You Just Read a Self-Help Book. Now What?

“I don’t need sleep because I’m going after my dreams.” — said by someone after reading their first self-help book.


I’m actually happy for you if you just read a self-help book. Luckily, I’ve been reading this stuff for 13 years and have seen it all. Keep on reading this article if you want to know what to do next.

reading self help books

“Do what sets your soul on fire. Be the hardest worker in the room. Be yourself. Be so good that they can’t ignore you. Be passionate about your passions.”

Umm okay? Cool.

I get it. I’ve been there before. I started reading self-help/entrepreneurship/motivational books in 2008 and I spent 11 months consuming content before I finally launched Studenomics. I got stuck in the cycle of consuming. These days there’s an endless supply of inspirational videos and content on social media to get sucked into.

This is where you are right now.

You’re excited.

You’re ready to tell everyone about how hard you work. You don’t even need sleep. You’re always grinding and being passionate. You want everyone to know that you’re officially ready to be yourself and to be authentic. Your soul is on fire.

If you just read a self-help book or got into motivational quotes, you need this article.

I was there before and I don’t want you to make the same mistakes. I cringe when I see a friend on Facebook suddenly start to share awkward quotes with poor grammar. They usually follow up with sharing some sort of a video that doesn’t even remotely relate to them.

Here are a few quick things that you need to know after reading you first motivational book:

  1. Nobody cares about how hard you work.
  2. You’re not working that hard.
  3. See #1. Nobody cares.
  4. Seriously, you’re not working that hard.
  5. People have stuff going on.
  6. You have to accomplish something first before you start talking about how epic you are.

I’m not trying to put you down. I just want to bring you down to Earth so that you don’t burnout and alienate yourself in the process. I’m happy for you. I hope that you’re ready for a long journey that involves more than sharing quotes. I don’t want to see you annoy your entire social media network. I also don’t want to see you quit your job or end up completely broke because some online guru told you that being self-employed would solve all of your problems.

(Helpful hint: quitting your job to follow a “proven system” for passive income will lead to trouble.)

Okay, so what do I do about my excitement Martin? I’m ready to set my soul on fire!

[Must read: Why motivational quotes are ruining your life.]

Do something with your new-found energy.

Are you feeling excited? Are you pumped? Are you ready to tell the world about how passionate you are?

Do something!

I’ve helped many readers get into business (aka make real money). Theo is a tutorMatt makes tables. The trick is to focus on one thing and to actually seek out results in that specific field. The world doesn’t need another motivational speaker telling them to work hard.

Enthusiasm is priceless. I love when I meet an ambitious person who’s ready to tackle the world. It’s just better when this person is focused on something instead of sharing quotes on social media all day.

What can you do?

  • Launch your website.
  • Write articles.
  • Create work around your new business.
  • Find a client. You may have to help someone for free to build up your portfolio.
  • Go workout (release some of that energy).
  • Do research for your business.
  • Get results in the field that you want to promote in.
  • Try to make your first dollar.
  • Attend a conference.
  • Take out a successful person for coffee.
  • Get feedback from people who have credibility.
  • Go to work so that you can pay your bills.

Find a like-minded community.

Try to join a community with similar interests so that you have somebody to talk to about this stuff. You don’t want to try to force your drinking buddy or your co-worker to get into this self-help world because it’s just not for everyone.

For example, I attend a financial blogging conference every year. I keep in touch with the friends that I’ve met there through social media. When I want to discuss a new blogging strategy, I reach out to these friends because my buddies at the gym just don’t care about the topic.

The good news is that there’s a Facebook group for everything. I’m in a group for my wrestling gym, an MMA pool, young entrepreneurs, personal finance bloggers, and even residents of my condo.

Find where your people hang out and go there. These are the people that are excited about sharing similar memes and discussing these topics.

Never forget about money.

“The money will manifest itself.”

Okay, cool.

Wait, what the hell does that mean?

Yes, I do believe that money is based on value and what you put out into the world, No, you can’t pay your bills with motivational quotes. You need money to pay the bills in the real world. Your landlord and electric company don’t care about how passionate you are. They prefer cash.

Here are a few harsh realities of money:

  • You have to pay off your debt.
  • You need money in the bank to quit your job. The bills are going to come in and you better be ready to cover them.
  • The weirdos on Instagram promising passive income are delusional. Read this article if you want to start investing money.
  • You can’t survive without money.
  • People won’t give you money just because you’re passionate.
  • You have to actually provide a service or product to get paid.

Stop consuming content.

I would binge read these book waiting for something to happen. You end up just consuming more. There’s always another book to read, another podcast to listen to, and another rich person on Facebook to bother for guidance.

You’re motivated enough. Go take some action. You don’t need another quote to feel inspired.

You can read something else now. You don’t need another motivational book. Expand your mind.

Don’t give unsolicited advice.

“You need to try this cleanse.”

First of all, I’m in the shape of my life. Second of all, who are you?

I recently had someone try to convince me to buy some useless health product. Not happening. This person is likely doing this to everyone on their social media network. I don’t think that this is going to win over any friends.

People don’t want to hear it. Your friends don’t want to be told to be more authentic or to be epic.

Your friend with three kids is too busy for this. Your friend going through pre-season doesn’t care about how inspired you are about capturing your life’s work. Some people are already inspired enough. Other people have completely different goals. Nobody wants unsolicited advice.

“Unsolicited advice is the junk mail of life.” — Bernard Williams

Make money or get some results.

Do you have any results yet? Have you made a penny from this new passion of yours?

If not, then get back to this hard work that you claim to be doing.

Here’s the process that you need to follow:

  1. Do something and make something happen.
  2. Get some results for yourself and at least one other person.
  3. Then talk about it. You can document the journey during or after the fact.

I started a fitness blog before I got jacked. I felt like a fraud. I was a fraud. Luckily, I documented the journey and it forced me to get into better shape.

Take some time to read up on freelancing compared to starting an online business if you’re actually serious about this stuff.

Stop sharing memes all day.

Unless you have a meme page, don’t go sharing 100 memes on your personal Facebook profile. We get it. You’re passionate. No need to remind us 8 times a day.

Move out of your mom’s basement.

You should probably pay a few bills before you start lecturing people on how to live life. It’s easy to lecture 24/7 when you know that someone else will be paying for the bills. Most people in real life are responsible for their own expenses and they just can’t relate to how authentic you are.

Don’t talk like someone else.

“I’m just so authentic.”

Shut up. That’s not how you talk. We know when you’re trying to be like someone else. It’s kind of sad. We also know that you didn’t think of those quotes.

Get motivation when the spark fades.

I have a whole Instagram page dedicated to memes and motivational messages. These are important when you’re down and kind of bored. It’s important to turn to positivity when you’re feeling down. You just can’t get stuck in a cycle where you’re constantly trying to consume more content instead of actually seeking out results.

Don’t worry, I won’t end this post off with a lame inspirational quote. Go and do something.

6 thoughts on “You Just Read a Self-Help Book. Now What?”

  1. Vickie Micallef

    How true this is! I was talked into 4 MLM’s for the money I could make and lost a ton. Someone I have known for a long time, finally said to me, “What are you doing? You will never succeed in an MLM as it does not suit your personality.” Then the light went on and I threw everything away that was not me. I decided I was tired of being scared that I would not make enough money, and tired of being sad because life did not turn out the way I wanted it to. Shut up and get happy is my motto for 2018. I disengaged from all and everyone that was adding stress and sadness. I seek the things that give me joy and reject whatever makes me sad. I am finally meeting people who inspire me. Who I can work with and see the results I can bring to the partnership. I no longer ache inside. I feel whole. The world is my oyster! It was a long journey and I learned along the way.

  2. I think people who are just starting with this stuff tend to focus too much on the how and not enough on just doing it.

    Some wannabe entrepreneurs read dozens of blogs and books. In reality, all of these blogs and books are just saying the same things. The big difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is really just how much effort they put into it.

  3. I love the call to action. I see so many other people, and myself at times, that think that if they just buy a book about something positive, that they will all of a sudden be a better person. And this is without even reading the purchased book.

    To make things happen, you need to take action. Dreaming big and thinking of all of these great ideas isn’t going to get you anywhere unless you take some action. Get the ideas out there. Make something. Create something. Be truly productive. Productivity means that you are truly “producing” something.

    1. Well said Preston. It’s easy to get lost in the moment. I spent an entire summer reading productivity stuff without ever applying it!

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