iphone

Graham Hunt – Spanish Real-Estate Entrepreneur

Graham Hunt is a real estate property developer in Valencia Spain. He’s created YouTube videos for his real-estate company, included 100 tips for moving to Spain,and is the author of Laptop Entrepreneur. These are his good things.

Good things to read.

High Fidelity.  The first Nick Hornby book I read was Fever Pitch of course, a book that summed everything up about being a football fan. High Fidelity summed everything up about being a bloke. The obsessive lists, the compilation tapes, the emotional depth of a blancmange, the self centredness, everything. Just like I could have been Gregory in the film below I could definitely have been Rob in this book. The film version was good by the way, excellent casting of John Cusack, but it just wasn’t “quite” as good.


Choose Yourself. James Altucher’s book has been my go to toilet book for the last year (And believe me that is high praise indeed) The idea that we are in the middle of a sea change in the way we do things in the World Economy and that the old certainties enjoyed by our parents’ generation have disappeared as jobs, careers and life has been outsourced abroad has meant that I have started looking at everything in a new way. The idea of Choosing Yourself and most convincingly the way to become an ideas machine have changed me enormously. Two new businesses later and a huge change in the way I look at any problem mean that now it doesn’t look as if I will be changing my toilet reading for a time yet.

The 4-Hour Workweek. I got this book immediately as a mindset thing but every time I revisit it I get more out of it now. (Would love Tim Ferriss to do an updated version right now with so many other tools out there and so many success stories too).

The point that most people miss about the 4HWW is that it is not a treatise on how to be “lazy” and work four hours a week while supping Margaritas under a palm tree in a hammock (Despite the cover art) What it really is are a series of tools to use to become ultra efficient. I have never even approached four hours work a week, in fact i think I am on about 70 a week at the moment. What I am doing though is the work of 300 hours in those 70. And yes you might say I am missing the point too as the aim of the book wasn’t to give you more time to do more. However I have been able to make time for great holidays now and if I want to take time out and do other stuff I just do. I choose my clients and I choose my projects. Nothing is forced on me and that for me is key.

Good things to watch.

 

Gregory’s Girl. Probably the greatest movie ever 😉 OK it’s cheap, it’s low tech and it’s somewhat risqué in some of the lines looking back on it now. However, I was Gregory and so was every other lad I knew at school, in fact I probably still am. If a girl ever needs to get into what the head of a teenage boy in the 80’s was then just watch this film. Awkwardness, insecurity, white jackets, football and a strange attraction to obscure facts about Caracas. What more could you ask for?

Salvados. The only programme worth watching on Spanish television. Jordi Evole is the innocent going around letting the corrupt, the inept, the self important and the bastards hang themselves with their own words. With such a huge range of potential targets to have a go at in this country, Salvados never usually misses the target. Using a style of interviewing that allows the “victim” to talk themselves into a corner where there is no escape, Evole does a great job of making the corrupt seem like slime in their own words and his reactions to their admissions are priceless.

Derek. Some people love Ricky Gervais and some people don’t. I am in the former camp. However Derek could well be the best thing that he has ever done. The Office was superb, Extras was fantastic. An Idiot Abroad had some brilliant bits and Life’s Too Short was… meh! Derek tugs at the heartstrings and also hits home runs on the comedy. Always remember that “Kindness is magic”

Good things to use.

The Valencia Cricket Ground.  Three years ago I helped to start up a cricket club in Valencia, Spain… yes cricket in Spain. Two years ago I managed to set up a couple of meetings meaning we got to share the Valencia baseball ground. We have rechristened the ground as the VCG and every time we use it we love it.

My iPhone/iPad.  I mostly run my businesses from my iPad and iPhone. If the iPhone is more than a metre away from me consider it a mistake. If the iPad is more than a few metres away consider it a panic attack. Why? Well they are my entertainment, my information, my work tools and of course my communications tool. I am not going to go into the apps that I use but these two things just rock for me as they work so well together along with the MacBook at home for integrated workflows.

The Grey Matter. The more I challenge my brain to come up with creative solutions to problems and issues the better it becomes at sorting things out. And I give it a lot of challenges. If I had to give advice to someone on how to use their grey matter it would be as follows:

Never let it go to mush by watching TV like the X Factor, reading stuff like the Daily Mail and repeating celebrity gossip. You have a brain for a reason. Make the most of it.

Connect with Graham, and his brain on Twitter, @grahunt to talk cricket, Spanish real-estate, or to just thank him for his good things.

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Kelly Whalen – The Centsible Life

Kelly Whalen is the author of The Centsible Life, a blog designed to help you live the life of your dreams on a budget. She started her blog 4 years ago, and has since become both a well-known mom blogger and a respected voice in the personal finance realm.

Kelly and her blog have been featured on The Today Show, local networks in Philadelphia, and she has been featured in magazines and print in both national and local publications including Money magazine, Kiplinger’s, and Woman’s Day.

Kelly is a mom to 4, and loves that she can stay at home with her kids, and still pursue her passions for writing, personal finance, and social media.

Good things to read.

Raising Digital Families for Dummies by Amy Bair.  This is a MUST for parents. Let’s face it we’re all dummies when it comes to technology. Even though it’s my job to know digital media I learned so much from this book. It’s an essential tool for parents.

Humor blogs–(Neon Fresh, The Bloggess, Hyperbole and a Half, among others). Sometimes you need a laugh. A good, long, real LOL. Humor blogs are one of my favorite ways to destress or find a little pocket of laughter in my day. Just make sure to put down any liquids before you click over.

Gillian Flynn’s books.  While much has been made about Gone Girl, her latest work, I wasn’t a fan of the ending. I won’t spill the details, but I did love her writing style. I picked up two of her previous books both of which I loved. Be forewarned these are dark, but entertaining, and you won’t be able to put them down.

Good things to watch.

Orange is the New Black.  This Netflix original series is daring and deep. Based on a book and real life experience of Piper Kerman, a upper class white woman from NYC who smuggled drug money a decade earlier. She’s settled into a ‘normal’ life now, but has to serve 15 months for her past crimes. While the premise could be contrived the beauty of the show lies in the way it follows the various characters the main character encounters. It explores the power structure in the prison, race issues, and the hard realities of prison life. It manages to at times be funny, sexy, shocking, and touching without losing its’ tone.

Despicable Me 2.  Yes, it’s a kid’s movie, but it also manages to be fun for the whole family. If you haven’t seen the first film, watch it on DVD or On Demand first. It’s fun, touching, funny, and just makes me smile no matter how many times I’ve watched it. (Two for the DM2, and I can’t count for the original!) It’s worth seeing for the Minions alone!

The 11 o’clock hour on Comedy Central.  The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.  The 11 o’clock hour on Comedy Central is possibly my favorite thing on TV. Comedy, smart interviews, social commentary, all wrapped in a two 30 minute shows. While I like to stay current on news and current events I prefer the smart and funny commentary to 24 hour news channels.

Good things to use.

iPhone.  Seriously. Do I need to say more? It’s sleek, easy to use, and basically contains my life. I can manage our family calendar, pay bills, share photos and updates, and soooo much more.

ChromeCast.  I just learned about this today, but already I’m in love. Streaming your content just got easier with this $35 device from Google. Watch your videos and stream Netflix with just this little ‘dongle’. On backorder now, your best bet is to head here and see what the fastest shipping option is right now.

A budget! I’d be remiss if I didn’t say a budget was a good thing! Having a budget in place is the best thing you can do to help manage your money, and save more. While budgeting can be challenging it will help you consciously spend on what is important to you. Love travel? Cut the cable and get out of the house. Those kinds of choices will bring you more happiness and a better quality of life. You an download a free printable budget on my blog. (http://www.thecentsiblelife.com/printables/)

You can often find her on Twitter, @censisiblelife, and Facebook talking money and motherhood.

John Saddington – Entrepreneur

John Saddington blogs at John.do and is running  ran a Kickstarter campaign for a photo filtering app for WordPress.

Good things to read.

The first is Daniel Pink’s book Drive, which is an incredible book that highlights some of the elements that really motivate us to do our best and most enjoyable work. I recommend this book to every single person I meet because in one way or another it challenges them to rethink the way they see work as well as how they are going to do it. It also challenges them to think so much bigger than where they are currently and see a much brighter future.

The second thing to read is 37signals’ Rework, a fun read that can be done in 2-3 minute segments, sometimes even less. Challenging some long-held beliefs of work and productivity, they come at those ideas from a software perspective but it’s equally applicable in every environment. They speak plainly about things like “meetings” and how they are “toxic” to productivity. When was the last time you were enthused about your Monday-morning status call?

Thirdly, Andy Stanley’s When Work and Family Collide, a firm reminder about the true loves of my own life and the reason I do what I do. This was one of the first corporate things I had my company do when we started so that we could align ourselves together as a team.

Good things to watch.

The first thing you need to watch is Kevin Rose’ Foundation interviews. These interviews are candid and powerful with some of the innovators of our time. Bookmark and watch one a week.

Secondly, many of the TED talks are amazing. I watch at least one of these a week for inspiration as well as keeping me abreast of some of the foremost thinkers in fields that are outside of my own expertise. This helps me expand my ideas about how I’m implementing and creating products as well as keeps me on the edge of advancement and critical thought.

Thirdly, the popular channel over at Youtube. I do this not just for entertainment purposes but also so that I’m aware of the trending topics and memes that may be important for me to know about. Many of the ingenious products, companies, and innovators were sourced through Youtube and I’m still very fascinated with the mechanics of video and virality.

Good things to use.

I keep my toolkit lean and simple. The first thing that I use is my personal notebook, for sketches, wireframes, and capturing ideas. I’m particularly found of Action Method journals.

Secondly, my iPhone 5. I know, I know, but my entire life and business can be captured in my pocket. The power of this truth is mind-numbing and also very scary.

Finally, water. You must hydrate. Trust me. Most of us don’t drink enough. A simple cup of water will do.

Find more of John on Twitter, @Saddington.

Tammy Strobel – writer and photographer

Tammy Strobel’s is a writer and photographer at Rowdy Kittens, a site about going small, thinking big, and being happy. She’s written three books and teaches classes on writing and photography.  These are her good things.

Good things to read.

This I Know by Susannah Conway.

The Best Care Possible by Ira Byock

On Writing by Stephen King.

Good things to watch.

Oprah’s Next Chapter is inspiring and interesting.

I’m fine, Thanks is a sweet documentary.

I can’t wait to watch Tiny; it’s a story about living small.

Good things to use.

The camera in your phone. I love iPhone photography because it enables me to capture everyday magic.

Zassenhaus coffee grinder. We recently purchased this coffee grinder for our tiny house and love it. It’s beautiful, durable, and it has a 25-year warranty.

A Fitbit. Get outside and start counting your steps.