I just finished reading Julie Clow’s new book ‘The Work Revolution.’ Like the title implies, it has a range of ideas that can revolutionize the way an organization treats its employees and how employees look at work.
Personal Profitability Book Club
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down to read Hill Harper’s new book, “The Wealth Cure.” The wealth cure takes an interesting look at personal finance compared to many of its counterparts. Rather than have an old rich guy tell you that paying your credit cards on time and skipping Starbucks will make you rich, Harper focuses on the more personal side of personal finance.
From the beginning of the book, Harper’s message is clear. Money is an important tool to live our lives. It can bring us possessions and experiences that will make us happy, but it is not something that can make us happy on its own.
The book is laid out to treat your money habit as a disease. It leads you through a journey of discovering how money impacts your life and how you can change your outlook. You go from diagnosing and treating your money problems to thriving from a focus on wealth and greater goals in life.
I was personally touched by the first story in the book where Hill discusses the money spent on a night out in Hollywood. As a frequenter of Denver’s night life, I know how easy it is to get wrapped up in the moment and spend far too much money without blinking. It is not until a few days later when the night shows up on your credit card that you realize how much you spent and what you got from the experience.
This book is not for someone looking for a cookie cutter method to get your finances on track. As Harper mentions in the forward, there are many books already like that. If you want to automate or change your financial structure, find another book. The book does have a dose of real finance, but it is not the primary focus.
This book is written for someone who wants to take a deeper look at the psychology of wealth and the impact money has on your life. It will help you discover whether your spending habits are healthy and whether they make you happy. It will help you consider what you do with your money and what value your finances bring to your life.
What I Liked:
I like the short chapters which each bring an interesting perspective on a financial issue in a narrative that is both touching and personal. In almost every story, I was able to relate the message to either my life or someone I know.
I like the overall message, which is a fresh change from the Dave Ramsey and David Bach self-help messages. While those are great authors as well, it is nice to have this type of variety in personal finance writing.
What I Didn’t Like:
At some points, the book does seem a bit preachy. Everyone is going to have a different background and financial situation. Some people might feel judged by Harper for how he judges other people’s spending and lifestyle habits.
I think this is a great book. It is a quick read that will make you think about how your financial system is working for you. I think that the best books are ones that inspire real reflection and action, and this book brings both to the table.
You can purchase Hill Harper’s book, “The Wealth Cure,” at any major book seller. I was provided a free copy of the book for review.
This week, I read two books from the “Skinny On” series by Jim Randel. “The Skinny On Credit Cards” and “The Skinny On Networking” were quick, enjoyable books with an interesting twist compared to the average finance and how-to books you will read today.
As Randel explains early on in “The Skinny on Credit Cards,” the books are written in the form of Japanese “Manga,” or graphic novels. The book is essentially a giant, educational comic book. It is full of useful information and facts that can help you learn how credit cards work. However, they are full of stick figures, diagrams, and jokes that make the content less dull.
Both books give a great overview of the topics. While I appreciated the focus of the credit card book over the more general book on networking, both have something to teach you. I was able to get through the entire credit card book in four train rides (about two hours).
I recommend this series to people who are sick of the “for dummies” books out there today. If you know nothing about credit, you can become very knowledgeable in two hours. I am sure the same holds true to the entire series.
If you are already an expert on a topic and you want a more detailed view, this is probably not the best way for you to get more detail. If you are an expert looking to teach about a topic, this could be a good guide, however, for what people need to know.
The Skinny On books are available at all major bookstores and online. You can learn more at the official website of The Skinny On.
[Disclaimer: I was given free review copies of multiple Skinny On books]
I just finished reading The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
The book is written in a logical progression giving steps to eliminate needless work, make what you are doing as efficient as possible, start your own super efficient business, eliminate your need for going to work, and finally leaving the 9-5 world. The ultimate goal presented by Tim is to have the freedom to travel or spend time with friends and family.
According to the book, there are a few tricks to making this whole system work. Making your life more efficient and eliminating time wasters is possible by eliminating voice mail, focusing on e-mail, and letting people deal with small problems themselves. Bring in an Indian virtual assistant and your life is on autopilot. Before this book, I had never considered personal outsourcing.
From there, the book suggests finding a “muse” product that you can sell for a nice markup. I have one in mind and have already had a couple of bids from Chinese companies. From there, it is possible to setup automated sales, distribution, and customer service that will ultimately take only 4 hours a week to maintain. The money just flows into your bank account.
What I Liked: I like the idea of the 4 hour workweek, but who wouldn't? It seems like a great life plan. Eliminate the crap and focus on what is important. Use the 80/20 rule, or The Pareto Principle, to ensure you are only focusing on what is important and yields results. And, for what is left, hire an Indian for $8 an hour to deal with, freeing you to do whatever you want on a decent income.
What I Didn't Like: I had a bit of a feeling the entire way through that they guy is full of it. How easy can it really be to start a company that requires almost no time and effort? How well can someone in India really help me with my life that it is worth $5-$10 per hour for something that I can do myself? It is possible to really do what the book says, but it is important to bring yourself down from the cloud the book puts you on. Remember, if you follow the book, to make calculated decisions. Don't throw everything away on a whim.
Overall:I like the book. I think it is a fun idea and I am giving it a go. Make sure you keep up on the blog to read about my progress. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to try a fun project to make a bit of extra cash. If it goes well, who knows, you might get rich on the way to a 4 hour workweek. That, according to the book, makes you part of the NR, the “new rich.”
If you decide to buy the book, please do so using my Amazon link
Ramit Sethi is a fun and interesting character. I had the chance to meet him a few months back on his book tour and just got around to finishing the book. Ramit genuinely cares about helping his readers be as lazy and financially stable as possible. If you think that is an oxymoron, you should probably read the book.
Ramit's book, which is billed as “No Guilt, No Excuses, No BS. Just a 6 Week Program That Works,” gives readers a well defined six week plan to get your finances in order. The book is pretty much the Automatic Millionaire by David Bach for 20-30 year olds.
Unlike Automatic Millionaire, Ramit does not talk about saving money by skipping runs to Starbucks. Ramit actually wants you to spend money on Starbucks, but do it knowingly and willingly with consideration of what you give up. Ramit's plan is to save first and spend the rest on whatever you want later.
Ramit's six week plan gives you a week for each of the following topics:
- Credit Cards
- Bank Accounts
- Investing Accounts
- Conscious Spending
- Automatic Money Flows
- Investing Choices
There is nothing ground breaking about this book (or any other personal finance book for that matter). Most of it is common sense stuff that you already know. However, if this book is what motivates you to do it, it is a great investment for your bookshelf.
What I Liked:
I like the style and content of Ramit's book. If you read his blog of the same name, you already have a good idea of what you are getting into. You will get some corny jokes, some fun ideas, and a no bull attitude. Ramit makes it clear that your finances are under your control and you just need to take the steps to get going. If you want the easy way to deal with your investments without thinking, follow Ramit's plan to the letter.
What I Didn't Like:
Several times in the book, Ramit blatantly says that finance experts are full of crap. I take exception to that. I am a finance expert. I have the degree (almost two) to prove it. Other than his personal attacks on what I am going to school for, I thought it was a good read.
If you decide to buy the book, please do so through my affiliate link for Amazon.com to help me cover the costs of running the site.
The book is easy to read through quickly. It is designed in a way that helps you to drill in on what you care about and skip the parts that you don't. I, for example, read the section of 21 beer tips word for word. I skipped over the wedding section, as that part doesn't really matter to me.
The book has great tips that can help you in the kitchen, planning do it yourself projects, traveling, choosing a bank, and other tips that you can really use in your everyday life.
What I Liked: The quick read format that helped me learn what I cared about quickly. I did not have to spend hours and hours reading through irrelevant tips. Many of the tips were helpful and I will take to heart. I tried cooking for a week (not up to the 30 days in the book), and it was a handy time saving tip. I also liked the ideas about creating your own on-the-go snack packs.
What I Didn't Like: Like many personal finance books and websites, there were some tips that are a little too frugal for my liking. I am never going to turn my heat down below 67 in the winter. I am going to head to the salon and pay for a haircut that makes me happy. I am going to spend money in life. Many of the tips were great to help me save without a big quality of life change, but I am not going to go crazy. That is not what I am about, I would rather live happy than super frugal.
Overall: The book is definitely worth a read. Now that I have read through it, I think I am going to keep it as a reference book for organizing and saving money around the house. I am a 24 year old guy, I can always use help in the kitchen. I hope to be handy around the house when I buy a home, and this book can help with that too. If you don't end up buying it, be sure to at least check out the website, WiseBread.com, for free tips of frugality and personal finance.
If you do decide to buy the book, please do so through the link on this page. A small portion of your cost goes back to help offset the costs of maintaining this blog.
10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget