What I Read and Why

If you keep up with my Instagram you’ve seen, I’ve been cranking through some reading over the past couple weeks. I have also been reading more than I ever have throughout this whole journey I’ve been on and I would like to highlight some of things I read and the direction I intend to take. I will start from the past and move to the present in terms of what I read and why. If you are early in your journey to transform yourself or are looking to get started, you can look at what I’ve read and see what aspect you need to improve on! Many of the books below have links attached to them, I have reviewed some of these books in the past and if you want a quick overview or to get the gist of it feel free to check out the link pertaining to each book.

I read a book on modern long-term stock market investing from a guy I followed on YouTube. His channel is the Financial Education channel and he has some good content. His book however is a little mundane and useless if you’ve already consumed his content. All his book is, is a couple of his YouTube videos all summarized into a book so if you’re already familiar with it’s a waste of money.

The next “book” I read was “The Millionaire Booklet” by Grant Cardone and this was more of a shift in mindset “book”.  It’s very short, very informative and is written with passion, if you need to get fired up and get something that will spark you to change your life, I would suggest this book. You may be able to get it for free and pay shipping they often run promos on this booklet.

From here, I got fired up on all things Grant Cardone, so I read a couple more of his books, the next two being “The 10X Rule” and “Sell or be Sold”. “The 10X Rule” is a productivity and mindset book and will really challenge you to pursue success and to think bigger. “Sell or Be Sold” is sales related, and at the time I confirmed that I was going into a sales position for my summer internship which led to the obvious choice to read the book. Even if you are not going into sales it is something very important to learn for your career and for your life. Everything is a sale, from dating a girl and selling her on you, to getting a raise at your job and selling your boss on your performance.

Next, I went with Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Crush It” and I believe I read the sequel “Crushing it” sometime around there as well but I don’t have a date on that one. As with most things GaryVee is involved with these books revolve around entrepreneurship and circles around social media. If you’re at all interested in becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own business and following your passion these are the books and the guy you should investigate.

I read “Rental Property Empire” since I became interested in real estate and while the book was dry and tough to make it through it had all the information you could ever want to pertain to real estate investing. Same can be said about “How to Create Wealth Investing in Real Estate” by Grant Cardone, though this book was much more manageable and easier to get through.

The next two books I read that’ll get lumped together as a mindset and motivation style books are “Rise and Grind” by Daymond John, and “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. Both change your mindset in terms of what is necessary to achieve financial success and how to work hard as well as motivate you to achieve higher things in life.

The book I would suggest for anyone to read out of all of these on this list would be “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. This book is the holy grail in my opinion. It contains practical advice that is timeless as to how to interact with people daily that will transfer to sales skills, negotiation skills, and conflict resolution skills. I can not recommend this book enough, in fact, the day after our new Recruitment Chair was elected to take the position, I handed him the book and said start reading this will be one of the tools towards your success.

The most recent book I read was “Getting Things Done” by David Allen and while useful in terms of organization and increasing your productivity the book is a little dated in terms of technology since it was written in 2001. If you struggle with productivity or get distracted easily or you’re not organized this book could be your solution. A large part of the book involves clearing your mental RAM, like the passive thoughts in your brain that are saying “don’t forget to do X” or “don’t forget to call Y” things of that nature that suck out the productivity and creativeness that people sometimes lack these days. If you fit in that category this book may also be for you!

Onto the last book that I am in the process of reading now is, “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill and my oh my I believe this one is going to be a banger. Written with inspiration and in close association to Dale Carnegie you know this book is just going to be life changing! I’m only 10% done with it right now but I will for sure give my opinion on it in the future.

Onto what I am looking to read and learn in the future. My full-time job involves sales so that will primarily be my focus going into the summer, I plan to listen to more Hardcore Closer Podcast by Ryan Stewman for all things sales related. I plan to read various books by Zig Ziglar who I hear is another sales prodigy. I have several productivity type books on my shelf, as well as investing and business books. I also plan to purchase a course by MeetKevin on YouTube related to real estate investing and all aspects of that. I also plan to listen to Bigger Pockets again in the future, and purchase some of their material.

You can clearly see that there remains a nearly infinite amount of knowledge out there in the form of books, podcasts, YouTube videos, courses, etc. I suggest that if you are looking to make a change in your life or to level up a certain aspect of your life you start looking into the books, podcasts, videos that pertain to what you are trying to do and go deep into them. If you first need to get some motivation in you, I have suggestions above for that (Eric Thomas is a good guy to YouTube if you need some motivation really quick). If you want to start your own business, I have suggestions above for you. If you want to get into real estate, I have suggestions above as well.

You have a vast amount of knowledge at your fingertips, figure out what you want to do and go after it.

Thanks,

B^2

 

 

Summer Plans Review

On May 1st I wrote a post titled “Summer Plans” today I will review what steps I took to achieve these goals and aspirations and how you can too. First and foremost, to achieve these goals and aspirations you of course have to have these goals and aspirations and not just in your head but somewhere written down where you will see it often. If you follow me on Instagram @bsquared.website you can see I write my goals down in my notes and I post and look at them constantly. If you have good goals that are designed to get you to your end goal you will be in good shape.

  1. I am going to absolutely crush this internship/sales position. I mean crush it! This is the first time in my life that I will get paid on commission meaning every minute I am not working or trying to sell is a wasted minute. That goes beyond the job as well, I also have this blog and an Instagram, and I will continue to expand my social media presence and further build my personal brand.

In terms of Instagram and this blog I build my Instagram presence from 142 posts to 266 currently. I went from 39 blog posts to now 59. I wish I could’ve bumped up the blog post number quite a bit but it’s a process and takes some time. As far as the internship is concerned we will highlight later as I am still collecting checks and making sure everything goes as planned. How did I do this? I kept setting goals to increase these two metrics. Not the best strategy ever but I wanted more content, I will build on this content later and add more value for my viewers, that will be in the goals for the first half of September. 

2. I want to move away from the umbrella of financial security of my parents. They have done a fantastic job providing for me all my life and I feel obligated to lighten their load. I am making it a goal of mine to work harder than ever before to obtain scholarships and other means to provide for my schooling. My parents have also paid for my housing during college and pending the results of my friend meeting with his landlord tomorrow I should be moving out the fraternity house and plan to pay my rent and all necessary living expenses. I also came up with my method to do so. I have talked about Lending Club before on this blog but for those of you who haven’t read about it yet you can reference this post about it “Lending Club Review”.

 I was unsuccessful in obtaining scholarships, I realized I missed the time frame for most scholarships that would cover the 2018-2019 school year. I am living with a roommate and am no longer in the fraternity house. I am still working toward using lending club as my vehicle for funding my rent and utilities. I am currently making about $165/month from this method and I am still funneling money towards it. I mentioned in an IG post that approx. 31% of my portfolio I have not collected payments from because they are so new. This just goes to show that this takes time for it to materialize. Ideally by October we will be near the target and will let the monthly cash flow pay for my rent. How did I do this? I had a problem – paying $350 for rent and utilities a month ( I know some of you wish you had this problem cause Rolla is dirt cheap) . I wanted to find a solution that would make paying this easier and be able to make money while still paying. I was already using the vehicle (Lending Club) and I just had to commit to it. It had to have certain criteria (safe, familiar with it, monthly cash flow, easily withdraw-able etc.) then I put the money into it and I am still putting money into it. 

  1. I have also began looking at investment properties in my college town, with the hopeful influx of money I make this summer this may finally become a reality and I have also explained some of those plans in a previous post linked here.

This is just a little bit out of my reach, with a 20% down payment we are looking at $20,000 or so and I just don’t have that unless I were to liquidate all my funds. I also didn’t make the stock gains and investment gains that I planned to. I am focusing most of my money and energy into other forms of passive income like Lending Club and dividends. This will keep paying me over the school year and keep making money and fund all my activities. How did I do this? I didn’t sometimes you just need to know when to much is too much. I’m all about pushing hard for your goals and what will bring you closer to success but there’s just not enough to go around. 

  1. This will also be the first summer where I will be relatively free while I have been this interested in improving my life for the years to come. On my co-op I did not start investing until very late and then I returned to school and was again very busy with my other obligations. While on my internship I was taking 9 credit hours of summer class which took a very large toll on my time and extracurricular efforts. I lived an endless cycle of work, working out, and then studying and doing homework during the 5-day work week and then my Sunday’s were typically consumed in school work as well. This is another very exciting aspect of this summer that I can hopefully take advantage of.

This did not happen as planned. In theory when you are only door knocking 5 hours a day that doesn’t sound too bad. However, all the time I spent on returning phone calls, text messages, emails, keeping everything updated and documented was sizeable. I didn’t push myself as hard as I should have and I did my fair share of sleeping in and slacking off.  Why do I do this? Because knowledge is power. The more I know the better decisions I can make. The better chance I have of succeeding. 

  1. I intend to learn more than I ever have this summer as well. I have an ambitious reading goal this summer of 10 books which is crazy to think about since I have not read for leisure in years but the value that it has been bring to my life is incredible and I have learned so much already and I can’t wait to learn more. If you have any suggestions I am open to them all but I will most likely need to focus in on something related to what I would like to pursue later in my life, namely entrepreneurship, business, investment property and real estate, and investing.

I did learn quite a bit this summer from my internship, podcasts and books I read. The numbers won’t show it in terms of books I’ve read but I continue to learn and I am putting more effort into that during the school year. Refer to above italic text.

  1. I would like to make a strong effort to help my fraternities recruitment efforts this summer. Due to the new structure of our recruitment and pledgeship process this summer will be the ultimate factor to our future success and I would like to give my time, effort and talent to this endeavor. Not that I haven’t helped in the past, but I see the high importance of this task, but it will also give a chance to develop my new skills.

Unfortunately, I did not put as much effort into this as I should have during the summer and during the fall. I did a lot behind the scenes in terms of creative thinking and problem solving. I also set up events, but I did not really kill it like I did the year before in terms of actual recruiting. I believe this was just me getting older and wanting to have some fun for occasionally. Why did I do this? Because I feel obligated to share my knowledge and experience in this position to help out the current Recruitment Chair. I also think the ROI on the time and effort is well worth it. 

  1. I believe this summer will also allow me to network more than I have in the past and I have given up some of those opportunities for my other obligations in the past. Again, with all that I have learned this school year I believe this will be a key aspect in my ultimate success later in life and the more I can network and connect with the others the more opportunities will present themselves.

I did network when I could with my fellow interns, coworkers, and customers. Again, with my work schedule and other obligations it wasn’t as much as I wanted to. I do have 2 great references for my resume which will be key in my job hunting here to come, my immediate supervisor and my sales manager. Two of the best references I have had so far all created by networking. Why did I do this? Its not what you know its who you know. Ever hear that saying before? While I think what you know is important the message is clear and my references I listed in my resume will help me out dramatically and all the connections I have made will help me in the future. 

We are still pushing hard towards the end of the month. Keep your eyes open for more blog posts, more Instagram posts, more money and hopefully no problems. I’ll keep you guys updated!

As always, I would love to hear all your comments!

B^2