Tom Lewis is the founder of T.W. Lewis Company, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based real estate investment company known for its outstanding quality and customer service in the homebuilding industry. The company has received numerous national awards, including America's Best Builder and the National Housing Quality Gold Award. Tom received a Lifetime Achievement recognition from Professional Builder magazine and was named the first inductee into the National Housing Quality Hall of Fame.
In 2002, Tom and his wife, Jan, formed T.W. Lewis Foundation to support higher education, children and families in need, youth character education, and a variety of local and national nonprofits that build community and strengthen America's civil society. In 2015, Tom and Jan created the Lewis Honors College at the University of Kentucky.
Listen to Tom's Interview with K. Nicole of The Oh Hell No Podcast:
“For those serious about making the most out of life, Solid Ground will be on the list of consequential books that help you do just that.”
A round ten years ago, I met Tom Lewis through an organization of which we were both members-the Young Presidents' Organization. YPO brings chief executives together to share best practices and seek out advice on everything from business to personal matters.
Even among this group of distinguished and accomplished leaders, Tom stood out. By the time I met him, already Tom had achieved immense success through his business, T.W. Lewis Company, which had been recognized nationally for the company's commitment to quality and customer service in the homebuilding business. But there was more.
What really differentiated Tom had nothing to do with business. Even with the demands of his career, Tom dedicated significant time to community organizations. He took an active interest in issues of local and national importance. And it was clear he had his priorities straight; he and his wife, Jan, had been married nearly forty years and raised three accomplished young men.
Tom's success was not by accident, and as our friendship grew over the years, my appreciation for his values-focused approach to life grew with it.
For many people, it's easy to see how life's unceasing demands and complications can cloud the things that really matter. Sometimes having a guide to point you in the right direction is all it takes.
That's where Tom's book comes in.
In Solid Ground, Tom offers a blueprint for living a good and meaningful life, while tackling the myths that too often lead to disappointment and regret-myths like "happiness comes simply from doing what you love" or "success is only for the lucky."
Tom's lessons don't fit into 260 characters. And you won't find them on Instagram, written in the sky against a glowing sunset. Instead, his lessons stem from something deeper and more real-hard-earned experience.
Tom was born into a middle-class family from eastern Kentucky. He's experienced life's high points and many of its lows.
He's had jobs that were successful and some that were not, but each required grit and hard work. He built a business from scratch to peak success, while weathering the turbulent years of the Great Recession.
Tom fought cancer and beat it, only to have it come back years later in a more aggressive form-and he beat it again.
As a successful entrepreneur, Tom shares his knowledge, experience, and wisdom, making Solid Ground a must-read for any young person looking to enter any business. But his book isn't about simply making money. That topic has more than its share of titles, most of them not worth the paper they're printed on.
Instead, Tom offers something more meaningful-the building blocks that lead to a truly fulfilling and purposeful life.
Solid Ground couldn't come at a better time. Studies show that Americans are increasingly less happy and more anxious about life. For young people, the statistics are striking. Over half of workers under the age of twenty-three report feeling anxious or nervous due to stress. Nearly one out of every three millennials feels lonely.
Tom cuts through the vanity and superficial clutter that too often cloud people's perspectives. He focuses on the values that aren't measured in dollars and cents-values such as integrity, hard work, honesty, discipline, persistence, and drive.
Through Solid Ground, you will find new appreciation for the truisms you've been told all your life-ones that show there are no shortcuts in life and remind you that it's not how many times you fall, but how many times you get back up.
These are the things that build character, the most important currency there is.
Many people have shared their prescriptions for a successful life, but few have done it with the insight, honesty, and completeness that Tom offers in Solid Ground.
His insights are grounded in truth. And they're the insights upon which I've relied to start my family, build my business, and serve the people of the state I love.
For example, Tom's emphasis on setting specific goals and measuring progress is one that businesses, organizations, and governments across the country-including Arizona-have adopted to achieve real results. In fact, through such an approach, Arizona has been able to eliminate inefficiencies, improve services for our customers, and save taxpayers dollars. And we've done it not through Hail Mary passes, but inch by inch, on the ground and in the trenches, one improvement at a time.
So whether you're a CEO looking for the next challenge or a student unsure about your next step, Tom's timeless wisdom offers a guiding hand. For those serious about making the most out of life, Solid Ground will be on the list of consequential books that help you do just that.
I wrote this book as a roadmap to help you find success, purpose, and happiness. Because there are so many confusing messages being promoted today about these basic concepts, I see a lot of people, especially college students and young adults, struggling to get started in their lives.
Having interviewed hundreds of high school seniors for college scholarships, and followed them through college and their early careers, I understand the concerns, anxieties, and even fears of the millennial generation. Trying to sort through your life choices while constantly being reminded by parents, teachers, and the popular media to "follow your dreams, do what you love, find your passion, and sell your personal brand" can be pretty intimidating for a twenty-year-old or even a thirty-year-old.
To be successful in life, I have learned that you have to put first things first, but today's popular culture has it backwards. You can't find your passion until you develop your work ethic. You can't find your purpose until you discover who you are. You can't find your happiness until you find your talent and help others. And you can't find success until you earn it.
I am a builder, not a philosopher, so I have designed this book the way a builder would design a home-from the ground up. Each chapter covers an important building block to help you build your life on solid ground-so you can realize all the good things life has to offer.
Over the course of my career in homebuilding, I have learned to appreciate the importance of a good foundation-one that is built on solid ground. When I build a house with a good foundation, it allows the owner to thrive in it for decades with maximum enjoyment and minimal problems.
On the other hand, if I build a house with a bad foundation or on shifting soil, the foundation cracks will eventually extend damage to the framing, drywall, and even the roof. These problems are expensive and often impossible to repair, creating long-term hassles and heartaches for the owner.
So it is with life.
In today's media-driven, anything-goes culture, we seem to be losing sight of solid ground-the time-tested attributes of personal character, hard work, goal setting, self-awareness, and helping others-that have always been necessary for a successful life. Popular myths are now attempting to redefine everything, and the "solid ground" is being replaced with the "shifting sands" of instant gratification, self-absorption, and consumerism.
Finding success, purpose, and happiness is not simple, and it certainly is not easy. But if you are willing to put in the time and effort to invest in your future, then this book is for you. In these pages, you will find many of the important life lessons I have learned. These lessons have come from my own experience as well as the writings and teachings of many of our best thinkers-from Socrates to contemporary philosophers, and from successful people in all walks of life. From these lessons, I will show you how to build your foundation, reach your potential, and ultimately find life's greatest achievements.
The many ideas and concepts presented here are not all my own. Having read many of the popular books on these subjects, I have tried to present a compilation or "highlight reel" of the best advice, the best ideas, and the best wisdom I have accumulated. Where possible, I have given credit to the original writers and thinkers.
This book begins with my personal story to demonstrate how your early years and family history can help you understand your roots and how this understanding can lead to purpose and meaning. Then I discuss the building blocks that will give you the stability and support you will need to deal with the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Next, we will move to the real world skills you need to reach your potential. And finally, we will explore life's greatest achievements-success, purpose, meaning, wisdom, and happiness- so that you can better understand and achieve them all.
My generation had it pretty easy. College tuition was low, and when we graduated, there were a lot of big corporations waiting to hire and train us to do our jobs. There was a clear ladder for us to climb. We also didn't have the distractions of the Internet, the ubiquitous cell phone, or social media, and our cultural values were pretty clear-faith, family, country, and hard work.
Today, navigating the journey to success in career and life is not so obvious. In fact, for many, it is downright scary. That's why close to 35 percent of college students currently take some form of anxiety medication and only 45 percent report they are thriving. These are sad statistics, yet only a few grown-ups seem concerned.
What young adults need today, probably more than ever, is a return to the fundamentals of building a good life-one that is full of goodness, success, and even happiness. And it's not really that complicated. This book presents a model for success that has worked for centuries-and it will work today. By getting clear on what really matters in your life and career, your anxiety and fear will melt away, and you can begin your journey to success-on Solid Ground.
I wrote this book for you-if, as I suspect, you are a person who wants to find success and happiness, who has dreams and ambitions, and the talent to achieve them, but in all the noise and nonsense and clutter of modern life, you're not quite sure how to get where you want to go.
I was once in your shoes. But with a lot of hard work, good decisions, and the confidence to take risks, I made it.
So can you.
Chapter by chapter, Lewis outlines the building blocks for a successful and happy life.
For those serious about making the most out of life, Solid Ground will be on the list of consequential books that will help you do just that.
Without sugar-coating anything, Solid Ground equips readers with the tools necessary to overcome real-life obstacles to achieve and sustain a life of success. Lewis encourages and challenges those who are eager to build a successful life but unsure how to begin.
All lives require roadmaps to move forward. Tom Lewis in his fantastic story, Solid Ground, outlines a journey for life that can inform us all. Resilient, adaptable, focused, sincere, committed - all concepts that are deeply reviewed and clearly articulated.
Solid advice from a solid guy. This book is the grounding that so many want and need. If you wish to get your feet under you - and get going on the life you've dreamed of - then start by reading this book.
Myth:Successful people are just lucky.
Reality:Successful people use their natural talent, start early, work late, set goals, and keep getting better.
Myth:You can be anything you want.
Reality:You can be anything you are naturally good at... if you earn it.
Myth:You have to choose between success and happiness.
Reality:You can have both, either, or neither, because they are unrelated.
Myth:Work smarter, not harder.
Reality:Work smarter and harder. It takes both to succeed.
Myth:Following your passion is the key to success and happiness.
Reality:Success is the result of talent, hard work, and persistence. Happiness naturally occurs when you help others and grow as a person
Myth:Thirty is the new twenty.
Reality:Thirty is still thirty, and your twenties are still your defining decade. Successful people don't waste time.
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For more information on how we can work with your organization to further the message in Solid Ground, please send us an email or contact Kristina directly at 480-768-5901.
All proceeds from Solid Ground will be donated to T.W. Lewis Foundation.