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In this his latest book, Tim Sanders creates a context, a frame-of-reference, for several concepts introduced in earlier works, notably in Saving the World at Work: What Companies and Individuals Can Do to Go Beyond Making a Profit to Making a Difference (2008), The Likeability Factor: How to Boost Your L-Factor and Achieve Your Life's Dreams (2006), and Love Is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends (2003). More specifically, the lessons he learned from a grandmother who raised him after the death of his mother. For a period of time, he lost touch with her (Billye) and with her wisdom. Eventually, he was reunited with both. So what we have in Today We Are Rich is a prequel to the earlier books.

As Sanders explains, his grandmother probably had the greatest influence (the most beneficial influence) on his professional as well as personal development. When introducing the first of seven principles of Total Confidence, that fact immediately becomes obvious:

Principle 1: Feed Your Mind Good Stuff

"Billye got up with the chickens at the crack of dawn and yet kept bankers' hours. What did she do during the hours in between? She fed her mind good stuff.

"Billye was just as judicious in her response to what others tried to put in her head. She avoided "gossip snipes" as if they had an infectious disease. She even dumped negative-minded friends after one too many offenses. When one of the ladies at our church asked her why a Christian woman would quit friends over the words they used, Billye would paraphrase Dr. Norman Vincent Peale from The Power of Positive Thinking: "What comes out of the mind is what you put in the mind. You must feed your mind like you feed your body."

"Her positive-intake plan wasn't selfish--it was purposeful. The filter she put on what or whom she listened to wasn't prudish--it was prudent. The secret to positive thinking, she had learned, lies in consuming the right mind food. From waking thoughts to the edge of sleep, she fed her mind mostly good stuff."

* * *

"You should be as careful about what you put into your mind as about what you put into your mouth. Your mind is a machine. When you ingest a piece of information, your mind goes to work, chewing on it, digesting it, and then converting it into a thought. When good stuff goes into your mind, good thoughts emerge. People who maintain purposeful mind diets of positive stimuli think healthy thoughts.

"The reason it is so important to feed your mind good stuff is that the resulting thoughts determine your success or failure, your happiness or misery, and most important, the circumstances of your life. Those who do not have a diet plan for their minds are subject to their worst memories and the world's constant fear chatter--and those result in disturbing thought patterns.

"That's essentially the premise behind Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich: `Every man is what he is, because of the dominating thoughts which he permits to occupy his mind. . . . We are what we are, because of the vibrations of thought which we pick up and register, through the stimuli of our daily environment.'

"And Hill wasn't the only one to write about the importance of our thoughts. James Allen wrote his groundbreaking book As a Man Thinketh in 1903, with Proverbs 23:7 as its premise: "As he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (King James Version). The premise of his book was simple, yet profound: `Good thoughts bear good fruit; bad thoughts bear bad fruit.'"

This extended excerpt offers at least some indication of how and why Billye's influence on young Sanders proved to be so significant. With regard to the other six principles, they are:

Principle 2: Move the Conversation Forward
Principle 3: Exercise Your Gratitude Muscle
Principle 4: Give to Be Rich
Principle 5: Prepare Yourself
Principle 6: Balance Your Confidence
Principle 7: Promise Made, Promise Kept

My maternal grandmother arrived from Sweden as a teenaged indentured servant to a wealthy family living in the Hyde Park area near the University of Chicago. Eventually, she married and had four children, my mother the youngest. After my parents divorced, my mother and I moved in with Edith Johnson in a large house shared with two bachelor uncles, a married aunt, and her family. My mother worked six days a week (and frequently several evenings) to earn enough to support us and so, to a significant extent, I was raised by my grandmother. I think she and Billye were kindred spirits.

As I read Sanders' accounts of his conversations with Billye, I fondly recalled my own grandmother in the kitchen baking Swedish coffee cakes, sharing (in her own words) almost exactly the same advice that Sanders received from Billye.

This is Tim Sanders' most important book, at least thus far, because he focuses so eloquently on values and behavior that ultimately determine how "rich" or impoverished a person is. For him and for me, and probably for many others, the value of having a grandmother for all seasons is incalculable.
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on March 29, 2011
Dale Carnegie would enjoy meeting Tim Sanders. Sanders is more or less a good-news guru for the business space and his new book "Today We Are Rich: Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence" solidifies this role. Sanders returns the reader to making a difference with oneself, first.

Frankly, Americans could use some good news and a bit of a pep talk right now. Record unemployment, bankruptcies and foreclosures dot the landscape. We are a society that seems to be sliding sideways, to use one of Sander's terms.

Tim Sanders brought readers Love is the Killer Ap applying principles of positive thinking to new subjects and spreading the news with the technology evangelism of a true Yahoo! Executive. Now Sanders is focused on writing and speaking, casting himself as a people-centric business expert.

Sanders builds a solid case for bringing values-driven actions down to the smallest increments in our daily lives, looking at what we can do each day for those around us. Far from new age psychobabble, Sanders delivers pragmatic actions to build positive habits. But unlike many books that fall in this category, Sanders directs his suggestions to practices of giving as a primary source of improving self-esteem, confidence and daily satisfaction. Describing this as a virtuous cycle--giving which gives to the giver and receiver, leads to more giving and more satisfaction--Tim Sanders invites readers to return to the `good loop' and details basic life skills to keep one there.

Today We Are Rich is a personal account, detailing Tim's own life's struggles and the tools he has applied to propel himself away from despair and general `stuckness'. In doing so, he discusses specifically Christian disciplines, even though prayer, requests for forgiveness and recognition of a higher power suggest a much broader application and audience.

A short read of a few hundred pages, Today We Are Rich could be a non-fiction self help book, a memoir or a business handbook, depending on the reader's frame of mind. Like so much described in the book itself, responding is a personal choice--but it is likely at least some of these suggestions will be of use, even if only as a brief reminder of the broad world outside the line of our personal vision.

Closing with a discussion of the good loop of giving and receiving, Sanders observes "This is where I want to end up, a virtuous cycle, where I can make a difference to others and the results continuously refresh my body soul and body.... I invite you into this loop too. It's big enough for all of us."
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on August 22, 2011
Tim Sanders offers up an easily followed formula for not only identifying the confidence that each of us rightly possesses, but more importantly a regiment of mental exercises that will allow us to tap into this natural internal resource so that we can use it to make a difference not only in our lives and in the lives of those around us but in the world.

Yes I realize that might sound a little hokey but that is what I believe his work to be. Tim's themes are focused on common sense and the often written about 'power of positive thinking'. This could turn some readers off but I would suggest that if you are in that camp that is turned off by such a suggestion then you should most definitely give the book a read.

What to expect:
The opening of the book provides Tim's narrative around his motivation for writing it. You will find the story inspiring.

From there Tim outlines Seven Principals of Total Confidence. They are:
- Feeding the mind good stuff (i.e. consume positive knowledge and shut out negative)
- Moving the conversation forward (driving your internal monologue in positive action oriented direction)
- Exercising your gratitude muscle (making a point to be truly grateful in every area of your goings on)
- Give to be rich (acting with out expecting a return on your actions)
- Prepare yourself (example of the of the old axiom of luck being the intersection of preparation and opportunity)
- Balance your confidence (my favorite chapter! the idea of guiding your actions to make sure they lie squarely between your passion and purpose)
- Promise made, Promise kept (very good step by step on what a commitment from you should mean - including knowing when NOT to promise something)
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on March 31, 2011
These kinds of books don't usually interest me because inspirational books are, for the most part, seldom inspirational. Usually they just feel like they're an attempt by the author to make money rather than to inspire readers. This book is different. A friend gave it to me and forced me to read it. I did--and I'm quite glad. Tim Sanders writes with a kind of authenticity and honesty that makes the book feel like more than just words--it feels as though someone who has learned some very valuable lessons from a very valuable friend simply has to pass this wisdom on to others. The book centers on the knowledge that Tim's grandmother passed along to him, knowledge that comes from a person who wasn't wealthy, beautiful, or famous--just someone who somehow managed to learn more than in her life than most of us learn in ours. Even as I was reading the book I started putting some of the advice to work in my life, and already feel as though I am profiting from the results. It's a book I will read again many times. Perhaps you should, too.
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on June 5, 2011
These are the two lessons that had the most impact on me after finishing Today We Are Rich. While the entire book is delivers powerful lessons that have changed the way I behave and believe, two stand out. Here they are.

Get To instead of Have To
In the chapter Exercising Your Gratitude Muscle, Sanders reframes your way of thinking. In the drudgery we all experience from time to time you can find gratitude in it by thinking you "get to" do it instead of "having to" do it. He gives the example of going to work in a job you may not enjoy. But given the high unemployment rate these days, you "get to" go to work and provide for yourself and your family.

I remember this when I have to plan and cook yet another meal. But I "get to" do this and decide the wholesome ingredients I choose and the pleased looks on my family's faces when they enjoy the yummy goodness of a lovingly prepared meal.

Purpose vs. Passion
This little nugget of wisdom thumped me on the head near the end of the book. Sanders makes the point that living your life with purpose serves others and benefits your community while pursuing your passion is consuming in nature and is selfish. Wow, I never thought about it like that before.

Indeed we're all told to pursue our passion for a satisfying career. Like Sanders who followed his passion for music, I lived my life for my hobbies and interests. Instead of trying to make a living at it, though, I lived for the weekend and my work was a means to an end.

Sanders delivers more wisdom he learned from his grandmother throughout the book and it not only makes you feel good, but it can sometimes startle you out of a haze you never knew clouded your vision. I can certainly see more clearly now thanks to this book.
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on October 9, 2011
Today We Are Rich combines Tim's personal journey through what he refers to as his "sideways" years and lays the foundation for what can be anybody's path out of those years with his seven principles. Those seven principles are outlined in other reviews here, but I think the bonus in these principles is that Tim always references something from his own life that the reader can relate to, and then suggests real action steps to put make the principles part of your life. I took pages and pages of notes as I read the book, because there is so much real substance there to retain and act on. Some gems that I really like include his suggestion to become a "Healthy Thought Nut." The idea of becoming a health nut is an old one and many people of course excercise or diet to get their bodies in better shape. However, so many of those same people fill their minds with negative thoughts and other unproductive or even damaging mental imagery, that it significantly impacts their lives and ability to reach goals. Be deliberate about what you fill your head with, what you read, what you watch, the words you speak, etc. and you will find yourself in a much more positive space and therefore, with more confidence. Tim suggests that we stop playing "Devil's Advocate" and recognize obstacles and then be a builder of ideas and explorer of concepts to overcome those obstables.

These are just a couple of the many nuggets that Tim offers in Today We Are Rich and I feel much richer for having read this book. I highly suggest reading it, taking notes and using the many action items that Tim offers to help make you rich. To understand his definitiion of "rich," I'll let you explore that through the book and his great relationship with his grandmother Billeye, who became the driving inspirational figure in his life and is today. Enjoy.
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on March 30, 2011
I noticed elsewhere here where P.Biery & Myka Wyatt reference Tim's connection-similarities with Dale Carnegie & Napoleon Hill. I concur. Matter of fact, upon finishing this book I asked myself, "quick, what's your first impression Holmes?" Combine Tim's deep background with the Internet and the confidence philosophies taught here in Today We Are Rich and you have Dale Carnegie in the 21st century.

I love how Tim story-tells his way through the book about growing up and his relationship with Billye, his grandmother. It provides depth to this book and brings forth a new awareness for me in regards to his earlier book Love is the Killer App.

My favorite chapter is Principle 5, chapter 8, Prepare Yourself. Deepen specific knowledge essential to your career, read, network and pursue a mentor / be a mentor are crucial for success to all, but in particular toward success for our youth.

I recommend buying Today We Are Rich for your teenager(s).
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on November 3, 2013
This book truly inspired me and provided a much needed refueling and retooling that enabled a fresh perspective regarding my God given Purpose.

I highly recommend this resource to those that are interested in living a Drama Free Life. You will find the resources to fill the void of misunderstanding and being misunderstood by people. Today We Are Rich provides the vehicle where you are positioned to dig within oneself and breathe fresh air of Creativity and how significant of a gift one can e in the lives of others with defined boundaries.

I gave this book the rating because it impacted my literary life to a whole another dynamic. It inspired me to read a minimum of 6 Books or more yearly targeting a minimum of a Book a Month. Thanks To one of my Foster Success Mentors Mr. Darnell Self for recommending this book an excellent resource for Achievers.
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on April 15, 2014
There are times in our lives when everything seems to be going wrong and there does not seem to be a way out . . . we blame everyone except the person causing the problem . . . us. Careful reading of this book can offer a person a way out, so long as they take the author’s insight. Too often we read a book and think that is a good idea but we do little to put that thought, that idea, into practice because it requires a person to “think, act, and be” the person they would like to be, but it is just too much effort. Do not blame the author for a lack of success, because the success is solely is up to us to make the difference.
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on September 18, 2011
This is an excellent book! I've already read it twice, and will read it again. I bought several copies for my clients and close friends and they enjoyed it too.

Tim's ideas are very simple, helpful, touching and easy to apply for our lives... For anyone who truly wants to improve themselves to be better and happier, Today we are rich is a great gift for them. This is an ancient wisdom packaged for the 21st century"

Jane
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