Note:  Dear Readers:  Please comment below and tell me what you are reading now!

My pal and fellow Colorado Speaker Jay Arthur and I are in the same mastermind group.   After a discussion about reading in one of our meetings, he wrote the following letter, and I thought it was absolutely right on.  Check it out:

Years ago, I listened to a tape by motivational speaker Brian Tracy.festival of books
He said that if you read an hour a day, that in five years you’ll be a worldwide expert in your field.
I listened and adopted his advice.

In 1976, my friend Dave told me that “Everything you need to know is written in a book somewhere; all you need to do is find an author who speaks to you.” At that time, I was three years out of college and hadn’t read a book since.
I listened and adopted his advice.

And, I rarely buy a book anymore. I check them out of the library.
I found that too many books are “all feathers and no meat.”
Every once in awhile I find a book that’s really meaty and I buy a copy to highlight and review.

I’m going to suggest, that if we aren’t reading in our chosen field and other fields that might have stimulating ideas, that we are becoming obsolete and irrelevant.


Then I responded:

I’d like to chime in.   I second Jay’s advice.  I read all the time.  I love novels, but lately have read books about everything from Base Ball Strategy,  gourmet cooking, New York chefs (—I was on a roll!), West Point, D-Day, and John Adams.  I like them and feel that I’m learning about the world.  I think this type of reading is important.

But at the National Speakers Association CSP/ CPAE summit books(I have at least one of those) my main take away might seem relevant.  And I’ll save you the $1500 it cost me to get it:   become a thought leader.   This means reading in my field and related fields and then be able to think and write uniquely in my field.

Seriously, that was what I got out of the seminar.  ALL of the people making big money are big thinkers.  Period. Product, speeches, consulting etc follow….they don’t lead.

So I immediately bought six books.  Four of them blow, but I’m going VERY slowly and carefully through the remaining two, which are awesome.    (I need to start working the library like Jay).   I’m on a roll and already have several other books cued up.

There are two immediate results from my reading:

1.    I’m learning stuff that is applicable to my writing (blogs/books) and to my keynote.  I’m taking organized concrete steps toward increasing my expertise and ability to be a thought leader.

2.  I feel damn good about myself because I know this is a good idea.  And I’m taking the time to read, take notes, highlight, try to think of it thru’ my eyes as a ‘happiness/humor-at-work guy.”    Seriously, I feel great about doing this. I’m an idiot for not adopting it sooner.

I’m still reading about cool stuff that I love.  And I still love novels. But now, as part of my work week I’m reading.

My main goals in my work day include only 4 things:
1.  website improvement and maintenance.
2.  Work towards being a thought leader.   (Read now, write soon)
3.  Work all incoming calls/email leads to death.
4.  Build a herd.

Everything else is either secondary or a subset of one of the top 4.

Thanks Jay for starting the conversation.


So my question to you is:  what are YOU reading, and why?   Can you learn, as I have, from Jay and others like him?  Read now and you’ll be an expert before you know it.

Need an expert on how humor and happiness effect our productivity at work?  Go to the contact page now.

Note:  Dear Readers:  Please comment below and tell me what you are reading now!


Brad Montgomery
Motivational Speaker, Reader, and…. Thought Leader!

PS.  Sign up for Jay’s ezines at and