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Rebirth of this blog

April 12th, 2009, I announced the end of this blog. The reason was this blog was a translation of my French blog Des Livres Pour Changer de Vie, and at this time the English blog had 1 third of the traffic of the French blog, six months after the creation. The translation was costly, so I decided to drop the English blog and to focus on the French one.

Fast forward 2 years and half after, I achieved tremendous success with the French blog (which have now more than 20 000 RSS + emails subscribers), and with a second one, Blogueur Pro, which too have more than 20 000 RSS + emails subscribers. I succeeded in my dream of living the 4 hour workweek (which have nothing to do with just working 4 hours per week, no more, no less, as you know if you really read the book) and now Iโ€™m travelling all around the world (I just came back from an awesome 3 months trip in California).

And, Iโ€™m making a lot of money too. And when I was in Los Angeles, in San Diego and in San Francisco (especially in this city), I met a lot of awesome entrepreneurs (like Patri Friedman of Sea Steading, an incredible project to build a startup country in the ocean) and I want to connect more with them.

So, I thought, now that I have some money to invest, and some awesome (I hope) articles on my French blog, why not hire someone to translate them, so I can give birth again to this blog, and it help me to connect more easily with English speaking entrepreneurs ?

So here it is. I hired a professional translator on Elance, and I will publish her translations as soon as she send them to me. Letโ€™s begin with Made to Stick ! Itโ€™s good to see you again ! ๐Ÿ˜‰

End of this blog

Dear Readers,

When I launched my project in October 2008, I launched my blog in French and English at the same time, for several reasons, but particularly because I wanted to make an impact in the  English blogging world and to make my project known to most of the participants in the Personal MBA.

Since I do have not perfect mastery of the English language, I get my summaries and articles translated by Mary of who does remarkable work. Unfortunately, this translation service is a significant cost for an amateur blogger (a review translation can cost between $50 and $100).

After six months of existence, I have therefore assessed the situation and weighed the pros and cons of continuing the English blog in spite of the costs it incurs. Unfortunately, visits are less than half what they are on the French blog, the number of RSS subscribers is less than one third and revenues from Amazon commissions are very small, unlike the French blog.

For these reasons, I have decided to give up the English blog and dedicate myself to the French blog. This blog will remain in place and the reviews that are already done will remain on line, and I am continuing my challenge; those of you who can read French will be able to continue to follow me at Des Livres Pour Changer de Vie.

Anyway, I thank all my faithful English readers for their support and their encouragement, and I hope that this news wonโ€™t make you too sad ๐Ÿ˜‰ .  Donโ€™t hesitate to visit my French blog and contact me on the Personal MBA community forum.

News books and New Category

With the review of Making Things Happen, I have finished the 10 books in the Productivity & Effectiveness category of the Personal MBA. This is an important step for me and I am happy to have reached it.

I am going to pause this week mostly to be able to offer you articles summarizing what I have learned in these 10 books. You will also get a surprise next week ๐Ÿ˜‰ .

Then I will attack the 7 books that I have selected in the Psychology and Communication category, the set of which has just been delivered by Amazon.

New books in the Psychology & Communication category

And thanks to all you who are following and encouraging me, that is helping me enormously ๐Ÿ™‚ .

Interview with Josh Kaufman and First Review

Josh Kaufman, creator of the Personal MBA, interviewed me recently. You will find the interview on the Personal MBA site. In particular I described my time as an entrepreneur, how I discovered the Personal MBA, how the idea came to me for my crazy challenge, and I give some advice to people who might be motivated to embark on a similar adventure ๐Ÿ˜‰ . In terms of news, anyone who uses Twitter can now follow me to it โ€“ I am not thinking of using it a lot for the moment, but maybe thatโ€™s coming.



GTD, Implementation – 1

1 โ€“ Choice of central tool for the system – difficult

This week, as promised, I am focused on implementing GTD. The least I can say is that itโ€™s not simple. Especially due to the number of available electronic applications, and because I want to, and must, have a system for collecting and processing that is reliable, which I can count on, and which meets my requirements. I have identified my primary requirements and needs as the following: The system must allow me to:


A week without books – Implementing GTD and thinking

As i wrote in my previous article about 10 pearls of wisdom, I have decided not to read a book this week so that I can focus on implementing the GTD method. This method is, in fact, very promising and I think that I can save a lot of time in the long term, but it also quite demanding to set up. I will write an article for you later telling you how I did it.

Does this mean I have given up on the idea of reading 52 books in 52 weeks? Yes and No. In the last 7 weeks I have read 8 books, including Personal Development for Smart People. Therefore even if I skip a week I am still in the game.

Well OK, Steve Pavlina’s book is not part of my Personal MBA challenge, so I am cheating a little ๐Ÿ˜‰ . The GTD method is supposed to save me time, therefore I am not giving up the idea of reading 52 books in 52 weeks. But just as important as the project or the books themselves, is what I will get out of them in my personal and professional life. Now, one of the major pitfalls of my project, which I have been conscious of from the outset, is that the pace I have imposed on myself is preventing me from fully putting into practice what I am learning. I chose to impose one book a week on myself because that seemed to have more benefits than drawbacks.

I envisaged this project also as an experience and not as a set of fixed rules, it is therefore possible that I will modify elements of it for purposes of making it more effective and efficient. For example, I have thought about the idea of switching off so that “one week I read a book and write a summary, then the next week I put it into practice and write an article about it, then continuing on.” But I hesitate to do that. What do you think? Do you think that would take something away from the spirit of the project? Or would I get more benefit from it? What would I lose in the end? I am just at the beginning, so should I keep it up for a while longer before asking myself that question? What do you think?

Erika Andersen sent me a signed copy of her book

Erika Andersen, author of Growing Great Employees, which is in 37th position on my list, stumbled upon my project and liked it very much to the point that she sent me a signed copy of her book by express mail, with her encouragement!

Growing Great Employees

 Autograph by Erika Andersen

Thank you Erica, I appreciate your gesture and your support very much! ๐Ÿ˜‰

What’s more, Phil of Slacker Manager wrote an article about my project which has already led to hundreds of visitors. Thank you Phil!

Recently I have had enouragement from those close to me, my friends, my colleagues, my clients and internet users and I must thank all of you from the bottom of my heart, this gives me a lot of energy to keep it up!

My crazy project: Read 52 of the best business books in 52 weeks, and post a weekly review here on my blog

"You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for a buck fifty in late charges at the public library."
– Will Hunting (played by Matt Damon), Good Will Hunting

First of all I want to introduce myself to those who don’t know me: I am Olivier Roland, I’m 27, I’m French and I manage an information services company that I created when I was 19 (3 people), and I am the author of two other French blogs, Techno Smart (great tools for smart people – that’s the slogan ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and Habitudes Zen (translations of the best articles from the famous blog Zen Habits).

Are you familiar with the Personal MBA? It’s a concept created by Josh Kaufman (following an idea by Seth Godin). Going off the assumption that business schools don’t have a monopoly on knowledge and wisdom, he suggests that every one of us passes a personal MBA by reading a selection of the best business books that exist, around 77 published in 2008 (93 with supplements) in 12 different categories.