Summary of Efficiency by BowTiedBull

  • Post category:Summaries
  • Post last modified:October 11, 2023
Efficiency written by bowtiedbull book cover

Summary: 18 min

Book reading time: 3h48

Score: 8/10

Book published in: 2017

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  • Maintaining an attractive physic doesn’t take more than 5 hours per week.
  • Choose a job where your salary is based on performance rather than hours worked. Eg: enterprise sales, Wall Street M&A, or software engineering (if you’re good at math).
  • Build an online business in your free time. The best to go for is e-commerce or affiliate marketing.
  • Wear fitting clothes with colors that match.
  • Your network improves as your value as a human being increases.
  • People that made it didn’t succeed because they read books – they succeeded because they took action.
  • There are three types of intelligence: predictive, synthesis, and math.
  • Learn to talk to people everywhere you go. The best way to engage in a conversation is to make an assumption about the environment you are in.

What Efficiency Talks About

Efficiency is a book written by BowTiedBull (formerly known as Wall Street Playboys), a group of four former Wall Street tech bankers who moved into e-commerce and affiliate marketing. The book aims to be the universal self-development Bible for every 20-something male in the English-speaking world. It talks about money, body, women, and how to obtain these as quickly and efficiently as possible.

It’s a good book for those who don’t know anything about anything as by the authors’ admission, its purpose is to set some solid foundations.

But if you already know:

  1. How to work out
  2. That you should build an online business
  3. How to talk to girls
  4. How to meet new people

You’re unlikely to learn much. The bit about intelligence is one thing that I didn’t know.


Get the book here.

Table of Contents

Summary of Efficiency Written by BowTiedBull


There are 10 axioms to follow if you’re serious about being successful:

  1. Obligations are gone: you don’t owe anyone anything.
  2. Forget about watching motivational videos. They won’t lead you anywhere.
  3. No more social media (unless you use it for money) or television.
  4. Find one committed friend that is also motivated to make money and keep in touch once a month. Choose different industries so you don’t become competitors.
  5. Your health will take a temporary hit because you will need to find your limits. Once you do, stick to them. Health > wealth.
  6. Find your talents: you recognize them when other people (not friends or family) are telling you that you’re good.
  7. Learn sales: it’s by far the best skill to learn if you had to choose one.
  8. Focus on scale: your business needs a recurring income and a large addressable market.
  9. Get a safety net: going all-in into your venture and worrying about how you will pay rent isn’t worth it. Get a job and use the remaining hours of the day to build your business.
  10. Don’t spend more than you earn. Get busy making money instead.

Just follow these items and you’ll get into the top 1%. There’s no competition before that. The top 1% is where the competition starts.

Why Efficiency?

Your goal in life is to operate as efficiently as possible and improve upon that qualitative metric every single year.

Every improvement in the physical world (from walking to riding horses to using cars) or in the tech world (from using CDs to doing it entirely digitally) is an improvement in efficiency.

Building a business is the same thing: it enables you to earn more money per hour spent.

The authors don’t have yearly goals because they seek to maximize efficiency at all times.

Laws of Physical Efficiency

  1. Health is your greatest asset.
  2. All physical decisions compound.
  3. You don’t improve in a linear fashion
  4. Nutrition is oil change, not fuel.
  5. Stress is the biggest health killer: don’t stress out about diets, calories, etc. Just eat healthy stuff.

Laws of Time Efficiency

  1. If Nothing Can Be Done in the Present Ignore It: don’t worry about things you can’t change.
  2. Build the Foundation Before Worrying About Details: don’t worry about the logo if you don’t even have a product to sell.
  3. You Have Mastered a Task When Someone Else Does it for You: companies earn money because the employees working for them make them more money than they pay them.
  4. Overachievement Is Time Wasted: if you get 9/10, no need to go for 10/10. Learn something new instead.
  5. Keep People Who Are Moving Forward and Get Rid of the Rest: You are more likely to stagnate if your friends stagnate too. New groups of people will unlock as you move up the ladder.

Laws of Life Efficiency

  1. Every Decision Compounds: The more smart decisions you make, the more smart decisions you will make. Your mental health, your physical health and your net worth are going to grow at a rate comparable to decisions you made last year and the year before.
  2. Make the Majority of Decisions Fast to Make Mistakes Early: it also trains you to make the right choices fast.
  3. The Best Way to Learn is to Take Action: reading won’t help you unless you can apply it daily.
  4. Emotional Instability is a Major Cause of Inefficiency: Becoming attached to dead-end stuff, being stressed out, etc disturb your decision-making capabilities and hence waste your time.
  5. Efficiency is an Art, Not a Mathematical Formula

Abilities and Facts

Facts are the things that are true.

Abilities are things you can do better than other people. Eg: you can become a multi-millionaire by following facts, but becoming rich above that means relying on your abilities -> don’t ignore your talents!

Physical Efficiency

Try a few sports and see where your abilities are. Work on the skills you’re better than average at. If your physical talents can get you into a college and pay for your education, try that.

If you don’t have any natural physical talents, then you know not to take this route.

That doesn’t mean you don’t have to take care of your body.

Being in tune with your body will allow you to be well ahead of your peers as your entire daily, weekly and monthly schedule will change based on the answers your body gives you.

Choose a sport to practice for fun and go to the gym.

Work out at least 4X/week.

How To Work Out

Do a 10-min warm-up where you run and stretch.

Do compound exercises at a 5X5 pace if you’re not in shape and at a 4X6 pace if you are.

For legs: do squats and deadlifts (don’t wear shoes for deadlifts).

For the chest: do incline bench, decline bench, flat bench and dumbbell bench.

For the back: bent over row, rack pulls, T-bar row and dumbbell rows.

Sprints and Functional Exercise: you’ll feel exhausted if you’re constantly lifting. Use the exercises below to mix into your schedule:

  • 40 seconds sprint
  • Power cleans
  • Pull-ups, chin-ups, pushups, and sit-ups
  • Barbell curls and skull crushers
  • Band Training

To summarize:

  • 10 minutes to warm up (run/bike/active stretching)
  • Increase the weight for the next set.
  • If you feel good, do an extra set, not an extra rep.
  • If you feel bad, do one of the functional exercises given above. try to throw in one of the functional items listed above. Or if you feel really bad (or the workout makes you too sore) stick with the “Big 12.

Maintaining a Healthy Diet for Busy People

Eat low carbs and no cheat meals.

  • Morning: load up on protein.
  • Lunch: if you eat carbs, stick with quinoa and brown rice.

Weight loss: work out and eat low carbs.


  • Drink fish oil
  • Eat blueberries
  • Drink some leafy greens juice
  • Drink lemon juice to wake up quickly rather than coffee
  • Matcha green tea
  • Only use caffeine in certain situations
  • Almonds, brazil nuts, and cashew: great to add weight.
  • Take vitamin D constantly

Wardrobe Efficiency

  • Don’t pay for brands, it’s not worth it.
  • Wear clothes that fit
  • Play with different colors
  • Upgrade your shoes.
  • Once your body is ideally cut, you can invest in custom-made clothing. Don’t before that.

Physical Time Efficiency

  • Move: getting closer to a place you often go to will save you time.
  • Buy time: pay for things that take a long time to do, cost little, and have no returns (Eg: cleaning)

Intellectual Efficiency

Everyone has talent, you just need to put in the work to find yours.

Usually, your talent is the thing people that don’t know you tell you you’re good at (or it’s the thing you’re in the top 10% nationwide for).

Add talent to willpower and you will be near unstoppable.

Predicting Actions and Sales

Predicting what someone will do (and whether they will buy) is an invaluable skill that technology isn’t close to replacing. It’s the first form of intelligence.

You can improve those skills by:

  • Reading five copywriting books: point out mistakes in print ads and say why and how they should fix them, then do the same thing for video ads. Then create landing pages to see if you can sell the products yourself.
  • Improve your lie detection skills: ask someone to teach you about something you know a lot about and watch their face when they invent things.
  • Tell false information to someone and see if it leaks. Most people cannot be trusted and it’s an easy way to verify it.
  • Determining insecurity: guess what people’s insecurities are and offer them a product that claims to fix it to see if they want to buy or not.
  • Create a positive network action: ask someone for advice then show them you’ve taken their advice + the good results you have. That person will be a contact for life.

Synthesis, or Seeing Blind Spots

Synthesizing is the second form of intelligence. Networkers are good synthesizers as they can encapsulate someone’s skills and put them in touch with somebody else.

Let’s see if you’re a good synthesizer:

  1. Can you predict which friends will like one another?
  2. Can you remember what people tell you and compare that over time?
  3. Can you predict what will happen in a specific industry?
  4. Can you spot conflicted information?

If yes, you’re a good synthesizer. If not, train to become better.


Math is the third form of intelligence.

By now you should know whether you’re good at math or not.

What you should do/where you should go according to your skills. Illustration from the book.

Artistic – The Call Option

If you’re the best at art or sports, you’ll make a lot of money as it’s a winner-take-all sector.

Education and Decision Trees

College is too expensive for what it enables you to earn so it’s best not to go there.

If you can limit the debt load and get into a good college, then it may be worth it.

If you really want to go, here’s how to do so.

College Route – Entrance First

The applications that get in are the people who “want to save the world”, so that’s how you’ll have to sell yourself.

  • Take summer courses at a community college.
  • Highlight any physical talent.
  • Work at a charity.
  • Leverage minority background.
  • Claim the income of your parent that earns the less if they’re divorced.
  • Exaggerate the items that cannot be checked.

Then look at how much each school costs and the average salary getting out of there and choose which one to go to.

University is a financial investment. Don’t go study something that doesn’t make any money afterward.

  • First year: get high grades and meet like-minded individuals.
  • Second year: keep high grades, learn web design, and how to sell online.
  • Third year: keep high grades and find a summer internship.
  • Fourth year: look for a job.

Jobs and Careers

They’re not the same.

  • A job is an activity that pays you an hourly rate.
  • A career pays you based on performance.
  • A business makes you money while you sleep.

If you have to start with a job, your purpose is to leave it asap and earn money from your own business. The best jobs to have are:

  • Consumer sales: read Zig Zilgar’s Secrets of Closing the Sales.

The rest of the jobs are for people who didn’t go to college:

  • Medical: Medical Assistant, Nursing, Home Health, Radiologist, etc. These jobs aren’t automated easily.
  • Learn a trade
  • Get an internship

Now, there are only three careers worth pursuing:

  1. Sales
  2. Banking
  3. Tech

Doctors and lawyers earn good money too but they require too much education.

Career Monetization

Enterprise Sales (Predicting Actions)

It’s very easy to get a job in enterprise sales. It’s also great as the money you make depends on how much you sell – not on how long you work.

The bigger the item you sell, the bigger the commission. Here are the benefits of sales:

  1. You’ll be happier: Depressed salespeople don’t sell, so you’ll force yourself to be happy.
  2. You won’t trade time for money because you get paid based on how much you sell.
  3. The word “No” will no longer matter.
  4. You’ll become better at time management.
  5. You’ll learn skills applicable to any other business.
  6. You won’t be replaced by technology.
  7. You’ll be better at understanding human nature.

If you choose sales, go into enterprise software as this is what makes the most money (and delivers the most value).

Wall Street

You should seek to go into mergers and acquisitions within a sector that grows fast (healthcare, tech, energy, etc).

Wall Street is also sales (of companies). The difference is that a product is a product, while a company needs to fit within another company -> need for synthesis mind.

Here are the pros of working on Wall Street:

  1. You start with a high salary
  2. You can go in many different roles
  3. You’re hard to replace with tech
  4. You can keep your job even if you’re mediocre
  5. You will become more creative
  6. You’ll work so much you won’t have time to spend your money


Pros of coding:

  1. You’ll earn lots of money at once (stocks, etc)
  2. You’ll have a high salary
  3. You’ll have clear performance metrics
  4. You’ll be in demand
  5. You won’t have to work too many hours if you’re good

Starting a Business

Working for someone is not smart as they can fire you at any time. Having your own business is best. This is why you should start building it today:

  1. A job pays you less than you are worth: that’s what enables the company to make a profit.
  2. The company is trying to automate your position so they don’t have to pay you anymore.
  3. You’re not free if you rely on other people.
  4. Once you’re making money by yourself, every minute not worked on your business costs you money, which opens the door to earning more money.

Choosing What to Sell and the Selling Process

Don’t start wondering what people buy. Start wondering why they buy.

People buy because of their insecurities and emotions.

If you want to be rich then you have to target an innate insecurity/fear.

  1. Look at products for the need they fulfill: makeup fulfills the need to be pretty and accepted, Lamborghinis fulfill the need to be high status, etc.
  2. Make sure you sell items with high margins. Eg: skin care, perfumes, diet pills, anything “brand name”, electronic content, and expensive items (homes, equipment, etc).
  3. Sell online: brick-and-mortar shops are too expensive to start and these customers don’t have the emotional insecurity that online customers have.

How to Generate Revenue

Here’s a business explanation by tiers (from worst to best)

  1. Business consulting: you trade time for money, billing your clients x€/hour worked. Great to start, but operating margins are low.
  2. One-time low-price items: Eg: books. You buy them once only and they make little money. The only advantage is that you can sell while sleeping.
  3. One-time high-price items: like above except you make more money per sale.
  4. Consumable items: things like food. The downside is that your net profit is lower.
  5. Licensing, platforms, or recurring revenue: Facebook, Netflix, etc. People come to your platform all the time so you’re making money constantly. The cost of an additional user is low because digital businesses scale well.

Start Selling

Selling a product isn’t about the product – it’s about the sales strategy.

To learn sales, read a few books such as:

The Basics of Selling & Copywriting

The framework you should use is stories.

  1. The problem you solve
  2. How you solved it
  3. What are the results of the solution
  4. Why it’s different
  5. CTA

It’s the SET framework: Story (how you came to build the company), Example (benefits, etc), Tell (the reason to buy).

Find further pieces of advice below:

  • Know your audience: don’t sell muscles to women.
  • Use emotion, not logic.
  • Fear of loss works better than motivation to gain. Eg: Do you know how many dates you are missing out right now > Attract any girl you like.
  • Make the customer visualize before trying to close. And never try to convince them to do any type of work.
  • Provide stellar customer service

People, Process, Product

These are the things you need to test to see if your idea will work.

People: advertising + smooth execution will help you acquire your customers.

Process: let the process be specific enough that military people would like it but open enough that artistic people would like it too.

Product: sell something that has emotions and earns you money.

Don’t hire people. Find freelancers or agencies for things you can’t/don’t want to do by yourself.

What Not to Do

Don’t spend money on product creation if you’re not sure the product is going to sell.

You can test it by:

  1. Sell an equivalent made by someone else.
  2. Direct traffic to a landing page and see if it converts or not.

Affiliate Marketing Industry Overview

Overview Of Traffic

  • Social Free & Paid
  • Native Web/Mobile (Taboola, RevContent etc.)
  • Search & Paid Search (Yahoo, Google AdWords etc.)
  • Mobile Pops and Display (Widget Media, AdModa, etc.)

Overview of Offers

  • Technology Support/Adult/Financial: not worth it.
  • “Free Money” (Gambling, Sweepstakes)
  • Looks (Diet, Skin, Muscle): guys who want to look muscular and women who don’t want to age.
  • Gaming
  • Leadgen

Overview Of Advertising/How to Get Ideas for the Ads

  • Native ads (on Yahoo, TMZ, etc)
  • Popup Ads: they work well so you need to make sure your website can sustain the traffic.

Affiliate Market Industry Deeper Explanation of The “Dark Side”

A lot of affiliates get rich by creating different websites with different products and sending traffic there until the product stops working or they get penalized by search engines.

To decrease their risk, they use complex software that knows whether you are the target audience or not. If yes, the ad sends you to an illegal sales page. If not, it sends you to a harmless content website.

Leaving Your Career

As you’re growing your e-com or affiliate business, do less and less at your job until they lay you off with an interesting financial package.

Socialization and Dating

Anyone who is unable to talk to strangers is not going to last very long in the game of life.

Guys who don’t have sexual access to beautiful women are the sexual equivalent of poor people.

Step 1. Change Gears

Go out twice a week, on Thursday and Saturday.

The most difficult thing to do is switch from work mode to social mode.

To do so, you need to check into the present aka stop thinking about making money, about the past, or the future. It usually takes 30-45 minutes to switch from work mode to social mode.

Here’s how to get into the present:

  1. Take a shower with music you enjoy.
  2. Stretch for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Wear your “going out” clothes which should be different than your work clothing.
  4. Don’t hang out with “a bunch of dudes” because guys don’t have good social skills.
  5. Head out to an open-seating food/wine bar, have a drink or two, and talk to people around you with the purpose to make them laugh or smile. Bring no more than one person with you.
  6. When you are in a social mood, leave for the venue (nightclub, bar, etc) of your choice

Step 2) Avoid the Big Mistakes

  1. Talk about the “here – now”. No one cares about the past or future.
  2. Don’t ask for their names. They will ask for yours.
  3. Stand where people walk by (between the bar and staircase/bathroom) so you don’t have to run around.
  4. Start the conversation with an assumption. “Hey, I bet that xyz“.
  5. Talk to people that make eye contact with you (that’s how women show interest). If you’re not getting eye contact, there’s an issue with your clothing, the venue, or your body language.
  6. After talking to someone for 20-30 min, give them your phone and they’ll fill up the details.

Step 3) Focus on Your Body Language and Clothing First

  1. Dress as well as you can for the venue’s style. Eg: don’t wear a suit at the beach.
  2. Don’t take people’s comments on your clothing seriously.
  3. Get a cool haircut and learn the basics of body language (read What Everybody Is Saying)
  4. Don’t have any object standing between you and the person you’re talking to (phone, drinks, etc).
  5. Don’t cross your arms or legs.

Step 4) Avoid Over Selling

Don’t oversell. Call her once she’s interested in you to schedule a date. Don’t presell yourself. Don’t send her anything you wouldn’t want her friends to see.

Step 5) Build Up Social Capital

Find places you particularly enjoy and heavily tip the staff and security (holds for both bars and restaurants) so you’re known and appreciated.

Step 6) Incorporate into Your Everyday Life

Say hello to everyone (gym, receptionist, people in the elevator, etc).

Step 7) Additional Notes and Adjustments

  1. Girls that are interested in you will give you more information about themselves.
  2. Girls that let the conversation go dead aren’t interested.
  3. Don’t bother with feminists/girls that want to stalk you on social media.
  4. Awkward girls who can’t actualize their desires go out during the big parties of the year (Halloween, etc) so that’s one of your only windows.
  5. Don’t go for bachelorette parties – it’s a waste of time.
  6. Girls out in pairs are 99.9% of the time interested in talking to guys.
  7. Don’t get legally married.

Dating or Relationships

Whoever needs the other person the least is in control of the relationship.

Here are the benefits of getting a relationship:

  1. You’ll save money. It’s less costly to have a girlfriend than to go out twice a week to meet girls.
  2. You’ll increase focus.
  3. You’ll get a better understanding of what you like.
  4. You’ll be able to decide if you want kids or not.

Managing a Relationship

A good relationship should not take any work at all on your side.

  1. If there are a lot of conflicts all the time, just move on.
  2. No girl is perfect.
  3. If you ask for advice on how to manage your relationship, you will lose the girl. If you’re not willing to lose the girl, you will lose the girl.
  4. Make your lifestyle clear to her from the beginning. She needs to know how you live.
  5. If you realize it won’t work, end it now.

How to Tell If She Is Interested

  1. Eye contact
  2. Hovering: girls hang around the guys they’re interested to meet.
  3. Leaving stuff at your place. It gives them an excuse to talk to you again.
  4. Not letting the conversation die.
  5. Physical touching.
  6. When she contacts you out of the blue.
  7. If she dangles her heels she’s ready to leave.
  8. Licking her lips.
  9. Response time to your texts

Example Weekly Schedule

  • Career: you probably work a 9h-17h.
  • Exercise: 5 hours/week should be enough.
  • Socializing: go out twice a week and keep alcohol consumption under control.
  • Reading/learning: no more than one hour per day as it needs to be done with a purpose. Nobody gets paid to read books, spend most of your time applying what you read.


  • Hang around people dragging you down.
  • “Not sell” a product because of “ethics”.
  • Spend time on social media or with politics, sports, etc unless it makes you money.
  • Break the law
  • Burn customers.
  • Try to “network”. Become more valuable instead.

Putting It All Together

Keep working on your workout routine, career, and business. If you find a trick nobody knows about, don’t talk about it and exploit it as much as you can.

After You’ve Made It

  1. Lie down. Don’t tell people how rich you are.
  2. No excuse to be unhappy. Money can solve almost all of the problems you have.
  3. Learn something new if you’re bored.
  4. Don’t sell your assets too soon. Make sure you know why you’re selling it when you do.
  5. Avoid drug abuse.


There was no “mindset” section in this book because mindsets won’t get you anywhere.

Action does.

If you’re not executing every day, you’re falling behind every single day.

Get in shape, start making money off of performance and all your extra money should fund a real second source of income before investing in assets. When you get rich? Feel free to do as you like, just don’t run out of money before you die.

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