Don’t Get Stuck in the Self-Help Trap

I never read a self-help business book until after I was making a few hundred dollars a month online. Fortunately for me, I never ended up in the trap many folks end up in, the self-help cycle.

It looks like this:

  1. You want to do something
  2. Instead of doing that something, you read a book about it
  3. Wow, you learned so much about something
  4. You feel accomplished because you learned about something
  5. That learning about something was you making progress
  6. That feeling of making progress fades away
  7. You read another book about something

Next thing you know it’s been months since you started this cycle and you really haven’t accomplished a damn thing.

If self-help books had supplement facts printed on the back of them, they would read something like this:

90% personal anecdotes

9% upsells

1% practical advice

Of course, this differs from book to book. Some don’t have any real upsells, others give more advice, and some are just the author boasting about personal accomplishments, trying to get you to live vicariously through them.

Forget that noise.

My advice to you: find one book you want to read, read it, and apply it. Do not go on a reading spree for no reason other than to feel good about yourself.

I know a man whose goal for 2015 was to read one business book a week. Why the hell would you do that? Oh, I know why. Mental masturbation. That feeling of accomplishment when you really haven’t done a damn thing yet. Avoid that.

I never actively sought after any self-help books. I stumbled upon The Millionaire Fastlane after I was searching for an entrepreneur forum. That’s the reason that’s the only self-help book I recommend to people because it’s the only one I enjoyed.

I tried to read other ones, but they just felt like rehashes of other titles. That’s what you’ll find if you start binge reading the motivational material.

They repeat each other.

They just put their own spin on things and tell their own stories.

Once again, my suggestion to you is to find one of these books if you truly need it and only read that one book. Serious, the second you finish it, start doing whatever you need to be doing. Don’t worry about reducing your work hours to a few hours a week or become curious about whether those dads are rich or poor.

If you don’t need any extra cheerleader hoopla, here’s a rundown of what you’ll get out of some motivational business books.

  1. Find a need. Or if they’re a hack, follow your passion
  2. Start a business
  3. Stay in that business until you can pay someone to run it
  4. Go to the beach and enjoy checks every month

That’s about it. That’s your curriculum.

Read your one book, and get to work. After that, the only books you should be reading are either fiction for entertainment or non-fiction trying to learn a very specific task.

After the great bookshelf purge of 2015, my bookshelves consist of a programming books, workout books, and marketing books. I don’t read fiction anymore.

Hell, I don’t even have The Millionaire Fastlane at the moment because I lent it to a friend to read.

Stop the mental masturbation.

Big dawgs gotta act.