“Secondhand books are wild books, homeless books, they have come together in vast flocks of veriegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack.”
– Virginia Woolf
One of my favorite places to visit every year is a quaint little town called Lewes – just minutes from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, which proudly claims the title of “The First Town in The First State.”
If you’re one of the 3,000 people who live there, I salute you – you’re place is beautiful! :)
Lewes is also the home of a kick-ass used bookstore – Biblion*- which this day in age is getting harder and harder to come by. And as much as I’m not helping the cause much with my publishing of thoughts online vs print, I very much prefer holding a physical item in my hand and would choose to read blogs all day long that way if I could. Imagine every time picking one up there are new pages (posts) automagically added? Would be heavenly!
But I digress…
In this cute little bookstore there are many a books to peruse (d’uh), and I usually come away with a new financial one to scan throughout my vacation – always at a steep discount.
This time around it was The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard, Ph.d. and Spencer Johnson, M.D. circa 1982 (for $2.50 – woo!):
I’ve only made it half-way through, but so far its promise to “quickly increase my own prosperity” has not lived up to its hype :) And only realized about a fourth of the way through that it was actually a management/business book vs a personal finance one, d’oh. I think the New York Times had it right when it remarked that it was “one of the more unusual books on the bestseller list,” haha… The concepts are actually great, but you could have told me a high school student wrote this and I would have believed you.
At any rate, there were parts to it that could very well be applied to many areas outside of just business/management, and particularly the 2nd stage of the three “easy-to-master management techniques.” It is called One Minute Goal Setting and would actually be a pretty smart thing to do if you can get yourself to try it!
Here’s what One Minute Goal Setting looks like:
(Per the outline in the book)
- Agree on your goals
- See what good behavior looks like
- Write out each of your goals on a single sheet of paper using less than 250 words
- Read and re-read each goal, which requires only a minute or so each time you do it.
- Take a minute every once in a while out of your day to look at your performance (*ahem* easy to do with net worth tracking and expense/income watching!)
- And lastly, see whether or not your behavior matches your goal.
#3 and #6 are the key ones in my opinion. Putting your goals down on paper increases the odds of hitting them so much more – especially if you write 250 words on it! – and then measuring your *actions* against those goals. Anyone can dream up some good ones, but actively working on them on a continual basis is a whole other thing. As Albert Einstein may or may not have once said, “the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again but expecting different results.”
And I’m not immune to this either, believe me.
Basically though, following these six steps could only help you reach your goals that much faster. Whether in your financial life or your career.
I’ll finish reading the book to see if any other gems pop out of it, but seeing how my kids just got a hold of it and thought it would be funny to rip out all the pages and try piecing them back together, it may take me a while to get back to it ;) I also love how my dad commented that he had just read it himself, not realizing that 30 years had passed since he did, haha… Apparently it was a hot item back then!
One last random thing before we go.
When I opened the book after purchasing it, I found a nice bookmark in it which re-affirmed how much I love used bookstores. On one side was the quote I shared up at the top, and on the other was a list of 10 reasons why shopping at independent bookstores are so good.
Here’s what it said:
Thanks For Shopping At Your Local Independent Bookstore.
Here’s what you just did!
- You kept dollars in our economy
- You embraced what makes us unique
- You created local jobs
- You helped the environment
- You nurtured community
- You conserved your tax dollars
- You created more choice
- You took advantage of our expertise
- You invested in entrepreneurship
- You made us a destination
You can’t help but feel good after reading that :) And interestingly enough channels technique #2 out of The One Minute Manager – the One Minute Praisings! Seems like they had read it themselves.
(The third, and last, technique, btw, is the One Minute Reprimands which says to tell people beforehand that you’ll always let them know how they’re doing no matter what, and then to reprimand immediately if anything comes up while simultaneously letting them know they’re still very much valued (i.e. scold the behavior vs attacking them as a person))
*Biblion means “little book” in Greek, in case you were wondering