If you think breaking off the mainstream path is difficult, try being stuck on it.
There's a class of people who abandon the safety of comforts of following the crowd, and look to pioneer the world forward through invention, innovation, and creativity.
Marshall's goal is to help you increase your resourcefulness, resources, and have more impact with the resources you've got.
That includes earning well and growing your income, effectively creating working capital, getting the right connections, friends, mentors and allies, staying focused, using your time well, staying on the forefront of science and performance psychology, growing your creativity and creating great works, detoxing from "playing scared", creating a great ethical structure, and living the life you want.
Marshall is an avid student of history and strategy, and digs into historical eras from Sengoku Japan to the Renaissance, the Napoleonic Wars and the Pax Brittanica, the Rise of House Rothschild and John Rockefeller, Bismarck and Moltke's Unification of Germany, the Roman Republic and its various conflicts and shifting alliances, the Great Dynasties and Inventions of China, through to modern-day information economies, publishers, and pioneers.
The patterns of the ascent of artists, scientists, statesmen, entrepreneurs, and generals in history are disseminated to you and mixed with practical guidance on key issues so you can earn more, connect more with the people you want to connect with, grow your company, and further the causes you believe in. All the while, thriving.
SebastianMarshall.com has been read by over 500,000 people since its inception, including funded startup founders, nonprofit directors, progressive managers, writers, artists, skilled professionals, attorneys and physicians, freelancers, and engineers. The site is for people who want to take charge of their life, gather more resources, become more resourceful, and use the resources they've got to enrich their lives, families, and make the world a better place.
I read an asininely large number of books. I probably open or start 300 to 500 books a year, finish 50, read substantial parts of 50 more, and listen to another 30 to 70 on audio. I tend to "fast read" books - which is where I skim until I hit a particularly good part, and then slow down for comprehension. When I read a book that's highly tactical, I try to go through it slowly over a couple months while implementing and testing the tactics.
The following isn't my list of favorite books, nor the best books written, nor even the most important to me. Instead, it's my picks of "must reads" if you're doing "creative building."
That's where you're simultaneously trying to invent/innovate while growing and diffusing your inventions and innovations. It's what entrepreneurs do, but not entrepreneurs only. The following list would be useful to someone trying to proliferate their writing, become prominent in fields ranging from music or journalism, and possibly even governance and politics.
There'll be a mix of philosophical, strategic, and tactical books on the list. Let's begin:
1. Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa - If you're talented and get frustrated with stupid people, you have to read "Musashi" by Eiji Yoshikawa. I mean, you have to. Musashi was one of the greatest swordsmen in Japanese history, invented a new Japanese longblade/shortblade mixed style of swordsmanship, and at one point fought himself out of an ambush when he was attacked by over 30 men. He was undefeated in over 60 duels, including defeating arguably the second best swordsman in Japan at the time while fighting with a wooden oar he carved into a rough swordlike shape. Yoshikawa writes his story about getting into conflict with mainstream society and all of the friction before finally finding a way to hone his craft without unnecessary conflict - and thus reach an even higher level of perfection. A brilliant philosophical read, but also a hell of a swashbuckling story. If you only read one book on this list, read this one.
I think that if someone were to document every breakthrough moment, genius idea and significant advancement in the human race, I think they would find a disproportionate amount of those ideas occurred while someone was taking a dump.
This is one of those insights.
The following are four things I absolutely think you will need if you want to be successful in anything. (And yes... success, in this case, refers to something that not only you love but also something that makes you money. Sometimes lots of it.)
The first is that you need to be a creator.