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The Education of Millionaires: Everything You Won't Learn in College About How to Be Successful Kindle Edition
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I feel so benefited by the fact that I never took an undergraduate marketing class, and instead read this book, got out in the real world, and practiced with an open mind. The people I know who did take marketing classes seem to believe in ridiculous rules (one I often hear is, "you have to tell someone about something seven times for them to buy it") that professors told them. If you know good marketing tactics and can do them well, you can tell a customer about something one time, with one impression, and get a buy from them.
It's the little, simple tips that Ellsberg articulates that will help you most. For instance: When marketing something, think about the need of the customer that you are selling to. That tip alone is worth the purchase price, and probably more practical than anything you would get in a traditional academic education about marketing.
Some objections I have read from other reviewers suggest that the book is a bit sleazy, and that Ellsberg is shamelessly promoting other entrepreneurs. This book is anything but sleazy. In fact, Ellsberg distinguishes between unethical and ethical marketing, with a very clear and helpful social message: do not push your product on someone who does not need, want, or have interest in it. The reason most people hate salespeople is because they think of telemarketers who lie to you claiming you've "signed up to hear about their product" or door-to-door salesmen who try up-front to sell you something without actually thinking about what you need and want, and whether or not their product fits that.
There are plenty of other tips in here: how to build a brand for yourself instead of a resume, how to sell, how to lead, how to network with helpful mentors. Ellsberg really is scratching college graduates where they most itch, so I strongly recommend this book, along with a couple of other great books - SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham, and Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, to anyone who wants to take charge of their own destiny by learning business technique, as opposed to business theory or business rules.
A) a great read. Irreverent, energetic, full of great tales of losers turned successful.
B) lots of hands on, basic tips on how to practice the art of success.
C) a wealth of information on where to turn to dig deeper into the topics of marketing and sales.
If you are already a sales or marketing expert, I recommend instead buying something that digs right into those fields. If you are a self starter, but new to this whole entrepreneur thing, or would like to become a self starter, there's no better book than this one.
Beyond that though I found the book lacking meat, and it reminds me of the Tim Ferris style of writing, where the ideas are good, but lacking further depth.
Almost as if the book was written for the sake of having written a book.
I gave this book 3 stars for the ideas, and encouragement.
For the book, Ellsberg interviewed many college dropouts and entrepreneurs who are now making millions of dollars to discover the skills that made them successful.
He starts with the premise that although what we learn in college can be enlightening, it is mainly abstract and unusable. The "education of millionaires" is built around practical advice that will help you attain your goals and get you further in life.
I've gravitated towards the idea that the reason I don't enjoy many of my college courses is because the knowledge I've gained from these courses is, like Ellsberg says, not instantly usable.
I'm not the type of learner who can enjoy playing with imaginary ideas for 2 straight undergraduate years in the hopes my intuition will be trained to better deal with real-world business decisions. Maybe you aren't either.
That's why Ellsberg recommends "bootstrapping" your education. This is essentially the main point in his book.
WHAT IS BOOTSTRAPPING?
In simple terms, it means taking control of your education and choosing to learn the things that will make you more employable, more efficient, and more successful.
Traditional higher education is focused on your achievement in a 4-month course. Bootstrapped education is focused on your achievement in your life.
Traditional schooling is evaluated by people who have no stake, while bootstrapped education is evaluated by the real world and your successes and failures in dealing with people and companies.
That's what bootstrapping is all about and why it's so appealing to me: learning the skills that can help you NOW and not 4 years in the hopeful future.
THE 7 SKILLS FOR SUCCESS
Ellsberg breaks it down into 7 chapters and these are the lessons I have extracted from each chapter:
1. Get financially stable, then work on finding meaning in your work
2. Find a great mentor and build your network
3. Teach yourself marketing
4. Teach yourself sales
5. Invest in your self-education
6. Build your brand online
7. Adopt the entrepreneurial mindset over the employee mindset
I did find a lot of value out of knowing what skills are applicable to any industry and how you can go about teaching yourself. These skills are broad and applicable to all job-seekers and entrepreneurs.
Unfortunately, it does feel like Ellsberg is just plugging in a lot of his friends' products, but then again, I would do the same if I truly felt that a book or seminar would help someone. The book is centered around teaching people to become "bootstrappers" and find materials to learn by themselves, so it makes sense to offer recommendations.
If you've been unsatisfied with your education at any point in your life, that's okay. You can start bootstrapping at any time.
While a little too wordy and cross-promotional, The Education of Millionaires does provide a good basis to start learning how you can start learning the things that will help you achieve your goals.
Most recent customer reviews
I was skeptical because it had a few negative reviews. But that makes sense since the idea of not going to college is still radical to most...Read more