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New York Times Top Five Best Selling Fiction and Non Fiction Books for the week ending on 15th November 2020


These are some of the top 10 selling books that sold the most for the week ending on 15th November 2020.

1. FORTUNE AND GLORY by Janet Evanovich published by Atria. It is the first time that the book is appearing on the best seller list.  This is the 27th book in the Stephanie Plum series with a very interesting storyline. This is a book about Stephanie whose beloved Grandma Mazur’s new husband died on their wedding night, the only thing he left her was a beat-up old easy chair…and the keys to a life-changing fortune. But as Stephanie and Grandma Mazur search for Jimmy Rosolli’s treasure, they discover that they’re not the only ones on the hunt. Two dangerous enemies from the past stand in their way—along with a new adversary who’s even more formidable: Gabriela Rose, a dark-eyed beauty from Little Havana with a taste for designer clothes. She’s also a soldier of fortune, a gourmet cook, an expert in firearms and mixed martial arts—and someone who’s about to give Stephanie a real run for her money.

2. A TIME FOR MERCY by John Grisham and published by Doubleday Publishers. The book has been on the bester seller list for four weeks. It is the third book in the Jake Brigance series. A 16-year-old is accused of killing a deputy in Clanton, Miss., in 1990. Jake Brigance finds himself embroiled in a deeply divisive trial when the court appoints him attorney for Drew Gamble, a timid sixteen-year-old boy accused of murdering a local deputy. Many in Clanton want a swift trial and the death penalty, but Brigance digs in and discovers that there is more to the story than meets the eye. Jake’s fierce commitment to saving Drew from the gas chamber puts his career, his financial security, and the safety of his family on the line. The book is a legal thriller and touted as one of the best publications by John Grisham.  

3. THE SENTINEL by Lee Child and Andrew Child and published by Delacorte. It has been on the best seller list for two weeks now. The book is about Reacher most of the times is idling and has no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there. One morning he ends up in a town near Pleasantville, Tennessee. But there’s nothing pleasant about the place. In broad daylight Reacher spots a hapless soul walking into an ambush. “It was four against one” . . . so Reacher intervenes, with his own trademark brand of conflict resolution. The man he saves is Rusty Rutherford, an unassuming IT manager, recently fired after a cyberattack locked up the town’s data, records, information . . . and secrets. Rutherford wants to stay put, look innocent, and clear his name. the fictional thriller is entertaining and reveals the dark world of cyber-attacks.  

4. THE RETURN by Nicholas Sparks and published by Grand Central. the book has been on the New York Times best seller list for six weeks now.  The book is about a doctor who is serving in the Navy in Afghanistan goes back to North Carolina where two women change his life.  Trevor Benson never intended to move back to New Bern, North Carolina. But when a mortar blast outside the hospital where he worked sent him home from Afghanistan with devastating injuries, the dilapidated cabin he’d inherited from his grandfather seemed as good a place to regroup as any. Tending to his grandfather’s beloved beehives, Trevor isn’t prepared to fall in love with a local . . . yet, from their very first encounter, Trevor feels a connection with deputy sheriff Natalie Masterson that he can’t ignore. But even as she seems to reciprocate his feelings, she remains frustratingly distant, making Trevor wonder what she’s hiding. 

5. THE EVENING AND THE MORNING by Ken Follett and published by Viking Publishers.  the book has been on the best seller list for eight weeks.  It is 997 CE, the end of the Dark Ages. England is facing attacks from the Welsh in the west and the Vikings in the east. Those in power bend justice according to their will, regardless of ordinary people and often in conflict with the king. Without a clear rule of law, chaos reigns. During these turbulent times, three characters find their lives intertwined. A young boatbuilder’s life is turned upside down when the only home he’s ever known is raided by Vikings, forcing him and his family to move and start their lives anew in a small hamlet where he does not fit in. . . . A Norman noblewoman marries for love, following her husband across the sea to a new land, but the customs of her husband’s homeland are shockingly different, and as she begins to realize that everyone around her is engaged in a constant, brutal battle for power, it becomes clear that a single misstep could be catastrophic. . . . A monk dreams of transforming his humble abbey into a center of learning that will be admired throughout Europe. And each in turn comes into dangerous conflict with a clever and ruthless bishop who will do anything to increase his wealth and power.

The top five best selling books were all from the fictional category and shows that more readers have a lot of interest in the fictional thrillers of all types.

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10 books that will be released in November


This is a highlight of some ten books that are going to be released in November 2020.  Some of these books are memoirs, others are biographies, some are fictional and others are non-fictional. You can carefully go through the list and find if any of these books can interest you and if you are willing to purchase any of them in order to improve your understanding of the world and gain insights that can help you become a better version of yourself as well as become a great decision maker.

  1. A Promised Land by Barack Obama. This is a memoir by Barack Obama. the book is expected to be a highlight of Obama’s presidency. The book will highlight Obama’s experience during his reign as America’s first African American President. it will be a reflection on his decisions and decision making and the principles that guided his actions during his presidency.
  1. The Power of Adrienne Rich: A Biography by Hilary Holladay. This is a biography of Adrienne Rich who was at the time of her demise in 2012 a prolific poet. She was also the face of feminism in the United States. The book explores her life journey and how she was a master of reinvention. It shows her wounds as well as her passions and determination to surpass odds.
  1. Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present by Ruth Ben-Ghiat. This book by Ruth Ben-Ghiat is a historical narration and a close up examination of dictators who have graced the world since twentieth century. It explores what drove them and why they were popular despite their misgivings. It also explores modern day dictators like Putin.
  1. The Arrest by Jonathan Lethem. This is a fictional novel by Jonathan which is a story that imagines what could happen if technology suddenly stops working. It is story about Sandy a screen writer who is forced by technology failure across the globe to go back to her family farm where they find themselves in a nuclear tunnel for ten months. It is a thriller.
  1. The Nine Lives of Pakistan: Dispatches From a Precarious State by Declan Walsh. This is a book by Daniel Walsh who was a correspondent for The Times for one decade. He was kicked out by the regime in 2013. He depicts the lives of Pakistanis and his experience in Pakistan through the lives of nine people among them Muhammad Jinnah who was one of the country’s founding fathers.
  1. Oak Flat: A Fight for Sacred Land in the American West by Lauren Redniss. This is a book about the Apache tribe in Arizona and the tribe’s fight to keep their copper rich land sacred. It explores the the tribe’s activism, art oral history and their determination to keep their land sacred and unexploited by copper miners baying for the land’s copper.
  1. Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret by Catherine Coleman Flowers. This book by Catherine Coleman narrates that there are many poor in poor American neighborhoods who live in filth. Many people do not have the right to flush and forget. These people lack basic human dignity due to unavailability of proper sanitary conditions. As an activist Coleman traces her journey in the fight to restore the basic dignity to poor communities in America.
  1. The Sun Collective by Charles Baxter. This is a fictional novel about two parents who are searching for their lost son who is an actor and has left home to become homeless in order to achieve his dream of becoming an actor. This leads the parent to join an activist group which does not end up well.
  1. V2: A Novel of World War II by Robert Harris. This is a thriller novel focused on war stories. It is a story about well-kept secret of World War II and how the German troops misfired a V2 missile which was a long range ballistic missile and how it was the last effort by Germany to win the war.
  1. The Moth and the Mountain: A True Story of Love, War, and Everest by Ed Caesar. This is book based on a true story of Maurice Wilson who was a British War Veteran who decided to crash land at mount Everest and climb it solo even though he had no experience in mountain hiking. Caesars book attempts to put historical and political context of Maurice Wilson actions.

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BOOK REVIEW: Thou Shalt Prosper; The Ten Commandments for Making Money by Daniel Lapin


This is one of the books I read in 2019. I wanted to seriously go through it and learn why Jews were bent towards making more money than the average person. What is it that gave them a head start in business?   This was one of the most interesting books that I read. This book was quite interesting especially for those who hold Christian belief because it dissects the place of belief in business and the religious rules that govern business. The book highlighted and explained why most of the people or a third of Forbes’ 100 rich list is made up of Jews, yet Jews are a small minority of the global population. It explored the factors and values that have made it possible for them to succeed. While the author acknowledges that there could be geographic and generational factors that make business success possible for different people. The author acknowledges that it is possible for everyone to succeed in business provided they adhere to several principles that guide business. Rabbi Daniel Lapin had condensed these principles into ten commandments that are similar to the commandments of Moses.  

The following were the 10 commandments of business which were explored by Daniel Lapin:

  1. Believe in the morality of business. Many people believe that business is bad. They believe that business people are greedy and that they are doing something to scam people in order to have money. There is no way you can succeed and prosper in business when having this kind of belief system. You can never succeed in business if you believe that making profit is doing something immoral. The Jewish belief system allows them to make profit and believes that making profit in one’s business is moral and ethical. This means going against the grain because the government and media tend to demonize business and Wall Street calling it greedy and immoral. Money is holy and is a legitimate component of divine redemption and prosperity. Jews possess a huge cultural reservoir that affirms the morality of business. The media has played a huge role in making many people believe that business is inherently bad and the effect of this belief is evident in the society. Many people believe that business prospers at the expense of customers. Be aware of the media’s tendency to make you feel immoral about profit making and engaging in business.
  2. Extend the network of your connectedness. Business is highly dependent on people and networks. Befriend as many people as possible. Some should be way above your financial level. Others should be below your financial level. Seek ways in which you can help out each of them. Build as many genuine friendships and relationships with people without expecting any reward. While there are many books on how to form friendships and influence people, your intention to relate with people should be genuine and sincere without intention of influencing them or taking any form of advantage from them. Actively find opportunities to become friendly with many people. This can be done in environments that do not expose your self-interest such as churches or volunteer organizations. You are more likely to find genuine business partners in such encounters than in business networking meeting. According to Lapin the networking events tend to attract those with hungry and lean looks and mostly attracts people with an intention to advertise their businesses.   Jews consider friendship as an ongoing obligation. They also view cities as better for wealth making than villages due to the huge network of people available in cities. Attend people’s events, if you are introverted make effort to go out and meet people.
  3. Know yourself. This is the third commandment. You have to know yourself for you to succeed in business. Take time to evaluate yourself. Become your harshest critic. Make those close to yourself realize that you are human and have weakness and make them commit to watch your back and help you out of your weaknesses. Evaluate how you spend your time and money because time is money.
  4. Do not pursue perfection. You should not neglect the imperfect but you should also not expend yourself in pursuit of perfection while ignoring less perfect circumstances. Life is not perfect, therefore always stay aware of the perfect but never allow it to sideline you. You must learn how to function in less ideal situations. People must learn to operate in less ideal situations because ideal perfection in unattainable by humans. The current economic systems are not perfect but there are no better alternatives at the moment. Individuals pursuing success in business have to learn how to exist in less perfect circumstances.
  5. Lead consistently and constantly. Leadership is the fifth commandment in business. Leadership is not something that you become, it is something that you do and you must frequently do. To be a leader you must also learn how to follow. You must have a clear goal and vision that you want to attain. To be a leader you must also embrace confrontation. To be a leader you must master faith and facts.
  6. Constantly change the changeable while steadfastly clinging on the unchangeable. Embrace innovation and change. Accept that innovation may bring pain to some people. Try to absorb change gradually, not instantly. Never embark on two changes simultaneously, as it may difficult for your mind and body to process. Keep in mind your core values. These are things that should never change.
  7. Learn to foretell the future.  Interpret events correctly. Ego is the enemy of forecasting. Learn to overcome it and you will be in a position where you can effectively foretell the future. To become successful in business and wealth creation you must have foresight concerning business. Learn to observe cues in the present that can tell you about the future. Learn to look backward in order to see future. Some future event is based on patterns that have already occurred in the past. Based on this you can easily predict the future. Recognize, identify, and scan external forces that may affect your business. In addition, Rabbi Lapin identified that you also need to block out noises when making forecasts. Dedicate time alone to forecast and analyze past events frequently.
  8. Know your money. Your money is an aggregation of your time, knowledge, skills and experiences. You must therefore constantly evaluate and account for your money as it forces to account for your skills, knowledge, relationships and capabilities. Have some accounting knowledge that helps keep records that are acceptable to everyone. Know that money represents value. Make effort to keep your money in three parts. Some of the money should be in real estate, a third should be cash and the third should be stocks and other near cash equivalents.
  9. Act Rich: Give 10% of your after tax income. Do not find a rational reason for giving out your money because none exists. Give for the sake of giving. Giving out money increasing your capability to invest because investing is much like giving away money to charity: it might never come back. With giving losses from investment may not have much impact on you and your mental health if you are giver.
  10. Never retire. Integrate your vocation with your life. There is a lie that exists that people become less productive as they age. This is inherently wrong because as people age the more skilled they become and the more they have a large network of trust.

The book sums up with a major epilogue that life is business and business is life. Once you learn one you have learnt the other.  This is a very interesting book that I would recommended anyone interested in business to read as it contain invaluable nuggets of wisdom based on rich Rabbinic and biblical wisdom concerning doing business.

You can get this book from Amazon based on this link:

https://amzn.to/3k9mrAz

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BOOK REVIEW: What I Wish I Knew when I Was 20 by Tina Seelig.


 I chose to read this book mostly as a continuation of my interest in reading Tina Seelig’s books. I am done with my twenties and I was reading to assess my regrets on what I could have done better in my twenties. Tina Seelig has written this book as a reflection of the elements that lead to success in one’s life. While the book seems like it was targeted for those who are in their twenties. She describes it as a small crash course on making your place in the world. It is a great book for everyone who feels like they missed out on success train. The book highlights how to go through life without having regrets by acting right and being fabulous at every moment.

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What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20

The following were the key takeaways from the book:

  1. Opportunities to earn are abundant. Always look for problems you can solve. Learn how to create value for others.
  2. Problems are not bad. Always figure out how to repackage yourself. Seize the opportunities all around you.
  3. Write a failure resume. Learn how to embrace failures. Learn when to keep on pushing on a problem and when to walk away from a problem and accept failure. Quitting is not a sign of weakness, in many instances it is just the opposite.
  4. Make talents which do not have a huge market as hobbies. Treat talents with huge markets as jobs.
  5. Luck is manufactured. There is nothing like luck, it is all hardwork disguised as luck. Lucky people take advantage of opportunities that come their way. They pay incredible attention to their environment to identify opportunities and chances in their environment. You can find my post on this HERE.
  6. Learn how to negotiate by identifying how the other person’s interests. The interest may not be conflicting at all. Negotiating should not always be adversarial. Walk away if the deal is bad and the other side is not willing to negotiate. You can find my post on negotiation HERE.
  7. Learn how to help others even those who cannot help you in future.
  8. Never miss an opportunity to be fabulous.
  9. Life is not a dress rehearsal. You may not get a second chance to do your best.
  10. See the world as full of opportunity and possibilities.  

This is a nice books for students which could help them to face life with realism and not from an idealistic perspective. The books main premise is that being in twenties does not have to be confusing as it is for most people. You only need to open up to failure while at the same time seizing all available opportunities with a genuine intention to help others. You can purchase this book from Amazon using this link:

https://amzn.to/3jKQZbL

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Top Four Blog Articles That You Should Read


There are blog articles that every person should read. They are some of the best blog write ups that can motivate and make you a better person and enhance your capacity for making better choices.

  1. Why the Best Things in Life Are All Backwards by Mark Manson. Mark Mason is the author of two bestselling books. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, and Everything Is Fucked: A Book About Hope. This blog article does a wonderful job showing you should not put too much effort in some things. It demonstrates why trying too hard to get what you want in life—like love, respect, and happiness—often has the opposite effect: you end up lonely, dejected, and miserable. There are things in life which should not be highly pursued as they tend to become elusive the more you put much effort in pursuing them. The higher the effort you put in pursuit of love, respect, confidence, trust security or even control the more elusive they become as they operate under the law of diminishing returns. Having this understanding is crucial in making better choices in life because you tend to devote less energy to some of these mental pursuits whose rewards is mostly psychological. Understanding that some things have diminishing rewards helps you to consciously take a backwards outlook on everything. It helps you not to get carried away by love, need for security, or the need for happiness.
  2. How to be successful by Sam Altman. Sam Altman is a successful investor and one of the founders of Y-Combinator.  He discusses some of the factors that leads to success one of them being having power to compound oneself in order to benefit from the exponential advantages that come with self-compounding. He notes that the best way to compound oneself is by becoming great in self-learning. By becoming an ultra-learner, one accumulates the necessary knowledge and capabilities that compound. The other thing to do with being successful has to do with self-belief. Successful people tend to have high self-belief that can be mistaken as being delusional. They also enhance their sales and marketing capabilities by enhancing their capabilities to communicate. Success has something to do with communication and you have to enhance your communication capabilities. Success also demand focus and risk taking. You can read more about Sam Altman here.  
  3. Time management: How an MIT postdoc writes 3 books, a PhD defense, and 6+ peer-reviewed papers — and finishes by 5:30pm by Ramit Sethi. Ramit Sethi the author of I Will Teach You To Be Rich has actively interviewed Cal Newport the author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World and Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World which shows how productive people and achievers manage time to enhance their productivity while at the same time reducing distraction. The author strives to show that less is more when it comes to time management and productivity. You have to spend less time but intensely focus during productivity. Cal Newport discusses strategies for time management that make it possible for everyone irrespective of their work to engage in deep work that is extremely productive and rewarding.
  4. 3 Things The Most Resilient People Do Every Day by Eric Barker. Eric Barker is the author of Barking up The Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success is Mostly Wrong. Success and happiness all have something to do with resilience. It is not given that every time you’ll be lucky and that every time you try something it will be successful. Sometimes misfortunes hit us hard thereby disorienting and making us disappointed and discouraged. You have to be resilient and persistent in order to succeed and attain happiness.  Becoming resilient involves becoming hopeful. Hope can be a scientific concept in as much as it is considered to be something spiritual. Successful people have mostly mastered the art of resilience through three major hope strategies that Eric Barker has outlined in his blog. The first strategy involves having goals. Resilient people constantly focus on their goals. Goals instigate hope and resilience. The second strategy is having agency. Agency is the act of taking responsibility and accepting that you are the one responsible for change in your life. It involves abandoning blame game and self-pity in cases of failure and bad happenstances and accepting responsibility to make better choices and decisions. The third strategy outlined by Eric Barker is having pathways to the attainment of the goals you have set. The pathway is not just a written plan. It is a mental movie that shows you how you will attain the goals that you have set in a visual manner.  

Reading these blog posts will certainly motivate you to become a better person. They will inspire you to make better decision and live a focused life by taking necessary action.

Disclosure: This blog post contains some Amazon Associate links which may prompt you to make book purchases.  I will be rewarded in case you buy any of those books. Thank you. I love you all my readers.   

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BOOK REVIEW: CONSPIRACY: A true story of power, sex, and a billionaire’s secret plot to destroy a media empire


I just happened to be interested in Ryan Holiday’s book after reading Obstacle is The Way by the same author. So, when I found that he had written a book about conspiracies. I had to read it. CONSPIRACY: A true story of power, sex, and a billionaire’s secret plot to destroy a media empire was one of the books that I read very fast as it was so interesting and I couldn’t put it down. I had to reschedule my activities to read it. I read it in two days, luckily it was on a weekend and I started reading it on Friday evening and by Saturday midnight I was done with it. It was about a conspiracy by Peter Thiel, the founder of PayPal to destroy Gawker media. At the time Gawker Media was an online tabloid that focused on rumors and gossips of celebrities and famous persons. Gawker media ran a story about Peter Thiel being gay and this did not go down with Thiel who firmly believes in privacy. A conspiracy was hatched on how to bring down Gawker media and the owner of Gawker media Nick Denton. 

The book holds an argument that conspiracies are necessary and very important especially when it is necessary to take down insurmountable persons and entities that take advantage of other people’s weaknesses. To engage in conspiracies there must be conspirator who in this case was Peter Thiel, unknown person marked X, Hardy, a lawyer and Terry Bolea commonly known as Hulk Hogan. At first none were known to each other. Conspiracies must retain secrecy at the start to the end. If there are no secrets the conspiracy will fail. The following were the features of conspiracies as demonstrated by Ryan Holiday’s book:

  1. Inciting incident; something must occur that occasions the need for conspiracy. “The beginnings of all things are small.” Cicero.
  2. After the incident there must be a decision to act against the powers that be. “No one attacks me with impunity.” Plots of revenge and justice plots both begin, in their own way, with a transgression, against a person or the whole. And then someone deciding that they aren’t going to take it. The distinction between a conspiracy and a feud is as much in the time it takes. In a fight, one responds to punch with a punch. In a conspiracy one holds their punches and plots instead for the complete destruction of the antagonist, while often intending to escape with knuckles unbloodied and untraceable prints. “Fights breakout, Conspiracies brew” 
  3. Conspiracy are the weapons of the people. Only princes who have weapons to go for full-fledged wars. The only weapon that ordinary people have is conspiracy.
  4. Get a team. Conspiracy without coconspirators is not a conspiracy it is a crime.
  5. Conspiracy requires meticulous planning. To begin you must study the end. You don’t want to be the first to act. You want to be the last man standing.
  6. Tear your heart out. Conspiracies require something that everyone else does not have: hardness and viciousness; the unforgiving utilisation of power and violence against the opponent. You must not treat your opponents as human being. You must forego the impulse of kindness and forgiveness.
  7. The timeline of the conspiracy is usually radically altered by sudden events and happenings. You must have capacity to respond to sudden change of events.
  8. Prepare for setbacks as conspiracy is one long struggle in the dark.
  9. Know thy enemy; To know not yourself is dangerous, not to know your enemy is reckless or even worse. Because without this knowledge you are unaware of the opportunities the enemy is presenting to you and you are unaware of the opportunities you are presenting the enemy to do you harm.
  10. Secrets are crucial elements of conspiracies. It is very difficult to destroy an enemy when they know you are coming for them.   Secrecy is both power and pal.
  11. Sow confusion and disorder. A good strategy must be flanked by feints and disguises. Otherwise, the strategy would be too easy to deduce. It is the art of deception and confusion. Attack the enemy’s morale, economy and corrupt him.
  12. Ensure that there are ties that bind among the co-conspirators. What is the self-interest of the conspirators and what rewards would be given at the end of it? Make this clear to avoid conspirators giving up or giving secrets to the enemy.
  13. Be aware that conspiracies take longer than expected.
  14. Conspiracies succeed because the conspirators want it more. Victory goes to the one who wants it more
  15. Manage the aftermath.

On overall, the book is appropriate for anyone interested in conspiracy or any individual who has need to confront powers that be in an effective way even when they do not have resources to for direct confrontation. You can’t afford not to understand conspiracy especially if you are facing giants. It is a nice book for those who want to understand the nature of conspiracy. You can get this book from Amazon using this link:

https://amzn.to/3la6ev9

Below are other book reviews you can read here:

Review of Ingenious: Crash Course On Creativity by Tina Seelig

Book Review: Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono

Book Review of The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future

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How to Negotiate


One of major themes of this blog is to promote better decision making and making better choices in life. While life is a compulsory experience in that we did not chose to come to this world or where to be born or even when to be born. Going through life presents an individual with opportunities in life to make choices and make decisions. These decisions can make life better or even more difficult.

One of the major components of making choices is negotiation. Our choices affect other people while other people choices and decisions also impact us. Negotiation is making a balance in how our choices interact and influence others. One of the realizations that come about during adult life is that one has to engage in negotiation in concerning everything we do and is likely to affect other parties either positively or negatively. We have to negotiate with siblings, negotiate with parents, negotiate with spouses, negotiate with customers, or with employer.

Success and good decision making in any situation highly depends on the individual’s capability to negotiate. According to Tina Seelig’s book What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 negotiations is a major life skill. Knowing how to negotiate helps in having better outcomes. The following are key recommendations on how to effectively negotiate:

There are many points to be learnt about negotiation and the above pints are just a scratch on the surface when it comes to understanding effective negotiations. One of the books that can really help those who went to learn more about becoming effective negotiators is the book by David Oliver titled How to Negotiate Effectively.      

1. Do not make assumptions. Most people go into negotiation table with a lot of assumptions. They never make effort to know and understand the other party and its interest in the negotiation. This is a mistake and leads to poor outcomes and misunderstandings during the negotiation. When going to the negotiation table, it is good to make every effort to understand the other party. In many instances it difficult to know the other party before the negotiations. So instead of walking in the negotiation with a plan, go in with the intention of listening and understanding the other party.  David Oliver in his book; How to Negotiate Effectively indicates that asking questions is key. Question everything. Ask as many questions about the party and its interest.

2.Attempt to create a win-win situation for both parties. Ensure that deal presents a win-win situation for both parties. This ensures that none of the party loses.  Help the other party understand what it will gain from the deal. This is only possible if you understand the interest and the need of the party and how the deal you offer meets the needs of the other party.

3.Walk away from bad deals or from negotiations that create a losing situation. You should not agree to negotiations that make you lose. The other party must be willing to make compromises. Failure to compromise or to create win-win situation by the other party shows that they already have something more valuable than you do or they do not perceive value in what you are offering. Walk away and do better homework concerning the other party.  Never accept to be pressurized to accept a deal you are not very sure about. Take your time.

 4.Have a good alternative. Scholars refer to this as BATNA or Best Alternative To No Agreement.  Effective negotiators do have a good alternative to the negotiated agreement. This helps the negotiator to negotiate from a point of strength instead of negotiating from a point of weakness if you are making a purchase it means that you have an alternative product or solution which you can always fall back to. When making a sale it may imply having an alternative customer or alternative product of lower prices.  Having good alternatives helps to enhance the strength of the party negotiating and reduces the concessions made. If possible never enter into negotiations without having another good alternative as this weakens your capacity to negotiate.

5.Put things in writing. It is very essential to put the agreements and negotiation in writing. This is because writing helps to clarity ambiguous issues and makes a reference point that can be very useful in future. Put the agreement in writing. Write down all the key points encountered during the negotiation process. Send copies of the agreement to each party and ensure that they are filed properly in case issues arise later that may need clarification. Don’t assume this aspect especially in business negotiations because it can mean everything about your deal. Writing also proves to the other party that you are attentive to details and want to make the best out of the deal.

There are many points to be learnt about negotiation and the above pints are just a scratch on the surface when it comes to understanding effective negotiations. One of the books that can really help those who went to learn more about becoming effective negotiators is the book by David Oliver titled how to negotiate effectively.      

Here are additional articles you can read from this blog:

The highly productive person daily energy plan

The four thieves of productivity according to Gary Keller

How to succeed according to Sam Altman

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How to manufacture luck according to Tina Seelig


Tina Seelig is a prominent author and TED speaker and has written three powerful books on creativity one of them being Ingenious which is short crash course on creativity.  In one of her books, What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 she discusses about the concept of luck and argues that luck is usually manufactured. 

Luck is not something out of the ordinary or something that happens by chance as everyone believes. Instead, luck is something that happens to those who have manufactured and created it.  In the sixth chapter she describes the ways in which luck is manufactured by successful individuals who appear to be lucky. The following are the features of people who are lucky based on Tina Seelig:

  1. Lucky people pay attention to what is happening around them. Lucky people do not live on autopilot waiting to see where life takes them next. Instead they are always attentive and actively scanning the surroundings to see the opportunities around them. This enables them to extract great value and satisfaction from their surroundings. Lucky people tend to be very observant about their environment. They are the ones who usually identify a new person in their locality. They are the ones likely to see new businesses and trends in the community or even the first ones to identify new individuals in their environment who need assistance. 
  2. Lucky people are also open to new opportunities and are very willing to try things that are beyond their usual experience and knowledge. They are highly willing to learn something new. They can easily pick a book on an unfamiliar subject and carefully learn new things. They are willing to travel to new places. They are also willing to interact with strangers.   Individuals become lucky by exposing themselves to diverse experiences as these experiences equip them with new knowledge and understanding of the world.
  3. Lucky people are optimistic. If there is one outstanding feature of people which are considered lucky is that they have contagious optimism. Even when things don’t go their way or they fail, lucky people see it an opportunity to learn. They usually extract good lessons and experiences even from the bad happenstances.  In addition, the optimism and positivity attracts good attributes and perspective about life enabling them to overcome failure.  Therefore, manufacturing luck has something to do with turning bad experiences into good experiences.
  4. Lucky people tend to be extraverted. They are friendly to people and strive to make more eye contact with people. This enables them to meet wonderful people and to building networks with people who can be of much help and assistance to them. 
  5. Lucky people tend to recombine ideas and usually finds new and unusual ways in which they can recombine their knowledge and experiences. They are not just satisfied with the convectional knowledge they have. They try and find out new and novel ways in which they can try and apply their knowledge in new situations. Most individuals have a lot of resources but they never bother to use these resources. Lucky people on the other hand make most of all their resources. They recognize the value of their networks and deploy these resources effectively and efficiently whenever they are needed.
  6. Lucky people work hard. Lucky people don’t just sit down and wait for luck. Instead they have goals they work very hard towards the attainment of these goals.

In short, luck is not a happenstance caused by chance or improbable events. Instead, it is something that can be made by simply adopting practices that improve the individual’s chances of succeeding in an endeavor You can read more about Tina Seelig here and you and purse her book What I Wish I knew When I Was 20 here.     

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Tina Seelig


Picture
Tina Seelig, Source: tinaseelig.com

Tina Seelig is a renowned author and educator who specialises in publishing books and advancing knowledge related to creativity and innovation. She was born in 1957. She completed her PHD in NeuroScience in 1985 from Stanford University. After completion of her PHD she joined Booz and Allen and then later moved to Compaq Computer as multimedia producer. She later founded her own company Book Browser.  In the year 1999, Tina Seelig joined Stanford University. She currently teaches courses that are focused on innovation and creativity in the school of engineering. She is also the director of Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP). She has published several books among them being:

Tina Seelig is also a renowned speaker and consultant on issues relating to creativity in organisations. She is also a recipient of the Gordon Prize in 2009 and the Silicon Valley Visionary Award in 2014.   

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Review of Ingenious: Crash Course On Creativity by Tina Seelig


This is a book about creativity. I read it after it was highlighted by Olivia Fox’s book: The Net and The Butterfly. Lately, I have been interested by books on creativity, innovation and how people innovate. I have been interested in understanding what makes the difference between the innovators and those who do not.

Tina Seelig’s book

This book, Ingenious: Crash Course on Creativity by Tina Seelig acted as a crash course on creativity by highlighting the major ingredients that lead to breakthroughs and innovations. It shows what makes some people geniuses and others not to be.  The following were the key lessons from the book:

  1. Ideas are free. Knowing that ideas are free makes creativity easy. To demonstrate this, the author recommended the reader craft a two-page essay using any word they could think of. Creativity is an endless renewable resource that one can tap into at will. Creativity is a necessity because there are problems to be solved, improvements to be made and breakthroughs to be invented.
  2. Master the ability to reframe problems.
  3. Be able to recombine crazy ideas. For example, the cartoon contest where students were presented with cartoons without captions and asked to make captions that best describe what is going on.
  4. Make effort to move beyond the first and second wave of ideas to third wave of ideas. When looking for solutions do not look for obvious solutions generate second wave and third wave solutions to problems. This is especially during brainstorming.  
  5. Pay attention. Be extremely observant. Observation takes energy but with time one can become incredibly capable of making excellent observations.  
  6. Create environments and spaces that foster creativity.  
  7. Create deadlines and constraints to enhance creativity. For example, create a greeting card in 30minutes.  
  8. Create a system that gives instant or quick feedback on your creative endeavors. Quick feedback helps in determining if the product or idea is viable before you invest too much time on it, it also helps to make improvements.   
  9. Learn how to work in teams. Be a good team player.  
  10. Fail fast. Learn by experimentation. Learn how to iterate that is; to do small scale experiments which you can fail and learn from. Failure is a companion and success is an occasional visitor.
  11. Have the right attitude. The attitude is: if anything goes wrong fix it.   
  12. The engine of creativity has three cogs which are imagination, knowledge and attitude. Attitude sparks curiosity which makes one to acquire related knowledge. Knowledge fuels your imagination which creates relevant imaginations and inventions. Imagination catalyses changes in the habitat and in utilisation of available resources. The changes in habitat and attitude influence the culture in the community.

Once you are done width book, your mind is never the same. It activities and fans the fire of creativity in one’s mind. You easily become a problem solver because you can recombine ideas and knowledge from different fields and create new ideas and perspectives. Once you have read Olivia’s suggestion and perspective on failure and its role in fanning creativity, you never become afraid of failing. Instead, you incorporate failure in your creativity strategy and move on from failure very fast. It empowers the reader with the right attitude on life and transforms the reader form being a victim into being a problem solver because you can obviously see way out of problems compared to the average person. This book is perfect for entrepreneurs, business people, marketers and students.  You can’t miss out on the knowledge disseminated by Tina Seelig.  You can get this book from Amazon by clicking on the link below.

https://amzn.to/30nE2wV

 

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Book Review: Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono


One of the books I read and found interesting concerning the thought process and decision making and making better choices is Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono. Edward de Bono is a physician and psychologist who has studied and written extensively on lateral thinking.

This book focused on simplifying the thinking process. I had never seen someone who has simplified the thinking process in such a manner that it appears simple especially when you have to make decisions. The six hats of thinking categorised thinking into six hats which are the white hat, the red hat, the black hat, the yellow hat, the green hat and the blue hat. The idiom of hat is used by author because hats are not controversial and represent similar meanings and image in many cultures hence people from east and western cultures can easily understand the role and function of hat.

Edward de Bono. Source: Wikipedia
  1. The white hat. This hat is all about facts. A person wearing this hat during the thinking process should provide fats and facts only there should be no inference or interpretation of facts. Only fats should be presented.
  2. The red hat. This hat has a lot to do with emotions. A person wearing this hat focuses on expressing their emotions towards an issue under discussion. The purpose is to identify the emptions that people or the thinker has towards an issues. It is not necessary to explain the mentions, just explains the various emotions.
  3. The black hat. It is the hat of caution A person wearing this hat should think of potential dangers or weaknesses of the idea.  It is the most commonly used hat. Should not be overused as it should all ideas. It is good in identifying vulnerabilities in ideas.
  4. The yellow hat. This is hat of sunshine and looks at the bright side of things and ideas. It looks at the merit of ideas. When wearing this hat a person should only see the good in something, this is the most difficult hat to use because many people are only conditioned to see the negative.
  5. The green hat. This is the hat for growth, improvement and creativity. This hat seeks to create new things or make improvements to existing things. A person wearing think hat should bring out new ideas. The book taught me an important content in creativity which is provocation. One of the way of provoking new ideas during thinking is through random word method.  Use any random word and combine it with another concept. For instance, introduce the word car or road to writing and generate new ideas and thoughts.
  6. The blue hat. This is hat that is focused on controlling the thought process. It is focused on making an overview, summary and conclusion of the thought process. It tends to take an aerial view of the thought process and identify the strengths and weaknesses of the thought process and what can be enhanced in order to make better outcomes.

This book sheds light on how effective decision makers make the best choices in career, business or personal life. The book is of much help to the individual decision makers and organisational decision as it can help them to overcome their own biases by making choices from an informed perspective that includes all types of thoughts and information needed in effective decision making.

You can buy the book from Amazon. By using this link when buying from Amazon you be helping my site to grow:

https://amzn.to/3hZLkNZ

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How to be radically open minded according to Ray Dalio


This blog is mostly about making decision making and its tagline is making better choices. I started out the blog mostly to promote my book about relationships called “So You Want to Get into Courtship”. Years later I felt that success in relationship and in any other human endeavor was all about making certain choices. It was the quality of decision made by the individual that determined their quality of life and attendant consequences. Based on this understanding, I set out to investigate and study more about decision making and decision making processes and productivity and everything to do with making better choices in every dimension of one’s life.  To be a good decision maker one must be radically open minded. Being radically open minded is phrase borrowed from Raymond Dalio of Bridge Water Associates.  In his book, Principles, Ray Dalio explores the topic of decision making by intimating that good decisions are result of being radically open minded.   Here we will discuss 5 ways of in which one can become radically open minded based on Ray Dalio’s Principles.

Ray Dalio’s Principles.
  1. Use pain as guide towards deep reflection. Be keen to identify if you feel pain whenever someone challenges you about an idea or a concept that you hold too deeply. This pain manifests in form of ager, irritation and tension in the body.  This pain is a sign of close mindedness. Whenever you feel such pain, be calm and admit that you could be wrong.
  2. Make open-mindedness a habit. Consistently use feelings of anger as signs that you need to slow down and approach the issue more thoughtfully. By consistently being open minded you can easily learn to overcome amygdala hijackings and emotions that ruin decision making.
  3. Know your blind spots.  Identify and keenly list the areas where you have consistently made poor decisions.  Record the circumstances in which you have made bad decisions. Whenever you find yourself about to make decisions in these areas, ensure that you have consulted others. Otherwise you will be risking and you will not get different results.
  4. Be evidence based. Do not just make decisions based on your subconscious and your feelings. Use evidence. Objectively use facts and evidence when making choices. 
  5. Meditate. Take time to think silently alone. Consciously and deliberately allocate time to think and meditate and reflect. Most people just think on the go, but to be radically open minded you have to take time to reflect and think deeply.

These are some of the actionable steps that any individual can take to improve their decision making by being radically open minded. By being radically open minded, it becomes easy to make better choices because one cannot be influenced by biases, emotions and mental blind spots.

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How Greek religion influenced development of intellectual thought especially literature and medicine


Introduction

Although much of modern philosophy and thought is attributed to the Greek philosophers such as Plato and Socrates the ancient Greek religion has played significant role in the influencing the modern day intellectual thought including literature science and medicine and philosophy.

Unlike modern religions such as Christianity and Islam that do not provide room for alternative thoughts, Greek religion incorporated alternative thought. People were allowed to question the practices, rituals and other religious practices. In addition, they were allowed to have their own gods, heroes and rituals based on their individual beliefs. Greek traditional religion was therefore unique and its tolerant and inquisitive nature has made it to retain influence in modern day societies. This essay strives to examine how Greek religion and mythologies and influenced intellectual thought.

This essay shall delve into the examination how the ancient religion influenced development of intellect especially in regard to literature, science and medicine. This essay investigates how the religion influenced literature, science and medicine. The first part of the essay discusses the ancient religions gods that were associated with knowledge and how ancient people used religion and religious practices to advance thoughts in areas such as literature, science and medicine.

Athena | Myths, Symbols, Facts, & Roman Name | Britannica
Athena: The goddess of knowledge, Source: Britannica

The influence of Athena the goddess of intellect

In the traditional Greek mythology and religion, those that were after knowledge worshipped Athena who was the goddess of wisdom, knowledge, war, art and craft and pottery (Hemingway and Hemingway, 2000). The goddess was believed to the source of knowledge and wisdom among Athenians and the city of Athens was named after her. The Greek people associated certain polis or cities with some gods and the city of Athens was associated with the god of wisdom because it was the city where most wise people resided. Also sophists who were people concerned with the acquisition of knowledge and skills resided in Athens. Unlike previously where other gods were involved in the physical matter such as water, fire, air or wind, the god of Athens was concerned with non physical matters which were matters of knowledge and wisdom.  Athena the goddess of knowledge was worshipped by people who loved knowledge. They believed that the Athena was a daughter of Zeus the god of thunderstorm and her mother was Metis (Deacy and Villing, 2001). It was believed that Athena was born from the head of Zeus. It was also believed in the mythology that worship of Athena gave the worshippers uncommon knowledge in craft, science, war and other crafts. Therefore the worshippers of Athena paid homage to her by coming Athens city where her temple was domiciled (Murray, 1924).  Other than the rituals offered to the gods in the temple, and unlike in other religions and deities, the worshippers in temple of Athena were allowed to ask questions and debate issues with each other. In addition, the seekers were allowed to question, make observation and deductions.

Contribution of Greek religion to intellect

It is through these practices that people of Athens became more knowledgeable and interested in intellectuality (Bowden, 2005). People were allowed to share thoughts irrespective of how ridiculous they were. It was in this city that famous philosophers such as Pythagoras. Socrates, Plato, Archimedes came from. The philosophers sought for observable or empirical evidence of various phenomena. Instead of purely relying on myths and unfounded explanations, the scholars and seekers of wisdom in Athens were known to seek for provable and proven ways of explaining phenomena. Green (1997) noted that for instance, the phenomena of rain were deconstructed in Athens by identifying that the formation of rain followed particular patterns. They noted that it resulted from sea water evaporating, forming vapour, which led to condensation of vapour into clouds which resulted into rain. The enlightenment aroused enthusiasm and interest in intellectuality as way as way of explaining matter. The city of Athens also housed scientists who discovered that there were small elements in every matter than constituted every matter. These theories constituted the earliest scientific basis which helped in identification of molecules in an atom which was basic foundation of science.  It is in Athens that worshippers and lovers of knowledge and wisdom emerged. This people would mostly be concerned with understanding knowledge and metaphysics. It is to this people that the current knowledge of language is attributed to as they developed the alphabet. Bowden (2005) noted that Greece was the city that developed the current form of alphabets that are used in modern day language. The development of alphabet transformed language and allowed significant amounts of information to be held through writing for future reference.

Contribution of Greek religion to literature

Greek religion has contributed immensely to literature. The Greek mythology which forms part of the components of literature is attributed to the Greek religion. The characters discussed in the famous Greek mythology Homer and Iliad such as Odysseus encounter various gods and goddesses such as indicated the influence of Greek religion on the literature. The religion has mostly influenced the literature especially in relation to myths and mythology in the study of literature (Baron, 2013). Myths cannot be described without taking the examples of Greek mythology as they were the most influential kind of myths that have lasted up to date.  It is also essential to note that Greek mythology has contributed significantly to literature through stories and such as Odyssey which is considered to be one of the greatest pieces of literature (Burkert, 1985). The story depicts how Odysseus wrestled with gods in order to return to his homeland. The Greek mythology especially the ones explained in Iliad and Odyssey remains classical and historical forms of literature that explain humans nature, as well as the nature of gods. The classical have been instrumentals in the development of English literature especially in use of metaphors and synonyms as well as idioms such as ‘Achilles heels” (Murray, 1924).  The most significant contribution of Greek religion to literature was in poetry and play writing. Some of the earliest plays that have been discovered were written by the Greek. Harrison (2010) noted that terms used in plays such as protagonist, antagonist, nemesis originated from the Greek ancient literature. Bowden (2005) noted that Greeks were also first to set the rules of writing plays such as having characters, setting the stage and the audience. The earliest plays were acted and done by Greek in their Olympus theatres.

Contribution of Greek religion to science

Greek religion especially has contributed immensely to science through the worship of Athena. Great mathematicians such as Pythagoras came from Athena and were responsible for the formulation of the Pythagoras theorem (Jones, 1946). The religion played a significant role in the development of science by bringing together people who were interested in knowledge of all kinds such as sciences together. The tolerant nature in the Greek religion allowed freedom of thought at a time when freedom of thought and contrary opinions was prohibited in most of the ancient societies. According to Burkert (1985) most of the ancient societies ascribed to creationist theories without interrogation. However, in the ancient Greek religion people were allowed not to be worshippers of one god. This enabled such people to interrogate nature without religious inhibitions. Burkert (1991) noted that in the Greek religion was made up of stoics and cynics as well as atheists. In fact according Bowden (2005) the ancient atheists were found in Greece due to the tolerant nature of the religion. The detachment from religion was foundational to the development of science. The tolenace of religion allowed people like Archimedes to develop scientific principles through their use of deduction approach to issues.  Burkert (1985) noted that Greek religion and traditions allowed people to make claims and then prove those by testing the statements or phenomena in order to determine whether the theory was true or not. This created scientific advancements because it allowed people to be inquisitive and to test phenomena in order to find the truth. The truth was supposed to be verifiable and observable. However, the limitation of technology and knowledge meant that most of the statements made at those medieval times could not be proven. Nevertheless, the statements and theories became foundation for modern day scientists especially in the areas of astronomy, mathematics, physics and chemistry.

Contribution of Greek religion to medicine

The other significant influence that Greek religion has had on intellect and intellectual development is in the field of medicine. The Greek religion believed in the Apollo the god of youth, healing, truth and sunlight (Wedlake, 1982). This god was believed to be responsible for restoration of wellness. However, those who believed in Athena the goddess of wisdom believed that the healing could also be explained naturally without invoking the supernatural. Therefore through the inquisitive nature of cynics espoused by Greek religion and culture there were those who did not believe that healing was supernatural. They believed that healing was biological and that ailments were a result of imbalances in the body (Jones, 1946). They therefore believed that by balancing the body fluids, they could restore the balance of the human body and thus restore the health of the ill person. This viewpoint led to significant biological research and writings especially by Hippocras who wrote the Hippocratic Oath and other biological writing such as Hippocratic Copernicus. In addition, there was increased scholarly work on the fields of medicine especially human anatomy where the ancients were able to discover the various parts of the body and the roles which played in the body. They also studied various types of ailments and how they affected the different parts of the body (Burkert, 1991). In addition, the adherents of the Greek traditional religion contributed significantly to modern day medicine not only by identifying the various types of illnesses as well as identifying the parts of the body. They also developed code of practice for doctors and people who practiced medicine. Most importantly they developed significant knowledge of human body which has been applied up to date (Longrigg, 1998).

Conclusion

Greek religion has played significant role in the influencing the modern day intellectual thought including literature science and medicine and philosophy. Unlike modern religions such as Christianity and Islam that do not provide tools for alternative thoughts, Greek religions incorporated alternative thought. People were allowed to question the practices, rituals and other religious practices. In addition, they were allowed to have their own gods, heroes and rituals based on their individual beliefs. Greek traditional religion was therefore unique and its tolerant and inquisitive nature has made it to retain influence in modern day societies and religions. The polytheism attributed to the Greek religion also contributed to intellectual development. The conflicts among gods as well as conflicts between the adherents of different gods brought about competition in thought as way of worship and veneration to different kind of gods. For instance those who worshipped Athena resided in Athens and tended to incline to intellectual curiosity and deductive approach to issues. Those who ascribed to Apollo were inclined towards healing, music and sought and their competition with those who ascribed to Athena led to the development of knowledge that pertained to healing of the human body which has led to the development of the modern day medicine practices which are evident today.

References

Allen, W. (2004) ‘New Gods of Greek Tragedy’, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, 5(4), pp. 21-44.

Baron, A. (2013) Timaeus of Tauromenium and Hellenistic Historiography. Cambridge University Press.

Bowden, H. (2005) Classical Athens and the Delphic Oracle: Divination and Democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Burkert, W. (1985) Greek Religion. London: William Heinemann.

Burkert, W. (1991) Greek Religion: Archaic and Classical. London: William Heinemann.

Deacy, S. and Villing, A. (2001) Athena in the Classical World. Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill.

Green, M. (1997) Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend. London: Thames and Hudson.

Harrison, J. (2010) Themis: A study to the Social origins of Greek Religion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hemingway, C. and Hemingway, S. (2000) ‘Greek Gods and Religious Practices.’ In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Jones, W. (1946) Philosophy and Medicine in Ancient Greece. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore.

Longrigg, J. (1998) Greek Medicine From the Heroic to the Hellenistic Age. New York: Sage. 

Murray, A. (1924) Homer, The Iliad with an English Translation. London: William Heinemann.  

Wedlake, J. (1982) The Excavation of the Shrine of Apollo at Nettleton, Wiltshire, 1956–1971. London: Society of Antiquaries of London.

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Global or Local Entrepreneurship: Which is better for society?


Introduction

This essay assesses which of the two kinds of entrepreneurship orientation is better among global and local entrepreneurship. The first section of the debate exemplifies the advantages and disadvantages of going global. The second section discusses of the merits and demerits of being local. The final section then highlights which of the two is better and the reason why it is better than the other. Global entrepreneurship refers to the ability to create enterprises which have worldwide reach or enterprises which have a worldwide market or have a global vision (McKinnon, Smith and Thomson, 2015). To assess the role of global entrepreneurship Burberry Fashion Company shall be used as a case example of a company which has a global outlook and its contribution to the entrepreneurship and business. Local refers to businesses that have a confined entrepreneurship orientation which means that the business is restricted to a particular country and it does not have global vision or intentions of expanding its markets or production globally (McKinnon, Smith and Thomson, 2015). The aim of local entrepreneurship is to serve the local needs of the local market. In regard to the local business this essay shall use the case of Dandie Fashion Company. The essay shall then examine the implications that each of these enterprises have on the entrepreneurship and business.

Evaluation of global businesses

One of the main advantages of global companies on entrepreneurship and business is that global outlook injects trade in emerging economies. Companies that have global orientation create trade opportunities in the emerging economies (Johnston, 2010). By exporting commodities and products to the emerging economies, global companies such as Burberry Company create jobs and employment opportunities in their economies because they create demand for local products. In addition, Prange and Verdier (2011) noted that successful fashion companies also build emerging economies by purchasing fabrics as well as ready to wear cloth from the emerging countries. Job creation provides the local populations with income as well as disposable income because in many instances the global companies employ locals at a better wages than the local companies. This rejuvenates other sectors of the economy as they increase the spending power of the populations within the economy where they have operations (Kumar and Liu, 2012).

Haar (2012) noted that companies such as Burberry have nevertheless relocated their manufacturing activities to offshore countries. This promotes small businesses and enhances entrepreneurship in the emerging economies (Prashantham, 2016). Fashion companies also engage in skills transfer to the emerging economies where they have relocated their manufacturing. This creates empowers local population with better skills and knowledge for entrepreneurship and business.

The global oriented companies were noted to create accessibility of cheaper goods and services because they had the logistics and the capacity to source for raw materials globally which enabled them to produce their goods and services at lower costs (Vinig and Kluijver, 2007).

However, the globally oriented companies had their weaknesses. McKinnon, Smith and Thomson (2015) noted that the fashion companies such as Burberry have been accused of paying lower taxes in the countries where they outsource their manufacturing. The companies usually do not pay taxes because they are not domiciled in those countries. This denies the government of these countries revenues and results in poor service delivery. The fashion companies have also been accused of exploiting local workers by paying low wages and by overworking the workers in sweat ships. Companies such as Burberry have been accused of contracting manufacturers who use child labour and underpay their workers. This negates the advantages of the global in regard to entrepreneurship and business (Guo, He and Li, 2015).

Evaluation of local businesses  

On the other hand, local oriented companies have several positive impacts on entrepreneurship and business. Audretsch and Keilbach (2007) noted that local oriented companies were eco sensitive and hence contributed to the conservation of the local ecological environment and resources. This implies that local oriented businesses focused on preservation of the local resources and environment. This had positive contribution to entrepreneurship and business because it meant that they developed sustainable ways of doing business which benefitted the local businesses and entrepreneurs. For instance, Dandie has developed solar power systems for its manufacturing facilities which reduces carbon imprints made by the company (Crawford, 2013).

The other main advantage of local oriented business is the creation of jobs for the local population. The company created jobs for the local people as they employed local people and made use of the local skills (Guo, He and Li, 2015). They made the local people have a source of livelihood which encouraged other forms of entrepreneurship.

Nevertheless, the local oriented businesses and companies such as Dandie have been accused of perpetuating poverty (Gorman, 2014). McKinnon Smith and Thomson (2015) noted that the localised business did not provide the local with competitive skills that could make them look for jobs elsewhere. There was no skills transfer in the local companies because there were liminated skills required or the skilled utilised by local oriented business were skills available in that locality.

Locally oriented business do not create infrastructures compared with the global business because they invested little amount of capital in infrastructure (Dimitratos et al., 2013). Lack of infrastructure limited entrepreneurship and business within the areas where the local business was located. This is unlike the globalised which created infrastructures that support other business and entrepreneurship.  For instance, companies such as Burberry could fund factories and access roads to their factories. Also governments tended to support the global businesses with infrastructure in order to attract more foreign direct investment as possessed to local businesses (Guo, He and Li, 2015).

Conclusion

Therefore, once can aver that the globalised businesses were better than local businesses despite their short comings. This is because they created job opportunities; they also increased employment opportunities in the countries where they operated which in turn created entrepreneurship and business opportunities (McKinnon et al., 2015). In addition, it was noted that global business lead to skills transfer which empowered the locals to look for other jobs or to create their own employment opportunities. Also global business creased infrastructure or attracted government investment infrastructure which eased the cost of doing business and attracted their entrepreneurs and businesses to location where there was global business. Despite the advantages of local oriented companies such as creation of local jobs and preservation of environment, the local oriented businesses lacked capacity for skills transfers and attraction of infrastructure development which hindered entrepreneurship and business (Othman, Othman and Ismail, 2012). Consequently, it can be deduced that global oriented business are better than local oriented businesses for entrepreneurship and business.

References

Audretsch, D. and Keilbach, M. (2007) ‘The localisation of entrepreneurship capital: Evidence from Germany’, Regional Science, 86(3), pp. 351-365.  

Crawford, D. (2013) Dandie Fashions and the 1960s Kings Road peacocks. Available at: https://www.candysays.co.uk/blogs/vintage-blog/7232698-dandie-fashions-and-the-1960s-kings-road-peacocks (Accessed 30 November 2015).   

Dimitratos, P., Plakoyiannaki, E., Pitsoulaki, A. and Tüselmann, F. (2010) ‘The global smaller firm in international entrepreneurship’, International Business Review, 19(6), pp. 589-606.          

Gorman, P. (2014) A pop culture treasure trove: Freddie Hornik’s Granny Takes A Trip scrapbook. Available at: http://www.paulgormanis.com/?tag=dandie-fashions (Accessed 10 May 2010).   

Guo, Q., He, C. and Li, D. (2015) ‘Entrepreneurship in China: The role of localisation and urbanisation economies’, Urban Studies, 4(5), pp. 24-45.

Haar, J. (2012) Globalization and Entrepreneurship in Latin America: The Impact of Globalization on Latin America. Florida: Task Force: Centre For hemispheric Policy.

Johnston, K. (2010) The Impact of Globalization on Entrepreneurs. Available at: https://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/impact-globalization-entrepreneurs-9998.html (Accessed 10 May 2013).  

Kumar, S. and Liu, D. (2012) Impact of globalisation on entrepreneurial enterprises in the world markets. Available at: https://www.inderscienceonline.com/doi/abs/10.1504/IJMED.2005.006026?journalCode=ijed (Accessed 30 November 2014). 

McKinnon, S., Smith, J. and Thomson, J. (2015) ‘Window to the World: Using Technology to Internationalise Entrepreneurship Education’, Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 3(3), pp. 15-23.

Othman, N., Othman, N. and Ismail, R. (2012) ‘Impact of Globalization on Entrepreneurship Education and Entrepreneurial Skills in Higher Education Institutions’, International Conference on Economics, Trade and Development, 5(1), pp. 23-44.  

Prange, C. and Verdier, S. (2011) ‘Dynamic capabilities, internationalization processes and performance’, Journal of World Business, 46(1), pp.126-133.  

Prashantham, S. (2016) When globalisation meets entrepreneurship it can be a force for good. Available at: https://theconversation.com/when-globalisation-meets-entrepreneurship-it-can-be-a-force-for-good-64415 (Accessed 30 November 2015). 

Vinig, T. and Kluijver, J. (2007) ‘Does Globalization Impact Entrepreneurship? Comparative Study of Country Level Indicators’, Information Systems, 7(8), pp. 7-8.   

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Book Review of The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future


The Inevitable: Understanding 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future 

This book by Kevin Kelly discusses the technological forces that will shape our future. The author indicates that the future will be much more interesting than it is now. Unlike other science fiction books that are based on imagination this books are based in in-depth research on the new innovation that have happened and how each of this innovations have high capacity of shaping our future. The author highlights that these technological forces will include, becoming, cognifying, flowing, screening, remixing, accessing, sharing, filtering, remixing, tracking questioning and beginning.

Amazon.com: The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological ...
The Inevitable book cover. Source: Amazon

Each of these technological forces have a significant place in the future. For instance the force of becoming is already here with us. The force of becoming entails having constant improvements on products and services. This means that nothing will remain the same as it will have some improvement especially when it comes to technology. This will reduce the need to own things due to their increased improvements such that a product and service bought will be obsolete the nest one year.

The other technological forces of the future is cognifying. This is embedding intelligence into objects. According to Kevin Kelly, most of the objects that can transmit electricity have the potential to be cognified and made intelligent. This means that objects can be tagged with chips and identified remotely. This force of cognification will also include increased use of artificial intelligence. Activities that are repetitive can now be done by robots which will know how to operate machines, type and do activities that can be repeatedly done by humans. A lot of manual jobs will be lost. However, more jobs will be created that will revolve around robots such as teaching robots, servicing and maintaining the robots.

The other force of technology that will shape our future is flowing. Information will be influenced in future. Also almost every business including real estate is now becoming an online business. It is being transformed into a fluid entirety. Therefore, in future information, business, data will be fluid.

The other technological force of the future is screening. In future information will be disseminated through screens. Unlike in the arts where books were the main way of conserving and transmitting information, technology will be future based. Information will be disseminated through screens. There will be screen in the bedroom, bathroom and in vehicles. People will not need to memorise things as they will just point their screen to get information.

Other forces of technology that will shape the future include, remixing, accessing, filtering, interacting, tracking, questioning and beginning. 

However, the book does not provide amicable solutions or ways in which to respond to the changes that will emanate from the twelve technological forces of the future. The author leaves the readers to make their own deductions on what they can do to respond to these technological forces of the future. 

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Building a reading culture


By Pastor James Wanyonyi

All the points vertically spell ‘Breakthrough Family Chapel’.

Books: Books are ignorance cleansers. Books transport you from where you are to where you are supposed to be. The answers to life’s biggest questions lie in a book.

Reading: Reading is taking the best of many minds and pouring it all in my mind.

Expand your mind: Reading broadens your world. Every adventure begins with knowledge.

Awareness: Read what is in the area of your purpose and establishing an authority in your field.

Keeping reading: Reading keeps you current in a changing world. Your future is determined by the books you read and the friends you keep.

Think: You can’t think big with a small mind. Reading enlarges your thinking and knowledge.

Heal the soul: Reading is a remedy for the soul. Reading is the will of God.

Read the Bible. The books of Daniel 1:2 and 2nd Timothy 4:13 give divine approval to the culture of reading.

Options: For some a book is a means to an education, for others, it is a source of information but a book carries significance when you opt for it to be a form of transportation.

Understand why you need to read: Reading sharpens your mind and develops your skills further. Reading is exercising your mind.

Generations: Generational blessings begin with knowledge. Reading plays a part in acquisition of that knowledge.

Helper: Reading is my destiny helper. It will connect me to my much desired destiny.

Faith: God operates in my life to the level of my knowledge.

Analyse: Have time to look back at your reading, why you are reading, how often you read and what you read.

Motivation: Reading helps to keep you inspired, stimulated and motivated.

Implications: Reading has personal implications; the day I stop learning, is the day I start dying.

Leadership: Readers are leaders. Reading inculcates leadership qualities.

Your books: Lend your books to someone who will surely return them.

Create time: You develop and sustain a reading culture by dedicating time to it.

Have a record: The best way to keep track of what you have read or reading is to record it your benefit.

Age: Read books that are commensurate to your age. Books which will challenge and inspire you in your current and incoming season.

Pathway to greatness: Reading paves the way to your greatness.

Enlightenment: Knowledge is light and reading provides illumination.

Library: Build your own library. And that was Building a Reading Culture by Pst. James Wanyonyi

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The highly productive person daily energy plan


Here is a brief outline showing how the productive persons plan their limited time in order to make most out of it. According to Gary Keller the author pf one thing the body is like a machine that needs a lot of energy in order to function.

Just like automobiles which use different types of fuels, so is the body. The body needs spiritual energy, mental energy, physical energy, emotional energy and business energy. The body must therefore be frequently nourished with all these diets as they provide it with the necessary fuel required to focus and attain productivity.

Project Management Plan: Seven Steps to plan | Nutcache

Here are the steps of replenishing and stocking energy that you need for the day.

  1. Meditate and pray for spiritual energy. Spiritual energy emanates from prayer and meditation. They provide clarity and energy to persevere difficult times.
  2. Eat, exercise and sleep sufficiently in order to fuel physical energy.
  3. Set goals, plan, for mental energy. Goals and plans act as a form of mental energy that keeps on track towards success.
  4. Timeblock or set aside alone time to do just One Thing for business energy.

Having taken those steps you will be energized and fully energetic to attain your goals on a daily basis. Thank you for reading.  

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The four thieves of productivity according to Gary Keller


Gary Keller and Jay Papasan the authors of One Thing intimated that there are four thieves of productivity that must be always be kept at bay.

Three Thieves That Steal Your Peace of Mind – Awaken

Thieves steal when one is not suspecting or is not attentive to keep watch and protect their property or asset. Since productivity is an asset and it has high value, it tends to have enemies and thieves who like to stealing and waste it away when the individual is not attentive and careful to protect it. These four thieves are:

  1. Inability to say No. In order to be highly productive one must focus on doing one thing at a time and avoid multitasking. According to Gary Keller one “Yes” has to be defended by a thousand “No” s.  Whenever you say yes you have to think about what you are saying no to. Learn to say no as many time as possible so that you can focus on one thing or few things which you can do effectively.  One person known to have said many Nays was Steve Jobs. He is said to have been happy for the many products which he said no to and discontinued them. In 1997 it was noted that Jobs discontinued 340 products from the company’s product line and retained only 10 products. This shows that Steve Jobs had mastered the art of saying no to many things. There are effective ways of saying no. One of those ways of saying no is by showing or leading to another person who can say yes.
  2. Fear of chaos. When you decide to focus on one thing in order to have enhanced productivity, chaos is inevitable. There are things that will be left unattended resulting in some form of disorder and untidiness. To be productive one has to allow some degree of chaos and disorder in order to focus on one thing. The good thing with allowing this chaos it that with enhanced productivity, one usually gets the time and resources to easily manage the chaos.
  3. Poor health habits. Poor health is a big time thieve of productivity. You cannot be productive if you are not healthy. High results need maximum energy which can only be produced by healthy body. Do not go for success by sacrificing your health. Always make sure that your health is a number one priority. Many people succeed by trading their heath for success only to realise later that the tradeoff was too costly and not worth it. By the time they realise it is too late and the deal is already done. Eat healthy diet, exercise, meditate and spend time with your loved ones in order to cultivate emotional health.
  4. Environment that does not support your goals. Environment in this case refers to what you see and experience each day. Your environment can be hindrance and a thieve of your productivity. It can distract you from focusing on the most important tasks. Nobody exists as an island, hence the people that you interact with during the day can be a hindrance towards the attainment of your goals. Therefore, be cautious and extremely careful about people who surround you because they highly influence you and your productivity. They infect you with their attitudes, biases, skills and knowledge. Therefore, have extreme care about the people that you interact with to ensure that they are in support of your productivity.

Therefore, inability to say no, fear of chaos, poor health habits and having or living in an environment that does not support your goals can easily rob you off your productivity.  With this awareness, make effort to say no, accept chaos, manage your health and develop an environment that can support your goals in order to attain maximum productivity. You can buy Gary Keller’s One Thing here.    

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How to succeed according to Sam Altman


Sam Altman was formerly the chair of Y-Combinator. He led one of the most successful venture capital firms in the world. He shared about various practices that had enabled him to succeed in the venture capital and in life. 

Sam Altman | Startup Guide for Successful Startups and Entrepreneurs
Sam Altman

Here is some advice on how to succeed by Sam Altman.

  1. Compound self.  Exponential power always works some great magic. Work in such a way that you are continuously compounding yourself.  You should constantly seek ways of creating leverage by acquiring capital, skills, networks, brands and knowledge that can compound your capabilities. One of the ways of building this leverage is by letting small opportunities go in favour of pursuing bigger opportunities. Learn how to take long term view of things. Very few people who strive to develop long term things and perspectives of how things will work out which forces nature to rewards the few who do. Make the effort to have a long term view of your career or life pursuits.
  2. Have self-belief. Those who have self-belief are sometimes viewed as delusional. They have too much belief in themselves and their ideas. Have trust that you can deliver required results consistently. You can never succeed if you are not willing to have contrarian views that do not resonate with the majority. The only way of holding together during such time is by having high sense of self belief. Individuals like Elon Musk have succeeded because they have too much self-belief. They believe too much in their ideas even when there is no one believing or supporting their ideas. Elon Musk demonstrates this with his Space X which has a vision of making travel to Mars possible. However, self-belief must be counter balanced by self-awareness. Even with self-belief, be ready to accept criticism and differing viewpoints as they can enrich your views and ideas.
  3. Be a salesperson. Even if you have the best ideas and self-belief you still have to convince other people to support your idea. You have to be a great salesperson. At some time, all great careers involve some sort of sales. you have to evangelize your product, service to customers. You have to evangelize your mission and vision to employees, partners and shareholders. This demands development of above average communication skills and charisma. You can always get better at these skills by training and continuous learning. Sales and selling may be distasteful to some people but it is still one of the most important skills to have.
  4. Simplify taking risks. Success involves some sort of risk taking. Do not be afraid of taking risks. Many people avoid taking risks. Nature tends to pay handsome rewards to those who take risks. Taking risks is a necessity because you cannot always be right. You have to learn how take risks and adapt quickly to the outcomes. Sam Altman’s sum up this by saying “Look for small bets you can make where you lose 1x if you’re wrong but make 100x if it works. Then make a bigger bet in that direction.”
  5. Focus. Focus is an energy multiplier. Many people spend their time on issues that are not important. They spend long hours on stuff that is less important while ignoring and paying less attention to the stuff that matters. Focus begins by identifying the most important stuff where energy and resources should be spent.   
  6. Be hard to compete with. Most people accept and know that the most valuable companies are those which are very difficult to compete with. This is because they have built some leverage that keeps competitors out. Just like companies, even individual can become hard to compete with. These leverage exist inform of personal relationships, networks, and skills. Most people do what the people who they hang out with do. They mimic other people’s actions which makes them do what everyone else is doing thus eliminating any competitive advantage that they could have by being different.

This explains why Sam Altman is one of the successful individual based on the advice he gives. Thank you for spending your time reading this.   

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Is Data the new oil?


Sometimes back Wired published an article asking if data the new oil. Within this century that is the 21st Century, data is certain to replace oil just like oil replaced coal in the 19th century. Data is immensely valuable, but it is an untapped asset which has not yet been fully exploited.  Those who will develop the means to discover data wells, systems for refining the data and extracting valuable information from the data wells will leap immense rewards. This is because in the twenty first century we are operating in the digital economy where the data is highly valuable and a necessity to the digital enterprises. It is the engine that will power the digital enterprises in the same manner the coal powered engine powered the steam engine. The need for data is not going to be restricted to the private and digital enterprises, data will even be more valuable to governments which will need it for efficient public service provision.

Data Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

Data Infrastructure Should Become a Profit engine of the business

Many organizations view their data centers as a cost and expenses which they can find ways of eliminating. However, data infrastructure is very important to the future of digital enterprises and organizations should view their data center as the new profit center. Companies have to view their data as a strategic company asset that has immense value to the company. The asset should therefore be protected and managed affectively so as to realize its value.

Effective management of the company data is essential for companies as this can enable the company to extract customer data as well as share the data about products and services with partners and producers so that they can customize product to suit customer tastes and preferences. The data also provides companies with opportunities to recombine information and ideas about products and services and thereby bringing into life new products and services that resonate with the target market.

Data enhances decision making

Data provides the evidence that is needed in instances where critical decisions have to be made. Data helps the business to stop relying on heresy and opinions during decision making. Data provides concrete evidence that can help the business make better choices that can make the business more profitable. During the growth phase of the business, opinions tend to dominate, but as the business grows, opinions have to be set aside. It pays to use data in decision making. This is because with data, any decision about the business be it marketing, human resource management, can be made by testing, measuring different alternatives and making improvements. The use of data can inspire the business to come up with new ideas, identify new opportunities and trends and take advantage of such opportunities before competitors seize the moment. Most importantly the business owner should know the KPIs of the business and develop infrastructure for collecting refining and developing insights about these KPIs. Different businesses have different KPIs. Retail businesses have different KPIs from the non-retail and software business. Understanding your KPIs helps you to focus on collecting and refining data which is relevant to your business and make most of that data.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you will make deliberate effort to collect data from your business and use it to guide your decision making.

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Book Review: ONE THING by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan


The book One Thing by Keller and Papasan expresses how individuals attain extraordinary results in life. This book is based on a simple principle of 80/20 principle of Pareto which rests on the idea that minor inputs, efforts or causes can result to major rewards or outputs. This means that 80% of one’s results come from the 20% of the efforts put in place. This is therefore evident in this book whereby an individual has to allocate the right time to the ONE THING on a consistent basis so as to attain the extraordinary results.

In this book, it is also clear that a ‘to-do list’ is essential when applying the Pareto’s principle because the ONE THING that an individual will focus on will be his/her central idea towards the attainment of success, happiness or any fulfillment. This does not mean that an individual can only have one goal but it implies that it for one to attain the extraordinary results s/he has to set a priority which will be worked on.    

When reading the book it is clear that there are six lies which exist between an individual and his/her success which include multitasking, all matters equally, big is bad, will power is always on will-call. These elements contribute greatly towards one’s failure. the  authors presents  one big question “What’s the ONE Thing I can do today such that by doing it everything else will be easier or even unnecessary? ” which individuals need to question themselves before pursuing anything in their life. This question will help one to understand one essential thing that needs to be done so as to attain the extraordinary success in that particular area. It is therefore necessary to create some habits which will help one embrace the concept of ONE THING.

for an individual to be able to implement this  concept, the authors of the book suggest that an individual has to time block his/her ONE THING as early as possible by allocating four hours a day to that particular thing. it is also necessary to time block the ONE THING by ensuring that nothing is given a priority until the ONE THING is accomplished.  This is evident in the statement that “Until my ONE thing is done—everything else is a distraction!” it is also necessary to time block one’s planning time.

The authors have also noted that there are four factors which can hinder the productivity of an individual. These include the inability to say no, the environmental factors which do not support an individual’s goal, fear of chaos and poor health habits. For one to be productive, the book indicates that one has to rely on focus by concentrating on the one thing which will make everything else to be much easier or make them unnecessary.

It is also clear that the authors’ points are more rhetoric than arguments since they pose challenges to the philosophical idea of balance which they eventually conclude that balance does not exist in real life situations. He therefore argues that balance is a grand idea which is ideal but neither practical nor unrealistic. When the philosophers talk about ethics, the authors of the ONE THIN G talk about the work-life balance. This book is therefore very essential in one’s life since it will inspire one to attain the extraordinary success in his/her area of interest.

You can buy this book from Amazon here on this image:

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5 productivity hacks to keep you on track towards your goals


There is huge fulfillment that comes from productivity and attaining one’s goals. Nothing feels frustrating like non productivity or taking too much effort to produce too little. To be productive, one has to constantly seek ways of enhancing personal productivity. Some of the ways to enhance personal productivity include:

  1. Setting goals. Without goals productivity is a mirage. Goals provides sense of direction and focus. Goals show the intended destination. Just like a driver without a destination can use any road to go anywhere, so is seeking productivity without a goal. Any road will certainly take you anywhere. But if you have a goal, you have a destination hence you have to pick particular roads and tools that will and can lead you to the particular destination of productivity.
  2. Work in short duration. Work in small episodes that last up to 25- 30 minutes. This is because it is usually very hard to retain concentrated focus for long duration. By deliberating setting up short working duration, you are helping the mind to absolutely focus in those 25 minutes without meandering.
  3. Take breaks. After working for the twenty to thirty minutes you can take a two –five minute breaks to allow your mind and body to rest. To maximize on the merits that come with taking a break, please do not engage in anything that is mentally taxing in that duration. You can stretch, stand up, or maybe closed your eyes but please do not get into the temptation of getting into the social media channels and other channels that might take up your mental energy. Your intention is to refresh your brain and make it ready for the next session. Meditate, relax and if possible zone out and think about nothing.
  4. Block web based distractions. These are mostly apps and websites that send out notifications or websites which are addictive and you naturally tend to search and log into when the mind is resting. To avoid this, you can install web blockers like Cold turkey which can help you to avoid and shin these distractions completely. They tend to consume huge mental energies.
  5. Block physical distractions. While web based distractions are easy to block, there can be other physical distractions like people coming to visit and calls. Others can be television or background noise that create nuisance. Strive to work in serene environments that are free from physical distractions. This enhances focus and productivity.

These are some of the productivity hacks that you can use to enhance work productivity and total focus during work hours.  With heightened productivity, one manages to do a lot of work within a short duration which provides one with extra hours that can be used for other non-work related activities.   You can read more about productivity here.

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Book Review: Harvesting in Famine; How to Prosper During Tough Times by Paul Karanja


A very good book from one of my friends called Paul Karanja. I decided to read one of the Kenyan authors since I have mostly been reading foreign authors. The book was quite small and I read it in two days. The book was concerned with overcoming and prospering during famine or in difficult circumstances. It was based on the biblical story of Isaac who was said to have planted during famine and he surprisingly harvested a hundred fold until his neighbors were envious of him. This book is relevant especially during this tough time of Covid-19 that has heightened restrictions on movement and made the business environment tough for many people. It shows you that you can prosper even this difficult and tough moments in the same manner that Isaac prospered during times of famine.

It highlights the principles that guide harvesting and prospering during tough times from a spiritual and physical standpoint that can resonate with everyone undergoing tough times. One of the critical things that I learned about is the principles of harvesting. These principles are:

  1. You reap what you sow. Seems obvious but many people still miss out the connection between planting and harvesting. You always reap what you have sown, so harvesting is preceded by planting. Planting has to be a deliberate action, well thought and planned.   
  2. You reap in proportion to what you sow. Size and effort matters. Law of proportion matters. If you plant in small quantity you have to reap in small quantity.
  3. You reap in a different season from the one you sowed. You don’t get instant harvest, you got to be patient for your harvest.
  4. You reap more than you sow. Reaping implies multiplication of your seeds. the multiplication can either be fivefold, tenfold, thirty fold or hundredfold. Reaping involved multiplication of your seeds. 
  5. Harvesting is work. When the harvest is ready you have to be ready and prepared to harvest. You need to have good storage facilities, labourers and be prepared to work a little bit more during harvest time. Harvest time is not relaxation time. Otherwise the harvest due to you will be destroyed or waste away.
  6. Different seeds require different harvesting tools. Use the right equipment to harvest. Apples would need a different harvesting tool from wheat and similarly all manner of harvesting is product specific. Learn the about the tools needed to harvest.
  7. God is the LORD of harvest. Thank Him for the harvest. Always appreciate and show gratitude for what you have.  The in-depth understanding about God being the Lord of harvest entails listening to God. This can be done by: having a healthy fellowship with God which entails having a routine of setting aside time for God. It can also be done by attracting the presence of God and hearing the voice of God through meditation.

In a nutshell, this is a relevant book that applies to our present reality of living through tough times. In such times people desist from planting and engaging in risky acts yet too much caution depletes faith and faith based actions. The book can spur and reinvigorate your faith in God and help you manifest this faith in action.

You can see other book reviews here

New Rules for the New Economy According to Kevin Kelly


For you to make better decisions in the twenty first century and in this decade you have to understand the new rules of the new digital economy. There is no better person to explain this than Kevin Kelly The futurist techie who has written THE INEVITABLE: UNDERSTANDING 12 TECHNOLOGICAL FORCES THAT WILL SHAPE OUR FUTURE . The following are the rules that will govern the new economy:

1) Embrace the Swarm. As power flows away from the center, the competitive advantage belongs to those who learn how to embrace decentralized points of control.

2) Increasing Returns. As the number of connections between people and things add up, the consequences of those connections multiply out even faster, so that initial successes aren’t self-limiting, but self-feeding.

3) Plentitude, Not Scarcity. As manufacturing techniques perfect the art of making copies plentiful, value is carried by abundance, rather than scarcity, inverting traditional business propositions.

4) Follow the Free. As resource scarcity gives way to abundance, generosity begets wealth. Following the free rehearses the inevitable fall of prices, and takes advantage of the only true scarcity: human attention.

5) Feed the Web First. As networks entangle all commerce, a firm’s primary focus shifts from maximizing the firm’s value to maximizing the network’s value. Unless the net survives, the firm perishes.

6) Let Go at the Top. As innovation accelerates, abandoning the highly successful in order to escape from its eventual obsolescence becomes the most difficult and yet most essential task.

7) From Places to Spaces. As physical proximity (place) is replaced by multiple interactions with anything, anytime, anywhere (space), the opportunities for intermediaries, middlemen, and mid-size niches expand greatly.

8) No Harmony, All Flux. As turbulence and instability become the norm in business, the most effective survival stance is a constant but highly selective disruption that we call innovation.

9) Relationship Tech. As the soft trumps the hard, the most powerful technologies are those that enhance, amplify, extend, augment, distill, recall, expand, and develop soft relationships of all types.

10) Opportunities Before Efficiencies. As fortunes are made by training machines to be ever more efficient, there is yet far greater wealth to be had by unleashing the inefficient discovery and creation of new opportunities.

New York Times Non Fiction Best Sellers in October 2020


These are some of the New York Times best sellers that were selling the most towards the end of October both in print and in e-books. New York Times Best seller list is viewed as one of the assessors of bestselling books because they evaluate books based on all retailers be it Amazon, Barnes and Noble or even Apple Books.     

  1. GREENLIGHTS by Matthew McConaughey published by Crown.  This is an autobiography of Academy Award–winning actor Matthew McConaughey. The author explores his childhood, his career and family life.  You can find on Amazon.
  1. UNTAMED by Glennon Doy published by Dial. The book is mostly a description of how Glennon Doyle listens to her inner voice and how it has led to make radical choices in life.
Untamed by Glennon Doyle

3. CASTE by Isabel Wilkerson and published by Random House. This is a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has deeply examined the various aspects of caste systems across the globe and across various civilizations. The book has gained popularity due to its deep revelation that caste systems still exists in the society and even within America. It reveals that there is a very rigid hierarchy in and inequality in America today.

4. KILLING CRAZY HORSE by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard and published by Holt Publishers. This is the ninth book in the conservative commentator’s Killing series focuses on conflicts with Native Americans. The book has been on the New York Times Best Seller list for non fictions for more than four weeks.

5. ONE VOTE AWAY by Ted Cruz published by Regnery. This book by the Republican senator from Texas gives his views on what might happen if liberals gain a simple majority on the Supreme Court.

6. ACCIDENTALLY WES ANDERSON by Wally Koval and published by Voracious/Little, Brown. The book is a photo book or an album with photographs and stories of more than 200 locations from around the world that are inspired by the aesthetic of the film director Wes Anderson. The book is new on the New York Best Seller list for non fiction this week.

7. SHADE by Pete Souza published by Voracious/Little, Brown. The former White House photographer juxtaposes pictures of former President Obama with tweets, headlines and quotes from the Trump administration. it is one of the interesting books to read and has been on New York Times List for more than ten weeks.

8. IS THIS ANYTHING? by Jerry Seinfeld published by Simon & Schuster. This book is collection of comedy by a comedian. The comedian shares material he collected in an accordion folder over the last 45 years. 

9. RAGE by Bob Woodward published by Simon & Schuster. Based on 17 on-the-record interviews with President Trump and other reporting, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist details the president’s perspective on multiple crises.

10. BATTLE OF BROTHERS by Robert Lacey published by Harper. A look at the potential factors that led to the divergent life paths of Prince William and Prince Harry. 

Thank you for reading.

Disclosure: I will get a small commission from Amazon if you purchase through my blog.

Book Review: Principles by Raymond Dalio


This is one of the most profound books that you can read. It is about principles of life and work. It shows the core principles that drive life and work. I read it mostly because I was very much interested in Raymond Dalio due to his immense success in money management through his firm Bridgewater Associates which manages assets worth over $100 billion. Ray Dalio has been immensely rewarded for managing such huge amounts of money with a net worth of $18 billion. 

Principles by Ray Dalio
Principles by Ray Dalio

This book starts out by describing how Raymond Dalio started out in his business. He explains how he started out his business in a garage. He explains how the business almost failed and how he grew it slowly into the behemoth that it is today.  The second part shares out the life principles that Raymond Dalio embodies. The third section shares the work principles that defines how he works, how he relates with coworkers, customers and employees.  The good thing with this book by Raymond Dalio is that it is not just a highlight of principles. It is a book of reflection on his actions and how he formulated principles based on his actions and triangulating his knowledge with other people who were believable. He deeply explains why he applies those principles. He considers principles to be a way of examining how reality works. He presents two sets of principles which are principles of life and principles of work. The following were the life principles identified by Ray Dalio:

  1. Embrace reality and deal with it. To deal with life effectively you must be a hyper realist. This does not mean that you should not dream but it implies that you have to embrace realism instead of idealism. Truth or the in-depth understanding of reality is the foundation of any good outcome. You have to be radically open minded. You have to understand how reality works. Don’t allow fear of other people prevent you from doing things that you should do. Observe nature carefully in order to understand how reality works. One law of nature relates to evolution: Everything is slowly but certainly evolving into something better. Please identify how to align yourself with evolution. You must evolve or die. Evolution is the greatest life force which also presents the most rewards. Nature optimizes for the whole not the individual. Do things that benefit the whole not you as the individual to get most of nature’s rewards.  Embrace pain with full awareness that no pain no gain. Be aware of the second and third order consequences of your decisions and actions. Do not overweigh the first order consequences and ignore the second and third order consequences that nature optimizes for.  Go above yourself and objectively evaluate things.
  2. Use a 5 step process to get what you want. The five step which Ray Dalio considers to be the holy grail of succeeding in eandevours is made up of five processes which are: having clear goals, identifying barriers and challenges that stand in the way of attaining those goals, accurate diagnoses of problems to identify their root causes, designing a way around these obstacles then pushing the designs through in order to achieve the results.
  3. Be radically open minded. This is another important life principle expounded by Raymond. It helps one to go through life alert, observant and ready for opportunities that come in life. In order to be radically open minded there are two barriers which you have to identify and deal with which are: Your ego and your blind spots. Open mindedness also does not come naturally so you have to consciously practice being open minded. Learn how to engage in thoughtful disagreement. Also find believable people who can thoughtfully disagree with your view. Learn how to plan for worst case scenarios. To become open minded, take time to engage in quality reflections.
  4. Understand that people are wired differently. Understand your personality. Understand other people’s personalities. Take time to evaluate yourself and what motivates you. Understand that there are battles related to thinking and feeling and learn how to balance between them. Learn to use logic, reason, common sense to synthesize reality and work on it. Make calculations when making decisions. Evaluate probabilities of rewards if you are right and the weight of penalties if you are wrong.

The other set of principles discussed in the book are the work principles. These are principles related to organisations and work very well if you’re an entrepreneur. They tell you about how to go about work and make most of the work environment by building a meritocratic organisation using idea meritocracy. One of the work principles is to get the culture right by having set of values that should be held dearly by everyone in the organisation. The other work principle is to have believability weighted decision making.  The specifics of believability weighted decision making and its applicability in organizational decision making can only be better explained by reading the book.  You can find it here:

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