Translating Book Knowledge into Action


Clint Murphy Nick Hutchison


Nick Hutchison, Clint Murphy

Clint Murphy  00:00

Nick, welcome to the podcast, I’m going to jump right into your book Rise of the Reader with you. Where I’m going to start is, whenever I’m reading a book in preparation for a conversation with an author, when I see a line I love I have to turn it into a question, which is why I’d love to read something I read from you early in your book, and you have your color in what I share for our audience as a guiding principle. You say reality is negotiable. Reality is limitless, the right book, at the right time, can change your life. Tell us more on that one. 

Nick Hutchison  00:40

Well, the proof is in the pudding. Right? Over the last 10 years or so. I’ve received testimonials from hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people, some of them I know most of them. I don’t know, that have told me how the book recommendations I’ve made have completely transformed their lives. I genuinely do believe the right book at the right time can change your life. The first part of that guiding principle reality is negotiable. stems from The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss, one of my all time favorite books. And in the beginning of The Four Hour Workweek, Tim says that the new rich, right, this new group of emerging rich people, they’re not focused on material possessions. They’re focused on time and mobility. They’re optimizing for a life that uniquely fulfills that not society’s expectations, right, that box that it tries to shove us all into, but something that uniquely fulfills them. And that when you start to state your intentions to the universe, the universe will conspire to assist you a little bit of Paulo Coelho there. And so I’ve started to bend reality to my will. And again, the proof is in the pudding. I’ve been reading for just short of 10 years now. And I’ve designed my dream life. It’s limitless. And I genuinely believe that and I believe in the power of these books so much. They’ve helped me in every area of my life imaginable, so I just can’t get enough of them quite. So the challenge with that is because I’m also obviously, I’ve got a podcast where I’m talking to authors, so I’m with you, I’m big on books, big on reading, big on the power of what can they can do in our lives just like you. The challenge we have Nick is the average person hasn’t read a book in the last year, over 50% of people haven’t read a book. And so when we look at that, the question that comes up for you for me, how do we help them fix that? In you talk about something simple, like the 15 Minute Rule? How can people use that to overcome some of these challenges with not reading books, because they don’t have enough time to do it? You know, when I was in my teens and early 20s, I wasn’t much of a reader either. So if anybody’s listening today, and they haven’t read a book in the last year, I challenged you with the following question. If you don’t have enough time, if I paid you $10,000 to read a book, by the end of January or February, or whenever you’re listening to this, if I paid you $10,000 to read a book by the end of the month, do you think you could do it? And that same person who normally just told me that I don’t have time? They’re like, Oh, I can read five? Right. And so it’s not a question of whether or not we have time, but it’s a question of whether or not we value reading enough to prioritize it in our schedules. And there are a lot of things fighting for our attention. I mean, a book is an act of delaying gratification, right? Nobody really loves cracking open a book and reading for a little bit, at least not the start. They’d rather be watching Netflix or playing on their phone for a little bit. And those things are okay to continue doing. But here’s what I recommend to answer your question, replace 15 minutes of your morning, Instagram scrolling, and the first 15 minutes of your evening Netflix or sports or whatever you’re watching with reading a great book, not find time, right, but replace a low impact activity with a higher impact activity, at least 15 minutes. And when you read for half an hour a day, 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening, you’re reading for a half an hour, which for somebody who’s just starting that’s about 20 pages. You do that five days a week, take the weekends off, that’s 100 pages a week. And Clint, as you know, somebody who reads a lot of books, most of these books these days, like they’re averaging 200 pages, 250 pages, so I have to take every two, two and a half weeks. If you can keep up that pace of just replacing a little bit of Instagram in the morning and a little bit of Netflix in the evening or insert your social media. 

Clint Murphy  04:47

And let’s go back you said grown up as a teenager. You weren’t that into books. You weren’t that into reading. I think it was one of your earlier jobs. You had a mentor. I believe it was Kyle and he got you into the personal development movement. First, he got you into podcasts. And then through the podcast, you started noticing, because you really zoomed in on podcasts about personal development, about success about improving your life. And somewhere in that journey, you realize, wait a second, most of these guests are talking about books they’ve read. And there’s something about standing on the shoulders of giants that I can do. So what did that look like for you that deep dive into the personal development podcast? And then how did that transition for you, from the podcast to reading.

Nick Hutchison  05:39

When I started at this early job, it was an internship between my junior and senior year of college or university. And Kyle, I think he saw some unfulfilled potential in me, I think he saw this 20 year old sort of cocky, a little bit arrogant, no at all type sales guy. And I was a little rough around the edges at the time. And Kyle took me out a few local sales trips, and he would talk with me, but he would also say, Hey, do you mind if we listen to a little bit of a podcast that I’m currently listening to, and he’d frame it for me, hey, this successful podcast host loves to interview successful people about what they’ve done to become successful. And he would just press play. And I was commuting one hour each way, five days a week. So I was in the car for 10 hours a week. And he said something me one day just kind of off handed, like, you know, listening to the same song or the same playlist for the 1,000th time, the 300th time, it’s not gonna get you closer to where you want to be in life. But the right podcast might and that’s why I listen to him. And I was really insecure, when I was 20. And I cared way too much about what other people thought of me. So I wanted to know all of the music and kind of be up to date on it, be able to rap the lyrics at the bar, or whatever. And Kyle was a cool guy, but he was listening to podcasts. And I saw that as something that I wanted to replicate. So anyway, I start to consume a ton of these shows one hour each way in the car five days a week. And just like you highlight it, I heard so many of these successful people give at least some credit for their success to the books that they were reading. And the same titles kept popping up over and over and over again. And sometimes the shows would ask authors or ask sorry, these guests about the books directly. But a lot of times, they’re just bringing them up organically, like Hey, how’d you get started in real estate? Or how’d you get started in coaching? Or how’d you get started in business? And they would say, Well, I read a book. And so yeah, just went to my local Barnes and Noble bookstore, one internship launch tower, grabbed a bunch of books, and the rest is history. I mean, I have been hooked ever since. 

Clint Murphy  07:43

And so something I want to dive into with you and chew on a little is this idea that we share, I always say, to design the lives we want to live, we need to one fix our hardware, which our unconscious thoughts, we need to fix our software, which is our conscious thinking. And we need to change our operating systems, which are our daily habits. You talk about this idea that if you’re dreaming of changing the world, going against the grain, or at least living a life that fulfills you, you must start by rewiring your brain. Can you tell us more about that? And we can wrestle with that one together for a while? 

Nick Hutchison  08:26

Yeah, absolutely. Well, I agree with your hardware software. And what was the third one that you referenced? 

Clint Murphy  08:33

Operating System. 

Nick Hutchison  08:34

Operating System. Yeah, I agree. We need to focus on upgrading all three of those. I mean, the first time that I really started to think about this was with gratitude. So I was somebody in my early 20s, who would default unconsciously, consciously, you know, and basically, in all types of conversations, to sort of like the victim mentality, or a scarcity mindset. I was always without, I always wanted something different than my current reality. And I read in a series of books, you know, early in my journey about gratitude and mindfulness. And so I started to practice gratitude on a daily basis, I started to journal about three things that I was grateful for every single day. And what happened was, I started to look for and filter for opportunities to be grateful during my day, so that the next morning when I would go to write three things I was grateful for, I could go, Oh, those were the three things. And so gratitude, identifying opportunities to express gratitude became a default response for me a default pathway. Think about driving on the highway and a Lamborghini flies past, you know, a previous version of myself would say, Oh, I’m so jealous. Like, I wish I had a Lamborghini. And then I started to default to I’m so happy that I’m driving a car and that I have a car. I mean, how amazing is that? So many people are without a car. Look at how cool this is. I mean, I literally started to think our way. And it was through repetition that that happened. And I started to upgrade my operating system, I started to upgrade my unconscious, my subconscious as well as my conscious self. And I started to talk about gratitude with people. And I mean, we’re recording this at the end of December, December 28th. I am finishing up a year of gratitude. And what I’ve done in our internal Slack channel, which is our communication channel for the agency that I run, I write three things that I’m grateful for every day in there, and a bunch of people on our team do as well. And I haven’t missed a day this entire year. And so it’s just become part of who I am. But I had to make that deliberate choice to install that new behavior of journaling three things every single day. And as a result, it became a default pathway for me, I rewired, you know, some things that were previously wired to scarcity. And now they’re wired to abundance, which is so cool. 

Clint Murphy  11:01

And if I’m not mistaken, your shirt that you’re wearing right now, because it’s black on black, does that say gratitude? 

Nick Hutchison  11:07

It does? Yes. 

Clint Murphy  11:08

There we go. There we go. So living what you’re saying. And then you talk about this idea of you rewired yourself by shifting how you were thinking, can you tell the listeners about this concept of neuro linguistic programming and how you use that, to shift those thoughts. So you can rewire more than just gratitude because you’re doing gratitude. But there are other thoughts that we’re having, some say 60, some say 80. Some say 100,000 thoughts a day? Most of them recurring negative thought loops. How do we get in there and shut down that noise?

Nick Hutchison  11:48

One of the early podcasts that I became obsessed with as I was commuting during that internship. So we’re talking over 10 years ago now, was called The Science of Success with Matt Bodner, Matthew Bodner I don’t think it’s still running today. But that was one of the concepts that he talked about pretty early in that podcast, and I consumed everything that he put out. And so just like you mentioned, there are a lot of thoughts, the number is up for debate. But there are a lot of thoughts that are running subconsciously, in our minds every single day, a lot of them are negative. I’ve heard that, as we’re growing up, we hear eight no’sfor every yes, that we hear as kids. And again, those numbers are up for debate, but it’s overwhelmingly negative. And we’re consuming social media content that’s divisive. We’re consuming news content that’s divisive. We’re consuming water cooler talk at the office at the office that’s full of gossip, and it’s overwhelmingly negative and people complain everybody’s a victim. So we are consuming a lot of this. And as a result, whether we want it to or not, it impacts the way that we think about ourselves. It impacts the way that our minds just automatically run in the background. And so we have to insert positive environmental cues, new habits, new thoughts, books, like the ones that are behind me, and start to reprogram. And reprogramming happens in a couple of different ways. It can happen in this big euphoric moment, which is pretty rare and hard to create intentionally. Or it can happen by rewiring a pathway with a little bit more intention, right small steps in the right direction over a long period of time. And there’s a great book called Learn Improve Master, which I don’t reference in the book, but it’s by a cool author named Nick Velazquez. And he talks about a pathway in a meadow, right? Imagine there’s one default pathway, but you want to create a new one. And so every single day, you start walking this new path. And at first, the grass gets a little trampled. But you can’t really see the new pathway. But every single day, you take that new path, eventually, that becomes the default because the other one sort of grows back, right grass takes over the earth takes over nature takes over and your new path, the one that you’ve been trampling on every single day for a year, that becomes the default path that a new person would take if they stumbled into this field, right? Same thing happens with our brains. And so by deliberately inserting gratitude, for instance, as a practice as a daily practice, every single day I’m filtering for it I’m focusing on and I’m speaking it into existence, that becomes your default way of thinking. And so we have to rewire we have to neuro linguistically reprogram these negative thought loops into positive thought loops. And that’s what books are great for because they open us up to a wildly new set of perspectives. And, you know, in the book, I talk about this concept, which I’m really starting to double down on called play bigger triggers. And a play bigger trigger is an environmental cue that reinforces the person you’re looking to become. And it can come in many forms, it can come in the form of motivational wall art which I have a ton of behind my screen in my office space, it can come in the form of souvenirs and books that you’ve read that remind you of the person that you’re becoming, can come in the form of cool desk trinkets or tattoos, I mean, anything that reinforce the clothing that you’re wearing mine later, my shirt literally says gratitude on it. All of these things, I’m picking them up unconsciously, subconsciously, consciously, all day long every day. And it’s reinforcing the person I’m looking to become so that when a negative news article comes into my universe, it doesn’t grab me it doesn’t create a new pathway because I’m overwhelming it with the positive. 

Clint Murphy  15:39

So let’s talk about one that you just mentioned there on the play bigger triggers but you talked about tattoos, I picked up a ton of commonalities in our book. And I’ll go a little long on this one, Nick. But I have a tattoo on my forearm that has a design I did that captures both the concept of Memento Mori, and Amor Fati, it’s a skull within a flame very, very small, not, you know, don’t picture a giant skull on my on my forearm. And that’s within a greater design that shares some hints of purpose, direction, and time or focus. And so the idea being, remember, I must die, celebrate fate. And hey, I know what direction I’m going. Now I gotta get the work done. And a large part of that is reading is books. You also have a number of tattoos, including one about Memento Mori, but you have two more one on each wrist. Can you talk about how those tie into PBT and what the purpose for you was in getting those as part of that desire to be able to look down and say, All right.

Nick Hutchison  16:58

Sure. And I also have I didn’t write about in the book. But I also have an Amor Fati tattoo on my right bicep. And I have some purpose related tattoos as well, I have about 35 or 40 tattoos. I love collecting them. So like you highlight in the book, I talk about play bigger triggers, these positive environmental cues. And I talked about how I’ve taken it to the extreme, I’ve literally tattooed myself with similar messages to the ones that you’ve just highlighted. And so on my neck, I have Memento Mori, which again is a daily reminder that we are all going to die. And that could be viewed as depressing. You know, I’m sure if you’ve talked about your tattoos before claimed on this podcast that it wouldn’t surprise your audience that you can view death through a positive lens. You can say oh, because life is finite, I must prioritize my time efficiently, I must be the best version of myself so that I don’t end up living with regret wishing that I had done more. And so every single day when I step out of the shower, and I see that tattoo on my neck, right above my heart, in the mirror, it reminds me of the life that I’m looking to live. And it helps me create a little bit of urgency in my life. I don’t want to fall asleep at the wheel and end up regretting the life that I’ve lived, right, I want to live life to the fullest. On my left wrist, I have a few tattoos. But well, one of them includes the numbers one, two, and three. And it goes back to our earlier conversation about gratitude. I’m looking at this tattoo, I don’t know what when I’m wearing short sleeves. I don’t know how many times I see it subconsciously, every single day. I mean, hundreds, like it’s always in my environment. And so I’m always reinforcing that pathway of gratitude. That’s where I’d like to be. That’s what I always wanted to fall to. In on this risk, too. I also have ataraxia, which is another stoic concept of stillness. And if I ever feel like I’m reacting emotionally, or my heart starts beating faster, and I’d like to control it, I can look down to this tattoo. And remember this concept of stillness, slow things down, operate from a place of logic, get back to logic and away from emotion. And so that tattoos also serve Matt and write about in the book, but it’s also my left wrist. And then on my right wrist, like we’ve talked about reality’s negotiable. And I’ve already explained this one, but society is persistent. You know, it always wants you to conform to its ideals. And every single time I feel like there’s pressure, I can look at this tattoo and say reality is negotiable. Remember, this is the core of who you are. There’s what you believe in, and I can reinforce that I can feel it. And then just to highlight, one that you can’t see, which is I also have a more fatigue on my right bicep, and I got that tattooed in Rome, which was really cool. Got this one tattooed in, in Athens. And that’s just celebrate fate, the love of one’s fate. You have a choice to view every situation in life through the lens that benefits you the most. Why not view everything outside of your sphere of control as neutral or maybe even positive. And so I think it’s a really cool concept. 

Clint Murphy  20:06

Yeah, the whole concept, everything that happens happens for the best possible reason. We may not know what it is today, but we may find out in the same time area, I want to take it now. Sorry for the pause. Is one of the challenges with books, so many people that we see read them, do nothing with it. And so I always say, Nick, like, it’s the equivalent of mental masturbation is like, I’m just gonna read a book, then throw it back on the shelf and not do anything about it. So the question then becomes, how do we change that? You point out that many people read books on personal finance, investing, entrepreneurship, nutrition, exercise, communication, or travel without ever trying the recipes in the actual books? So how do we change that? What are the three problems you see, that are that are holding people back from actually taking action on the books that they buy?  Yeah, we can touch on those three problems in a minute, because I do believe that most problems stem from them. I’d love to paint one additional metaphor for everybody listening or watching today. Imagine you buy a book on the world’s best chicken parm, right? It’s a chicken parm recipe book and you buy it because that’s your favorite dish, and you want to make it at home and you study that thing. I mean, every single page has highlights and circles and dog ears and highlighter marks and whatever and coffee stains and you even buy all the ingredients, right? You get everything prepped, the world’s best chicken and crust and everything. It’s all ready to go, pasta. And then you never make the chicken parm, that would seem really weird, right? But people do that with the books they’re reading. They buy a book, you know, from Arnold Schwarzenegger on how he went from, you know, dream to reality and created the strongest vision possible. And then they never execute their bodybuilding goals, or whatever the case is, like, you read Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson because you want to be inspired on innovation and sort of that intersection of art and creativity and business, and then you never start anything yourself. So I think it’s goofy. Unfortunately, it definitely happens that way. For a lot of people, so yeah, I think that people, people are choosing the wrong books. People don’t have any frameworks to implement those books. And I have so many, so many tips and tricks and strategies in the book, in, in my book Rise of the Reader for overcoming these. And I’ll give one example right now that I think will resonate with everybody. So years and years ago, I started attending personal development conferences. And I would show up to these conferences. And maybe there were eight speakers in one day, and everybody’s talking about something different, but it’s all exciting. And you’re not filtering for anything in particular. So you’re just taking crazy notes about all different types of subjects. And you’re so overwhelmed. You’re drinking from a firehose, and you go home, and you intend on implementing what you’ve just learned, but you don’t, the notebook goes back on the shelf, and you don’t change any behavior. And then you sign up for another one, and the same thing happens and another one, and the same thing happens, and you’re spending time and money to go to these events. Sure, not doing anything about it. So that’s  actually the first place that I really started to become aware of this issue with intention. If you don’t set an intention for the events that you’re going to, and you’re just taking notes on all types of random material, the chances that you actually move forward and implement something are pretty low. And so I started going to these events, and I would set an intention, I would say, my goal is to learn three new presentation styles from the speakers on stage. And that’s all I would filter for. Or my goal is to set up a virtual coffee with five different authors at this event, so I could tell them about my business Book Thinkers. And that’s all I would filter for. And I started to make so much more progress in my life at these events. Eventually, it hit me why aren’t we doing this for the books that we’re reading? We just we see a book on Instagram or something like that. We get all excited. We buy it, we read it. We take all these amazing notes and nothing changes. Why does that happen? And so again, I talked about tons of different things in the book, but I’ll share now I’ll share this one example. I’m a little long winded right now. Feel free to stop me if you want but I love to set an intention for each book that I read. And a lot of times that intention follows the SMART goal framework. So for anybody in the audience is not familiar with it. SMART is an acronym. I have a spin on it, but the traditional definition is S stands for Specific. M stands for measurable, you need to know whether or not you’ve achieved your goal, it needs to be measurable. A stands for attainable, you need to set a realistic goal. R stands for relevant, written, you know, there’s a couple of different ways that you can look at this. Relevant means you’re emotionally connected to it. Right? The book is solving a problem, it’s developing a skill set that you’re aware is holding you back, it’s satisfying curiosity, like you have an emotional connection to it. And T stands for time bound. So you give yourself a deadline for taking action. So when I’m picking up a new book, let’s just say 100, or the book in front of me is 100 Million Dollar Leads by Alex Hormozi. It’s a new book on lead generation. for cars, race cars, love it. Yeah, instead of just picking up the book and hoping that it’s going to change my life, I’ll set a SMART goal. So find and implement at least two new lead generation strategies for my business Book Thinkers, by the end of January. Because I care so much about my business, the work that we’re doing, I want to create an even bigger business and help even more authors achieve their potential. Right? That is specific, I know what my goal is, for the book, it’s measurable. When I’m done, did I implement at least two new lead generation strategies in my business? It’s attainable. I didn’t say make $100 million. I just said, find and implement two strategies. Is it relevant to my life? Heck, yes, it is. I’m emotionally connected to it. And I will talk about where I write it in second. And it’s time bound. I said, by the end of January, so I give myself a deadline to take action, action is built into the way that I think about reading these books. And then I add that word, because on the end of this, to spice it up and add even more emotion, because, right, I care so much about what my business does for people, blah, blah, blah. And what I’ll do with that intention, that smart goal is I will write it on the inside cover of the book. And then I will review the intention. Every time I read another chapter, each reading session, whatever the kid says. So I’m sharing my goal with the book so that the book can share the goal, information that I can take action on back with me, our brains have this natural highlighter, the reticular activating system. And I want to filter for only the information that’s most relevant to the problem I’m looking to solve, which is lead generation. Alex might talk about all types of other things that are exciting quotes that I want to remember, blah, blah, blah.

Nick Hutchison  27:36

But that doesn’t help me achieve my goal of optimizing for action, not checking the box and saying I read 100 million dollar leads so that everybody will think I’m cool. No, I’m looking to take action on the book. And I’m looking to implement two things from it. So that was a ton of information that I just threw at everybody, Clint. But hopefully everybody could find that useful, as well as follow along.

Clint Murphy  27:59

Yeh, and what really stood out for me. So Nick, how many books are you consuming a year on average? 

Nick Hutchison  28:05

Right now about two books per week, so 100 books per year, but I will also remind everybody that it’s my full time job. 

Clint Murphy  28:12

You’re doing 100 a year, rock solid 104 without vacations, I’m doing about 50 and having conversations with authors. And here’s where I really start to wonder sometimes, right is, is that intentionality that you’re bringing to these books is our only so many hours in our days, right? How do you take one or two nuggets from every single one of those books in bring it into your life? Because I even struggle with this one a little that’s why I’m asking like I do recognize, I’ll digress. I do recognize that you because this there’s some power to this. If I’m on a podcast, and someone’s asking me questions, answers are just coming out from books. So part of it is we’re subconsciously wiring ourselves through these books to live a certain way we might not even recognize we’re doing it. But then when someone asks us where that behavior comes from, it’s like, oh, Jim Collins, in Good to Great said this. And that’s why I built this flywheel over here to do that. And so we don’t realize it. But if we want to take the intentional route, which is what you’re doing, and I love it, how do you intentionally take one to two nuggets from 100 books a year and put those into the fabric of your DNA so that the Nick tomorrow is different than the Nick today? 

Nick Hutchison  29:34

Great question. And it will take me a minute to unpack it. So when I talk about the importance of reading, and somebody is just starting their journey, I love to say that when you’re just starting your reading journey, quantity is more important than quality. So what I mean by that is I think you want to build a good solid base of understanding, a foundation to operate from. And that requires reading tons of books on all different types of subjects and just kind of trying to internalize them, trying to take a little bit of action, but don’t worry too much about it. Quantity, when you’re first starting matters a little bit more than quality. Then as you mature as a personal development reader, and you start to understand what brings you the most joy in life, what you want to work on,  what problems you want to solve what skills you want to build, then quality becomes a little bit more important. And then you should start to optimize for action. Implementing one or two things from every book you read. Where my reality sits today is that about 50% of the books that I’m reading are for my podcast, or my social media channels. And what I’m my intention for those books is to find at least five or 10 things to share with my audience that I find interesting lessons that I’ve already learned so that I have a conversation point, with the author or for my audience, it’s not always optimizing for action. So I would say the other 50% of the books that I am reading closer to your number, I am optimizing for action, I’m looking to solve problems, right. Those are books that I’ve deliberately chosen to read, there’s no money related to them, right, I’m reading them for my own personal pleasure and time. And I do have systems that I work from. So I have an activity tracker that I use every single day that houses all of the activities that I’m implementing, and I’m measuring my activity, and I’m journaling about it and everything like that. I have an accountability group, that actually I have two that I meet with on a weekly basis. And I talk about here the couple of things that I’ve read this week that I’m going to try to implement. And then the following week, I recap and talk about if this is behavior that I’d like to continue with or not. So I do have a pretty robust system built around it. The last thing that I’ll mention is that you kind of highlighted this, too, is that even if you don’t implement something from every single book you read, these books are still changing us. There’s a great book called The Art of Learning by Joshua Wadeskin. And Joshua Wadeskin was a national well like an 8 time  national chess champion, but also an eighth time, like international mixed martial arts champion in some discipline, I don’t remember which one. And he talks about this interesting form of learning, he calls it a form to leave form or numbers to leave numbers where you study a subject so intensely that it becomes ingrained in your subconscious. Like, if you read an entire book on one specific subject, all of the case studies the miscellaneous information of the storytelling, your subconscious can then operate on your behalf, just like you’re talking about, you could say, like you might be, you might have implemented something from Good to Great by Jim Collins, without realizing that you have because that information is stored, then you might be operating with it unconsciously, you might not even realize that you’re using it. These books have other benefits, too, right? They, if you’re reading a physical paper book, you’re improving your attention span, you’re improving your vocabulary. And those skills are transferable to other areas of your life. And so reading has so many other benefits, too.

Clint Murphy  33:20

Well something that ties there because you were talking about that, and when I read in your book, something that really resonated for me, because I’m not always the greatest note taker. And I’m not always the greatest person at force repetition, which means that you know, of these 50 books a year, I don’t necessarily remember a lot per se, Nick. And I’d say part of that is because similar to what you talked about with that first half of the books, most of those 50 books that I’m reading, I’m reading to be able to have a conversation with the author, a lot of a lot of the content in the book may already be in my DNA, because it’s something I’ve already adopted. So I’m not necessarily reading to say, hey, I’ve got to memorize this book. But you gave a poignant example, in your book about a memory person being up on stage and saying to the audience, hey, who’s read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People? Almost everyone because it was personal development conference puts up their hand, I say, it’s my number one book that I recommend people read. And then he says, what are the seven habits and everyone chuckles because almost nobody in the audience remembers what the seven habits are. So the question then becomes intention setting aside because that’s one powerful mechanism we can use. But what are the other ways that we can take this meat that we’re trying to use because we’re setting an intention to get some powerful things out of these books? How do we commit those, like Josh said, how do we make those so that they’re living in us subconsciously? What some of the memory tricks that you would suggest to people? 

Nick Hutchison  34:52

Yeah, Kevin Horsley is the memory guru also author that was on stage and said that during the TED talk, and one of the greatest lessons that I’ve learned from Kevin is that repetition does lead to retention. And I’ll repeat that, because you’ll everybody can retain it more efficiently, right? Repetition leads to retention. And there are a couple of different directions that I could talk about this. But one of the ways to build repetition into your process is to, this is kind of how I read today, I state the intention for the book, and I’m only filtering for the actions that I can take related to that intention. So that’s kind of a prerequisite. The first time I go through the book, I try to separate reading and notetaking. They’re two totally separate activities. I’ve read too many productivity books to think that any form of multitasking is a good thing. Right. So I’m just trying to read the book all the way through my first pass. If I find something, right, if my RAS filters for an action that’s related to my intention, in the Alex Hermozi example, a lead mechanism, like a new way to improve leads in my business or something, I’ll circle it just quickly, I try not to disrupt my reading momentum. I’ll just bracket it off, I’ll circle the page number, I might start something. But I don’t want to lose that creating momentum. So I’ll continue to read right, all the way through the book. Now my second pass through, I will only read the information on the pages that I’ve circled or bracketed off. So that’s a second pass through the book, that’s a form of repetition, repetition leads to retention. And so my second pass through is a lot quicker, because I’m only reading 2% of the book. 1% of the book the second time through. That 1% that’s most relevant to me. Now, I might find 10 items in 100 Million Dollar Leads that I could implement, but my goal is only one or two. And so what I’ll do is I’ll rewrite all 10 of them on a physical piece of paper. That’s another form of repetition. And it’s a different experience. It’s multisensory. I’m writing it down on a piece of paper, I’m cementing it into my memory. And then I’ll look at that list. And I’ll reread it again, another form of repetition. And I’ll say, what 20% of these activities can lead to 80% of the change. I’m only looking to implement two or three things, one or two things, not all 10. And then I’ll look at that list. And I’ll try to think what’s easiest to implement. You know, what are my biggest weaknesses? What resonates me with me the most? What am I most excited for? What 20% of ease, what should I implement, right, and I’ll choose two things. I will also rewrite that list into my Evernote on my notebook, another form of repetition, I’m typing it out. And then I’ll plug those two things that I’m going to implement into my activity tracker, again, another form of repetition. And then I see them every single day, right, because I’m in my activity tracker, every single day, I measured all my health goals, I measure my business goals and measure everything in there. So I see it all the time. It’s a form of repetition. And again, repetition leads to retention. So there are some other mechanics there the forgetting curve, and some other forced repetition, things that we could talk about. But what’s nice is my SMART goal bakes in a few things that are important. The prerequisite to take action to filter to take action, and an emotional connection. emotional connection is really important for memory as well. And then as I work through the book, I’m repeating the information a ton of times and then I place it into my activity tracker. 

Clint Murphy  38:33

And so you do also use an electronic note taking system. You use Evernote to capture because now if you’re doing 100 books a year, you’re capturing all the notes from those 100 books and are you doing any sort of backlinking or linking to try to create that mental mind map? Or is that just done in your own mind not through the tools? 

Nick Hutchison  38:56

This is something that you know, sometimes people say a book is a great you know, if you’ve written a book, it becomes your best accountability partner, right? You teach what you most need to learn. I do tag within Evernote. So if I wanted to filter for all of my takeaways related to money, because I’m about to have a money or negotiation conversation, I could review them. In theory, I would be doing this far more frequently than I currently am. And I do use MindMeister, which is a mind mapping tool that Kevin Horsley introduced me to and we kind of use together I’d meet with him on a weekly basis. And I could do a better job at mind mapping more of my notes. I definitely. And in fact I even want to build I want to build a tool that sort of does this for you or with you in the future. So that’s a future project. 

Clint Murphy  39:45

Yeah, that’s something that I’m exploring as well because I’m in the same spot as you if I’ve read 1000 books, like this idea of, well, where is all that knowledge, and Tiago Forte has, you know Building your Second Brain and so I keep thinking gets the right thing to do. And it’s not that easy. When we’re already doing as many things as we’re doing. So like you it’s a project on the backburner that will happen. Yes, question is just when maybe when I have one less full time job. So I’m with you on that Nick, where I want to take it. Next, you talked a bit about accountability partners, you talked a bit about the time you spent with mentors, and we all here we see it on social media, Twitter, Instagram, you are who you surround yourself with, generally, we talk about it being the five people you surround yourself with are going to determine who you become, you shed a little bit of a different light on it, you have you have this concept you call the 25%. And I found that a little bit more forgiving, if you will, or made a little more sense to bucket it the way you did. Can you take people through the 25% rule? 

Nick Hutchison  40:58

Absolutely. And I developed this out of necessity, because when I first got into the world of personal development, there’s a great metaphor that Don Miguel Ruiz Jr. says in his book, The Mastery of Self, he says, imagine you just woke up and you’re at a party, and you’re totally sober, but everybody else around you is drunk. And they’re just swinging from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other. And you’re trying to conversate with these people, but nobody wants to talk to you, because they’re just caught up in all the drama and the gossiping, they’re drinking, and they’re having fun, and you’re sober. Like, that’s how I felt when I first started reading these personal development books, it’s like, I wanted all of my friends and family to be as obsessed with this stuff as I was, but nobody would take to it, nobody wanted to talk to me about it, at least most people didn’t. And so I started to cut off a lot of relationships, because I was reading that Jim Rohn quote, you are the average of the five people and you should spend more time around mentors. And so I burned some bridges, you know, kind of in an emotional way, I didn’t do a great job of explaining myself. But I’m like, if you don’t want to be entrepreneurial, if you don’t want to improve yourself, if you just want to play video games, and drink every night, like I don’t want to be around you anymore. I’m different, right. And that was driven from a place of ego. And I’ve come to realize, now that I’ve consumed a lot more material, and I’ve matured a little bit myself dealt with the ego a little bit more is that not everybody in your life is meant to serve as a personal development accountability partner, like some people are just friends, some people are just family members, everybody has their faults, you can’t, you know, you can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink right? Bunch of metaphors. So I saw a video where Tai Lopez, internet marketer, Love him or hate him, he has some good metaphors. I saw a video once of Tai Lopez originally, he had a rule of 33. So it kind of starts like this, the first three buckets, he says 33% of your time should be spent with mentors, people who have done what you want to do, and have done it really well. And they’ve helped other people get there, right? That’s the best definition of a mentor. And you can’t always spend in person time with these people. So you have to read their books and consume their courses and listen to them on podcasts and attend their events. That’s how you can spend 33% of your time with mentors. Then he said 33% of your time should be spent with peers. These are people who are fighting the good fight, right? They’re on the same playing field as you they have similar goals. They’re in a similar place. Health, wealth, love happiness, like they’re in a similar spot. And these are the people in your accountability groups, these are the people you work with, etc. Then he said 33% of your time should be spent with Mentees, right, you should be giving back refreshing the fundamentals teaching what you learn. Teaching what you learn is one of the best forms of repetition, because you’re forced to reorganize the work and then teach it to other people. It’s a way of ingraining it in your subconscious. And you know, a little bit of positive giving leads to a little bit of positive receiving right, it’s a reciprocal relationship. But I thought he was missing something. And this is why I’ve now developed the rule of 25 percent then a 33. Time with yourself. That’s the fourth bucket that’s someone that I think is super important that I think he missed in that speech that he gave one time and miscellaneous thing he probably made it up. And so time with yourself. That’s time in meditation, mindfulness, reading, reflection, journaling, exercising, you know, building goals, focusing on the future, saying affirmations, tons and tons of examples of how you can spend time with yourself. There’s a there’s a funny Blaise Pascal quote that says something like all of man’s problems stem from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone for like 15 minutes or something and it’s like I want to train that skill set, I want to love myself, when everything else is turned off, and it’s quiet, and I’m alone. That’s where I want to be the happiest. And I’ve been focusing on that for a long time now. And I can say that it does bring me a ton of joy, I meditate on a daily basis, I do all of the things that I just mentioned. And so that’s the rule of 25%, mentors, peers, mentees and yourself. 

Clint Murphy  45:26

Beautiful, I love it. You also talked earlier about the idea of when you were talking about beating that path, and walking through the meadow. And what was grass becomes the default path. Part of what you were talking about there is this idea of compounding, which I think you and I are both really big fans of, you know, I always say small smart decisions plus time plus consistency equals exponential results, some things that come into that you’ve got compounding, you’ve got the 1% rule, the Matthew effect, which I loved learning about earlier this year. And in writing about it in my newsletter, you’ve got this idea, you talk about a flying out of control. So all things that tied to compounding in the powers of it. The challenge that I love to present and want to pick your brain about is we always focus on the positives of compounding. Because that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to do self development, we’re trying to create these habits that then compound to make us better people in a decade than we are today. But for the average listener, I would say compounding is likely working against them. Right? It’s that extra Twinkie a day, it’s that, Hey, I didn’t take any steps today, I didn’t read. Or I watched two hours of television in the compounding effect that has, which I think is the flying out of control example. So I just threw a lot out at you there that relates to compounding in any direction you want to take it, Nick, wherever you want to go with that, I’m gonna pass it over to you. 

Nick Hutchison  47:05

Sure, well, I’ll give the flying out of control example. So imagine a plane is departing from Los Angeles, and it’s fine in New York City. So that’s about 3000 miles. But as the plane departs, somebody nudges the nose of the plane, just 1%, nobody notices. So the plane takes off. And let’s say it’s 1% to the south. So that 1% is compounding. And for a while it’s imperceptible, nobody can tell, you can’t even tell when you look at a graph of the difference. But as the plane continues, eventually, you realize that by the time it’s supposed to be in New York City, it’s about 150 miles south of New York City somewhere in Delaware, using a US example. And you’re totally right, that can happen for us or against us that extra Twinkie every single day for a year, you don’t really think about it, right? You don’t really notice anything for a while. But you end up 15 pounds heavier as the result of that one Twinkie every single day for a year, well, months from now. And so I do think a lot about that in chapter four of my book, I talk about some of the downsides of the self help industry. And I talk about momentum, how it can work for us or against us. And I think that sometimes people jump into the past. I’ve been people I’ve had hundreds of people reach out to me and say, Hey, Nick, I just discovered your community. Where should I start? And I realized over time that if I made a book recommendation that was too advanced, it would compound that negative momentum. Because that person walking in who’s in a negative spiral, they’re already feeling inadequate. They’re already dealing with some like self assurance issues. They already view the world through a negative lens, they’re already in that victim mentality. And now they read a book about how somebody made a million dollars in a day, that’s not going to help them right, it compounds the feeling of inferiority. So in order to reverse that momentum, you have to be really careful about beginning with the basics books that aren’t too aggressive, that don’t highlight major, major, major success stories that start small, small, smart steps like you highlighted in the right direction to begin to reverse that momentum. And The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy is a beautiful place to start because it does gently talk about this subject, right? Small steps in the right direction repeated over a long period of time, will lead to disproportionately positive results like exponential progression, like you just highlighted. And so I have a lot of things to say about it. I think you just need to start small. How do you eat an elephant one bite at a time? I have an author I worked with recently. He said, no matter how many times you read Aesop’s fable the tortoise and the hare, the tortoise always wins every single time. And I love that example because you don’t need to make these big jokes. So when people make big jumps, they fail. And if they’re already in a negative spiral, they won’t try again. And it stinks. Because everybody has an opportunity to live an amazing life. It’s just you need to be reasonable. It needs to be an attainable that’s the A and spark. It needs to be an attainable goal in a 1% improvement every day. That’s an attainable goal. 

Clint Murphy  50:23

Absolutely, it let’s flip it. You talked about some of those bad habits. How do we use your idea of restate, isolate and eliminate to get rid of those bad habits? 

Nick Hutchison  50:34

Yeah, this stems from my time at an internship in college where I was running my own house painting business and it was a sales objection framework, like to overcome objections, which was really interesting, and I never thought I would apply it to, like removing bad habits, but restate, isolate and handle. So let’s say that you have I mean, the example that I give in the book was I used to eat Doritos, spicy Nacho Doritos, I would eat a couple of bags a week. Now, I never had any, like weight issues, but I knew they were unhealthy. And they always left me feeling bloated and kind of, you know, after eating an entire bag of spicy Nacho Doritos. And so you have to start by restating the bad habit out loud. And it feels a little awkward. But we all have that moment where we become aware of the bad habit halfway through it. Right. So I’m halfway through a bag of spicy Nacho Doritos, and I, for a second, I’m aware of like, oh, I don’t want to be doing this. You have to insert a little bit of control into that moment and restate it out loud. Like imagine. You wake up in the morning, and you’re going to you want to get out of bed right? You want to overcome that resistance, but you also want to push that snooze. So you have to restate that bad habit out loud in the middle of you have to say I’m about to snooze the alarm. Even though I want to get out of bed. Even though it’s not going to make me feel better in 10 minutes I’m about to do it stated I’ll add to the universe or when your hand is in the bag of Doritos like I’m eating Doritos, even though they’re making me feel bloated. And I know that I’m going to come to regret this, but I’m going to continue eating them. Once you restate the habit, maybe even take a step away from the bag of Doritos or get out of bed and pulling at the alarm clock while you’re doing it. And you can’t like you really insert a little bit of control in that moment of awareness. That’s where you have the opportunity to change things. So that’s restating. Now isolating with a bag of Doritos, like, how do you remove the bad habit? How do you uninstall it while it’s being triggered by something? What is it being triggered by? Make a list of environmental factors that lead up to you automatically walking to the cabinet and grabbing the bag of Doritos. Is it the time of day? Is it the people that you’re with? Is it your emotional state of hunger? What is it and eliminate one of those environmental factors for a period of time and see if you still default to the action. Remove the trigger, and see if you still end up repeating the behavior over and over again. And eventually you’ll find one or two triggers that when eliminated, you don’t end up defaulting to that activity anymore. So restate, isolate, and then handle.  There are a few ways to handle it. I talked about one example in the book where you sort of multiply the effect of Doritos over a long period of time. And then you view that multiplied effect in the present moment. So I don’t have the math in front of me. But let’s say there, you know, there are a bunch of calories, unnecessary, terrible calories in a bag of Doritos. And if you eat two or three bags a week, how many calories is that a week? Well, how many calories is that a year? How many calories is that over five years. And I remember in the math that I did in the book that when I looked at my Doritos eating habit. Over five years, it led to the equivalent of 170 pounds of fat. So every single time I looked at that bag of Doritos, I would think, wow, that’s 178 pounds of fat over the next five years if I continue to eat these, and I started to run in the other direction, right? So I’ll restate the habit out loud when it happens to sort of insert more control and that slight moment of awareness to gain even more awareness. Separate yourself from it and restate it out loud, like this bag of Doritos makes me feel bloated. Isolate the behaviors that lead up to it. In my case it was having them in the pantry and being hungry. So maybe eat a little bit of a bigger lunch so that you don’t default to it. Stop buying them at the grocery store so that you don’t need them anymore. Visualize it as 178 pounds of fat, and then it’s handled. I’ve not eaten,  I haven’t had a spicy Nacho Dorito in years and I used to eat a hundred bags of them a year. 

Clint Murphy  54:54

I love it. So Nick, I’m gonna fire some rapid fire questions at you. What is one book that you’ve read that’s had a massive change on your life. 

Nick Hutchison  55:02

One book that I’ve read the tide of massive change on my life that I haven’t mentioned yet, is Vagabonding by Rolf Potts. It’s a book on the long term art of world travel. And after reading that book, I’ve spent time in 25 different countries sometimes for up to three months at a time. And I love international travel. So if you’re somebody who thinks only rich people can do that, I can’t do that. Read vagabonding by Rolf Potts.

Clint Murphy  55:29

Beautiful. What are you currently reading right now? I know sometimes you have multiple books on the go. 

Nick Hutchison  55:34

I do. I have quite a few books on the go. Tuesdays with Morey. Have you read that book? 

Clint Murphy  55:39

Not yet. No.  So it’s the story of a student going back to revisit an old professor in his dying days and documenting the experience and some of his greatest life lessons as he passes away. And again, it’s on this subject of mortality and living, living life in the present moment, and I’m really loving it.  Oh, it’s beautiful. What is one thing that you’ve bought in the last 12 months under $1,000 that Nick is thought to himself, Damn, I wish I’d bought this sooner. 

Nick Hutchison  56:10

That’s a great Tim Ferriss style question. I like that. I just got this Echo Go water hydrogenerator that I’ve really been loving. And I don’t have it on my desk right now it’s downstairs. But the idea is that if you add extra unbound hydrogen molecules to your drinking water, that you can actually absorb the supplement like the nutrients and minerals from the supplements that you’re taking in the food that you’re eating a lot more efficiently. So you actually get more from the food and supplements that you’re consuming. And so I’ve been feeling like a million bucks for a few years now. But definitely after buying that water bottle, and I think it’s priced at $250. I’ve got to research this. 

Clint Murphy  56:51

And then because the shows about growth, what’s one mindset shift, habit change or behavior change you have implemented that’s had an oversized impact on your life. 

Nick Hutchison  57:01

I have so many of them, I think, going from victim to hero. I mean, that’s the first one that comes to mind. In Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. He talks about shifting from I can’t afford this to how can I afford this to a place of curiosity, right? A victim says I can’t afford this. A hero says, How can I afford this? I’ll figure it out. I’m capable. I believe in myself, I have confidence, self assurance. And so I apply that to every area of my life. There’s no problem that I meet or obstacle that I face where I get overwhelmed anymore. I just go to a place of curiosity, like somebody else has figured this out. They’ve probably written a book about it. So let me do the work. Let me figure it out, too. 

Clint Murphy  57:41

I love it. And we went pretty far, we went pretty deep and wide in the book. Is there anything that we missed that you want to make sure that you get across to the audience today? 

Nick Hutchison  57:50

You did a great job researching the book and asking great questions, Clint, I’ll just to kind of wrap things up, say that I do believe there is a book to solve every single problem that we’re facing. And over 100 billion people have lived before us like we think we’re pretty unique. The problems we’re facing are pretty unique. But the fact is they’re not human beings have been facing very similar problems for 1000s of years. And a small percentage of people have figured it out, right? They’ve then condensed decades of their lived experience and greatest life lessons in two days. And they’ve written about it. And these books are available for $20. We can read and implement them in a few hours of our time. And most of us choose not to, like we started the conversation with. You’re a fan of stoicism as well. I mean, Marcus Aurelius almost 2000 years ago, is writing about struggling to get out of bed. We all struggle to get out of bed, but how do you overcome resistance? People like Marcus figured it out. And we can read their greatest life lessons that took them decades to figure out, we can jump the line, we can condense time we can figure it out ourselves, we can overcome problems. I heard Jordan Peterson say once that if you are dealing with an issue on a daily basis over the next 30 years, so 365 times 30, you’ll deal with that problem almost 11,000 times, but you don’t have to, you can solve it. And life doesn’t have to be so hard. You can enjoy the passage of time. And I think these books are a great way to do that. So that’s my final message. 

Clint Murphy  59:18

I love it. Beautiful way to end it and where can people find you? 

Nick Hutchison  59:21

If anybody wants a custom book recommendation from me, I love playing book matchmaker. You can direct message me @bookthinkers on Instagram. That’s our largest and most vibrant community. And I answer every message sometimes it takes me a couple of days or a week to get to you but tell me a problem you’re facing or skill that you want to develop and I’ll provide a custom book recommendation to you. And of course, there are links in our bio there to check out everything that we do as an agency, some other reader resources, a link to my book, Rise of the reader, which you’ve gotten a preview of today. I hope you buy a copy. And that’s where you can go.

Clint Murphy  59:58

Beautiful. Thank you Nick

Nick Hutchison  59:59

Yeah thank you.

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