I’ve often shared the story about acres of diamonds, popularized by Russell Conwell, founder of Temple University, in the late 1800s. It’s about a man so obsessed with finding diamonds that he sold his property and began searching throughout his country. He never discovered diamonds, but later the new owner of his former property discovered acres of diamonds on that property.
When I heard the story for the first time, I was a young, inexperienced owner-operator struggling just to pay the bills. I needed information to run my business and had convinced myself that because I hadn’t gone to college, I didn’t have the knowledge to be successful.
Then, while I was driving one day, a huge irony hit me. It was my acres of diamonds: My job allowed me as much as 12 hours a day to learn via audio materials. I started collecting audio books, seminars and speeches. You name it, I listened to it. I also bought an inexpensive recorder so that I could “write” notes to myself while driving. I continue to use my driving time the same way. I just wish I had more of it.
If you begin learning while you are driving, it will change your life for the better. For starters, I recommend these five books, available on audiobook downloads from audible.com.
Who Moved My Cheese? SKILL: Adapting to change. SUMMARY: Spencer Johnson reveals truths about how people can succeed in changing times. The book is an enlightening story of four characters who live in a maze and look for cheese to nourish them and make them happy.
People Are Idiots and I Can Prove It! SKILL: How to succeed in everything. SUMMARY: Larry Winget discusses what he calls “life’s messes” and offers sound, simple solutions. He addresses business, family, health, being fat, being stupid, success and money and offers ways for people to turn their lives around.
The Fred Factor. SKILL: Providing excellent customer service. SUMMARY: Mark Sanborn illuminates simple steps that can transform our lives. He reveals four basic principles to help bring fresh energy and creativity to our life and work.
The World is Flat. SKILL: How to understand the world economy. SUMMARY: Economist Thomas Freidman examines the factors shaping business and competition in a technology-driven economy. He uses case studies, interviews and statistics to illustrate problems and possible solutions. This isn’t the boring economics you had in high school.
Atlas Shrugged. SKILL: Learning the nature of true capitalism. SUMMARY: Ayn Rand’s lengthy, classic novel presents a defense of free enterprise when it’s threatened by big government. It’s quite relevant today and might inspire you to succeed in a competitive industry. n
A group on my website is dedicated to reviewing and sharing information on audio books. It’s a great forum for getting ideas. Go to LetsTruck.com and search for “Audible truckers for further knowledge.”
Kevin Rutherford is an accountant, small-fleet owner and the host of “Trucking Business & Beyond,” which airs on Sirius XM Radio’s Road Dog Trucking Radio. Contact Rutherford through his website, LetsTruck.com.