THE READING LIFE ... Marco Robinson
ERIC FORBES talks to accomplished and acclaimed speaker, coach and breakthrough entrepreneur MARCO ROBINSON, the author of the bestselling Know When to Close the Deal and Suddenly Grow Rich!
MARCO ROBINSON, the bestselling author of Know When to Close the Deal and Suddenly Grow Rich! (Discern Publishing House, 2011), comes across as a very inspired and inspiring human being who lives to give people opportunities when they ask for help, or offer them lessons in a learning experience, which consequently empowers them to overcome their greatest challenges and attain their true purpose in life. “When someone tells me, ‘Marco, I read your book, and you changed my life,’ that’s an incredible justification that I am following my true purpose in life!” His response to any person who tells him the above is: “You changed your life because you made the choice to read my book and take action by following the principles outlined in the book! Kudos to you for having the courage to do that!”
Robinson is always humbled when he gets such feedback because “to be quite frank, I came from a place of nothing; I was a nobody, a nothing, a loser, and I know what it feels like to be trapped in that loser’s mindset.” He continues, “I had the great fortune of learning how to take control of my own mind and essentially my own thoughts, which has been my saviour and my greatest gift to others who are in or have been in despair.”
He savours and enjoys every moment of his life to the fullest, and is thankful that he is alive and able to help others optimise their potential and achieve their desires. “I thank God I have learned to receive all the love that comes along with that, which only compounds my strength to always give and serve my fellow human beings.”
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF MARCO ROBINSON
How do you find the time to read with your hectic schedule?
I place the emphasis on reading as my highest “must do” every day. I don’t have to find time to read. I read before I go to bed at night, I read when I get up in the morning, and I read in-between. I read in my spare moments, and when I am writing I read more to clarify my research on the topic I am writing about.
Do you think reading matters?
I believe reading is the most effective way of programming our minds with information we can decode into usable applications for our life’s purpose, so yes, I think it matters more than any other pastimes.
What kind of books did you read when you were growing up?
When I was a kid growing up, I wanted to escape, and enjoyed so much the works of C.S. Lewis, such as the The Chronicles of Narnia, which still resonate with me today. Everything I read was fantasy, but the greatest book I ever read as a kid was J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
Were there any books that had a significant impact on you at that early age?
I would say all of the stuff above, all the stories that came with an adventure. Those adventure stories inspired me to travel and see the world and eventually settle in Asia.
What are some of your favourite contemporary books? Why do you enjoy reading them?
I love Malcolm Gladwell, especially Outliers and The Tipping Point, because he makes you think, he stimulates you in places that allow your intellect to question [things] and grow, and shows you fascinating insights into why things happen the way they do, which leads to the truth, and revealing the truth is a passionate quest of mine. Other books of bravery and heroism still inspire me, such as those by John Grisham, Andy McNabb and so on.
Do you have an all-time favourite book? Why do you enjoy reading it? Do you reread books you enjoyed the first time round?
My all-time favourite books are Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, Al Koran’s Bring Out the Magic in Your Mind and Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. I read Hill everyday because it reinforces my true defining purpose. I read Koran every few months because it inspires me to believe in myself. I read Tolkien to remind me that everything is against us and it is with the help of our friends that we can see the light.
What do you think are the essentials of good fiction? What distinguishes the great novels from the merely good? (However, if you prefer reading nonfiction, tell me the kinds of nonfiction you like and why. Or perhaps you enjoy reading both fiction and nonfiction?)
The elements of a great novel are primarily the story and the adventure (or adventures) within the story. The enrichment of the characters is also essential in terms of me never wanting to put the book down. A great work of fiction has you in the story with the characters, feeling what they feel, taking you to another world, another adventure, another emotional, soul-tingling experience. As for nonfiction, I love authors who reveal the ‘real’ truths behind ‘why’ and ‘how-to’ books, with a real practical sense, that can help readers grow and learn in ways that are easy for them to adapt into their lives.
What are you reading at the moment?
I am reading three books at the moment: Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, Malcolm Gladwell’s What the Dog Saw, and Robin Sharma’s The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.
What are your thoughts on the future of books, particularly on ebooks and ebook readers? Do you think they will replace physical books one day? Do you see yourself reading an ebook?
My thoughts are mixed on this because my ecological conscience wants me to save the planet; there’s too much wastage of paper, too many trees sacrificed. I love a physical book, I really do love the tangible texture of turning and smelling the pages as I read it, and I think if they can make reusable paper they will still exist far into the future. However, with the advent of Apple’s iPad and iPhone and Amazon’s Kindle reader, I believe most readers will adopt the electronic format, and I believe these technologies will allow people to use ebooks with more ease, making them friendly to the human eye and hand.
NOTE An updated edition of Robinson’s bestseller is out, with a new title, Close the Deal and Suddenly Grow Rich! (ISBN 9789834438951)