Business without the Bullshit

Business without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know

Book Author: Geoffrey James

Business without the Bullsh*t is not just a business book, it’s a book that equipped you with mindsets and tips you need to know to excel in your career. The majority of the book is filled with how-to(s), from how to ask for a raise, how to hire a top performer, to how to have a real conversation.

My Reading Notes

  • Today everyone is a freelancer. Even if you’ve got a salaried position with benefits, perks, paid vacations, and a fancy title, you’re still a freelancer. If you aren’t constantly selling and reselling your services, you’ll be unemployed faster than you can say pink slip.
  • As a freelancer, you must learn to manage your relationships upward, downward, and sideways. Most importantly, you must learn to manage inwardly, controlling your thoughts, habits, and actions so they serve your greater purpose.
  • If you want true career security, learn to sell.
  • The key to managing a boss is not to envision that boss as an overseer or a commanding officer. That’s not appropriate because the relationship between boss and employee is symbiotic: to be successful, each of you needs the other.
  • Regardless of what it says in your job description, your real job is to make your boss successful.
  • If the boss can’t or won’t provide specifics, you can assume whatever promise is being made is meaningless. In business, a promise is only a commitment when it has measurable details connected to it.
  • If the cost of replacing you (salary cost, recruitment cost, training cost, collateral damage cost, and lost opportunity cost) is greater than what they’re spending on your salary, you can ask for a raise and reasonably expect to get one. If not, you won’t get the raise.
  • Who you really are is more likely to command respect than your ability to play a role that’s unnatural to you. People have a natural ability to detect fakery and see fakers as untrustworthy, insecure, and ultimately insignificant. On the other hand, people are drawn to individuals who truly are what they seem to be. Being yourself (and at your best for whoever you are) is, therefore, the foundation of earning respect.
  • The first step to finding a mentor is realizing that you’ve got a hole in your experience that you can’t plug by reading a book or taking a seminar.
  • Asking for advice is a compliment to whomever you ask, and most people enjoy teaching what they’ve learned. However, asking somebody to be your mentor is just plain creepy. Mentorships develop over time. Mentors find that they enjoy providing advice and guidance and continue to make themselves available. Those being mentored find they enjoy getting advice and express gratitude for it.
  • Great bosses see business as a symbiosis through which the most diverse firm is most likely to survive and thrive. They create teams that adapt easily to new markets and can quickly form partnerships with other companies, customers… and even competitors.
  • Great bosses see their companies as collections of individual hopes and dreams, all connected to a higher purpose. They inspire employees to dedicate themselves to the success of their peers and therefore to the community—and company—at large.
  • Great bosses inspire people to see a better future and how they’ll be a part of it. Employees work hard when they believe in the organization’s goals, truly enjoy what they’re doing, and (of course) know they’ll share in the rewards.
  • If everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority. The entire concept of a priority is that one thing is more important than everything else.
  • Measure your management ability based on how you handle your worst performers. It’s those employees who define the lowest level of performance you’re willing to tolerate, and how much you expect the other employees to compensate for your low standards.
  • Loyalty, however, must be earned. You can only expect employees to be loyal to you if you’re willing to first be loyal to them. That means watching out for their interests, helping them to be successful, and keep them on board even if you can hire someone else for less.
  • Regardless of whether the complainer claims to want a solution, once he or she begins complaining, resist the urge to provide a solution (at least for now). Remember, complainers above all need to feel they’re being heard.
  • Of all the relationship you’ll have at work, the most important is your relationship with yourself. Your success in the workplace depends directly on how well you manage the only two things over which you have any real control: your mind and your body.
  • The Pareto Principle is a mathematical law that applies in most situation. The law is as follows: 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your actions. Commit this rule to memory, because it’s the key to time management.
  • What’s value about role models is not the strategies they pursued, but the thought processes that led them to those strategies. It’s those ways of thinking, channeled through today’s realities, that will create the approach you’ll need to land your dream job.
  • Every “success formula” starts with (1) knowing where you are today, (2) knowing where you want to be, and (3) building a plan to get from here and there.
  • All a prospective employer cares about is what you can do for his or her company now and in the future. Therefore, like all sales documents, your resume is about the customer, not about you.
  • If you truly want to be successful, it’s in your best interest to create and maintain a positive attitude. When you’ve got an attitude of optimism, expectancy, and enthusiasm, opportunities grow and problems shrink.
  • Communication isn’t just important in business; it’s the very core of business itself. Managing is communication, selling is communication, marketing is communication.
  • In every organization, the real leader is whoever can communicate the most clearly and make complicated things seem simple and simple things seem obvious.
  • Communication is information with a purpose. Therefore, it’s possible to communicate well only if you are clear about the purpose of the communication.
  • Workaholics may think they’re accomplishing more than the less fanatical, but in fact, long hours result in stressed out people who get too sick to work, and who produce sloppy work that must be either scrapped or redone.
  • Worrying about stuff you can’t control isn’t going to make any difference either in the short or the long run. It’s wasted energy and extra stress you don’t need. Change what you can change and shrug off what you can’t.
  • Most people aren’t as successful as they might be, simply because their fear is keeping them from taking action.
  • The concept of rejection implies that there’s something personal about the failure, but that’s just an illusion. What’s actually happened is that a goal wasn’t achieved because the two people involved had different rules about life. This is an impersonal fact.
  • Remember: you’re going to live with yourself, and if you act like an asshole, you end up living with an asshole.

Enjoyed this reading note? I summarized every book I read, you can browse other books’ summaries here.