Thursday, May 19, 2011

Book Review: Today We Are Rich by Tim Sanders

I didn’t plan to read this book. Dave Ramsey and some other people I listen to were giving it good reviews. Dave Ramsey even had the author on. Then the book came up as a Kindle freebie, so I took it.
The premise of the book is this: Tim’s grandmother, Billye (I’m unsure exactly how to pronounce it; should have listened better to the Dave Ramsey interview) raised him. Billye went through plenty of hard times in her life. She’s been alternately wealthy and totally ruined financially several times. At the time Tim came to live with her, she was about the bottom of the second slump. The title, “Today We Are Rich”, comes from something his grandmother often said.
I’ll say this, motivational and self-help books are, as the cliché goes, a dime a dozen. There are tons of them, and I rarely get excited at the prospect of another one. I’m ashamed to mention that in the second chapter, I started to think this book was going to be little more than another commentary on Napoleon Hill with Grandma’s southern wisdom through in.
In a sense this book is, but it’s well done. The book has a plot and subplot running through it. The subplot is about a friend of Tim’s who started his career well, but things went flat. He stopped exercising, stopped reading anything but negative business news, and his performance and the motivation of his team were in the toilet. Tim then picks up with the story of his plateau. He started out well, but in college had a tragic event occur, and went into a slump for a decade and a half. Although his grandmother raised him on Napoleon Hill and other success writers, he spent that time in a funk barely getting by and not believing in himself, until jarred out of it by a memory while visiting his grandmother.
The book then goes one by one through the seven principles his grandmother raised him by. Each is accompanied by at least one story from Tim’s upbringing and stories from acquaintances of Tim’s. The story of his friend also progresses through the seven principles. They are:
  1. Feed Your Mind Good Stuff- Many of us tend to “graze” on news, blog feeds, emails, etc and never really dig deep into good stuff. Good stuff can be defined as The Bible, motivational literature, or anything that can help you keep your perspective positive.
  2. Move The Conversation Forward- take what you can from bad news to make things better. Not all bad news is truly bad news.
  3. Exercise Your Gratitude Muscle- Gratitude is powerful. It helps you keep your perspective.
  4. Give To Be Rich- Giving makes you feel better and helps you appreciate what you have.
  5. Prepare Your Self- Preparation is vital to success. Prepare for bad as well as good. For instance, when preparing for a speech or performance, practice dealing with interruptions and objections. Things won’t always go smoothly.
  6. Balance Your Confidence- Have confidence not only in yourself, but also in others, and confidence in your faith, wherever you draw it from.
  7. Promise Made, Promise Kept- Keep your integrity intact. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. When you make a promise, deliver on it.
Someone who has had a tremendous influence on me, Dr. Chuck Missler, often uses the following illustration:
What is the difference between a pessimist and an optimist? The pessimist has more information. But the optimist is uncertain about the future.
It is from uncertainty about the future that we can draw hope. We don’t know what’s going to happen, so why not work to make it the best outcome possible? Although I’ve always tended to be cynical, that perspective helped change me into more of an optimist.
Although I didn’t have much hope for this book, it delivered. I’ll likely refer back to it again in the future.
Today We Are Rich is published by Tyndale House Publishers. Though Tim is a Christian, and the book contains spiritual elements, those elements are fairly vague and I don’t anticipate then being a problem for many. Most people with some element of spirituality in their worldview shouldn’t have a problem with this book.

Today We Are Rich: Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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