How to Lead Like Napoleon and Rise to the Top

I lost count of all the great book recommendations I packed into today’s email.

There’s a bunch of them, let’s just say that.

And here’s one more, because I just finished my 1,283rd book: How To: $10M, by William Brown, who also happens to be my business coach!

I’ve learned a tremendous amount from him about optimizing my business and scaling up my operations, and the book is just phenomenal. Highly recommend!

I’ve also got a new YouTube video up, covering the 6 books I read last month.

In that video, I tell the story of how all my criminal charges were dropped last month too (I mean, there was one, and it was dropped haha) and the Kafkaesque experience that whole thing was.

Turns out that innocence really IS the best defense!

Anyway, my friend Matt is also hosting a workshop called The 7 Deadly Sins of Newsletter Mastery, where he’ll teach you how to grow your business, and your influence, through email.

He’ll also steer you away from the 7 mistakes that are killing your progress.

But in today’s issue, we’ve got…

🏅 Today’s Sponsor: The Competitive Advantage

🎥 Three Other Smart Creators I’m Learning From

📲 Five Recent Posts From Me

📖 Book Quote of the Day

💵 Inside My Private Business Mastermind

📘 New Book Alert: So Good They Call You a Fake

📜 Book Notes From the Archives

🧠 Learn This Concept: The 4% Rule

📚 Book Breakdown: Napoleon: A Life

There’s a lot to get to, but it’s all spaced out in a way that’s not overwhelming, so you can just dip in and out wherever you’d like.

And if you want me to buy you a book of your choice every month, click here.

Now, let’s hit the books!

Today’s edition of The Reading Life is brought to you by The Competitive Advantage, a like-minded community of creators and entrepreneurs deeply committed to extreme personal, professional, and financial growth.

Inside my private coaching community I’ll not only help you to achieve your yearly goals in 6 months or less, I’ll also buy you a book of your choice every single month. Join us here.

📚 I’ve been absolutely binging my friend Martel’s YouTube videos recently - just one after another. Subscribe to his YouTube channel if you’re a man who wants to become “multidimensionally jacked” - physically, mentally, financially, spiritually, and socially.

📚 Matt McGarry is THE GUY when it comes to growing (and monetizing) newsletters, and he’s helped me out tremendously this past year or so. Subscribe to his newsletter for a wealth of information on scaling your newsletter. I never miss an issue.

📚 Another friend of mine, John R. Miles, has a phenomenal podcast where he interviews a range of inspiring people. He’s also big on intentionality, or living your life on purpose, which is something I’ve always felt was supremely important. His book is great too.

📚 Do NOT go to business school - read this book instead.

📚 My criminal charges were dropped! (Plus the 6 books I read last month)

“In reality, a structured day creates freedom. When you don't have a plan, you have to decide constantly what to do next, and you might get distracted thinking about all the things you should or could do.

But a completely planned day provides the freedom to focus on the moment. Instead of thinking about what to do next, you're free to focus on how to do it. You can be in the flow, trusting the plan set out by your past self."

-Make Time, by Jake Knap and John Zeratsky

📚 The $10,000/Month Revenue Split (Members Only)

You’re an expert in your field and you’re good at what you do. Great!

But you don’t get the recognition or financial compensation you deserve because nobody knows who you ARE!

The solution?

Cultivate organic haters.

Get people talking - whatever it is, positive OR negative.

Embrace the fact that there will be a vocal minority who could never even wrap their minds around the fact that you are EXACTLY who you say you are. Why?

Because it’s great for business. So says Joshua Lisec, in his incredible book, So Good They Call You a Fake:

“All publicity is good publicity, you’ve heard it said. But I say unto you: The best publicity is absolute hatred.”

If people are talking about you, your word will spread, and more of the right people will start to take notice of you.

What does it matter to you if people are spreading hate about you?

Or that they leave their precious little comments claiming that you’re a fake?

As Oscar Wilde said, the only thing worse than being talked about is NOT being talked about.

So work on your craft.

Let Joshua’s book help you develop an expert system that will help your clients manifest INSANE results…and the haters be damned.

📚 The Power of One More, by Ed Mylett (Complete Notes + Summary)

📚 Tranquility by Tuesday, by Laura Vanderkam (Complete Notes + Summary)

📚 The 10X Mentor, by Grant Cardone (Complete Notes + Summary)

📚 Utopia Avenue, by David Mitchell (Complete Notes + Summary)

📚 The 1% Rule, by Tommy Baker (Complete Notes + Summary)

The 4% Rule:

“Once 4% of your assets can cover your expenses, consider yourself financially independent. Put another way, financial independence = 25x your annual expenses.

That is, if you are living on $20,000, you have reached financial independence with $500,000 invested. If, like our friend Mike Tyson, you are living on $400,000 a month/$4.8 million a year, you’re going to need $120 million.”

Brief Summary: The larger-than-life story of Napoleon Bonaparte introduces epic strategies for shaping our own life stories as well. Through this dramatic story of Napoleon's rise and fall, you'll learn timeless lessons on leadership, heroism, and, most importantly, massive action.

Key Idea #1: The Education of a Conqueror

“There was nothing he valued so much as books and a good education.”

Key Idea #2: The Humanity of a Revolutionary

“The ideas that underpin our modern world – meritocracy, equality before the law, property rights, religious toleration, modern secular education, sound finances, and so on – were championed, consolidated, codified, and geographically extended by Napoleon.

To them, he added rational and efficient local administration, an end to rural banditry, the encouragement of science and the arts, the abolition of feudalism, and the greatest codification of laws since the fall of the Roman Empire.

At the same time, he dispensed with the absurd revolutionary calendar of ten-day weeks, the theology of the Cult of the Supreme Being, the corruption and cronyism of the Directory, and the hyperinflation that had characterized the dying days of the Republic.

‘We have done with the romance of the Revolution,’ he told an early meeting of his Conseil d’Etat, ‘we must now commence its history.’ For his reforms to work they needed one commodity that Europe’s monarchs were determined to deny him: time.”

Key Idea #3: The Bulletproof Messenger

“Throughout his career, he displayed an extraordinary ability to present terrible news as merely bad, bad news as unwelcome but acceptable, acceptable news as good, and good news as a triumph.”

Action Step #1: Read All You Can, and Never Stop

When you look at the history of Napoleon, what you see is a commitment to constant learning, and the willingness to look silly while you learn what you need to know.

He wasn't concerned whether other people thought he was intelligent or not - he looked at his own knowledge, or lack of it, identified who could fill in the gaps, and then sought out the help of those people.

Books were also a huge part of Napoleon's life, from an early age, right up until the time he began writing his own memoirs.

Stories from the past invigorated him with the awareness of new possibilities, and then he built up the personal energy needed to actualize them.

Action Step #2: Take Massive Action

Napoleon was always on the go. He was always moving, always doing something - giving commands, executing orders, traveling, planning - and this gave him an edge against the older generals he was fighting against who took a more laid-back approach and paid for it.

So take massive action, and take more action than you think you'll need to take.

Anything worth accomplishing is going to take a lot more work than you think it will, and you have to be willing to elevate your level of action to 10X levels if you ever want to achieve anything great.

Action Step #3: Follow Your Own Advice

The eventual defeat of Napoleon came about partially because he didn't take his own advice. He violated various military maxims during key engagements, got lazy sometimes, and made errors that a younger, more alert Napoleon would never have made.

The lesson here is to always be vigilant. Always take your own advice, if it's working, and relentlessly follow up on your victories before the tides turn.

If something went according to plan, see how you can recreate that success in the future, and if you get to where you're going, never stop doing the things that got you there.

Full Breakdown: Napoleon: A Life, by Andrew Roberts (46-Minute Read)

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OK, that’s it for now…

More excellent book recommendations coming your way soon!

And if you’d like me to buy you a new book every month, join us inside The Competitive Advantage and that’s exactly what I’ll do - we’d love to have you!

With that said, I hope you enjoyed this edition of The Reading Life, and enjoy the rest of your week!

Until next time…happy reading!

All the best,

Matt Karamazov

P.S. Whenever you're ready, here are five more ways I can help you:

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