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Reading a lot - is this really the #1 trait of rich people?


Legendary Contributor
Speedway Pass
Aug 24, 2007
  1. Set a goal
As long as setting goals is #1 on the list, it sounds like we all agree...

That said, this wasn't at all what Adams was saying. This was in the first paragraph of his post:

I talk about using systems instead of goals
"Instead of" is the operative phrase, and that's what I was disagreeing with...

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Ha Ha! Business
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Aug 7, 2012
Ontario, Canada
It's worth considering that wealthy people have gotten to where they are by consciously making positive and better decisions about what they do and how they do it in many areas of their life.

Reading for the wealthy may very well simply be yet another one of many small choices they made along the way to replace a useless or negative action with a useful and positive one.

Maybe they were watching tv for an hour a day and flipped that to reading. Still using the same time in the day but replacing a useless activity with a useful one.

If an athlete said they eat a pound of veggies a day - would you say that the veggies are how they became an athlete? Or is it more likely that one day they cut out a lot of bullshit that was hurting them and picked up a carrot and went "yeah, this is better"?


Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
May 24, 2017
I would say the number one most important habit that all successful people have in common is that they take massive action.

But yes, they tend to read a lot too.
My vote goes to taking action.

I've read where CEO's read an average of 50 books/year. I think that is a made up stat to sell more business/self-development books. Find 5-7 good books and re-read those every year. Then, write your own book. The best way to learn a topic is to write a book on it or teach a course about it.


Read Millionaire Fastlane
Feb 19, 2019
I like this thread. Everybody has great points.

To summarize the posts so far:
  1. Read and understand a great book
  2. Think about and process the ideas from that book
  3. Turn those ideas into a goal to provide massive value
  4. Create a broad plan to achieve that goal
  5. Create daily action steps to execute the plan
  6. Take massive action daily to execute those steps
  7. Do this everyday until you're successful or you're dead

This is a nice summary. I would summarize the conversation into essentially: "Reading, Thinking, Action, Repeat." Perhaps that is the best way to look at it.

Or perhaps there is another layer, "interacting." And the most efficient way to "interact" with ideas is through books, since they are packaged very well, and also the ideas pile up over time. (Someone - I think Warren Bufft - mentioned that reading promotes “compound interest” of thought. Yes, it was him (just Googled) - “knowledge builds up like compound interest.”

Although I do agree with another poster who said reading is not helpful, unless it’s directed (aimed). So perhaps a better way to summarize is like this:


(Rinse and repeat.)

That would cover both of the other aspects (Reflecting, Experimenting) outlined in another article: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett And Oprah All Use The 5-Hour Rule

The goals and then the action are the “experimental” parts - you get feedback on the goal and can thus set new goals, creating a cycle of experimentation.

So the question is how this applies to me - well at first glance, I would think that I am under-reading on the critical areas where I have set up goals (and instead, I am just reading "whatever" interests me).

I’m also probably under-thinking about my goals.

Perhaps I need to bake these 4 areas into my daily and weekly plans.

So I will set goals, read about them, think about them, and take action on them regularly. And then set goals again. Thus the reading and thinking should be as targeted as possible around those goals.

And this in itself will become my own little experiment :) How beautiful is that!

I definitely feel like this is a much more clear framework for pushing forth than what I have been using now (which essentially boils down to simply, Goals and Actions).

[Setting] Goals.
Reading [related to the Goals].
Thinking [about the Goals].
[Taking] Action [related to the Goals].

So basically focusing on the goals. Maybe that ties back into the dopamine-centric approach, too (I confess the dopamine post was massive and I couldn’t really follow/read it much)? Getting stuff done and creating a positive brain chemistry for doing so.

So I think I really will directly add reading [about goals] and thinking [about goals] to my game plan on a daily basis. Of course I can still read and think about other stuff....

So let’s say that setting goals maybe takes 30 mins per week? And taking action directly on these key goals takes maybe 10+ hours per week (I build a lot of bandwidth in for regular "life" and "work" around that)? So I guess reading and thinking should be somewhere in that mix. Perhaps around roughly 5 hours per week - following the "5 hour rule"? That would be roughly 1 hour per day total, more or less. So 30 mins of reading and 30 mins of thinking.

Actually I just calculated and it’s 42-43 mins per day, to achieve a minimum of 5 hours per week.

So I will just round it up and experiment with 30 mins per day reading about goals, and 30 mins per day thinking about goals. Because I already set up my goals each week, and I already have action steps tied to those goals. Sounds good?


though she be but little...
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Nov 30, 2018
Reading literature books that are above a sixth grade reading level will enhance your vocabulary, grammar, and writing skills.

People judge you by the way you write.

Emails. Facebook ads. Instagram posts. Landing pages. Website content. These all need decent writing.

Do you want to come across well? Do you want ppl to understand you? Do you want to be an intelligent contributor to the conversation? Do you want to be a leader across more than just one platform? The fastest way to become a better writer is by reading more.

People write confusing posts on this forum almost every day. They fail to get help because they don’t communicate well. Reading literature would greatly benefit them. Reading self-help books would help them.

You grow in direct relation to your environment.

If your mental environment is filled with Spongebob we shouldn’t expect much more from you than we would from a bottom-dwelling crustacean.

Reading biographies and firsthand accounts of historical events prepare us for the future.

The economy is cyclical. There are clear patterns. Socialism has been attempted, repeatedly. Communism has too.

How can you be a wise investor or a global tradesperson if you have no idea about history? How can you see where entire countries have been led down dark paths if you’ve never read any history? More importantly how will you judge whether or not you’re being fooled? A YouTube video put out by someone in the last five months is ABSOLUTELY NOT comparable to a book that has lasted 800 years. Is YouTube a good way to get excited about a subject? Sure! But. There is no comparison to reading the words from someone who actually lived through the ______ war.

Reading connects us to great minds who have already struggled and overcome.

Being an entrepreneur is lonely work. Being unscripted is a decision to step away from popular culture. When you discover that Einstein and Sam Walton and Columbus just so happened to struggle with pressure and fear and betrayal... it lightens your emotional load. It is almost impossible (except on this forum) to have a group of successful geniuses all telling you what they would do in your exact situation. It is VERY simple to go get a bunch of books written by geniuses and discover how they overcame challenges like yours!

Change your mental environment!

If we really want to be ppl who reach millions but we don’t take the time to educate ourselves.. sigh.

Can reading be an action fake?

It depends on the book. Twaddle is intellectual candy. If a book hooks you, swings your emotions all around, doesn’t challenge your mind, your values, your cultural biases or it’s not something you’d be proud to have your children box up after your death? Yea. You’re just using reading to escape your issues.
Don’t do that.

Read excellent stuff because it makes you a better human being, a fuller more thoughtful person. Read a little every day from the the best stuff you can get your hands on.

End rant.


Legendary Contributor
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 25, 2007
Scottsdale, AZ
No it isnt. It is the speed of implementation. Look it up.
I highly doubt that speed is what most successful people have in common.

My vote is the ability to learn and implement, which basically goes back to reading a lot.

lunga ngcobo

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Mar 29, 2019
I came across this article and various other similar articles that claim "reading" is the most important habit for people who have become wealthy. If you have found success in business, do you find this to be true? Is there a habit that's been more important to you than reading? Here is the article:

Thanks in advance!
Reading is crucial and so is action. But action without proper knowledge can lead to nowhere... so which is more important?? I'd say everything applied to succeed in business is equaly important to the other.

With one missing component, a fastlane business becomes impossible to build.

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