One of the most useful books I’ve read this year has been Michael Ellsberg’s The Education of Millionaires. I’m a pretty big fan of self help in general, but rarely have a I found a book that has given such specific, practical advice.
I’ve also rarely found a book that has inspired me to read so many other books!
The basic thesis is that real-world success, in particular financial success is not mysterious, but neither does it relate much at all to what we learn in school. He recommends learning networking, marketing, and sales. The key to doing well at each is to connect to what deeply matters to other people and give it them. And while he doesn’t teach the specifics of networking, marketing, and sales, he outlines the basic principles very well and recommends resources for learning more.
He also touches on bootstrapping and investing your profits in practical education, building a brand around your own name and, what he says is the most important part of the book, changing your mindset to take more ownership of your life.
For me, the biggest takeaway was simple: learn direct response marketing. If any part of what you want to accomplish in life includes getting other people on board, learning direct response will help. The best place to start is Copyblogger.com’s tutorial, How to Write Magnetic Headlines.
I’ve also summarized The Education of Millionaires, so read that first and then go get his book. For me, it’s up there on the list of books I’d give to myself five or ten years ago.