Glenford Smith | Aspiring businessman resolves to read more
QUESTION: Dear Mr Smith, I've always enjoyed reading your Sunday Gleaner Career columns, but especially the last two. I've always been an avid reader. However, one of my resolutions for 2016 is to read more, especially now that I'm in the process of starting a business this year with two partners. Are there any books you can suggest for a first-time entrepreneur such as myself to read in this regard?
SMITH: It's gratifying to know you enjoy reading the Careers column, Phil.
Your decision to read more is rare, admittedly. It's refreshing though, for the reason that we're always hearing 'Jamaicans don't read'.
There are people who are dissatisfied in their current jobs, who want to do more fulfilling work, with better pay. Some are tired of working for other people and want to start their own business and be their own boss. Others hate their jobs because they simply can't get along with their colleagues.
In all these cases and countless others, such people want something better. They want improved conditions at work and a better life. The question is what's stopping them. It's very simple.
They don't know how to get what they say they want. The person who is earning $2 million isn't earning that amount because that's what she wants to earn. She's earning that amount because she doesn't know how to earn more.
In every case, our lives and careers demonstrate the limits of our knowledge. Here's an essential truth to grasp: If someone has succeeded where you've not, it's because they know things you don't, and are doing things you're not, or in ways you're not.
Most people don't make the connection between their life circumstances and their stock of knowledge. They blame their undesirable circumstances on the government, economy, bad luck, bad childhood, the Devil, or other people. Now, to be sure, all these things may impact upon us, to varying degrees.
However, if other people are doing better than us in the same environment, the environment isn't the ultimate determining factor; it's how much we know, and what we do with what we know. It's true: Your learning determines your earning. To earn more, learn more.
That's why reading is essential for career and life success. We read because we realise the truth of philosopher Francis Bacon's words: "Knowledge is power". And more knowledge is more power to achieve our career and life goals.
The most common reasons people give for not reading include: they don't like reading; they don't have time; they can't afford books. Admittedly, these may have some merit.
Ultimately, however, people don't read because they don't consider it important enough. We make time for, spend our money on, and do things we don't like doing, when we consider those things important enough to us.
The knowledge you'll gain from the following books will empower you and your partners in creating outstanding entrepreneurial success:
n The Answer by John Assaraf & Murray Smith
n Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker
n The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman
n Permission Marketing by Seth Godin
n The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'.