Success Habit: The Impact of Everyday Learning


In a world full of digital distractions, it’s challenging to develop and stick with success habits that lead to greater levels of transformation and accomplishment. However, a simple routine like reading just 10 pages a day can lead to significant personal growth.

In this episode of Truest Fan Blueprint, hosts Phil Calandra and Rob Brown discuss the importance of daily reading as a cornerstone habit for success. They also recommend several timeless books that have personally impacted them throughout their careers.

Given constant digital interruptions, setting aside specific time for focused reading is crucial. As this practice becomes a regular part of your daily routine, it evolves into a success habit that can offer increasingly significant benefits over time.

In this week’s episode, Rob and Phil shed light on the following crucial topics:

  • Cultivating a Daily Reading Habit: Your Key to Success
  • Challenges in Modern-day Reading: Digital Distractions
  • Gaining Wisdom Through Books: Learning from Others’ Experiences and Avoiding Costly Errors
  • Effective Strategies for Enhancing Reading Retention

Reading is one of the most neglected yet effective success habits out there. It’s a proven strategy showcasing that personal growth doesn’t come from tricks but from small consistent actions. 


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Show Highlights



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Podcast Transcript

Rob Brown Snippet (00:00):

But when you’ve got that physical book in front of you, and you’re committed to reading 10 pages a day, or 20 pages a day, whatever that might be, and then you carve out the time, then it has a real natural way of building ourselves being something meaningful as not just something to disrupt or distract us during the day. It’s an intentional habits that allows us to get better.

Phil Calandra Snippet (00:25):

I think the thing that I’ve garnered most out of reading and from books, in my pursuit as an entrepreneur, as a father, as a business man, it’s absorbing the lessons, when you’re going to learn from the experiences of somebody else. Using books as a tool. It helps develop for you the lessons that you do not have to go and learn for yourself.

Rob Brown Intro (00:56):

Welcome to the Truest Fan Blueprint, a podcast for financial advisors, and other professionals looking to get the most out of yourself and your business. I’m Rob Brown, and my partner Phil Calandra. 

And I promise to walk you through a journey that will allow you to take action in your business and your life, so that you can be the best that you can possibly be. Thanks for listening. Welcome back to the truest fan blueprint. I’m Rob Brown, along with my co host, Phil Calandra. Phil, glad to be with you today.

Phil Calandra (01:41):

Awesome to be back. Rob. Looking forward to this one.

Rob Brown (01:44):

Yeah, for sure. You know, I probably say this, about more than one topic. But the topic of success habits has to be, if not my favorite in the top three. And for those of you who aren’t familiar with the truest fan blueprints, one of the things we really help our clients with through the blueprint is developing what we call success habits. 

And success habits are those things that you do every day or every week or every month, not because the habit itself is going to directly generate that ultimate success that you’re looking for. But you know that if you engage in that habit, day after day, week, after week, month, after month, it’s going to contribute in large part to the success that you achieve. 

And today, we want to dive into maybe something that you would be surprised that we consider to be a really important success habit. And Phil, I’ll turn it over to you to kind of the answer that question or surprised us with that answer.

Phil Calandra (02:57):

That’s a great way to tee it up, because we’re gonna go a little old school today for sure, with this success habit, and it’s something that you and I both agree on. And it’s something that I think if you dig down in any field, in any endeavor, you’re going to find that this one habit, this one thing probably contributes more than any other in the majority of cases. 

And there are basically only two ways that you can learn something in any field number one from experience. The problem with experience is it’s so damn expensive. It only comes through time. And number two is from other people’s experiences. 

And there’s one simple way that we can all learn from other’s experiences. And that is through books, specifically through reading books. And I can attribute this across many areas of my life where my success has been catapulted simply by reading

Rob Brown (04:06):

and feel you take that a step further because it’s not just saying you’re going to read a book or you know, putting a book on your nightstand and digging into it. on those nights where you can’t fall asleep. You actually have a success routine around reading when you’re studying a topic that you think may help you with something that you’re working on.

Phil Calandra (04:29):

Yes, I absolutely do. We talked about this briefly in a previous podcast. And my goal or my objective conscious objective is to read a minimum of 10 pages every day. And my routine is probably like a lot of people that are listening I I’m an early riser. Some people are night owls I happen to go to bed quite early. 

By 10 o’clock I’m out, but I wake up before five o’clock every morning. I go to the gym five days a week. And when I come home from the gym, I read, I have my coffee, and I read. And I do this pretty much every day of the week. And that’s why I consider it to be the single best habit that you can engage in or you can implement. 

And I want to tell a story, too, that reinforced this when I came into the financial services industry, when I first started in financial services, I started on the insurance side of the business, specifically life insurance. And the editor of financial services. Journal magazine was an acquaintance of mine. 

And he called me up one afternoon and there was a gentleman that was going to be at the Omni Hotel in downtown Atlanta, speaking to a group of people and he asked me if I’d like to meet him for dinner. 

And his name was Charlie, tremendous Jones, those that have been around the insurance field or in the financial services industry probably have heard of Charlie, tremendous Jones. So I had a chance to have a drink and dinner with Charlie tremendous Jones. 

And he’s attributed to a couple of very unique books that he’s written. But one of the books that I just happened upon, just this week, when I was cleaning out a bookshelf was the books you read. 

And the title of the book actually is, you are the same today as you’ll be in five years, except for two things, the people you meet, and the books you read. And this was an oldie but a goodie. And I know you have some oldies, but goodies, this just popped into my hands, the foreword was by none other than Augmon Dino, which both of you have on our bookshelves. 

So, you know, it’s not necessarily the new literature, but some of the old literature that talks about success habits, and we’re going to touch on this further. It used to be just print. Now we have this other thing that’s in our hands 24/7. So I know you have some oldies, but goodies robbed, that you believe are attributable to your success.

Rob Brown (07:05):

Yeah, absolutely. But I think before, so maybe we give our recommendations, additional recommendations on some books to check out, I think it’s really important to understand maybe a little bit around, you know why reading 10 pages a day has become so hard. 

I guess first of all, you can listen to a book, so you don’t have to read it. Yeah, then we’ve got that little device that we all carry around, that we can read anything from important stuff to nonsense for the minute we wake up in the morning, until we go to to bed in the evening. And there are podcasts.

And there’s all sorts of other stuff that we can use as a substitute for good old fashioned reading. But when you’ve got that physical book in front of you, and you’re committed to reading, you know, 10 pages a day, or 20 pages a day, whatever that might be. 

And then you carve out the time fill that, like you said that you do after you finish your morning workout. So it’s part of your morning routine, then it has a real natural way of building ourselves being something meaningful as not just something to disrupt or distract us during the day. 

It’s an intentional habit that allows us to get better at whatever that thing is that we want to improve on, whether it’s our mindsets, our marketing, our leadership skills, our relationship skills, that I think that’s really important to, to just dig into that granularity of, of this kind of substitution for reading every day that we might say, Well, that seems like a silly habit. And it’s not.

Phil Calandra (08:59):

Yeah, that’s right. I think the thing that I’ve garnered most out of reading and from books, in my pursuit as an entrepreneur, as a father, as a businessman, it’s absorbing the lessons, when you’re going to learn from the experiences of somebody else. 

Using books as a tool, it helps develop for you the lessons that you do not have to go and learn for yourself. So if you want to learn, you know, real lessons in real life that have happened to real people, there’s no better place than to go to literature, go to books, and it gives you a very clear perspective. 

Now, not everybody has the same path that you have not everybody will have the same trajectory that you have. But if you develop your skills in a way that is experiential, because you learned a lesson from somebody else that becomes a very, very powerful weapon. 

And I always viewed it that the winds as dumb the the ideas, the lesson that I can derive from even one sentence can literally shift my course, or shift my outcome and the place that I’m heading in life like no other. And that’s why I continually think that first successful people, it comes down to something as simple as reading.

Rob Brown (10:22):

Yeah. And that’s that’s a great point. And I think one thing that really jumps or two things actually jumped out to me when you went through that description, Phil is one, sometimes it’s just one sentence. 

And I can’t tell you how many times in reading a book, I’ve picked up one sentence. And maybe it’s a book that I’m reading for a second or third time because it’s so good. And I find that new nugget, that new quote that I can pull from that book, I can write it down, put it on a sticky pad and stick it to my computer so that I’ve got that thought in front of me. 

So So I think that’s one great thing. Do you do anything like that when you’re, when you’re reading? Yeah, I

Phil Calandra (11:08):

carry a little notebook, spiral notebook. And when I read something, if it’s a nugget, if it’s a sentence, that I deem that I need to commit to memory, I don’t always remember what I read, you know, 20 minutes later, I’ll write it down.

And what has happened to me over time is I have several, you know, of these little notes sized spirals, books that I can open up, you know, I talk a lot about in my financial planning, career and the success that I’ve had there, I credit a lot of it to behavioral investment counseling, and that the godfather of behavioral investment counseling is Nick Murray. 

And I’ve explored and learned experientially, from his writing. And I have a book that’s dedicated to things that I’ve learned from Nick Murray. I’ve just recently gone back through thinking grow rich, and also Outwitting the Devil, which is the, the manuscript that that Napoleon Hill wrote that didn’t come out until 70, some years after his death, because of a commitment he made to his family. 

Another great book, and I’m kind of going through and it’s my own editorial highlights that I’m picking apart the sentences, the meaning and the lessons that I want to grasp out of Outwitting the Devil, which, you know, is turning into one of my all time favorites now, even though it’s quite old, and when it was written,

Rob Brown (12:36):

right, so I mean, and the reason that activity on top of reading or a conjunction with reading is so important is allows for retention. So you may not remember the exact words, but you can go back and you can see those important themes that you picked up on it that you learn from. 

For me, right, I used to be the guy that thought books were not meant to be written inside of or highlighted. And so all of my books, even those that are read over and over again, were pristine, you couldn’t tell that I’d been there before. 

And I didn’t have the habit of taking notes. And so I’m over the course. So last couple of years, I completely changed that. I think books are made to be a marked up and written in is an author, I think you should buy two copies of every one of my books, one that you can keep, if you send to me, I’ll sign it for you and send it back. 

So it could be a collector’s item. But the other one, you should just mark the heck out of so that when you go back through it again, you can see what was important to you before, and how that may be different than what’s important to you. Now, in my new favorite tool when reading books is an app is called Oasis. 

And Oasis allows you to talk your thoughts, and then it turns your thoughts into an organized outline or description using AI. So I’ll go back after I read for a while and done some highlighting, I’ll pull the book out and read my highlights into oasis. 

And let it give me a summary of that. So it gives me another chance to kind of reflect in store what I read some of those outlines turn into podcast episodes or blog posts that I write. So I’m able to repurpose I like repurpose that. So again just some good techniques for ways that you can leverage or get, you know, multiple benefits from just that one simple habit of reading 10 pages a day.

Phil Calandra (14:47):

Yeah, I That’s great. That’s a great idea. I need to check out oasis. I didn’t always feel this way and think this way, about me Reading and about books. But I quickly realized, as I matured in my business, and as an entrepreneur, trying to achieve a level of success, did it was a great investment. It was an investment of my time, it was an investment of myself. 

And then I figured out that it would pay a massive dividend. And that dividend is the ability for us to absorb lessons and the learnings of other people. And it’s a competitive advantage, without a doubt, because if you’re talking about success, and we you teed it up perfectly Rob, if you’re going to obtain a level of success, there are certain habits, there are certain things that you and I both agree have to be present, it doesn’t matter your endeavor or field chosen field, there are certain success habits that are just repeatable, or repeated over and over, we see that in in the successful people of this world, over the decades and centuries. 

And it becomes really, really apparent that if you’re going to use the success habits as a competitive advantage, then you have to leverage it to its maximum capability. And I didn’t always see it that way. I don’t read fiction. I know people that can get immersed completely in, you know, name it, you know, JK Rowling’s series. 

You know, I just was never into that. But when it came to my own career, when it came to athletic pursuits when it came to even parenting, those were things that I was interested in, and I leveraged it gave me a competitive advantage.

Rob Brown (16:46):

Well, I’m, I’m hooked on the jet car series. Right now. Definitely. Definitely fiction. So I think you can, you can do do both. But let’s sum it. Sure. Can I bring this to a close? Let’s maybe share a couple of titles of books that we’ve read in the past that we go back to today, because there are plenty of people out there to recommend, you know, reading, you know, Simon cynics latest book. I mean, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with them. 

But you know, there are a lot of, you know, high profile gurus who are, you know, cranking out a book a week in there. I’m not sure how much sir, writing it’s a lot of its AI but, but there are some classics that I like to go back to and where I learned about success habits really. And where I learned to get the most out of myself. 

There’s a great book called, like, life is not a game of perfect by Dr. Bob Rotella. He, he was a performance or a performance goes for professional athletes and executives. He originally wrote golf is not a game of perfect and re created his second book by discussing golf out replacing with life. 

And he really talks a lot about this idea of success habits Why think about developing good habits and getting stuff done? That’s one of my, one of my favorites, Phil, what’s, what’s one of yours?

Phil Calandra (18:13):

Yeah, so one of the classics that was given to me, when I was a freshman in college, a struggling freshman in college, I might add the first semester seems difficult for young, young man that goes away for the first time. 

My grandfather gave me the magic of thinking big. That was written by David Schwartz, who was a professor here in Atlanta, Georgia State University. And he had done some consulting work, motivational speaking for my grandfather when he was in the army. And in the front flap of that book, my grandfather said, read this book in its entirety. 

And when you feel struggle or strife, go back and read it again. And now 30 years later, that’s one of my favorites, the magic of thinking big and then I mentioned, Napoleon Hill, obviously, thinking grow rich. 

And now I’ve had this real enjoyment and attachment to Outwitting the Devil. Which if you’re not familiar with Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill, I would highly recommend that and read the story behind Outwitting the Devil. Yeah,

Rob Brown (19:20):

so you’ve you’ve shared that with me and I have it on my shelf to read, but honestly, I haven’t gotten there yet. But as someone who has written a book in a stable format, I love reading business, fables, and Ken Blanchard has been one of my favorite authors for years. 

So when I think about management, and I’m coaching some of my clients on how to be better managers, better leaders. One of the very first places I take them is to what I think was Ken Blanchard first which is One Minute Manager in is just a technique of how to encourage and lead people, even when you’ve got to deliver difficult news to them. 

So I think it’s another great book to to go back to, in a second one from Blanchard that I refer to often, again, it goes back away as called gung ho, in it’s about the importance of the work that everybody does. Everybody’s work is important. All the people that work around you, all the people that work with you. 

And when you start to see people devaluing themselves in the, whatever they’re pursuing, it’s great to know that gung ho story. So those are three books to me One Minute Manager gung ho in life is not a game of perfect that probably haven’t been recommended together on a podcast.

Phil Calandra (20:54):

Yeah, well, and you mentioned the fable format, but you didn’t point out your work, truest fan. And that’s a phenomenal book. Rob, I’ve gone to it. And I’ve told you this several times. It’s been out a couple years now has three years may 2021. 

And if you like that type of success literature, get a copy of Rob’s truest fan, and I’m sure he would give you a copy and sign it and along the fable format. Man Dino, obviously the greatest salesman in the world, and the richest man in Babylon, both good fables, but the list could be really long if we start going through them.

Rob Brown (21:35):

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So we better we better lay on those planes. So I’m gonna take you up on your suggestion, Phil. anybody listening to this podcast? Who would like a free signed copy of truest fan, live, love and lead with purpose and impact? 

Just send me an email to team at truest fan Team at truest fan Say you listen to the truest fan, blueprint podcast, and you’d like a signed copy of truce fan. And I will get it out to you, ASAP.

Phil Calandra (22:13):

And I’ll assure you, you will not be disappointed when you read this. And if you want me to buy it from you, after Rob gives it to you for free message me. And I’ll pay you I don’t know what it is on Amazon. How about that? guarantee they like it?

Rob Brown (22:27):

Well, what a better way to end the show than we because we talk about at the end of all of our podcast episodes, taking action. So we’ve given you actually a couple of action items here. One is get a copy of truce fan, and we’re going to make it easy for you. 

And if you don’t like it, Phil is going to buy it back. But I’m not worried about that. But number two, look at that thing that you’re trying to do to improve yourself. Are you trying to be a better leader, a better father a better husband better at being engaged in the things that you’re involved in, in your church or in your community? 

And you just want to get stronger? What’s that book that you know, you need to read? And if you don’t have that title in mind, we’ve given you some that could take you there, pick that one book and start reading 10 pages a day. 

And if you start that success habit, I promise you that you will get closer to where you where you want to go. 100% love it. Thanks, Phil. Thank you all for listening. Great to have you as part of the truce fan blueprint. We’re rooting for your success. 

Thanks for joining us for this episode of the Truest Fan Blueprint. If you want to learn more, head over to our website truest On the site, you’ll learn more about becoming a truest fan. You’ll also find today’s show notes and links to the other gifts and resources we talked about during this episode. Again, thanks for listening and remember, we’re rooting for your success.

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