Available at: Tim's website
Related: Tools of Titans, Tribe of Mentors
Tim has always been good at asking the right questions, and this short PDF packs a lot of punch.
These are a staple of my daily journaling practice.
The 17 questions:
Reality is largely negotiable.
If you stress-test the boundaries and experiment with the "impossibles," you'll quickly discover that most limitations are a fragile collection of socially reinforced rules you can choose to break at any time.
Before everyone got ﬁred, I begged my coworkers to each prepay for a bottle, which gave me enough money to hire chemists, a regulatory consultant, and do a tiny manufacturing run. I was off to the races.
After reading The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber and The 80/20 Principle by Riichard Koch, I decided that extreme questions were the forcing function I needed.
"What 20% of the customers/products/regions are producing 80% of the profit?"
"What factors or shared characteristics might account for this?"
This question allowed me to take my customer service workload from 40-to-60 hours per week to less than 2 hours per week.
This experience underscored two things for me:
People don't like being sold products, but we all like being told stories. Work on the latter.
Humans are very vulnerable to a cognitive bias called "anchoring," whether in real estate, stocks, or otherwise. Good investors recommend Think Twice by Michael Maboussin.
"What should I put on my not-to-do list?"
Four to eight weeks (or more) doesn’t allow you to be a ﬁreﬁghter. It forces you to put systems and policies in place, ditch ad-hoc email-based triage, empower other people with rules and tools, separate the critical few from the trivial many, and otherwise create a machine that doesn’t require you to be behind the driver’s wheel 24/7. (Page 14)
Here’s the most important point: The systems far outlive the vacation, and when you come home, you’ll realize that you’ve taken your business (and life) to the next level. This is only possible if you work on your business instead of in your business, as Michael Gerber might say (Page 14)
"Which one of these, if done, would render all the rest either easier or completely irrelevant?"
Aim to cultivate more daily appreciation and present-state awareness.
Think of daily wins before bed.
If I feel stressed, stretched thin, or overwhelmed, it's usually because I'm overcomplicating something or failing to take the simple/easy path because I feel I should be trying "harder."
"If you've got enough money to solve the problem, you don't have the problem."—Dan Sullivan, Strategic Coach
In the beginning of your career, you spend time to earn money. Once you hit your stride in any capacity, you should spend money to earn time, as the latter is nonrenewable.
This isn't a question—it's a fundamental reset.
You don't need to strain yourself through life; you can get 95% of the results you want by calmly moving ahead.
Similar: "Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast."
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