Intro to book reviews

When I was in school, if I’m being candid, I didn’t really enjoy much of the academics. One of my least favorite things was book reports. I didn’t like reading (mostly because I’ve never been good at it), and I hated writing about things I didn’t want to read in the first place (I’m looking at you The Island of the Blue Dolphins).

That was something that I carried with me for a long time. I have always had an affinity for audiobooks, even though I didn’t realize it for a long time. It all started with Hank the Cowdog and carried on with Harry Potter.

Early on in my adult life, I started to find more enjoyment in audiobooks and it has led me down several paths that I’m sincerely happy that it has.

In this blog series, I hope that you are lead to books that will help enrich your life and assist you in finding direction both professionally and personally.

Ross Hamil

Creative Director, Hamil Bros Studios

The Total Money Makeover

The earliest I can recall reading a nonfiction book (by choice) was in about 2006. I was working for my dad at his machine shop, and a friend of ours, Greg Niemann, put me onto Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. I don’t recall why, but, I listened through it on my iPod and started listening to his radio show. Through his radio show I heard him talking about his book The Total Money Makeover. This was the start of my personal finance journey, and I was eager to get started.

I bought it and immediately started reading it (the hardback copy). I remember specifically sitting in the lobby of West Texas Off Road Center and reading the book. I couldn’t tell you why I was there, but, I was. I remember struggling to retain anything I was reading and ended up buying the audiobook.

Once I got the audiobook on my iPod, I couldn’t stop listening. I was hungry for information in a way that I had never been before. This stuff was simple. It sounded hard, but it was simple. I could do this.

Baby Steps

In case you’re not familiar with Dave Ramsey, he is known for his proven personal finance methods that are simple and easy to understand.

The foundation of his method is what he calls “The Baby Steps.” Having been a long-time movie lover, this inevitably made me think of What About Bob? with Richard Dreyfuss and Bill Murray. Much to my pleasant surprise, that movie was where Dave came up with the name for his plan.

In short, the baby steps are as follows:

  1. Fund a baby emergency fund of $1000
  2. Start your debt snowball – pay off everything but the house
  3. Fully fund your emergency fund (3b is save up a down payment for a house)
  4. Put 15% into retirement
  5. Save up for kids’ college
  6. Pay off the house
  7. Grow your wealth and give most of it away 

You can learn more about all of these on his website. 

My thoughts

I’ve really loved this book for a long time. It’s a great way to get your finances in order and really learn some self-discipline. I like how simple it is and how easy it is to retain. I’ve had the baby steps memorized for a long time.

Before starting Hamil Bros Studios, I, like just about everyone else, had big dreams for what I wanted in life, and this plan gave me a roadmap on how to get there. Since starting the video production business, it has given us a good plan on how to operate our business and stay out of trouble.

The reason I started this series with a book on personal finance is because, when it comes to running a business, it’s not that hard. When it comes to running our lives, it feels impossible sometimes. If we can figure out how to run our personal lives, how much easier will it make running a business.

If your personal life is in order, it makes decision-making for your business less stressful because your personal problems aren’t jading the way you view business decisions. 

Ultimately, I love this book and have bought several copies for several friends, family, and acquaintances throughout the years, and I hope that you will grab a copy for yourself.

Leave us some comments

I would love to hear your thoughts on this book, if you’ve read it and I would also like to hear some feedback on books you recommend and why!


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