How one book led me to my own a library of knowledge and success
It’s Okay, I didn’t know either.
I remember the first time I was introduced to a way of life that would forever change the way I lived, the way I made money, the way I raised my kids, the way my wife and I would see our marriage and for that matter, the way I saw the world. Call it serendipity, call it luck or call it things happen for a reason but I happen to believe this was in God’s plan for me. I had just started my company and we were working for a customer that was an acquaintance of mine. He was older than me, about my parent’s age, and was quite successful in his businesses. He told me that he was very impressed with my new company but what he was more impressed with was my employees and how I worked with them. He asked me what my secret was to get great employees. I said, “I just find people who are smarter than me and I let them do their thing.” He then said something to me that has now proven to change the dynamics of my entire life, – “You sound like Andrew Carnegie and you might be ready!”
“Ready?” I asked “ready for what?” He then looked at me and said, “You are ready for what is about to make you very successful.” He then recommended a book to me and encouraged me to read it right away. Now, when you are first starting out in a new business, you get lots of business advice mostly from people who have never owned a business or those who have and failed at it. But here was a man who I looked up to and saw as a bit of a mentor of business and he is now giving me some information in an urgent way by highly recommending a book based on the performance of my employees and my self-derived theory of hiring the best. He mentioned the book to me only once and never spoke of it to me again.
The book was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I had never heard of this book and even hearing the name sounded like a get rich quick scheme. To make questioning even stronger was the book had been published in 1937. How was something published in 1937 going to make me super successful in this day of Google, Amazon and social media? But, this man’s opinion and suggestions were very significant to me as a young, new business owner so I purchased the book.
I actually purchased the audiobook version of the book on my iPhone and listened to it rather than reading it. I was very busy in startup and audiobooks were golden (and still are). The book was being brought to audio by a guy named Jamie McIntyre, an Australian millionaire that had used the principles in the book to become very rich. After listening to the book for the first time, you would think that I was going to have that angels singing moment and like the sky was opening up and the heavens were shining down on me but I didn’t, and in fact, I was quite angry. Rather than having amazing excitement and starting the book over and listening to it again, I stopped and reflected on what I had just heard for a few weeks. I was mad, I was frustrated and I was becoming so embittered by the content in this book. I kept thinking with immense anger, “WHY WASN’T THIS GIVEN TO ME EARLIER IN MY LIFE!!!”
Imagine this: Imagine having a pot of gold buried in your back yard all your life but no one ever told you about it. People have been hinting to you that the gold is there and gave you lots of bullshit advice how to find it but then a person outside your circle comes along and tells you there is gold buried in your back yard and also tells you exactly where to dig to find it. You trust and respect this stranger’s advice and you begin digging and… find it! This is how this experience was for me. The gold was there all along and my anger was in that I had struggled for so long with school, college and dead end jobs before finding out that the gold wasn’t, literally buried in my back yard, but rather, buried in my brains!
My anger on this soon subsided because I realize that my parents didn’t know, my teachers didn’t know and I am now becoming comfortable that I too, didn’t know about this gold that was buried in my brains. Today I laugh and think back to the days when I thought that rich and successful people were just lucky and had a good break in life. I remember when I use to think that Tony Robbins was just a guru hustler full of himself, and now I use Tony’s books and podcast as a strategy for my investments and business operations. It’s okay, I didn’t know back then. I remember thinking that Oprah was just another talk show host and I ignored her. Today, the guests on her podcast Super Soul Conversations has brought me more success in one year than I ever imagined possible. It’s okay, I didn’t know back then either. I remember thinking that Joel Osteen was probably no better than Jim and Tammy Baker and was just another TV evangelist getting rich off people’s fears. Today, Joel Osteen is my daily visit into the success side of God and has shown me the bible is the ultimate playbook for super success in business! It’s okay. I didn’t know back then.
The list goes on and on… Chet Holmes, Dale Carnegie, T. Harv Eker, Ayn Rand, Robert Greene, Harvey Mackay, Joshua Cooper Ramo, Ryan Holiday, Tim S. Grover, Rhonda Byrne, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Robert Kiyosaki, Guy Kawasaki, Ray Dalio and Deepak Chopra, all seemed to me to be selling charlatan style snake oils. Today, I bought into them and now, my accounts and investments swell! Even people in far back history, like Plato, Machiavelli, Aristotle and Jesus Christ himself! All of them to me seemed to have antiquated, outdated theories of self-success but today, I study them all. Jesus empowered his apostles to be free thinkers and believers much the way I empower my kids and employees. I use Machiavellian style business strategies for salesmanship and customer relationship building and to study Plato’s theories of the Ideal Plane and Ideal State will draw a contrast between your business, and the laws of the universe and show you a side of making money that is rarely seen!
It’s okay, I didn’t know either back then. My parents and teachers didn’t know and it took and outsider of my circle to show it to me. Understand, the guy that gave me the Think and Grow Rich book didn’t sell me on it and pressure me to read it. He encouraged it by tossing the concept of the book out in front of me and never looked back to see if I had picked up on this opportunity. He has never asked if I read the book or offered to mentor me in any way and we don’t study it together like some book club or even talk about it. He knows I’ve read the book because he’s seen my growth.
I too have tossed this book (and many other books) out in front of people just to see if life’s lottery was going to select them by seeing if they will pick it up. I only do it once and I never speak of it again just as the man that tossed it out in front of me did. I don’t look back to see if they pick it up, because I will know when I see their actions. I will say, very few people I have put the book in front of has ever picked it up and just like this very blog that most people I’m connected with will ignore, are not picking it up.
I’m giving out the lottery numbers in life and all the answers to the test. I only do it once and I never speak of it again because you discovering it on your own with one person pointing you in the right direction is so much more impactful. And so, it will be interesting to see who actually reads this article. I already know who hasn’t read Think and Grow Rich, they are the ones who are the victims, the ones who think life’s not fair and that success is only for the lucky. If you did read this post all the way to the end, don’t comment and say you read this article or even that you’ve read the book, Think and Grow Rich, — Show me you read it through action!!!
Daniel J Bockman