What Wealthy, Successful People Know
If you want to become a wealthy, successful person, it can be helpful to study the path of others who've done the same. A few weeks ago, we discussed the importance of leaders being readers.
That particular blog captured the attention of a long time client of mine. For seven years, he's been the President and CEO of a high profile company.
A Successful Example
He and his company would be familiar to you, but for this article, let’s call him Doug.
Doug has enjoyed a meteoric career. Armed with an undergraduate degree in business, he began his first job at age 22 as a junior marketing executive, with an successful manufacturer of household products.
Within three years he rose to become the youngest vice president in the company’s history.
In the ensuing 22 years, he worked for two other companies before being recruited into his current position.
Under his leadership as President and CEO, the company has achieved unparalleled success and its stock price has made it the envy of its industry.
His board is currently trying to entice him to sign a new five-year contract, and he is debating whether to do this or, in his own words, “Spend the next 10 years using everything I’ve learned to make my community better rather than making my shareholders richer.”
Doug attributes his success to his absolute obsession with knowing everything there is to know about his industry, his competitors, technology, world markets and everything else that is even remotely peripheral to his work.
Never Too Busy To Learn
Despite a daily agenda that consumes a minimum of 12 hours of his time, Doug religiously schedules 90 minutes every day to read and study.
He tells me he subscribes to more than 10 online news sources, nine industry magazines, and he also watches business and news channels on TV that are relevant to his work. He makes it a priority to read at least a book a week.
He is fanatical about piling knowledge upon knowledge, and asks his senior leadership do the same.
I remember a few years ago when his company expanded to Mexico. Doug decided to learn Spanish and immersed himself in classes, audiotapes and books.
He temporarily set up an office in Cancún and lived in the home of one of his Mexican executives, ensuring that 24 hours of each day would be spent speaking, reading and studying Spanish.
Naturally, it took Doug only a few months to obtain the levels of fluency and comprehension that most of us take years to reach.
Which means, of course, that some of his daily reading now includes business publications in Spanish.
When anyone asks him about how he became successful, Doug humbly says that his frequent promotions and ultimate rise to the top came not because he was smarter or better than anyone else, but simply because he used his knowledge to his advantage.
Not surprisingly, he and his wife have raised three voracious readers and my prediction is that each of them will achieve success equal to that of their dad.
Before we ended the call Doug, as has become his habit when talking with me, recommended his latest “must read" book.
Following the Leader
As soon as we hung up the phone, I went online and ordered it simply because an endorsement from Doug is all I need to make a decision about adding it to my library.
I can’t think of a more compelling story to share with you about the absolute necessity of reading than the one I have just told you.
If reading propelled Doug to become successful, there is little doubt it will do the same for those of us who commit to doing the same.
An excellent habit indeed.
Till we read again.
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