Today, I spoke to Tim Sanders, who is a New York Times bestselling author and his newest book is called Today We Are Rich: Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence. In this interview, Tim talks about how he was inspired to write his new book, how you can get rich by giving, how social media has impacted his sense of confidence, and more.

What was your inspiration for writing “Today We Are Rich”?

In the fall of 2008, I saw so many people lose their confidence as circumstances changed. As the economy sank, their Mojo drained away. I’ve been through this a few times in my life, and in each situation, the Confidence Plan I was taught early on gave turned recessions into growth opportunities for me.

One day in 2009, I also realized that I’ve failed to tell my entire story through my books. While she was still alive, I wanted to introduce my grandmother Billye King Coffman to the world. She’s a philosopher, strong hearted person and an inspiration from the cubicle to the vestibule. So consider the book like a blend of Think and Grow Rich told with the style of Tuesdays With Morrie. It’s the ‘prequel’ to my first book, Love Is the Killer App.

How do you get rich by giving?

There’s two kinds of rich: Money and Meaning. The first kind can come and go, and frankly, there’s never enough to satisfy you because it’s self-oriented. Meaning, on the other hand, is achieved when you share: Stuff, Love, Help and Advice. When you are truly rich, then, you believe that there’s enough – enough to share. And to quote Billye, “and when we share, we are worth something.”

This is true for companies too – as they give to communities or their people, they create meaning and groom their market facing story. And believe me, tomorrow’s customer is not just buying a product or a service, they are buying a story.

In what way has social media altered our sense of confidence and overall livelihood?

Your results may vary. In some cases, social media produces an endless supply of distractions, intrusions and random-information intake on our parts. And it wears us down – because we tend to get caught up with the negative and overlook the good.

If you jump out of bed everyday and first thing, you go online, it’s hard to believe that you’ll have emotional control over your coming day. To think abundantly and positively, you need to manage what goes into you head like what goes into your mouth.

We would also stop following negative people or sharing their content, no matter how funny it might come off or how shocking it will read. Because when you do, you become part of the problem, not part of the solution.

What are some changes that you made in your life that have had a positive impact on the people around you?

I’ll start at the end, with the last principle in the book: Promise Made, Promise Kept. The idea is that to maintain your internal sense of integrity, and self-confidence, you should keep every single promise that you make. And I mean every single one.

In our culture of happy talk, we make a lot of ‘undocumented promises’ and later either forget them or file them away under, ‘changed circumstances, no need to keep.’ That’s not good for our biz or project mates. Sure, the big promises (like product launch or hard line deliverables) may come in, but when we fail to keep our word, we make this world a less certain place.

Keeping promises studiously requires quite a bit of lifestyle design: Document, Verify, Schedule, Fill and Check. To really live this requires time and a commitment to keep all promises – even the stupid and irrelevant ones we never should have made in the first place.

The other big change in my life has to do with my conversation style. I start with the positive, even when projects aren’t going perfectly. It’s important to lead with support, because it instills group confidence and that’s a big part of the total confidence I talk about in the book.

What gives people confidence in the first place and what takes it away?

Confidence is the feeling that you or your group will be successful in a given situation. Some feel it because of favorable circumstances. As my old box Mark Cuban likes to say, “Everyone’s a genius in a bull market.” Think of it as Situational Confidence. Much like money rich, it comes and goes with the market.

The other type of confidence is Cultivated Confidence, where through lifestyle design, you believe in your success because of the inreach and outreach you are doing. You feed your mind good stuff, move the conversation forward, exercise your gratitude muscle and boost your sense of integrity – and destiny. People, like Billye, you master this over a lifetime are the Phoenix and not the Fodder during times of great adversity. They are the ones that are usually the givers instead of the takers when change or uncertainty hits a company or community.


Tim Sanders consults with Fortune 500 executives on marketing and Internet strategy to write his bestselling books on business. His first book, Love Is the Killer App: How To Win Business and Influence Friends, is a New York Times and international business best seller. His follow up, The Likeability Factor, explains the concept of emotional talent and the importance of creating an engaging experience. His third book, Saving The World At Work, examines the external relationship between a business and society. In his newest book, Today We Are Rich: Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence, Sanders updates Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie and Dr. Norman Vincent Peale to tackle a new world, where social media and transparency present unique challenges to our sense of confidence, sanity and faith, and shows how to unleash winning behaviors to achieve total confidence.