This is just rambling, ignore this post unless you are procrastinating!
I have read over 60 business books. I know this because I wrote out a big list of them. I've also downloaded a whole bunch of "audio books" on the subject which I have listened to over the last 5 years or so.
I have learnt a lot from these books and only regret reading a few of them. Even the bad ones often have one or two good messages in them that help out.
Probably the best thing about reading so many books on the same subject is that you start to notice patterns and common messages that all the books share. Over time you get to know the principles and the different way each author is trying to express them.
The good thing about this is that you're able to pick out the true meaning of the book and ignore the bull****, but the bad thing is you have the tendency to say "oh I know this already" and forget that it is a common theme because it is important.
I am concerned though. One of the first books I read was called "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki. And while I realise now that this book lacked any real practical substance the paradigm shift it gave me was definitely a catalyst for my thirst for knowledge in this genre.
But the other day I read something interesting about Robert Kiyosaki. When he published "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" he was virtually bankrupt. Yes he had started businesses in the past but ultimately he became rich because of the very book he was writing about how to get rich.
Fair Enough. So today I was reading through the biography of Bradley J. Sugars the author of two books I have just read, "Instant Cashflow" and some other one, I forget the title. Anyway he started a bunch of businesses and was "rich" by age 22, then he "lost it all" before he got his **** together and started Action International which, guess what, publishes business motivational books, seminars, audio tapes etc.
So Brad Sugars got rich by writing about getting rich too?
Its scary that nearly every author I can think of in this topic has done virtually the same thing - they get rich by telling other people how to get rich, when in actual fact they haven't "practiced what they preach".
This is something I feel strongly about, I try to never take advice from people who haven't "been there, done that". And people love to give unfounded advice, especially when you are doing something that scares them.
So now I think - has all the advice I've been taking from all these books over the last 5 years a whole bunch of bullcrap they made up to get rich? Surely it can't be because I have seen positive results from applying the principles in my own life.
But lets consider the facts:
1) The principles I have taken on board and applied in my own life are solid.
2) These principles appear as a common theme between all the books, audio tapes, etc.
3) The people who write about these principles (not all of them mind you, I'm talking say 70% of the books I've read) have not actually used these principles to get rich, but have used these principles to get rich through writing about these principles (hahaha).
Therefore my conclusion is that the information has been sourced elsewhere. I bet you I could write a book on the same subject based on everything I've read. I'm not sure if I could sell it can get rich, if I was sure I would do it.
I'll continue writing about this tomorrow, I can think of examples of older books I've read where these principles may have come from The Richest Man in Babylon, Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography, Think and Grow Rich, How to Win Friends and Influence People, etc. And I wonder how much of the things I read in contemporary books is just clever re-hashes of principles that have existed for decades or centuries.
Well of course they are, everything is. I guess I have just been too stupid to realise it until now.
I just can't stand unfounded advice - but aha! this advice isn't unfounded persay, it does have a verifiable source! Its just that these guys haven't done it themselves (at least at the time of writing the books anyway) and that is just as bad in my opinion!