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Warren Buffet’s Single Piece of Wisdom

A bigg salute to Josh Whitford, who writes the Unconventional Marketing blog, for inspiring today’s post.

Josh read the The 4-Hour Workweek, written by Tim Ferriss, and decided to accept the challenge to contact a famous person. Josh chose Warren Buffett.


He wrote a letter to Buffett asking him for “his single piece of wisdom” and sent it along with a self-addressed, stamped postcard. To Josh’s surprise, the Oracle of Omaha responded a couple of weeks later. Buffett simply said,

“Read, read, read.”

A typical Buffett answer – short and to the point!

It’s interesting advice because a poll by the Associated Press – Ipsos showed that one in four Americans hasn’t read a single book in the last year. At least, that’s how the news reported it – we look at that and see that three out of four Americans did read a book last year!

In fact, the last Gallup poll that we saw on this subject showed that over half of all Americans have read more than 5 books in the last year!

Read, read, read … for the sake of your career (and finances)

We hear about the “haves” and the “have nots”. A study by the National Endowment for the Arts [pdf] showed the impact of reading on a person’s well-being – reading less leads to lower reading proficiency which leads to fewer (and lower quality) career opportunities.

For example, according to the study, “Proficient Readers” are 2.5 times more likely than “Basic Readers” to earn at least $850 each week. This study also showed that 44% of Basic Readers lack a full- or part-time job, two times the percentage of Proficient Readers.

So, Warren Buffett said it well … read, read, read.

Read, read, read … to expand your imagination

"When I was young … okay I’d like to think I’m still young … so when I was younger, I used to just read non-fiction, and specifically books on business and investing. Then I took a literature class with a phenomenal professor – a short-story class. It made me use my imagination in a way I didn’t do when I just read books that I thought were more practical."

And as Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than intelligence.”

What’s nice about reading, rather than watching, is that you are the director. You create a vision of the story – the characters, the setting. 

 

"Just think about how many times you’ve read a book that gets turned into a movie. So you get all excited and go see the movie … and it’s not as good as the book! For me, a great example is Stephen King’s book, It. I scared myself more reading that book than watching the movie!"

It’s much more interactive mentally and the skills carry over to your professional life. 

A simple commitment to reading that’s worked better than a college degree
We have a friend who worked his way up in a small business. In fact, he ended up buying the business from the owner. After he bought it, he wished he would have gotten a college degree. But he didn’t have the time – he had a business to run!

So he made a commitment to himself – to read one business book every week. He reads the best sellers and he talks to friends for recommendations. He has that done for years now. He knows more about business than just about anybody we know.

Do-it-yourself knowledge … that’s what Warren Buffett is talking about.

What are you reading? 

Related posts

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Read a Business Book Every Week

(Image by lusi)

Warren Buffet's Single Piece of Wisdom

A bigg salute to Josh Whitford, who writes the Unconventional Marketing blog, for inspiring today’s post.

Josh read the The 4-Hour Workweek, written by Tim Ferriss, and decided to accept the challenge to contact a famous person. Josh chose Warren Buffett.


He wrote a letter to Buffett asking him for “his single piece of wisdom” and sent it along with a self-addressed, stamped postcard. To Josh’s surprise, the Oracle of Omaha responded a couple of weeks later. Buffett simply said,

“Read, read, read.”

A typical Buffett answer – short and to the point!

It’s interesting advice because a poll by the Associated Press – Ipsos showed that one in four Americans hasn’t read a single book in the last year. At least, that’s how the news reported it – we look at that and see that three out of four Americans did read a book last year!

In fact, the last Gallup poll that we saw on this subject showed that over half of all Americans have read more than 5 books in the last year!

Read, read, read … for the sake of your career (and finances)

We hear about the “haves” and the “have nots”. A study by the National Endowment for the Arts [pdf] showed the impact of reading on a person’s well-being – reading less leads to lower reading proficiency which leads to fewer (and lower quality) career opportunities.

For example, according to the study, “Proficient Readers” are 2.5 times more likely than “Basic Readers” to earn at least $850 each week. This study also showed that 44% of Basic Readers lack a full- or part-time job, two times the percentage of Proficient Readers.

So, Warren Buffett said it well … read, read, read.

Read, read, read … to expand your imagination

"When I was young … okay I’d like to think I’m still young … so when I was younger, I used to just read non-fiction, and specifically books on business and investing. Then I took a literature class with a phenomenal professor – a short-story class. It made me use my imagination in a way I didn’t do when I just read books that I thought were more practical."

And as Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than intelligence.”

What’s nice about reading, rather than watching, is that you are the director. You create a vision of the story – the characters, the setting. 

 

"Just think about how many times you’ve read a book that gets turned into a movie. So you get all excited and go see the movie … and it’s not as good as the book! For me, a great example is Stephen King’s book, It. I scared myself more reading that book than watching the movie!"

It’s much more interactive mentally and the skills carry over to your professional life. 

A simple commitment to reading that’s worked better than a college degree
We have a friend who worked his way up in a small business. In fact, he ended up buying the business from the owner. After he bought it, he wished he would have gotten a college degree. But he didn’t have the time – he had a business to run!

So he made a commitment to himself – to read one business book every week. He reads the best sellers and he talks to friends for recommendations. He has that done for years now. He knows more about business than just about anybody we know.

Do-it-yourself knowledge … that’s what Warren Buffett is talking about.

What are you reading? 

Related posts

The Fastest Way to Learn (Re-learn)

Read a Business Book Every Week

(Image by lusi)

Am I Cut Out to Own My Own Business?

Bigg Challenge
Kendra started a business six months ago. It’s exciting, but also extremely successful. At times, she really misses the regular salary her old job provided. Lately, she’s even been looking at job openings and she’s seen some great opportunities. Sometimes, she really regrets that she gave up her corporate job. Her question for us: “Is she just not cut out for owning her own business?”

Bigg Advice
Ultimately, Kendra, only you can decide if you’re cut out for it. However, we’ll offer some guidance on getting through this.

Stop tormenting yourself with the job openings.
If you reach the point, where you’re truly giving up on your business, THEN and only then should you start looking for a job. Some people might say that it’s a good thing for you to keep her options open.

They’re wrong!

Once you make a decision like this, you can’t constantly look at what might have happened if you did something else or what could happen if you completely change direction.

You have to commit to what you started out to do. If you don’t, you WILL fail. 

Develop your own internal process to stop the second-guessing.
This is closely related to the point above, but it is such an essential skill for entrepreneurs that we thought it needed to be separated.

As a business owner, there will be days when you’re on the top of the mountain and there will be days when you’re stuck in the valley. And there are few days in between!

When you’re stuck in the valley, your internal voice is one of the things that will help you get back to the top of the mountain. However, understand that as a business owner, you’ll be back in the valley again before long. It’s just part of the process. 

That’s why it’s so important to develop an inner voice that encourages you, rather than creating more doubt.

Develop a support network.
Friends are great, but you need to regularly converse with fellow business owners. Anyone and everyone who owns their own business will completely understand what you’re going through. They’ll give you that boost when you need it. And that includes us!

Thanks, Kendra. We wish you bigg success!

Keep yourself fired up by tuning into The Bigg Success Show!
Get a lesson and a laugh in five minutes or so!

Our bigg quote today is a good one, but isn’t attributed to anyone.

“Any belief worth having must survive doubt.”

If you stick to your beliefs, there’s little doubt that you’ll win.

Next time, we ask, “Who’s in control – you or your Blackberry?” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes.

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I Changed My Mind – How Can I Back Out of a Commitment?

Bigg Challenge
We received an e-mail from Joe who recently agreed to serve on a committee of a local non-profit organization. He’s discovered that it’s a bigger commitment than he thought. So he wants to know what he should do to get out of it.

Bigg Advice
You obviously had good intentions, Joe. Sometimes our circumstances change – health issues, new responsibilities, extra care for loved ones, or any number of things. Since there’s no mention of that in your e-mail, we’ll assume that it’s not the case here.

5 options to reduce your responsibility to this commitment

#1 – Quit
This is the most cut-and-dry way to do it. However, keep in mind that it may damage your reputation. That’s why we don’t think it’s a very good option.

#2 – Fulfill your commitment

We think your best option is to suck it up and honor your commitment. Then don’t recommit at the end of your term. You’ll deliver on your promise. Your reputation will remain intact. Learn from this experience so you don’t repeat it.

#3 – Find someone to replace you
We think this is your next best option. If you know someone who is interested in the organization, talk to them to see if you can recruit them to take your place. You’ll leave with your reputation intact because you didn’t leave the group hanging.

#4 – Find someone who can help you
Can someone assist you? For example, perhaps they could make phone calls or send e-mails for you. Delegate some of the work so the commitment is more in line with what you thought.

#5 – Can you be reassigned?
Talk to chair person of the committee. Maybe you can “trade duties” with someone else on the committee who is looking for more responsibility. If your circumstances have changed, the chair person will probably be happy to help.

We’ve been in this situation ourselves, Joe. The bottom line is that you should try to minimize the damage to yourself and the organization.

2 tips to keep this situation from repeating itself

#1 – Don’t commit on the spot

Many people are very flattered when they are recruited to serve. They often say “yes” on the spot, without really giving it much thought.

To keep this from happening again – commit to never committing on the spot!

The U.S. government has laws to protect consumers – you get 72 hours to reconsider a purchase. That’s a good rule when someone asks you to give your time …

Give it a day or three!

Thank them for considering you but tell them you’ll need to think about it for a few days.

#2 – When you say “yes” to anything, you’re saying “no” to something.

A lot of people don’t think about this. As you’re considering giving your time for a new cause, think about what you’ll have to give up because we all only have 24 hours in a day!

What's your bigg challenge? E-mail us: bigginfo@biggsuccess.com
Or, click on our Comment link below

Our bigg quote today is by Tony Robbins, who said,

“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.”

Once you say, “Yes, I’ll do it” … the best thing to focus on is how to get it done.

Next time, we’ll talk about how to reclaim your weekend. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Is It Lonely at the Top of Your Own Business?

By Bigg Success Staff
07-29-08

Bigg Success in Business

at_the_topIf you believe the statistics, an overwhelming majority of people dream of owning their own business. For many, it’s because they have a romantic view of working for themselves. Owning your own business means answering to no one. You’re the man (or woman)!

But that’s the problem for many … being THE one. It really can be very lonely at the top.

Staying on course may mean changing the course!

You’ll hear all kinds of opinions about your business and your plans. You have to develop an intestinal fortitude like never before. You need to have the courage of your convictions, to press on even when others tell you that you’re crazy.

At the same time, you have to learn when it’s time to change your strategy based on new evidence. To abandon what you thought was the right course for some new direction.

Many entrepreneurs succeed in a business they didn’t start!

They adapt. As they gain new market information, they respond to their customer’s needs and wind up in a completely different business.

But there’s another pitfall. Does the opportunity align with your passion? There’s a reason you started a business in the first place. If the required strategy takes you into an area in which you have no interest, you might be better off with a regular job.

Are you ready to go out on your own?

If this discussion dissuades you from going out on your own … good! It’s better to learn now than after you’ve invested time, money, and emotions in a new venture. Starting a business is tough for everyone, but it’s much harder on anyone who’s not fully committed to it.

On the other hand, if it excites you even more, you may be ready to start your own business. So it’s time to take the important first steps.

The first most important step is …

… get started. A lot of people TALK about starting their own firm, but that’s as far as it goes. Nothing will ever happen unless you get started. Even if getting started means doing more research, then get going!

The second most important step is …

… get a support network. This includes your professional advisors. However, you also need people who have lived what you are going through – fellow entrepreneurs, mentors, coaches. They will help you when the load seems unbearable and keep pushing you when things are going well. 

The next most important step is …

… your next step! Every day in an entrepreneur’s life is a challenge with all the noise. You have to filter through it all to do what’s most important to move your business one more step ahead.

Focusing all your energy every day on what’s most important doesn’t guarantee success. However, it does make the odds a little bit better. 

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

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