189 of 202 people found the following review helpful
OK. This kid is pretty amazing in that's he's extremely intelligent, charismatic, and persistent. A long-term goal of his is to be a talk-show host. I'm sure he'd excel at that or anything else that requires great skill in communication and persuasion, such as politics.
If this book were being sold as an autobiography or general motivational book, that would be one thing. But here it is in the books on finance, and he's been set up as a role model for getting out of poverty. He has some good general advice about following your dreams, not taking no for an answer, and working hard. But as advice on how other people can become wealthy, I just can't give this book much credibility.
For one thing, he might have made that million dollars, but already he's lost a chunk of his own and investors' money. He lost a "high six figure" investment in a Las Vegas project, plus his NE2W organization had to close down. (p. 256). As he says himself "If all my businesses dried up at age 17, why am I writing a book about success? And why are you reading it?" (p. 271) Because finally, after talking about making money for the entire book, he's decided success is not about money, it's about doing your work in the world, whatever it is.
And a lot of the attitudes and beliefs he leaves you with are just 180 degrees opposite of proven wealth-building behaviors discussed in books like The Millionaire Next Door (Stanley and Danko). For example, he's spent a lot of money on the trappings of looking successful (expensive suits, pens, shoes, etc.) because it's supposed to "open doors". (p. 237-238). Somewhere online I read he wears a $1600 watch. In The Millionaire Next Door, they are clear that most people who make and KEEP a million or more just don't spend money this way. They are apt to buy Timex watches and JC Penney suits. And no, they are not people who inherited their money, either.
An awful lot of his and his mother's business experiences seem to be about taking big risks (such as with the rent money), trying completely different types of businesses one after the other and hoping to hit the big jackpot with one of them. Again, in The Millionaire Next Door it's pretty clear that 99% of the time, businesses and wealth are built slowly and not from getting one big break. When you overextend yourself in business, taking orders for products you can't yet afford to manufacture, you probably won't be rescued in a 1.5 million buyout as Farrah was. (p. 190)
Finally, what about the photo with Michael Milken? Yup, Michael Milken, the Junk Bond King and white collar criminal. Why would someone talking about honesty and ethics throughout their book go out of his way to associate himself with Milken?
IMHO, read this book for general inspiration and because Farrah Gray's life is extremely interesting--just don't expect it to be a financial blueprint for becoming a millionaire yourself.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2007
OK, I'm not tryin' to hate but it seems that if you are not a cute, very ambitious 8-year old who happens upon a mentor with the desire and the resources to help you out, then this book is just a heart-warming, rags-to-riches story, period. This is more of a "how it happened to me" than a "how to" book. I am pleased to see what can happen when intense, focused desire is aimed in a positive direction...and glad that he is reaching back to help others.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2006
The PR on this book is that you will find an inspiring story for all. I did not find this to be true nor autobiographical, a story hopefully will be told in middle-age with more candor. Knowing the general sketch to success for this charming, winning gotta-be, the narrative was consistently pushed by cliche and quotations, streamlined to tell the rags-to-riches part without the nuts and bolts. The schmoozing, name-dropping, never-ending event-scheduling, expose a darker tale of mere marketing prowess and networking skills. Those who accept the packaging from childhood into a shelf commodity for acquisition, will see something here. Until now, America was about individuality; this book emphasizes "connections" over personal efforts. Honestly, Farrah Gray made it with supportive parenting,strong work ethics and influence. In the real world, you can have far more talent than Farrah Gray and go nowhere with just one or two run-ins. If you have similar products to Farrah's, food ideas etc., you can find inspiration, but consistently the nuts and bolts of achievement get lost in digressive medical setbacks. The rest of us cannot unload the obstacles to our "success" like co-workers, with Jack Welch-unconcern, and move on and upward.Throughout, Mr. Gray does say he is not entirely a self-made man. He deserves marks for that.
43 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2005
I was truly impressed with Mr. Gray's writing style. It blends the personal develoment tenets of Kiyosaki, John C. Maxwell, Napoleon Hill and Jim Rohn beautifully in a way that can be easily understood and duplicated by young and old readers. It is a very inspiring and thought provoking guide to living your life with passion, purpose and faith in God and your God-given abilities. I recommend this book to everyone who is serious about personal development.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2008
What were you doing when you were 19 years old? That awkward in-between time when you're no longer a child, but not quite an adult. As a 19 year old, I was a student at Penn State University who couldn't quite organize myself to get to my first class on time. Mind you, this first class didn't start until 11 o'clock in the morning! I've heard it said that young people need to go through a carefree stage, however, I was more responsible academically at 16.
As a parent of school aged kids, I sometimes wonder what should be expected of children and Farrah Gray author of Reallionaire: Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out has me still contemplating this idea. Farrah wrote this book as a 19 year old millionaire.
I first saw Farrah Gray when Reallionaire was released in 2005. The young entrepreneur was a guest on Tavis Smiley's show on PBS. During the show, Gray talked about the building blocks to his success.
At four years old Gray would dress himself in his Sunday best and make business cards out of cardboard. For a make believe briefcase, he'd empty out a box. At six years old, Gray went door to door selling lotions he'd mixed himself from old lotion bottles he found at home. At seven Farrah started a business club with 15 other inner city children. When he was 14, Farrah started a teen-oriented food company, which later made him a millionaire.
According to Farrah, the nine steps to success include: understanding the power of a name, building an all-star mentoring team and having the ability to move forward despite failures.
After reading Gray's book, I believe he is in fact a prodigy, still I'm in a quandary about whether Gray's natural gifts--thirst for success, self-discipline, curiosity about the adult world and the uncanny ability to follow directions--could and should be instilled in other children as early as pre-school.
Or perhaps we should just let kids be kids.
The answer, I think, lies somewhere in between. While I'm glad I had a childhood, full of long days outside playing (unsupervised) in the summer and sledding in the winter, by 19 although I was in college, I wasn't exactly setting the world on fire. In my 20s I had plenty of ambition to go around, but limited direction. Perhaps some life skills training early on would have helped me along in life.
One of the keys to Farrah's success was in the fact that he was exposed to so much. His mother and an older brother were both entrepreneurs. So perhaps the best word of advice for parents, is to simply set a good example. Blaze a trail and the children will follow.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2006
Even though he is a young man, Farrah Gray writes like an "old soul." His message is clear, his beliefs are strong. When asked to perform at a higher standard there are many who ask: "Why me?" Those who read this book will learn a better response is: "Why not?"
Reggie Johnson, Success-Tapes.Com
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2005
I read the book (which I completed in a week) and had to just sit and think for a while once I put it down. Farrah Gray is amazing. I have also seen him speak and was absolutely blown away. He is amazing, not just because he is a millionaire (the youngest SELF-MADE millionaire I personally have ever heard of outside of entertainment, sports or family inheritance or trust fund) but because he is from the same humble origins as many of us. He survived and overcame the obstacles associated with the inner city environment he grew up in. He is amazing because money has not deterred or distracted him from his focus on family and family values. This is evident in his consistent references in the book to his mother, his grandmother and other family members he has learned from and loves dearly. Mr. Gray is amazing because he has made it his business to inspire others with his story and lessons he has gleaned along his own journey. Anyone who heads up a venture capital fund, a food company, consults the U.S. Department of Commerce and sits on several boards (United Way, Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce) and buys a magazine (Inner City) by the time he is old enough to drive has pretty much caught my ear and has worthwhile things to say. Mr. Gray is more than a "local boy" who "does good". He is that local boy who wants to help others do better than they have ever imagined possible. I am impressed by Mr. Gray because far beyond creating one of these currently prolific and ubiquitous "how-to" or "step-by-step" manuals on how to "get rich", he has offered principles on how anyone from a child to an adult or an elderly person may realize their God-given talents and tools in order to accomplish what they dream of.
I have purchased several copies and plan to purchase more so that I can give them to young people I know. At 20 years old, he is someone our youth can look at and see possibilities and potential in themselves.
The book is the average price of a meal at lunchtime.
The message of inner richness toward acheiving personal, financial
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2005
I cannot even begin to explain how his story touches me! To just imagine that he came from the hood, Chicago's hood at that, and has made for himself in his short life something that many have not accomplished in their lifetime is nothing short of amazing. I mean really, a millionaire at 14 and a multi-millionaire at 20 now and is still pursuing many business ventures is just unheard of. Many young men his age have been in his same situation growing up and many of them have decided to go down the path of emulating gangster rappers and their lives of violence, drugs, and mayhem. He even says in the opening of his book that if you believe in statistics that he should either be in prison or dead. However, Farrah, with his belief in self and that all things are possible, defied all of the negative influences that he was surrounded by and used his god-given talent and business acumen to take him out of the ghetto and to blow corporate America away. And even more touching is the sincerity and "down-to-earth"-ness that he exudes throughout his wonderful book. Many people, young and old, of all ethnicities and backgrounds, myself included, I believe, can take a page from this book and really do amazing things with their life!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2007
I was truly inspired by this young man. I was intrigued, as my youngest son displays a lot of these attributes and has been telling me since age 5 or 6 that he's going to be rich. After reading this young mans story I just had to pass it along to my son, just to remind him that his goals and dreams are reachable, that no idea is a bad idea. Thank you Farrah for bringing the message home.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2006
The book first is inspirational. The story Farrah presents is very unique. A must read for all, not just young people. The story he tells is almost unbelievable, he will show how not to limit yourself. He lays out the adversity that people will face in business whether you are young or old. "Unless your dad is Bill Gates ". Let me also tell you I read this book in 3 days. Finished book earlier today. His writing style is very easy to read and it flows. If you have read the travelers gift it has same structure as that. Nobody in the reviews has talked about the exercises that he has in the book. The Book is only half you just "read it". The way he took control of his life is amazing at such an early age. He had mentor to guide him, but Farrah did everything for himself. Everyone has access to mentor in some way shape or form. Most people will not take action, which is the difference between Farrah. He done the same thing many people have done, because success principles are all the same. I honestly believe, there could be more Farrah's if young people were educated, and parents gave there child room to blossom. The thing with most children is there is no burning desire in their hearts, because their Fridge at home is filled, they don't to worry about lights getting shut off. He talks a lot in the book about living your life with integrity and everything will come back to you tenfold. BOTTOM LINE YOU CAN'T READ THIS BOOK, if you have a pulse and not get something out of it.