(Book) The Road Less Stupid – Keith J. Cunningham

Kurt.nzBooks read, Business, career, finance

The road less stupid - Keith J. Cunningham

My summary notes: Intro: A great business book on leadership, delegation, asking the right questions, finding the cause not the symptom. Business is an intellectual sport. The dumb tax – how much money would you have if you could take back 2-3 dumb financial decisions? The discipline of thinking time. Not emotion. Start with a high value question. Find the unasked question. Separate the problem from the symptoms. Check assumptions. Consider second order consequences. Create the machine (plan and execute). “How might I… so that I can…?” Address the core problem, not the obvious symptom. Thinking time. 45min and 15min summary. No distractions. Few things are more common than unrewarded artistic and technical expertise. 4 hats. Creator, technician, owner, investor. Growth is inversely proportional to direct control. I.e. have to delegate, trust and check. Get a board to add valuable … Read More

(Book) The Effective Executive – Peter F. Drucker

Kurt.nzBooks read

The Effective Executive - Peter F. Drucker

My summary notes: Intro: The effective executive manages and leads himself first. Systems, rules, delegation, leadership. The knowledge worker produces ideas and information that someone else has to act on. Working on the right things. Knowledge work is defined by its results. Four realities: The executive’s time belongs to everybody else. Executives are forced to keep operating (i.e. not strategising) unless he changes the reality in which he works. Changes the work flow. He’s in an organisation reliant on other people to make use of what he contributes. The results are outside the organisation. Unless executives work at becoming effective, the realities of their situation will push them into futility. Five practices: Time management Results oriented Building strengths Concentrate on a few major areas Make the right important decisions Don’t start with tasks. Start with time and allocate it. In … Read More

(Book) The 7 habits of highly effective people – Stephen R. Covey

Kurt.nzBooks read

The 7 habits of highly effective people Stephen R. Covey

My summary notes: Production vs production capability. Short or long term thinking. Getting the output but taking care of the machine. Read and learn as if you have to teach someone the next day. Be proactive. Take initiative, take responsibility and ownership. Act or be acted upon. Focus on your circle of influence, not circle of concern. Begin with the end in mind. Endstate. Everything is created twice, planning and doing. Visualisation. Important things we tend to delay: Prevention, self-improvement, relationship building, recognising new opportunities, planning, recreation. Roles: Personal development, spouse, parent, business owner, community service, church member, fellow human. Stewardship management. Moving yourself away from the fulcrum so output increases, by effectively delegating. Trust is the highest form of motivation. Expectations need to be explicit, and at the start of any relationship. Win/win or no deal. Four kinds of … Read More

Highlights from the weekly Kurt bulletin



Here are a few excerpts from the bulletin I send every Friday. The bulletin is a collection of 5 things you may find helpful. If you’d like to see more, sign up! Thought of the week “In theory there’s no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.”-Jan L. A. van de Snepscheut, computer scientist What are you theorising about that you just need to put into practice to test? Turning an old laptop into a Chromebook Another project I’ve completed is converting an old Dell Inspiron Mini laptop into a Chromebook for the kids. I’ve had this laptop for about 10 years and eventually the Windows 7 starter edition it came with just wouldn’t boot up. So I erased it all and made it a simple Chromebook. You can surf the net, watch movies and do basic … Read More

(Book) Influence – Robert B. Cialdini

Kurt.nzBooks read, Business, career, finance, Personal development


Various ways to influence and persuade people through scarcity, urgency, reciprocation, consistency, commitment, social proof, liking and authority. Highlights from the book: Weapons of influence As the stimuli saturating our lives continue to grow more intricate and variable, we will have to depend increasingly on our shortcuts to handle them all. And even when it is not initially successful, she can mark the article “Reduced from __” and sell it at its original price while still taking advantage of the “expensive=good” reaction to the inflated figure. Simply put, if the second item is fairly different form the first, we will tend to see it as more different than it actually is. So if we lift a light object first and then lift a heavy object, we will estimate the second object to be heavier than if we had lifted it … Read More

(Book) The E-Myth Revisited – Michael E. Gerber

Kurt.nzBooks read, Business, career, finance


A tactical book on the common reasons why businesses fail, and what to do about it. Knowing how to do the work is a lot different from knowing how to run a business. Everybody is a combination of 3 people: Technician, manager, entrepreneur. It’s knowing which one you need to be at certain times that’s the key. It advocates setting up a business as if it were a franchise, being able to replicate and systemise everything. The E-Myth Revisited (highlights) People who are exceptionally good in business aren’t so because of what they know but because of their insatiable need to know more. The mundane, tedious little things done right make a business great. Business is a way to know ourselves. A mirror to what we know and how we act. Just because you like baking pies doesn’t mean you … Read More

A brain dump of business ideas

Kurt.nzBusiness, career, finance


I don’t know what it is about me, but I can’t stop myself coming up with business ideas. Not just business ideas for the sake of business, but better ways to do things. More effective ways. This is a great habit, but it can also be dangerous. Instead of thinking specifically about the problems or goals I’m working on, my mind can wander. I may be trying to work through a marketing plan, and I find myself thinking about how cool it would be to have a QR code on my kids pyjamas, with a link to a bedtime story. So any idea I get, I write it down and try and forget about it. If more ideas about it pop into my head, I’ll add them to it. Eventually I may have a few bullet points about the idea, … Read More

(Book) Your move: The underdog’s guide to building your business – Ramit Sethi

Kurt.nzBooks read, Business, career, finance


A direct, to-the-point, guide on how to sell. Yes, it covers more than just selling but this is the main point of the book. It has some good tips and examples, not just to do with actual selling techniques but it addresses our beliefs and mindsets first. In brief: Make sure your product/service is great Focus on the customer and ensure you’re giving them exactly what they want Be bold in selling, the more you sell, the more value you can create Your move: The underdog’s guide to building your business – Ramit Sethi (highlights) But when you start your own business, there’s no limit to how much you can earn. But the biggest failures aren’t things you did. They’re things you didn’t do. And I still read books and get advice from people whose businesses are a fraction of … Read More

(Book) Anything you want – Derek Sivers

Kurt.nzBooks read, Business, career, finance, Lifestyle, family, community, Personal development


This book is worth 10 years of life and business experience and it only takes about an hour to read. I suggest you just read it, even if you’re not in business. It’s a great reality check for a lot of areas in life. You can do anything you want. Choose wisely. My notes from the book: What’s your compass? Don’t pursue little distractions in life because you don’t know which way to go. Chase your big dreams. Making a company is a great way to improve yourself to the world. It’s your utopia where you design your perfect world. Your business plan is moot. You don’t know what people really want until you start doing it. With CD Baby, Derek wasn’t trying to make a business. He started off helping a few friends out and, with his love of … Read More

Turning everything into a win (minimising the downside)

Kurt.nzBusiness, career, finance, Personal development


When I travelled to Europe a few years ago I learned French and Spanish using a bunch of Michel Thomas audio CD’s Side note: If you’re wanting to learn French, Spanish and a number of other languages you should definitely look him up at michelthomas.com, if you learn best by listening (like I do) then he’s the way to go. I managed to listen to over 24 hours of lessons in the three months before I left. I did this by simply replacing the music/radio in my car to language lessons instead. 40 minutes commute each way every day adds up to a lot of potentially wasted time! It got me thinking. How can we turn potentially wasted or not ideal situations into something that actually benefits us? Not just by recovering wasted time, but by using situations or experiences … Read More