Book Review 013: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

One of the most foundational books of personal financing and creating wealth is the book called "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill. Authored in the 1920s, this classic book is a collection of wisdom that is based on ideas from the author's mentor, Andrew Carnegie. 

Main Ideas:

  • Wealth creation happens in three steps: 1) visualize; 2) believe; and 3) walk into success.

  • Don't let your early failures define your success. Continue to persist and push on.

  • Create vivid mental portraits of your success. Visualization is key.

  • Passion and discipline are what will guide you on your journey to success. 

  • Avoid negative friends, well-meaning relatives and others who place restrictions on your dreams.

1. Have a burning desire

Hill tells us that if your goal is to becoming rich, you need more than just "wishes." You need to commit yourself to creating and executing on a plan to reach your objectives. Hill shares a six-step plan for achieving this: 

  1. Take a mental snapshot of the amount of money you seek. Name a number.

  2. Name your price. What are you willing to do for the money?

  3. Create a deadline. Fix a date by which you will achieve your goals.

  4. Start a task sheet with a definite strategy. Start now.

  5. Write a brief mission statement.

  6. Make a declaration: Twice a day, read your mission statement aloud.

Dreams are not just floating ideas. When looking at the worlds greatest inventors and leaders, they failed numerous times before they reached their goals. Edison had over a thousand prototypes for his electrical lamps. The Wright brothers envisioned a flying airplane before anyone else dreamt it. Beethoven was a brilliant composer despite him being deaf. 

2. Faith

Hill tells us that faith is the next step in visualizing our beliefs and pushing forward in our attainment of that desire. By telling ourselves that we will succeed, you start to plant the seed of triumph in your mind. This is applicable also with self-doubt and negative emotions, so feed your mind with the right, positive thoughts you need to reach success.

Your brain is a unique “broadcasting and receiving station for thought,” like a radio station that transmits and receives signals. Hill encourages us to listen to the “intangible forces” in our life. These forces – gravity, electricity, thunder and other elements – surround you. Use faith to stimulate your mind and reach your goals. Believe in the power of thought and belief.

3. Organized Planning

Moving from desire, to faith, to action requires strategic planning. To develop the right framework for success, you need the right team. Hill shares these following steps for organized planning: 

  • Surround yourself with "like-minded" individual who support your goals and provide additional resources in achievement of your goals. 

  • Conduct regular meetings and fine-tune your plan. Keep yourself accountable

  • Make sure you are aligned with other members of your support group

During this process, Hill reminds us not to accept failure during our initial phases. Be fluid and open to try different strategies, but most importantly, persist through the difficult times. Study the industry,  opportunities, and players on the field. Formulate a detailed strategy that will help you move the needle in the direction you want to go, even if it means one step at a time. 

Procrastination is a leading cause of failure in successful entrepreneurs, business owners, and investors. To be successful, you must be able to make quick, meaningful decisions and avoid people who undercuts your drive to succeed. Hill reminds us to dodge the trap of public opinion by revealing your plans only to your small circle of advisers. When you indiscriminately broadcast your strategies, ideas and goals, you lessen your chances of success. Keep quiet and keep the faith.

Hope you enjoy this book!

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Book Review 012: Rich20Something by Daniel DiPiazza

In his book, "Rich20Something", Daniel DiPiazza discusses how he left a low-paying job he despised, became a millionaire entrepreneur and wrote this book in his 20s. He provides actionable tips on how each reader can create their own success by leveraging their talents and following the "Go! factor" recipe for success.

Main Ideas:

  • You no longer have to pay your dues.

  • The game has changed – and you can make your own rules.

  • Money is easy, thanks to the Internet.

  • Writing and sharing valuable digital content is an excellent way to build your brand.

  • Use “nonlinear networking” to cultivate contacts who can help you achieve your goals.

While working at a chain steakhouse restaurant scooping butter for $2.17 an hour, Daniel DiPiazza knew that he needed to find a more meaningful job that also had a scalable pay structure. In 2011, after earning $10,000 from only working five hours, he soon launched three consulting companies worth $100,000 each without any start up capital. DiPiazza tells us that by disowning any limiting beliefs and unlocking our own potential, we can drastically improve our life and career.

Here are "three new truths" that he shares with all readers:

1. “You No Longer Have to Pay Your Dues”

The great Jim Rohn once said, "You don't get paid by the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the hour. You may often hear people in your circle say, "that's too risky" or "you can't do that". Well, if every entrepreneur and successful business person agreed with those words, they would have never gotten started. Times have changed since the days where going to college and working 30-40 years moving up the corporate ladder is viewed as "stable".

We saw in 2008 where many W2 workers, both blue and white collar lose their jobs when the economy tanked. Having a job is no longer "safe", nor should you equate "butt time" (sitting down at your desk working for the man) with experience. DiPiazza challenges the readers to be creative in how we identify and leverage our skills. As film, TV and video game producer Jace Hall explains, “you do not have to pass through point B to travel from point A to point C.” In this “generation of hackers,” be original.

2. “The Game Has Changed – and You Can Make Your Own Rules”

Whether you realize it or not, there are many successful people who have identified the new game and have started to make their own rules. This game allows people to leverage other people's time, knowledge, and money to reach their own goals. The rules of the game are not taught in college, in fact, college teaches us to become better workers, when we are no longer in the industrial age, we are in the information age. To play the game to your advantage, embrace the most valuable tool there is: knowledge. Knowledge comes from thinking outside the box, believing in yourself and knowing how to persevere.

Be the person who can identify a challenge in different environments and offer solutions to the problem. Becoming a critic is easy, execution is hard. DiPiazza tells us to consider taking on broadening experiences such as these, in lieu of or in addition to college: Explore the world, establish a business, volunteer, learn a foreign language, create art, play a competitive sport, master something you love or write a book. You’ll need to do something that excites you and that you can leverage for success.

3. “Money Is Easy, thanks to the internet”

The internet has certainly connected us, and it has also made starting business with little to no capital fairly attainable. Back in the 1800-1900s, money was tight; the coal, steel and oil barons controlled the markets; and women and minorities weren’t part of the equation. Today, although common wisdom holds that making money is difficult, money is really everywhere. People can earn income doing things with little risk and big reward, thanks to the Internet. For example, you can start a blog using free software, or buy and sell products around the globe.

As mentioned previously, execution is the most difficult challenge entrepreneurs will face. If you’re good with managing your time, your persistence will pay off. DiPiazza tell us to break big goals into bite size chunks. For example, to make $1,000,000 in a year, you need to generate approximately $2,700 daily. Think of how many people you can help each day. You could bring in $1 each from 2,700 people – or $10 each from just 270 customers. Determine what you can offer and at what price.

By leveraging these three main concepts, we can break from the status quo and realize that others people's success can become our success. Instead of resenting the people on social media who seem to have everything you want, go network with them and figure out how you can recreate the same success. It’s not about the money, but the choices that having money will be able to give you.

Do you want to be able to retire your parents? Would you like to take two months to travel around Europe? Do you like to volunteer and build homes in rural areas? If you are focused on climbing the corporate ladder and paying the bills, you will not be able to see the things around you, the things that make you passionate, the things that fulfill you. Whatever season you are at in life, remember that conventional wisdom is no longer "safe" and that its not what you know, but what you think you know that may prove to be an obstacle in reaching your goals.

Hope you enjoy this book!

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Book Review 011: The One Thing by Jay Papasan

The One Thing, by Jay Papasan and Gary Keller, talks about their journey in overcoming issues with focus and creating better habits. They discuss the idea that multitasking isn't as productive as some people make it out to be and maintains that success requires long periods of laser-like focus, and not scattered swats. Papasan states that if you focus on the "One Thing", everything else will fall into place.

By prioritizing on "One Thing", it allows us to get more done in a day when compared to to-do list and multitasking. Adding more projects to your list without cutting others will negatively impact your results, health, and relationships. If you want to achieve your goals, Jay Papasan reminds us that it actually takes subtraction and focus, not addition.

Papasan tells us that living according to the "One Thing" mentality is rather simple. The more difficult area is to ignore the "conventional wisdom" that we have been told all these years. There are so many myths and straight out lies about productivity that sound reasonable, but when tested against results, simply do not work out.

For many of us who work in Corporate America and have a W2 job. There are often talks of finding a "work life balance." Papasan tells us that work life balance is a myth, and we need to implement "counterbalance" to lead a life of significance and meaning as we strive to adjust our priorities to focus on the most important tasks at hand.

The main theme of this book is that the best way to get the answers you seek is by asking the right questions. Papasan encourages the readers to ask the following question: “What is the one thing I can do such that, by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” This is a simple question, but not an easy one. It provides both an overview and a laser focus on what you must do today to achieve your one thing. The question propels you to go beyond simple tasks on your to-do list and directs you to what is most important, that “first domino” that will make everything else fall into place.

Favorite Quote: “Knowing when to pursue the middle and when to pursue the extremes is in essence the true beginning of wisdom. Extraordinary results are achieved by this negotiation with your time.”

Asking, “What’s my one thing?” defines your “big one thing” by prompting you to craft a conceptual path for your career, your business and your personal life. Asking, “What’s my one thing right now?” reveals the “small one thing” that drives your daily activities. This puts your top priority at the center of your focus and leads you to a productive workday and a properly focused home life.

Papasan challenges us to identify our priority each day and focus only on the present, the only moment you can affect. Stacking upon these moments leads to success, because most people work harder for present rewards than for the future. As with dominoes, visualization helps, as does writing down your goals. People who write their goals are 39.5% more likely to accomplish them than people who don’t.

Key ideas:

  • Multitasking and following long to-do lists pose the biggest obstacles to achieving your goals.

  • Align purpose with your one thing to bring you clarity and happiness.

  • Your purpose will direct your single priority and inform you on how to spend your time.

  • Learn to say no and accept the chaos that accompanies any pursuit of greatness.

  • Create an environment that supports your goals.

  • Take care of your health with good food, exercise, family time and sleep.

Hope you enjoy this book!

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