It’s titled: “A self-made millionaire who studied 1,200 wealthy people found they all have one — free — pastime in common”.
Want to guess what that pastime is?
The highlights of the piece:
In his research, he noticed a pastime the rich have in common: They self-educate by reading.
“Walk into a wealthy person’s home and one of the first things you’ll see is an extensive library of books they’ve used to educate themselves on how to become more successful,” Siebold writes. “The middle class reads novels, tabloids, and entertainment magazines.”
He goes on to talk about the amount of time rich people spend reading versus watching TV and then comparing it to poorer people. Very interesting.
My Reading History
I used to be a big-time reader, gobbling up a book every two weeks or so.
But then I got married, had kids, and life got hectic. I don’t read to educate myself that much now outside of work. But I do listen. 🙂
Almost all of my “reading” is now “listening”. I use audio books in the car and podcasts at various times throughout the day. I’ll detail the podcasts I listen to at some point, but for now I wanted to list what I’ve been reading so far this year.
Here’s what I’ve read (listened to) since January 1 and my thoughts on each:
- StrengthsFinder 2.0 – Our entire company took this assessment and is learning how to make the most of our strengths. My top five: Deliberative, Discipline, Analytical, Achiever, Responsibility. I like the book’s focus (work on growing your strengths not improving your weaknesses) — just wanting to see how it gets implemented/used.
- Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow – Our Executive Team read this to help us decide how to make the most of our strengths learnings. It was a decent read but half of it was the same stuff as the first book.
- The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations – Loved, loved, loved this book. I bought the audio, listened to it, and loved it so much that I bought the book. I’ll be re-listening and underlining key parts in the book as I do.
- The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People – I’ve been studying how to reward my team and show them my appreciation. This book was “ok” but not exactly what I was looking for.
- Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win – Very good book on leadership and taking ownership/being accountable. Great stories of combat as well if you like that sort of thing.
- The 4 Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat Loss, Incredible Sex and Becoming Superhuman – I had the audio book from awhile ago and listened to it. Liked so many of the tips and wanted a bit more (the audio is abridged) that I got the book and had about 30-40 ideas I want to implement from it. I’m on a bit of a health kick (lost 7% body fat in several months) which I’ll write about sometime.
- Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t (Rockefeller Habits 2.0) – Currently reading this with the Leadership Team at work. Great, practical book on how to grow a business from one level to the next.
- The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business – You will be hearing more about this as I will certainly post some things from it. Great, basic business book – even for someone who’s been in business for 25 years.
- Washington: A Life – I’m listening to this in my car on the way to work. 33 CDs total, if you can imagine that, and I’m on CD #4. My daughter and I visited Mt. Vernon last month while looking at colleges (an update on that is coming soon) and I fell in love with Washington all over again. I got the CD set supposedly used but it was wrapped up like new and shows zero wear. I got it for $38. 🙂
I do read for pleasure from time to time as well as read a magazine here and there, but these are the books I’ve been through recently.
So what’s this have to do with personal finance and becoming wealthy?
My main focus in reading the books above is that I want to improve myself as a manager. If I do, I will be more valuable to my employer and a more marketable executive. As such, I should be compensated at a higher rate than others. I’ll write a post at some point about how educating yourself is a key part of growing your career/income.
Beyond that, there is a benefit to being more knowledgeable, right? Even if what I read doesn’t apply directly to personal finance, isn’t there some advantage to being better informed? It seems to me that there is but I’d be interested in your thoughts.
And how about you? Are you a reader? What are you reading now?