My Notes From: Business Stripped Bare

My notes from Sir Richard Branson’s book:
Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur


  • The best Virgin manager is someone who cares about people and who is genuinely interested and wants to bring out the best in them.
  • A boss who is willing to party with all of their people – and pay attention to their personal concerns – has the makings of a great leader.
  • When I work with people, I really want to get to know them personally. I want to meet their families, their children, I want to know their weaknesses and their strengths, and above all I want them to know mine. Continue reading
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My Notes From: How To Make One Hell Of A Profit and Still Get In To Heaven

I continue to share my notes of great information, today it’s from Dr. John Demartini‘s great book How To Make One Hell Of A Profit and Still Get In To Heaven.

Yes, this is a lengthy post, but there is just so much deep wisdom in this book :-)

The Principle of Fair Exchange

  • The principle of fair exchange is a basic law of nature: Paying a fair price for a fair service in a timely manner.
  • Pay yourself first!
  • Selfishness doesn’t serve; enlightened self-interest does.
  • There is no such thing as a free lunch.
  • Make a list of anything or anyone in your life that feels incomplete or out of balance, and find a way to bring it back into fair exchange. It will have an incredible effect on your mind and your finances!
  • If you think you have nothing, why would the universe invest in you? (compare it to a bank; if you have nothing the bank won’t lend you money)
  • Entropy is the tendency for things to break down, to go from an ordered to an disordered state, so every time you put money into a more disordered system than your own, entropy takes over and system is further dissipated. The universe is trying to teach you to invest in higher order and inspiration, and when you don’t, you receive a lesson. (Erik: Invest in lowering the entropy of the world)

Continue reading

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My Notes From: Simon Sinek – Start With WHY

I have made it a habit to take notes every time I hear or read something important. Writing and structuring the new information helps me to learn it and also to remember it better when I come back to it later. I thought you could benefit from my notes, so I have published this classic talk by Simon Sinek at TEDx Puget Sound 2009 together with my notes.

See also Simon’s website:

The tool I am using for taking and structuring all my notes is WorkFlowy.

More of my favorite speeches can be found here. Continue reading

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Modelling Success – The “How am I thinking?” Checklist

I’ve found this checklist in the book The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz and thought it’s a gem I should share:

The “How am I thinking?” Checklist:

  1. When I worry:
    • Would an important person worry about this? Would the most successful person I know be disturbed about this?
  2. An idea:
    • What would an important person do if he had this idea?
  3. My appearance:
    • Do I look like someone who has maximum self-respect?
  4. My language:
    • Am I using the language of successful people?
  5. What I read:
    • Would an important person read this?
  6. Conversation:
    • Is this something successful people would discuss?
  7. When I lose my temper:
    • Would an important person get mad at what I’m mad at?
  8. My jokes:
    • Is this the kind of joke an important person would tell?
  9. My job:
    • How does an important person describe his job to others?

Cement in your mind the question “Is this the way an important person does it?”

  1. Look important.
  2. Think your work is important.
  3. Give yourself a pep talk several times daily. Build a “sell-yourself-to-yourself” commercial.
  4. In all of life’s situations, ask yourself, “Is this the way an important person thinks?”
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The Most Important Things in Life Are Not Urgent

If we take the things we want or have to do and apply the dimension urgency and importance, we’ll end up with the following combinations:

  1. Not Urgent & Not Important
  2. Urgent & Not Important
  3. Urgent & Important
  4. Not Urgent & Important

Continue reading

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STARTup Live Vienna #4

Here my Storify collection of social media updates around STARTup Live Vienna #4.

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The Strangest Secret

One of my all time favorite personal development audios:
“The Strangest Secret” by Earl Nightingale.
I hear it about once every month – yes, it’s that good :-)


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Attitude – The only thing holding us back

The following gave me to think:

  • Latest estimation: 100 million earth like planets in the visible universe
  • Age of the life on earth: 4 billion years out of 14 billion, the age of the universe
  • Lately we find water everywhere in our own solar system when we look closer (frozen and even melting water on Mars, hidden oceans and ice caps on Jupiter/Saturn moons)

Conclusion: Life should be quiet common in the universe and significant on the time scale. But if we look at the intelligent life of humankind, it’s absolutely insignificant on the time scale. After all, the human race is only 1 million years old with no big changes since 100,000 years. This means if we could resurrect a 100,000 year old frozen human, he or she could live in our time without any limitations. He or she could learn everything we know, work in science, become an artist, a teacher or be an entrepreneur who changes the world. No limitations. So what have we been doing over the last 100,000 years? Why haven’t we developed science, industrialization, space flight and computers thousands of years ago? It took only 500 years from Copernicus to landing on the Moon. Those 500 years could have happened at any time in any ancient civilization.

The only thing that did hold those civilizations back was their attitude, their mindset. The attitude of believing in what they thought were facts instead of questioning everything. This questioning of everything is the core of science. Something is only considered a fact for so long as it can’t be proven otherwise and everyone is free to do so without getting burned on a stake.

So what stronger indication is there, that attitude is everything?
It made the difference between stone age and such achievements as space flight, the internet, quantum physics and decrypting the secrets of our own DNA.

One of the most profound statements I have ever heard is:
“Attitude is more important than facts, because facts are usually just opinions!”

Every time someone changed the world, he or she had the attitude to question or ignore what seemed to be facts at the time. Thus there should be no limitation for the development of humankind if we keep questioning the old facts and generating new ones all the time.

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Why Am I Writing a Personal Blog?

I don’t want to discuss this question on the level of social media visibility and self marketing. While reading the book The Breakthrough Experience by Dr. John Demartini I found a much deeper, philosophical reason why it might be a good idea to make yourself and your thoughts public.

Consider the following question:
If everything you did, said, and thought was broadcast 24 hours a day on eternity television, and everyone knew everything about you, could you love yourself?

Demartini writes: “Mastery is the ability to take your privates public. By that, I mean that if you can take the private things you don’t like about yourself and embrace them to the point where it doesn’t matter if people find out about them or not, then you love yourself. When you love yourself, people can’t push your buttons, but they will automatically attack you in whatever areas you attack yourself.”

“When you give yourself permission to be fully human, you approach the divine.”

This led me to the conclusion, that publishing your live is a training in self love. It forces you to embrace all aspects of yourself. If you are hiding anything from the public, you can also hide it from yourself. But then you are also attackable by others. You can’t be attacked –
meaning taking that attack personal and serious – for something you already told everybody and have integrated both, the positive and negative aspects of it, into your mind/consciousness/world view. Basically you have disarmed that aspect of your life by publishing it and finding personal balance with it.

With being public I mean oneself as a person, the thinking mind. Of course this doesn’t include all the details of ones businesses and relationships.

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Working On My Daily Habits

One of the most important but also hardest parts in personal development is establishing good habits. Why habits? Many things you want to implement need some degree of self discipline. By most people, self discipline is seen as the wholly grail of self development.

There is only one problem with applying discipline: It drains energy!

See How to Strengthen Willpower, Part 1 and Part 2. Conclusion:

  • Because willpower is limited, it’s important to set reasonable goals and priorities. Conserve your willpower for what really matters.
  • Recognize that willpower is not “all in the mind,” and supply your mind-body with the fuel it needs to face life’s challenges. This fuel includes rest and a healthy diet.
  • Understand how the demands of your job, family and other relationships may interfere with your (and your clients’) ability to stick with a health or fitness program. Look for ways to reduce stress in all areas of your life to support any major life change.
  • Conserve or bypass willpower by focusing on other strengths: planning, commitment and positive motivation.
  • Aim for progress, not perfection.

By developing habits, you reduce the amount of willpower and thus energy needed to perform your planned actions.

How (and When) to Motivate Yourself describes, why it is so important to consciously plan what you want to develop into a habit. Never make decisions when you are weak. Create or change your plans only when you are well rested, clear thinking and inspired. In between those planning times just stick to your plans whatever happens.

The following plan I am working on developing into daily habits is nothing special, just the attempt to systematize my quest to reach my goals while loving my life.

The point loving my life takes special attention: What’s the point of reaching your goals if you don’t love your life on the way there? The journey is the reward! It’s about every day of your life and the small steps you take.

Watch Keith J. Cunningham‘s videos “Is vs. Ought” Part 1 and Part 2.

Ordinary things consistently done over a long time produce extraordinary results. -Keith J. Cunningham

Coming back to how to love your life. The key is gratitude. How can you love your life when you are not grateful for it? (I’ll write a separate posting about the power of gratitude in the future, because it has much more depth to it than it seems on first sight).

This are the 2 points regarding gratitude in my daily habits plan:

  1. I won’t get up in the morning until I am already grateful for the day to come. That may take extra 15 minutes in the morning depending on the mood after waking up (which, in my case, is usually rather grumpy). But what sense does a day in your life makes, if you are not grateful for it? As soon as I get grateful for the new day, I can’t wait to get up and take action. That is an extra boost worth spending any extra time that may be necessary.
  2. Instead of just listing my obvious blessings at night (a technique I was using before), I am taking a new approach: I think of every thing that has happened over the day and find out in what way it has served me in getting towards my goals. That way I am not only grateful for the obvious positive things, but for the whole day – every day!

Making sense of your life and being grateful for every day of it is much more powerful than just listing the obvious, easy to see positive things that happened.
Your positive ‘blessings’ are only a small, one sided part of the whole. Everything should be a blessing, positive and negative events, because everything can serve you when you invest the time find out how.

So here is my plan finally, which will always be a work in progress (I’ll update it here):

In The Morning

  1. Don’t get up until I am grateful for my life and the new day and I can’t wait to start
  2. Drink 2 glasses of water
  3. Say affirmations loud
  4. List the 7 most important things I can do today to get closer to my goals
    • Look up to do list
    • Include 2 or 3 items that “sharpen a tooth” = continuous learning and training
    • What makes a positive difference to the lives of as many people as possible?
    • If I had only one day/week/month to live what would I do today that I haven’t done yet?
  5. Start with the most important item and finish it what ever it takes

After Lunch

  1. Empty email inbox
  2. Drink 2 glasses of water

Late Afternoon

  1. Drink 2 glasses of water
  2. Walking/Fitness training
  3. Drink 2 glasses of water
  4. Reading and learning:
    • Read daily news
    • Read daily forums
    • Watch selected video podcasts instead of TV
    • Read books

Before Going To Bed

  • Dr. John Demartini‘s “Did I” Checklist:
    1. Did I count my blessings and focus on being thankful today?
    2. Did I list and prioritize my daily actions today?
    3. Did I act on my priority actions today?
    4. Did I communicate in terms of people’s values today?
    5. Did I share from my heart while speaking today?
    6. Did I write at least on thank-you letter today?
    7. Did I grow and accelerate my wealth today?
  • Think how everything that happened today has served me in getting closer to my goals and write it down in my List of Blessings
  • Say affirmations loud
  • Deep breath relaxation before going to bed
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