Notes And Ideas From The Last 7 Books I’ve Read

by Scott

Over the past few months, I’ve re-invigorated the habit of reading regularly. For a while I wasn’t reading because I “already had enough to do.”

I felt like didn’t need to consume any new information unless it was immediately actionable.

While the amount of stuff to accomplish hasn’t diminished, I felt like I was in a less creative period than in the past so I wanted to get in the flow of reading again.

For the past few months I’ve been doing non-fiction for 10 minutes every morning and then fiction or biographies before bed and it’s been great.

Here are the last 7 books I’ve read. Below the titles you’ll find my notes.

The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation  by Matthew Dixon, …
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Practicing Pre-mortems

by Scott

Before working on Troops, I was usually pretty good about reflecting on experiences after the fact…doing a “post-mortem” if you will.

Something I was less diligent about was this concept of “pre-mortems.” 

A pre-mortem means taking the time to map out what you expect to happen and the implications of that outcome. It sounds basic, but bringing process to this really makes a difference vs. haphazardly doing it here and there.

Consistently practicing simple pre-mortems at Troops has saved our team weeks worth of time by helping us realize that what we were about to do was not actually an effective use of time. I credit my colleague Aditya Pandyaram for instilling this process into our company and my life.

When you distill it down, trying new things are …
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Constraints As Your Advantage

by Scott

One of the biggest concepts I’ve become more self-aware of this past year is constraints and their effect on your speed and mental cycles.

Deep down a lot of people in early stage startups spend their time and energy thinking about “is this going to work?”

Even if you have a presumption of success for your company, at the tactical level you continuously ask yourself this question when evaluating everything from your business model to the adoption of a specific feature.

The best way I’ve found to holistically manage this circumstance is by implementing concrete, measurable constraints.

The magic constraint at Troops seems to be the number 30.

Do people want this product? Create a powerpoint deck and pitch 30 people.

How much should we charge? Pitch 30 qualified opportunities …
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Becoming High Performance and Building A Sales Machine

by Scott

Below you’ll find the first ever “guest re-post” on Life-LongLearner as well as a new podcast with my buddy Ryan Denehy. The post + podcast combo effectively  makes this a Denehy centerfold.

Ryan is a close friend who most recently co-founded Swarm Mobile which was acquired by Groupon. In the podcast episode, we riff on the mental and emotion journey of getting there. In the post, you’ll see all the things he learned building the local sales machine that fueled their growth.

Enter Sensai Denehy….

Listen On Itunes

“Building A Startup Sales Machine: 64 Things I Wish I Knew”

Newsflash: I had no idea what I was doing when I first started running sales and distribution teams almost 10 years ago. Some would argue that I still don’t. But the …
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My New Project Peak State

by Scott

A few months ago I had this idea for a type of workout I’d never seen.

At first the idea seemed a bit out there, but as I’ve introduced it to more people the feedback has been tremendously positive.

The workout is called Peak State and you can read about it here. I now teach it regularly where I live in New York City and you can get a feel for the mindfulness portion of the workouts by requesting access to a sample guided meditation I created here.

Anyways, this post is not a workout prescription but rather the story behind Peak State and why it exists…

I think people interested in starting things and enhancing personal performance will find this a fun read : )

It all …
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Doubling Testosterone Naturally

by Scott

This is a story about being a testosterone guinea pig and a business I decided not to start.

Just over a year ago, I decided to move to Brazil with some of my buddies from NYC.

A few months prior to our departure, my future roommate Ben tried a new diet regimen called intermittent fasting which increased his testosterone by 30%.

I knew testosterone was an important hormone for dudes,  but wasn’t really sure why increased levels were desirable.

After he told me this, I did some more research….

A lot of people hear the word Testosterone and just think of aggressive males, bar fighting with veins popping out of their foreheads. In reality, it’s a pillar for both men and women’s optimal health.

A meaningful …
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2013 Goals Report Card and Reflection

by Scott

At the end of last year, I wrote out everything I wanted to achieve in 2013.

Here’s how I finished up as well as some breakthrough realizations I had this year.

Goals Completed

Pay off student loans
Steady side income of over 2k a month that takes less than 4 hours of work to maintain
Reach 1,000 blog subscribers
Guest blog for 6 reputable blogs
Create and market a digital product
Travel to 2 new countries (China, Peru, Chile, Netherlands, Brazil)
Start an interview series
Drinking 1 less day per month
Create an LLC to write off expenses
Create an event that people love (New York Personal Development Meetup)
Redesign my blog
Go to China to visit one of my best friends while he’s there
Take 2 weekend trips with friends (Jackson Hole, Montauk …
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Behind the Scenes of My Tim Ferriss Mentorship Application

by Scott

It was 2am and my heart was racing uncontrollably. So many ideas. So much excitement about prospects for the future…

This is it. This is what I want for my life.

I’m not sure I remember any restless night as vividly as the one following the first time I picked up The 4 Hour Work Week.

Maybe it’s because that night marked the beginning of my romance with entrepreneurship and prompted me to quit my cushy job in Chicago to go work for lunch receipts at a tech startup in NYC.

This why I regularly bear hug my 4HWW book at least.

When Tim Ferriss mentioned he was offering a week long mentorship for someone to work with him and Noah Kagan, another guy I look up to, …
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