Investment & Business
One of the best things about being in real estate is the continuous learning curve. Luckily our REIA has the smartest and most successful professionals and here is where we share what’s on their bookshelves. Some are classics, some are new, some are entertaining, all are thought provoking and ranging from basic to advanced to help make us better investors. We hope you enjoy them as much as we have and still do.
Readers are Leaders. I honestly believe, books lead to money because you can implement great ideas found in books and see results in your bank account. This applies to both your businesses finances and your personal finances. Check out my dog-eared & highlighted favorites.
How to Win Friends and Influence People
By Dale Carnegie. With this book you can go after your dreams, the career you want, financial freedom … and get it. You can start from where you are now…and improve it. You can take any situation you’re in…and make it work for you. Learn techniques for handling people and how to have people like you, instructions about how to win people to our own thinking and how to be a leader by changing people without offending them or causing resentment. Broken into principles that are easily read and easy to follow.
The Richest Man in Bablyon by George S. Clason
The results of the survey indicated that many real estate agents are NOT currently saving for retirement. The best book I’ve read on saving money on a consistent basis is probably The Richest Man in Bablyon. It’s an older book with millions of copies sold and well worth your time. If you haven’t read this book and are not currently saving any money, this should probably be the first book you read. It’s entertaining and fun to read. And more importantly, you can probably read over a weekend.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
By Dr Stephen R Covey. My hands-down favorite book in the list is. It was a landmark book in personal development and a deserved international best seller. The habits are something I have been working on myself for a period of about fifteen years now and I also teach them to others in my management workshops.
Full of practical strategies to shift your thinking by taking an emotional inventory of your life and what you’re doing and feeling. Dr Covey shows you how to be a pro-active person who lives in harmony with others.
Your Money or Your Life
A fantastic book written by Joe Dominques and Vicki Robin dramatically changed the way I view money. The premise of the book surrounds a scenario we all face each day. One night you’re out walking and a bad guy comes up to you and points a gun at your chest. He says, “Give me your money, or I’ll take your life.” What would you do? You would give the bad guy your wallet without a second thought, right? Well, we do the exact opposite in our day-to-day lives. We trade our lives away each day to make money. I learned how critical it is to keep your living expenses at low levels so we don’t have to trade our lives for money. This book should be easy to find on Amazon or other large book stores. I believe it has been recently updated, but I haven’t read the new version.
Who Took My Money?
Robert Kiyosaki has written several great books about money, cash flow and wealth. One of my favorites, that I rarely ever talk about, is his book “Who Took My Money – Why Slow Investors Lose and Fast Money Wins!” In this book, I learned about the velocity of money and have been using this strategy with my investments each year since reading about it. You’ll also find some great ideas on how to improve your business within the book, but you’ll have to dig a little to uncover the gems!
Guide to Investing in Gold & Silver
By Michael Maloney for the Rich Dad book series. One of our REIA members sent an email suggesting we read this book. In the email he wrote, “If you don’t make time to read this book this week, I’m going to drive down to your house and read it to you.” The member lives in Toronto. And as to be expected, his email got my attention. I really value his and his reading recommendations. The same day I received his email, I went to the store and bought the book. I read the book non-stop and I’m so very thankful for his recommendation.
I’ve recommended this book to others on many occasions and only hope that you take time to read it yourself. A word of warning, it will probably scare you a little. This is ok, as long as you take action. There are some ugly things going on in the US economy and other economies that can suck wealth right out of your bank account. I’m not kidding. It’s happening already. This book will help you understand money on a higher level.
Transforming Debt to Wealth: A Proven System for REAL Financial Independence
By John Cummata. If you’re struggling with too much debt, you might want to get your hands on the Debt to Wealth audio program. In the program, John details how you can eliminate all of your debt (including your mortgage) in 5 to 7 years. His plan works and it’s not just marketing hype. As I’ve learned over the years, debt is nasty and can cost us a significant amount of money, stress and loss of wealth. When I ordered this program several years ago, I also received a software DebtFree CD that was really helpful. You can plug in all of your debts and run different scenarios to see what’s the fastest way to pay them off. Credit card debt interest rates have risen dramatically over the last year or so and it’s critical to eliminate this debt as fast as possible.
Generate Thousands in Cash on your Stocks Before Buying or Selling Them
By Dr. Samir Elias. If you’re into the stock market, you might want to read this book. It’s fairly technical, but jam packed with strategies for generating income from your stocks. This includes selling options on the stocks you own. I’ve used the strategies in the book profitably on numerous occasions. In addition, I’ve used the idea of selling options in real estate to increase the income from rental properties. However, as with every investing strategy, there IS risk. Don’t invest money you can’t afford to lose. Warning: this book is on the pricey side, but well worth the investment. Maybe you can pick up a used copy and save some money! I don’t think you’ll find it at the library!
Failure is Obsolete
If you’re an investor you understand how important “testing” is in business. The book “Failure is Obsolete – The Ultimate Strategy to Create Recurring Success in Your Business and in Your Life” by multiple businesses owner Benji Rabhan.
The premise of the book is to TEST before making any significant decisions in your business. The author suggests that we should consider using this approach in all ares of our lives and I have to agree. From the book…
“Testing is all about gathering data involving actual behavior in the most low-risk, low-cost way possible. So you can pre-prove that your idea has legs without going through the time and expense of carrying out the entire idea to see if it’s successful.”
When you TEST before you make any significant changes, you can save yourself a great deal of time and a hell of a lot of money. A great real life example of why you should TEST before you make significant decisions might be JC Penny. I’m sure you’ve heard that JC Penny hired Ron Johnson from Apple and decided to completely change their marketing approach. Basically, they decided to eliminate all promotions and discounts. They quickly rolled these changes out to all of their stores with hopes to improve their revenues and market share.
Since this change, JC Penny has lost $4.3 billion in revenue when compared to the year prior to the change. They are now in the process of unwinding these changes and going back to their previous model of offering discounts, promotions and coupons. Had the experts at JC Penny invested $8.00 in this little book, they might have saved themselves from this significant loss. I’m not kidding. The reason why is because they could have designed a simple test to see how this new strategy worked before rolling it out to all of their stores. In other words, they could have pre-proved this approach BEFORE moving forward.
A few weeks ago, I was watching Shark Tank with my family. One entrepreneur pitched the Sharks on investing into his new Teddy Bear business. Apparently, he had spent $400,000 designing a Teddy Bear that you could record personal voice messages on remotely. The idea was traveling parents or family members could record personal messages for their children and grandchildren. The Sharks asked him what price he needed to sell the Teddy Bears at to make his projected profits. Thankfully, he knew this answer – $60 a bear! Their next question was…”How many Teddy Bears have you sold at this price point?” His answer was 0. He had sold some Teddy Bears through Groupon at a discounted price, but none at their full retail price of $60. In other words, this guy invested $400,000 on this idea without having any idea if it would work. More than likely, this idea is not going to work and this poor fella is out big time.
Are you contemplating any significant changes in your business or personal life? If so, is there a way you can test these changes before moving forward? I’ll bet you can and you’ll see a few ideas in’ Benji’s book. I used one of the ideas in this book to test a new training program I was going to launch. In the past, I would have spent weeks creating all of the training materials. Once these materials were complete, I would then go to work marketing the new program hoping it would sell at a level to justify the time investment.
Instead, I marketed the training program on a limited basis as a simple test to see if it would sell first. This little test showed very quickly that the new training program would not sell at the level needed to move forward. My test pre-proved this idea was not a winner and I was able to cross the entire project off of my schedule. I saved well over 100 hours of my time, which is a significant savings.
In this book, you’ll see little ways to test just about everything. You can see how to test new marketing ideas, prospective new employees, web pages, lead generation advertisements, marketing funnels, and more. In fact, he even writes about why we should “test” renting a home before we buy it. You might consider “testing” a marketing campaign around this idea in your business!