How to Be Smarter Than People Smarter Than You

Todd Brison
3 min readNov 10, 2017

Are you ready for this big secret?


Thanks for taking your time with this post! If you liked this, please hit the —

Just kidding. I have more to say, of course.

Something like 50% of people don’t read a single book after school.

Many of these people were “smart” in school.

Here’s the thing about “smart” people. They get used to understanding things. They do well in school. They are praised by everyone. Once they reach the open market, advantages suddenly disappear. Not because they are incapable,but because they are lazy.

Thank god I’m not very smart.

Instead, I cheat. I read the things smart people write down. By deciding to read more, you’ve already become smarter than most “smart people.”

For the most part, I cheat by reading in these 4 areas:


It doesn’t really matter whose book you read. People get dogmatic about this, but for basic finance, most best sellers say the same thing.

Personally I like: You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero.

Read a book or two, and get a plan. Money isn’t everything, but money management is.

I’ve been broke. It sucks. Read about how to not be broke.


Doesn’t matter your career. Learn about how business work. Learn about why businesses work. Learn how to change a business that is not going well. Learn how to start a business from scratch.

Here are my favorites:

  • Made to Stick and Switch by Chip and Dan Heath
  • Launch by Jeff Walker
  • Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Rich Employee by James Altucher


Okay so admittedly everything could have gone under this heading so I guess it could more accurately be called “read about human nature”

Understanding the human condition is huge for both your own survival and your relationships.

Try these:

  • The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
  • The Power of When by Michael Breus
  • Move your DNA by Katy Bowman
  • Love Does by Bob Goff
  • A Million Miles by Donald Miller


In 2014, my gut was deteriorating inside me. I had trouble walking, standing, sitting, and breathing. At 24, my doctor told me “you’ll probably just have to deal with it.”

Nobody cares about your health. Not even doctors. They just assume you’ll be fine until you display symptoms worthy of their great talent. Which is okay. That is what they are trained to do.

You and only you are responsible for keeping yourself well.

Start with:

  • Crazy, Sexy Cancer by Kris Carr
  • Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson (his podcast is great too)
  • The Laura Lea Balanced Cookbook by Laura Lea Goldberg

When in doubt, read anything. You’ll be hard pressed to find a book that doesn’t teach you something.

Stay focused. Stay balanced. Think, and most importantly:


If you like books, you will probably also like this one.

— TB