If you don’t want to starve, you will find valuable guidance in this book.

My Highlights From the Book “Rework”

Most business books give you the same old advice: write a business plan, study the competition, seek investors, yadda yadda. If you’re looking for a book like that, put this one back on the shelf. REWORK is the perfect playbook for anyone who’s ever dreamed of doing it on their own. Entrepreneurs, small-business owners, and artists who don’t want to starve will all find valuable guidance on these pages.

I highly recommend buying this book and reading it. Notes below are just the parts that I highlighted in my book. Reading them alone may not help that much in some cases, but when you read them in the context, you get the main point of view.
  1. The “Real World” isn’t a place, it’s an excuse. It’s a justification for not trying. It has nothing to do with you.
  2. Evolution doesn’t linger on past failures, it’s always building upon what worked. So should you.
  3. Plans are inconsistent with improvisation.
  4. You have the most information when you’re doing something, not before you’ve done it. Yet when do you write a plan? Usually, it’s before you’ve even begun. That’s the worst time to make a big decision.
  5. Working without a plan may seem scary, But blindly following a plan that has no relationship with reality is even scarier.
  6. Working more doesn’t mean you care more or get more done. It just means you work more.
  7. Workaholics aren’t heroes. They don’t save the day, they just use it up. The real hero is already home because she figured out a faster way to get things done.
  8. You just need an idea, a touch of confidence, and a push to get started.
  9. Don’t sit around and wait for someone else to make a change you want to see.
  10. The perfect time never arrives.
  11. Great businesses have a point of view, not just a product or service.
  12. For everyone who loves you, there will be others who hate you. If no one’s upset by what you’re saying, you’re probably not pushing hard enough (and you’re probably boring too)
  13. Standing for something isn’t just about writing it down. It’s about believing it and living it.
  14. Great companies start in garages all the time. Yours can too.
  15. Anyone who takes a “we’ll figure out how to profit in the future” attitude to business is ridiculous.
  16. A business without a path to profit isn’t a business, it’s a hobby.
  17. Good things don’t come around that often. Don’t let your business be the one that got away.
  18. You’re better off with a kick-ass half than a half-assed whole.
  19. There’s the stuff you could do, the stuff you want to do, and the stuff you have to do. The stuff you have to do is where you should start.
  20. Whenever you can, swap “Let’s think about it” for “Let’s decide on it”.
  21. Decisions are progressed. Each one you make is a brick in your foundation. You can’t build on top of “We’ll decide later,” but you can build on top of “Done.”
  22. It doesn’t matter how much you plan, you’ll still get some stuff wrong anyway. Don’t make things worse by overanalyzing and delaying before you even get going.
  23. The core of your business should be built around things that won’t change.
  24. Use whatever you’ve got already or can afford cheaply. It’s not the gear that matters. It’s playing what you’ve got as well as you can. Your tone is in your fingers.
  25. You can’t make just one thing. Everything has a by-product. Observant and creative business minds spot these by-products and see opportunities.
  26. Once your product does what it needs to do, get it out there. Just because you have still a list of things to do doesn’t mean it’s not done. Don’t hold everything else up because of a few leftovers.
  27. Do everything you can to remove layers of abstraction.
  28. It’s easy to confuse enthusiasm with usefulness.
  29. Too much ketchup can ruin the fries. Value is about balance.
  30. If you are constantly staying late and working weekends, it’s not because there’s too much work to be done. It’s because you are not getting enough done at work. And the reason is interruptions.
  31. Any interruptions force you to start over. And just as REM is when the real sleep magic happens, the alone zone is where the real productivity magic happens.
  32. If you decide you absolutely must get together, try to make your meeting a productive one by sticking to these simple rules:
    1. set a timer. When it rings, the meeting’s over. Period.
    2. Invite as few people as possible.
    3. Always have a clear agenda.
    4. Begin with a specific problem.
    5. Meet at the site of the problem instead of a conference room. Point to real things and suggest real changes.
    6. End with a solution and make someone responsible for implementing it.
  33. Find a judo solution, one that delivers maximum efficiency with minimum effort.
  34. When good enough gets the job done, go for it. It’s way better than wasting resources or, even worse, doing nothing because you can’t afford the complex solution. And remember, you can usually turn good enough into great later.
  35. If you absolutely have to work on long-term projects, try to dedicate one day a week (or every two weeks) to small victories that generate enthusiasm.
  36. Keep in mind that the obvious solution might very well be quitting. People automatically associate quitting with failure, but sometimes that’s exactly what you should do.
  37. When your brain isn’t firing on all cylinders, it loves to feed on less demanding tasks. Like reading yet another article about stuff that doesn’t matter. When you’re tired, you lose motivation to attach the big problems.
  38. Keep breaking your time frames down into smaller chunks.
  39. Don’t prioritize with numbers or labels. Instead, prioritize visually. Put the most important thing at the top.
  40. When you make tiny decisions, you can’t make big mistakes. Many tiny decisions don’t mean you can’t make big plans or think of big ideas. It just means you believe the best way to achieve those big things is one tiny decision at a time.
  41. If you’re a copycat, you can never keep up. You’re always in a passive position. Be influenced, but don’t steal.
  42. Pour yourself into your product and everything around your product too. Competitors can never copy the YOU in your product.
  43. Having an enemy gives you a great story to tell customers.
  44. Don’t shy away from the fact that your product or service does less.
  45. Focus on competitors too much and you wind up diluting your own vision.
  46. You can’t beat someone who’s making the rules. You need to redefine the rules, not just build something slightly better.
  47. You rarely regret saying no. But you often wind up regretting saying no.
  48. Scaring away new customers is worse than losing old customers.
  49. You can’t be everything to everyone.
  50. The enthusiasm you have for a new idea is not an accurate indicator of its true worth. Write them down and park them for a few days. Then, evaluate their actual priority with a calm mind.
  51. You can’t paint over a bad experience with good advertising or marketing.
  52. There is no need for a spreadsheet, database, or filing system. The requests that really matter are the ones you’ll hear over and over.
  53. Obscurity helps protect your ego and preserve your confidence.
  54. All companies have customers. Lucky companies have fans. But the most fortunate companies have an audience.
  55. Instead of trying to out-spend, out-sell, or out-sponsor competitors, try to out-teach them.
  56. Marketing isn’t just a few individual events. It’s the sum total of everything you do.
  57. Never hire anyone to do a job until you’ve tried to do it yourself first.
  58. Don’t hire for pleasure. Hire to kill the pain.
  59. You need to avoid hiring delegators, those people who love telling others what to do. Delegators are dead weight for a small team.
  60. If you are trying to decide among a few people to fill a position, hire the best writer.
  61. Geography just doesn’t matter anymore. Hire the best talent, regardless of where it is.
  62. When something goes wrong, someone is going to tell the story. You’ll be better off if it’s you.
  63. Customers are so used to canned answers, you can really differentiate yourself by answering thoughtfully and showing that you’re listening.
  64. If you built rapport with customers, they’ll cut you some slack and trust you to say you’re sorry.
  65. The more people you have between your customers’ words and the people doing the work, the more likely it is that the message will get lost or distorted along the way.
  66. You don’t create a culture, it happens. Culture is a by-product of consistent behavior.
  67. Pay attention to today and worry about later when it gets here. Otherwise, you’ll waste energy, time, and money fixating on problems that may never materialize.
  68. You shouldn’t expect the job to be someone’s entire life, at least not if you want to keep them around for a long time.
  69. Don’t scar on the first cut. Don’t create a policy because one person did something once. Policies are only meant for situations that come up over and over again.
  70. Write to be read, don’t write just to write.
  71. When you’re writing, don’t think about all the people who may read your words. Think of one person. Then write for that one person.
  72. There are four-letter words you should never use in business. […] They need, must, can’t, easy, just, only, and fast.
  73. When you turn into one of these people who adds ASAP to the end of every request, you’re saying everything is a high priority, and when everything is a high priority, nothing is.
  74. Ideas are immortal. They last forever. What doesn’t last forever is an inspiration.
  75. Inspiration is now a thing. If it grabs you, grab it right back and put it to work.

These are the parts that I highlighted and thought about them. How about you? Did you buy this book and read it? Did I miss any important notes? Which ones do you think are the most important points? Comment below and share your opinion with me and others.

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Hamed Azimi

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