Book review: Tools of Titans

True story. Just before XMAS, mother-in-law walks into the room and inquisitively asks?

“James, what are you reading? What’s it about?”

My eyes lit up and I roll off the elevator pitch on the front cover “Tools of Titans: The tactics, routines and habits of Billionaires, Icons and world class performers”

Her eyes rolled in disgust!

If that one sentence turns you on, you’ll love it. If you roll your eyes, this book isn’t for you.

This fat book had been sitting on the reading shelf for a good 6months. Plenty of delegates at conferences have recommended I read it but 2017 was “too busy”.  Poor excuse. Being busy is just not having clear priorities. As Tim Ferris would say, it’s a form of laziness.

Having listened to Tim Ferriss’ podcast for a while now, I was frothing to get stuck into this book on our recent family holiday up the West Coast of Australia. It did not disappoint. It’s essentially a summary of his most powerful podcasts. Each page could almost be its own book. The content is dense and moves on fast. There is too much to process. I treated it like a “choose your own adventure comic”, and picked, and read the concepts that resonated the most with me.

My Top Three Takeaways:

  • Kevin Kelly: 1000 true fans. Read it! (LINK:)
  • 80% of Titans conducted daily meditation/ mindfulness practices (the last time I did this was 10 years ago on the Tasman and it was one of the most critical factors that enabled me to complete the journey. I have come back to this daily practice!)
  • Scott Adams talks about a concept (which I wholeheartedly agree with) of being very good at two or more things rather than being the best at one thing.

In an age of micro specialization (think roles at work, post grad study etc) we seem to focus on becoming the best in a particular field. But what if you were exceptionally good at a couple of things? An engineer that is a great leader? An accountant that is good at public speaking? An athlete that understands business? Very powerful concept.

In summary, it’s a book where anyone in business can benefit. You just have to have the patience to find what’s in there for you.