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3 Books That Made Me 6 Figures That Aren't About Business At All I stumbled upon these books in my second adventure of entrepreneurship, and they helped me grow my business past six figures.

By Nicole Bernard Edited by Micah Zimmerman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

"Mindset"... the new buzzword, kind of like pivot (barf).

I was the same way. The daughter of a Marine, born in the early '80s and the baby of five, I definitely didn't hear anything about "mindset" as a kid.

What I did hear was:

"Money doesn't grow on trees" or "Not now, that's too expensive."

I didn't know it at the time, but a lack mentality surrounded me. There was never enough. And, if there was, it would go away sooner rather than later. Feast or famine.

Miraculously, my parents put all 5 of us kids through college, and I believed that you go to college, then get a job for the rest of your life. That's what you do. College, work, pay bills, die.

Sadly, that is what happened to my dad, and he was working right up until he passed. Cancer took him so quickly that he didn't even get a chance to resign. He just took sick days. He was 71, had a C-Level banking career and still struggled financially.

Watching him go through that and knowing that he had wanted to retire years earlier but couldn't spurred me to leave the marketing agency I was at and start my own in 2016. I was scared to dive back into entrepreneurship, but as you probably know by now, entrepreneurship is deep in your bones, something that can't be shaken, something we continue to do even if (when) it seems crazy.

I approached my business similarly to my first, doing all the "things" without a lot of thought, feelings or emotions about what I desired the outcome to be.

It was only by accident that I actually stumbled upon "mindset." Keep reading to learn the three books that helped me to take my business beyond six figures.

Related: These Are the Next 6 Books You Should Read If You're Serious About Success

Book #1 — The Secret

I call The Secret the gateway book to mindset. I was introduced to it by a guest on my podcast who was a multimillionaire. What stuck out was what she was going through when she found it. She was struggling financially, single, her kids were young, and she said, "I realized nobody was going to save me, so I had to save myself."

And that is what this book is about — knowing that we can change everything and understanding that we are way more powerful than we realize while being aware that it all starts with us.

Our thoughts change our attitudes, which change our behavior, which change our actions, which change our lives.

What I love about The Secret is that it is easy to digest and has a variety of people from across the globe that share their experiences with "the secret."

Book #2 — Think and Grow Rich

I loved Bob Proctor from The Secret so much, and he constantly talked about Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich, so I read that next!

One of the things I love about this book is the origin story… Napoleon Hill was a young, poor reporter assigned to interview the wealthiest man in the United States at the time, Andrew Carnegie. Unbeknownst to Hill, Carnegie searched for someone to interview the most successful people worldwide and document their shared traits. During the interview, he asked Hill if he would do it without pay, and the only thing Carnegie would contribute was the introductions to these successful people. Hill said yes and spent the next 20+ years interviewing people like Henry Ford, Theodore Roosevelt and Alexander Graham Bell.

To me, this reinforces the fact that there are so many things going on around us that we don't even realize until we become aware that they even exist.

This book outlines 13 principles these people utilized to achieve enormous success.

Book #3 — In Tune with the Infinite

Where The Secret made me feel warm and fuzzy, this book made me feel raw and exposed. I started to uncover layers of myself that I didn't even know were there and didn't realize needed to be addressed. They say ignorance is bliss, and I was unaware of so much!

This was when I started to look at childhood traumas, limiting beliefs and aspects of myself that I did not even know were there. I realized I needed to let go of so many familiar feelings, emotions and behaviors to grow.

Sounds simple, right? It is simple, but it isn't easy.

You might wonder what these things have to do with running a business. For me, I would make poor decisions in my business based on past experiences and learned behaviors.

For example, I would take on a needy client who did not have the budget for my services, but I would agree anyway. This is because of my childhood experiences and my feelings of scarcity.

I realized that these underlying patterns were on autopilot, and it took a while to step back and see what was happening. And when I did, things began to change.

I attracted clients because I started doing things that felt right. I could focus more because I was cutting out the negative chatter, which led to better results. I was able to gain confidence and clarity about my business.

"Success is 95% mindset and 5% strategy." You can have the best strategies in the world, but if you don't have the mindset to back them up and align with them, they won't work.

So, while I agree with The Secret's "Ask, Believe, Receive," there is more below the surface of those words. You have to dig, get uncomfortable and do things you have never done before to remove the patterns, thoughts and emotions that have been hidden away so that you can genuinely believe that you will receive what you ask (and work) for.
Nicole Bernard

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Marketing Strategist & Founder at nb. marketing

Nicole Bernard's career began with Microsoft over 15 years ago, and since that time, she has owned and operated two successful businesses as well as worked with other major brands including RE/MAX and Venus Williams. She also hosts a popular podcast.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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