I grew up with two parents who made something for themselves. I ultimately want to do that for myself.
My goals include creating a comfortable life for my parents, a stable income so I can travel and eat to my heart's content, and a quaint house by the lake. I don't want to trade my time to do things that I'm not passionate about, to simply survive. I want to contribute to our society and get excited about my work.
Granted, I have my reservations about these kinds of book. I mean, just look at the titles. Plus, the majority are written by dudes from a certain background.
But, it's so important to start educating myself about money.
I’m tired of watching rich people get richer. They are rich not because they have great ideas or magic powers. They are rich because they know the jargons to make their money grow and they are not afraid to execute it.
The good, the bad, and the ugly of the money-making books I've read so you don't have to.
THE LEAN STARTUP
There is a robust startup bubble. Everyone has an innovative idea to disrupt something. Even yours dearly is learning to code.
Sometimes, we create these grand visions of our projects in our head. We get stuck because we are scared of putting anything out that is less than perfect. I personally struggle with that.
Eric Ries says to create a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to see if anyone is even interested. Then, work to improve it bit by bit. Talk to your customers. Respond quickly to their demands and iterate to create the product people want. This book doesn't just apply to startups but in anything you want to create.
Daniel Pink exposes the difference between what motivates us and what businesses actually do.
As long as the task is based on mechanical skill, bonuses work as expected. Higher pay equals better performance. But if the task involves cognitive skill, the money reward results in poorer performance (A little mind blown here). It makes me question how our current businesses are set up and if it is conducive to creating new ideas.
He reveals the three true motivations. They are autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Here is a summary of the book explained by this animated video.
MONEY MASTER THE GAME
I've watched Tony Robbins on TED Talk and found some of his work inspiring. This book was easy to digest and made me wish I opened a Roth IRA when I started my first job.
Robbin's 7 steps to Financial Freedom
- Start saving
- Avoid high fees when investing your money. It might be a small percentage but you'll end up losing a lot
- Come up with a plan and figure out how much you need to retire
- Diversify your investments and reduce risks
- Create an income plan and not assets
- Learn and invest like the best financial advisors
- Share your wealth
ZERO TO ONE
Every day, we get the same junk but in a different package. Zero to One provides an optimistic outlook of all the frontiers we haven't discovered yet.
Creating a product that someone else already made brings no value. When we do something new, we go from zero to one. He wants people to create something so incredible that there will be no competition - for example, Facebook.
LIVING THE 80/20 WAY
Richard Koch explains several ways how 80% of results come from 20% of the effort. You can achieve more by working less. Figure out your goals so you can focus on what matters and ignore the trivial stuff. Don't write a to-do list. Pinpoint one thing you can do to earn you the rest of the day off (Easier said than done).
Saying this book is bad is unfair. It's a good book to start thinking about what aspect of our life can be cut down that doesn't produce joy. But, it fails to produce actionable plans to apply to the specific parts of our lives.
RICH DAD POOR DAD
This is a motivational book - even my HS student came to me raving about this book. And, that's it. It doesn't provide plans to create wealth. Kiyosaki made millions by selling this idea but never revealed practical ways for folks to make that money.
He tells the story between two lenses - a rich dad and poor dad. The rich dad believes that you'll never get rich by having a higher salary. The poor dad is an educator and has been working hard his whole life but still ends up broke.
He starts off saying that we don't know anything about money. Our education has failed us. We go to work, get our paycheck, and still live paycheck to paycheck. We need to understand how money should work for us.
THE SECRET OF SELLING ANYTHING
I read this book a year ago and can't remember anything valuable. My takeaway was to figure out what your customer wants and sell your product in a way that will help fix their problems.
Harry Browne says I don't have to be a "smooth talker" or enthusiastic. In fact, I don't even have to a positive thinker because that creates a fallacy. He says a good salesperson finds out what makes people happy and will help them get it.
This book is made more for the stereotypical salesperson who is aggressive, persuasive, and an extrovert because it shows them a different perspective to sales. As for me, who is not that, I thought the ideas were common sense.
THE MILLIONAIRE FASTLANE
This book was made for guys who like fancy cars. The constant repetition, car metaphors, and arrogant style were too much for me.
MJ DeMarco talks about three financial roads; the sidewalk (Living well today at the expense of tomorrow), the slow lane (Work hard today to create a better tomorrow) and the fast lane (Work hard today on something that people want and get rich in 5-10 years). The fast lane is where you want to be and is about "getting rich quick" so you could enjoy your money now instead of later when you're old.
The goal is to create a system that works for you. Create a "money tree" that will build wealth like rentals, software, content (selling a book), and distribution systems (Amazon).
I was never taught about money or ways to make money. We learn to go to school, get a degree, and work at a 9-5 job. As I am discovering my ways, it's so important to start learning and figuring out what works best for me.
My favorite financial tools are http://www.mba-mondays-illustrated.com/ and 365+ Awesome Free Resources for Entrepreneur, Business, and Life. I also enjoy listening to podcasts like Planet Money and Freakonomics.
What are some of your favorite financial advice books or resources? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment box below!