The Millionaire Fastlane – MJ DeMarco

Looking for an entrepreneurs’s forum, I found The Fastlane forum. It looks interesting, there is lot of people who will give you feedbacks about your idea or project, but I found too that everyone refered to a book The Millionaire Fastlane.

I research about it and decided to take a look. Really I don’t read it entirely, because this book try to change your mind from “consumer thinking” to “producer thinking” and I think I’m already. The book encourages people to launch your own business.

In the Appendix B you can find a summary with 40 guidelines. These are my notes from there:

  • Don’t focus marketing messages on features, but benefits.
  • Don’t engage your business like checkers, but chess.

PHP Sessions garbage collection problem

Recently my partition size reach 100% of inodes in a couple of days. The partition had thousands of php sessions files,

sess_v3kog1m1943ue0ldu4efqo3qa0
sess_v4ila4d6i5pd0if984n4qqp5s5
sess_v7e48q0e9gc101v9hs9e1c4sb0
sess_v9ef5h87f0h7t56l9hiv6gck77
sess_vadd1reqptalvuphqdn5k80091
sess_vbj05moen6mvc8db5ovkdps3g6

Php was not cleaning the old sessions, so the partition reach the 100% size of inodes often.

I don’t know why but in Debian PHP 5.3.3, the garbage collection settings doesn’t delete the old sessions.

If you go to your /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini you will find:

session.gc_probability = 0
session.gc_divisor = 1000

It’s quite weird, because that setting shouldn’t influence in the deletion of the sessions files. You will find this settings in

session.gc_maxlifetime = 1440

But I’m pretty sure, the session files wasn’t deleted after 24min (1440 secdons / 60).

So I changed the garbage collection settings to:

session.gc_probability = 1
session.gc_divisor = 100

And now the sessions are deleted successfully.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey

I started a project in 2011 about lawyers. We was a team of 4 guys. One guy left the group, and the 3 of us continued with the project. In this project, I assumed the rol of leader.

I wanted to improve my skills in leadership, so the group could be more motivate.

I searched and found The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, from Stephen Covey. I think his tips about motivation and leadership are very useful. I already shared many thoughts with Dr Covey in this book, but there was others, like “Quadrant”, organization, or how to treat people that they were very interesting for me.

Here you are my highlights and notes for this book:

Listening involves patience, openness and the desire to understand.

Knowledge, skill and desire.

Inside-out

Dependent people need others to get what they want. Independent people can get what they want through their own effort. Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.

P/pc balance (production / production capability ): Don’t care only about results, but what generate these resuslts too.

Its not what happened to us, but our response to what happened to us that hurt us.

Circle of concern: things over which we have no real control and others that we can do something about.

Circle of influence: inside circle of concern. Only things that we can do something about.

Problems areas:
– Direct control: problems involving our own behavior.
– Indirect control: problems involving others people’s behavior.
– No control: problems we can do nothing about, such as our past or situational realities.

Solutions:
– Direct problems: are solved working on our habits (private victories)
– Indirect problems: are solved by changing our methods of influence (public victories)
– no control problems: accept them and learn to live with them.

We can choose our actions but we can’t choose the consequences of those actions .

Mistakes: acknowledge them, correct them and learn from them.

Make commitments and promises to ourselves.

Exercises: page 79

Begin with the end in mind.

All things are created twice: mental and physical.

Develop a personal mission:
-plan weekly work schedule.
-facilitate the success of subordinates.
-Listen twice as much as you speak.
-Concentrate all abilities and efforts on the task at hand, not worry about the next job or promotion.
-Be open to know new people.

Four factors interdependent. That create a balanced character when are in harmony with each other.

Security: Represent your sense of worth, your identity,your emotional anchorage, your self-esteem, your basic personal strength or lack of it.
Guidance: Means your source of direction in life. Criteria that govern moment by moment decision making and doing.
Wisdom: Your perspective on life, your sense of balance, your understanding of how the various parts and principles apply and relate to each other. It embraces judgement, discernment, comprehension. It is an oneness , an integrated wholeness .
Power:Is the faculty or capacity to act, the strength and potency to accomplish something. Is the vital energy to make choices and decisions. It also includes the capacity to overcome deeply embedded habits and to cultivate higher, more effectives ones.

Personal mission statement: break it into roles.

No involvement, no commitment!

Exercise page 171

Putting First things first.

We react to urgent matters. Important matters that are not urgent require more initiative, more proactivity.

-Quadrant I: urgent and important matters.
-Quadrant II: things that are not urgent, but are important.
-Quadrant III: urgent, but not important matters.
-Quadrant IV: not urgent, not important activities.
Effective people spent more time in II.

Peter Drucker: effective people are not problem minded, they’re opportunity minded.

Pareto Principle: 80% of the results flow out of 20% of the activities.

You have to decide what your higher priorities are and have the courage to say “no” to other things.

“If you want to get something done, give it to a busy man”

Organization tips (pag 185):
-Organize your life on a weekly basis.
-The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.
-Your planning tool should be your servant, never your master.

Exercise pag 187.

Gofer delegation: it means: go for this, go for that, do this, do that, and tell me when it’s done.
Stewardship delegation: Its focuses on results instead of methods.

Stewardship delegation five areas:
-Desired results.
-Guidelines.
-Resources.
-Accountability.
-Consequences.

Emotional Bank Account: you make deposits (kindness, courtesy, honesty and keeping my commitments to you). Your trust toward me become higher and i can call upon that trust many time if i need to.

6 major deposits that build the Emotional Bank Account:
-Understandig the individual.
-Attending to the Little Things.
-Keeping commitments.
-Clarifying expectations.
-Showing Personal Integrity.
-Apologizing sincerely when you make a withdrawal.

Think Win-Win

6 paradigms of interaction:
-Win-win: all parties feel good about the decision. See life as a cooperative, not a competitive arena.
-Win-lose: if i win you lose. Competition.
-Lose-win: i lose you win. Step on me again, everyone does.
-lose-lose: if i havent it you either.
-win: they don’t want someone else to lose. That’s irrelevant. What matters is that they win.
-win-win or no deal: It would be better not to deal than to live with a decision that wasn’t right for us both.

5 dimensions of win-win:
-Character:
Integrity: keeping meaningful promises and commitments.
Maturity: balance between courage and considerations.
Abundance Mentality: there is plenty out there for everyone.
-Relationship: emotional bank account.
-Agreements: stewardship delegation.

Compensation system: the managers only made money when their salespeople (subordinates) made money.

Four step process to get win-win solutions:
-see the problem from the other point of view. Understand it.
-identify the key issues and concerns involved.
-determine what results would constitute a fully acceptable solution .
-identify possible new options to achieve those results .

Exercise page 256

Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply.

Satisfied needs do not motivate. Its only the unsatisfied need that motivates.

The amateur salesman sell products, the professional sells solutions to needs and problems.

Presentations: ethos, phatos and logos (page 278).

Exercise page 283.

Synergy: the whole is greater than tne sum of its parts.

Synergy Comunication: the middle way. If both parts have different and incompatible desires/needs. Look for a middle solution between both.
Exercise page308

Sharpen the saw

Four dimensions of your nature:
-Physical: beneficial eating, exercising and resting.
-Spiritual: Spending time in nature, expanding spiritual self through meditation, music, art…
-Mental: Learning, reading, writing, teaching…
-Social/Emotional: Making social and meaningful connections with others.

Exercise page 329

The 7 habits:
– Be proactive.
– Begin with the end in mind.
– Put First things first .
– Think win-win
– Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
– Synergize.
– Sharpen the saw.

References:
Books:
– search of identity (anwar sadat)
– getting to yes (roger fisher and William ury)
Plays:
– les miserables.
Movies:
– chariots of fire

Beware of small files!

Last Saturday, several websites started to fail with mysql connection problem, or database missing.

This is a website in Yii:

The table "{{messages}}" for active record class "Message" cannot be found in the database.

In mysql everything look find, but searching in apache error logs, I found some entries like this one:

Error Can't create/write to file '/tmp/#sql_75a4_0.MYI' (Errcode: 28)

I checked my /tmp partition and it look find, only 20% space occupied. But I saw there was thousands of files from php sessions. Luckily I already saw this problem before. It was a site with a custom cache. It created thousands of small files too. The file size it was near to 0 bytes. So the problem was the partition was full, not because size, but inodes. Here there was the same problem, partition size near 27% but inodes was 100% full.

You can check your inodes with:

df -i

Usually all your partitions will be around 1%.

By the way, where there are lot of files, you will have problem if you want to delete them with:

rm sess_*

You can use instead something like:

find /tmp/ -name 'sess_*' |xargs rm

The Personal MBA – Josh Kaufman

As I said in About section, currently I have to fight more with business and less with systems. I started with The Personal MBA of Josh Kaufman.
I took lot of notes, as you can see below and I think you can get good tips from him.

If I have to say something negative about the book, it is that the first 50 pages (50 from 500) of the book, the author only complain about MBAs courses. He could have saved these 50 first pages.

Another negative thing, I found one section very interesting, it talks about willpower and how it is related to the glucose. I research a little about this topic and I found this is not entirely true. There was a study which try to relate willpower and glucose, but currently that study is not 100% credible. Independently of glucose, his advice about willpower it is very interesting.

Here you are my notes, interesting quotes and stuff for research that I wrote down while I was reading it:

Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is. – Isaac Asimov.

Value creation + customer demand + transactions + value delivery + profit sufficiency = business.

Value creation: the purpose has to be always to make someone else’s life a little bit better.

10 ways to evaluate a market (page 64):
– Urgency:
– Market size:
– Pricing potential:
– Cost of customer acquisition:
– Cost of value delivery:
– Uniqueness of offer:
– Speed to market.
– Up-Front Investment.
– Upsell potential.
– Evergreen potential.

Perceived Value: the higher the perceived value of your offering, the more you’ll be able to charge for it. Page 84

Prototype: show your values without fear that someone could steal your idea.

If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late – Reid Hoffman, founder of Linkedin.

Pick three key attributes or features, get those things very, very right, and then forget about everything else… By focusing on only a few core features in the first version, you are forced to find the true essence and value of the product – Paul Buchheit, creator of gmail and adsense.

Don’t make me think. Steve Krug, usability expert.

Currencies for negotiation: resources, time and flexibility.

The first thing for decide before you walk into any negotiation is what to do If the other fellow says no -Ernest Bevin.

3D Negotiation (page 166):
Setup
Structure
Discussion

If you don’t already have a Risk-Reversal policy , implement one and you’ll see your sales increase.

Investment provided you use those funds to purchase and maintain Force Multipliers (tools), not to pay yourself or maintain rents.

Breakeven: The point where your business’s total revenue exceeds its total expenses.

Amortization: Is the process of spreading the cost of a resource investment over the estimated useful life of that investment.

Purchasing Power: The sum total of all liquid assets a business has at its disposal.

1$ today is worth more than 1$ tomorrow.

Compounding: Accumulation of gains over time. Whenever you’re able to reinvest gains, your investment will build upon itself exponentially.

Perception Control represent a fundamental shift in understanding why people do the things they do. Once you understand that people act to control their perceptions, you’ll be better equipped to influence how they act.

Guiding Structure: If you want to successfully change a behavior, don’t try to change it directly. Change the structure that influences or supports the behavior , and the behavior will change automatically.

Reinterprer your past, and you’ll enhance your ability to make great things happen in the present.

Inhibition is the ability to stop: to delay our response until we are adequately prepared to make it.

Willpower: Focus on using it to change your environment and you’ll have more available to use whenever inhibition is necessary.
Willpower Deplete relatively large amounts of glucose and when those stores run low (20:30) we have a hard time using willpower to inhibit behavior.

Loss Aversion: People hate to lose more than they love to win. Remove the perception of loss in your sales (money-back guarantee?).

Newspaper Rule: assume your decision will be published on the front page of tomorrow’s New York Times. What would think your friends ?
Grandchild Rule: what will think your grandchildren of your decision 40 or 50 years from now.

Contrast: When presenting your offer, do it comparing with a huge high price option. It will look like the product you want to sell is inexpensive.

Scarcity: do people understand they will lose something valuable if they wait.

Novelty: People can’t pay attention during long period so you need to introduce updates to keep them focus in your offer.

4 ways to get things done: completion, deletion, delegation and deferment.

Stevepavlina.com

Make your goals action that bring you to your final objective.

State of being: happy, successfull… They aren’t goals.

David Allen : Getting things done. Book.

Self-Elicitation: The practice of asking yourself question, then answering them.

Parkinson’s Law: If you don’t set a limit in your available time, your work will expand to fill it all.

The more Attached you are to a particular idea or plan, The more you limit your flexibility and reduce your chances of finding a better solution.

If a man empties his purse into His head, no one can take it from him. An investment in knowledge always pays The highest return. – Benjamin Franklin.

Influence is the ability to encourage someone else to want what you suggest.
Compulsion is the ability to force someone else to do what you command.

The more Important you make people feel when they’re around you, The more they’ll like you and want to be around you.

If you want your team to perform at its best, make your teams as small and autonomous as possible.

If you treat people with Appreciation, Courtesy and Respect in all circumstances, other people will feel Important and Safe in your presence.

People will be more receptive to any request if you give them a reason why. Any reason will do.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.- General George S. Patton.

Bystander Apathy is an inverse relationship between the number of people who could take action and The number of people who actually choose to act. To avoid Bystander Apathy ensure all tasks have single, clear owner and deadlines.

Connecting your offer to one of these Social qualities via Association is a surefire way to make people Desire your offer more strongly.

Obtain a small Commitment, and you’ll make it far more likely that others will comply with your request.

Modal Bias: The automatic assumption that our idea is best. Keep an open mind, and you’ll enhance your ability to make wise decisions.

Let other know you expect great work from them, and they’ll do their best to live up to your expectations.

When something isn’t going as expected, try to know about the circumstances before blame him. Give the benefit of the doubt unless a particular behavior clearly become a Pattern.

Focus on options, not issues, and you’ll be able to handle any situation life throws at you.

6 simple principles of effective management:
– Small elite teams are best.
– Clearly communicate the end result, who is responsible for what, the current status and why it’s important.
-Treat people with Respect, appreciation and courtesy.
– Create an environment where everyone can be as productive as possible.
– Retrain from having unrealistic expectations. Create an aggressive plan to accomplish the project but be aware it could change.
– If what you are doing is not work, experiment with another approach.

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it , doesn’t go away.

When your system relies on The performance of someone outside of your control, do all that you can to prepare for The possibility that they won’t perform as expected.

To analyze a system, Deconstruct complex systems into subsystems that are easier to understand, then build your understanding of the system from the ground up.

Some questions to identify good measurement:
– How quickly is the system creating value?
– What is the current level of inflows?
– How may people are paying attention to your offer?
– How many prospects are giving you permission to provide more information?
– How many prospects are becoming paying customers ?
– What is the average customer’s Lifetime Value?
– How quickly you can serve each customer?
– What’s your current returns or complaints rate ?
– What is your Profit Margin?
– How much purchase power do you have ?
– Are you financially Sufficient?

Don’t look at your data through rose-glasses: always strive to be honest with yourself about what the data indicates you can improve.

For best results create explicit Checklists for The 5 parts of your business, then make sure they’re followed every single time.

SSH login without password

Surely, If you manage servers, you will need to access this system directly without them asking for password.

You can get it with public and private keys, exchanging them previously.

In this howto, CLIENT will be who want to connect and SERVER will be where you want to connect.

Steps in client:

$ ssh-keygen -t rsa
$ scp $HOME/.ssh/id_rsa.pub USER@SERVER:/tmp

The “ssh-keygen -t rsa” command has to be run only one time. If you want to connect more than one server with the same user, you don’t have to run it again.

USER: A remote user in the server where you want to connect.

SERVER: The server where you want to connect.

After “scp” command, you will be asked for the remote user password.

Steps in server:

$ cat /tmp/id_rsa.pub >> $HOME/.ssh/authorized_keys && rm /tmp/id_rsa.pub && chmod 0600 $HOME/.ssh/authorized_keys

Now if you  connect from CLIENT to SERVER you won’t be asked by the password:

$ ssh USER@SERVER

How to create user

This command will create a user in mysql with full access to the selected database:
mysql> GRANT all ON DATABASE.* TO USER@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'PASS';
mysql> FLUSH PRIVILEGES;

DATABASE: The database where the user will have full access.

USER: The username that will have full access to the database. It will be created.

PASS: The password for this user.

How to create a database

Here you are a note to create a database in mysql:

mysql> create database DATABASE_NAME;

DATABASE_NAME: Change this for the database name you want to create.