Monday, April 21, 2008

The Stupid Things Books Teach Us Sometimes

A couple of weeks ago I was at my favourite MPH at 1-U to pick out another book.

I read a lot, and reading is something I really really enjoy doing. Heck if I were to retire one day or take a year off for holidays, I would go to some nice tropical island, sip ice lemon tea and read some very good books.

The books I read these days are mostly about businesses or entrepreneurs that have made it. Everything from the Google Story, to Philip Green's success with BHS, Topman and Dorothy Perkins to Richard Branson's Virgin.

Don't get me wrong though... I don't read these books because I feel I have to. I read them because as an entrepreneur, in many ways I draw inspiration from them to face the adversities we all go through in life.

I love reading novels too, I used to read every other John Grisham book I could find but after a while I had this thinking that hey... entertainment-wise, I get a little more satisfaction or enjoyment by watching a movie than I do reading.

So if I were to read something, I'd wanna read something that could help me learn things I won't learn from watching TV.

Picking a great book though is really hard.

Heck go to MPH and look at the business corner and you'll find books with titles
"Retire Rich" or "How To Be A Millionaire".... heck I NEVER touch these books, at least not since the first time I browsed through a couple of them out of curiosity.Why?These books or the authors who write them are what I like to call "The Master of the Obvious".

It's like you go to some leadership course or some entrepreneur course teaching you to start your own business and you hear tips like:

"You Have To Work Hard To Succeed"At the end of the courses you think to yourself..
"Wait a minute... wtf?!?! Don't I already know that? and I paid RM100 for him to tell me that??"

And it's true... YOU DO ALREADY KNOW THAT!!!

Who the hell doesn't know that you have to work hard to succeed in life??? They teach us that since we started learning to spell the F word in school.

Or here's the other favourite that these courses or books love to tell you
"A Successful Entrepreneur Must Be Determined".
Who the flying f*ck doesn't know that?

My mind turns off when I hear "Obvious" statements like this, hence the term "Master of the Obvious".

Hell if I heard someone say

I will be all ears dammit... trying to learn how I can be lazy and yet be rich!

Then there are books that go along the lines of

All I gotta say to that is... What the hell have we all been doing working so hard if we could earn all that money in our pajamas at home with our smelly bolsters by our side.I remember buying a book called The Perfect Pitch or something trying to learn a thing or two about giving a good pitch or presentation.... and the points they had in the book were

"Always Prepare Before Your Presentation"

Uhmm.. yeah this is new to me.. I never knew we were supposed to prepare ourselves before any presentation. I bet everyone else didn't know this either? Right guys?

"Look Your Audience In The Eye When You Present"


Anyyyywaayyyy... what kind of books do I read?I prefer to read real life success stories of really successful people and draw my own lessons from these stories I read and from the mistakes they made.

Like this book I just read called "Winner Takes All" which tells you how all the major casinos in Las Vegas actually came about.... about all the success and failures and the failures that subsequently led to successes.Casinos like the Bellagio, Mirage, Venetian etc etc and the wonderful people who put all these things together.
Two weeks ago I went to MPH looking for another book to read.

And I went home with a book about Second Life.

Because I have read so much about it, heard a few friends (just a few) play it... and tried it myself but thought it sucked so I thought I'd pick up the book and try to learn what that game really is all about. I mean it has to be good for something or it can't be getting this much hype!

Curiosity is the root of all knowledge and books are the tools that we use to feed that root.

Dammit can anyone tell me what's so fantastic about Second Life?


povege said...

1) Aren't you supposed to be resting your eyes?
2) I love self help books and Robert Kiyasaki's. And I agree some books really suck. It's as if they wrote it just to make money.
3) Random: Have you found smelly bolsters yet??
4) Get well soon ^_^

Unknown said...

How to get well soon: Rest your eyes more! :D

pinkpau said...

i am awaiting the happy Second Life comment from icyqueengoddess... :D

and you..? take a year long holiday? hehehehe i have the giggles just thinking about it

Twinkle said...

Boss, get well soon.

And, I dunno whether u read David Eddings before. It is a good entertaining read. Oh... and Raymond E. Feist too.. but I think Edding is more comical and tend to make his readers laugh!

Hwei Cheng said...

Recently got to know about Second Life from a discussion in Uni... I just thought how silly we human creatures can be...spending hard earned cash for things that we cannot even touch or feel??? hmmmm

KY said...

cos it's perfect for people who doesn't have a first life!

Cobalt Paladin said...

If you are still in Singapore, you may want to visit the Kinokuniya main store at Ngee Ann City. They have a wide selection of entrepreneurial and business books. You may want to consider the following, which may suit what you are looking for:

1. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

2. Big Brown, The Untold Story of UPS

3. Driving Change: The UPS Approach To Business

By the way, if you are interested, you can check out the list of books I read/reading/considering here.

Cobalt Paladin said...

Oh yeah, one more book you may like,

Inside Steve's Brain.

Then again, you may not like it since you hated the iPhone. :p

Anonymous said...

not much to comment here boss but i think the bio of Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong's life would be a good one to get also..=)

btw, aren't you supposed to be resting? the post so long i bet it took quite some time..dont strain your eyes ler boss

Simon Seow said...

Used to read Rich Dad Poor Dad series but later I found it to be repetitive. Now, seldom do self help book anymore, most of them is BS.

Anonymous said...

hey timothy. ur eye's in good condition!

synical said...

Self-help books are repetitive.

You've read one, you've read them all.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad - overrated. Told me stuff that I was already practicing long before I read it. Tell me something I don't already know :P

You could also read the late Dame Anita Roddick's (of The Body Shop) Business as Unusual and Body and Soul.

Boss Stewie said...

povege: hey did you know that robert kiyosaki is a fraud? Still a good book to read though but... he's a fraud haha. google "robert kiyosaki fraud"

em: hhahaah I AM recovering

pinkpau: why not?? yeah i guess i don't hae enough money in my bank to not work for a year

twinkle: really? great! i love people who make me laugh

hwei: well i guess the things they buy have a value as long as someone else wants to buy it

ky: so you have a good first life I suppose

cobalt: hey!!! i'm an apple fan.. love the mac and ipod, just hate the iphone :p

cbb: i think i saw that before in book stores here but I never really... picked it up...

simon: most books that teach something good are.. ermm.. written over and over again of 3 really good points or so... same for rich dad poor dad

samantha: eh no lar.. that picture was taken some time back but my eye now is still ok though

Boss Stewie said...

synical: couldn't agree more with the self-help books... though it's still pretty interesting to read just ONE

nyx said...



When you first start in Second Life, it's common to just give up because it's not one of those things you can just pick up right away. You actually have to LEARN to do stuff .. by reading forums... etc, etc....

However, once you get the hang of it, the potential in SL is endless. You can literally be anything you want to be. If you can't find it yourself, you can learn to build it yourself. It's no secret why a lot of meatspace companies have taken to setting up shop inworld.

hahaha ... I can go on and on and on ... but it's one of those "belum cuba, belum tahu......" things

Boss Stewie said...

nyx: i sudah cuba.. but maybe not long enough.... besides it kinda lagged on my mac... maybe i need a better computer

Cheng Chun said...

Any Donald Trump books to go along with your collection? :P

Hope you recover fast yar yar.

Wilson J Q Quah said...

boss recommend 1 book to you. Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis :D quite a fun read

Johnny Ong said...

u'll like my book collection then as we have similar taste