Ben Franklin once said that, “If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him.” He further went on to say that “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” When I discovered this, I decided to experiment it and later found out it was true. When you can solve people’s problems and provide solutions to their needs, you are almost certain to succeed. We spend money on clothes, latest technology gadgets, mobile phones, watching movies, TVs, and all sorts of things, but when it comes to investing in our most valuable asset – ourselves, a lot of people cringe and find excuses why they can’t. The question for you today is how much have you invested in yourself?
I recall graduating from the University as a broke student, not knowing where to go from there. My initial plan was to travel to the United States for a Masters degree, but I was hampered by lack of financial resources. At this point, I had been introduced to reading books and the first 2 books I read were Tough Times Never Last but Tough People Do and The Power of Positive Thinking. I’m sure you know why those two books appealed to me. All through life to that point, I had been through tough times, so I needed to learn what to do to overcome my situation. Secondly, I had learnt from the Bible that the way I think was largely responsible for what my life turned out to be (Proverbs 4:23). I knew if I had to succeed, I had to work on my negative, depressing thought patterns. I bought these as used books from a book stand. These books served as the foundation and building bridges to what my life and career turned out to become over time. I still have not reached my ultimate goal, but I am making progress and have surely evolved.
From reading these books and many others, I have continued to reap results I never imagined was possible over 3 decades ago.
These days, when I talk to younger folks, my advise usually is to focus on what they can control, and for me then, it was developing myself. For example, I had a goal then to read at least one book every month. I started by investing as little as N1,000 ($3) every month and in one year I had read as much as 12 books. Within this period, I had acquired valuable knowledge, developed strong communication and negotiation skills, learnt about different subjects ranging from economics, finance, investment, political science to psychology. I learnt how to prepare winning CVs and cover letters, give an elevator speech, become a better person in several aspects of life and and all these gave me a competitive edge in the marketplace. Needless to say, my little investment in my personal development paid off.
Many times we don’t value information because it cost us nothing to acquire. By spending as little as $3 to buy a book then, I was forced to read it and learn something from it, otherwise, I deemed it a waste of my limited resource. So here is the deal, I challenge you to look for some of these books I have listed below and buy one today. Yes, buy one. Rather than spend money on that burger or airtime for social media, invest it in a book. Here are a few collections I will recommend to get you started.
If you have an account with Amazon, you can find all of them here and for those in Nigeria and other parts of Africa, check them out on Jumia using the links below.
- Think & Grow Rich, Rich Dad & How To Win Friends Bundle – How you think matters a lot in relation to the wealth and success you see in your life. Also learn how the rich think and how can become a person of influence. This 3-in-1 bundle costs N3,950 ($11).
- Principles & Power of Vision – The Bible tells us that people perish for lack of vision. What is vision? Why is it important? How do you develop a vision and create a compelling future? Get this classic book by Myles Munroe’s.
- The Richest Man in Babylon – If you care about financial freedom and haven’t read this book, waste no further time. With N1,000 ($3), you can get it on Jumia.
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Every successful person in all spheres of life, live by certain principles which when followed and applied will almost certainly guarantee success. The author has condensed these eternal principles into 7. With N1,800 ($5) get a copy, read and apply same in your life.
- As a Man Thinketh – Sold for about N1,350 ($4), you will learn that behind every action there l is a thought. With your thoughts you can create a new and exciting future for yourself. This book will challenge you to think in a radically different way.
- The Power of Positive Thinking – Similar to the above, the author also adds the dimension of faith, positive focus and expectancy. What you focus on in your life will expand. This book will challenge you to begin to look at your life from a whole new positive dimension and it’s sold for N1,600 ($4.5) only.
- Awaken The Giant Within – This is highly recommend if you to know how to take control of your mental, emotional and financial destiny. You can get the book for N2,000 ($6).
- Multiple Streams of Income – How to Generate a Lifetime of Unlimited Wealth – I bought a copy for N1,600. I am currently reading this book and wished I did covered it earlier. It’s good for anyone looking to diversify their income streams. It gives you ideas on several ways to make residual income.