Each month I set a personal challenge. The idea is to force myself to do something quicker than I would have otherwise. Most of the goals I have set since starting this have had a positive impact on my life. The others just haven’t stuck, but it never hurts to try, right? Therefore, my goal is to read one book this month.
Reading is Boring…..
For a long time as an adult, I did not read books. As a kid I read a lot of books. Once I hit high school and college I stopped reading for fun. After college I thought reading books was sooooo boring.
The funny thing is that a large part of my credit card debt was because of books. Not the ones with words, but the ones with pictures such as the art & architecture books on my bookshelf. Yes, that picture is my (our) bookshelf with models I built in architecture school. Sometimes, I would read the text but I tried not to let it distract me from the pretty pictures.
When I met my wife, she would talk about reading books and all I could think was how could she stand to do something so boring. You can see my attitude was stupid and one that only hurt me. So, what changed?
Well, my wife was a great example for me and I warmed up to the idea of reading again. Boy was I lucky to meet her as a side note.
I think the first book I read after years of neglect was a memoir by the bass player from Pantera, one of the greatest heavy metal bands ever. It certainly wasn’t advanced reading but it sucked me in. It was very gossipy about a story that ended in tragedy with my favorite guitar player Dimebag Darrell. He was murdered on stage a month after I saw him in concert. The press and music industry never gave the story the time it deserved.
The tough guy in me doesn’t want to admit that at the same time I picked up the Hunger Games books because I didn’t want to wait a year to see what happened in the third movie. It is a compelling story I must admit even if it is meant for teenage girls…..
Maybe It Isn’t So Bad…..
So, once I let my guard down I read the only finance book that inspired me during our debt payoff. That would be Debt Free Living by Larry Burkett. This guy was Dave Ramsey before there was Dave Ramsey. It is an underrated book about finance with a Christian bent. If you think Dave Ramsey is too religious this is not the book for you but don’t be fooled, it has a great personal finance lesson in it.
Since then I have been working my way through other personal finance books. It takes me too long to read them though since I always fall asleep soon after starting. I previously set a goal to read 15 minutes a day. While I generally was successful with that it hasn’t stuck so much. I have been making an effort again recently though.
More Desire Than Time…..
So, like most other people, I feel as though I don’t have enough time to read books. A few months ago, I got into audio books. What a great lifehack! Oh, how I dislike the term (lifehack) although I use it frequently now. Of course, someone could have told me that 10 years ago about audio books! It isn’t exactly a new idea but nonetheless it has allowed me to get through multiple books in a few months.
With audio books I have listened to The Magic of Thinking Big, The Compound Effect, The One Thing, Your Money or Your Life and am currently listening to the classic 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
You’ll notice I have been focusing on personal development books. I listen to these in the car on my way to work. It is kind of a way to motivate me for the day. At a certain point I switch to podcasts to have a bit more fun.
In the years since I started reading I read portions of the John Adams biography, The House of Morgan (both big books), The Millionaire Teacher, The Automatic Millionaire, The Wealthy Barber and Rich Dad Poor Dad. It takes me forever to get through these books even if they’re short so I am going to try something different.
Read One Book This Month
If you didn’t guess it already (I did say it in the first paragraph), I am going to try to read one book this month. By giving myself a timeframe and saying this publicly it should give me extra motivation to prioritize this.
Also, the local library has a summer reading program that my family has signed up for. If you read for 500 minutes you get a free taco plate from Rubios. If you read for 1000 minutes you get a new book! All you need do is say free and my ears perk up and I love their shrimp tacos!
Additionally, part of signing up was that the library gave us a free book from their used bookstore. I didn’t get anything but I was looking for books that I could resell on eBay or Amazon and make some money. I didn’t see anything that was worth my time though. Oh, how these side hustles have changed me!
Anyways, I think this program could be great for our family each summer. I’d love it if the kids enjoy reading and don’t get negative about it like I did.
So, What Am I Going To Read?
I just picked up the Kindle version of the recent book Dirt Rich. It is about how the author has made a fortune buying and selling raw land. I heard the author, Mark Podolsky, interviewed on the Fire Drill Podcast and was intrigued. It almost seems too good to be true.
Mark is clearly a great salesman but seems sincere. He also lives in Phoenix with an address a mile from me. I’d love to find a way to meet him somehow even if I never pursue buying and selling raw land.
The book is about 200 pages long so I should be able to make it happen. When listening to The One Thing book there was a stat that you are 42% more likely to succeed with a goal when you write it down. It jumps to 78% (off the top of my head so don’t quote me) if you publicly announce it. So, that is why I do these. Nice to hear some stats that back up what we know is true.
Last month’s goal to work on the blog one hour a day went well. It didn’t quite work out to one hour a day but I consider it a success. I have been waking up earlier and working on the blog. You’ll notice that I have been more consistent with my posts. I hope to take that momentum towards more content this summer.
Anyways, that is my focus this month. Side hustles are still happening in the background on Etsy and the blog. You’ll hear more about those in the future.