Five Books That Have Inspired Me

Five Books That Have Inspired Me

As an ardent reader, I’ve curated a list of five books that have left an indelible mark on my personal journey and shaped my approach to wealth management. These selections, spanning various genres, resonate with our ethos at Deerfield Financial Advisors—a commitment to helping our clients create a truly Wealthwhile life. Join me as I delve into these books that have inspired and enriched both my professional and personal spheres.

1. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind 

By T. Harv Eker 

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker explores how financial success is shaped by childhood experiences with money. Eker discusses a concept called your “money blueprint,” which allows you to identify and reshape your early beliefs about money. The book also dives into the “wealth files,” which include 17 principles that separate the thought patterns of rich people. Eker argues that by adopting wealthy thought patterns, anyone can reach financial prosperity.

As I was reading this book, my intense interest in personal and professional development was front and center. I realized that anyone who wants to change their relationship with money must first change their habits. And we can only change our money habits if we consciously recognize our relationship with money, actively adopt a new attitude, and implant millionaire thinking into our minds. 

2. The Happiness Project

By Gretchen Rubin

The protagonist of The Happiness Project lives a seemingly good life, but feels unfulfilled. She goes on a year-long self-improvement journey, devoting each month to a different quality of happiness. She addresses subjects like work, health, relationships, and money. Ultimately, she learns that happiness is founded on an appreciation of what you already have and making deliberate decisions to make improvements.

While this book isn’t specifically about money, I am a huge believer that attitude shapes personal achievement. On a personal level, I was profoundly affected by the philosophical discoveries revealed in this book. The most outstanding revelation, in my mind, is that a sense of growth is so important to happiness that it’s often preferable to be progressing to the summit rather than to be at the summit.

3. Scrum, the Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time

By Jeff Sutherland

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland, co-creator of Scrum the project management framework, doesn’t recommend overloading yourself. Instead, the book explores how Scrum can benefit various industries by using iterative development, self-organizing teams, and constant modification to meet evolving needs.

I read this book through the lens of my role as COO and wealth manager. I totally agree with the premise that if you want to get things done, you need to ditch the traditional waterfall method and use the Scrum method instead—where all tasks are united by the same clear goal. To me, effective project management is all about promoting great teamwork. This book amplifies that truth.

4. Think Again

By Adam Grant

In Think Again, Adam Grant makes the case that success in a world that is changing quickly depends on our capacity to reevaluate and confront our own ideas. The book emphasizes the advantages of intellectual humility and open-mindedness while exposing the dangers of holding fast to dogmatic beliefs. 

Grant delves into methods for surmounting cognitive biases, cultivating curiosity, and engaging in fruitful dialogues that inspire others to reconsider as well. Grant proposes that we can enhance our creativity, problem-solving skills, and quality of life by developing a “rethinking” attitude on an individual, interpersonal, and group level. 

I was able to apply the main principles that Grant discusses in his book to both my professional and personal life. First, I learned that in a constantly changing world, it pays to change your mind. And second, true progress and growth are born from constantly reassessing your ideas and opinions and by adopting a humble attitude toward knowledge.

5. The Moment of Lift

By Melinda Gates

The Moment of Lift combines personal stories from Melinda Gates with data-driven insights. The book discusses the challenges that women face globally, including education, family planning, and financial tools. Overcoming these challenges could lead to healthier families, stronger economies, and a fairer world.

As a woman constantly striving to improve both professionally and personally, I read The Moment of Lift as a call to action that celebrates the power and potential of women. Melinda concluded her book by claiming that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will only be able to accomplish its goals by lifting up women.

Reach Out

If you’ve been looking to work with someone who shares a similar philosophy on life, or if you just want to share favorite books that have been a source of growth and discovery, reach out. I’m always looking for new books to help me grow as a person and a wealth manager

You can contact me by calling (317) 469-2455 or emailing

About Susie

Susie Steel is COO, Wealth Manager, and Senior Shareholder at Deerfield Financial Advisors, a fee-only financial advisory and wealth management firm with offices in Indianapolis and Chicago. With over three decades of experience in financial planning, Susie’s approach has always been rooted in a spirit of service, treating each client as an extension of her own family. She simplifies the complex for clients, with the goal of creating a calm, trusting, and nurturing environment. Her unwavering commitment to the principle of “To whom much is given, much will be required” serves as the driving force behind her dedication, diligence, and empathy. 

Susie obtained a business management degree from Ball State University, holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation, and held the Accredited Estate Planner (AEP®) designation from the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC) from 2013 to 2018. Susie is actively involved with an extensive list of professional organizations, including NAPFA (The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors), a premier association of fee-only financial advisors, and has served on multiple boards, committees, and councils. Her consistent recognition as one of Indianapolis Monthly’s “Five Star Wealth Managers” for the past decade attests to her outstanding accomplishments (2009-2023).

Outside the professional realm, Susie gives back to her community through her involvement in the Financial Center First Credit Union (FCFCU) to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum Planned Giving Council and Kiwanis Club of Northwest Indianapolis to Junior Achievement. She mentors women through the CFP® Board’s “WIN-to-WIN” program, embodies the spirit of Rotary Club of Carmel, advocates for Indiana Canine Assistant Network (ICAN), and actively serves on the board of the Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center (MRNC).
Susie and her husband, Kevin, reside in Carmel, Indiana, where they raised their three children. Outside the office, her focus centers around family, spirituality, and fostering meaningful connections. Embracing the concept of the body as a temple, her personal growth is nurtured through practices like strength training, yoga, and meditation. In her leisure time, she enjoys strolls with her dog, Lulu, and indulges in movies, podcasts, books, and the theater. To learn more about Susie, connect with her on LinkedIn.


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