Want to know the biggest contributor to my success? That let me go from a low-paying job as a corporate employee to a million-dollar income entrepreneur? In honor of World Book Day, I’m sharing my number one success secret: reading.
I’ve been an avid reader for over 18 years. As I became more aware of success, that led me to dig in and focus on professional growth more and more. To learn what made other people successful, I started to read books that gave me tips on how to do it.
My reading habits for success
For the past 18 years, I’ve read a minimum of one book per month, sometimes even one book per week. I’ve passed this onto my son, too – he understands that readers are leaders.
And 15 years ago, I gave up fiction books, gossip magazines and even movies. I realized that I could invest all my time, effort and energy into watching other people create their dream lives…or invest in my own.
I found I could draw so much life, passion, excitement and strength from reading books. Books on human development and progress, personal growth and evolution. It lit me up like I could never have expected.
No one forced me to give up fiction. My pure passion as a student of greatness eliminated my desire to ‘escape’ into fiction books. Often, it’s a mechanism to detach and unplug to separate ourselves away from reality.
I don’t have anything against fiction, or readers or writers of fiction. There are some incredible pieces of literature out there. I just found that for myself, time invested in one area is time taken away from another, and I enjoy making my own dreams come true more than I love a good fiction book.
How I pick my books
I keep a running list of books I’d like to read, based on recommendations or mentions on social media and podcasts. I’ve learned that you become who you are in life through the books you read, the people you associate with, and the arenas you invest your time in.
My own circle of influence is overwhelmingly people who’ve never met me and don’t know my name. I’ve adopted them as my mentors and guides simply through their books.
Sometimes, I’ve read them so often I’ve internalized them and feel like they’re my personal mentors. Doing this has allowed me to elevate myself to a different stratosphere of life.
Reading such powerful books and learning from great thinkers and world changers has transformed things like my level of perseverance in life. I’m able to rise above drama and unplug myself from emotional rollercoasters.
I can now invest in what truly matters in life. I can make a difference – an impact – and leave the world a better place. Because the way I see it, as long as I’m on this planet, my Creator has decided that there’s more for me to learn and more for me to do.
Every moment that I’m here means there’s something else for me. The books I’ve read, which cover all kinds of topics, have allowed me to tap into a meaning of life that’s so much richer than anything I would have dared to imagine 15 years ago.
How to start reading for your own success
If you’re new to all of this – personal development and growth and professional development – where do you start?
I recommend starting off by making a list of things that you’d love to know and learn more about. Which people inspire or motivate you? Who do you respect? Start looking at anything they’ve produced, or the works that inspired them.
Podcasts and audiobooks are great too, especially if you don’t like physically reading, or you have trouble doing so for one reason or another. You get the same information in a different medium.
If you go over to my resources page, you’ll find a list of my personal recommendations – my 101 favorite books. I usually update the list twice per year, adding new favorites from things I’ve recently read.
As silly as it may sound, books have truly changed my life. So I invite you to start a revolution in your own life by making a commitment to reading one new book per month. And if you’ve got any recommendations for me, I’d love to hear them!