Tyler Jorgenson

One Entrepreneur's Journey To Find Greatness


Speedreading – Update

In January I posted that I planned to read a lot this year so I figured that an update is required.

Books read:

The Four Hour Work Week

This is without a doubt the book with the most influence on my life this year. I have read the original edition once, the expanded update three times and listened to the audio book at least three times. I strongly recommend this book for anybody looking to live a little more and stress a little less.

Atlas Shrugged

Can somebody please explain why these books haven’t found their way into my life sooner?  Sure, it’s over a thousand pages but this book is amazing.  To many it seems prophetic since it was written in 1957 but mirrors the issues of our times so well.  This book motivates me and inspires me more than any other novel I’ve read.  My main takeaway is to take personal responsibility and to not make excuses.  A movie by the same name is currently in production.  Who is John Galt?

Good to Great
I really enjoyed the first few parts of the book and then it sort of died off for me.  I guess it went great to good.  My main takeaway was in making sure you have the right people on your team.  The concept of ‘first who, then what’ is something I consider whenever approached about a business opportunity.

The Purple Cow
This is one of Seth Godin’s 12 best sellers.  Each one that I’ve read is good but I enjoyed this one for reminding me that you have to do something different if you expect the market to notice your product or service.

This is Godin’s most recent, and possibly last traditional, book.  I had the pleasure of meeting Godin in Orange County and the advice he gave me when we spoke altered the course of my business and I am eternally grateful.  You can read more here about the concepts of the book Linchpin.

Robinson Crusoe
I started to read some classics and found a lot of great wisdom buried in their stories.  This book is about self discovery, survival, loyalty and determination.  It’s a classic for a reason.

Pride and Prejudice
Yes, I even read a Jane Austin book.  Pride and Prejudice was a great book.  For me it’s about being yourself and allowing others to be themselves as well.  It’s handle on the topics of pride and the prejudicial judgment is what makes this a must read classic.

Treasure Island
I read this just after I took a sailing class and so my increased sailing vocabulary added to my enjoyment of this book.  This was a quick and easy read but I enjoyed the journey.

There are a few other books that I’ve read portions of, even most of, but that I don’t feel need a summary.  Think & Grow Rich, Crush It, and a few select sections of my finance, stats, accounting and marketing textbooks.

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Why I Became a Trojan

Since I’m self employed and have no plans to go back to corporate America or work for ‘the man’ ever again people seem to think that I would not have a need for an MBA.  Maybe they are right.  It would be easy for me to study the subjects covered in an MBA program on my own or with private tutors and for much less than what a University charges for tuition these days.  For me the education was the last of the 3 reasons I chose to get an MBA from USC.

Why I chose to get an MBA from USC:

1. The USC Family (Network)
2. The Credential
3. The Education

The Family

A couple of weekends ago I walked around Balboa Island with my wife and kids.  The weather was a bit chilly so I donned my USC sweatshirt that my wife had just bought me (isn’t she great!).  As we walked around the island it was like I was a celebrity.  I was stopped no less than 7 times within a couple of hours just so people could talk to me about USC.  I’ve never been a part of something like this but it was great to have an immediate connection to fellow Trojans.

Shortly after we got our USC emails and access to the alumni network I scoured the database looking for interesting alums that would be good for me to connect with.  There were a few CEO’s of local, but large, companies that had the experience and success I was looking for.  I reached out to them via email and received a response within hours.  I don’t think that would have happened had we not shared the USC bond.

The Credential

Although I plan on remaining self employed having solid credentials is never a bad thing.  The path before me is still unknown and bolstering up a resume is wise.  More than just being employable the MBA credential is important to me because as I do consulting and other business endeavors it adds credibility to my clients.  I am self employed but I still rely on other people to get paid.

The Education

When I first signed up this was pretty far down the list.  Now that the program is underway I am actually excited about learning.  The professors have been amazing and my classmates are top notch.  I get to learn from and with some of the brightest minds around and I’m loving it.

The thing that finally helped me chose to do the MBA was putting the choice to the ‘Rocking Chair Test’.  The test works like this: Imagine yourself at some far off future date relaxing in a rocking chair on the front porch of your home.  You’re retired and enjoying the relaxation of this stage of life.  Sitting in the chair would your future self regret having done or not done the thing you are considering?

For me I knew that I would never regret getting an MBA from USC.  I also knew that if I didn’t do it I would always wonder ‘what if’?  That was it, it passed the rocking chair test and I applied.  Now, if you don’t mind I have some statistics questions to review.

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I think you should see my socks.

have you seen my socks? The interview had gone really well up to this point and the USC admissions director, closing the interview, said “Is there anything else that you feel the admissions committee should know about you?”

“I think you should see my socks.” I replied.

Most days I now wear socks like this.  They’re great quality and very comfortable and they serve two additional purposes.

1. They remind me to never take myself too seriously.  Life is to be enjoyed and is far too short to be lived in an uptight manner.  For me, these socks remind me to laugh, to live and to savor every moment of it all as my unique life experience.

2. They remind me that anything is possible.  Jonah Staw and a few friends started a company back in 2004 with the idea of answering the problem of the missing sock by selling 3 mis matched pairs to a pack.  Their target market usually doesn’t even have their own money, 8-12 year old girls.  Seth Godin mentioned that their annual sales are now over 40 Million USD.  Check out Little Miss Matched.

The interview went really well and the socks were just the extra touch I was hoping they would be.  I got my acceptance letter to the USC MBA program last week.  Time to come up with some $$ to pay for tuition.


The Richest Man In Babylon – Intro

I am in the middle of reading The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason. I have heard this book spoken of and recommended for years and recently came across a copy. I am deeply enjoying the simple yet sound principles of financial success.

The following two paragraphs are from freewld.

The Richest Man in Babylon is a book by George Samuel Clason which dispenses financial advice through a collection of parables set in ancient Babylon. Through their experiences in business and managing household finance, the characters in the parables learn simple lessons in financial wisdom. By basing these parables in ancient times, but involving situations that modern people can understand and identify with, the author presents these lessons as timeless wisdom that is as relevant today as it was back then.

The book began in 1926 as a series of informational pamphlets. Banks and insurance companies began to distribute these pamphlets, and the most famous ones were eventually compiled into this book.

Over the next few days I will share my notes and thoughts from each chapter. I am hoping that by writing out my thoughts and sharing the principles the book teaches that not only will I become more committed to the tenants but that others may learn of them also.

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Perpetual Education Fund

A friend of mine was featured in an article on the Perpetual Education Fund (PEF). The PEF is a loan program offered through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with the concept that loan repayments will fund future student loans and thereby perpetuate. The great thing about the fund is that it allows people an opportunity to gain education and training where they otherwise may not be able to. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from his interview:
“It’s not just education. It’s not just getting a diploma or getting a degree. It’s not just a career. It’s so much more than that. It opens doors for you to grow individually” Viwe Xozwa

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