Bluefishing Book Summary

bluefishing

Bluefishing by Steve Sims
The Art of Making Things Happen

My Thoughts

Bluefishing exceeded my expectations. Steve Sims makes many key points covering topics of passion, relationships, career advice, learning, failure, creating experiences for people and customers, brand building, and more.

My Favorite Quotes

  • Most of the time, what holds us back is entirely in our heads.
  • Never underestimate the power of simplicity. Don’t be easy to understand; be impossible to misunderstand.
  • If you go in with a clear win-win, and confidence that it’s going to happen, you will be surprised at how many times you are right.
  • Failure is just an education in what not to do. For every failure, you are learning.
  • You can get further with passion then you can with any amount of money in the world.
  • If you want to be successful at anything, you need others to help you make things happen.
  • An ignorance of failure drives us. It is inconceivable that what we want is not going to happen.
  • The more you bring into your life, the more you dilute what you are doing.
  • If you can wrap passion and persistence together, you’re invincible.
  • You have to allow yourself rest and recreation. If you do that, you can give more of yourself to those closest to you.

Key Questions

  • Why couldn’t it be me?
  • How do you make clients happy?
  • What do you need to get out of this event that is really going to make you cheer?
  • What’s got to happen to make you so excited that you lose sleep leading up to it?
  • What’s got to happen so that you can’t stop talking about it for years to come?
  • How can we add mystery, intrigue, and interest?
  • Ask yourself, why would anyone want to spend any time with you?
  • What do I stand for?
  • What will I not settle for?
  • How do I want people to feel when they are around me?
  • How should I be treated?
  • How do you walk into a room?
  • What are the small things you can outsource, schedule, automate, or hack so that you can focus on the bigger stuff?
  • How much does it cost to listen?
  • Are you afraid of growing, of enjoying something new and different?
  • Or are you more afraid of feeling the same way you feel right now?
  • If you live any element of your life without passion, you’ve got to ask yourself “Why am I doing that thing?”
  • The real question is, how do you know what to do now so that you wind up in a good place later?

Introduction

Bluefishing is about making things happen, not about checking things off of your daily to-do-list.

Chapter 1: Knocking Down Walls

Steve learned a rock solid work ethic as a brick mason.
A rock solid work ethic is a key advantage in business, life, and everything in between.

You don’t drown from falling in the water, you drown from staying there.
Most of the time, what holds us back is entirely in our heads.
Steve quit his job as a brick mason and it changed his life.
The first thing he noticed was a wall coming down inside of him.
He as filled with excitement about his days.
Steve found the realization that he could do anything.
Busting down internal walls takes a lot of practice.

Secrets from the Bluefishing Playbook

  • Throw away the “that could never be me” mentality. Instead, ask “Why couldn’t it be me?”
  • No one ever drowned from falling in the water, they drown from staying there.
  • Don’t be afraid to jump, be afraid of standing still.

Chapter 2: Power of the Password

People don’t want what they can afford, they want what they can’t get.
They want the mystical, the fantastical, they want excitement, they want adrenaline. These are things you can’t get at your neighborhood store.

Steve figured out that anything he wasn’t achieving in life, any doors that were closed to him, he could figure out the password for.
Unlocking doors is about listening and getting someone to say “yes.”
It is about understanding what someone wants, and finding the right key for each door.

Secrets from the Bluefishing Playbook

  • Avoid analysis paralysis. While other people are planning things to an early death, bluefishers have already tried something four different ways and learned what works.
  • There is a password for every door, you just have to listen for it.
  • Don’t be easy to understand; be impossible to misunderstand.
  • Nothing is ever going to happen if it benefits only you, work for win-win every time.

Chapter 3: Something for Everyone

Never underestimate the power of simplicity. Don’t be easy to understand; be impossible to misunderstand.

It’s not going to happen if it benefits only you.
People want to know that you are thinking of them.
If you go in with a clear win-win, and confidence that it’s going to happen, you will be surprised at how many times you are right.
If you go in with the idea that it is going to fail, or that you are asking too much, or you are giving something the person doesn’t really want, you might as well not even go.
You have to go in there knowing that this is going to happen, but understanding that it’s not going to happen if it benefits only you.

Show them you are different from any other person that does business with them.
Story of mailing 200 custom drinks to people from a hotel while traveling.

Win-win does not have to operate in the same currency.
A million dollars to one person may be nothing compared to singing on-stage with Journey for another person.
A box of chocolates compared to having a printing job done overnight.
Find what the other person is excited about, listen to what matters to them, show them how helping you will benefit them.

Secrets from the Bluefishing Playbook

  • Don’t underestimate the power of simplicity. Don’t be easy to understand; be impossible to misunderstand.
  • Nothing is ever going to happen if it benefits only you, work for win-win every time.

Chapter 4: Be the Real Deal

Sometimes, the path to getting it done is knowing people who will guarantee that you are the real deal.
Steve never wants to leave anything where he is with another person, without it being a win-win.

The experience beats the cash every time.

Always sweat the small stuff.
How do you make clients happy?
Ask them about their passions. Do a little detective work.

Ask “why?” three times.
Questions Steve asks prospective clients.
What do you need to get out of this event that is really going to make you cheer?
What’s got to happen to make you so excited that you lose sleep leading up to it?
What’s got to happen so that you can’t stop talking about it for years to come?
Why do you want this?

People always dilute their wildest dreams when they tell them.
Example, one client wanted to meet Journey and get a handshake.
Steve got the guy on-stage singing with Journey.

You’ve got to talk with people.
When someone wants to work with you, talk to them, ask why.
Why do they want to work with you?
Why do they want this experience?
Why are they selling this thing they are pitching?
Keep asking, “why that?”

Secrets from the Bluefishing Playbook

  • Ask “why?” at least three times. The first why is what they think they think. The second “why” is what they think you want to hear. The third “why” is what they feel.
  • The experience beats the cash every time. Cash gets spent and forgotten, an experience you can give to someone sticks forever.

Chapter 5: No Passion, No Point!

You can get further with passion then you can with any amount of money in the world.
If you say “how much do I have to pay to get you to do this?” they will hang up faster than you can blink.
People don’t want to be sold; they also don’t want to be bought.
Try this instead. “I have this amazing client who wakes up the middle of the night dreaming about this! I want to make his dream come true. What has to happen for you to help me make this happen for them?”
People want to be part of that passion. It’s like electricity.

If all you ever want to do is pay your bills and get by, this book is not for you. This book is not written to help you stand still and barely scrape by.
This is a get-up, get out, and make it happen book!
This book is for those who have a passion for something deep and just need help with breaking down walls and learning a few tricks for making things happen.

Passion is something you have to discover.
It takes time. Relax. That is normal.
Very few people start out knowing what their passion is.
Finding a deep and lasting passion for something is a treasure hunt.
It is never too late to discover your passion.

How do you discover your passion?
Be open and honest and things happen.
Throw open your windows and doors and be open.
Listen for it.
The more questions you ask, you’ll be able to talk to people and find out what their passion is.
Sadly, we don’t talk to ourselves enough to discover what our own passions are. We don’t listen to ourselves either.

Question Everything
Most people don’t have the ability to communicate effectively. All of the best information they have is unsaid.

Passion is a Language
Passion is the best language or currency.
If you want to be successful at anything, you need others to help you make things happen.

Secrets from the Bluefishing Playbook

  • Passion is something you have to discover. Relax, try stuff, it takes time. Never stop looking!
  • If you knew the earth was going to collide with Mars tomorrow, what would you do right now? Maybe that is your passion.
  • Do not believe what people tell you. Most don’t have the ability to communicate effectively. All of their best information is unsaid, somewhere between the lines.
  • Actually care. If you don’t believe in it, they won’t believe in it.

Chapter 6: Failure is Just More Discovery

It’s not about your IQ, it’s about your I can.
The first thing you need to know is what you can’t do.
The next thing is to find those people who can do what you can’t.
Find people who are good enough at doing what you can’t, to make you look brilliant.

Challenge people so they can challenge themselves.
Make them answer the tough questions. If they can’t come back with answers, it’s not meant to be.

Failure is paying for an education.
Delete the words fail and failure from your language.
The difference between saying “I discovered how not to build that motorcycle.” Compared with “I failed at building that motorcycle.” The last one is final, the first one is an education on the next step.
Changing your perspective from failing to discovering is what allows you to continue to the next leg of your journey.

There are no obstacles, none at all.
When you are having “one of those days,” it is absolutely critical that you break away from that negative place and do something you are passionate about.
When you come back, you won’t recognize the obstacles anymore.
Passion gives you a turbocharge.
You don’t perceive obstacles when you are in this zone.
When you adopt a discovery mindset, you don’t fear failure because there is no failure.
Authenticity, passion, and a commitment to do and discover is a phenomenal tank to roll into any battle with. In this mindset, there are no obstacles, zero. Obstacles are self-invented, they are only in your mind.

Secrets from the Bluefishing Playbook

  • Failure is just an education in what not to do. For every failure, you are learning. Take pride in your scars.

Chapter 7: Seventh-inning Stretch: Relax, You’re in Good Company

Walt Disney and Colonel Sanders had been rejected hundreds of times.

An ignorance of failure drives us.
It is inconceivable that what we want is not going to happen.
When you fixate on a goal and know passionately that you can reach it, spending one second thinking that it won’t work is a massive waste of time.

A short list of people who didn’t give up after failures.
Stephen King, Henry Ford,  Albert Einstein, Dwight Eisenhower, James Dyson, Stephen Spielberg, Van Gogh, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, Harrison Ford, The Beatles, Bill Gates, Mark Twain, Dr. Seuss, Oprah, Pete Athens, Meryl Streep, Elvis, JK Rowling, Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Beethoven.

Secrets from the Bluefishing Playbook

Chapter 8: Be Afraid of Standing Still

If you are using 80% of your energy to be someone you’re not, then you can only give 20% of you. If you are just you, there is zero effort involved.
When you show up as who you are, people like you better because you’re not a fake.
The easiest way to stand out is by being yourself.

Be fearful that in a month’s time, you will be in exactly the same spot you are now.
The worst thing that can happen is to be in the exact same spot you are now, one year from now.

When you go bust, you only have two choices. Those experiences can define you, or they can grow you.

The fear of standing still is what drives the author.
As yourself, if you try this, what is the outcome?

  1. If I try and succeed, I succeed. Great!
  2. If I try and fail, I will grow. Also great!
  3. If I don’t try at all, I’ve allowed something to get in my way, I will be standing still.

Secrets from the Bluefishing Playbook

  • It’s not about your IQ, it’s about your I can.
  • Everything stagnant rots. If you’re not growing, you’re dying.
  • What happens to you is not your obituary, get back up again.
  • Don’t be afraid of change, be afraid of standing still.

Chapter 9: Ugly Works

The more unpolished something is, the more natural it is.
People just want something real.
Picasso became Picasso by creating imperfections. It makes people look twice.
Ugly is authentic.

A piece of mail stands out.
Steve tells the story of ripping out half of a magazine article about a vintage Porshe and mailing it to a person he wanted to meet with.
Adds mystery, intrigue, and interest.
Write a handwritten note.

Bluefishers know how to adapt quickly.
What things are important today will not necessarily be important next week.
What tools or tricks we use to great benefit last week, might just be noise and fluff next week.

Secrets from the Bluefishing Playbook

  • A handwritten note beats an e-mail every single time.
  • Let people know you are thinking about them. It goes far.
  • Ugly works. Unpolished, quick, and real. The opposite of over-polished, CGI, and corporate.

Chapter 10: Personal Branding is Personal (Imagine That)

Confident people want to hang around confident people.
If you stop putting energy into being someone else, you can put all of your work into just being you.

Redefining Wealth
My wealth is simply that I am me.
I look after those around me, and I have love, support, and faith with those people.

The first step in strengthening your personal brand.
Focus on your weakest link.
Focus on improving the smallest element of your life that can bring you down.
You are your own brand.
Ask yourself, why would anyone want to spend any time with you?

Look at yourself and learn.
This is what I stand for.
This is what I don’t settle for.
This is how I want people to feel when they are around me.
This is how I feel I should be treated.
When you identify that for yourself, you are building your own persona and branding.

The Chug Test
For selecting employees, friends, clients, etc.
The author asks himself, “Would I want to chug a beer with this person?”
He fired his top performing salesperson because they did not pass the chug test.
The rest of his team was really respectful of the decision.
Because he let the person stay, people were asking themselves “does this guy really do what he says he does?” Everything improved after this decision.
Get rid of anyone toxic to you. Anyone toxic to you is toxic to the company.

Don’t waste time counting likes.
You can have one million followers, but you only need ten to be super rich (rich in relationships and fulfillment).

Secrets from the Bluefishing Playbook

  • Do a self-audit. Because things don’t automatically get better. Take an honest look at your strengths and weaknesses. Invest in the strengths, and see what weaknesses you need to remove.
  • How do you walk into a room? Personal branding is figuring out your core persona, who you are, not who they want you to be.
  • Don’t waste your time counting “likes.” You will never be able to pay your bills with facebook likes.
  • Try the chug test. If you want to know if someone is a good match for you. As a client, customer, vendor, boss, employee, or friend, ask yourself “would I chug a beer with that person?”

Chapter 11: The Power to Say No

Mastering the courage and ability to say “no” is a powerful element of bluefishing.
Learning when, and when not, to use the word “no” has far-reaching implications.
The more you bring into your life, the more you dilute what you are doing.

Say No to Vampires
No gives you the ability to fire people.
You can fire anyone. Not just employees, but clients, customers, and even friends.
Vampires (toxic people) suck something out of you, the residue lingers with you for the rest of the day.
You go into your next meeting with contempt or exhaustion, instead of generosity, love, and passion.
If you are meeting with someone, you want to give them all your energy and attention. You want them to feel good and confident around you.
The bad relationships you tolerate will start to poison all the other relationships you have.
When there is more effort than good times, you know it’s wrong.

Audit Your Inner Circle
If you are spending so much of your life trying to make something good that isn’t, by doing so you are making many other things in your life bad.
Once you stand on your own two feet and say no to someone, you will feel freer and lighter in ways you never imagined.
“No” helps you cut the fat and focus on the meat.

Secrets from the Bluefishing Playbook

  • Master the courage to say no. The more you bring into your life, the more you dilute what you do well.
  • Audit your inner-circle. “No” gives you the ability to fire the vampires. You can fire customers, you can even fire friends. Determine who adds energy to your time and who sucks it out.

Chapter 12: The Art of Delegation

Learn to Lead the Orchestra

Look at the most important part of your project. Make sure that whatever is critical, whatever can hurt you or the business, is looked after by those nearest and dearest to you.
For a critical element of a project, the author will sometimes give two different people the same task. This helps him discover where their unique talents are, and at the same time doubles his chances of a successful result.
Find a bunch of people with unique abilities, with their own 5% traits and skills that no-one else can do. That is how you build up a dream team.

Gain extra time to do what is good.
The author did an experiment hiring a chef to cook healthy meals for dinner at home, they did this every night for a month.
He gained 2-4 hours of extra time every day (between him and his wife).
Time saved included thinking about dinner, planning, preparing, leaving work early, cleaning dishes, etc.

The small stuff knaws at the big picture.
What are the small things you can outsource, schedule, automate, or hack so that you can focus on the bigger stuff?
Take 30 minutes to identify your recurring stresses, there is probably a solution available for you.

Secrets from the Bluefishing Playbook

  • There is a difference between being able to do everything and doing everything. You can only grow by giving other people responsibility. That is the only way you and your business will scale.
  • It’s about time. The real art of delegation, bluefish style, is learning how to put time into what matters. This means learning how not to spend time on things that slow you down.

Chapter 13: What Makes a Brand Great

Great is not a goal that you can see.
If you want to make your business great, begin with something else. First work to make it better than it was yesterday, and constantly strive to make it better day over day, month over month.

Brands, both business and personal, need to ask other people to validate the truth.
What do you think my company stands for?
What do you think our message is?

Focus on your strengths and ignore your weaknesses.
Otherwise, you end up with a lot of really strong weaknesses.

Prestige brands don’t focus on delivering everything. They usually go deep on delivering one thing really well.
More importantly, they don’t set out to make sales, a sale is just a transaction.
Prestige brands set out from the very beginning to create an experience for someone.
A great experience is something you will tell a friend about.
Example, buying a Rolex.

Secrets from the Bluefishing Playbook

  • Great is not a goal you can see. If you want to make your business great, first work to make it better than it was yesterday.
  • Get the right people to say the right things about you. That is marketing in a nutshell.

Chapter 14: The Art of Speaking Human

Make Business Personal
Instead of ignoring a call, try this.
Take a selfie video and text it to the person you need to chat with.

Take the time to reach out to the people in your community in a way that they can sense, listen, and feel.

Find out who your inner circle is, the people who really like what you are making, and focus on them.
Get ugly with them, which means raw, authentic, weird, and funny.
Try to engage them in a way that actually engages their senses, not just their clicking or swiping finger.

Everyone wants to work with unique individual people.

Secrets from the Bluefishing Playbook

  • You can’t concentrate on your friends when you are giving all of your time to strangers.
  • Don’t let technology set the rules for your communication. If you hide behind e-mails and tweets, no one will ever hear you.
  • If communication isn’t personal, it’s not communication.

Chapter 15: Give them a Reason to Believe

The ROI on You
The ROI on you should be growing every day.

If communication isn’t personal, it’s not communication.
Take the time to get to know your clients.
Send them something that they like.

How much does it cost to listen?
The best things in the world are small prices.

Secrets from the Bluefishing Playbook

  • If communication isn’t personal, it’s not communication.
  • Have someone with credibility at a party tell five people that you are the magical gold dust they need. That’s better marketing than sending out 20,000 e-mails.

Chapter 16: Sponge it Up

People are always confident to give you a reason why they can’t do something, and not at all confident to give you a reason why they can.

Get on your boots and go.
While people are thinking about things and planning it to death, I’ve already put my shoes on and gone and done it.

Bluefishing creed: move, act, do, go.
Action is everything.
Learn what you don’t know and try again.

The Twin Devils of Fear and Embarrassment
Embarrassment holds so many people back and keeps them in their rut.
People are actually scared of growth.
People are so scared of growth they would rather be stationary.
The author’s fear is being in the same place, static.
The world is constantly changing, you are out of sync if you are not changing.

Soak Up Just 1 Percent More than You Knew Yesterday
To take charge of your growth, you have to get into your sponge mentality.
Nobody is expecting you to be the smartest person in the room.
Walk in an say, hey I am new to this but I am committed to growing, I want to learn one percent more about this today.
You can’t soak something up if you are sitting in the same room alone, day in and day out.
You have to find something to soak up, people to learn from, experiences to extract learning from.
Whenever you take a risk, you are going to walk away with guaranteed growth.

Change your perspective about what you are afraid of.
Are you afraid of growing, of enjoying something new and different?
Or are you more afraid of feeling the same way you feel right now? Stuck on the same path, constantly knowing you are letting yourself down?

Putting on the Ritz
The author would go to the most expensive hotel in his area, the Ritz, and sit in the lobby, order coffee and watch people. Now he was the kind of guy that went to the Ritz.
Next he went to the counter and asked to be shown one of the best rooms in the Ritz. He left the hotel saying “I know what a $2,000 room looks like.”
He was breaking down internal boundaries in his mind about what he had, what he was, and what he did, or what he could have, or could be, or could do.

The author has been in 3 times more hotels than he has stayed at.
Example, when going to New York he will phone ahead and ask a hotel if he can stop by and visit the hotel while in the area. He will ask them to show him their best rooms from the top down. He will ask to see the best room and middle room, not interested in the entry level.

You don’t have to own it in order to experience it.
If you want to know what it’s like to drive a Ferrari, go to the Ferrari dealership.
If you want to know what it’s like to be in the best hotels in the world, go to the lobby.
When you’ve tasted that, like an elastic band, you won’t go back to the same size. It stretches you. You can’t unlearn or un-experience that.
You are now the type of person that knows what it’s like to drive a Ferrari and can recommend the best cappuccino at the Ritz.
This is not about faking it or trying to sound rich, this is about tasting something, just an element or minute part of a bigger experience.

We have an incredible ability to absorb, and absorb, and absorb with no limits.
Sponge mode is a way to think of yourself with no limits and the ability to grow.

Secrets from the Bluefishing Playbook

  • Enter sponge mode as often as possible. Walk into a room to learn something new and say, ‘Hey, I’m an idiot right now, but I’m here to get just one percent smarter’.
  • If you stretch an elastic band five times, it will never return to the same small size it originally was. Same thing with you. Stretch yourself, and you’ll never shrink back to where you started.

Chapter 17: Live with Passion, Move with Persistence

If you can wrap passion and persistence together, you’re invincible.
If you face an obstacle, find a way around it, over it, under it, or through it.

There’s a thin line between patience and complacency.
You’ve got to live with passion and move with persistence.
If you live any element of your life without passion, you’ve got to ask yourself “Why am I doing that thing?”

Secrets from the Bluefishing Playbook

  • If you can wrap passion and persistence together, you’re invincible.
  • There is a thin line between patience and complacency. Patience can be a cop-out.

Chapter 18: Actually Give a D***

Take money out of the equation, if you can. When you can take money out of the equation, you get to act based on principle.

Watch out for people who pretend to be perfect.
They will want you to be equally fake and “perfect.”

Manage expectations so that you can truly overdeliver.

Clear your head enough to hear it.
The real question is, how do you know what to do now so that you wind up in a good place later?
Your gut will tell you if you clear your head enough to hear it.
The author constantly asks himself, “What would my clients look back on that would mean the most to them?”
Create unique, big, personal experiences for people.

Secrets from the Bluefishing Playbook

  • Have the relationship you want to have. If there were a top five list of guidelines for bluefishing, the #1 thing on the list will be to have the relationship you want to have with your clients, colleagues, community, friends, and family. #2-5 would be to repeat the first.
  • Take money out of the equation, if you can. When you can take money out of the equation, you get to act based on principle.
  • When you do something, or give something, make sure you can honestly say I did this for you.
  • Someday doesn’t mean anything. Never plan for “someday,” today is what matters.

Chapter 19: Don’t Count Your Losses

You have to know that when someone (in your organization) says they are going to do something, it’s done yesterday.
If you can pair passion with the habit for accountability, and instill that in all the people you work with, you will keep yourself on-track.
The bluefishing entrepreneur has to stay agile, flexible, and constantly willing to adapt and change.
The only habit should be that you are great at what you do.
Your habit should be to recognize success, don’t recognize losses.
Negativity is the silent assassin that kills most people’s motivation.

There is a zone, where passion, commitment, and ability all come together.
Find the tools that help you get into your zone.

Be as selfish as you have to be.
You have to allow yourself rest and recreation.
If you do that, you can give more of yourself to those closest to you.
The more passionate you are about something, the more you have to set aside time to recharge, re-tune, and re-set.

Secrets from the Bluefishing Playbook

  • Consciously build new habits.
  • Negativity is the opposite of passion. It is the silent assassin that kills most people’s motivation.
  • Be as selfish as you have to be. You have a right to recharge yourself. Take it, and defend it. That is the only way you will be able to harness your own energy to make things happen.

Chapter 20: The Bluefishing Playbook

Everything you’ve been doing, all of that hard work, being authentic, it all suddenly leads to a moment when you are on top of it all.

  • Throw away the “that could never be me” mentality. Instead, ask “Why couldn’t it be me?”
  • No one ever drowned from falling in the water, they drown from staying there.
  • Don’t be afraid to jump, bluefisher, be afraid of standing still.
  • Avoid analysis paralysis. While other people are planning things to an early death, bluefishers have already tried something four different ways and learned what works.
  • There is a password for every door, you just have to listen for it.
  • Don’t be easy to understand; be impossible to misunderstand.
  • Nothing is ever going to happen if it benefits only you, work for win-win every time.
  • Ask “why?” at least three times. The first why is what they think they think. The second “why” is what they think you want to hear. The third “why” is what they feel.
  • The experience beats the cash every time. Cash gets spent and forgotten, an experience you can give to someone sticks forever.
  • Passion is something you have to discover. Relax, try stuff, it takes time. Never stop looking!
  • If you knew the earth was going to collide with Mars tomorrow, what would you do right now? Maybe that is your passion.
  • Do not believe what people tell you. Most don’t have the ability to communicate effectively. All of their best information is unsaid, somewhere between the lines.
  • Actually care. If you don’t believe in it, they won’t believe in it.
  • Failure is just an education in what not to do. For every failure, you are learning. Take pride in your scars.
  • What people think about you is just their perception, it is not a fact about you.
  • What happens to you is not your obituary, get back up again.
  • It’s not about your IQ, it’s about your I can.
  • A handwritten note beats an e-mail every single time.
  • Let people know you are thinking about them. It goes far.
  • Ugly works. Unpolished, quick, and real. The opposite of over-polished, CGI, and corporate.
  • Do a self-audit. Because things don’t automatically get better. Take an honest look at your strengths and weaknesses. Invest in the strengths, and see what weaknesses you need to remove.
  • How do you walk into a room? Personal branding is figuring out your core persona, who you are, not who they want you to be.
  • Don’t waste your time counting “likes.” You will never be able to pay your bills with facebook likes.
  • Try the chug test. If you want to know if someone is a good match for you. As a client, customer, vendor, boss, employee, or friend, ask yourself “would I chug a beer with that person?”
  • Master the courage to say no. The more you bring into your life, the more you dilute what you do well.
  • Audit your inner-circle. “No” gives you the ability to fire the vampires. You can fire customers, you can even fire friends. Determine who adds energy to your time and who sucks it out.
  • There is a difference between being able to do everything and doing everything. You can only grow by giving other people responsibility. That is the only way you and your business will scale.
  • It’s about time. The real art of delegation, bluefish style, is learning how to put time into what matters. This means learning how not to spend time on things that slow you down.
  • Great is not a goal you can see. If you want to make your business great, first work to make it better than it was yesterday.
  • Get the right people to say the right things about you. That is marketing in a nutshell.
  • You can’t concentrate on your friends when you are giving all of your time to strangers.
  • Don’t let technology set the rules for your communication. If you hide behind e-mails and tweets, no one will ever hear you.
  • If communication isn’t personal, it’s not communication.
  • Have someone with credibility at a party tell five people that you are the magical gold dust they need. That’s better marketing than sending out 20,000 e-mails.
  • Enter sponge mode as often as possible. Walk into a room to learn something new and say, ‘Hey, I’m an idiot right now, but I’m here to get just one percent smarter’.
  • If you stretch an elastic band five times, it will never return to the same small size it originally was. Same thing with you. Stretch yourself, and you’ll never shrink back to where you started.
  • If you can wrap passion and persistence together, you’re invincible.
  • There is a thin line between patience and complacency. Patience can be a cop-out.
  • Have the relationship you want to have. If there were a top five list of guidelines for bluefishing, the #1 thing on the list will be to have the relationship you want to have with your clients, colleagues, community, friends, and family. #2-5 would be to repeat the first.
  • Take money out of the equation, if you can. When you can take money out of the equation, you get to act based on principle.
  • When you do something, or give something, make sure you can honestly say I did this for you.
  • Someday doesn’t mean anything. Never plan for “someday,” today is what matters.
  • Consciously build new habits.
  • Negativity is the opposite of passion. It is the silent assassin that kills most people’s motivation.
  • Be as selfish as you have to be. You have a right to recharge yourself. Take it, and defend it. That is the only way you will be able to harness your own energy to make things happen.

My Action Steps After Reading

  • Taking a selfie video and texting it to someone to be more authentic and personal.
  • Changing my definition to define failure as learning.

Related Book Summaries

Hope you enjoyed this and got value from my notes.
This is the 28th book in my 2019 reading list.
Here is a list of my book summaries.

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