I just completed reading Guy Kawasaki’s latest book Wise Guy his 15th book: Wise Guy was released February 26 by Penguin Random House/Portfolio Books. It was a very enjoyable read and had me laughing throughout. Guy’s stories are entertaining, inspirational, thought-provoking and empowering. Guy shares his experiences throughout his life and the wisdom he found in those moments.
Some of the best takeaways. Pointing out that often when he was going through something he was not happy with, it would often turn out to be the best path he could have taken. Like listening to his father when he was told to go to Stanford and not to choose a school to play football.
Chapter 3 had the most compelling wisdom in my opinion.
- Don’t look for problems.
- Take the high road.
- See humor where others see insults.
- Give people the benefit of the doubt—
- Don’t let people get to you, whether they are insulting you or not.
If we could all live by this advice our world would be a different place.
Chapter 6 Values – demonstrates how you will always win if you give before you expect anything in return.
Wisdom shared…Do the right thing. Be a Steve, Patrick, or Bruce. A formal contract with a dishonorable person is worth less than an informal contract with an honorable one. These guys taught me about honor when honor meant giving up hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Try to avoid arrangements where people receive your money as your agent, take their share, and then send you the rest. As the saying goes, possession is nine-tenths of the law. Lawsuits and even criminal actions seldom rectify a bad situation.
However, some arrangements involving other parties receiving your money are unavoidable. Even after my bad experiences, I chose to use a literary agency and a speaking agency. In both cases I went with large, established organizations that were far more stable than “an agent with a secretary and a few salespeople.”
Verify any excuses at the second sign (let the first one slide) of trouble. For example, in the case of “client didn’t pay,” call the client; if the “bank made a mistake,” call the bank; if the “wire transfer takes a week,” call the bank, etc. Verify every excuse.
If you catch the company lying, take immediate and severe action. If you don’t have the stomach for this (I don’t), then find a surrogate to be the bad guy. In my case, I should have refused to book any new speeches until past debts were paid, and I should have immediately ended my exclusive relationship with the agencies.
Assume people are good until proven bad—twice, because the first time could have been a mistake. After two times, you’re the fool.
Deliver bad news early if you are on the other side of such a situation and are experiencing difficulty. Then try to work out a way to make good on your commitments. At least this shows you’re an honest person who is trying and not an out-and-out crook.
Do the right thing, not what you can get away with when you achieve a position of power and wealth. Money can’t buy scruples—indeed, money may prevent scruples. With money comes the responsibility to act magnanimous—not abusive. Remember this if you get rich. Nerds
Guy points out that he served two “tours of duty” as an employee for Apple (from 1983-1987 and 1995-97), he writes extensively and shares his experience into 11 points of wisdom:
• Only excellence matters.
• Customers can’t tell you what they need.
• Innovation happens on the next curve.
• Design counts
• Less is more.
• Big challenges beget big accomplishments.
• Changing your mind is a sign of intelligence.
• Engineers are artists.
• Price and value are not the same thing.
• But value isn’t enough.
• Some things need to be believed to be seen.
Guy’s journey also supports writing a book to help you grow your brand and career. He cautions us to only do so if you have something important to convey. He also offered this great tip. Spend two hours building up your social media following for every hour you spend writing. Start this the day you decide to write a book, because you’ll find that marketing a book is harder than writing it.
Finally, his stories helped me to remember that things happen for a reason and often when you look back it was the right path to take. Even though at the time it feels like a disappointment.
You will thoroughly enjoy Wise Guy. Thanks for a great read @guykawasaki