“Pour your wallet into your mind and your mind will fill your wallet,”
one of my mentors once told me. That had a tremendous impact on me because I never thought of wealth building and leadership as a learned skill. I used to think that people were born into wealth and leadership, like there was a Wealth and Leadership Gene. As I delved more and more into this industry, I realized that true leaders had certain skills that were their strengths, and they surrounded themselves with people that had the skills they were weak in. They would learn from, and pattern themselves after these people and eventually these weaknesses would become their strengths as well, ultimately making them more dynamic and charismatic leaders. For example, in my early days, I was terrified of speaking in front of a crowd (my weakness). I found someone that was really good at speaking. I recorded his speeches, took note of his mannerisms, and was cognizant of his language. Needless, to say I became a better speaker and now routinely speak in front of groups of 200-plus people with no fear. Had I never read the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, I never would have known to pattern and surround myself with people that have knowledge that I don’t. This was covered in Chapter 5, “Specialized Knowledge.”
Another thing that I learned about leadership and generating the type of influence people want to follow is that a person needs to grow into the person that they, themselves, want to follow. When I first started this journey, I was definitely not the person that I would want to follow. Reading has definitely changed that. The greatest concept I learned from The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is not to play the Blame Game, blaming others or extenuating circumstances for our failures or failure to act. Blame creates a victim mentality that can persist in everything we do. When we blame others, it takes the situation out of your hands and leaves it “up to fate.” This can create a very strong cycle. On the other hand, if we accept responsibility for what happened, we are more likely to realize that the situation we are in is the result of a series of decisions we have made. If we accept responsibility for the situation and our decisions, we are in control of the situation and have the choice to change, or not change, the situation. If we think of ourselves as “victims,” then we have no control; the situation controls us and we are just along for the ride.
I have read more books in the last six years than I read in the previous twenty. After reading all these books, I’m definitely surprised about the amount of information I didn’t know that I didn’t know. I read ten pages of a wealth-building or personal development book per day. I’m not talking about reading fiction books, but real-deal, personal development books. Below you will find a list of books that I recommend to everyone I work with. This list is not exhaustive, but will give you an idea of the types of books I’m talking about. If you would like more suggestions for books to read or some resources for personal development send me a message.
Now get out there and get reading!
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Unemployed Millionaire by Matt Morris
Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
Start With Why by Simon Sinek