Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, who is well-known in the insurance industry as a motivational speaker, believes in helping people improve themselves. His conviction for years has been that one must take responsibility for their own success. The quote below illustrates how he thinks one can best accomplish success in life:
You are the same today you’ll be in five years except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read. In every turning point and crisis of my life, there’s always been a book that helped me think and see more clearly and keep laughing and keep looking up and keep my mouth shut. I would never tell anybody I ever had a problem, so everybody always thought I was on top of the world, and yet I was just like everybody else with problems coming out of my ears. Now, when people come to my office, they come to talk to me. Instead of conversing with me like they think they are going to do, I get them reading. I pick out some great books and have each person read three or four sentences. I just received another email from a person recounting how his life was changed by learning the power of reading together–rather than talking.
As you may have read in a previous blog or Twitter post, I follow Under30CEO.com. Matt Wilson, one of the co-founders, posted on the Under 30 blog today some insights he gained from reading books this year. A few excerpts are provided below, with Wilson’s comments.
- Who’s Got Your Back by Keith Ferrazzi - Relationships should be about quality over quantity. The goal should not be to “know everyone”. Build a small group of people that want to go out and conquer the world together.
- Boomerang by Michael Lewis - Base your economy, your company, and your income on creating real value for others.
- Small Loans Big Dreams by Alex Counts - Entrepreneurship knows no borders or social classes. Coupled with education and accountability, access to capital can create sustainable micro-businesses.
- 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene – “Disdain things you cannot have: Ignoring them is the best revenge.”
- Startup Nation by Dan Senor and Saul Singer - “Immigrants are not averse to start from scratch. They are by definition risk-takers. A nation of immigrants is a nation of entrepreneurs.”
- The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg - “The biggest thing you won’t learn in college is how to succeed professionally.”
- Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie - It is truly possible to build a business both rich in profit and in social good.
- The Greatest Salesman In the World by Og Mandino - “You were not created for a life of idleness.”
- Iceland, India, Interstate by Colin Wright - Go out there and LIVE. Life is short, take advantage of it, and when you get a crazy idea–go for it.
- The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau - “If something is worth doing, you might as well do it all the way–so I’ve added ‘radical goalsetting’ to my own unconventional life planning.”
- Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh - There will never be another 2013. When Tony sold his first venture to Microsoft, he said there would never be another 1999, and went to work on his next act, passing up millions of guaranteed dollars if he had simply stayed with the company and let his shares vest… All to chase his passion.
- The 4 Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss - Whatever you want to do in life, think about how to hack the system, so you can compete with only the best.
Matt’s list was 17 items long. Since there are 12 months in the year, I condensed it to 12 books and corresponding lessons to be learned and applied. Hope you find a nugget to help now and a book to read later. May you be better in five years for having applied yourself to reading!