Book Review: Rules of the Hunt


My current read is “Rules of the Hunt: Real World Advice for Entrepreneurial and Business Success, by Michael Dalton Johnson.  I found this book through Jeffrey Gitomer, who wrote the Forward.  This is a VERY easy book to read.  More of a bullet point approach to practical ideas and strategies.  Here are the points that stood out to me…

Chapter 1, Things they didn’t teach you in Business School:

“Formal education will make you a living.  Self-education will make you a fortune.”  -Jim Rohn

“A small box of exquisite chocolate truffles is remembered long after a two-pound box of so-so candy.  That’s all you need to know.”

Chapter Two, Leadership:

“Don’t tell people what to do; tell them who they are.  The most subtle and powerful rule you’ll ever learn for motivating people is to tell them who they are rather than telling them what to do.  Example: You’re at the DMV, and you approach the clerk with an exasperated expression.  You sigh and say, “This form is confusing; I can’t figure it out.”  The clerk looks at you disdainfully and advises you to read the instructions on the reverse of the form, looks past you and says, ‘Next.’  Now imagine approaching the same clerk with the same problem.  This time, however, you approach her with a smile and say, “You look like the person who can answer a couple of questions for me about this form.”  The clerk smiles back and says, “Let’s see what you’ve got here,” and quickly answers your questions.  In the first example, its all about you and your problem.  In the second example its all about the clerk.  You began your request by telling her who she is by acknowledging her as an expert with the knowledge that can help you.  She immediately wants to prove you right and she does.”

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”  -Michael Jordan

“The less detailed, the more empowering.  In business, if you are dealing with an experienced and competent associate, abbreviated instructions will sometimes get you the results you are looking for because they also empower the recipient.”

“Set unreasonably high goals for yourself.  I subscribe to Fred Bucy’s (former president and CEO of Texas Instruments) law which states, “Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.”  Become unreasonable, come on strong in this area, and have seemingly unattainable dreams.  Real progress often depends on unreasonable people.  Are your goals unreasonable?”

“Practice creative rule breaking.”

“Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.”  -Thomas A. Edison

“Be the leader.  Its your agenda.  Its your business.  Its your dream.  Its your responsibility.  Focus on the goals.  Share you vision.  Be kind.  Communicate clearly.  Do the work.  Get things done, and get them done today.  Maintain your integrity.  Set the example.  Leave excuses at the door.”

Chapter Three, Relationships:

“Three people you should take to lunch.  Invite your banker to lunch.  Its best to do this when you don’t need financial services and just want to introduce yourself.  Have a friendly conversation.  Tell her about your company and your long-term goals.  Bankers are great sources of referrals and introductions.  They meet a lot of business people.  Once they know you, they may send someone in need of your product or service.  If the time comes when you do need a loan or bank reference, you have the inside track.”

“Acquire champions.  Establish relationships with people like you and who are enthusiastic about what you are doing.  This can be almost anybody from your barber to your banker.  Champions are a wonderful source of referrals and can expand your business network.  If you are dealing with a large, bureaucratic organization, having a champion within the company really pays dividends.  Find one.  Be inclusive, not exclusive.  Imagine having several hundred advocates, some in very high places, who champion your business.  This group should include friends, family, vendors, employees and customers.”

“Let’s not do lunch.  You’ll get more done over a breakfast meeting, than you will at lunch or dinner.”

“You make a better impression with most people if you are sharply dressed.”

“Do talk to strangers.  Talk to strangers?  Bad advice for a kid, but good for an entrepreneur.”

“Reach out.  What I have long known instinctively was confirmed by Dr. J. Hornick, a researcher at the University of Chicago.  He found that a brief light touch on the upper arm of a person you are talking with forms a bond on a subconscious level.  It is subconsciously interpreted as an expression of warmth and a friendly desire to bond.”

“Let it be their idea.  When discussing an idea, I have found that often it is smart to introduce elements into a conversation that suggest a solution, but I never state the solution.  As such a conversation proceeds, the other party will suggest the solution – the one you had in mind all along.  At this point, you would be well served by exclaiming, ‘Perfect!’ or ‘Brilliant!’ and consider the deal done.  Devious?  I don’t know.  I’ve been married a long time and have had a lot of experience on the receiving end.”

“Let’s shake on it.”

“I can feel the twinkle of his eye in his handshake.” -Helen Keller

Chapter Four, Strictly Selling:

“Creating excitement and curiosity, identifying a problem, offering a solution, reciting the benefits of ownership, establishing credibility, adding value, up-selling, and ending it all with a strong call to action will close sales for nearly anyone.”

“Learn Telephone 101.  Note the phrase ‘I won’t waste your time’ is music to the prospect’s ears.  This opening can be adapted to almost any product or service you are selling.”

“This dog won’t hunt.  When you are interviewing a candidate for a sales position, always ask, ‘How much money did you make last year?’  If the candidate is shy about talking about a previous year’s earnings, take a pass.  If the applicant is shy about talking about money with you, odds are he or she will be uncomfortable talking about money with the prospect.  The ideal candidate will introduce the subject and ask, ‘How much can I make?’ within the first 20 or 30 minutes of an interview.  If a salesperson is the least hesitant at talking money, she or he is probably not the hungry carnivore you need.  This dog won’t hunt.”

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Happy Fathers Day!!

What a touching story. There is no greater job than being a father.  It is the most important and fulfilling.  I wish all of you fathers and father figures a happy Fathers Day. 

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Feeling the View.

It struck me today on my way home, how wonderful life is, particularly my life. I’m commuting my shortest commute of my life on public transportation in a city that I absolutely adore and fall deeper in love with everyday. I’m going to a home that I love to a wife I’m head over heels with and who elevates me to be a better person; and 5 amazing kids that remind me that life is wonderful and the blissful joy of the journey, namely discovery and growth; from a job that challenges me, develops me, stretches me into a leader and fulfills me; and made up of an amazing team that I am humbled to lead and who are willing to follow me as together we climb a company that I have tremendous respect for; all in a custom suit that feels amazing, and let’s face it, most likely makes my ass look great; surrounded throughout the world with caring friends who I love and who I’d walk through fire for; heading into a weekend full of family and my favorite sport, baseball played by my favorite athletes, my kids.

I won’t dismiss the providence, luck opportunity, gifts and blessings that I’ve been given, but I’ve worked my ass off for all of this. I don’t mean for this to sound self indulgent or boastful. Most days are full of self doubt, second guessing and demanding more of myself, and today I feel the blessings and for today, I am going to enjoy it. (Or at least right now I will).

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Self Talk

I am sitting here, watching Game 7 of the World Series. I love watching high pressure, high performance sports. Sports mimics Life. It takes your very best to win. Life is a high performance sport. The one with the biggest stakes and the most beautiful rewards.

Have you ever noticed athletes talking to themselves? Mouthing phrases? What do you think they are saying? Do you think they are reviewing all their doubts and failures? Do you think they are replaying all their mistakes? Wondering how they got there? No. They are self talking about excellence. They are reminding themselves that they deserve to be there at that time; that they are the best. Excellence takes best in class, unwavering self talk.

What are you saying to yourself? Are you your own worst enemy? There is enough negativity out there. Don’t contribute to those voices. Tell yourself how deserving you are. You are awesome.

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Vision for your day

I find the notion behind the very popular book, The Secret, to be a bit obnoxious. Namely just wish hard enough by sending vibes out to the universe and you will mysteriously be rewarded by that same universe with everything you want.

I hate it for the same reason that people equate success to luck or birth or ‘just at the right place at the right time.’ It leaves out the foundation of success: vision, planning, hard work, retooling, passion and resilience.

Now that bring said, they did get it right in one key area, a vibrant picture of your goals. I love to start many days (I try to mix it up) with this video. Decide what you want. Then, go hustle. Don’t wait for it to come to you.

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Go Change the World….

I love graduation speeches. The moment when young adults are on the precipice, looking at the vast open canvass of the future. That glance is both terrifying and liberating. I have always appreciated the wisdom of those who have gone before us, sharing the pitfalls and the thrills of the journey ahead. The world is at your feet. I still remember that moment in my life vividly.

To share a quote I received today from someone who is very important to me:
“But why think about that when all the golden lands ahead of you and all kinds of unforeseen events wait lurking to surprise you and make you glad your alive to see? –Jack Kerouac.

The graduation speech in general is about this quote. Go see it all. Build the life you want. This graduation speech is fantastic. I have enormous respect for our military, and specifically Navy SEALs. I’ve read about their training and that reading alone made me uncomfortable. Anyone who has lived it, is a rock star. They have earned the right to impart advise.

This is a great speech. Go change the world. It only starts with making your bed….

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If you knew you only had 5 years left…

If you were told by your doctor that you only had 5 years left to live, what would you do? Where would you go? Who would you call? What would you tell those you loved? What would you want to experience? What would you learn? Where and what would you eat? How sweet would every moment be? How happy would you force yourself to be? Would you roll over or LIVE!  Would you give a damn about what other people think?  Would you let fear rule you, or would you demand  the life you know you could live?  I’ve read that hell is nothing more than seeing what your life could have been if you had used your talents. What would that life look like?

If it would be that fulfilling for you when life has a deadline, why not do it now?  Why not live the life you could?  Because life does have a deadline. Enjoy the journey.  Wake up, live. Soak it up!!

As Jim Rohn says, “Regret weighs tons.”

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SURVIVAL Mode, (They don’t teach it in school)

SURVIVAL Mode, (They don’t teach it in school).

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Trust Thyself.

“Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events. Great men have always done so, and confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age, betraying their perception that the absolutely trustworthy was seated at their heart, working through their hands, predominating in all their being. And we are now men, and must accept in the highest mind the same transcendent destiny; and not minors and invalids in a protected corner, not cowards fleeing before a revolution, but guides, redeemers, and benefactors, obeying the Almighty effort, and advancing on Chaos and the Dark.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Powerful quote.  Dig deep.  Advance on the Chaos and the Dark.  Awesome.


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“Don’t pay attention to the critics. Don’t even ignore them.” –Samuel Goldwyn

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