Business Brilliant

July 23, 2018


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In Business Brilliant, journalist and entrepreneur Lewis Schiff reveals what keeps the majority of the middle class from becoming rich: their belief in conventional success myths. They lack what the self-made rich have, “Business Brilliance,” or an innate understanding of how money is made. Through a survey of self-made millionaires and middle-class workers, Schiff has identified and distilled the “Business Brilliant” mindset into seven synergistic principles. Business Brilliant provides an in-depth guide to each principle as well as a four-step program that allows people of all backgrounds to integrate the principles into their lives, further their careers, and accumulate wealth faster.

What sets self-made millionaires apart is not work ethic or innovative ideas, but their subscription to a unique set of priorities. Advancing a career and accumulating wealth faster requires an understanding of these priorities. Lewis Schiff recommends professionals consider the following concepts:

• Question conventional ideas about business and wealth. It is impossible to break out of the middle class by adhering to ubiquitous ideas of how to achieve financial success.

• Acquire a substantial ownership stake in one’s work. “Business Brilliant” people continuously angle for an ownership stake in their work. By chasing equity opportunities whenever possible, they are increasing their opportunities for wealth.

• Focus on increasing income rather than decreasing spending. The middle class tends to believe the misinformation of popular frugality gurus that achieving wealth is only possible by scrimping and saving. Business Brilliant people understand that the only way to get rich is to earn more.

• Do not innovate; instead execute an established idea well. Innovation comes with a lot of risk and consequently does not make good business sense. It is more profitable to imitate an existing idea and execute it better than it has been executed before.

• Build a strategic, tight-knit network of people. Bankrolling a venture alone is foolish. By developing a strategic social network, it becomes possible to fund business pursuits with other people’s money and supports.

• Negotiate using the “win-win or no deal” approach. To avoid being taken advantage of in a negotiation, it is necessary to inform the other negotiating party that it is a win-win deal or no deal at all. To achieve this requires writing down the negotiation goals beforehand, researching what the other bargaining party is likely to ask for, and determining the point at which one is willing to walk away from the deal altogether.

• Delegate responsibility to others. Business Brilliant people focus on their strengths and delegate the tasks that involve their weaknesses to others. This prevents them from wasting the energy they need to become extraordinary.

• Learn from failure. Failed endeavors offer a wellspring of lessons and opportunities for the future. Business Brilliant people accept that failure is an inevitable part of the road to success and learn from it whenever possible.

• Master Business Brilliance by integrating it into every aspect of professional life. Despite the fact that Business Brilliance is an innate quality many people are born with, it can be learned. This requires people to master the four areas of Business Brilliance: learning, earning, assistance, and persistence.