Completely Useless: Why Reading Self Help Books Can Be A Total Waste Of Time And Money!

I’m a huge reader.

If you haven’t yet read the free ebook you received when becoming a subscriber, The Financial Freedom Formula, there’s a funny story inside it about me and the Weekly Reader program!

If there’s one thing I can attribute my success to, it’s reading. Hands down, without a doubt, reading is what brought me to financial freedom.


You see, I didn’t invent anything regarding wealth building. If you came here looking for some novel way to riches created by yours truly, you’re going to be disappointed. All I did was connect the dots. The dots I found in books.

And that’s the launching point for today’s essay – making a connection with what you’re reading.

The self-help book market is a multi-billion dollar industry. Why? Because of the main reason many people buy success-themed books:

They hear about a great book, written by someone who has achieved some measure of success. Thinking that the book will do the same for them, they buy it and read it.

They surge with excitement about what they’ve just read. They tell everyone the good news found within book’s page. They make grand plans. They write-down those plans. They organize those plans. They make even grander plans. They display the book on their nightstand or desk for weeks, as a monument to all the great things they’ll do.

And then they do this…

They shelve the book and go buy another one just like it six months later. Lather, rinse and repeat.

What’s happening here?

What’s happening is that these people are not so much buying a book, as they’re buying a feeling, a feeling of progress without actually making any.

The comedian Demetri Martin sums it up in hilarious fashion – “I used to play sports. Then I realized you can buy trophies. Now I am good at everything.”

When people buy self-help books in the fashion described above, it’s a complete waste of time. It’s the same reason some people seek out life coaches, mentors, and teachers – to have some tangible evidence that they’re working on their dreams.

You probably know who I’m talking about. You might even have a friend that counts as one. They’re always reading books that talk about great things and telling anyone that will listen about the power of positive thinking, all while talking about how much their life has changed thanks to [insert book name here].

But have you ever noticed that many of those same people tend to stay at the same points in their lives? There’s not much upward mobility. At least it doesn’t really look that way once you start peeling back the layers.

Friends, there’s a big difference between being busy and actually being productive. Oddly enough, being busy (ex. reading a self-help book) often feels good because it’s familiar and it makes us feel productive. Productivity may feel good, but sometimes making true progress towards your goals means giving up that feeling. Sometimes, making real progress means focusing less on “busy” work and doing things you’ve put off doing.

My advice?

We should read self-help books in the manner Franz Kafka describes:

“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us. That is my belief.”

Holy cow!

Yes, this is dramatic metaphor. But it also gets to the heart of what self-help books can do, if they are read in the correct manner – transformation. Some of the classic self-help books have literally transformed people into something completely unrecognizable from their past self. I should know. They transformed me from a poor kid born in poverty into becoming financially free.

Within each reader of a success book is something that is blocked– a latent sense of the truth that for some reason–social, personal, psychological–we do not see. We may not know it is there, but it remains even so. A good self-improvement book will reach this hidden area and free us, making us truer, more liberated, and grander than we were before. The change may be a seismic shift, one of large and disturbing proportions: an entire ocean may be frozen. Such is our unconscious power to deny, to repress, to ignore what we must do–and such is literature’s power to break that open.

Are you guilty of reading too much and taking too little action for success? Ask yourself these questions:

What piece of financial knowledge that you’ve read recently will you put into practice today? 

What lessons from Think and Grow Rich will you apply this month? 

What did the parables within The Richest Man in Babylon mean for you personally? 

What is the biggest change you’ve made since reading The Millionaire Next Door?

Did you feel that Harv Eaker wrote “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” just for you? Why?

Friends, open the door to that closet of knowledge, pick one thing from each major self-help book that you’ve read recently that would help you achieve success, dust it off and get it done. Break open the frozen tundra of your mind with what you’ve read. Connect personally to what you’re reading. Transform yourself so much from what you’ve learned, that you don’t even recognize the old you.

Don’t collect books as trophies. Use them as stair steps to a better life. Remember, reading a book is not progress. Progress is what happens after you read a book when you put things into action. Read and grow. Read and grow. Read and grow… rich.

Be free. Nothing else is worth it.

Financial Freedom Monty Campbell

P.S. Why aren’t you wealthy yet? It’s because of something you don’t know. Otherwise you’d already be rich. Isn’t it time to learn what you don’t know? Consider signing-up for my newsletter below, to help you build wealth faster.

P.S. Why aren’t you wealthy yet? It’s because of something you don’t know. Otherwise you’d already be rich. Isn’t it time to learn what you don’t know? Consider signing-up for my newsletter below, to help you build wealth faster.

P.S.S. Looking to make an overnight fortune? Don’t sign-up to receive my newsletter  below. There’s no magic secret. Becoming financially free takes time and dedication. But learning professional-grade money skills can have a life changing effect. If you’re ready to put in the work and learn, I can show you how to achieve financial freedom faster than normal. 

P.S.S.S. There’s nothing for sale on this blog or in my newsletter.  That’s right. Unlike other sites who claim to help people achieve financial success, I’m not trying to sell you anything. In fact, I find it a little disgusting that some sites insist that you buy something before they teach you how to become rich. Here on my blog and in my newsletter, I just provide actionable advice for free. It’s my way to give back. What do you have to lose? Subscribe today. 


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