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“A no-nonsense approach to building your business through relationships.”

~ Jane Applegate, syndicated Los Angeles Times columnist

Human Nature, Happiness and Adam Smith

October 23rd, 2014 by Bob Burg

How Adam Smith Can Change Your LifeIt’s his “other classic”…the one that few in our modern times have ever read. Including most economists!

After all, how could Adam Smith, the “Patron Saint of Capitalism” have written a book dealing not with economics but with…self-help!?

Yet, the author of The Wealth of Nations did indeed write The Theory of Moral Sentiments. That book looked deeply into the connection between understanding human nature and how one can live a happy, peaceful and fulfilling life.

Fortunately, in Russ Roberts newest book, How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide To Human Nature And Happiness we are provided with insights into the brilliance of the 18th century Scottish philosopher. However, these have little to do with economics and everything to do with understanding life, ourselves, and others.

Roberts’ writing style is warm and friendly. He helps us understand these principles by combining Smith’s timeless wisdom with compelling, modern-day examples.

As shared previously, human nature is that we all seek happiness as we individually understand it, and within the available choices we perceive. Successful people do not deny human nature but rather respect and work within it. This means we must also take other people’s desires into consideration.

What are some of the many lessons we learn in this book that can help us to live a happier life based on Smith’s insights? Just a few include:

  • While we are inherently self-interested, “we also care about other people’s happiness.”
  • “Man naturally desires, not only to be loved, but to be {worthy of being loved}.”
  • Exactly why pursuing money for its own sake is much more likely to bring about sadness than one might even imagine.
  • Why “Self-delusion is the source of half the disorders of human life.” And, how to most effectively guard against this.
  • “Emotional interaction is a duet in which we are constantly fine-tuning our volume to match that of our fellow.” Yes, it turns out Smith was also a master of what today we would call Emotional Intelligence.
  • The VERY counter-intuitive way to make the world a better place.

The author, Russ Roberts, hosts the very popular and award-winning weekly podcast, EconTalk. A Stanford University Hoover Institution Research Fellow, he has also written three economics novels. And, he co-created the amazing Keynes-Hayek rap videos which have been viewed over seven million times on YouTube.

My concern with writing book review posts for books I’ve fallen in love with is that I cannot possibly include everything deserved in this short a space. After all, there’s a reason it’s an entire book. So, if I may, let me just suggest that, if your goal is to learn about happiness, and from two of the brightest men I’ve had the pleasure of learning from, get this book.

I love books and love wisdom — rarely have I been touched this deeply by both!!

Happiness & Prosperity – Insights from Randy Gage

October 20th, 2014 by Bob Burg

Randy Gage and Bob BurgFor all that I travel, I rarely have the pleasure of seeing one of my speaking colleagues at an airport. Even less so, being on the same flight.

So, it was awesome seeing my great friend, Prosperity Authority and New York Times Bestselling Author, Randy Gage right before a flight…and finding out he was on the same one; at least for the first leg.

Of course, being the opportunist I am I had to ask if I could get a quick video regarding his thoughts on how happiness and prosperity align.

And, he knows his topic. Randy is a true Horatio Alger story, going from poor, down-and-out, drug addicted, prison-serving youth, to a man who has become extremely financially prosperous, donates massive amounts of money to charity, and has friendships all over the world. And, has the time to attend 50 San Diego Padres home games in one season! :-)

You’ll also see that he uses a very politically incorrect word…the “s” word (it’s 11 letters). Please don’t let that upset you or throw you off. Listen until the end. And, then ask yourself how that works within the overall bigger picture.

You can also click here to the view video

Of course, in terms of financial prosperity, in order to “take care of yourself first” you must provide exceptional value to the marketplace. Giving such value — and to lots of people — is what begins the process of receiving.

And, Randy has become hugely prosperous by doing exactly that.

Be sure and tune into Randy’s Prosperity Chat tonight on Twitter. It’s at 9:00 PM Eastern Time. And, knowing him, it will be enlightening!

Consciously Receiving

October 16th, 2014 by Bob Burg

Consciously Receiving - Bob BurgBoth in business and personally you focus on providing lots of value to others. You enjoy doing so. It is part of your value system.

Because of this, your relationships in all aspects of your life are very positive. People seem to go out of their way to want to provide value to you.

So, let me ask you…

When you have an opportunity to receive (whether money, a compliment, love, friendship, lunch, etc.) do you feel yourself resisting it?

Suggestion: When this happens, move immediately into conscious awareness mode and ask yourself why you might be resisting.

Your answer will provide you with what you might need to be working on at this very moment.

Your thoughts?

Actually, That’s What Makes It Bragging

October 7th, 2014 by Bob Burg

That's What Makes It BraggingIt’s a well-know phrase I recently saw tweeted.

“It isn’t bragging if it’s true.”

I’ve also heard it said, “If it’s true…it ain’t bragging.” Either version might be based on the late St. Louis Cardinal’s Hall-of-Fame pitcher, Dizzy Dean who reportedly said: “It ain’t braggin’ if ya’ can back it up.”

However…it’s not correct!

Actually, if it’s true, that’s what makes it bragging. One brags about something they’ve actually done, acquired or accomplished.

If it’s false, it’s…lying!

Seems to me it’s one of those sayings that’s been around for so long it’s simply become accepted as fact.

This post isn’t questioning why people brag, boast, or in any way toot their own horn.

Rather, it’s to not accept something as fact, even when it’s been repeated so often it appears to be self-evident. It’s often good to question those long-held “truisms.”

Are There Others?

What similar phrases, sayings or lessons can you think of? You know, the ones “they” have always said but, when thinking about it, are just not true.

Okay, I’ll start. They say that, “If it’s true it ain’t gossip.” Actually, the fact that it’s true is what makes it gossip. If it were false it would be slander.

You’re up! :-)

Question Regarding Capitalism vs Cronyism

September 28th, 2014 by Bob Burg

Question Regarding Capitalism vs Cronyism - Bob BurgIn a Facebook group run by my friend, Dov Baron, he posed the following question:

Capitalism…Do you see a difference between Capitalism and Corporate Capitalism? Should we keep either, both, and if so how do you see us repairing the system?

Many responded. One I found to be particularly interesting was from someone we’ll call Steve who replied:

“The ‘elephant in the room’ difference is that Capitalism can use guns to enforce their will.”

Since that, by definition, is actually the very opposite of Capitalism, and I feel that understanding this concept is so vital to our future as a country, I responded to Dov’s question and “Steve’s” comment with the following:

“Corporate Capitalism” (a/k/a “Corporatism” or “Crony Capitalism”) is a misnomer and is actually not Capitalism at all. As I often say, “Crony Capitalism is to Capitalism what Chinese Checkers is to Checkers…nothing!”

That’s why I don’t even use that term “Crony Capitalism” and simply call it “Cronyism.”

The entire premise of Capitalism — aside from private ownership — is that it is the exchange of products/services between two or more willing parties with both sides coming away from the exchange better off than they were before the exchange. Otherwise, neither party would willingly participate.

Cronyism, on the other hand, is where corporations or other special interests purchase special favors, rules and regulations from politicians (usually via lobbyists and through campaign contributions and other goodies) in order to provide themselves with an unfair advantage over the competition.

This ultimately hurts the consumer in many ways as well as the country as a whole.

Freedom vs. Force

Responding to Steve, I must respectfully disagree and say that the difference is not that Capitalists can use guns to enforce their will; it’s Cronyism that employs “the guns of government” through the buying of politic favors from politicians.

Key Point: With true Capitalism, companies can only get people to buy from them by providing value in such a way that a consumer chooses to do so. In a truly free-market environment the consumer is the ultimate boss and votes with their dollars.

In other words, Capitalism is based on freedom of choice. Cronyism is based on manipulation, politics, and ultimately, force.

Capitalism — while not utopian or perfect — has been the driving force in an increase in the standard of living for everyone living under that system. The more economically free a country is, the higher standard of living for the masses (including the poor). The less free, the lower the standard of living.

In answer to Dov’s question about how to repair this situation, the citizenry must insist its elected representatives do not participate in Cronyism or they will be voted out of office.

Of course, for this to happen, the citizenry must first understand the difference between Cronyism and Capitalism. I’m afraid that at this point most people think they are the same. And, that is a huge problem.

We cannot repair what we don’t understand.

Want to weigh in? Feel…free! :-)