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Do you believe books can change your life? I surely do! Books are bae!
My fondness for a good page-turner came after leaving college. That’s when I realized no one was gonna save me from my debt or give me the life that I wanted BUT ME! The local library became my pusha and books, my drug of choice. Books taught me how to dream bigger and manage money better.
This year, I decided to read all of the 28 life-changing books curated by @FutureNow, formerly @FutureSuccessors, of Instagram. I had already read 8 by coincidence. So 2019 is marked for reading the remaining 20 books on the list.
I’ll also apply, at least, one thing that I learned from each book. Knowledge alone isn’t power. Applied knowledge is power.
Do you want to join me? You don’t have to read all 28 books this year, but start by reading 12 (an average of 1 per month).
The Life-Changing Books List
- The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss
- The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing by Benjamin Graham
- The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime by MJ DeMarco
- The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success by Darren Hardy
- Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
- The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
- The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
- The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
- Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and Word-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss
- The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
- The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life Before 8AM by Hal Elrod
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
- Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
- The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage by Daymond John
- Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, 1966-2013 by Carol J. Loomis
- The Magic of Thinking Big: Acquire the Secrets to Success…And Everything You’ve Always Wanted by David J. Schwartz
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki
- Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel
- The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder
- The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller
- Sell or Be Sold: How to Get Your Way in Business and in Life by Grant Cardone
- How to Win Friends & Influence People: The Only Book You Need to Lead You to Success by Dale Carnegie
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
- The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
- Crushing It! How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence—and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
- Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! by Tony Robbins
- The Psychology of Selling: Increase Your Sales Faster and Easier Than You Ever Thought Possible by Brian Tracy
I’ve created a handy-dandy book list and reading log to track my progress and jot down notes, especially about what action steps I’ll take. I’ve given you, newsletter subscribers, a free copy of one book in the Freebies section, too. Shhhh…don’t tell anybody. Don’t say I never gave you anything, OK? 😉
Which book should I read first? What are Wise Woman Wallet’s favorite books?
These are tough questions. As of August 20, 2019, I’ve read 21 out of 28 books (8 of them before I discovered this curated list).
The Millionaire Next Door showed me that it was possible for little, ol’ me—a black woman from rural North Carolina—to become wealthy through a solid strategy, consistency and perseverance. Roughly 80% of millionaires in the U.S. were first-generation millionaires, the authors said.
This book was one of the first to study the habits of millionaires—what cars did they drive, how much did they pay for their homes. Peeling back those layers helped me get into the millionaire mindset and inspire me to think I could change my family tree in one generation, too.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad really rocked my world. Robert T. Kiyosaki grew up in Hawaii. His biological dad was a higher-up in the state’s education department. He thought getting a well-paid job with benefits and more degrees and certificates would increase his income and produce wealth. He’s Poor Dad. Kiyosaki considered his childhood friend’s father his other dad, in a sense. Rich Dad was not formally educated, but he became one of Hawaii’s most successful businessman. Rich Dad taught Kiyosaki everything about creating wealth.
The book made me realize how I had been living by so many money myths, how mindset plays such a significant role in whether you’ll build wealth, and how the U.S. education system has been producing sheep-like employees who toil 9-to-5 for decades at a job.
And then he showed this chart about how rich- and poor-minded folks think about money, assets and liabilities. MIND=BLOWN! I immediately saw I had been screwing up with money. If you want the full context this chart, then read the book now.
In The Alchemist, a shepherd named Santiago travels from his home in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure. As you can imagine, he meets quite a few characters and several roadblocks. I don’t want to give away all of the lessons, but the book reiterated that failure is part of success. Failure is feedback. Learn the lessons and move on with a different strategy, but don’t give up on the goal.
The Richest Man in Babylon gives you direct instructions on how to do well with money through engaging parables set centuries ago. At first, you’re like “What in the world could I learn from camel trader and chariot builder stories?” But then you get sucked into the vivid descriptions and lively dialogue.
The book starts off with Arkad, the Richest Man in Babylon. His friends from back in the day complain to him about how he dons the finest clothes and eats the rarest foods while they still struggle. They wonder how they started out at the same level and in the same field of clay tablet scribing, but he’s the only one who achieved major success. Arkad reveals how he learned from an old, rich man, and then teaches others at the Temple of Learning the Seven Cures for a Lean Purse.
“LO, MONEY IS PLENTIFUL FOR THOSE WHO UNDERSTAND THE SIMPLE RULES OF ITS ACQUISITION.” — The Richest Man in Babylon
The Richest Man in Babylon was first published in 1926. I read it over 2-3 days on my phone while I was traveling in 2018 and found that everything—and I mean EVERYTHING— in the book about budgeting, saving, and investing still applies today. If you only read the Seven Cures for a Lean Purse, you’ll have a blueprint for financial success.
How can I read these books on the cheap?
- Get a library card and check out all of the books you can carry to your car.
- If you have a valid library card or school ID, perhaps you can borrow ebooks from your library or school’s digital collection using the OverDrive app.
- Get free 30-day trials through Audible.com, Audiobooks.com or Scribd.com and listen to the audiobooks while you’re taking a stroll, commuting or cleaning. (Set an alarm on your phone a few days before the trial ends to cancel your subscription if you don’t want to start getting charged. Spread out your free trials i.e. get 1 per month consecutively.)
- Borrow books from your friends. If you start a book club, perhaps you could trade books at the end of each month.
- Buy used books from a store like McKay’s, which caters to North Carolina and Tennessee residents. Perhaps your city might have a used bookstore, too. Here’s the cool thing about McKay’s: You can trade in toys, games, books and DVDs for other items in the store. Declutter and save!
- Buy used books at a local thrift store or library sales.