Jedi mind tricks from Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos is the Morpheus of focus, offering Amazonians the red pill of clarity and denying them the blue pill of distraction. It’s time to steal his strategies.

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👇 Today’s Briefing

  • Story: Bezos - A Day in the Life of the Hyperfocused 🔍

  • Insight: The Power of No: Amazon's Selective Focus 🎯

  • Action: Red Pill - Set Up Your Distraction Defense 🔴


Bezos: A Day in the Life of the Hyperfocused 🔍

[5:00 am] Jeff Bezos starts his day by "puttering," which is billionaire talk for doing whatever the f**k you want to do. He sips on artisanal coffee, casually reads, and nibbles on avocado toast.

Bezos tells Lex Fridman: “I slowly move around. I’m not as productive as you might think. I believe in wandering.”

[7:00 am] Next up, Bezos hits the gym. Most days, he spends 30 minutes on cardio and 45 minutes on weight training with a trainer. When you're worth more than the GDP of a small country, you can afford to have someone yell at you to do one more rep.

[10:00 am] Then, it's time for the main event: work. At this time, he has what he calls a "High IQ Meeting." I'm picturing a bunch of geniuses sitting around a table, solving the world's problems while sipping on kombucha.

Bezos has a philosophy when it comes to meetings: "As a senior executive, you get paid to make a small number of high-quality decisions." In other words, he's not wasting his time on bullshit. He wants to get in, make some big moves, and get out — and he expects participants to act the same way. 

Now, let's talk about the infamous 6-page memo. Bezos says, "My perfect meeting starts with a crisp document. I like a crisp document and a messy meeting."

At Amazon and Blue Origin, meetings start with a 6-page memo that everyone reads silently for 30 minutes. This avoids a lot of time-wasters, like…

  • Asking dumbass questions mid-deck (that would later be answered),

  • Common groupthink that comes from too little info,

  • Trampling ideas because everyone is trying to speak at once,

  • And not having to slowly tease out ideas as they’re all written down.

Bezos says, "Now we can have an elevated discussion. Slide shows are designed to persuade. It's a sales tool. That's the last thing you want to do. [Meetings] are truth-seeking." 

Writing a good memo is like trying to solve a Rubik's Cube blindfolded. Bezos says, "A good 6-page memo might take two weeks to write." He says, "You can slide a lot of sloppy thinking in bullet points. When you write in narrative sentences with complete structure, it's hard to hide sloppy thinking. It forces the author to be at their best."

[5:00 pm] Bezos has a strict "no meetings after 5 pm" rule (again, a leader’s job is to make a few powerful decisions, not make thousands of choices).

Jeff Bezos' daily routine is a wild ride full of puttering, high IQ meetings, and 6-page memos. It's like a Silicon Valley version of 50 Shades of Grey, except instead of kinky sex, it's all about world domination.

Key takeaway: Embrace the focus, ditch the bullshit, and you just might become the next overlord of e-commerce.


The Power of No: Amazon's Selective Focus 🎯

"Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus."

The founder of Amazon focuses on a small number of high-quality decisions, tackles complex problems with a curated group of experts, starts meetings with a well-crafted memo, and focuses on truth-seeking meetings.

Here are a few more ways Amazon narrows its focus:

  • The "two-pizza team" rule: Teams should be small enough to feed with two pizzas. Be nimble, focused, and able to move quickly.

  • The door desk: This was a way of saying no to expensive furniture and focusing resources on what mattered most: building the business.

  • The memo rule: At Amazon, major decisions are often made through the use of written memos rather than PowerPoint presentations.

  • No to "yes men": Bezos believes that the best ideas come from healthy debate, not from everyone agreeing with the boss.

  • No short-term thinking: Amazon focuses on long-term value creation, even if that means sacrificing short-term profits.

By consistently saying no to distractions and potential pitfalls, such as bloated teams, unnecessary expenses, shallow thinking, groupthink, and short-term gains, Bezos has cultivated a culture of innovation, efficiency, and customer-centricity.


Red Pill: Set Up Your Distraction Defense 🔴

Your distraction defense is your personal fortress against the onslaught of interruptions and time-sucking tasks that threaten to derail your focus.

  • The Eisenhower Matrix: Categorize your tasks into four quadrants: urgent and important, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, and neither urgent nor important. Focus on the important and urgent tasks first, and delegate or delete the rest.

  • The "No Notifications" Chrome Extension: This handy tool disables all notifications on your browser, preventing distracting pop-ups and alerts from interrupting your flow.

  • The "Do Not Disturb" Phone Setting: Enable the "Do Not Disturb" mode on your phone during your focused work sessions. This will silence all calls, texts, and notifications, allowing you to work without interruption.

  • The "Inbox Zero" Email Strategy: Set specific times throughout the day to check and respond to emails, rather than constantly monitoring your inbox. Use filters, labels, and auto-responders to manage your email more efficiently.

Don't be afraid to ruthlessly eliminate any defense that isn't serving you. As Bruce Lee once said, "Hack away at the unessential." Your focus will thank you.

Memes of the Week 🤣 

Bite-Sized Reads 📚

[Watch] “We were operating on a shoe-string budget. Jeff Bezos walked across the street, bought a door, some 4×4s, and built the first door desk.”

[Read] Jeff Bezos’ ‘no ass-kissing’ rule: “When you're in a box in an office, you've got to invent a way out of that box.”

[Read] Jeff Bezos: “When I have a good quarterly conference call with Wall Street, people say, ‘Congratulations on your quarter,’ and I say, ‘Thank you,’ but what I’m really thinking is that quarter was baked three years ago.”

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Publisher: Jordan Belfort

Editors in Chief: Brock Swinson and Davis Richardson

DISCLAIMER: None of this is financial advice. This newsletter is strictly for educational purposes and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. Please be careful and do your own research. 

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