A Personal Introduction
A Short Story about Shelly Stuart Jones.

18 years self employed business owner, who lost everything financially when the building industry came to a screeching halt in @ 2007.
Went out for the first time and landed a "Good Paying Job" as if Good can be used to modify Job. We were living paycheck to paycheck - month to month, and getting basically nowhere financially. At the age of 42, my 18 year old son who was just graduated from High School was a better financial risk than myself as far as the banking industry was concerned. A very humbling experience for myself. So at 42 my wife and I were financially starting over! How exciting!! Employed at a factory that makes Beer Bottles, I was starting off at just over $16/hr. For our area this was "GOOD MONEY". Within the first 3-4 years we had paid off all debt except the mortgage, by being as diligent as possible and focusing on paying off outstanding balances and debts. That is when I made a decision that I was tired of being broke AND that I wanted to get more out of life (financially) because at this rate I would be able to retire in about 287 years! Something had to change. To that end I started reading everything I could get my hands on about personal finances.

The first book on personal finances I read was probably the most impactful and the one that inspired me to really move forward in this endeavor, called "the Richest Man in Babylon" by George S. Clason. A fantastic and wonderfully book written in parable form, each chapter - a short story unto itself -  teaching sound financial lessons upon which to build your family's financial future. Chapter 3 was the most outwardly inspirational for me in that it has pushed me to share this book and other experiences with others (as well as this webpage), in the hope of inspiring others to make a change in their financial lives. I wished that I had learned what this book has to teach when I was much younger, as in just starting out or before I started out on my own. Hugely impactful!

This web page is dedicated to the hope of inspiring YOU to make a stand financially in your life, and for you to teach and inspire the same to your children, parents, brothers, sisters - Friends and Family to do the same.

I will review a list of books which I have read and keep adding to that list as I read new ones.
I will also have links for other resources: blogs, book purchase links, and other helpful links

There are 2 ways to increase your bottom line (savable, spendable income) and I have done both and continue to focus on #2 that I will share with you.
1) Spend less of what you make or bring home

Personal Finances

The Richest Man in Babylon  by George S Clason

My favorite and the first book on personal finances. written in parable form each chapter is a short story that teaches specific financial lessons or outlines practices and laws of money that work!

The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach

Outlines a simple step by step procedure for automating your finances to ensure success. Setting in place SYSTEMS that will keep you moving forward and achieving your long term financial goals. I loved this book and have used many of the systematic techniques to get up a winning mechanism for our financial prosperity, in the FIRST year to be able to save: $11,000+ in my 401K, $5000+ in an Emergency fund, and $2000 in a vacation fund so we can go to Disney - Orlando for a few days

Debt Free by 30 by Jason Anthony and Karl Cluck

A book I truly enjoyed reading and sending to my son to read; great, fun read, about setting up and overcoming the indebtedness young people often find themselves SUCKED into! Written by two young people in the middle of "it all" and you can feel their pain as they discuss how it happened and how they triumphed.

Personal Responsibility, Personal Growth

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

My favorite book in the Personal Mastery/Development department. The First Book any and ALL people in ANY Leadership position-field should read, study, re-read and use as a personal handbook of how to interact with other people!

Failing Forward by John C Maxwell

John has a way helping you address and understand the cycle of failure and to use this for positive growth for success instead of allowing failures to become a roadblock and negative life altering stumbling blocks. I love his insightfulness and his open positive way of showing light at the end of the tunnel. Great book for anyone who has "challenges" Oh yea that's ALL OF US! Read it!

If How To's were enough We'd all be Skinny, Rich and Happy by Brian Klemmer

A book handed to me by a friend, and one that started me on a fun and exciting rollercoaster ride of self discovery. Brian helps you unravel some of the preconceived notions of why you do what you do and how you can recognize - and decide to change some of you "subconscious programming"

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Mental programming and thinking thoughts above and beyond "Hmm eggs, bacon and whatever else we need at the grocery store". using your mind as a tool for seeing possibilities in yourself and others. All "things" were first a thought , then verbalized and spoken into being, A fantastic book of the giants of our world and how they saw what could be and made it happen.

The Magic of Thinking BIG by David J. Schwartz
Yet another book that has helped me to see beyond the daily expectations and see organizations within organizations and thing on a much larger scale that from time to time almost scares me!  This book is a MUST READ for anyone wanting to break out of the mundane day to day thought patterns that keep you hostage to what didn't work yesterday to achieve your goals, and to start seeing the "BIGGER PICTURE"

Relationships & People Skills

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

My favorite book in the Personal Mastery/Development department. The First Book any and ALL people in ANY Leadership position-field should read, study, re-read and use as a personal handbook of how to interact with other people!

Mars and Venus In Touch by John Gray, Ph.D.

something every married couple should read TOGETHER! Men, this means you! and Women, share the reading, one chapter a night and change who reads every other night - makes it more fun! Helps the opposite sex understand why we-they act the way we-they do, not wrong just different.
If you are NOT married, and ever intend to interact with a person of the opposite sex in any level, intimate or not, this is a valuable tool to read and re-read!

Personality Plus by Florence Littauer

Defining and quantifying people into 4 basic categories of "Choleric", "Melancholy", "Sanguine", and "Phlegmatic". I am/was a strong Choleric, although I see other temperaments emerging as I continue to grow personally and change. Helps you understand how people operate from differing perspectives in the same situation. Not wrong, just different!

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

I enjoyed this book for its inward looking breakdown of looking at success through personal growth and defining it personally.
definitely a book leaders need to read and put on the "Books to read annually" list.

The Compassionate Samurai by Brian Klemmer

Being extraordinary in an ordinary world - Brian Klemmer (deceased) and his awesome organization at Klemmer & Associates pursue training leaders with a mindset of: A world where none are left behind" and this is one of the Best books on Personal ethics, and character building I have ever read. A must read - study for Anyone in the public leadership arena and in business as well.

The Prosperity Inititative
What is "The Prosperity Initiative? An Invitation for you to make a monumental change in YOUR life: Step into Personal responsibility, Take control of your finances, and your financial future.
Two sides to the same coin: A Change in philosophy (through reading books specifically written to help you learn to be in control of your own personal financial destiny), and Increase your income (through a self directed business model that ANYBODY can succeed)