The Education of Millionaires

The Education of Millionaires

Read this very empowering book by Michael Ellsberg.

Michael did extensive interviews with a number of millionaires and billionaires to discover their ‘secrets’.

In our current age where people are focused on going to a ‘good’ school, getting ‘good’ grades, and finding a ‘good’ job, this book offers a very different picture – and I think a quote at the end of the book by General Eric Shinseki says it well “If you don’t like change, you are going to like irrelevance even less”. That is the core message of the book, that the world has changed and is changing, the notion of good degrees and jobs protecting us is outdated. We live in a time when we must build our own identity, our own brand. Where the value we receive from society will be a function of what we contribute towards it.

The book then delves into how we make those contributions and what we can do for others. The core message is here build a network. Find like minded people, find people doing interesting things, find people you admire, let them know they have helped you, find ways to help them, add value to their mission. This is how you build a network – by helping others in their mission. Not by handing out business cards !

The key is to create, give and add value to others. The more people you can add value to, the more value will accrue to you. Have a contribution mindset that focuses on the outcomes it can help achieve for others. Do not let circumstances define or limit you, but see them as temporary and keep asking what needs to be done here, and then go and do those things even if you don’t have the authority.

Keep learning, don’t stop learning or reading when you leave college, but maintain an attitude where you are always asking questions, always looking for ways to improve yourself and help others. Look for that learning all around you, look for it in people you admire and look for it in strangers.

Highly recommend everyone check it out, its filled with great examples of people who have defined themselves on their own terms, and not based on society’s definitions and where they fit in the org chart.

Here’s a talk he did at Google, if you don’t want to read the book.