For years, I thought I had a lot of things figured out. It wasn’t until I learned about a key ingredient all great leaders and professionals had, that I did not. I still remember the revelation clearly, it was the summer of 2005 in a large conference room.
That day in September marked a transforming experience for me while attending an advertising conference. On the last day of the conference, I heard the keynote speaker, Bryan Dodge, tell a story about “The Richest Man In Babylon”. According to Bryan, The Richest Man in Babylon is one of the best books most often recommended by professionals and executives for its principles on personal finances and it’s an absolute must read.
One of Bryan’s key messages that day, long ago in September of 2005, was that it’s up to us to bring good information in and educate and develop ourselves – no one else will, so we must. He also commented on how we were all in sales – selling people on our ideas, our children on the friends they keep and the books they read and shows they watch. The task of sales is a way of life, not a professional title.
Bryan then went on to explain how cheap the Richest Man in Babylon was to purchase, how small it was and how quick it was to read, how valuable and helpful the content inside was and how none of us attending the conference would actually read it, except for maybe one or two people.
Right now, 500 of us in the group are actually listening, about 300 of us have written the name of the book down in our conference notepad and about half of us will decide to go to the book store to buy it and out of the 150 or so that decide to go, half of those people will run other errands first and never make it to the bookstore as planned. The remaining 75 of us would get to the store, but of that group, half of us would be distracted by the coffee, bargain books and magazines, and the remaining half would actually make it to the shelf where the Richest Man in Babylon sits. From there, some of us would get distracted and look at the other books next to it instead and only about 10 of us in the entire room would actually purchase the book – and sadly, 5 of the 10 owners of the book would never attempt to read the copy they purchased – opting for the osmosis approach, and 3 of us would start reading it but never finish… But 1 or 2 of us in the entire group of more than 500, would actually read the book entirely and set their course for a new life of knowledge seeking and book reading.
That day changed my life.
I made a commitment to increase my information sources and professional development beyond just attending conferences, seminars and reading on the web. That day I purchased his DVD and series of CD’s and audio workshops with $300 I didn’t have to spend.
Despite the hurricane that hit my area two weeks later, the relocation of my entire family as a result while my wife was 8 months pregnant and then having our first born child 200 miles from family, the loss of all my clients and closing down my company operations, I purchased and read the book.
I WAS the one person who completed the challenge Bryan foretold. The Richest Man In Babylon, in late 2005, became my first of many books. Bryan Dodge and that book are forever endeared as a turning point in my life as a truly committed professional and knowledge seeker.
As you might have guessed, I highly recommend you read The Richest Man In Babylon and make a commitment to read it and many more thereafter.
Have you read the Richest Man In Babylon or have a must read suggestion? Tell me about it below.