“Hard work is a Talent “ series

A collection of role models and motivations to start the day.

  1. How Mike Michalowicz Went From Unknown, Self-Published Author To Mainstream Publishing Success by Dorie Clark

Test and Measure. Once Michalowicz realized his initial hypothesis about his core readership was wrong, he became fascinated by the idea of testing. “I started doing statistical measurement of what appealed” to readers, says Michalowicz. “I used split testing software for my website, $99 bucks a month, and one of the things I tested was, are people more responsive to pictures or words? And no question, it was pictures. When there were more pictures, they stayed longer and dug deeper.” He even tested pictures of himself with and without his wedding ring on his homepage. The verdict? “The number of sign-ups increased by 20% or more when I had the wedding ring on my finger. The wedding ring, for my target audience, is a trust symbol — this guy is a little safer. I never would have known that.” Michalowicz has also tested pricing of the Kindle version of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur (TPE); the winner is $3.94, at least for now (he’s in the process of periodic retesting).

2. Tulio Baars

How readers would have benefited by seeing a profile a student like Tulio Baars, who has taken over 160 MOOCs to self-educate and used that knowledge to found an innovative new data analysis company! Tulio demonstrates the potential of today’s students to take advantage of the economy of scale that MOOCs provide to bootstrap themselves at low cost to an extraordinary education.

3. Born with malformed limbs, Chau pursues his dreams by learning to paint with his mouth

4. Read like Kaushik Basu

Excerpt from my ancient essay on why I read, written to encourage reading in school kids.

5. Read, Read, Read and Read More — advice from Russ Roberts

Videos and television and movies are great fun. But don’t spend too much time on them. Leave lots of time for getting smarter by reading. Read widely. Read some books more than once. Write in your books. Don’t finish every book you start. You might be able to read 2500 books in your lifetime. Maybe a few more than that. It’s still a very small number. Choose wisely.

6. Tom Peters Wants You to Read

Peters proceeded to debunk the premise of our call. “I kind of don’t buy the four-epiphany-books idea. For me, the whole reading thing is about triangulation,” he said. “I like to think I’m a half step ahead of the pack. But about three years ago, with all the crap that’s going on, particularly with technology, I realized that I was 25 steps behind. Since then I’ve probably read 200 books on this [technology-related] stuff that’s going on around us. I could give you 50 good ones — including Rise of the Robots [by Martin Ford] and Automate This [by Christopher Steiner] and, especially, The Second Machine Age, by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson.”

Peters doesn’t pretend that he’s on top of everything. But, he said, “I’ve read my way to the point where I am willing to say confidently that (a) I am not that far behind; (b) because I am reading, I am ahead of a lot of people who ought to be way ahead of me; and © I can talk to people who are kind of famous in this world and give them six things to read they haven’t read, which gets me through cocktail parties. There is a strategy, and the strategy is to read. If you read 100 books on a topic, you’ll get a lot smarter.

7. Gary Vaynerchuk writes in his 2009 book, Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion,

Here’s the deal: if you want it badly enough, the money is there, the success is there, and the fulfillment is there. All you have to do is take it. So quit whining, quit crying, quit with the excuses. If you already have a full-time job, you can get a lot done between 7: 00 P.M. and 2: 00 A.M. (9: 00 P.M. to 3: 00 A.M. if you’ve got kids), so learn to love working during those predawn hours. I promise it won’t be hard if you’re doing what you love more than anything else. I don’t care if your passion is rehabilitating abandoned ferrets; if you learn to tap into everything the digital world has to offer, you can turn water into wine — you can transform what you love into a legacy-building business that makes a crapload of money, and still be true to yourself.

So remember, ‘hard work is a talent’ as Gary Kasparov reminds us and be grateful.

Every line and curve appears in luminous definition, the colors shifting from green to blue to gold. “From afar you only see the pattern of the eye,” Nell says. “From up close you can see the bundles of barbules and coloration unique to each segment. There is a lot of beauty hidden that you can only see up close.

Uni. of Adelaide & Columbia Uni NY alum; World Bank, PFM, Global Development, Public Policy, Education, Economics, book-reviews, MindMaps, @iamaniku