52 minutes – That’s how much time the average American spends commuting to and from work each day. That doesn’t include trips to the supermarket or trips to the beach on weekends. It might not seem like that much, but 52 minutes sure does add up considering we work on average 261 days a year. That’s 1,000 hours right there. Multiply that by 10 years and you’ve got what best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers, considers as the equivalent of a doctorate.
Unfortunately, most people use that time for enjoyment. I loved a bit of Metallica in my college years. Beyonce and Taylor Swift in more recent years. Day in and day out, I would turn up the speakers and get my jam on. I figured that I might as well enjoy my ride to work; after all, what else could I do?
But ten years ago, as luck would have it, I ran into some trouble in my business and needed answers fast. I started out with a book by Drucker, The Effective Executive, the underrated Keys to the Vault, and the ever popular, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. But those books led me to others and soon I found myself picking up a lot of personal development materials, starting off with the larger-than-life Tony Robbins.
One day, though, Jim Rohn said something that changed how I lived my life. “Turn your car into a mobile classroom.” I must admit, it hadn’t occurred to me that I could transform my life without investing any extra time. Now, granted, you can’t take notes while you’re driving, but you can absorb a lot of information. Think of it like a college lecture that you didn’t bring a pen to.
Below are 9 of my favorite audio programs that are worth many times their price sticker. Heck, many of them you can pick up second hand on eBay. I don’t care how you get them, just do it. Then actually go through them. I have found that to get the most out of them you should listen to them numerous times. Eventually, I’d recommend you go through them and take notes, so you have easy access to the material when you need it later on.
Bear in mind, I went to a prestigious liberal arts college and attended International Schools in both the Philippines and Thailand. I estimate my education cost more than $250,000 and that was 20 years ago. However, I would say these following programs have had a bigger impact in my life, and they can in yours.
Tony Robbins, Personal Power 2
The original Personal Power program pretty much started the modern personal development industry and catapulted Tony into the limelight. He has since gone on to create some amazing programs such as Get the Edge and Unleash the Power Within, but it’s Personal Power 2 that I find is the most complete of all his programs.
Jim Rohn, How To Have Your Best Year Ever
Originally a live seminar, Jim Rohn turned it into one of his best programs. If you like Tony Robbins’ stuff, then you’ll love Jim’s. I have everything he has ever put out and while I think his The Classics DVD set is among the top three best personal development materials ever created, this article is about audio. You can’t go wrong with this program.
Earl Nightingale, The Strangest Secret
Earl Nightingale sums up this program nicely with six simple words – “You become what you think about.” Over six hours Nightingale explains precisely what he means by that. Believe me, once you’ve gone through this program, you’ll never be able to forget those words.
Zig Ziglar, The Born To Win Seminar
When bestselling author Seth Godin considers Zig Ziglar his mentor, people should pay attention. The Born To Win Seminar is actually a 15-CD and 3-DVD set, and it’s worth every penny. A great investment for small companies looking to incorporate it into employee training or for CEOs looking to raise their game.
Joseph Sugarman, Triggers
Pound for pound, this is my favorite audio program bar none. Four hours jam-packed with powerful marketing ideas enhanced by Sugarman’s funny anecdotes. Whether you’re looking for new marketing ideas, a better understanding of the psychology of selling, or just a good laugh, this is absolutely worth its price in gold.
Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits Mastery Series
If you haven’t read his best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, or are looking to understand the principles within it, this is one program you’ll want to add to your collection. A great program that teaches the qualities needed to be a leader in today’s business landscape.
Dan Kennedy, The New Psycho-Cybernetics
For those who don’t know Dan Kennedy, he’s a legend in marketing. Despite his many marketing programs available on the market, Kennedy himself talks about the importance of mastering the inner self in order to achieve success. Too often, people self-sabotage their own success. This program teaches a step-by-step system that helps you replace a negative self-image with positive affirmations of empowerment.
Peter Thomson, The Best-Kept Secrets of Great Communicators
The most powerful and influential people in the world have one thing in common: they know how to communicate effectively. The program will teach you how to actively listen, the power of questions, body language, and more.
Richard Koch, The 80/20 Rule
Many executives are familiar with Pareto’s Principle or, as it’s more commonly known, the 80/20 rule, but few of them truly understand its power. This is a great program that delves into how to incorporate the 80/20 rule into your business and life.
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Adrian Shepherd started his career as an ESL teacher in Japan, but today focuses on consulting with individuals and companies on productivity. His background in education helped him develop The One-Bite Time Management System (TMS), a revolutionary new system based entirely around simplicity: small bites that people can digest easily. He is also a contributor for the Huffington Post, Thrive Global and The Good Men Project. He is based in Osaka, Japan.