7 Mins Read

The Final 2 Books That Contributed To My 7 Figure Personal Operating System

Brandon Fluharty |

Brandon Fluharty |

⚡️ Today’s level up ⚡️

In this edition (the final part of a 4-part series), I’ll summarize and deconstruct the last 2 books (8 in total) in my essentials library that heavily influenced my 7 figure earning personal operating system. If you missed the first 3 parts, be sure to catch up here, here, and here.

The mission:

→ Read this in <7 minutes right now

→ Understand 9 key concepts from 2 essential reads

→ Elevate your own personal operating system using them

→ Join The Make More Hustle Less Club to build & share together

Let’s go…


The Final 9 Key Concepts That Elevated How I Operate

Over the past 2 years, I have read the 8 best books for developing an effective personal operating system — twice.

I have distilled them down to the 50 key insights that will upgrade your life.

Save yourself time and just implement these life-changing concepts.

In part 1, I defined what a personal operating system is and introduced the first 15 concepts. In part 2, I covered concepts 16 – 24. Last week, in part 3, I shared concepts 25 – 41. And finally, this week, I unpack concepts 42 – 50.

Let’s dig in!


Book #7: The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington

Your thinking drives your actions which determine your outcomes.

The 12 Week Year combines various proven techniques and approaches into a holistic system that fundamentally changes how you think and act so you can improve your existing results by at least 4x.

The most fundamental mindset shift is to redefine your year from “1 Year = 12 Months” to “1 Year = 12 Weeks.” The 12 Week Year concept/system is built on 8 success ingredients — 3 principles and 5 disciplines — that are crucial for success in any area.

The 3 principles are:

  1. Accountability (the willingness to take full ownership for your actions and results regardless of your circumstances)
  2. Commitment (doing whatever it takes to keep the promises you’ve made to yourself and to others)
  3. Greatness in the moment (making the countless decisions to do what’s needed even if you don’t feel like it, and immersing yourself fully in the present)

These 5 interrelated disciplines shape your thinking, actions, and results:

  • Having a clear, inspiring life vision
  • Breaking your broad vision into a concrete plan (with priorities, goals, and action steps)
  • Using process controls (tools and systems) to stay on-track
  • Using measurements to get vital feedback and make informed decisions
  • Having effective time-use (and not skipping out on needed time off)


Key Concept (42): The 12-Week Year Approach Breaks The Confines Of Annual Goal-Setting

People struggle with planning annually.

This happens because when we think to achieve something so far in advance, we grow complacent in the middle, thinking we have plenty of time to finish. Because of this, December is often the best performing month for most businesses. After a year of non-urgency, the last month becomes the catch-up where we push to finish strong (hello end of year sales push and discount season).

But having that intense drive only once a year isn’t enough.

Peak performers know that smaller planning seasons grant deeper focus and a greater sense of urgency.

Athletes were early adopters of what’s known as periodization, or pinpointing a specific skill to improve and working on it in a smaller stretch of time. The 12-week cycle takes this principle, and the advantages that come with it, and applies it to business and personal goals.

With a 12-week pattern, you can get that motivation to sprint to the finish four times a year. You are also setting yourself up to work harder in the intermediate points within the 12-week cycle.

The first step is to create a vision of where you want to be. Use that vision to make specific and measurable goals for your 12-week period.


Key Concept (43): Rigorously Review Your Weekly Performance

Major businesses track their progression with numbers.

Following this same pattern yourself can give you a massive advantage in making your vision reality. You do this by measuring two indicators:

  • Lag indicators measure an end result, like how many pounds you’ve lost each week.
  • Lead indicators are the specific actions you take to reach your lag indicator.

For the losing weight example, a lead indicator could be running a mile every weekday.

Lag indicators are important, but remember, that you have less control over some parts of these results. This is why it’s vital to focus your efforts on lead indicators. According to Moran, accomplishing 85% or more of your lead indicator actions each week improves the likelihood of reaching your 12-week targets.


Key Concept (44): Carefully Manage Your Time, Energy, and Attention (TEA)

The advantage of the 12-week concept is that it’s a lot easier to stay motivated for 12 weeks than 12 months.

The hard stuff is managing your time, energy, and attention wisely each day (and week) to make your targets happen. You can’t reach your potential by deferring the most important tasks on your list. Interruptions, and having to recover from them, eats up 28% of the typical knowledge professional’s day.

Instead of losing productivity by taking intrusions as they come, plan for and around them.

Protect your TEA with specific blocks: strategic, buffer, and breakout:

→ Strategic Blocks are three-hours long, and should be reserved for Deep Work.

Do not accept interruptions during this time, and move to a location that is conducive to this if necessary.

→ A Buffer Block is time dedicated to dealing with all interruptions in one sitting.

You can do this a couple of times each day if necessary for an hour or so.

→ The Breakout Block is simply a break from all work.

Take three hours from normal working hours, during normal working hours, to be away from it (usually once a month). Breakout blocks improve productivity by helping us stay focused and energetic by delivering a complete break away from our intense focus at just the right time. Bottom line: Go do what you want, where you want, with who you want without guilt on a workday once a month (and then once a week when you become your own boss).

👉 Snag a copy of the book


Book #8: Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, PhD

This book uncovers:

  • Facts around sleep deprivation
  • Why sleep is important to our overall health
  • Ways to get quality sleep to improve performance


Key Concept (45): Too Many Of Us Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep Because We Undervalue Its Importance.

More than 65% of U.S. adults are sleep deprived.

In fact, WHO has declared sleep loss as a global epidemic in industrialized countries.

This has major costs — both to the individual and systemically as societies:

  • It costs companies over $2K/yr per employee as individuals
  • In the U.S. alone, sleep deprivation costs us $411B per year

A lack of sleep is also killing us — literally!

As just one example, lack of sleep causes 1.2 million car accidents per year. That’s higher than the number of accidents caused by alcohol and drugs combined.

Sleep also impacts so much else in our overall health:

  • Losing sleep makes us more susceptible to diseases, from cancer to diabetes to Alzheimer’s.
  • And sleep is one of the most important factors impacting brain function, memory, and capacity to learn.


Key Concept (46): The 2 Types Of Sleep Are REM and NREM (Both Are Important)

After dark, the hormone melatonin is released, which signals to the body that it’s time to sleep.

Our brains and bodies are very busy restoring and regulating themselves while we sleep. During the night, we cycle between two types of sleep every 90 minutes: rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (nREM).

During nREM sleep, our brains are reflecting on the information we’ve taken in that day, and getting rid of what’s unnecessary.

Our brain transitions short-term memories and immediate experiences from the hippocampus to the neocortex, which stores our memories for the long term. This creates new space in our brain for the next day, and helps us hold onto memories and information.

During the REM stage, we experience huge brainwaves. That’s when we’re experiencing our most vivid dreams.

Our muscles are paralyzed to prevent us from acting on these dreams, but our eyes are moving rapidly back and forth. During REM sleep, we’re accessing deep emotions, memories, and motivations. This allows us to make new connections, gain new insights, generate creative ideas, and solve problems. We wake up seeing the world in a slightly new way.

nREM dominates the first part of the night and REM dominates the second.

So, when we cut our sleep short on either end, we aren’t missing out on sleep in general — we’re missing one essential phase or the other.


Key Concept (47): Lack Of Sleep Makes Us More Susceptible To Illness (Both Short And Long-Term)

Long-term vulnerabilities from sleep deprivation:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer

Many of the dangers of chronic sleep deprivation arise from the fact that sleep, especially the less active non-REM phase, plays an important role in calming our nervous system.

Without it, our overworked stress response drives up our heart rate and blood pressure, and constricts our blood vessels.

Lack of sleep also takes a toll on our brains as well as our bodies.

Losing sleep impacts our day-to-day immune system, like fighting off common colds.

And over time, we actually lose the capacity to learn and store new things.


Key Concept (48): Sleeping Well Can Help You Limit Overeating, Exercise More, and Be More Creative

🍔 Sleep-deprived people eat on average 300 more calories in a day, and have less energy ⚡️ for exercising adequately because it affects two key hormones:

  1. ↓ Leptin (makes us feel full)
  2. ↑ Ghrelin (makes us hungry)


REM sleep also offers our brains the chance to recalibrate our emotions and build our high-level thinking skills. This includes the parts of our brain that help us regulate our emotions and respond to others.

It also develops our ability to think about high-level problems and develop solutions.

And, in the form of dreams, to tap into our creativity.

REM dream sleep is the only time when the stress-related chemical noradrenaline is shut off. Noradrenaline is the brain equivalent of adrenaline in the body, which triggers a jolt of stress and anxious energy. Without noradrenaline, a dream state gives us a chance to process our experiences without stress.

We can work through traumatic events, relieving ourselves of their emotional weight.

And, as we dream, we can simultaneously assimilate positive experiences and encode them into our memories and worldviews.

Dream sleep is a unique experience that can make us emotionally healthier and even more creative, intelligent, and well-adjusted.


Key Concept (49): To Address Our Sleep Loss Crisis, We Can Use Modern Methods To Help Achieve Natural Sleeping Conditions

Artificial light, like the blue light from our smartphone screens is a big culprit. This light exposure in the evening pushes back our natural sleep time by 2–3 hours.

Another unnatural feature of many of our modern environments is controlled temperature that stays constant from day to night, and throughout the night. Our bodies are naturally attuned to a dip in temperature at night, and our body temperature will rise and fall throughout the night.

Then, there’s caffeine. When we use caffeine to stay awake during the day, we often think we’re doing so temporarily. But caffeine stays in our system for ~10 hours, interfering with our natural sleep urges.

Alcohol is a similarly problematic substance. Since it can make us drowsy, it’s easy to think of alcohol as a sleep aid. However, alcohol prevents the brain from achieving REM sleep, blocking this necessary sleep phase.

The biggest obstacle to a good night’s sleep, though, is modern work schedules.

Humans are the only species that artificially shortens sleep times, forcing early wake-ups with alarm clocks. Alarms, Walker tells us, are actually very unhealthy for us, aside from the fact that they cut our sleep short. When we’re awoken suddenly by an alarm, we experience a shock to our nervous system, activating a fight-or-flight response. This leads to a spike in heart rate and blood pressure that stresses our bodies, especially when we hit snooze and repeat the cycle.

We have barely scratched the surface when it comes to analyzing and optimizing our sleep using technology.

Imagine a world where:

→ Our wearables alerted our thermostat to turn down the temperature at night before optimal bedtime, or automatically dimmed our lights to signal it’s time to wind down.

→ While also our smart lighting projected brighter LED lighting in the morning and day time to give us a natural boost.

But until then, there are simple things we can do now…


Key Concept (50): To Get Better Sleep, Create Ideal Conditions For Your Body With A Consistent Sleep Schedule

Here are the top 7 tips to better sleep:

  1. The most important piece of advice is sticking to the same bedtimes and wake-up times each day to help regulate your sleep-inducing hormones.
  2. The author also recommends avoiding meals and exercise before bed, both of which can interfere with our bodies’ relaxation process.
  3. Also avoid alcohol, altogether, but at least 3 hours before bed and caffeine 10 hours before bed.
  4. And, if you’re going to take naps, make sure they don’t go past 3pm — that’s when they might start to interfere with your sleep schedule.
  5. Creating an environment that’s conducive to sleep by removing lights and gadgets and cooling off your room before bed.
  6. Take a hot bath before bed so your body will experience a temperature drop when you get out, which can help you feel sleepy.
  7. If you can’t fall asleep, don’t toss and turn for too long — get out of bed again until you’re truly ready to sleep.


Until we have broader policy changes and education in the workplace and school to better adjust times and behaviors for quality sleep, these are the whys and hows of good sleep.

You’ll be:

  • Happier
  • Healthier
  • More Productive

👉 Snag a copy of the book

That’s a wrap. See you next week!



When you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:

1. Get the exact system I’ve used to go from earning $200K to over $1M a year in SaaS sales without burning out here. (3,000+ students)

2. Join a community of Purpose-Curious™ sellers in the Make More Hustle Less Club where we develop a personal operating system together here. (300+ members)

3. Book a 1:1 coaching session to up-level your performance here. (Limited spots available)

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