Monday, December 26, 2011

Richard P. Evans-"The 5 Lessons A Millionaire Taught Me"

I was drawn to this book by its size and direct style of writing.  At 160 pages, it is a very quick read.  Inside, the author presents the 5 principles which he claimed help him become wealthy.  Those principles are:

1.  Decide to be wealthy: Understand the power of commitment.  In order to demonstrate the power of the subconscious, Evans suggests hanging a key from a string in your hand.  While looking at the key, mentally tell it to rotate clockwise without moving anything in your body.  Now tell the key to stop and change directions.  He explains that the key movement is really the manifestation of the body moving imperceptibly and naturally in accordance to thought. Likewise, he states that riches begin with a "definiteness of purpose." 

2.  Take responsibility for your money: This principle involves knowing how much money you have, where your money comes from, where it is going, and what your money is doing.

3.  Keep a portion of everything you earn: Evans ascribes to saving at least 10% and committing it to a "nest egg."  I didn't know that farmers used to literally put an artificial or real egg in a nest to induce the chicken to continue laying eggs.  Using this analogy, he suggests that seeing wealth grow is a powerful motivator to save more. 

4.  Win in the margins: This principle is more broad and involves using wisdom and business sense to find other ways to save or earn more income while practicing restraint with money. 

5.  Give back
After having read the book, I would rate the book as valuable to those who have never read a similar book on wealth, or readers who are younger and less experienced with managing their money.  Some of his principles are drawn from other sources including Napoleon Hill's, "Think and Grow Rich," as well as George Clason's "The Richest Man in Babylon."  At the end of his book, he also provides concrete ideas to save or "win in the margins," with side income.  Overall, the book is easy to read however I would probably recommend Clason's book as a first book to read on personal finance and not this one.  Also, it didn't bother me at all but there are some mentions of God and bible verses in the book.  If you are the type to be offended by any type of spiritual message than this book may not be for you.  Lastly, what the author suggests is a very slow process to accumulate wealth.  I do not discount the importance of developing a stable foundation for finances, however it would be foolish to expect dramatic results overnight (or even within a decade or two). 

1.  Have you taken personal responsibility for your wealth (or lack thereof)? 
2.  For what purpose would you use your wealth?  What would give you lasting joy?
3.  What is one change you can make this week to improve your financial situation?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Will Smith: Two tips for success--"Running and Reading"

With upcoming films Men In Black 3 and I Am Legend 2, Will Smith will be re-emerging again into the public scene.  From his beginnings on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the public has been able to see Smith develop and transition between music, tv, and film modalities to build his career.

What few people realize is that Will Smith is a very deliberate man.  One example is that early on he recognized that profitable movies tended to be ones with impressive special effects. His careful role selection caused many including Forbes magazine to consider him one of the top profitable actors in Hollywood today.

Smith's success can be attributed to two activities: reading and running.

He explains that in running, there is inevitably a time when it becomes difficult to go on.  Learning to defeat the discouraging voice inside teaches us how not to quit when things get hard in life. 

His second point is that reading allows us to learn from others' experience.  Because there is nothing new under the sun, Smith believes that there have been countless others who can provide us with wisdom, experience, and encouragement to see us through any problem or hardship in life.

What ways can you develop your own resolve through regular practice?  
If you could learn from the life experiences of one person who would that be?  If that person is dead, is there an autobiography or biography that can be read?