“The EOS Life” book review

Gino Wickman has a book called “The EOS Life” that I just finished reading. I love his writing style and have devoured most of his books and processes. If you read any of his other EOS (Entrepreneur Operating System) books, a lot of the material will be familiar to you. He basically takes the EOS business process model and applies it how you should run you life. He breaks it up into 6 sections.

Doing what you love.

You must work on what you love. You can do this by writing everything you love doing, then rate yourself on a scale of 1–10. How close are you to doing what you love 100% of your working time? Ten is the highest. That’s the ultimate goal. He paraphrases nicely: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why”. He also suggests some other tools from EOS like “Delegate and Elevate“. To help you start moving stuff off your plate, he recommends to get in the habit of delegating one new thing a quarter, I love that idea! The last tool he recommends is to use the EOS “Accountability Chart“.

Work with people you love

He talks about why that is important. Of course it is! But he outlines how to hire employees who fit that using the “People Analyzer” to systematically hire for your core values. I have been implementing this at my company to improve the team. He recommends writing and contemplating on these questions:

  1. How close are you to being surrounded by people you love 100% of the time?
  2. What would it look like to be at 100%?
  3. What would it take to get to 100?
  4. Who are the ones you love being with?
  5. Who are the ones you don’t?

Making a Huge Difference

We need to think about how we want to make an impact with our lives. Fortunately we are both the judge and the jury so we get to make the decision. A lot of other people talk about this, so I won’t say much, but I did love this passage:

If you’re at a loss as to how to make an impact, here’s a simple way that will last for generations. Simon Banks said, “You are not a leader until you have produced a leader—who can produce another leader.”

That is a tough challenge and I think its the real deal. He gave an example where someone he trained now hires people with the goal of having those people be able to run their own company in 10 years.

1.​ How close are you to spending 100% of your time making the impact you want?

2.​ What would it look like to be at 100%?

3.​ Why aren’t you there yet?

4. ​What would it take to get to 100%?

5. How do you want to make a huge difference in the world?

I actually really liked the mini book at the end even more. Gino calls it “10 Disciplines for managing and maximizing your energy”.

Discipline #1: 10-year thinking

He talks about writing your future 10 years from now in as much detail as possible and then reviewing it occasionally to make sure you are on track. It will help you to not work on things that are not core to the goal. Its something I had already heard about and was planning to do it, so I finally did it (and hopefully will share it later) and I recommend doing it to help you keep focus. Here is the original 10 year plan template I used.

Discipline #2: Take Time Off

Commit yourself to setting our minimum time off per year and commit to it. The reason for this is to work hard and play hard so you can recharge. I think for normal people like myself it makes a lot of sense. I’ve gotten burned out so many times. On the opposite end, I think about Elon Musk and how he works all the time. I wish I could be more like Elon, but its not realistic for me. My number is 168.

Discipline #3: Know thyself

Understand your real self so that you can stop wasting energy on being someone you are not and grow to your full potential. I agree with the premise, but I have found thats finding who I am to be very difficult. Sometimes I feel I’m awesome at a couple of things, but most of the time I feel like I’m bad at everything. He makes some suggestions on tests you can take (my results). Another good suggestion he has is to reach out to a friend, a family member, or a peer, and ask, “What are my three greatest strengths and my three greatest weaknesses?” If you can really figure out who you are and accelerate at certain things, then I do think you should try to follow this path.

Discipline #4: Be Still

Practice some form of daily meditation. I absolutely agree with this 100% and have written about it extensively, so I won’t say much here.

Discipline #5: Know your 100%

This is about managing and maximzing your energy. It seemed the same to me as knowing your work/time off hours. The chapter is only 3 pages as well, so seems not super clear to me.

Discipline #6: Say No…Often

By knowing clearly who you are, you should be able to say no often to save your time and energy. I completely understand this issue. I have struggled with this for most of my life and have been writing up my thoughts about how to say no to myself. I often take on to much stuff and it effects my performance and sanity. An awesome quote from the chapter: “If it isn’t a hell yes, then it’s a no”. The main action item he has it to commit to saying no to at least one person this week.


He talks about getting help to stop doing administrative work so that you can focus on your god given focus. I agree with this and I have been trying to eliminate as much work as possible for a few years. I would say I have had decent success with this because but sometimes the quality of work was not up to my standard. So I often question is it because of my instructions or because of the quality of the help. Some areas of work to try and eliminate: You shouldn’t be checking emails, opening mail, managing your calendar, scheduling appointments, booking travel, or doing follow-up and follow-through work. Those things drain your energy. You must delegate them all. This has inspired me to try and eliminate more work.

Discipline #8: Prepare every night

Everynight before you go to bed you should know exactly what you will be doing tomorrow. He even writes out the time-blocks for when he will do it. He says if you do this, you will sleep better! I love the idea of that. He suggest to try it out for a week and see the results. I have tried it on and off before, but not with much discipline, so I plan to try this out again but with much more concentrated effort.

Discipline #9: Put everything in one place

He recommends to put all your notes and data into one place. He uses a legal pad, but you can use a computer or whatever you want. I also have been doing this for several years using Simplenote. I have dozens of different notes that act as databases for different projects I am working on. I think that putting all your notes into one place is great because you can sort and rearrange them.

Discipline #10: Be humble

Being humble will make your life more enjoyable and peaceful. An action item he suggests is to list the five most important people in your life. Then reach out to each and ask them where they would place you on the arrogant–humble spectrum. This will help you determine how you are showing up in the world.

Every person is going to use a different system of rules and disciplines to improve their lives. The most important part is picking those disciplines and then practicing it every single day. The list that Gino has put together is a great list and I think anyone who takes this on will greatly improve their lives.

So every quarter we should review all the items in the book to make sure we are reaching our EOS life. We must also take clarity breaks, set aside thinking time where you work on your business and your self. I like to think of that as weekly reflection periods. Overall I think its a good blueprint to move towards your goals.

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