11 Personal/Self-Development Tools that can make you money

There are many tools that could be used on a daily basis that can assist you in your personal and self-development.  Below is a list of the ones that I have found to be the most useful for me.  I have found that investing time and energy in each of the areas below have made me more money and the people I associate with can provide you with the same testimonial.

Live Training:  Being a trainer and having the fortunate opportunity to get exposed to a lot of training during my life, I think it is still one of the best personal and self-development tools that any of us can invest in.  Some people want it for free (and there is a lot out there for free) but usually (not always) you get what you paid for.  My best personal and self-development (growth) has come from LIVE on the SPOT coaching from a coach on a particular subject.  It’s not how much something costs, it is what am I getting.  I have seen live coaching and training turn into millions of dollars for people.  YES, millions! Do a study and see.  When a person develops a skill and talent at a high level due to some coaching they received, it impacts their income for years and that can be millions of dollars.

Audio/Video seminars:   Many times people attend a seminar and they get highly motivated and that high they have while there is gone in a matter of a week few weeks or days.  So what you include in your audio/video library can greatly affect your life.  Also, many times you can just a purchase a seminar that you couldn’t afford to attend live or just couldn’t find the time to attend live.  I also, like to purchase these seminars through some of the personal development resources that sell them. YouTube actually has these on there as well.

Books:  Books are probably by far the most inexpensive and most impactful tool for development that I have found.  Books on any subject and any category can be found on Amazon or through the public domain.  Many audio books can even be listened to on YouTube and you don’t even have to purchase them.

Blogs:  There are a lot of blogs out there on a variety of subjects. What I have found for me, is that I could literally have thousands automatically sent to me everyday if I wanted to.  However, I don’t need that much information.  So I strategically sign up for about five or so and get those for a period of time and then unsubscribe from them and find others.  This allows me to keep the message fresh.  Find a few blogs that you like. Also, as I state below, twitter is one of my favorite mediums and I follow many people on there that blog and just read it on there when I have time, versus having it sent to my email.

Email subscriptions:  There are a few books that I have read that the authors or publishers include a weekly or monthly email on trends on the particular topic or subject that they are known for and you read a book on.  Again, these are infrequent but very valuable in my opinion.

Twitter:  I am one of the biggest fans of twitter.  I do tweet information out a lot, I think I have tweeted over 2000 times since opening my twitter account.  But I use twitter for my own personal development because there is so much great content on twitter.  Every author, organization, magazine, trade publication, government organization, etc. has a twitter account and they put out lots of great content.  If you don’t tweet that is fine, but open an account for your own personal and self-development so you can get lots of great content.

LinkedIn Groups:  This is one that is very valuable that I don’t use enough.  There are millions of groups on LinkedIn I am sure.  For just about any sector of work from realtors, sales people, followers of certain authors, companies, you name it, there is a LinkedIn group associated with it.  By joining these groups you can learn what others are doing in your sector and in your business.  It is really a great resource.  You can get the updates sent directly to your email, or you can make it a point to log in everyday and see what is going on in the group discussions.

YouTube/YouTube channel subscriptions:  There is so much information on YouTube it is ridiculous.  You can listen to audio books, listen to speeches given in a lecture at Harvard, to listening to a specific person in your industry give a presentation to a company.  There is just so much information and you should include it in your personal development arsenal.

Magazines and Trade Publications:  I have a subscription to SUCCESS Magazine and I also get a copy of the local Business newsletter here in Louisville. Most of the information in these publications are actually sent out via a twitter feed before the magazine or journal hits the stands, however, getting the hard copy of both is valuable as well.

Action:  After getting a lot of the great information you seek and learn, putting it into action is the most important element.  Many people attend a seminar or training and put the manual on the shelf and never look at it again.  I used to read the books and assumed I had all of the information in my head, I now write about a page or more (depending on how good the book was) in my journal.  This allows me to solidify the message and takeaways in my head.  Action is the most critical of all personal and self-development.

The people you spend your time with:  Lastly, but probably one of the most important is who you spend your time with also adds to your personal and self-development.  This particular category can make or break you.  So choose wisely, who you spend your time with has the most influence over your success or failure.

These are just a few that I use pretty frequently in my own personal and self-development. Many of the above categories send notifications or updates via email.  I have all emails around my personal and self-development sent to a specific email account that is used for this purpose only.  This is my way of keeping it all organized.  If you have too many emails coming in it can be overwhelming, and I have found that sending everything to one account allows me to keep it all together.

Please share your personal and self-development tools that I may have missed. Andrew Carnegie stated that “A mans great asset is their desire to learn.”


Brian Willett



Before or After work

I have had some what of a revolutionary discovery for my self. Almost three years ago, I decided to start doing my workouts (gym time) in the morning, instead of the evening.  When I did this I also started a more intentional growth plan for myself, that included reading something every day for at least 30 minutes. Now some three years later I have discovered that I am much more productive with my “before work” time than I ever was or am, with my “after work” time.

Here is what my after work time would consist of three years ago. Get up at 6:30 or 7:00 am.  Go to work.  Get off work somewhere between 5-6.  Go to the gym.  Get finished with that around 7-7:30.  Go home and cook dinner and watch the O”Reilly factor and Sean Hannity between 8-10.  Or some sporting event that would be on.  Also, with my schedule and line of work, you never really know what will come up through out the day or when you will actually get off of work.  So on some days the workout would get canceled or not be a priority.  Or happy hour would be so appealing after a long day of work that I could easily be persuaded to attend that instead of the workout.

Through this discovery of intentional growth I stumbled upon the great Benjamin Franklin’s quote “Early to bed, Early to Rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”  

I can honestly say that when I made this change some three years ago.  I really did it out of commitment to getting my work out completed.  It has now become a way of life for me.  Over these three years, I have seen my growth and development go to places I would have never thought they could go, just by being intentional about it.  I have seen my health and wellness and commitment to my health soar, and my wealth, I’ll just say I am on a good path.  I have become a better employee to my company because I am a better person to myself.  Because I am focused on development in the morning when I am fresh, it makes me a person that can bring more ideas and vigor to the workplace.  

Andrew Carnegie states that most people have 3 parts to a day.  You have Work, Sleep, and your spare time.  What you do in spare time will determine your success.  You can use your spare time to watch reality television (I have been there and done that), or watch the next American Idol winner (I never really go into that), watch the 24 hour news cycle, or you can do something productive.  The time in the morning before work I am much more productive, focused, and committed, plus there are no distractions.  If you work off shifts, like 2nd or 3rd.  The same rules apply.  Get up earlier and do the things that will make you a  better person and employee before you go to work.

My goal now is to see how much time I can create before I go to work.  How early is too early, we will see.

Brian Willett

Self Discipline

Andrew Carnegie stated that the greatest and the most essential ingredient to success is Self Discipline. Self discipline is complete control over ones mind which in turn complete control over their actions.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes my self-discipline is absent.  I allow life or circumstances to get in my way. Mr. Carnegie goes on and explains that Self Discipline begins with constructive habits in the areas of food, drink, sex, and the use of spare time. When you have self-discipline in these areas it controls everything else.

Food:  There is a correlation between how we feel and what we eat.  I know when I am eating healthier food, I feel better, and I get more accomplished.  You can’t be very productive if you feel bad.  I honestly think the state of the nation with regards to food is kind of scary.  The stuff we put into our mouth that we don’t even know about is absurd.  I know we all make decisions on what we do eat, but what is it doing to us?  I don’t even know.  What I do know is that when I have discipline in the area of food I feel better.  I lost about 35 pounds last year, and that act alone required self-discipline and a lot of it.  I feel so much better since I made the decision to cut calories and watch what I eat.  I also credit that discipline (losing weight) leading me to many other disciplines that I now have in my life.

Drink:  Wow. Having self-discipline in the area of drinking.  I don’t necessarily think about alcohol here either, I think about cokes and other artificially flavored drinks.  What are they doing to us.  Again, a lot of health issues can be attributed to both alcohol and soft drinks.

Sex:  How many times have we seen politicians or prominent figures lack self-discipline in this area and it ruin their careers?  Too many times to count.  That is just prominent people that we hear about.  But what about everyday life where marriages are ruined, finances are ruined, lives are ruined because of lack of discipline with regards to sex. I think we can all agree that self-discipline in this area can be a major contributor to our own success.  I listen to the Dave Ramsey show in the morning when I work out.  He states that the fastest growing addiction online is porn.  He said he has watched it ruin many lives spiritually and financially.

The use of spare time.  How do you spend your spare time?  Are you watching sports or Are you actively engaged in adding value to yourself or to others?  The day can be broken down into 3 eight-hour segments.  (8) work, (8) sleep, (8) recreation.  Most successful people spend closer to 10 hours working, but that is another blog for another day.  Your success is determined by what you do in that recreation time, Lets call it “opportunity time.”  Do you spend it attending school and getting further education?  Do you spend that time reading?  Do you spend it networking?  Do you spend it working part-time on something that can generate income?

I became intentional about spare time about three years ago.  I can honestly say that everything that I have accomplished during the last three years was in direct correlation to that decision I made.  I am now being even more disciplined in how I spend my spare time to increase my success even more.

Self Discipline:  Mr. Carnegie’s teachings on this subject has inspired me even more, and I hope to do the same for you by sharing this information with you.

Brian Willett

Motives are the beginning of all desires

Dr. Napoleon Hill asked Mr. Andrew Carnegie:  Was your major motive to make money?

Mr. Carnegie replied with: NO, my major motive always has been that of making men more useful to themselves and to others.

What a worthwhile motive Mr. Carnegie had.  With inflation factored in, Mr. Carnegie hits the list as one of the top 4 richest people to ever walk this earth.  Yes this list includes Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Warren Buffet and they are way down the list.

How did Mr. Carnegie do it?  As stated above, it was all about making people better.  He created the environment in his businesses for people to rise out of the ranks through hard work and discipline to achieve greater jobs and greater responsibility.

As a leader it is our job to equip men/women with the environment and opportunity to become more useful to themselves and to others.  We do this by creating a motivating culture where people can express their thoughts, take risks, fail, and contribute to the overall goals of the company or department.  We also do this by guidance, mentoring, and educating them to develop themselves personally and professionally.

Be a leader today and do like Mr. Carnegie did and be motivated by equipping your team to be more useful to themselves, and others, and in turn they will be more useful to your business.

Brian Willett

Definiteness of Purpose

I have read the famed “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.  I am currently reading “The Wisdom of Andrew Carnegie as Told To Napoleon Hill.”  The 17 principles outlined in this masterpiece is actually the original conversation that Dr. Hill and Mr. Carnegie had, prior to the 20 years of research that Dr. Hill did to create the book “Think and Grow Rich.” The first principle Mr. Carnegie discusses and states must be first on the road to success is “Definiteness of Purpose.”

To be successful in any area of life we all must have a “Definiteness of Purpose”.  We all know this, but it is seldom practiced and I am no different.  Definiteness of Purpose means we must have a clear understanding of what we want and it must be a burning desire and passion for us.  When you have a definiteness of purpose you will not be distracted by anything that takes you away from pursuing this purpose.  It makes me think of Steve Jobs.  Steve Jobs and Apple’s definite purpose was to create products that revolutionized the industry and we as consumers didn’t even know we wanted or needed them.  He and Apple did this with the original MAC and how they changed the music industry and cell phone industry up until his death, his legacy lives on with the Apple brand still today.

At times I am pursuing what I think my purpose is, but then I get distracted.  I find myself going down rabbit holes that are not directed to my major purpose.  Is this you?  Maybe it is my own fault?  Yes it is my fault.  I feel like I have clearly defined my major purpose, but maybe it is not clear enough? If it is clear, am I on the right path to fulfilling it?  Not sure, I guess these are all great questions.  Here is what I do know, I am having fun and enjoying life and I have an attitude of gratitude for what I do have, I am truly blessed.

Brian Willett