On my Instagram channel, I’m often asked what values or key takeaways I’ve gained from reading books.

Honestly, that’s a really difficult question to answer because there isn’t one thing to simply pinpoint. Instead, it’s a culmination of knowledge and it all merges and works together.

But after reading and reviewing over 100 business and personal development books, I thought that I would share with you my greatest lessons to date since they are not easy to explain in an Instagram post.

These lessons are not listed in any particular order, and many of them are interlinked.

I hope you find them as valuable as I have.

#1 – Focus!

I know that sounds really wishy-washy, but I couldn’t think of any other word to help sum up this point.

To more clearly illustrate what I mean, I’m referring to two of my most favorite books, “Deep Work” by Cal Newport, and “The One Thing” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.

“Deep Work” discusses how to work in a distraction-free environment, rather like being “in the zone.” According to the book, it’s possible to achieve that state of work for up to four hours per day. This is the time where you can be most creative, most productive, and you’re able to make real progress.

“The One Thing” teaches you to identify one element that is the most important to your progress, rather than spending time on tasks that keep you busy but don’t move you forward.

Putting these two principles together, I identify the one most important goal that I want to achieve that will make other tasks easier or make some of them totally obsolete. I then work on that one thing for four hours, distraction-free, and I try to achieve “deep work.”

Working in that way has had a massive positive impact on my productivity and what I am able to achieve over the course of a year.

#2 – Disconnect time from money

When it comes to creating wealth, the most important takeaway that I’ve gained from reading is to separate time from money.

If you trade time for money (work an hourly job) your earning potential will be severely limited because there are only 24 hours in a day. Therefore, you can only work so many hours a day.

To really kick your income into overdrive, you have to learn how to make money without that being time-dependent. That’s where things like passive income come in.

Related Read: The Truth About Passive Income

The book that I have found most valuable for this is “The Millionaire Fastlane” by M J Demarco. This book clearly illustrates why you need to disconnect your income from time, and also provides some clear steps on how to do it.

Another book that will help when it comes to passive income is “The Four Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferriss. Although I didn’t actually rate this book very highly when I reviewed it, it does contain some good information that you can implement.

Lastly, I need to mention “Life Leverage” by Rob Moore. This book teaches you how you have ‘leverage’ time. In other words, it teaches you how to use time more effectively through methods such as outsourcing.

#3 – Mindset

Having the right mindset is crucial to your success, as well as your happiness.

You need to adopt a ‘growth mindset’ (read “Mindset” by Dr. Carol Dweck), avoid the victim mentality, and avoid complaining.

The most important thing that I’ve learned here is that I am ultimately responsible for my own health, wealth, and happiness. Not the government, not my spouse, not my parents, but ME. And continually complaining or whining about any aspect of my life is not going to get me where I want to be. It’s simply going to waste my time, energy, and valuable resources.

Instead, I tell myself that I am lucky to live in a time when there are more opportunities available to me than for any of the generations that have gone before. Things may not be perfect (or fair!) but I have the opportunity to do something about it and to continue to move forward.

Once you’ve adopted a more positive, healthy, and productive mindset, you’ll begin to notice just how much other people complain, play the victim, and blame other people for their situation. This mentality will not get anyone anywhere.

The books that I have read which helped me with my mindset (and that I recommend you also read) are “Grit” by Angela Duckworth, “Mindset” by Dr. Carol Dweck, and “The Happiness Track” by Emma Seppala.

#4 – You get paid on the value you deliver

This lesson is an undercurrent in pretty much all the entrepreneurial books I have read.

The more value you provide, the more money you will be paid.

For example, compare a worker who is paid $10 per hour with someone who’s paid $25 per hour.

That difference in remuneration doesn’t mean that the person who is paid less is worth less than the person who is on a higher salary. The difference is purely based on each person’s value to the company.

The same applies to entrepreneurship. You will be paid based on the value that you give to society.

For example, if you provide $10 of value to 1000 people, you will be paid $10,000. However, if you provide $5 of value to 100,000 people, you will be paid $500,0000.

So, work out what value you can contribute to the world and then concentrate on delivering that value to as many people as possible.

#5 – Get a financial education

If you don’t follow up on anything else in this post, you must get yourself a financial education!

This is not taught in schools. You’re not taught about different flows of income, taxes, managing bank accounts, interest rates, inflation, investing, etc. but all of these are very important for your own finances and security.

Here are some books that I would recommend on this subject.

That’s a wrap!

That concludes the most important lessons that I have learned from the books that I have read to date.

If you’ve read any useful books, or if there are any particular lessons you’ve learned, or you have any questions, please pop them in the comments below and I’ll get back to you.

Thanks for reading 🙂 I hope you found these lessons helpful.

Roseanna x

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Currently winging my way through life and putting most of it on the internet. This is my personal website where I share my business book reviews, my adventure tips and stories, and my general musings on life as a solo entrepreneur.

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1 Comment

  1. I believe 5 is such an important lesson. It is not really taught in college, but books provide those lessons to help grow your passive income, steps to get out of debt, and how to open a Roth IRA. I also believe that mindset is very important. Especially during this time when things are uncertain with COVID-19.

    1. #5 is always overlooked but undoubtedly the most important point. Learning more about finance has been very valuable to me.

      COVID-19 is testing all of us. We all think that we have a good mindset, but now, in times of such unprecedented uncertainty, it’s clear who does and who doesn’t. A key thing for me is being able to look and see opportunities amongst all this change.

  2. True. It has been changing a lot because of COVID-19. Especially, in this situation, it is important to look ahead and figure out what to do financially and other aspects of our lives that have beeb impacted.

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