I have a goal every year to at least read one non-fiction book a month. I know, that isn’t a very high goal, but you have to start somewhere, right? 

Of all the habits of high performers, especially in business, reading it the one habit that they all have in common. The top-performing CEOs read a book a week. That’s 52 books a year! The average person reads 2 – 3 books a year. There’s a big difference between the two. 

I decided that I didn’t want to be average. We only have so much time in a day. Why not spend that time improving yourself? Here’s the thing… If you don’t read, you have no advantage over someone who can’t read. 

Without further ado, here are the books I read in 2017 along with how I rank them.  (This post covers only two of them. The rest will come in subsequent posts.)

#13 – The Millionaire Booklet by Grant Cardone

I’m a big fan of Grant Cardone and have seen this booklet advertised all over the internet. I finally clicked the link and got the booklet free and just paid shipping and handling which was something like $3. The booklet is definitely worth that. 
The Millionaire Booklet by Grant Cardone

In The Millionaire Booklet, Grant gives short actionable things that you can do to start making more money. One thing I really like about it is this is not one of the “get rich quick” type of books. The things he espouses in the booklet are common sense, but they’re not common practice. Here are some of the nuggets I got from the booklet.

  • Don’t take your money advice from people who haven’t been successful or think you can’t be successful. 
  • Break down $1,000,000 to see how you can get there. I.e It only takes 1,000 people buying a $1,000 product.
  • Making more money won’t happen unless you take massive action.
  • Ask the question, “Who’s got my money?”, Then go after those people and get them to buy.
  • Stay broke. That means when you have more money coming in, don’t increase your spending.
  • The extra money coming in must be invested, not saved.
  • The middle class tries to replace flows of money while wealthy people are trying to add flows of money. Think in terms of multiple streams of income.
  • Invest in yourself.

The booklet is a quick read. The whole booklet is about changing your mindset about wealth to remove your own barriers and then getting after it.

Why would you want to become a millionaire? For me, it comes down to being able to make a bigger impact.  I’m happy where I’m at and I’ve been very blessed. I don’t need more wealth for me.

Here’s the bottom line for me — If you aren’t growing, you’re dying. 

I want to grow. That’s why I read.

#12 – Finish by Jon Acuff

Don’t get me wrong, Finish is a great book but I read several great books in 2017. That is why I ranked it #12. 

Finish by Jon AcuffThe subtitle of Finish is “Give yourself the gift of done”. As is typical with Jon Acuff, there is humor sprinkled throughout the book. I caught myself laughing loudly several times. This guy is really funny.

The whole premise of Finish is that people don’t reach their goals because of perfectionism. Goals are easier to reach when the pressure is off.  

Here are the points he makes in the book:

  • Cut your goal in half. – He argues that most of us are over-optimistic when setting goals. Then, when we get halfway to our goal or further and then don’t reach it, we beat ourselves up. Instead of recognizing that we made great progress, we focus on not achieving the goal. His solution is to set our goal and then cut it in half. Then, when you reach the new goal. Set a new goal for the other half. 
  • Choose what to bomb. – When perfectionism sets in, he says, we think we can do it all. He points out that we can’t really do it all. That’s why you need to choose what to bomb. You can’t be a perfect parent, volunteer at the homeless shelter and have the best lawn in the neighborhood. Choose what is important and let the rest go.
  • Make it fun if you want it done. – Acuff says that many times when we set goals if we have fun we think we’re not working hard enough or that it doesn’t count. He says to make sure you make your goal fun. Laugh and have fun along the way. Things are so much easier when we’re having fun.
  • Leave your hiding places and ignore noble obstacles. – When we dare to focus on a task, a thousand other things beg for our attention. We tend to pick the paths of least resistance and justify ourselves. Identify your hiding places, which are usually just time wasters. Once you identify them you’ll be more aware of when you find yourself doing them instead of working toward your goal.
  • Get rid of your secret rules. – We all have secret rules we live our lives by. Such as “If it isn’t difficult, it doesn’t count.” or “If this project isn’t successful by day 10, it’s a failure”.  One of my secret rules has been “Quieter is better”. This has caused me to keep my mouth shut and leave most conversations to the other person. It’s been a hard one to get rid of.
  • Use data to celebrate your imperfect progress. – Perfectionism hates data. Why? Because emotions lie, data doesn’t. Keep track of your progress and celebrate it based on the data of what you’ve accomplished. Don’t fall to the lie that your progress is too slow so you might as well quit.
  • The day or days before a goal is reached are hard.  – Fear of success paralyzes many people. Often they’ll sabotage their progress right before they reach their goal. Some of these fears are 1) The fear of what happens next, 2) The fear that it won’t be perfect and 3) The fear of “what now”.

Those are some good points and we’d all be better off by using them when setting and working towards our goals.  Finish was a good book and I highly recommend it.

These are the bottom two books in the list of 13 non-fiction books I read last year. The next post will bring books #11 and #10.

Stay tuned.