1 Long Review Of 100 Very Short Lessons About the Long Game of Business
Alex Hillman asked for reviews, on twitter. I obliged.
When I emailed him, I mentioned I had reviewed a book of poems and reviewed or, rather endorsed a profitable newsletter course. That’s my whole career as a book critic.
This critique, review, endorsement is not without bias. I like Alex. I like what he does. He likes what I do.
Here’s proof on twitter: https://twitter.com/alexhillman/status/1260256258097139715
Small Books, Big Ideas
The last short book I read, The Dip, I fell in love with. The Dip remains my second favorite book. The Dip, by Seth Godin, covers exactly one moment in every business person’s professional life. This moment haunts me and The Dip gave me the one tool to get through it. Quit.
The idea of The Dip is that Winners quit. Winners quit everything they are losing in. So then they focus their attention and energy to that in which they can win.
I got to read Tiny MBA for free.
For that I’m grateful. But you are not the same. You’ll have to pay. Boo hoo. You can follow Alex on twitter too and hope he writes another book, then hope he tweets out that he’s giving free reads for an honest review in return.
Page Stopper: Makes Ya Think
This book is not a page turner. It’s a page stopper. Every page, a tiny lesson. And each lesson needs a good five minutes of rumination. Alex claims this book takes 20 to 30 minutes to read.
You can do that. You would miss out on the exact opportunity this book offers you.
Between the pages, is you. You are the one reading it and you are the one Alex is talking to.
He’s not talking about anything else, he’s talking to you.
Page 20: Do you know where your money comes from?
That’s Alex, asking you. There’s one more question after that but it took me 5 minutes to get to it. I sat there wondering, “where does my money come from? Who pays me? Do they pay me? Does someone owe me?”
And five minutes later I got to the next question: “Like, why do you get paid?” oh… I hadn’t thought about that.
Another five minutes later and I’m only halfway through page 20. This is gonna take all morning. Why don’t I get another coffee started?
I’d recommend reading this book in silence. No amount of background music, or elevator music is going to help. Classical? No. Natural sounds of Bali? No. Silence. You’ll want pure silence.
Stopping, and checking my email, happened a lot while reading this book. Not because I was checking for incoming email, but because I wanted to take action. I wanted to send an email.
For instance, page 31 ends with: “A lot of people forget to give their past happy customers a chance to buy again”. Oh shit, that’s good. Let me see if I can drum up a little more business.
Hop over to my gmail, and uh well what can I sell them? I got 20 people here that would totally buy something again. Open a new google doc, doc.new. Okay! Let’s start some ideas. No no no, stop idea hunting and just build something. Sheet.new => We’ll start recording something in here. Maybe a swipe file.
You get my point.
Each lesson has consequences.
Time rolled away from me that day as morning became afternoon and I was only on page 31.
At times I sat down and said to myself “I’ll get through a few pages. Just go right through” but that was a tough task.
I found myself pushing on to another page, pressing forward.
Scrolling, when I shouldn’t have.
My mind was on page 42 while my eyes were on page 47. Let’s go back.
“Brainstorming customers you can serve.” oh that’s good. That’s helpful. I’ll just start another google sheet. Sheet.new I’ll call this one “Best Customers” Yeah, and let me just put a few names here before I head back to Tiny MBA.
20 minutes later. Let me make another coffee and try to finish this before reading more.
Back into reading mode.
Page 50: “I think people confuse ‘scaleable’ with ‘sustainable’ in business”
That’s it. That’s the whole page. Nothing more. Nothing less.
What does he mean by that?
5 minutes later, okay I’m ready for page 51.
Well, page 51 blows apart my idea for this review. I thought I’d keep going. Keep telling you my story, my experience with this book. But it’s getting long now. This review is getting long. The book is still only 100 lessons.
Better is Better
As Alex says: “Bigger isn’t better, better is better”
Yes that’s all of page 51. The entire lesson. “Bigger isn’t better.”
Okay sure. Quality over Quantity. I get it.
I’ve thought that too. And also I think “Quality comes from quantity.”
That’s not the lesson.
“…better is better” is the lesson.
OH! It’s not “Quality over Quantity” or even “Quality from Quantity.”
The point is: “Quality”
Further on Alex mentions his Buddhist studies. I think about that for 5 whole minutes. I think about studying Buddhism.
This book isn’t a book you read.
This book is one you experience.
There’s very little jargon. I’m not googling much.
Until page 69. WTF is “JFDI”?
I’ve never heard the phrase “Ruthless generosity” and now I’m all about it.
This is a modern business book that looks down on all “almost all modern business books.” With good cause. This modern business book rocks!
This is the best modern business book I’ve read this year. Alex, you can quote me on that!
Tiny MBA is roughly 5x longer than this review.
And I’ve only shared with you 4% of the lessons.
I’ll check with Alex if it’s okay to quote a couple of lessons in this review. If this last line makes it to print, you know he’s okay’ed it. So you’ll also know he’s read this whole review.
Thank you Alex for letting me read this book, before everyone else. I appreciate it, and I appreciate you.