Author Michael Ellsberg masterfully puts together a hard-hitting book that tackles the question, "What education or knowledge is necessary to lead a successful life". It may surprise you like it did me that that answer has little to do with what you learn in school. Michael lays out his 7 success skills - essential skills needed to succeed in life no matter what your occupation or interests. Those seven success skills are:
- Success skill #1: How to make your work meaningful and your meaning work
- Success skill #2: How to find great mentors and teachers, connect with powerful and influential people, and build a world-class network
- success skill #3: What every successful person needs to know about marketing, and how to teach yourself
- success skill #4: What Every Successful Person Needs to Know About Sales, And How to Teach Yourself
- success skill #5: How to invest for success (the art of bootstrapping)
- Success Skill #6: Build the Brand of You
- Success Skill #7: The Entrepreneurial Mind-set VS. the employee Mind-Set
Michael created this list after interviewing several successful high school graduates/college dropouts who have decided that they didn't need to abide by the unwritten rules of society before making an impact (or gobs of money). As anyone can recognize, these skills are a part of the curriculum at your local university or private institutions.
Each of the success skills (except for #1 which pretty much was the basis of Wishcraft by Barbara Sher and probably deserved much more attention than Michael could provide in this book) outlined in this book had a profound impact on me. I found myself wanting to rush out and do whatever Michael suggested. Probably the most profound impact happened after reading the chapter devoted to success skill #7, the entrepreneurial mind-set vs. the employee mind-set. Taking a honest look at myself I can see some very employee-like thinking that I need to root out and replace with an entrepreneurial mind-set principles.
What makes this book so provocative is the stance Michael takes against higher education. He spends a majority of his time railing against the ethos that school is the sole source of intellectual curiousity and understanding and learning. He argues (somewhat) convincingly that education does not start and end with colleges and universities but the individual and the experiences that he or she seeks out in their life. I am definitely drinking the koolaid he is dishing out.
In a nutshell, if you are a recent college grad, have spent significant time in the hallowed halls of a university or college or want to get your hustle on but don't know where to start, start here with this book. Michael does a great service challenging the predominant thinking that college is the key to success and turns that idea on its head. Employing his success skills will soon add to your wealth and success. Get in gear, get out of the classroom, and learn how success really happens!
There were a lot of great quote material so this list is long!
"Great jobs, world class jobs, jobs people kill for...those jobs don't get filled by people e-mailing in resumes. Ever." (comes from a Seth Godin blog post reproduced in Education of the Millionaire)
Joe told me: "There are two decisions ou need t ocome 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 those two views, you will go far." (Joe Polish quoting friend Dan Sullivan)
"Understand that no matter what you're doing, even if you want to be a ballplayer, a rapper, a movie star - nothing happens until something gets sold. Ever. The reason actors make so much money is because their face sells the fucking movie tickets. It's not about their ability to act. The reason the musician gets rich is because he sells a lot of seats and records. Or his song gets used in a movie - it's a license, a sale. The key to making money, and therefore a living of less stress, is to cause someone to joyfully give you money in exchange for something that they perceive to be of greater value than the money they gave you. Th key there is 'joyfully.' Most sales and marketing you study, you learn how to trick people into parting with their money, or badger them into doing ti, or make them so miserable that they think you're their only salvation. None of those situations invole the word 'joyfully.'" (quote from Frank Kern)
We don't get to choose what happens to us. But we get to choose what it means. And in that choice is a tremendous power. This chapter, the final, longest, and most important chapter in he book, is about that choice: the choice to become the active ingredient in your own life.
It turns out that nearly everyone I spoke to for this book has this in common: a serious passion for lifelong learning. Put another way, they do not front-load their education early on with pedagogy rammed down their throats, removing themselves from the workforce and taking on lots of debt to do so. Rather, they follow lifelong learning through continual, steady, gradual investment in themselves over time as adults.
"The advice I ould give to young people Quit your job. Don't work for anybody. You really can't make any money working for someone else. Maybe it's a hamburger stand. Maybe it's a coffee shop. You can do that. It's very risky to quit your job and start your own. You ahve to be committed to it and you have to be willing to work the hours, because you can't have a lot of labor. You can start almost any kind of business yourself. It doesn't take a lot of capital. It's very doable. You have to work your ass off. Be willing to work yourself." (quote from Philip Ruffin)
- intellectual framework for learning additional skills for achieving success
- provides plenty of references and resources for further learning and understanding
- quality writer that hooks you in and guides you through the book
- May be hard to swallow for some folks (not necessarily a bad thing dependent on the author's intention for the book)
- Does do Success skill #1 enough justice. Frankly, its hard to do that skill just in a single chapter. I read Wishcraft an entire book devoted to this single success skill.