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Four Books I Wish I Could Get Anyone Who’s Struggling Financially to Read

by | Nov 20, 2023 | Money, Personal Finance

Having money on the mind all the time is exhausting.

It’s no way to live. Yet it’s how most of us live. Always thinking about money and trying to find out how to make more.

Once you master money this mind virus goes away. Then you can focus on what really matters — family, obsession, flow states, fun.

In 2011 I was in a dark place. I had no money and worked a minimum-wage call center job. After work I’d sit on my bed and read. I saw books as a way to get myself out of the financial struggles and build a new future.

As you might expect, it didn’t happen overnight. I read loads of books on money and tried a lot of experiments. But here I am, out of this dark place and not worrying about money anymore.

If I could gift four books to every person who’s struggling financially, it’d be these ones.

#1 — The Almanack of Naval Ravikant

Naval Ravikant is powerful because he can take an entire book and summarize it in a single-sentence tweet.

He’s made a career out of it.

Author Eric Jorgensen noticed his superpower and worked with Naval to take his best social media content and turn it into a book full of wisdom. Not all of his advice is around money.

The book is more a way of life. And once you understand his principles, it’s easier to make more money and experience personal freedom.

One of the key insights I got from Naval was the concept of leverage. I previously didn’t know what it meant. I knew what financial leverage was but I didn’t know that a home loan is actually 5x leverage.

  • Or that hiring virtual assistants was labor leverage.
  • Or that building software was code leverage.

Naval unlocked this way of thinking and it’s changed my life. I now have leverage working for me in almost every aspect of my life.

So for the same effort, I get substantially higher results. This is how wealth is built and how some people get mega-rich.

Naval also reinforced for me that being a perpetual learner is the core skill of everything good in life — because it leads you to follow your curiosity and keep an open mind.

A great quote from the book:

The year I generated the most wealth for myself was actually the year I worked the least hard and cared the least about the future.

I was mostly doing things for the sheer fun of it.

#2 — The Psychology of Money

This book left me feeling sick in the first chapter.

Morgan said Australians haven’t experienced a recession in 30 years so our risk appetite is broken. As an Aussie this hurt because it’s true. There’s a high chance I’m living in a bubble and could get ruined because of this fact.

It shows how important psychology is when it comes to money.

Those who’ve never had anything bad happen, financially, don’t know much. But they think they do. And the most susceptible to this virus are young people — particularly those who became adults after 2008.

That’s why I don’t pay a lot of attention to Gen Z on social media who brag about the crypto boom or making money on tech stocks. They don’t know what it’s like to have their face ripped off.

2008 showed me.

Morgan’s book taught me that our financial goalposts keep moving. We never have enough money, so we get stuck on a treadmill. That’s why it pays to notice how you THINK about money.

Morgan also reminded me that true wealth is freedom to choose what you do each day. To control your time and spend it how you wish. This insight is one of the golden nuggets that led me to quit my job.

A life of obligations is a nightmare.

Saying “f*ck it” more often is a better way to live.

A great quote from the book:

Past a certain level of income, what you need is just what sits below your ego. One of the most powerful ways to increase your savings isn’t to raise your income. It’s to raise your humility.

#3 — Rich Dad Poor Dad

Let me be clear. The author of this book is a jerk.

Now he practices as a modern-day conspiracy theorist and says he buys bullets to store his wealth. But before he went crazy he shared a lot of wisdom in this book.

This book will teach you to stop selling your time as your main source of income. And it’ll show you the power of owning financial assets that generate passive income and slowly compound over time.

One of the most controversial concepts of the book is when the author explains the difference between an asset and a liability. He says something is only an asset if it puts money in your pocket.

Therefore, buying a car or a home is a liability.

This still pisses a lot of people off because they’ve been taught the things they own are assets.

The final thing this book taught me was how employees work hard enough not to get fired, and employers pay just enough so employees don’t quit. This explains every company I’ve ever worked for.

A great quote from the book:

“The love of money is the root of all evil.” [Wrong] The lack of money is the root of all evil.

#4 — Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

This final book might seem odd.

What the hell do flow states have to do with generating wealth? As it turns out, everything.

We get paid based on our value. And our value is based on the work we do. And the quality of our work is based on how creative we are.

Flow states amplify the volume of work we’re able to do and the level of creativity we can access while doing it. Once you understand flow you will do the best work of your life.

This book taught me to stop trading the present for some mythical future and find work that gave me meaning. And to do it every day regardless of external circumstances or validation.

Once you can become self-motivated with flow states, the entire world looks different and opportunities are everywhere. These opportunities produce money that buys your time back and creates true wealth.

So flow states and being wealthy are joined at the hip.

A great quote from the book:

After each success it becomes clearer that money, power, status, and possessions do not, by themselves, necessarily add one iota [bit] to the quality of life.

This article is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered financial, tax or legal advice. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.

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