You've seen The Matrix, right? Do you remember when Neo (Keanu Reeves) laid down, plugged in, and woke up saying, “I Know Kung Fu”? Or, in The Matrix Reloaded, when Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) needed to learn how to ride a Susuki GSX-R motorcycle only to be instantly uploaded that skill?
We're not quite at that point in time where we can instantly upload information into our brains, unfortunately. But, there is something we can do today that is very similar—we can read. By reading, we can learn whatever it is we want to do.
I read for three basic reasons:
- To learn something new: a skill or an idea (which may be related to something that I already know about)
- To know how to implement these newly learned skills or ideas.
- To become more of an expert on a subject. As I've mentioned before in this post, to be considered an expert about something, you just have to know more than somebody else about it.
I may be a special breed, but I only read non-fiction books. Educational/information/self-improvement/inspirational books to be exact. To me, this is fun, and I figure I might as well take the time I use to read to improve something about myself. I know I am missing out on a lot of great reads by limiting myself to only non-fiction titles, but I watch enough DVDs as it is, so that's where I get my “fiction fill”, if you will.
In my last post, I wrote about 5 inspirational websites that I read. Here, I will show you the 5 books I keep close for inspiration.
Books I Keep Right Beside Me At My Desk
Here is a picture of the books I keep right next to me at my desk. I keep them here because they inspire me and remind me about all of the wonderful information I have learned from each and every one of them. Here is everything you see from left to right:
- The cube with the picture of the beautiful woman inside is a picture of my fiancee, April. She is my true inspiration in life. Only 46 days until our wedding…how crazy is that! I'll definitely post some pictures.
- The mug below shows my dedication to my Alma Mater, The University of California, Berkeley. I am a HUGE Cal Fan. I wear Cal gear all the time and chant “Go Bears!” whenever and wherever I can. I was the Student Director of the Cal Band in 2005, and this mug reminds me of all that I learned and experienced…Go Bears!
- That big brown folder is actually a folder with my official documentation from the State of California that I now own my own company! That's right, I filed for an LLC just a couple of weeks ago, and I am now the CEO of Flynndustries, LLC. I did this for a number of reasons, which I will go over in an important post this month. I keep this binder here because it reminds me about my goals. One of my life long goals was to start my own company someday. This reminds me that with hard work and determination, I can accomplish anything (cliche, but true).
Now, The Books
- The 4-Hour Work-week by Timothy Ferriss: You've heard me mention this book numerous times on The Smart Passive Income Blog, and it's because this book has truly become my second Bible. It's all about smart passive income, and I do everything I can to imitate Ferriss' philosophy to engage the lifestyle that I want for myself and my family.
- Moonlighting on the Internet by Yanik Silver: This is the book I used to learn a lot of the techniques I use to make money online. My landing page on intheleed.com for my ebook is actually a direct copy from Silver's example. Whenever I'm stuck or want to try something new, I pull this book out and read it.
- The One Minute Millionaire by Mark Victor Hansen & Robert G. Allen: From the author of the bestselling “Chicken Soup Series”, you can imagine that this book is an inspiration for any entrepreneur who wants to get motivated. There are some great stories, tips, principles, and mantras that I have tabbed out for easy access.
- The Millionaire Mind by Thomas J. Stanley: This book simply reminds me about the lifestyle I want to achieve. A lot of this book is statistical analysis about millionaires and how MOST are not the sterotypical 10-bedroom mansion, 5 car garage, maid-service, money spending people we often think about. Usually, they are frugal people who are smart about their decisions in life and with money. Did you know that over 70% of millionaire families cut coupons and get their shoes resoled? I LOVE this book.
- The Exceptional Presenter, by Timothy Koegel: The last book on my table reminds me about another important skill that goes beyond typing on my keyboard: speaking in person. When doing business, even online, being presentable is very important. Many big online business ventures go beyond the face of the website, and I want to prepare myself for any face to face interactions that may happen in the future. Plus, it is my goal to become a professor at a University someday, so I read this book and practice the exercises once a month. The only professors I really remember are the one's that SUCKED, and the one's that were AWESOME. I want to be remembered for being awesome.
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad: This is the very first book in the money/improvement/educational category that I've ever read. I lent it to a friend, which is why it's not on my desk—otherwise, you'd see it in the photo.
Note: In 2013 I started a book club where I share my favorite business books and what I've learned from them. Go here to join the book club. (Editor's Note 09/2015)
How About You?
I'm always looking for a good read. I'd love to hear your recommendations.
Thanks again everyone for your support and wonderful comments. In my next post, I'll talk more about that brown folder you see in the picture with my company's name on it. Until then…
Have a great weekend!