Book Summaries

Cryptocurrency Trading & Investing Beginners Guide by Aimee Vo Book Summary

★★★ Sign up to the Weekly Book Summary Newsletter by CLICKING HERE

DOWNLOAD THE PDF SUMMARY HERE: Cryptocurrency Trading & Investing

Chapter 1: Cryptocurrency Basics & The Blockchain

What Is A Cryptocurrency?

“A cryptocurrency is a form of digital money that uses encryption to verify transactions between peers on a distributed ledger in a decentralized network”.

What does this mean? basically cryptocurrencies allow two unknown people to safely transfer money to each other from different locations without relying on a bank or government (decentralized network).

Benefits of Cryptocurrencies:

No clearing house required

It’s low cost and efficient to move

A market value can be placed on the currency

Handles the double spending problem

Risks of Cryptocurrencies:

Financing of illegal activities

High risk of loss

Increased regulation

High volatility

The First Cryptocurrency – Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency created in 2009 by the pseudonymous ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ and is a distributed peer-to-peer payment system.

It’s known as a “digital cash” system that allows you to securely store and move money around the world without the requirement of banks or government authorities.

The Blockchain

A blockchain is essentially a database of records on a public ledger containing all transactions that have been executed and shared among participating parties.

Each transaction in this public ledger is verified by a consensus of a majority of the participants in the system. Once transaction or information is entered on the blockchain, it cannot be tampered with or erased.

Bitcoin’s Blockchain

Bitcoin’s blockchain maintains a chronologically-ordered, time-stamped global ledger file of all transactions from the very start of its operation since 2009.

Since only you can spend your Bitcoins, each wallet is protected by a special cryptographic method using a unique pair of keys: a Public key and Private key.

Bitcoin Mining

About every ten minutes, a “miner” who owns a node/computer on the network will try to solve a “block” that contains the latest transaction data in it, using cryptographic hash functions.

Once a miner solves the block, they broadcast the solution to all the miners in the network and are rewarded with Bitcoins.

Chapter 2: Bitcoin Wallets & Buying Bitcoin

A Bitcoin wallet is like a bank account – it stores, secures and allows you to send and receive Bitcoins. In particular, a wallet stores your private keys and public keys. The public key is used to send/receive money and the private key is what actually gives you access to your account.

Types of Bitcoin Wallets

Hot Wallet – A “hot wallet” refers to any kind of online storage wallet.

Cold Wallet – A “cold wallet” refers to any kind of offline storage wallet.

1. Software Wallets:





2. Online Wallets:


3. Hardware wallets

4. Paper Wallets

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Wallet:

Frequency of use

Ease of use


Buying Bitcoin Anywhere In The World

There are a lot of sites shared in this chapter, and it’s sorted by places; such as U.S., Europe, Russia, China, Japan etc..

Chapter 3: Top 6 Cryptocurrencies





NEO (Formerly Antshares)


Chapter 4: Cryptocurrency Trading Foundation

Trading the markets, be it equities, forex or cryptocurrencies is an industry where you compete with so many incredibly smart people – all fighting to survive or become very rich.

Some people trade for the wrong reasons:

Trading for “easy money”

Trading for “entertainment”

Trading on “ego”

Trade because you..

Are tired of paying for bad financial advice

Want to practice crypto trading to make some extra income or

Want to invest in a long term crypto portfolio for growth

Types Of Traders


Day traders

Swing traders

Position traders

Trading Psychology

“Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful” – Warren Buffett

When the market goes up you’re happy as pie, you feel smart and even consider yourself a “genius”. When it goes down, you start to doubt yourself and feel uneasy.

As a trader, managing your emotions requires self awareness, acknowledging the risk ahead of time and sizing your position to reflect your emotional capacity.

The 3 Enemies of Trading




The 7 Habits Of A Successful Trader



Keep Learning

Review your trades


Remain Calm


Best Cryptocurrency Trading Exchanges

To recap, cryptocurrency exchanges are websites where you can buy, sell or exchange cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH and LTC.

To actively trade in other alt coins, you will need a cryptocurrency trading exchange that offers the ability to trade a variety of coins.






Crypto Margin Trading – Going Long or Short

Margin trading allows you to trade with borrowed money and have a larger trading position in the market without having to spend your own money. It’s a higher risk trading strategy and not recommended for everyone.

Chapter 5: Crypto Trading Plan & Building A Diversified Portfolio

Whether you trade in cryptocurrencies for the short term to earn extra income or invest in cryptocurrencies to build a portfolio – you will need a trading plan or investment strategy.

There are 2 main strategies you can use:

Crypto Trading Plan – this plan is geared towards swing / short term trading and allows you to take advantage of market swings by making small profits along the way.

Building a Diversified Crypto Portfolio – The goal here is to build a diversified crypto portfolio of quality coins by purchasing them on the dips and “dollar cost average” in to lower the average cost per coin and position your portfolio for growth.

Rules for crypto trading plan:

Don’t short Bitcoin

Dollar cost average (DCA) in

Do not panic

If you are 100% invested

Set stop or limit orders:

A stop order

A limit order

Building A Diversified Crypto Portfolio

This strategy focuses on the long game by building a diversified crypto portfolio of quality coins where you dollar cost average in and buy on dips. You don’t put all your eggs (or coins) in one basket to protect against market fluctuations.

Coin Allocation For a Growth Portfolio

Instead of recommending specific coins, I have a rule of thumb on how much of each coin market capitalization category you should allocate your portfolio in. It’s also advisable that you conduct your own research to validate the quality of the coin (refer to the next chapter “Fundamental Analysis For Cryptocurrencies & ICOs”).

Rules For Building A Portfolio:

Diversify coins in your portfolio

Do your research

Manage your emotions

How To Build A Cryptocurrency Portfolio With $500

Before you begin, there’s 2 main requirements you need to get going:

A minimum of $500 investment

Have your exchange logins and wallet addresses ready

Chapter 6: Crypto Fundamental Analysis & Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

In traditional investing, fundamental analysis is:   “the evaluation of a company’s financial health and viability – by looking at economic and business factors to determine a security’s value”

Fundamental Analysis

Here are a few factors to consider when taking a position in alt coins or investing in ICOs:

User adoption

Developer and community activity

Technological specifications and features of the coin

Market capitalization

Distribution or supply of coins

Rate of inflation

Coin’s volume in trading

News events

Investing In Profitable ICOs

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are a powerful tool for startups to raise capital by selling “tokens”. These token sales help create decentralized communities, kickstart network effects and provide capital for creators in the development of their technology.

On that note, investing in ICOs and turning a profit is still possible using the “Fundamental Research & ICO checklist” provided towards the end of this chapter with a few ICO specific things to keep in mind:

The coin/token must have a clear purpose

Caution on ICOs with high amount of capital to raise

An oversupply of tokens without sufficient demand

Look for a high quality website

Look for an experienced and qualified team

Find out where the company is located

Hype on social media or celebrity endorsements

List of ICO Resources

Chapter 8: Technical Analysis

Whilst fundamental analysis focuses on establishing if a coin is over or undervalued, technical analysis looks at its historical price charts to measure buying/selling activity and to forecast future price movements.

Price Fields

Technical analysis is based almost entirely on the analysis of price and volume.


Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin in particular has a reputation for being highly volatility. Volatility is defined as the price fluctuation of a given asset over time.

Support & Resistance

Support and resistance forms the basis for nearly every technical indicator because it indicates the supply and demand of a coin.

Resistance becomes support

When a resistance level is successfully penetrated, that level becomes a support level. Similarly, when a support level is successfully penetrated, that level becomes a resistance level.

Trend Lines

A trend differs from support/resistance levels in that trends represent change, whereas support/resistance levels represent barriers to change.

Trend lines helps identify the overall direction of where the coin is moving. Prices are said to be “trending” when they are heading in a clear direction.

Trading Volume

Trading volume plays an important role in evaluating price trends. Generally, high trading volume points to stronger price trends. Likewise low trading volume points to weaker price trends.

Moving Averages

A technical indicator used to simplify the trend of a coin is “moving averages”.

There are several types of moving averages, however the main ones used are:

Simple Moving Average (SMA)

Exponential Moving Average (EMA)

Moving Average Convergence / Divergence (MACD)

Relative Strength Index

The Relative Strength Index (RSI) is a momentum indicator used to identify whether prices are at temporary extremes and likely to reverse. It is primarily used in an attempt to identify overbought or oversold trading in a coin.

Stochastic RSI

The Stochastic RSI indicator is used to identify overbought and oversold conditions – typically used for scalping and intra-day trading. It’s a momentum indicator that calculates a value between 0 and 1 which is then plotted as a line. For trading purposes, the lines are set at 0.8 and 0.20.

Head and Shoulders Patterns

The head-and-shoulders pattern is not an indicator, it’s a trend reversal pattern. There are two types of heads and shoulders pattern: “head-and-shoulders top” and “head-and-shoulders bottom/inverse”

Double Tops or Bottoms Patterns

Like the head-and-shoulders pattern, the double top or bottom forecasts a trend reversal. Spotting this chart pattern is fairly simple.

For a double top, a coin will test a specific price level (usually at the resistance line) on two occasions. Double top patterns occurs after an uptrend and indicates future selling.

Fibonacci Retracement

In trading, Fibonacci retracements are often used to identify trends and understand price action. If you’re new to Fibonacci, it’s a sequence of numbers, after 0 and 1, where each number is the sum of the two prior numbers.

The sequence is as follows: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610 and so on

Identifying Bull Trend Reversals

My goal is to always buy low, sell high and very rarely do I long or short margin trade alt coins as I want to minimize risk.

Mostly I’m looking for early signs of bull trend reversals using 5 steps:

Step 1: Look for a capitulation candles in the downward trend:

Where traders bought high, gave up and sell low.

Usually a deep red candle with a long wick with high trading volume.

The deep red candle occurs later in the downward trend.

Step 2: The downward trend re-tests the previous support line

Step 3: A breakout of the downward trend

With a dominance of green candle forming uptrend

Step 4: A series of higher lows

Step 5: An inverse head and shoulder pattern appears

Full confirmation of the trend reversal appears in the breakout of the neck line of the head and shoulders pattern.


50 Words to Your Dreams Chapter 45 Sales by Michael George Knight



Sales is the ability to persuade other people to your idea, product, service or your way of thinking. On your path to success you are going to need to acquire the skill of sales to sell people on your dreams and goals. Life is not a one-person show, we live in a society with over 7 billion people living on earth. For your dreams to manifest into existence, it is going to involve people who will need to be sold on your goals, products, services and your vision.


If you cannot sell others on your dreams, chances are they will always stay a dream for you and never become a reality. That is why sales is such an important skill to develop and utilize.


We are all in the sales game, no matter what you do in life. Just look at the natural sales skills a child demonstrates to their parents. Always getting attention, persuading, always pushing, always asking and not taking no as an answer. Child are remarkable displaying their natural sales ability, but throughout the growth stages into adult life it seems to be lost for the many. The beautiful thing about sales is it is a skill and any skill can be developed and learned.



Understand that nothing in life happens until someone is sold. A man selling himself to a woman, a woman selling herself to a man, a company selling themselves through an ad persuading you to buy their product or service. A person selling themselves in a job interview. The list goes on and on. We live in a world where everything is for sale and you are constantly being sold on what to think, do and buy. Selling makes things happen, without the transfer of selling and buying not much happens in the world. Progress is made through the transaction of selling, persuading and closing.



If no one is cheering for you, encouraging you, pushing you, educating you, supporting you, you have no other choice than to sell you on you. Sell you on your gifts and talents, your work ethic, your attitude, your dreams, your goals, your aspirations and your future. Be your own cheerleader, be your own number one fan. Love yourself if no one out their shows you love. Many people don’t sell themselves on themselves and fail to reach their dreams because their lack of belief in themselves, waiting for someone to come into their life with the magic key. Not knowing its in their own mind not in the pocket of someone else. That key is their mind, your mind is maker or destroyer of your dreams either selling you on why you can or why you can’t. The only difference is one little letter t, that t stands for thought. Can or can’t is only a thought, not a reality, a reality only when accepted as truth, so sell you on you and be sold on your dreams.



A huge reason why many people don’t live their dreams is because their dreams never leaves the lips of their mouth, locked up in the mind of the dreamer afraid to tell another soul. Locked up as thoughts in the mind never being heard outside of the head. How are people going to help you achieve your dreams when you never speak into existence the very dreams you daydream about with your eyes open, but heart closed. Open your heart to others and start selling your dreams to people. Talk about your visions, aspirations, goals, dreams and your future. Speak with enthusiasm, speak with confidence, speak with certainty that one day you will achieve. By selling your dreams to people, you in turn sell yourself on your dreams. By explaining to another your thoughts, you in turn clarify your mission. You open yourself up to either criticism or encouragement, feedback or an insult. But most importantly you open yourself to the universe by putting your dreams into words and speaking them into existence. Let people shine a light on your darkness to make the way brighter for you and the path to dream clearer. Sell people on your dreams and they might just sell you on your dream.



  • A positive attitude is a thousand times more important than the product itself. Remember that a product can be shopped, but a great attitude cannot. A price can be beat, but a great attitude is priceless. There’s nothing more valuable to anyone than a positive person. (Grant Cardone)
  • A sale is made in every exchange of ideas or communication, there are no exceptions. (Grant Cardone)
  • A salesman cannot know too much but he can talk too much. (Frank Bettger)
  • A salesman who can’t close deals won’t like selling. (Grant Cardone)
  • All successful sales professionals utilize listening skills to their fullest. (Zig Ziglar)
  • Any form of effort through which one person persuades another to cooperate is salesmanship. (Napoleon Hill)
  • Be an able salesman and you can be almost anything else you wish to be. (Napoleon Hill)
  • Emotion makes the prospects take action now, and logic enables them to justify the purchase later. (Zig Ziglar)
  • Every successful person knows how to sell what they offer. Enthusiasm and organization are the basic elements in selling. (Dale Carnegie)
  • Everything in life is a sale and everything you want is a commission. (Grant Cardone)
  • Force yourself to act enthusiastic, and you’ll become enthusiastic. (Frank Bettger)
  • Hard work is the only thing that will turn sales training and ability into money. No amount of good health, courage, or imagination is worth a dime unless it is put to work. The amount of pay a salesman gets is usually fixed by the amount of very hard, intelligent work that he actually puts out. Many people side-step this factor of success. (Napoleon Hill)
  • If a man attains a high station in life, it is because he has acquired or was blessed with a natural ability as a salesman. (Napoleon Hill)
  • If we can give someone a reason for buying and an excuse for buying, the chances are rather dramatically improved that he will buy. (Zig Ziglar)
  • If you take care of your customers, they’ll take care of you. (J. J. Pocock)
  • In sales, it’s not what you say; it’s how they perceive what you say. (Jeffrey Gitomer)
  • Interestingly enough, the more salespeople know about their prospects needs, the better position they are in to meet those needs. Not only that, but the trust factor goes up when the prospects see salespeople intensely listening to their needs and desires. (Zig Ziglar)
  • It’s not what you sell, it’s how you sell. (Matthew Dixon)
  • Make the individual more important than the individual sale, and you’ll make more sales. (Grant Cardone)
  • Most salespeople I meet spend too much time selling the product and forget that selling is 80 percent people and 20 percent product. (Grant Cardone)
  • Never forget a customer; never let a customer forget you. (Frank Bettger)
  • New customers are the best source of new business. New customers! (Frank Bettger)
  • None of us buy products. We all buy products of the product which are called benefits or need solutions. In short, we don’t buy what the product is; we buy what the product does for us. (Zig Ziglar)
  • One demonstration is worth more than a thousand words. If possible, let the customer perform the demonstration. Let the customer help you make the sale. (Frank Bettger)
  • Our success in most any type of activity will always be in exact ratio to our ability to influence people. And the best way I know to influence people is to care enough, to know enough, to serve them well. (Earl Nightingale)
  • People buy personalities and ideas much more quickly than they buy merchandise. (Napoleon Hill)
  • People buy what they want when they want it more than they want the money it costs. (Zig Ziglar)
  • Quit the business you think you’re in right now and get into the people business. (Grant Cardone)
  • Remember that people are motivated to buy, or not to buy, through their feelings. Remember also that much of what they believe to be, their own “feelings,” consist, in reality, of thought impulses which they have unconsciously picked up from vibrations of thought released by the salesman. (Napoleon Hill)
  • Salespeople should take lessons from their kids. What does the word ‘no’ means to a child? Almost nothing. (Jim Rohn)
  • Salespeople make the world go round. Salespeople drive entire economies. (Grant Cardone)
  • See things from the other person’s point of view and talk in terms of his wants, needs, desires (Frank Bettger)
  • Selling is a prerequisite for life. Selling impacts every person on this planet. Your ability or inability to sell, persuade, negotiate, and convince others will affect every area of your life and will determine how well you survive. (Grant Cardone)
  • Selling is the art of persuading your prospects to buy your solutions to their problems and wants. (Jack Collis)
  • Selling is the art of planting in the mind of another a motive which will induce favourable action. (Napoleon Hill)
  • Selling is the easiest job in the world if you work it hard, but the hardest job in the world if you try to work it easy. (Frank Bettger)
  • Selling isn’t an innate ability. It is a set of identifiable skills that could be learned. (Matthew Dixon)
  • Selling with integrity is the only way you can build a long-term career with the same company selling the same product to the same people, which brings sales stability and financial security. (Zig Ziglar)
  • Service is the key to success. Don’t just sell things; find out what people really want. This requires greater than normal thought and observation. (Russell Conwell)
  • Showmanship is not only one of the important factors in master salesmanship, but it is important in practically every other calling. An efficient showman is one who can dramatize the commonplace events of life and give them the interesting appearance of uniqueness. Efficient showmanship calls for sufficient imagination to be able to recognize things, people and circumstances, which are capable of being dramatized. (Napoleon Hill)
  • Successful salesmen groom themselves with care. (Napoleon Hill)
  • The best salespeople do not “sell” they find out what the other person wants, then help them find the best way to get it. (Frank Bettger)
  • The first, and probably the most important, step in selling anything: Sell yourself first! (Frank Bettger)
  • The importance of integrity in building a sales career. With integrity you have nothing to fear because you have nothing to hide. (Zig Ziglar)
  • The master salesman becomes a master because of his or her ability to induce other people to act upon motives without resistance or friction. (Napoleon Hill)
  • The master salesman paints a word picture of the thing he if offering for sale. The canvas on which he paints in the imagination of the prospective buyer. (Napoleon Hill)
  • The most important sale, selling yourself. Only to the degree you are sold can you sell. (Grant Cardone)
  • The most important specialized skills are sales and understanding marketing. (Robert Kiyosaki)
  • The wisest and best salesman is always the one who bluntly tells the truth about his article. He looks his prospective customer in the eye and tells his story. That is always impressive. And if he does not sell the first time, he leaves a trail of trust behind. A customer, as a rule, cannot be fooled a second time by some shady or clever talk that does not square with the truth. Not the best talker wins the sale but the most honest talker, there is something in the look of the eye, the arrangement of words, the spirit of a salesman that immediately compels trust or distrust, being bluntly honest is always safe and best. (George Matthew Adams)
  • There is the whole thing in a nutshell. There is the whole foundation of this business of selling – Calls! (Frank Bettger)
  • To be an effective salesperson, you have to believe in human beings. You have to have a positive outlook about people. You have to believe that people are good and that they want to make the right decision. Your buyers are just like you. (Grant Cardone)
  • To become a master salesman you must daily engage in study time, reading time, thinking time, and planning time. (Napoleon Hill)
  • When a salesman stops making enough calls, frequently the real reason is that he has lost interest and enthusiasm for his own sales story. (Frank Bettger)
  • When you realize that the prospect is human, you are less likely to be intimidated. (Zig Ziglar)
  • Women are the greatest salespeople on earth. They are superior to men because they are more subtle, more dramatic, and use greater finesse. Men often believe they are selling themselves to women in proposals of marriage. Generally, however, it is the woman who does the selling. She does it by making herself charming, attractive and alluring. (Napoleon Hill)


That’s a wrap on

50 Words to Your Dreams

Chapter 45: Sales

Let me know your thoughts on Chapter 45

If you need some accountability in your life

connect with me for a free coaching sessions at  

For 100’s of Video, Written & Audio Book Summaries check out our website

Stay tuned for Chapter 46 in the series “Leadership”


50 Words to Your Dreams Chapter 44 Discipline by Michael George Knight


Discipline can be described as doing what you know you should do, when it ought to be done whether you feel like it or not. We all know what we should do but we don’t apply self-discipline to push through the excuses to get it done. Excuses are easy, everyone has them.

They are cheap just like opinions, it’s discipline that throws excuses to the curb and gets the job done. David Goggins says “Don’t talk about it, be about it. The number one discipline that you need for success is never giving up and never stop taking action.


Discipline is the surest way to make your dreams a reality. The discipline of taking action on your highest priorities, not your lowest. Discipline of waking up early and getting after it, discipline of self-education, discipline of reading, discipline to get your body in optimal shape so it can provide you with the strength and energy you need to live an energetic life. Disciple to eat and drink that the right stuff. Discipline to stay on the health track instead of the dirt road to sickness. Discipline of putting yourself out there and dealing with rejection and setbacks while continuing to move forward no matter what. No one who has ever achieved anything worth wild hasn’t applied discipline in their life, no one! Remember Disciplined Action x Time = Success.



Discipline never goes away because discipline is a choice acted upon, and guess what we make choices every minute of every day. Seemly small inconsequential choices of what to do next. The choice of what to do next is a never escaping choice that we are presented with in the now, which is always our present moment. It’s your discipline or lack of discipline that is going to determine if your next actions are goal achieving actions or tension reliving actions. Discipline is minute by minute, action by action, thought by thought.



Schedule discipline into your tomorrow today. How simple, yet difficult for most. Most things in life are simple but difficult. Simply prioritize your top 3 goals in life. Break them down into daily actionable steps for achievement and schedule those action steps into your tomorrow. Create time in your tomorrow’s schedule to take disciplined goal achieving actions. Simple yes, but most won’t. Schedule a workout, schedule a meeting with a client, schedule time to meal prep for health, schedule time to learn, schedule journaling, schedule anything and everything that will move the needle to goal achievement. If you are struggling to make time in your schedule, time to look at your life and pull out your imaginary eraser. Erase your biggest distractions and self-distractions you use to procrastinate on your top 3 goals. Drop TV, drop the internet, drop socializing, drop anything that is taking you away from dream realization and success. Reprioritize your sleep patterns if needed to either wake up early or stay up later, if that’s what it takes to work on your goals. As Jocko Willink says, “Discipline equals freedom.”




All your habits you have are the result of your habitual thinking, habitual inner dialogue, habitual self-programming and your habitual activity. Constantly doing the same things to create your identity which shapes and molds your behavior. What you do ultimately comes down to the self-identity you carry around in your head. To create a new identity will require you to drop the old you to create the next and better you. New actions require new thinking and new empowering self talk. The simplified formula is New Actions x Time = New Habits. Taking new actions requires will power and a large amount of discipline, but taking repeated actions and converting actions into habits and then into a new identity takes less will power and less discipline over time. Because what was once hard has now become easy due to habit and identity change. New disciplines creates new habits which in turn creates a new identity and ultimately a new you. Remember discipline is what gets the plane up in the air, habit is what keeps the plane flying in the air.




  • A lack of personal discipline in one area nearly always shows up in other areas. (Larry Winget)
  • A new discipline immediately changes the direction of your life, like a ship turning in mid-ocean and heading toward a new destination. (Jim Rohn)
  • Achieving success when we have dedication, commitment, and self-disciple is almost a certainty. (Tom Hopkins)
  • Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion. Affirmation with discipline creates miracles. You must have both affirmation and discipline. You need faith behind your works. (Jim Rohn)
  • Concentrate on one thing, the most important thing, and stay with it until it’s complete. (Brian Tracy)
  • Consistency builds discipline, disciplined actions done consistently create success. (Grant Cardone)
  • Discipline comes through self-control. This means that one must control all negative qualities. Before you can control conditions, you must first control yourself. (Napoleon Hill)
  • Discipline is the ability to give yourself a command and then follow it. (Bob Proctor)
  • Discipline is the bridge between thought and accomplishment, the bridge between inspiration and value achievement, the bridge between necessity and productivity. (Jim Rohn)
  • Discipline is the foundation upon which all success is built. Lack of discipline inevitably leads to failure. (Jim Rohn)
  • Discipline requires work a daily commitment steeped in action in order to achieve your goals. That’s my problem with goal setting. Too much focus on the goal and not nearly enough focus on the daily commitment or the action necessary to achieve the goal. (Larry Winget)
  • Every error defeated by disciplined activity paves the way for our future success. And that is how the life puzzle is completed, a single victory at a time. (Jim Rohn)
  • Having self-discipline makes a tremendous difference a difference too great to measure. It’s not something you’re given, not something you inherit, self-discipline is something that you acquire by yourself. (Tom Hopkins)
  • He who conquers others is strong. He who conquers himself is mighty. (Lao-Tsu)
  • I learned to discipline myself to do things I didn’t want to do. (Edward James Olmos)
  • If we do not discipline ourselves, the world will do it for us. (William Feather)
  • If you want to achieve anything in life, it is not enough to merely wish for it. You must develop that kind of 4:30am discipline that distinguishes you from others. (Armstrong Williams)
  • In fact, discipline actually gives us more freedom than we’d have without it. (Dexter Yager)
  • It is one thing to praise discipline, and another to submit to it. (Miguel de Cervantes)
  • It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through. (Zig Ziglar)
  • It’s just a matter of understanding what’s necessary and discipline yourself to do it. (Arthur Lydiard)
  • Only through the consistent application of discipline can we prevent the negative tendencies of life from destroying our plans. (Jim Rohn)
  • Possessing the ability to do the most productive thing possible at most given moments requires a high degree of self-discipline. (Tom Hopkins)
  • Self-discipline is the most important quality for assuring long term success. The ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not. Your ability to discipline yourself to pay the price of success in advance and to continue paying it until you achieve the goal is the true mark of the winning human being. Sacrifice in the short term is the price you pay for long term security. (Herbert Gray)
  • Self-discipline is when your conscience tells you to do something and you don’t talk back. (W K. Hope)
  • Start a little earlier, work a little harder stay a little later, discipline yourself when you don’t feel like it and persist. You build your self-discipline, self-discipline is the basis for self-confidence. (Brian Tracy)
  • Teenagers look at discipline as a drag and a burden. Adults have discovered that it’s the doorway to freedom. It freed you to succeed. (Dexter Yager)
  • The formula for success; a few simple daily disciplines practiced everyday. Eliminate the errors and replace them with the disciplines practiced. (Jim Rohn)
  • The mechanism of the mind is a profound system of organized power which can be released by one means: strict self-discipline. (Andrew Carnegie)
  • The only discipline that lasts is self-discipline. (Bum Phillips)
  • There’s trained and untrained, which are you? (Movie; Man on Fire)
  • Through discipline comes freedom. (Aristotle)
  • To develop self-discipline is to take possession of your mind with such strength that your emotions and appetites are brought under control. (Tom Hopkins)
  • We all must suffer the two pains, the pain of discipline or the pain of regret, regret weighs tons, discipline weighs kilos. (Jim Rohn)
  • Will-power and desire, when properly combined, make an irresistible pair. (Napoleon Hill)
  • Without discipline, it is nearly impossible to be successful. (Unknown)
  • You will only become truly prosperous when you have disciplined your mind. (James Allen)


That’s a wrap on

50 Words to Your Dreams

Chapter 44: Discipline

Let me know your thoughts on Chapter 44

If you need some accountability in your life

connect with me for a free coaching sessions at  

For 100’s of Video, Written & Audio Book Summaries check out our website

Stay tuned for Chapter 45 in the series “Sales”

Michael Pollan Cooked A Natural History of Transformation Book Summary

★★★ Sign up to get the latest Book Summaries by CLICKING HERE


COOKED By Michael Pollan



What makes us human? Is it that we can speak and sing? Other animals can also do these things. Or is it that we are empathetic – probably not, as other animals show empathy, too.

The one thing that makes us human is a curious combination of fire and pot: humans cook.

This seemingly simple act has played an enormous role in shaping our history. By learning how to cook, humans as a species have thrived, achieving things we would never have been able to achieve had we stuck to a basic foraging diet.

This book summary walk you through humanity’s kitchen, examining the pots and pans, and ovens and grills that together have helped create history.

In this book summary, you’ll discover

  • why there’s a connection between cooking less and eating poorly;
  • why consuming a cooked egg is healthier than eating a raw one; and
  • how yeast transformed society’s relationship with grain.



Some people think that raw food diets represent a return to nature – a healthier way to live. But such logic is off base. If we didn’t cook food, we’d spend a ton of time just chewing it.

For humans to live well consuming just raw food, we would need a much larger gut and more powerful jaws. Our apelike ancestors did have these traits, but they came with a trade-off.

Primatologist Richard Wrangham hypothesized that before early humans began to cook, they spent over half their day chewing their food.


We can witness this today with chimpanzees that like to eat meat but don’t cook. When a chimpanzee eats raw meat, it has to chew for a long time, technically leaving it little time to hunt – not nearly enough time to properly support a carnivorous diet.

Regarding expended calories, eating hard-to-digest food is costly. For many species, the calories expended in digestion are nearly equal to the calories needed to move around.

Here’s where cooking food makes a difference. Cooking alters the composition of food both physically and chemically, making it more nutritious and easier to digest.

When we cook a protein-rich food like meat, the heat works to unravel the structure of the meat’s proteins, unlocking the energy within. These now weaker protein structures are easily digested by the enzymes in the human stomach.

When you boil an egg, for example, 90 percent of the cooked egg is digestible. A raw egg, in contrast, is only 65 percent digestible by the human gut. The same rule applies to many other foodstuffs: the more food is cooked, the easier it is for your gut to absorb the nutrients stored in the food.

Another benefit of cooking is that it makes food safer to eat. Some plants, like the root cassava, a staple of South American cuisine, is toxic when raw. Once cooked, it is safe to eat, nutritious and easily digested.

Cooking also works to preserve food. Thus raw meat that would spoil quickly remains edible for a longer period once it’s cooked.


Lots of people would gladly add bacon to just about anything. But why has bacon become so popular?

The recent obsession with this cured pork product is inspired by the human affinity for a unique taste also present in mushrooms, meaty broths and dried anchovies.

It’s called the fifth taste, or umami. Here’s how umami was discovered.


For some time, scientists held that there were four tastes the human tongue could register: bitter, sweet, sour and salty. Since 1908, however, Japanese researchers have recognized a fifth taste – umami.

At the turn of the century, chemist Kikunae Ikeda was studying the snowy crystals that form on dried kelp, or kombu. The Japanese use kombu as an ingredient for soup stock, among other dishes.

To his surprise, Ikeda made a curious discovery. What he found was glutamate, the taste of which didn’t quite fit into existing taste categories – so Ikeda coined the sensation as umami, roughly translated as “pleasant savory taste.”


It wasn’t until 2001 when US scientists studying taste receptors on the human tongue found one specifically for glutamate, thus cementing the idea in the West of umami as a fifth taste.

But while glutamate is the basis of many distinctly flavored foods, when consumed on its own, it’s neither tasty or flavorful. Rather, umami happens when glutamate is combined with other flavors.

Umami is also associated with the texture of certain foods. For instance, liquids such as soup broth that contain flavorings consistent with umami tastes can feel thicker on the tongue.

So while glutamate is key to the expression of umami in food, two other molecules also influence umami flavors. Inosine is found in fish; guanosine in mushrooms. You’ve probably experienced umami when you add fish sauce to a steaming bowl of Vietnamese phở or porcini mushroom stock to a creamy risotto.

Traditional Japanese soup stock uses foods that contain all three of these molecules – a veritable umami explosion!


Just 20 percent of the money households spend on food is directed to the people who produce the food. So where does the rest of that money go?

America’s “food-industrial complex” consists of more than just massive farms. This system is made up of food manufacturers, advertising executives and marketers, which, decades ago, worked to create a surplus of industrially-processed food. This quickly became the basis of the American diet.

After World War II, the food manufacturers that supplied rations to US troops abroad needed a market for their products. As a result, canned dinners, dehydrated potatoes and instant coffee became the staple for convenience foods in 1950s America.

Praised as innovative, convenience foods also created problems. As people gave up cooking fresh foods, diets became less healthy overall. Why exactly?

Processed ingredients, ready-made meals and “fast foods” are usually less healthy than fresh food. It’s far cheaper for a company to create processed foods by piling sugar, fat and salt onto a base of corn or soybean material than it is for a farmer to grow whole, natural foods. Processed food is thus both big business and big money.

Aside from being unhealthy to eat, processed food poses another problem for society. Because it’s so easy to obtain and consume, we eat more processed foods than whole foods because it’s more convenient.

Popping a frozen pizza in the oven is far easier than making the dough and tomato sauce yourself. And if you had to mix the ingredients for every soda you guzzled, you’d probably drink far less!

In fact, the connection between the abandonment of cooking and unhealthy eating is so pronounced that time spent in the kitchen is inversely correlated to obesity levels.

In 2003, Harvard economists performed a study that looked at how people cook in different cultures. They found that the more time people spend preparing food in the kitchen, the less obese they were overall.

What’s more, the economists discovered that the time people spent in a kitchen cooking was a better indicator of obesity level than was income or a country’s percentage of women in the workforce.


Whether eating out or cooking at home, the sandwich remains the most common American meal. And what’s more important for making a sandwich than the bread?

Bread has become a staple of the American diet for many reasons. When humans learned to make bread, they tapped into massive energy stores previously locked up in grasses and grains.

Our paleolithic ancestors used to eat the seeds of wild grasses – the only part of the plant that the stomach can immediately digest. Those same early societies began cultivating the seed plants for food, harvesting bigger, more nutritious seeds. With time, they found that by mashing, roasting or soaking the seeds, the food was more filling and sustaining. This seed mush was also cooked on a hot surface as a sort of unleavened bread.

Later, in Egypt around 4000 BC, a simple bowl of seed mush left in a warm place started to bubble, its contents expanding with air. Wild yeasts in the mush had begun the process of fermentation. A curious cook put the fermented dough in an oven, thus creating the first loaf of leavened bread.

This discovery was a culinary game-changer. Bread is far more nutritious than the sum of its parts; the processes of fermentation and baking releases nutrients inaccessible in raw ingredients. While a diet of raw wheat flour could sustain a person for a short time, a person can live on baked bread.

Nutrient density isn’t the only reason bread became a staple. Bread represents a smart use of energy.

Grasses such as wheat, barley, oats and spelt cover some 65 percent of the earth’s surface, absorbing the sun’s rays and transforming them into energy through a process called photosynthesis. These grasses are food for the animals we in turn eat.

Yet animals at the end of this food chain miss out on a lot of that original plant-based energy. When one animal eats another animal, only 10 percent of what the prey has consumed is accessible to the predator as energy. The other 90 percent has essentially been used by the prey.

Think of it this way: it’s as if you had ten pounds of wheat to eat, but threw nine pounds in the trash!

Consuming sources of energy lower down on the food chain, such as plants and seeds, is thus far more efficient. This is why there are more herbivores in nature than carnivores.


Americans get around 20 percent of their calories from wheat, which in itself isn’t problematic. However, 95 percent of the wheat we consume comes in the form of white flour, which has little nutritional content.

In fact, eating white flour isn’t much different than eating pure sugar.

The human craving for white bread is nothing new – but the industrial methods by which white bread is produced certainly are.

For ancient Greeks and Romans, white bread was a prized commodity. Back then, when spoiled food and disease were common, whiteness was an indicator of cleanliness and wholesomeness. White bread was also both sweeter and easier to chew than whole grain bread, an important consideration at a time when dental hygiene wasn’t widely practiced and people often lost their teeth early in life.

Although white bread was prized in ancient societies, the transition to pure white bread came in the nineteenth century with the invention of roller mills. These machines completely separated the “undesirable” germ and bran from a wheat seed, leaving just the starch behind.

Removing the germ and bran, or the color and texture of a wheat seed, also removed the most nutritious parts of the seed where vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are found.

The results of our growing taste for and consumption of white flour were evident at the beginning of the twentieth century, as communities showed increased signs of malnourishment, diabetes and heart disease.

Because of increasing health problems, the government encouraged industrial bread producers to begin fortifying white bread with nutrients. In the 1940s, companies such as the Continental Baking Company and Wonder Bread began adding B vitamins to white bread.

Gradually companies started to add bran back to bread, creating “whole-grain” loaves. Yet the result still isn’t nutritionally comparable to bread made with whole wheat. Even worse, many of these whole-grain loaves are loaded with additives and sugar to make them taste sweet like white bread.


If extra-terrestrials came to study humans on earth, they might conclude that we are some type of superorganism, as hundreds of different species cohabitate each human body.

These countless organisms perform essential functions without our even being aware. We really are superorganisms composed primarily of microbes.

Some nine-tenths of the cells in your body are those of microbial species, and the vast majority live in your gut. As a result, 99 percent of the DNA in your body is microbial DNA. When you think about it that way, you’re basically a vehicle for colonies of microscopic species.

With that in mind, perhaps you’d like to know what they’re up to?

The main role of microbes is to serve as external digesters, breaking down food so your body can better absorb nutrients.

Microbes are also essential in the process of fermentation. The list of foods we love that wouldn’t exist without microbes includes cheese, coffee, bread, beer and chocolate to name a few.

Nearly every culture on the planet uses the process of fermentation in one way or another to create edible foods.

Yet as we sterilize more and more of the food we eat, we’re losing the potential health benefits that microbes can provide. Modern medicine has encouraged the overuse of antibiotics, which indiscriminately kill off microbes in the stomach, good and bad.

And those bright green pickles at the supermarket? They’re sterile, which is a shame. Naturally fermented foods have been shown to improve digestion, counteract inflammation, strengthen the immune system and even fight cancer, all by increasing the microbial diversity of the gut.

For centuries, humans have known that fermented foods are healthy. For example, when Captain Cook embarked on a two-year sea voyage, he took along a supply of sauerkraut to feed his crew and combat scurvy. We now know why this worked, as sauerkraut is packed with vitamin C.


When the fruit of the durian tree drops to the ground and begins to rot, it’s only a matter of time before visitors of all shapes and sizes gather to reap the spoils. Among them are tigers, wild pigs and rhinos, all seeking the spontaneously fermented alcohol that this process produces.

Alcohol is the most popular fermented food, not just across cultures but also the animal kingdom. While humans are the only animals that make alcohol – although there have been reports of monkeys in China fermenting fruit to drink the alcoholic result – many animals have it made for them.


For instance, the bertram palm in Malaysia produces a daily supply of fermented flower buds for the pen-tailed tree shrew. The little rodent slurps from each flower as it flits from palm to palm, pollinating the trees.

In studies, chimps and rats have also been found to be liquor enthusiasts, although their drinking habits differ. If you put a chimp in an all-you-can-drink situation, that’s precisely what it’ll do.

Rats, on the other hand, act more like humans, enjoying an aperitif before dinner and another at day’s end. They then proceed to get ludicrously drunk together about twice a week.

Other species also drink socially, and the reason for this behavior is simple: a single drunk animal is an easy mark for predators.

While we all seem to enjoy a drink, a taste for other fermented foods is often culturally determined.

Korean kimchi, Icelandic pickled shark and aged French cheese are all fermented foods with strong flavors for which people acquire a taste as children. Outsiders who encounter these foods later in life often have a strong positive or negative reaction to them.

One powerful example comes from World War II, when American troops were ordered to burn down a series of warehouses in Normandy, thinking they contained stinking corpses. In reality, their culturally unadapted noses had misidentified huge stores of typically pungent Camembert cheese.


The key message in this book:

Cooking is more than a hobby, a chore or lively career path. It’s a defining trait of the human race. However, the more we’ve placed cooking in the hands of corporations, the less wholesome and pleasurable our food has become.

Actionable Advice

Try your hand at fermentation.

Have a go at baking a fresh loaf of bread, pickling a jar of vegetables or even making mead from honey. Even the simplest act of fermentation can elucidate the mystery of this natural process, all the while filling you with wonder at its infinite possibilities.



Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond Book Summary

Download the PDF Summary Here: Value Investing

★★★ Sign up to the Weekly Book Summary Newsletter by CLICKING HERE

Summary of Value Investing: From Graham To Buffett And Beyond


The book is comprehensive guidelines on stock evaluation and differences among methods used by generations of investors under the basic concept “Value investing”. Value investing is buying stock at a discount price below its intrinsic value. A gap between purchased price and intrinsic value is “Margin of safety” that helps to absorb risks and mistakes in the valuation process.

Some highlights separate value investors from speculators:

– Value investors operate in their circle of competencies. They tend to choose securities of companies that they can easily learn about and have a low (reasonable) price

– Most of value investors are micro fundamentalists. Their research on promising investments has a bottom-up approach – they start by looking at stock one by one.

Process of investing includes answering five important questions: What securities? -> Their intrinsic values? -> Margin of safety? -> Price to buy? -> When to sell? The book emphasizes the second question.


When screening a potential investment, there are four types of variables investors can consider: Fundamental, technical, combined variables and market capitalization.

1/ Fundamental variables focus on economics of the business, not market opinions about it, e.g.: ROE/ROI, growth in EPS/sales/assets and profit margins. Historical data shows that firms with in low level of those ratios tend to provide higher returns in the future.

2/ Technical variables are totally opposite to fundamental ones when their concentrations are trend lines and market momentum. This is not what value investors pay much attention to.

3/ Combined ones mix the above two types of variables together, they are ratios such as P/E, P/CF, P/B, P/S and dividend yield. Again, firms having low results in those ratios seem to provide higher return than those with high variables.

4/ Market capitalization concerns sizes of companies and their likeliness to outperform. In general, small companies tend to offer more bargains than big firms do.

With the development of Internet and spread of value investing philosophy, it is not easy to spot a promising investment nowadays. However, as the author wrote, investors can consider some circumstances when opportunities are likely to emerge. Small or spin-off companies can give precious chances to invest because they are often obscure securities, probably missed by professional investors.  That does not mean those companies are not good, just their financial statements are a bit confusing and/or ambiguous. Plus, the size of those firms is small has discouraged professional investors from rigorous research on those securities.

Under the same logic, investors can consider boring businesses that are making slow growth and modest profits. They are unlikely to attract much attention from the market, thus, any of their positive changes in operations, management, etc. are unnoticed.

In addition, investors can think of stock that is undesirable by the market, and thus, mispriced. Those are securities of businesses having financial distresses, overcapacity, and legislation punishment or lagging behind markets. Some problems lead to a dead-end but some only exist temporarily. Market’s lack of ability to estimate the impact of businesses’ trouble and its overreaction sometimes result a deep discount on stock price, which is an opportunity for value investors to purchase.

Of course, those opportunities need to go hand in hand with low/reasonable stock prices and profitable catalysts in order to benefit investors in the future.


The authors did not include Discount Cash Flow (DCF) model and multiple-based method in their consideration despite the two are very popular in stock evaluation and are commonly taught at business schools. Because DCF, which requires the estimation of future cash flows in the next 10 years and beyond, seems to be risky if not impossible to implement without mistakes. No one can accurately predict what will happen in the business, industry and economy in next decades. Meanwhile, this method depends on the accuracy of variable; any small changes in value of underlying assumptions can cause a big change in calculated intrinsic value.

Multiple-based method, using combined variables as we mentioned above to estimate intrinsic value, also has several problems in it. Typically, investors tend to take earning, EBITDA or EBIT of their target companies multiplied by variable of comparable firms on stock market. In other word, they are pricing securities based on someone’s else uncertain projection for another company. Secondly, we all know that it is hard to find a 100% comparable companies to have enough confidence in the multiplication results. Finally, this method fails to employ fundamental economics of the companies like profit margin, competitive advantage, etc.

Two broad categories of methods mentioned in the book are Value of Assets and Earning Power Value (EPV):

2.1 Value of assets

Graham & Dodd’s net-nets

Intrinsic value = Current asset (book value) – liabilities (book value)

Comment: The underlying of this formula is that companies are in a non-viable or declining industry that they are going to sell assets and get out of business soon. The formula assumes that only current assets, which are liquid and marked to the market, are valuable when companies are going out of business. This way of calculating intrinsic value is simple. However, nowadays it is hard or even impossible to find stock at that low price because Graham’s idea has been out for decades and computers make any calculations become easy.

Book value

Intrinsic value = Total assets (book value) – Liabilities

Comment: The authors did not mention much about this method but they said its result of intrinsic value is hard to beat. It is still a conservative and simple way to estimate value but it is anyway more open than the net-nets.

Liquidation cost and reproduction cost

Idea behind liquidation costs supposes that the company under consideration is operating in a declining industry which is the same in the above two methods. Nevertheless, this method gives some values to properties, plants, and equipment (PPE) while still assumes that intangibles and highly specialized assets have no value at all.

On the other hand, reproduction means company is in a viable, going industry so it will be last for a long time. However, this kind of industry is highly competitive and having no barrier to entry. Therefore, value of the company, or stock, will depend on how much a new comer has to spend in order to operate in the market. With this way of calculation, we give some values for intangibles because new comers must pay some time and money to build brands, R&D or customer relations in order to have a position in the industry.

Picture below illustrates how to apply liquidation and reproduction costs into estimating value of stock. “/” means “or”. For some items on the balance sheet, there is more than one way to estimate their values. Sometimes, it is helpful to ask for valuation from industry experts.

2.2 Earning Power Value (EPV)

Intrinsic value=  EPV= Adjusted current earning x 1/R – Debt (interested bearing) + cash in excess of operating requirement

(R: cost of capital)

The important assumption of this method is that current earning level will last forever. It eliminates any potentially growing earning, however, according to the book, can be applied in both non-viable and viable industries, even growing industries.

Firstly, we have to figure out what type of earnings to use. In this case, it is the EBIT after tax. There are four adjustments needed to make:

– Rectify any accounting misrepresentations that are unconnected to normal operations. For instance, there is a year when company spent high “one-time” charges. We find average ratio of those charges bear to reported earnings before adjustment and have them averaged out

– Add back depreciation/amortization expenses and subtract maintenance capital expense (maintenance capex)

Maintenance capex can be calculated based on capital expenditure , which is reported in cash flow statement, and growth rate in sales. Capital expenditure consists of growth capex and maintenance capex.

We have:

Growth capex= (average, perhaps in 5 yrs) PPE/Total sales  x  Increase or decrease in sales (in term of dollar)

Maintenance capex = Reported capital expenditure – growth capex

– Take into account business circle: reduce reported earnings company is at its peak, and vice versa, raise earnings if company is in a trough; thus, we could smoother the earning trend.

– Any other adjustments

To estimate R, we base on Weighted Asset Cost of Capital, using after-tax cost of debt and cost of equity


Three scenarios happen when we calculate value of assets and EPV to measure intrinsic value of a specific company

– EPV < value of assets

– EPV = value of assets

– EPV > value of assets

In any cases, however, we will employ EPV as a benchmark for the intrinsic value. Depending on each case, EPV will be adjusted a bit.

When EPV is smaller than value of assets, it is possibly attributable to two reasons. Firstly, the industry is having excess overcapacity so the number of products consumed is less than of produced. Secondly, management of the company may not be effective in using assets to generate incomes.

When EPV is equal to value of assets, there is no doubt that we can use either one as intrinsic value. In this scenario, the industry is supposedly competitive and management is average.

Finally, EPV is larger than value of assets due to some reasons. The industry is not so competitive with barriers of entry somehow exist. Or, the company is possessing competitive advantages that help it employs assets efficiently and generates high profits. Another factor may be the high quality of management in the company. We will look into competitive advantage in the next chapter.

Whichever scenarios happen, we have to check back and forth between numerical results and information that supports those results. If a company is on the verge of bankruptcy but has EPV higher than value of assets, perhaps something is wrong. On the other hand, if we are sure about our techniques and EPV is still high, we must explore what factors that help the company gain superior returns and whether those factors are strong and sustainable.

When EPV > Value of Assets

When EPV is bigger than value of assets, the company is creating a special value called “Value of franchise” which explains why EPV is high.

Value of franchise

In order to create value of franchise, the company must possess strong and sustainable competitive advantages. Those advantages can be found in or out of the company’s control.

External favoured condition such as exclusive license provided by government can generate some advantages.

Internal factors are those that influence revenue and cost-the two components to calculate profit. First, from the revenue side, company’s products that are in high demand in the market will produce large revenue. High demand maybe a result of consumption purchasing habits as in Coke’s case. Revenue also endures if the cost of switching to alternative is expensive to customers. In some certain industries, customers are resist of any change in product used, for instance, office software. They do not want any change because it is expensive, complicated and risky. Thus, strong customer loyalty is an important factor that contributes to a success of a company. Second, in the cost side, the lower operating cost the higher profit company can earn. Hence, many companies want to save cost or use money efficiently. They can do it if they have special production techniques or products that competitors cannot match. They also may gain exclusive knowledge in making things efficiently by having technology or human-based skills. Third, cheap resources, especially labour and capital, can save significant costs. Finally, economies of scale: high fixed cost and minimal variable cost can make unit production costs reduce as long as sales increase.

However, an economy of scale does not work in some cases. If firms with same sizes of operations competing against each other, then they will have same economies of scale but the market at the moment does not need to absorb such a huge amount of product; thus, competition is tense between big firms in this case. Another scenario that diminishes economies of scale is when technology changes so fast and affects profitability of companies in the certain industries. Because the firms always need to spend money investing in business, cost advantage is short-lived. Furthermore, companies with economies of scale should use their power effectively by employing aggressive pricing power so that they could make full use of price opportunities.

Value of growth

Some firms with value of franchise possess another value called “Value of growth”, when growing in earning is bigger than incremental cost of capital to support the growth. To many value investor, this value of growth is uncertain because of 2 main reasons so they are not willing to pay for it. First, it is difficult to forecast specific growth rate in earning in the future. Second, that growth must be profitable. It is uncertain that for how long growth in earning can remain to be bigger than incremental cost. Thus, in case of suspiciousness, investors can buy stock at its full EPV and consider value of growth as margin of safety.

Thus, we have a formula:

PV of Cash flow/ EPV= Margin of safety

In which     PV = Invested capital x (ROC-G)/(R-G)

EPV= Invested capital x ROC/R

ROC= Return on capital = ROE or ROIC

(ROIC=Operating earnings /operating asset (Debt +capital))

G= Growth in sales or in earning (or both)

Therefore, as long as ROC>R, increase in growth can generate additional value.


Diversification in constructing a portfolio is a way to reduce risks caused by volatility in stock prices. To value investor, however, they usually have more concentrated portfolios. According to them, risks do not come from volatility in stock prices but is the possibility of losing money. Volatility, in contrast, creates great chances for investors to buy discount stock. They also argue that correlation of securities in a diversified portfolio is hard to predict. Strength or weakness of correlation depends on many factors and that may be changed due to events or crises.

Value investors are confident in their concentrated portfolios partly because they tend to operate within the boundaries of their competences and invest in companies they can understand. Moreover, they are careful in choosing stock and sure that there is an adequate margin of safety. Large margin of safety is a good solution to limit risks. To build up their confidence, they look for credible confirmation of their opinion. Knowledgeable insiders and famous investors’ action are two sources to look at. In addition, value investors need to ask themselves critical questions: why not other investors in the market pile in to move up prices of bargain stock? Is there a value trap when the price is never going to increase?

To build a concentrated portfolio, investors can impose a limit that they will not buy a security if they are not willing to invest a meaningful amount in it (approximately 5% of portfolio). This position limit will help them to be cautious in selecting and evaluating a security since the money involved is large.

In case of excess money but there is no investment opportunity available, investors can spread it among existing investment or put it in index funds. Index funds, in general, will give investors greater return than hard cash.



50 Words to Your Dreams Chapter 43 Persistence by Michael George Knight

Chapter 43: Persistence


Persistence is continuing a course of action in spite of difficulties and opposition. Persistence is not sexy, is not easy, is time consuming, repetitive and monotonous. Persistence with you taking action on your goals, working on them each day, week, month, year and grinding is what it takes to reach your success. Remember, many small blows of the axe will fall the largest oak. It’s not what you do once in a while that counts, it’s what you do persistently that counts.


Persistence and grinding is what makes winning worth it. Only through consistent action and perseverance do our dreams start to shape in front of our eyes. Remember, it takes 10 years of persistent work to create an overnight success. Persistence is the key that unlocks all of your dreams. Failure to persist and you persistently fail.



Think for a moment of all the greatest wonders of the world that man has built. From The Great Pyramid of Giza, The Taj Mahal, The Great Wall of China, The Colosseum, The Burj Khalifa and many more wonderful engineering masterpieces man has built. Now without the magic of persistence none of these wonders would not have been built. The persistence to overcome obstacles, the persistence to overcome criticism, the persistence to overcome lack of resources, the persistence to work without seeing results right away. The best and greatest achievements, feats and records only come about through constant applied persistence. Becoming so singly focused on one task that nothing can stand in your way. Become the type of person that doesn’t give up and become the type of person that persist in spite of external circumstances.



Persisting until is the only thing you can do to achieve your dreams. The only other choice is failure, which only occurs when you stop persisting and give up on your dreams. Remember failure is usually feedback to start again more intelligently. Persist until you did what you set out to do. Persisting is what sets the doers apart from the rest who tried, failed and stopped trying. Let the below illustrate how persistence directly correlates with the chances of success.

“I won’t” – 0%

“I can’t – 10%

“I don’t know how” – 20%

“I wish I could” – 30%

“I want to” – 40%

“I think I might” – 50%

“I might” – 60%

“I think I can” – 70%

“I can” – 80%

“I am” – 90%

“I did – 100%



  • 97% of the people who quit too soon are employed by the 3% that never gave up. (Unknown)
  • A constant hammering on one nail will generally drive it home at last. (P.T. Barnum)
  • A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success. (Elbert Hubbard)
  • Adapting and adopting a form of non-destructive ruthlessness, you will gain the freedom necessary to achieve effective execution of your life’s tasks. (Chin-Ning Chu)
  • Almost every great achievement has been created by many years of concerted effort. (David Deangelo)
  • Ambition is the path to success, persistence is the vehicle you arrive in. (William Eardley IV)
  • As long as we are persistent in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time. (Denis Waitley)
  • Back your goals and plans with persistence and determination. Never consider the possibility of failure. Never think about quitting. Decide to hold on, no matter what happens. And as long as you refuse to quit, you must eventually be successful. (Brian Tracy)
  • Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things. (Randy Pausch)
  • By endurance we conquer. (Ernest Shackleton)
  • Commitment is the driving force that makes it impossible to rest until you have accomplished your goals. (Jack Collis)
  • Consistency is the key, it’s not what you do once in a while, it’s what you do consistently that shapes your destiny, consistency creates excellence. (Anthony Robbins)
  • Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking our potential. (Winston Churchill)
  • Determination motivates people to incredible feats of creativity. (Zig Ziglar)
  • Do you know what dogged determination is? It’s getting a heart grip on something and refusing to let go until you’ve mastered it. Dogged determination is the true mark of a winner. (Dexter Yager)
  • Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence. (Ovid)
  • Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit. (Napoleon Hill)
  • Energy and persistence conquer all things. (Benjamin Franklin)
  • Everything comes if a man will only wait. I have brought myself by long mediation to the conviction that a human being with a settled purpose must accomplish it, and that nothing can resist a will that will stake even existence for its fulfillment. (Benjamin Disraeli)
  • Failure cannot cope with persistence. (Napoleon Hill)
  • Few men during their lifetime come anywhere near exhausting the resources dwelling within them. There are deep wells of strength that are never used. (Richard Byrd)
  • Genius, when you look more closely at it usually turns out to be the result of uncommon dedication to a task. (Orison Swett Marden)
  • Good things come to those who believe, better things come to those who are patient and the best things come to those who don’t give up. (Unknown)
  • Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance. (Samuel Johnson)
  • How long should you try? Until (Jim Rohn)
  • I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature. (John D. Rockefeller)
  • I will persist until I succeed. (Og Mandino)
  • If the goal is worth achieving, it is worth working for patiently and persistently. (Brian Tracy)
  • If you want to be rich, never give up. People tend to give up. If you have persistence, you will come out ahead of most people. More importantly, you will learn. When you do something, you might fail. But that’s not because you’re a failure. It’s because you have not learnt enough. Do it differently each time. One day, you will do it right. Failure is your friend. (Jordan Belfort)
  • If you want to get somewhere you have to know where you want to go and how to get there. Then never, never, never give up. (Norman Vincent Peale)
  • Impossible, when spelled out, stands for ‘I’m possible’ (Unknown)
  • Intelligence accounts for only a fraction of the reason for success. Grit has value for people at all levels of ability. (Zig Ziglar)
  • It’s not the stronger one who wins. It’s the one who was the most persistent. Never give up. (Doe Zantamata)
  • It’s the constant and determined effort that breaks down all resistance, sweeps away all obstacles. (Claude M. Bristol)
  • Keep going, no matter what you do, no matter how many times you screw up and think to yourself, “there’s no point to carry on”, no matter how many people tell you that you can’t do it – keep going. Don’t quit. Don’t quit, because a month from now you will be that much closer to your goal than you are now. Yesterday you said tomorrow. Make today count. (Unknown)
  • Keep pushing through to achieve what you need to do. Go as far as you can see, and then you’ll see farther. (Unknown)
  • Living your vision is a commitment. It demands time and dedication. (Lewis Howes)
  • Majority of men meet with failure, because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail. (Napoleon Hill)
  • Most of the important things in the world have been accompanied by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. (Dale Carnegie)
  • No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying. (Anthony Robbins)
  • Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. (Calvin Coolidge)
  • Obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe dedicated. (Russell Warren)
  • Obstacles can’t stop you. Problems can’t stop you. Most of all, other people can’t stop you. Only you can stop you. (J. Gitomer)
  • Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. (Thomas Edison)
  • Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success. (Napoleon Hill)
  • Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities. It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak. (Thomas Carlyle)
  • Persistence is a unique mental strength; a strength that is essential to combat the fierce power of the repeated rejections and numerous other obstacles that sit in waiting and are all part of winning in a fast-moving, ever-changing world. (Bob Proctor)
  • Persistence is actually self-discipline in action. (Brian Tracy)
  • Persistence is simply another word for faith. If you didn’t have faith, you would never persist. (Earl Nightingale)
  • Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. (Ray Knoc)
  • Promise yourself you’ll never give up. (Jim Rohn)
  • Remember, the easy road often becomes hard, and the hard road often become easy. (Robert Kiyosaki)
  • Show me a really great triumph that is not the reward of persistence. (Orison Swett Marden)
  • Some give up their designs when they have almost reached the goal; while others, on the contrary, obtain a victory by exerting, at the last moment, more vigorous efforts than ever before. (Herodotus)
  • Sometimes it appears that there’s a hidden guide someplace whose duty it is to test men and women through all sorts of discouraging experiences. Those who pick themselves up and keep trying after getting knocked down, arrive. It’s an uncanny things, but it works. And this hidden guide lets no one enjoy great achievement without passing the persistence test, it seems. And those who can’t take it simply don’t make the grade. (Earl Nightingale)
  • Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go. (William Feather)
  • That which we persist in doing becomes easier not that the nature of the task has changed, but our ability to do has increased. (Stephen R. Covey)
  • The last dejected effort often becomes the winning stroke. (W.J. Cameron)
  • The longer you hang in there, the greater the chance that something will happen in your favour. (Jack Canfield)
  • The major difference between the big shot and the little shot is the big shot is just a little shot who kept on shooting. (Zig Ziglar)
  • The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. (Chinese Proverb)
  • The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. (Thomas Edison)
  • There is no substitute for persistence! It cannot be supplanted by any other quality. (Napoleon Hill)
  • To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor. (Oliver Wendell Holmes)
  • Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting. (Napoleon Hill)
  • We are made to persist. That’s how we find out who we are. (Tobias Wolff)
  • We often have to try different approaches to the same problem, to reformulate the question, to refine the experimental conditions. Persistence and patience in pursing the goal is important. (Adrienne Clark)
  • When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place (Unknown)
  • When you reach that place where most people would give in and give up, keep giving it another shot. (Karen Salmansohn)
  • Will power is but the unflinching purpose to carry a task you set for yourself to fulfilment. (George Clason)


That’s a wrap on

50 Words to Your Dreams

Chapter 43: Persistence

Let me know your thoughts on Chapter 43

If you need some accountability in your life

connect with me for a free coaching sessions at  

For 100’s of Video, Written & Audio Book Summaries check out our website

Stay tuned for Chapter 44 in the series “Discipline”

Chris Voss: Never Split the Difference Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It Book Summary

★★★ Sign up to the Weekly Book Summary Newsletter by CLICKING HERE

DOWNLOAD THE PDF SUMMARY HERE: Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

Chapter 1: The New rules
The open-ended question is a powerful negotiation tool
Calibrated questions are queries that the other side can respond to but that have no fixed answers
It buys you time
Humans all suffer from cognitive bias: unconscious and irrational brain processes that literally distort the way we see the world
The framing effect: people respond differently to the same choice depending on how it is framed
Loss aversion: people are statistically more likely to act to avert a loss than to achieve an equal gain
People want to be understood and accepted
Listening is the cheapest yet most effective concession we can make to get there
When individuals feel listened to, they tend to listen to themselves more carefully and openly evaluate and clarify their own thoughts and feelings
In addition, they tend to become less defensive and oppositional and more willing to listen to you and other points of view
The concept is called tactical empathy
This is listening as a martial art, balancing the subtle behaviors of emotional intelligence and the assertive skills of influence to gain access to the mind of another person
Contrary to popular opinion, listening is not a passive activity. It is the most active thing you can do
Life is negotiation
Negotiation serves two distinct vital life functions:
information gathering
behavior influencing
In this world, you get what you ask for, you just have to ask correctly
Chapter 2: Be a Mirror
In negotiations, you should engage in the process with a mindset of discovery
Your goal at the outset is to extract and observe as much information as possible
It is really not that easy to listen well. We are easily distracted, we engage in selective listening, hearing only what we want to hear, our minds acting on a cognitive bias for consistency rather than truth
To remedy the schizophrenic in your head and the other person’s head, your sole and all-encompassing focus in the beginning should be the other person and what they have to say
This true, active listening along with the other tactics will disarm your counterpart and make them feel safe
It begins with listening, making it about the other people, validating their emotions and creating enough trust and safety for a real conversation to begin
Going too fast is one of the mistakes all negotiators are prone to making
Your most powerful tool in any verbal communication is your voice.
You can use your voice to intentionally reach into someone’s Brain and flip an emotional switch
When people are in a positive frame of mind they think more quickly and are more likely to collaborate and problem solve instead of fight
Mirroring, also known as isopraxism, is essentially imitation
It’s a neural behavior in which we copy each other to comfort each other
Biological principle: we fear what is different and are drawn to what’s similar
Being right isn’t the key to a successful negotiation, having the right mindset is
4 steps to mirroring:
Use late-night FM DJ voice
Start with I’m sorry
Silence (at least 4 seconds)
The language of negations is primarily of conversation and rapport
A way of quickly establishing relationships and getting people to talk and think together
Key lessons: a great negotiator aims to use her skills to reveal the surprises she is certain to find
Don’t commit to assumptions
Instead, see them as a hypothesis and use the negotiation to test them rigorously
Negotiation is not an active battle, it is a process of discovery
The goal is to uncover as much information as possible
Slow it down
Put a smile on
Positivity creates mental agility in both you and your counterpart.
Mirrors work magic
Repeat the last 3 words or the critical 1-3 words of what someone has just said
Mirroring is the art of insinuating similarity which facilitates bonding
Chapter 3: don’t fear their pain, label it.
Instead of denying or ignoring emotions, good negotiators  identify and influence them
Emotions aren’t the obstacles, they are the means
Empathy is paying attention to another human being, asking what they are feeling, and making a commitment to understanding their world
Tactical empathy is understanding the feelings and mindset of another in the moment and also hearing what is behind those feelings so you increase your influence in all the moments that follow
Empathy is a classical soft communication skill but it has a physical basis
When we closely observe a persons face, gestures, and tone of voice, our brain begins to align with their’s in a process called neural resonance
Labeling is a way of validating someone’s emotion by acknowledging it
Give someone’s emotion a name and you show you identify with how that person feels
Neutralize the negative, reinforce the positive
The fastest and most efficient means of establishing a quick working relationship is to acknowledge the negative and defuse it
The best way to deal with negativity is to observe it without reaction and without judgement
Then consciously label each negative feeling and replace it with positive, compassionate, and solution-based thoughts
Clear the road before advertising the destination
Label your counterparts fears to diffuse their power
Use labels to reinforce and encourage positive perceptions and dynamics
For good negotiators, “no” is pure gold
That negative provides a good opportunity for you and the other party to clarify what you really want by eliminating what you don’t want
“No” starts the negotiation
The right to veto
People will fight to the death to preserve their right to say no, so give them that right and the negotiating environment becomes more constructive and collaborative almost immediately
There is a deep and universal human need for autonomy
People need to feel in control
There are three kinds of yes:
The connection built up with another person is useless unless the other person feels they are equally as responsible if not solely responsible for creating the connection, and the new ideas they have
Everyone you meet is driven by two primal urges:
The need to feel safe and secure
The need to feel in control
BookStart With No
One sentence email: have you given up on this project?
Chapter 5: trigger the two words that immediately transform any negotiation
Trigger a “that’s right” epiphany with a summary
In business, “that’s right” leads to the best outcomes
Don’t compromise
The win-win mindset is usually ineffective and often disastrous
At best, it satisfies neither side
No deal is better than a bad deal
We don’t compromise because it’s right, we compromise because it is easy and because it saves face
We compromise to be safe
Don’t settle and never split the difference
You’ve got to embrace the hard stuff
That’s where the great deals are and that’s what great negotiators do
Deadlines: make time your ally
Time is one of the most crucial variables in any negotiation
Deadlines are often arbitrary, almost always flexible, and hardly ever trigger the consequences that we think or are told they will
Deadlines are the boogie man of negotiations, almost exclusively self-inflicted figment of our imagination unnecessarily unsettling us for no good reason
You shouldn’t hide your deadlines because when it is over for one negotiator, it is over for both sides
Adding a deadline means you’re negotiating with yourself, and you always lose
We are all irrational and all emotional
While we may use logic to reason ourselves towards a decision, the actual decision making is governed by emotion
The most powerful word in negotiations is “fair”
We are mightily swayed by how much we feel we’ve been respected
Prospect theory: people are drawn to sure things over probabilities
Loss aversion: people will take greater risks to avoid losses than to achieve gains
Anchor their emotions in preparation for a loss and acknowledge their fears
Let the other guy go first most of the time
Establish a range
Pivot to non-monetary terms
When you do talk numbers, use odd ones
Non-rounded numbers seem more thoughtful, serious, and permanent to your counterpart
Surprise with a gift
Unexpected conciliatory gestures are hugely effective because they introduce a dynamic called reciprocity
The other party feels the need to answer your generosity in kind
How to negotiate a better salary:
Be pleasantly persistent on non-salary terms
Once you’ve negotiated a salary, make sure to define success for your position as well as metrics for your next raise
Spark their interest in your success and gain an unofficial mentor
Ask: what does it take to be successful here?
If someone gives you guidance, they will watch to see if you follow their advice. They will have a personal stake in seeing you succeed.
People take more risks to avoid loss than to realize a gain. Make sure your counterpart sees there something to lose by inaction
Chapter 7: Create the illusion of control
Negotiation is coaxing, not overcoming. Co-opting, not defeating
Most importantly, successful negotiation involves getting your counterpart to do the work for you and suggest your solution himself
Giving your counterpart the illusion of control by asking calibrated questions, by asking for help, is one of the most powerful tools for suspending unbelief
Only use what and how in calibrated questions
Aggressive confrontation is the enemy of constructive negotiation
Avoid questions that can be answered with yes or tiny pieces of information
These require little thought and inspire the need for reciprocity
Chapter 8: guarantee execution
Yes is nothing without how
A gentle how no question invites collaboration and leaves your counterpart with a feeling of having been treated with respect
A deal is nothing without good implementation
Your carefully calibrated how questions will convince them that the final solution is their idea
Ask: how will we know we are on track and how will we address things if we find we are off-track?
When they answer, you summarize their answers until you get a “that’s right”
Then you’ll know they’ve bought in
7/38/55 Rule: only 7% of a message is based on words, while 38% comes from the tone of your voice, and 55% from the speaker’s body language and face
There are three kinds of yes: commitment, confirmation, counterfeit
The Rule of Three is simply getting the other guy to agree to the same thing three times in the same conversation
It is tripling the strength of whatever dynamic you’re trying to drill into at the moment
The reason this works is because it is really hard to repeatedly lie or fake conviction
Liars tend to use more words and speak with third-party pronouns to distance themselves from the lie
Liars also tend to speak in more complex sentences to try and win over their suspicion counterparts
The Pinocchio Effect is when the number of words grows along with the lie
Liars are more worried about being believed, and work harder, perhaps too hard, at being believable
Using your own name creates the dynamic of forced empathy. It makes the other side see you as a person
Humanize yourself. Use your name to introduce yourself
Say it in a fun, friendly way
Let them enjoy the interaction too and get your own special price
Chapter 9: Bargain hard
To be great at the bargaining table, you have to add to your strengths, not replace them
The Black Swan Rule: don’t treat others the way you want to be treated, treat them the way they need to be treated
For anger to be effective it has to be real
The key for it is to be under control because anger reduces our cognitive ability
In bare-knuckle bargaining, the most vital principle to keep in mind is never to look at your counterpart as an enemy
Chapter 10: find the black swan
He believes that in every negotiation, each side is in possession of at least three black swans
Three pieces of information that, were they to be discovered by the other side, would change everything
To uncover these unknowns, we must interrogate our world, put out a call and intensely listen to the response, ask lots of questionsread nonverbal clues and always voice your observations with your counterpart
Negotiation is more like walking on a tightrope then competing against an opponent
Focusing so much on the end objective well only distract you from the next step and that can cause you to fall off the rope
Concentrate on the next step because the rope will lead you to the end as long as all the steps are completed
Your counterpart always has pieces of information whose value they do not understand
Black swans are leverage multiplier. They give you the upper hand
In theory, leverage is the ability to inflict loss and withhold gain
Where it is your counterpart wants to gain and where do they fear losing?
Discover these pieces of information and you’ll build leverage over the other side perceptions, actions, and decisions
The party who feels they have more to lose and are the most afraid of that loss has less leverage
To get leverage, you have to persuade your counterpart that they have something real to lose if the deal falls through
In any negotiation, it’s not how well you speak, but how well you listen that determines your success
Understanding the other is a precondition to being able to speak persuasively and develop options that resonate with them
We trust people more when we view them as being similar or familiar
People trust those who are in their “in” group
Belonging is a primal instinct, and if you can trigger that instinct, you’ll immediately gain influence
He hopes this book gets you over the fear of conflict and encourages you to navigate it with empathy
If you’re going to be great at anything, you’re going to have to do that
You’re going to have to embrace regular, thoughtful conflict as the basis of effective negotiation and of life
The adversary is the situation, and that the person you appear to be in conflict with is actually your partner
Don’t avoid honest, clear conflict
When someone seems irrational or crazy, they most likely aren’t
Search for constraints, hidden desires, and bad information
Get face time with your counterpart
10 minutes of face time often reveals more than days of research
“When the pressure is on, you don’t rise to the occasion. You fall to your highest level of preparation”
People who expect more, and articulate it, get more
Themes / Main Ideas:
Calibrated questions, mirroring, and labeling are effective tools for tactical empathy
In this world, you get what you ask for, you just have to ask correctly
Emotions aren’t the obstacles, they are the means
People want to feel like they’re in control and will fight to preserve their autonomy
Don’t settle and never split the difference. No deal is better than a bad deal.
Emotions are the means. People want to feel heard and respected.
Negotiation is coaxing, not overcoming. Co-opting, not defeating
“Yes” is nothing without “how”. A deal is nothing without good implementation
Don’t treat others the way you want to be treated, treat them the way they need to be treated
Negotiation is more like walking on a tightrope then competing against an opponent. It is a discovery process to be taken one step at a time.
In any negotiation, it’s not how well you speak, but how well you listen that determines your success
You’re going to have to embrace regular, thoughtful conflict as the basis of effective negotiation and of life. Don’t avoid honest, clear conflict.
People who expect more, and articulate it, get more



Stefanie Sacks: What the Fork Are You Eating? An Action Plan for Your Pantry and Plate Book Summary

★★★ Sign up to the Weekly Book Summary Newsletter by CLICKING HERE




It’s not difficult to eat healthily. You know you’re not supposed to eat tons of hamburgers or greasy fries. Instead, your plate should be piled with plenty of green vegetables and low-fat foods.


Simple, right? Well, of course not. For one, choosing to consume lots of so-called healthy foods may mean you’re gobbling tons of nasty additives or unhealthy ingredients. Do you know where and how that fresh carrot you just nibbled was grown? Did the farmer use pesticides, for example?


To truly eat healthily, you need to get to the heart of the food industry’s attempts to hide what they put on or in the food you eat. This book summary explain what to look for on packaging and in ingredient lists, to ensure you eat only what nature intended.


In this book summary, you’ll also discover


  • which animal waste product tastes like vanilla;
  • why some of the worst additives are government approved; and
  • what a food diary can tell you about yourself.


When you shop at your local grocery store, are you worried you might buy something that could be dangerously unhealthy? After all, the government maintains regulations to protect consumers.


But just how effective are those regulations?


Not very. Food safety in the United States has a bad track record, with regulations that have been historically careless when it comes to keeping dangerous food off our collective plates.


In 1914, for example, the government amended the Pure Food and Drug Act, making it illegal to mislabel food that contained dangerous additives or colorings. Yet this act went largely unenforced. Thus, a product like “Bred Spread,” a strawberry jam substitute that contained coal tar and no natural strawberries, remained on store shelves.


The negligence didn’t stop there. In 1958, the Food Additive Amendment was supposed to make mandatory that companies prove additives used in food products were safe. Although the law seemed straightforward, companies nonetheless found a loophole: the law only applied to new additives.


Additives already used in the market, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), were classified as GRAS, or “generally recognized as safe,” even though companies didn’t have to provide any evidence to support this claim.


Some people suffer from an ailment called monosodium glutamate symptom complex, a reaction to foods with MSG, which can include chest pain, headache, nausea and difficulty breathing. While there is plenty of scientific data to question the safety of MSG in food, it isn’t enough to change the additive’s GRAS classification.


So it pays to think twice about whether government food regulations keep you safe. A better strategy is to be aware of the ingredients that could be harmful to you. Let’s learn how you can do this.



The first step to eating healthier is knowing which foods are safe and which additives you should avoid. Let’s start by looking at two of the most dangerous: artificial flavorings and colors.


There are two types of flavorings: natural flavors and artificial flavors. You might be surprised to learn that both come from a laboratory. The difference is that natural flavors are at least generated from the essential ingredient. “Natural strawberry flavor” is thus derived from a real strawberry.


Artificial flavoring, however, can come from anything. The chemical used to create artificial vanilla flavoring can be extracted from cow dung!


Avoiding natural and artificial flavorings altogether can be challenging as such additives are found in most processed products. Yet there are still good options in the market.

One brand is Annie’s, a food company that makes products flavored with real ingredients rather than laboratory-based flavorings.


The other additive to avoid is artificial coloring. Artificial coloring was first invented in the nineteenth century, with scientists extracting the additive from coal tar. Today, most artificial coloring is made from petroleum.


The reason many companies prefer to use artificial coloring over natural coloring is because artificial colors are more vibrant and long-lasting. There are hundreds of varieties of artificial colorings, but only three colors make up 90 percent of what is used in the market today: Yellow #4, Yellow #5 and Red #40.


How artificial coloring affects our health is a debate that still rages in many scientific and health communities. There is even evidence to suggest that artificial coloring can cause cancer, neurological damage or gene mutations.


For this reason, despite continued use throughout the United States, artificial coloring has been banned in the European Union. A McDonald’s strawberry sundae in the European Union is colored with real strawberry coloring, for example, while in the United States, the company uses Red #40.


Overall, the best advice is to seek out food made with natural coloring alone. But artificial flavors and colors are just a small sample of what the food industry uses in its products. What else is out there?



Humans have been preserving foods for thousands of years. By using natural methods such as freezing, salting and smoking, we were able to keep food fresh during harsh winters or long voyages.


But over the years, methods have changed – and companies now use chemicals to preserve foods.


For instance, to prevent food from going moldy, companies use chemicals called antimicrobials. To prevent spoilage, they use antioxidants. But while such chemicals can make a McDonald’s french fry stay “fresh” for a month, many of these additives are harmful.


Antimicrobial benzoates are used to prevent acidic food from spoiling, for example. But when sodium benzoate is added to a beverage containing vitamin C, it can create benzene, a chemical compound that has been linked to leukemia.


This is why it’s important to read a product’s ingredient list and try to avoid artificially preserved products.


You should also be wary of foods that are artificially sweetened, as most artificial sweeteners are made primarily from oil. Studies that have looked at artificial sweeteners like saccharin have suggested that such products can potentially lead to reproductive problems, genetic damage and even cancer.


But in addition to artificial sweeteners, you should, in general, pay attention to the amount of sugar you eat.


Sugar comes in three different categories: liquid, brown and white, which is the most processed. Each category can be derived from sugarcane, sugar beets or corn.


The bottom line is that sugar is highly addictive, and its overconsumption has resulted in a worldwide epidemic of type 2 diabetes and obesity. What’s more, the potentially dangerous effects of eating sugar made from genetically modified organism (GMO) sources are not fully known.


So when you cook at home, you might consider substituting less-processed sweeteners, like maple syrup, for processed sugar.


What we’ve learned in past book summarys has addressed direct additives, or ingredients added directly to your food. In the next book summary, we’ll look at concerns over indirect additives.



Chances are you probably don’t want to eat something that can also kill an insect. Or how about consuming some antibiotics with your lunch? If you’re not careful, this is exactly what you’re doing.

Most vegetables while growing are treated with pesticides. Such chemicals kill unwanted pests, but they also tend to remain on and in the vegetables you buy then eat.


In the United States alone, some 5.1 billion pounds of pesticides are used on crops each year. While these chemicals have been tested as safe, it’s the people who produce the pesticides who often do the testing. What do you think: would an interest in profits outweigh a company’s interest in health?


In 2011, for example, green beans used for baby food tested positive for a toxic pesticide considered too dangerous even for use in home gardening.


Of course, eating vegetables is important for a healthy, balanced diet. So when you can, choose organic vegetables instead, and use apps like Dirty Dozen Plus, which can point you in the direction of healthier, safer foods.


When eating meat, it’s important to consider the antibiotics and hormones some farmers give the animals they raise. Many farms put profits before the welfare of animals and feed livestock hormones and antibiotics so they grow bigger and stronger more quickly.


While the use of hormones has become a fact in the meat industry, it also has been linked to causing premature puberty in girls, an increased risk of breast cancer in women and a lower sperm count in men.


To avoid eating antibiotics and hormones along with your steak, you have two options: forgo the steak altogether to become vegetarian, or ensure that the meat you eat is certified organic, which allows you more insight into how the animal was raised and what it was fed.


Sadly, most people do better research when buying a car than buying food. Let’s explore how you can become more knowledgeable overall about what you put on your plate.



When you shop for food, how do you choose which products to buy? Many people simply look at a product’s nutritional value, selecting those with packaging which claims “30 percent reduced fat” or similar.


But there are better ways to shop, and importantly, many packaging claims are simply misleading.


The nutritional “daily value” listed on a product’s packaging is often based on an “average” daily intake of 2,000 calories, a detail you might miss. And considering today’s unhealthy, overweight population, this number may no longer be an accurate average.

The nutritional information given on packaging is also based on a recommended serving, which is often different than the total amount contained in the package. A consumer who eats an entire package of chips may be eating two or three servings, thereby doubling or tripling the number of calories listed from a “recommended” serving.


Other nutritional claims, such as “50 percent less sodium than the leading brand,” are simple marketing ploys. While there are regulations in place to verify such claims, fact checks are done only after a product is released, meaning false information can end up on the supermarket shelf. So take these claims with a grain of salt!


You should also be aware of misleading claims about animal welfare and additives.

Many companies say their products are “additive-free,” “artisan,” or contain “no antibiotics.” These statements are unverifiable, and should be considered meaningless.

Eggs from “free-roaming” chickens can mean any number of things.


The best option for obtaining the true nutritional value of a product is to look for clearly regulated labels such as USDA Organic, Whole Grain or Rainforest Alliance Certified. To use these labels, a product has to meet clear standards and regulations.


So now you have the knowledge to eat healthily! It’s time to put what you know to use.



Starting a new relationship with food is not an easy task, as it requires you to reevaluate what you decide to put in your shopping cart and eventually on your plate.


Here are a few simple steps to get you started. Start by identifying which of the food products you buy are safe and which contain too many additives. Then you can determine whether you can swap out the problematic product with a healthier alternative.


For example, maybe you can find a brand of crackers that lists ten simple ingredients instead of 26 mysterious ingredients and additives. Chances are the healthier ones will taste just as good!


Don’t worry too much if there are products that you love and for which you can’t find a healthier alternative. This isn’t about getting rid of everything you enjoy! It’s okay to compromise and keep that bag of Skittles for now if you can’t live without them.


It’s important to note that you shouldn’t throw away food. There are always people and organizations that need food; anything you decide to get rid of should be donated to those in need.


With this in mind, go through your pantry then your freezer, followed by your refrigerator. After doing so, make sure you clean up and put things back to prevent food from spoiling or being forgotten.


Don’t be fooled by diet products, either. You might be tempted to keep them, thinking they are a healthy alternative. But the truth is that many diet products are no better than the regular product. Ice cream is ice cream no matter what, so it’s better to treat yourself to a tasty Ben & Jerry’s than it is to eat a bland “diet” alternative.


So now that you’ve started your healthier journey, how do you stay on the right path?



Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution, only to have it fall apart in weeks? Here are some tips to stay on track and continue making healthy eating choices.


First, acknowledge bad eating habits and think about how you can change them for good.


You can start a food journal to make note of everything you eat and drink. This way you can truly account for what you’re eating, and make a note of how you feel afterward.

Many people are surprised to find out how many alcoholic beverages and sweets they consume.


Based on your food journal, you can pick three realistically achievable changes you’d like to make to your diet. You can think of these as roadblocks on your way to eating healthily for the long term.


With these roadblocks in mind, you can start planning how to overcome them. Often this will involve making just small, subtle changes to your everyday routine.


For example, if your food journal reveals that you routinely skip breakfast, a meal that is vital for a good diet, you can try setting your morning alarm ten minutes earlier. This should allow you time to make a healthy breakfast, and keep you from being tempted by that sugary donut at work.


After all, planning ahead is the best way to make a lasting change!


Before heading to the store, take 15 minutes to create a shopping list, planning when and what you’ll cook. Be smart about your purchases, and only make one or two big shopping trips per week. And by purchasing mostly perishable items, you’ll be more likely to use them and not let them go to waste.


Chances are you won’t be able to cook every day, but try to make as many of your meals as you can. For other days, try to plan ahead and have quick staple dishes ready for balanced meals, like turkey meatballs and a simple green salad.


And it’s fine if there are nights when a pepperoni pizza hits the spot. Don’t worry; enjoy it!



The key message in this book:

It’s not difficult or expensive to nourish yourself in a healthy manner. But you need to know what’s in the food you’re eating to understand what you have to change and how to change it. With this knowledge, you can outline a plan to improve your eating habits with minor yet important adjustments.


Actionable advice:

Eat a healthy breakfast.

Before you skip another breakfast, stop to realize the consequences. Without breakfast, you will continue to make more and more unhealthy food choices throughout the day.


Rethink your pantry.

Take the chance to restock your pantry with better food choices. Don’t just look at a package and ask, “What are these ingredients?” Choose instead a healthier product with fewer additives and artificial flavorings.



Scroll to top