This site gathered all the best, honest, practical, no bullshit pieces of financial advice from thousands of business and self-help books here in one article.
1. If you rely on earning a wage or salary to put money in your pocket, you will be forever caught up in the vicious cycle of needing money, earning money and spending money.
2. People who drive Lamborghinis and jetset around the world did not get there because they “Got Rich Slowly” by investing in mutual funds, clipping coupons, and maxing out their 401(k)s. Those techniques are not an effective road to wealth.
3. The “Get Rich Slowly” approach is faulty because it takes a lifetime of work, it’s dependent on getting lucky with your investments, and even if you do get rich, you’ll be too old to enjoy it.
4. “Think about it. Have you ever met a college student who got rich investing in mutual funds or his employer’s 401(k)? How about the guy who bought municipal bonds in 2006 and retired in 2009? I wonder if that guy driving a $1.2-million car can because of his well-balanced portfolio of mutual funds? These people don’t exist because the youthful rich are not leveraging 8% returns but 800%.” (Source)
5. People think that working hard for money and then buying things that make them look rich will make them rich. In most cases it doesn’t. It only makes them more tired.
6. Rich people believe that financial freedom is more important than displaying high social status. You can display high social status all you want, but if you’re still dependent on active income then you’re one very vulnerable fella.
7. If you think you can afford it, you can’t. When you buy something cheap, like a candy bar or a pair of $10 sandals, you never ask “can I afford this?” or “how can I make this purchase work?”. If you are trying to justify a large purchase to yourself, then you can’t really afford it.
8. Your debts are parasitic because they force you to work harder and longer. Your mortgage, car payment, credit card bill, etc. all force you to work more than you had to if you bought less stuff. Having to work limits your choices. When you’re making a big purchase, consider its time cost. Is that $50k BMW worth 1 year of your life?
9. The key to controlling parasitic debt is to control instant gratification. It’s much easier not to eat chocolate cookies if you don’t bring them home from the grocery store, and it’s easier to avoid debt if you don’t buy useless things. When you’re thinking about buying something, think about whether you really need it, whether you’ll still be using it 6 months from now, and so on.
10. In general, jobs suck because you have limited leverage (being more productive will not get you a raise) and limited control (what if you’re fired? What if your company is doing poorly and forces you to take a pay cut? etc.) General problems with jobs: you’re selling your time (and your life) for money, the experience you accumulate is limited (you’d learn much more running your own business for a month than working for someone else for a year), you’re subject to the whims of your boss/employer, you have to deal with office politics, and you have almost no control over your income.
11. Take advice from people who have lived what they wrote. If they are primarily writers and public speakers, and that is their business model, toss the book and move on. The best advice comes from people who have lived it. Don’t waste your money on expensive ($3k+) seminars and workshops. Those make the speakers rich but are rarely worth the money for attendees.
12. Amateurs have a million plans and they all start tomorrow. Professionals work hard on a single plan detail by detail. Thinking big is overrated. Ninety-nine percent of success is to get the work done.
13. Find a need, create a business to meet it and affect millions (or fewer but for lots of money per sale), exceed expectations, plan the business to lead to a major liquidation event down the road, sell, let that money earn for you for the rest of your life and live off the income. The more your money works, the less you will have to work.
14. The vast majority of millionaires became rich by being in their own business.
15. People don’t pay to satisfy your need to do what you love, they pay for you to solve their problems.
16. When you’re not a pushy asshole, people trust you. When they trust you, they do business with you.
17. Most businesses work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided.
18. Use the wisdom, knowledge, and skills of other people to further your own cause. Not only will such assistance save you valuable time and energy, it will give you an aura of efficiency and speed. That’s how billionaires are made.
19. People are frugal in guarding their personal property; but as soon as it comes to squandering time they are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy.
20. Unsuccessful people procrastinate by giving up on their long-term goals for immediate gratification. Procrastination is like an addiction. It offers temporary excitement and relief from boring reality.
21. Being wealthy is not about money, fancy cars, expensive vacations, or vacation homes in Fiji. Being wealthy means being healthy, being surrounded by great friends and family, and the freedom to live life how you want to live it.
22. The more scared we are of a work to improve our business, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.
23. Process, Not Product. If you find yourself avoiding certain tasks because they make you uncomfortable, there is a great way to reframe things: Learn to focus on process, not product.
24. Clarity about what matters the most in your business provides clarity about what does not.
25. Use the 80/20 rule. Give 80 percent of your effort to the top 20 percent (most important) activities. Another way is to focus on exceptional opportunities that promise a huge return. It comes down to this: give your attention to the areas that bear fruit.
26. Assume and expect every project will take 10x the resources and put effort into it accordingly. Literally, the amount of resources you think a project will consume, multiply that by ten and that is what is required. (Source)
27. Opportunities are everywhere, people just don’t see them. Whenever you hear people complaining or you observe inefficiencies, those are great opportunities to start a business!
28. If you have a great idea but someone is already doing it, don’t worry and do it anyway! There will always be competition, and you should aim to be better than them, not to run away from them.
29. Forget chasing big ideas and instead try to take something and make it better. Starbucks, McDonald’s, Walmart, etc. are all iterations of ideas and businesses that had existing for many years.
30. The price of freedom is money. Whether you want to buy a nice car, start a non-profit foundation, or work on your personal dream project, not having to worry about money is what lets you focus on those things. Figure out what you want so that you can work backward and figure out what you need to get there.
31. You have free time and indentured time. Indentured time is for stuff you have to do: brush teeth, shower, commute to work, work, etc. Free time is everything else. Money buys free time and eliminates indentured time.
32. A terrific way to grow your business is to have amazing customer service. When you surprise and delight your customers with your service, they will do your advertising for you. Figure out what kind of service your customers expect and then exceed it: if they expect a call with hours, try to call within 1 hour; if they expect to have to search for your contact number, put it in bold at the top of the webpage; etc.
33. On the flip side, no matter how awesome your product is, if people deal with crappy customer service then they’ll be left with a bitter taste in their mouths.
34. If you don’t produce, you won’t thrive — no matter how skilled or talented you are. If your work isn’t online, it doesn’t exist.
35. There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.
36. Don’t approach your business from only one angle. You don’t want to have a single strategy for your business success (e.g. “I’m just going to compete on price”). You want a multi-pronged attack where you work on your marketing, your execution, your product, your customer services, your ideas, and so on. You can raise prices, lower costs, sell more to existing customers, find new distribution channels, and so on. Don’t just focus on one thing to the exclusion of everything else.
37. Strategy is about choices. It’s about knowing what to do and what not to do and when. Being able to make these choices well and execute them effectively over time is the hallmark of great companies.
38. People fear failure because they overestimate the worst-case consequences. But the worst case of failing at business is usually going back to work or trying again. That’s not that bad!
39. The Mediocre is filled with hope: hope that your stocks go up, that you get a promotion, that your employer stays in business, and so on. Hope is not a good plan. If you don’t control the variables in your plan, then you can’t control the outcome.
40. People don’t take action because they’re waiting for *someday*. Someday I’ll start a business, someday I’ll do this or that, etc. The problem is, *someday* never comes. Making plans but not acting on them is dangerous and paralyzing. Make *someday* today.
41. percent of all companies that ultimately become successful had to abandon their original strategy—because the original plan proved not to be viable. In other words, successful companies don’t succeed because they have the right strategy at the beginning; but rather, because they have money left over after the original strategy fails, so that they can pivot and try another approach. Most of those that fail, in contrast, spend all their money on their original strategy—which is usually wrong. (Source)
42. When you chase opportunities, you will occasionally fail. What matters is what you do after you fail — do you try something new, or do you give up and move back to the Slowlane? Oftentimes, a failure drives you in a better direction (e.g. the discovery of penicillin or Flickr pivoting from being a video game to being a photo-sharing service).
43. There are smart risks and idiotic risks. Stupid risks have limited upside and unlimited downside. For example, not keeping a backup of your work saves you a little bit of time and money, but it can be devastating if you lose your only copy. In contrast, smart risk don’t have a lot of downside, but have big upside potential – investing in your own business is a good example.
44. You’re only poor if you give up. The most important thing is that you did something. Most people only talk and dream of getting rich. You’ve done something. (Source)
45. Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning. Once it does, it becomes the kind of thing that makes you grab your wife around the waist and dance a jig. (Source)
46. Superstar lawyers and math whizzes and software entrepreneurs appear at first blush to lie outside ordinary experience. But they don’t. They are products of history and community, of opportunity and legacy. Their success is not exceptional or mysterious. It is grounded in a web of advantages and inheritances, some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky – but all critical to making them who they are. (Source)
47. It is those who are successful, in other words, who are most likely to be given the kinds of special opportunities that lead to further success. It’s the rich who get the biggest tax breaks. It’s the best students who get the best teaching and most attention. And it’s the biggest nine and ten-year-olds who get the most coaching and practice. Success is the result of what sociologists like to call “accumulative advantage. (Source)
48. Success is not a random act. It arises out of a predictable and powerful set of circumstances and opportunities. (Source)
49. You can make two types of choices: what to think and what to do. The first step to making better choices is to work on how you think and perceive things — that will dictate the actions you decide to take. For example, if you want to build wealth, you first have to believe that you can do it, that you don’t need to wait until you’re retired to be a millionaire, and so on.
50. People who react to your goals and dreams with doubt and discouragement should be ignored. Befriend people who are where you want to be and who encourage you and inspire you to be your best. Find a mentor. A lot of times, your spouse will be you biggest detractor or your biggest supporter.
51. When you show yourself to the world and display your talents, you naturally stir all kinds of resentment, envy, and other manifestations of insecurity… you cannot spend your life worrying about the petty feelings of others (Source)
52. Understand: people will constantly attack you in life. One of their main weapons will be to instill in you doubts about yourself – your worth, your abilities, your potential. They will often disguise this as their objective opinion, but invariably it has a political purpose – they want to keep you down. (Source)
53. It is very difficult to make really big, important, life-changing decisions because we are all susceptible to a formidable array of decision biases. There are more of them than we realize, and they come to visit us more often than we like to admit. (Source)
54. In business, sometimes you’ll put up a good business and lose. Sometimes you’ll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go in order to move forward.
55. Teaching people doesn’t subtract value from what you do, it actually adds to it. When you teach someone how to do your work, you are, in effect, generating more interest in your work. People feel closer to your work because you’re letting them in on what you know. (Source)
56. If you are willing to do only what’s easy, life will be hard. But if you are willing to do what’s hard, life will be easy. Working hard for success is like kicking a drug habit or stopping drinking. It’s a decision to which we must re-commit every day.
57. If you want to be successful, you have to be willing to disappear for a while.
58. You will never know true freedom until you achieve financial freedom. It is the ability to live the lifestyle you desire without having to work or rely on anyone else for money.
59. In the future, the great division will be between those who have trained themselves to handle these complexities and those who are overwhelmed by them — those who can acquire skills and discipline their minds and those who are irrevocably distracted by all the media around them and can never focus enough to learn. (Source)
60. We are irrationally prone to jump to conclusions based on rule-of-thumb shortcuts to actual reasoning, and in reliance on bad evidence, even though we have the capacity to think our way to better conclusions. But we’re lazy, so we don’t. We don’t understand statistics, and if we did, we’d be more cautious in our judgments, and less prone to think highly of our own skill at judging probabilities and outcomes. Life not only is uncertain, we cannot understand it systemically, and luck has just as much to do with what happens to us — maybe even more — than we care to admit. When in doubt, rely on an algorithm, because it’s more accurate than your best guess or some expert’s opinion. Above all, determine the baseline before you come to any decisions.
If you like this article, I recommend reading The Millionaire Fastlane. Some of these pieces of advice are influenced by the ideas from that book and it is also considered as the best book on ‘wealth creation’ for beginning entrepreneurs. I also made a list of the most powerful books dedicated for self-development.