I met Tim Sanders at an event about a month ago. I wouldn’t say I was stalking him, but let’s just say I have been a fan of his for awhile and I jumped at the chance to see him speak. I don’t know his address, his favorite color, or what peanut-butter-to-jelly ratio he prefers on his PB&J sandwich. I’m just a fan. And since he was genuine, authentic, and downright friendly when I met him, I’m going to go out on a limb and call him my friend. Not best-man-at-each-others’-weddings kind of friends. Just new friends.
And even though I’m a fan (and a new friend), I wouldn’t recommend his book to you if it sucked.
It didn’t. In fact, it is very, very good. And here’s why:
Tim is a gifted and purposeful storyteller and his stories and advice are incredibly timeless and powerful in application. Today We Are Rich is full of stories from Tim’s life (and many other’s lives, too) that he weaves into some of the most practical advice I’ve ever read in a self-improvement book.
A central “character” of the book is Billye (yes, that’s the spelling), Tim’s amazingly wise grandmother. While my grandmother was telling me things like “Be quiet and eat your peas,” Billye was teaching Tim life lessons that have helped him weather bad times (which he calls his “sideways years”) and propel him to success in good times. And he’s had plenty of both.
Until this book, I had only heard the good stories about Tim’s life — his rapid ascent to executive at Yahoo!, his growing list of best-selling books, and how he helps companies take a fresh look at themselves via his practical and analytical consulting abilities. But this book also reveals a whole string of life events that make you realize that Tim has been-there-done-that on both sides of the success fence.
As I read Tim’s recollection of his grandmother’s advice, I often smiled to myself because I just couldn’t get Forest Gump out of my head. Tim is NOTHING LIKE Forest Gump. I want to make that abundantly clear. But Billye’s advice often sounds an awful lot like the advice Forest Gump recites from “momma.” A few examples:
“Confidence is rocket fuel.”
“Gratitude is a muscle, not a feeling.”
“You can get glad in the same pants you got mad in.” (This may be my favorite)
Today We Are Rich is what I consider a “highlighter book,” meaning it’s a book to read with a highlighter in your hand. As I flipped back through the book to prepare this review, I discovered I never read more than a couple of pages without highlighting something. Many pages had more than one highlight, too. By recalling stories and quotes from Billye and self-improvement heroes like Norman Vincent Peale, Tim lays down many quotable nuggets of his own, Here are two I really liked:
“How can you detect your higher purpose? It lies at the intersection of a make-a-difference opportunity and your personal capabilities.”
“Keep your promises because of who you are, not because of who they are.”
One last thought. Tim talks about God in this book. Not in a Bible-thumping, hit-you-over-the-head-with-a-dashboard-Jesus kind of way. It’s just part of who he is and what he knows to be important. I love that he does it with such authenticity and approachability. It’s refreshing.
Today We Are Rich is a great book. At the risk of sounding like one of the quotes you see on a Hollywood movie poster, I really do think this book is destined to be a self-help classic.
If you’d like to check out a chapter, you can download a good-sized chunk from Tim’s website for the book: www.twar.com
When you read it (or if you have already read it), feel free to add to my review by adding a comment to the blog!