If you want to be a self-made millionaire or even a billionaire, you must read. What? How do I have time if I’m actually trying to run a business, or do several part time jobs in order to save extra money or maybe all my extra time is spent getting my kids to their activities (on a non Covid day)? Good questions, but there are traits which every single self made millionaire has. One of them is to read.
Disclaimer: I am putting this here up front to let you know that I will be listing several affiliate books. I have learned so much from them, that now I want to share that knowledge with you by having YOU read them.
First let’s define what a self made millionaire is. It’s not someone who won the lottery, and gained a ton of money in an instant. It’s not a celebrity or an athlete who quadrupled their earnings in a very short amount of time. And it’s obviously not someone who was born into the money. We’re talking about someone who was raised in a poor or middle class neighborhood and had to struggle and work hard to change their circumstances.
So how does reading help us gain wealth? It helps us to…
1. Gain knowledge
When starting your journey to financial freedom, or finding a way to continue that journey, we usually have a lot of questions like how do I do this, how much money should I put back into my business, how much should I give to charity when I’m trying to put money into investments, how much time should I devote to my money making endeavors when I want to also spend time with my family.
The answers aren’t going to come out of thin air so we must read to learn. We can read articles online, magazines (there’s plenty for the financially minded), and actual books. It doesn’t matter if they are ebooks or paperbacks, so long as we are taking the time to read them. In fact in today’s world, you can listen to many of these on your way to work and on your errands. Putting that knowledge in your mind instead of the normal music will do wonders for your wealth and success knowledge starved self.
If you want to learn how to take distractions away so you can focus on your newfound at home business, there’s a book on that. If you want to achieve the mindset of a millionaire, there’s a book for that. There’s probably hundreds on that subject. If you want to read stories of how single parents were able to raise emotionally healthy children, work full time, and were able to get out of debt, there’s a book for that too.
While the shorter articles online can help us gain a foothold into the realm of wealth intelligence, books give us a clearer picture of how to gain what we want to gain. They are written by those who have already achieved what we’re trying to achieve. Many of those books, like “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, contain interviews of owners and CEOs of big companies so we can glean from them without interviewing them ourselves.
Can we find similar topics online? Of course we can. And can we gain the same kind of knowledge online? Definitely. But an advantage to reading books is that we’re given more detail and more details help us remember more. Reading books can also help us learn the art of discipline. It takes a lot more discipline to read a whole book than to read a short article on the laptop.
2. Continue being motivated and inspired
When I was younger, I absolutely loved the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series. If you’re not familiar with it, the books in the series have inspiring stories that fit the topic of a particular book.
There’s a Chicken Soup book for the Mother’s Soul, one for the Teen Soul, one for Friendship, one of Gardener’s, and so on. Reading these helped me to smile at times my life seemed very dark and helped me to realize I could laugh at situations where I normally would just shrivel over.
As an adult, I bought “The Success Principles” while totally ignoring part of the cover and just focusing on the title. After bringing it home I finally read the rest of the cover and was surprised it was by Jack Canfield who was a co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series. Needless to say it was a pleasant surprise and I couldn’t wait to absorb the pages of that book. Amongst the success principles, there were examples after examples of people who plowed through so many obstacles to become successful in whatever they were working at. .
And then when I started my road to getting out of debt, I read several books by Napoleon Hill. One of which is called “Think and Grow Rich.” This has been on the top book list of millionaires for several decades. I’m sure many of you readers are already aware of this book, but when I read it, I never heard of it. Reading through it fired me up to think of different ways to earn income. It was something that motivated me to change, which is also what books do.
3. Help us change
By reading, our minds start filling up with different ideas that we’ve never thought of before. We can be a sponge for knowledge, and that in turn helps us think of different ways to increase our income.
Recently I read “ Katie Bell and the Wishing Well” by Nephi Zufelt. It was written to teach children about wealth mentality, but in it I learned how to change our expenses into income. A future post will explain that in detail, but I was floored. I absolutely loved the idea. I don’t think I could have thought of that concept myself, but my perspective on expenses has now changed.
Another book that again, can help you with changing your perspectives which can change your income, is called “Change your Thinking Change your Life” by Brian Tracy. It describes just that, how to change. It’s rules include putting people first and keeping your emotions in check.
One of the biggest reasons my family’s financial legacy changed was because I read Dave Ramsey’s “The Total Money Makeover.” The details of how to get out of debt was pivotal in changing how I looked at money. I learned that my husband and I got ourselves into the predicament that we were in, but we were also the ones that could get out of it.
4. Learn what true wealth means
If your goal is just to make money, sorry to tell you this, but you might not succeed in becoming monetarily wealthy and you won’t be happy. Too often, people will say to themselves, I’ll be happy if… And they will fill that blank with more money, or a better position in their company, or a promotion. Those things are temporary. Evidence of this lies in the fact that so many people in places like South America who many consider are poor are actually very happy. And so many people who are wealthy are miserable. Money does not determine happiness.
Books can help us learn how we can balance our financial goals with the rest of our lives so we won’t end up with a successful business, but with poor relationships with our kids. In today’s world, it can be difficult to learn how to navigate between our jobs, investments, our families, and even our health, but if we read how other people did it, it can make our lives just a little bit easier.
Remember, true wealth comes from our relationships and our life’s journey. If you aren’t happy without money, then you aren’t going to be happy with money.
After reading some of these amazing books, you’ll get to know which authors you agree with and which ones you don’t. I like the information of one particular money guru, but I don’t like his style so I am more cautious when I read what he has to say. And when you get together with other like minded individuals, you’ll have even more to talk about. Ask them if they’ve read such and such books.
When you do your own research, you’ll learn that not all the financial people agree on which investments are the best and on the best ways to save. But this will be a great time for you to start discovering your own path to financial freedom.
Every self made millionaire reads on the average, a nonfiction book a month. My next one will be “The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. What’s your next book?