Top positive review
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Get High Returns on Your Time, Energy, and Money!
on September 9, 2000
"Our goal for Invest in Yourself is to motivate you to take charge of your life and make the most out of your time, energy, and money." That's a novel and valuable perspective that's worth five stars for this book.
Too many self-help books focus on helping you get more money or more out of your money, but ignore the costs in terms of the time, attention, effort and stress involved. Invest in Yourself looks beyond that overly-narrow focus. That's the good news about this book.
The bad news about this book is that it has taken on more than one book can hope to fully deliver on. I hope the authors come out with sequels that expand and magnify what is here.
The six secrets are:
(1) Make your own lifestyle decisions.
(2) Put your family first.
(3) Wherever you work, be in business for yourself.
(4) Make the most of the money you bring home.
(5) Turn your debts into golden investment opportunities.
(6) Map out your financial future.
The three authors have an unusual perspective. They have dropped out of the "get ahead at the office" rat race and "shop until you drop" lifestyles much more than most. As a result, they have lots of money-saving ideas based on their own life experiences. Much of what is in the book, Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge would approve of. If you are like me, you will find money-saving ideas that would never have occurred to you, otherwise. My parents have always shopped are yard sales, but it had never occurred to me to use these routinely for the kind of around-the-house items that I will seldom use like unusual garden tools.
One of the strengths of the book is that it is not a "one size fits all" approach. They realize that each person will have a different set of life goals, and the advice is couched to accommodate that.
I also liked the way that the book challenged the automatic assumptions that many make: Career comes first; job comes first; exciting consumer experiences are a main reward for success; and only the best will do.
By having three authors, the perspectives and ideas were much more varied than I have seen in other, somewhat-similar self-help books. That also was a strength.
The weakest section was the last one on mapping out your financial future. Almost everyone will need more guidance than is here. That's the bad news. The good news is that there are lots of books about creating financial plans that you can use to supplement this one.
On the other hand, those who buy into the traditional American Dream and will happily pay the price for economic success will find less in this book than will those independent souls who listen to their own intuition for guidance. Despite ideas for making penny-pinching fun, it's not going to be fun for everyone. I do applaud pointing out how saving money for essentials is far more valuable than expanding income due to the income tax effects on progressive income. The advice about paying off your expensive debt is pretty standard, but I liked the way it was couched in terms of thinking of it as a high return investment.
I hope you will not only read this book, but apply its lessons. As you do, I encourage you to expand your perspective even more broadly than the book does. What other areas do you have important values in, besides time, money, and energy? How can those values be honored in your tradeoffs? The more you do this, the better life you will have . . . the richer your life will be in terms of its effect on those around you.
Enjoy, live long, and prosper!