What is on your coffee table or nightstand? Or even on your Kindle or RSS feed? Go ahead. Take a look.
Is it InStyle or Money magazine? A Nicholas Sparks novel or Thomas Stanley's The Millionaire Next Door?
Tom Corley, author of the bestseller Rich Habits – The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, found that reading was a significant habit that distinguishes the rich from the poor. According to his research:
- 85% of the wealthy read two or more educational books every month vs. 15% of the poor.
- 88% of the wealthy read thirty minutes or more each day vs. 2% of the poor.
I'd like to submit to you that what you read shapes your thought patterns, which then shape your habits. I don't think that's too hard to buy, do you? Can you imagine Warren Buffet reading People magazine?
So if you are only reading content that encourages conspicuous consumption, such as fashion or home decor magazines, you will think about the latest trends, create closets like mine used to be, decorate and redecorate your home. If you are only reading books that serve to provide more emotional than mental stimulation, you aren't exercising your mind and learning more about your field, how to be successful, or how to manage money.
Do you want to become financially independent? If you want to get out of the rat race and change the race you are on to be one where you have a world of choices available to you, then you need to read about the skills you need to become financially independent. This doesn't mean you can't indulge in the latest James Patterson novel, but you should make enough room in your reading life to learn from those who have achieved similar goals.
I read several financial independence blogs on a regular basis, and recommend a few personal finance books to everyone.
Business Insider also has it's own list of financial books for young people to read
Are these the only materials I read? Certainly not. I subscribe to the Harvard Business Review's Manager Tip of the Day, read The Atlantic daily, read national and local news websites daily, subscribe to Texas Monthly, and always pick up a copy of Bloomberg Businessweek when I'm at the gym. And I also read Southern Living and Apartment Therapy.
So what is on your coffee table?