Books Business Hacks

The Way of the Wolf:  Straight Line Selling: Master the Art of Persuasion, Influence, and Success

Author: Jordan Belfort

My Rating: 5/5

Summary: A crash course in selling from one of the most interesting salesmen on Wall Street.

My Takeaways

In generally, humans buy things to make their lives better

The “Straight Line” technique to closing a sale

There are 3 core elements that need to line up in order to have the best shot of closing the sale at that specific moment. This is called the “The 3 Tens” (0-10 scale of certainty). The prospect must have a high degree of certainly (10) in the following 3 areas:

  1. The product, idea or concept.
  2. They trust and connect with you 
  3. The prospect must trust and connect with the company 
  4. Lower the action threshold
  5. Raise the pain threshold  

There are 2 types of certainty that are very different:

  1. Logical Certainty.
    1. Based on the words used and what you say. 
    2. Long term value proposition. 
    3. Does the product truly fit a prospect’s needs
  1. Emotional Certainty.
    1. Based on a gut feeling that something must be good. 
    2. Painting a picture of the future. 
    3. Playing out the post purchase movie of the fulfillment. 

Looping allows a salesperson to handle each objection. 

Each objection creates the opportunity to loop. 

Action threshold and pain threshold 

Pain creates urgency that helps close the sale to push a prospect to lower the action threshold. 

The first 4 seconds are crucial to make a good impression. You need to do the following. 

1 be as sharp as a tack

2. Enthusiastic as hell

  1. Expert on your field.  

Person worth listening to in order to help the prospect achieve their goals or allivuate pain

Take control of the sale from the beginning to the end. 

5 sensory modalities to anchor to intensify your state. 

Steps to properly anchor. 

  1. Chose a state (certainty)
  2. Set anchor. Wait for a specific moment and spray boom boom

Need to concsouly focus on the emotional state you need to be in at a specific moment using NLP

Apply the proper tonality to the words you say during the sale. 

It’s your words that move a prospect logically and your tonality that’s moves them emotionally. 

Address a prospect as a friend instead of a formal introduction. This takes control of the prospects inner dialogue

Phrase your statements as questions so that the prospect has micro-agreements. 

Use scarcity as a tonality. 

  1. Verbal scarcity strictly by the use of words
  2. Tonal scarcity.  Lower your voice. 
  3. Informational scarcity
  4. Create a sense of urgency

Straight line rules for prospecting:

  1. You are a sifter. Sift through products vs trying to magically turn water into gold 
  2. Always ask for permission to ask questions. “Name, let me ask you a few questions so I can best serve you,”
  3. You must always use a script for prospecting. Need to be asked in the right order for each industry. 
  4. Go from less invasion questions to more invasion questions. This helps build repore. 
  5. Ask each question using the right tonality. 
  6. Use the correct body language as the prospect responds. 
  7. Always follow a logical path
  8. Make mental notes, don’t resolve their pain. (if anything amplify their pain)
  9. Always end with a powerful transition
  10. Stay on the straight line

Every sales person must have a script to follow. (Brave heart acting example)

You need to have strategic preparation when developing your script so that you can be prepared for all outcomes:

  1. Script should not be front loaded.
    1. Need to frame first. We need to move bit by bit 
  2. Focus on the benefits, not the features.
    1. Briefly touch on the feature and expand on the benefits on a personal level. Want to know if it resolved pain
  3. Script must have stopping off points.
    1. Pause points that keeps the prospect engaged and keeps repore. 
  4. Write in the spoken word, not in grammatically correct English.
    1. Balance to be struck when sounding like an expert. 
  5. Script must flow perfectly.
    1. Sentences must be in balance. 
  6. Scripts must be honest and ethical.
    1. The truth we’ll told 
  7. energy in, benefits out.
    1. Bebofys must outweigh the energy of to receive them. 
    2. Restate benefits every time the expensive of energy. 
    3. “Getting started is simple…”
    4. Use the word “only” as a minimizer 
    5. Use the word “cash outlay” instead of cost. 
    6. Use question “does that sound fair”
  8. Try to collapse the number of phone calls in your sales cycle as much as possible

In terms of order to increase certainty for a prospect, start with product first, then you, then company. 

Build air tight logical certainty first to satisfy BS detector, then emotional certainty after. 

Language patterns for logical and certainty. 

Basic rules for outbound calls. 

  1. Be enthusiastic from the start
  2. Speak in the familiar 
  3. Introduce yourself and company in first sentences then restate company shortly after. 
  4. Use power words like dramatically and explosive, fastest growing 
  5. Use justifier words like “only”
  6. Ask for permission to begin the qualification process. 

Example questions for the intelligence gathering phase of the sale:

  • what do you like are dislike about your current supplier?
  • What is your biggest headache with your business?
  • How long has this pain been going on? Make prospect talk about pain 
  • Of all the facts we talked about, which one is most important?
  • Anything that I missed?

Main body of script:

  • Name product
  • Leverage credibility by linking to something or done one familiar 
  • Transition
  • Create urgency
  • Transition to how simple this is to purchase 
  • Ask directly for the order at the close (3-4 times)
    • “Give me one shot and believe me, sound fair enough?”

10% of communication are the actual words, 90% tonality and body language. 

3 expected outcomes from a prospect 

  1. Prospect says yes 
  2. Prospect says no
  3. Prospect says maybe. (All common objections)
    1. Let me think about it
    2. Send me info
    3. Bad time of year
    4. Need to speak with someone else

Step-down sales: where the salesperson can easily ratchet up or down the price of a product after asking for the purchase the first time at a higher price. 

Wording for Standard objection response in the sales cycle. Deflection of objection:

“I hear what you’re saying NAME, but let me ask you a question – does that make sense to you? Do you like the idea?” 

“Exactly it really is a great buy at this level, in fact, one of the true beauties is…”

This leads you into a new tonality of where your prospect is. Pace, Pace, lead to create emotional certainty. 

Need to have at least an 8 on the certainty scale in the back half of the sales cycle


“You see what I’m saying here NAME, you like the idea?”

Language patterns that move prospect to 10 on certainty scale for you:

Need to convince prospect that’s they can trust you. 

“Now let me ask you a question”

Forrest Gump language pattern. 

“Now that I can understand. You don’t know me and I don’t have a track record, let me introduce myself, the company and who you are. Tell them about ethics and integrity. 

Increase your level of certainty for your company:

“And as far as my company goes, it’s one of the best….”

Write out best version of your company with tertiary versions to loop back on. 

Move into a close:

“So name, why don’t we do this”

Possibly suggest a stepped down version or trial

“If you give me 1% trust, I’ll eat the other 99%”

“I’m not getting rich here, but want to build a long term relationship.”

When prospect hits you with the second objection, answer it directly and loop back to the beginning of the sale to build an air tight logical and emotional certainty. 

Prospects run 2 parallel movies in their kind. What’s the upside potential and downside risk?

If the prospect does not purchase even after level 10 certanty across the threes, then Lower the action threshold by doing the following tactics. 

  1. Money back guarantee
  2. Offer a cooling off period (Resicn period)
  3. Use key phrases that run counter to worries of high action threshold prospect.
    1. “ I’ll hold your hand every step of the way”
  4. Infuse a language pattern that rewrite their rewrite their positive and negative parallel movies. (Step down approach)
    1. “What’s the worst that could happen?”

Introduce pain in the intelligence gathering phase and re introduce at the end by doing the following 

“Let me ask you a question, what would happen if you didn’t do this.”

I care and I feel your pain tonality

Books Hacks

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World 

Author: Cal Newport

My Rating: 5/5

Summary: Practical tips for being more focused in an age where there are distractions everywhere.

My Takeaways

Deep work helps you quickly learn hard things

Adam Grant batches his work on multiple levels

When you switch from task A to task B, your attention residue still sticks.

Our economy increasingly values depth, not shallow work

Being busy is a proxy for productivity

Deep work is systematically becoming more rare

Skillfully managing attention requires the brain to help cultivate a good life.

Knowledge work is more ambiguous than most type of work that has been around. This ambiguity makes it unclear as to what a knowledge worker does and how it differs from other types of knowledge work.

Deep work can generate satisfaction in an info economy vs craftsman economy.

Our brains construct our worldview on what we pay attention to – Gallager’s Grand Theory.

What you choose to focus on exerts significant leverage on how you move forward.

Your world is the outcome of what you pay attention to.

A work day drive by the shallow work implies that you had a better day.

Humans are at their best when they ar immersed in something challenging.

Current psychology suggests that To Build your working life around the experience of flow produced by deep work is a proven path to deep satisfaction.

Rule #1 integrate deep work into schedule.

Simple Rituals such as planning when, where and what success looks like when doing deep work takes the mental friction away from planning deep work and allows you to think clearer. (Charles Darwin example)

In order to maximize success you need to systematize the efforts that support deep work so you don’t waste mental energy on what you need. 

Zagarnic effect: incomplete tasks will dominate your attention throughout the day, which is why it’s important to turn off work at the end the day and have a planned shutdown ritual. 

Embrace boredom. 

Must train the ability to think deep as it is a skill that needs to be practiced and developed. 

Our minds are rewired to be constantly distracted which is something you crave. 

Practice productive meditation during times when your body is physically distracted but not mentally such as walking the dog

Structure deep thinking process. 

Schedule every minute of your workday

Fixed schedule meta habits can help orient your time to deep work instead of shallow work. 

Become hard to reach by setting up sender filters, do more work when you send and reply to emails and don’t respond. 

Send ambiguous responses to email so that you avoid long email chains. 

Make people do more work to contact you so you avoid distractions.

Books Business Hacks

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad

Author: James Clear

My Rating: 5/5

Summary. A straightforward and simple approach to developing habits that last.

My Takeaways:

Small good or bad habits compound over time. 

It’s not about the end goal, but implementing systems of continuous 1% increase of good habits over time that achieve a goal at a moment in time. 

When you achieve a goal, it’s only temporary. To improve over time, you need to fix the inputs of the system to get better outputs. 

Successfully implementing good habits isn’t about fixing an outcome, but changing your identity.

Your identity emerges out of your habits. 

Every action is a vote for the person you wish to become. 

The real reason habits matter is because they can make you change your beliefs about yourself

Easier to implement new habits by “habit stacking.”

Make habits easy to start by removing friction

2 minute rule

Use visuals to track habits. Visualizing a good habit being completed makes the habit stick. (I.e Move paper clips into a jar after every sales call.)

Make good habits easy and satisfying. Make bad habits difficult and dissatisfying. 

Win by being different by combining 2 strengths where you are better than most other people. (Being specialized)

You have to fall in love with boredom to make a habit successful over the long term. 

Goldie lox rule

Books Business Hacks Investing Philosophy Technology

The Almanac of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness

Buy on Amazon

Author:Eric Jorgenson

My recommendation: 5/5

Summary: Naval Ravikant is someone who’s views on the world I greatly respect. This books organized his thoughts and views on life, business, generating wealth, happiness and philosophy..

My Takeaways:

Wealth is a skill that can be learned

Do not trade time for money, you should own a piece of a business (equity) to generate true wealth.

You will get rich by giving society what it wants, but does not know how to get it at scale. 

Pick an industry with long term games with long term people. 

The best skills to learn are selling and building.

Arm yourself with specific knowledge accountability and leverage

Specific knowledge is knowledge that you can’t train for. If society can train you, then they can train someone else and replace you.

Embrace accountability and take business risks under your own name. Society will reward you a specific equity responsibility and leverage

Fortunes require leverage. Leverage can be capital, people and product with no marginal cost to replicate, code and media in the context of business leverage

Reading is faster than listening and doing is faster than watching.

There are no get rich quick schemes, those are just others getting rich off of you. 

Productize yourself.

The internet enables any niche interest as long as you’re the best person to scale it out.

Escape competition through authenticity.

The most important skill to becoming rich is becoming a perpetual learner.

Foundations are key. It’s much better to be a 9/10 or a 1o/ 10 on the foundations then to get super deep into things.

Follow your intellectual curiosity more than whatever is hot right now. If you like it now but will be bored with a later, then it’s a distraction.

Set a very high aspirational rate for yourself and outsource any tasks that are below your rate for your time.

The only way to build wealth is to build a business that is leveraged. Leverage comes in the form of labor capital, code and media.

Those attacking wealth creation are playing an old status game that is a zero sum game. Avoid status games as much as possible such as politics.

The way to get out of the competition trap is to be authentic. This is by doing something you love. 

Apply specific knowledge with leverage and eventually you will get what you deserve.

You get rich by saving your time to make more money. 

Lean into the short term pain for the long term gain.

Read books on the foundations first. The order in which you acquire knowledge through reading is important.

The best way to retain information from books is to teach it to others.

Happiness is there when you remove the sense that something is missing. 

Easy choices, easy life. Hard choices, hard life.

Don’t build your checklists based on what someone else thinks.

The harder the workout, the easier the day. 

Meditation is fasting for the mind.

Accept everything. Choice-less awareness.

All benefits from life come from compound interest. Long term decisions instead of short term decisions.


Books Business Hacks Investing Marketing Technology

Tools of Titans

Go to Amazon page

Author: Timothy Ferris

My recommendation: 5/5


Insightful book that deconstructs how world-class performers across different industries and professions are able to achieve success. I skipped around this book and read the chapters that seemed most interesting to me.

My Takeaways

  • Raise prices. (Marc Andressen)
  • Stress test ideas with a red team. Bash the sh*t out of an idea and if you still believe it, then commit to that idea. (Marc Andressen)
  • “Be so good, they can’t ignore you.” (Marc Andressen)
  • Wear something unique so people remember you. (Chris Sacca)
  • Try to trade the short term gain for the long term upside. (Arnold Schwarzenegger)
  • It’s often the tiny detailed things that grow your business rather than the large things. (i.e. Derek Sivers’ funny CDbaby email.)
  • Give lots of damns. (i.e. Alexis Ohanian’s example of making the copy on Reddit’s error page funny.)
  • Being busy is a form of laziness and often used as a guise for avoiding the few critical important but uncomfortable actions. (Tim Ferris)
  • On commonalities of famous investors interviewed by Tony Robbins:
    • Always cap the downside.
    • Find investing opportunities that have asymmetric risk and reward. 
  • Daily vlogging leads to massive growth. (Casey Neistat)
  • “Tell me something that’s true that few people agree with you on.“ (Peter Theil)
  • First Ten Principal:. Tell ten people, show ten people and share with ten people who already trust and like you. (Seth Godin)
  • Generate a list of 10 bad ideas as a daily exercise to refine the creativity muscle. (James Altucher)
  • If you can’t be first in a category, set up a new category you can be first in when launching products. 
  • Think categories, not brands when marketing a product or service. 
  • Everyone wants what’s new, not better. 
  • When you’re first in a new category, promote the category. In essence you have no competition. Tim applied this concept by coining the term “Lifestyle Design” in his book ‘The 4 Hour Workweek’. 
  • Don’t be afraid to do something you’re not qualified to do. 
  • Rainy Sethi sends simple text emails to make a more personal connection. 
  • Focus on acquiring 1,000 true fans (super fans) who will pay you directly for anything and everything you sell. 1,000 true fans are your direct source of income and chief marketing force for ordinary fans. 
  • Take “the coffee challenge” by asking for 10% off your cup of coffee at a coffee shop. This gets you in the habit of asking for what you want in life. 
  • Have a backup plan. (Jocko Willink)
Books Business Hacks

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)

Go to Amazon page

Author: Hal Elrod

My recommendation: 2/5


Self-help book written by someone who experienced a near death experience and improved his life through a morning ritual that he refined over time. This book was a bit preachy for me and the author could have cut out about half the book to convey his key points. Nevertheless, the ‘The Miracle Morning’ does have some great practical tips for developing morning habits that lead to more productivity.

My Takeaways

  • The last thought at night is the first thought in the morning
  • Keep the alarm clock across the room. Movement creates energy. 
  • Brush your teeth and use mouthwash. 
  • Drink a full glass of water. 
  • Get dressed or take a shower 
  • Bedtime affirmations are important. Set intentions. 
  • Set timer for bedroom lights. 
  • Set timer for bedroom heater – warm for waking up. 
  • Set motivational alarm clock messages that are positive. 
  • Follow the SAVERS ritual in the morning to be more productive throughout the day.:
    • Silence: Be silent in a separate room for clarity. Practice meditation by silencing the mind. This has scientific health benefits. 
    • Affirmations: Affirmations are crucial for framing your thoughts and bringing positivity into your mind. Update affirmations regularly.
    • Visualization. Have a clear picture of the end result.
    • Exercise: Practice exercising by doing activities such as yoga.
    • Reading: Read to stimulate your mind.
    • Scribe: Write in a journal to note your thoughts.
  • Eat healthy. 
  • Habits take roughly 3 weeks to develop.