The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg

The Education of Millionaires

RATING: 7/10…READ: October 3, 2011

How to get a REAL World Self-Education in today’s society with a large entrepreneurial focus. A great book on Networking tips alone. A bias towards marketers/infopreneur/techie case study examples–but nonetheless a solid read.

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The bigger impact you want to make on the world or in your chosen field-=-the bolder your purpose is—the greater the risks you’re going to have to take. Which means, the greater the chance that you’ll end up making no impact at all. Other than the impact of your ass hitting the floor and failing at your purpose.

If what you’re trying to achieve would have happened just the same without you, it’s hard to say that you’re having that much of an impact or that your purpose is very significant.

If you want to become wealthy of famous, then you’re going to need to make a difference in the lives of many people.

Making an impact on large groups of people involves leading them in some way. Yet, seeking to be a leader is akin to seeking what economists call a “positional good.” A classic example of a positional good is a penthouse apartment. You can’t have a penthouse apartment unless there are apartments below it. Not everyone in society could have a penthouse apartment. Similarly, you can’t have leaders unless there are followers. Not everyone in any given situation can be a leader. In the real world, not the world where everyone gets a ribbon and a gold star, there will always be competition to lead people. The more people you want to lead, the stiffer the competition. And the stiffer the completion, the less you can be sure you’ll win.

It’s hard to be a hero if there’s no risk involved.

“Decision” and “decide” stem from the roots “cise” and “cide,” to cut off and to kill, also the roots of many other words related to cutting and killing such as “incise,” “concise” (cutting out nonessentials), and “homicide.” Thus, a decision is to cut off, or kill, other possibilities.

You’re going to have to create a solution unique to you and your circumstances. No similar solution will have ever existed before, for a very simple reason: in the whole of human history, no one has yet made the difference you want to make. If they had, the impact you want to make wouldn’t be a “difference” anymore, it would be a sameness! Making a difference, not a “sameness,” means doing things no one has done before, at least, not for the people whose lives you want to impact.

Randy Komisar advises you to ask a simple question about your current mode of income: Would you be willing to do this for the rest of your life?

And in so doing, it’s important to look at the whole package, both the money and inner rewards. Is the whole package, the money and the meaning, of your current life tolerable to you if this was it for the rest of your life? If either one (or both) of these aspects is off, then you’ve got to start making the appropriate adjustments.

If you want to succeed, find leaders who are doing amazing things in the world, and push them up. Find powerful people and help them reach their goals. If you’re of service to them, they will be of service back.

Once you get a good network going, the growth can be fast and dramatic—this is the snowball effect in action.

2 important networking questions.

What’s most exciting for you right now in your life/business?

What’s challenging for you in your life/business right now?

If it’s a personal context (cocktail party, dinner party, etc.), ask about their life; if it a business context (conference, networking, event, etc.), ask about their business.

Stories of people who “make it” in the world of material success, money, and fame, and then feel “empty inside” are a dime a dozen. In fact, they are the rule, not the exception, when it comes to material wealth.

Networking “Giving” Points: marketing and sales / Food, Weight, and Nutrition / Spirituality, Purpose, and Meaning / Hobbies, Passions, and Causes / Relationships (connecting others to others)

Your self-study and learning in one of these areas of advice giving is highly liquid; it can often be traded for learning in an other area. Because few people are truly well-rounded, if you become well-rounded in these areas of marketing and sales, health and nutrition, spirituality and personal philosophy, and interesting hobbies and passions, you will almost always have something to help people with. It’s like a Swiss army knife of service, ready in your back pocket for any occasion.

Eben, Elliott, and the other people I interview in this book get paid more than you and I do, and have more people wanting got connect with them in their business network, because they have higher impact on the world and on other people’s businesses than you or I do.

And in a capitalistic economy, in general (and with some significant exceptions) money flows to the people who make the most impact on the most people who have the most money. That’s just the way the game works. You can rail against it, you can call for a socialist revolution. But as long as you’re still opting to play the game, you might as well learn the rules of the game.

You may scoff at this sentiment coming from a wealthy person and think, “Well, why don’t you give all your hundreds of millions away?” Sorry to sound harsh, but—to whomever is asking that in a begrudging manner: Russell Simmons is giving away more than you, and he’s keeping more than you for himself. He gives more and he gets more. He’s simply making a bigger impact than most of us do on the planet. He’s doing more in the world. And he’s doing that because he’s developed more affluence than you and I have developed, in the precise way he defines it: he’s got more value flowing in and out of his life.

One thing I see in common among all successful self-educated people I’ve met—which is different from the way most other people think—is that they tend not see a contradiction between living a comfortable life for themselves and helping others.

Chose a niche, find a need and then see what could help those people do their job better. This is the essence of quality marketing.

Being remarkable starts with a problem you can solve for a customer (who realizes he has a problem!).

Good marketing, in turn, speaks to the prospect about their deepest emotional realities, their innermost desires, and about helping them achieve what they want in those realms. Thus, the best marketing is all about human connection, on a genuine level.

A quick and easy guide to teaching yourself marketing in two months—sign up for email addresses with a different email account, analyze the following newsletters: copyblogger, Marie Forleo, Jonathon Fields, Ramit Sethi, etc.

Success is its own skill. There’s the skill of the craft. Then there’s the skill of success. It’s an independent education. It takes about the same amount of effort to have the skill of success as it does to learn the skill of the craft itself. So, it might take years to really learn what you need to learn to become a great engineer, or an attorney, or a musician, or a manager.

If you want to take your success to the next level, it’s really simple, just press pause on learning about your craft. Admit that you’re good enough for now (you can always get better later). And press play/record on your learning about marketing, sales, and leadership. If you invest in being better at marketing, sales, and leadership, then the sky’s the limit to your success.

There’s a lot of room between just hanging out your shingle and hoping people show up, on the one hand, and forcing and manipulating people to buy things they don’t want, on the other hand. Most people, for reasons of integrity, don’t want to do the latter. But they think the only other option is to do the former, so that’s what they do to sell themselves: diddly-squat. This is where the mistake lies. There’s a lot of room between these poles. Between those two poles lie options that both close the sale and exhibit high class and integrity.

Effective sales isn’t about spewing off a slick pitch. It’s about asking a lot of questions. The right questions. And then listening.

What are the right questions? Any questions that gets the prospect deeply concerned with their frustrations, fears, and desires around the problem that your product or service addresses.

You don’t want to be in the order business. You want to be in the reorder business. Big difference. My goal was not to sell something to somebody. My goal was to sell something that was so good, they want to reorder it again. And that’s the idea that we came up with. –John Paul Mitchell

If you can help someone achieve something that is valuable to them, such as losing weight, having a healthier relationship, meeting a life partner, expanding their business—or many other valuable things you can learn from life experience and self-study rather than from an academic degree—and if you’re willing to learn some high-integrity marketing and sales around your skill set, it’s not really out of reach to earn $100,000 per year.

The essence of bootstrapping is keeping expenses low, generating income right away (even if it’s just a little bit), and continually reinvesting as much of that income as effectively as possible into expanding your future income.

Figure out the most laser-targeted, lean, focused, efficient, cost-effective, well-researched educational investments you could make to put yourself on the path of reaching your goals and dreams.

Create stuff. Sell Stuff. Market Stuff. Lead Stuff. Make sure it’s good sutff, then make sure there’s a good Google trail about it, so when potential employers or clients Google you, the brand impressions they come away with are, “this person gets shit done, or simply, “wow.”

You’re going to have customers who aren’t going to buy from you. Some might be rude to you or cut your appointment short. You’re going to have days when you don’t reach your goals. And it’s OK to be negative sometimes. But not more than five minutes. You’ve got to live by the five-minute rule. Bitch, moan, complain, vent, get it out of your system, whatever you’ve got to do. But just for five minutes. Beyond that, there’s no benefit to dwelling on it. Instead focus 100 percent of your energy on what’s in your control. What can you do now? How can you learn and benefit from the experience? How can you move forward?

There are two decisions you need to come to in order to be free, and to be more effective. First is that you are not entitled to anything in the world, until you create value for another human being first. Second, you are 100 percent responsible for producing results. No one else. If you adopt these two views, you will go far.

Anything you believe you can count on to be there, without regard for what you yourself are doing to ensure it’s there—that’s entitlement. When you lose a job, or a client, do you have the send that you lost something that you had? (That’s entitlement.) Or, do you immediately think, Wow I need to contribute more there, how can I contribute more in the future.

Relentlessly look for the outcome you want to produce in the world and other lives, and relentlessly focus on how to achieve that, cutting out all extraneous crap not relevant to that outcome.

“I hate the word reform. You don’t reform the iPod into the iPhone! You change it! You reimagine it! It’s not reform, it’s reimagination.” –Mark Ecko