something.

If you give a child too many gifts, he will take them for granted. However we have been given a gift beyond measure (power of the mind), and we do much the same.
–Earl Nightingale

Beauty without intelligence is like a masterpiece painted on a napkin.

The man who has least fear for his carcass, has much time to consider others.

Conform to their style and they’ll remember you a day. Create your own style and they’ll remember you forever.

Humans must always have a carrot on a stick

Everybody is creative, and everybody is talented. I just don’t think everybody is discipined.
–Al Hirschfeld

Nice people with common sense do not make interesting characters. They only make good former spouses.
–Isabel Allende

It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.” –W. Somerset Maugham

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
–Mark Twain

Creativity starts when you cut a zero from your budget.”
–Jaime Lerner

At the age of 24 I began setting clear, written goals for each area of my life. I accomplished more in the following year than I had in the previous 24.
–Brian Tracy

The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.
–Vidal Sassoon

If you sleep you can have sweet dreams…if you work hard you make dreams come true.
–Professor Kwag

Train yourself to let go of the things you fear to lose.
–George Lucas

In the words of William Arthur Ward, “Study while others are sleeping, work while others are loafing, prepare while others are playing, and dream while others are wishing.”

——update: 10-05-2009———

When investing, pessimism is your friend, euphoria the enemy.
–Warren Buffet 2008 shareholder letter

People don’t like gadgets, they like experiences. iPhone ads never highlight the technology or show the charger.
–Steve Oskoui

Stop thinking about how to get from people, and start thinking how to create value for them. Massive amounts for them.
–Eben Pagan

If you will take your best ideas, give them away, then people will presume what you’re selling is worth more.
–Eben Pagan

Strong men are honest about their desires.

Our capitalistic society ensures there will be competition.

I have told so many of my students that when you’re 1% unhappy it’s time to get out. Now it’s time to follow my own advice.
–Perry Belcher

Loving the twitter spam messages promoting worthless MLM and easy money systems. Whatever happened to hard work and a killer product?
Mitchell Harper

Everybody says my website is a little like McDonald’s…it may not be healthy for you, but everyone likes it.
–Perez Hilton

The way we manage her brand is plan it out like a lawyer would create a case plan, then follow that plan.
–Paris Hilton Inc. Movie

Living with a woman is like working backstage.
–Ray Croc biography

If you want to conduct an orchestra, you must turn your back on the crowd.

I work with many CEO’s and celebrities and one common trait among these patients is they all imagined themselves attaining success before realizing their goals.
–Excerpt from a self-hypnosis book

Success leaves clues. Study people you admire or want to be like.
–Tony Robbins

If merely looking up past financial data would tell you what the future holds, the Forbes 400 would consist of librarians.
–Warren Buffet 2008 shareholders letter

Favorite Books

I love reading books. I’m particularly into non-fiction books and auto/bio/graphies of great people. I spend a massive amount of time in the public library reading and have gone through hundreds of books. Rarely do I recommend anything to anyone except the absolute best books I’ve come across.

Books are possibly the highest ROI investments you’ll ever make in your life, as you can often learn a lifetime of lessons from a person in just one sitting.

As Epictetus said: “Books are the training weights of the mind.”
Below are some of my favorites:

Felix Dennis – How To Get Rich
Quite possibly the most fun I’ve ever had reading a book! A self-made wealthy man himself, he’s the owner of Dennis Publishing which owns Maxim, FHM, The Week and other magazines. There are maybe five books I’ve EVER read twice…this is #1 on that list.

Earl Nightingale – This is Earl Nightingale
Earl Nightingale is a rather obscure name today, but he is by far the absolute best personal development writer/speaker I’ve heard. Zero B.S. and filled with fantastic content. Most modern self-development programs are based on this. You should definitely listen The Strangest Secret (link) to get a taste. This book is mainly a transcription of his spoken essays he’s so popular for. If you can find a copy of his program “Direct Line” I suggest you buy it. I couldn’t find it anywhere except a bit torrent network.

Epictetus – A Manual For Living

I’ve bought two pocket sized copies of this book and lost both of them in airplanes. Any translation of this still fits in an exceptionally tiny book. There is an outstanding amount of timeless information in this book packed into quick, short passages that make you THINK how to apply them to your life. There is literally zero room in this book for B.S. advice and useless philosophical analysis. If you have a problem, quickly flip through this book and I bet some sort of solution will arise. Written about 1,900 years ago and still 100% applicable.


Napoleon Hill – Think and Grow Rich
This is a classic. I’d be surprised if you HAVEN’T read this yet. I’d bet money this book has restored countless relationships, made millions of millionaires and saved many lives. It’s been around since the 1920’s, so enjoy the slight racist and sexist remarks (don’t buy the “21st century version” which may be censored)! :-)