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.
You’ve heard the saying, “You have to kiss a hundred frogs before you find your prince/princess,” right?
Well you’ll find exactly the same applies to reading books.
Especially business books.
I’ve read countless ones that offered about as much value as a copper penny in an Arab prince’s wallet.
But there have also been books that have genuinely transformed my business, and therefore my life.
Luckily for you, my friend, you won’t need to waste hours and hours reading rubbish, because I’m gonna put on my best chef hat and serve you on a plate, the top 5 books that have helped level up my business.
And, providing you apply what you learn, they’ll do the same for you.
1. The 10X Rule (Grant Cardone)
This book will completely change your mindset when it comes to HOW you run your business, as well as the goals you set yourself in both your professional and personal life.
2. Words That Sell (Richard Bayan)
Struggling to come up with words and phrases that trigger your prospects emotions?
Can’t think of different words and phrases that make people desperate to take out their credit cards and BUY from you, right there and then?
Then “Words That Sell” is just the book you’re looking for.
It’s the ultimate copywriting “thesaurus”.
3. Copywriter’s Crib Sheet (Ben Settle)
Ben’s one of my biggest inspiration’s when it comes to writing copy.
I love the way how he doesn’t over-complicate things (like most of the egg-sperts do) and makes it easy for you to implement his teachings.
4. The Boron Letters (Gary Halbert)
Gary’s a copywriting LEGEND.
If you’ve never heard of him, he should be the first guy you study.
He’s unfortunately passed away now, but his legacy well and truly lives on… especially in “The Boron Letters”.
5. The 4 Hour Work Week (Tim Ferriss)
This book will seriously make you FAR more productive. It’ll also show you how to set up a business that you can operate from anywhere in the world.
So there you have it.
Read these books and you’ll become a better marketer instantly.
One of the biggest and most profound shifts in my business was prompted by a book. My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor described the shift in her world view after a stroke.
While I gratefully did not have a stroke, her book affirmed a similar shift I underwent when I sold my house and most of my belongings and became an intentional nomad. That was the catalyst for my business coaching adventure. A wild and wonderful ride that I’m still on!
That’s why reading broadly is a great thing. You never know what great new idea will come to you when you read that Asterix comic book or that biography of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Here are 5 books that you’ll likely never read on a business book list. They are books that significantly changed my business for the better. They could do the same for you!
1. Transformational Speaking: If You Want to Change the World, Tell a Better Story by Gail Larsen
Not your usual book about speaking, Gail’s book is not in any way a conventional how-to for better PowerPoint slides or overcoming stage fright. It takes you on a journey that will help you clarify your core message and the impact that you want to have. You can be a passionate visionary. When you articulate your message authentically, you’ll have far more impact after this deep exploration within.
2. Time Warrior: How To Defeat Procrastination, People-pleasing, Self-doubt, Over-commitment, Broken Promises and Chaos by Steve Chandler
Whew! That title is a tall order for a short book. This isn’t the usual time management book. Its fresh approach takes you from fear of the future. That thing you haven’t gotten done. That issue that you’re really not sure how much to be scared about because you don’t even want to go there. Instead, Steve encourages you to go non-linear, to take action, right now, in short chapters that provoke quick response. That switch from thinking to action will change your relationship to your time.
3. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
OK, true – Elon Musk is a business person and the book does talk about his businesses. Also true – reading biographies of successful business people is valuable.
For this list of out-of-the-box books, though, and what makes this book unique is hearing about how this guy thinks. Calling him innovative does not even begin to cover it. Elon makes connections you wouldn’t expect, something I hope that reading these books will do for you!
Even more important, he is willing to take action on them. No brilliant idea of yours or mine will matter if we don’t take action.
Finally, Elon thinks big. He treats putting people on Mars with the same matter-of-fact problem solving as he does solar roof tiles. He isn’t held back by fears that his vision is ‘too big’.
Check out the book – you’ll never think of your business the same way again.
4. The Surrender Experiment: My Journey Into Life’s Perfection by Michael Singer
Oprah’s Emmy award-winning SuperSoul Sunday guest and also author of The Untethered Soul, Michael Singer describes his experience of deep surrender to life. He decided to accept whatever came his way and stop letting his life be dictated by fears or even desires.
Through this practical spirituality, he created the environment for spiritual freedom and outer success, creating a billion dollar company in the process. Reading this book, you may look at your own life in a very different way.
5. The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild by Lawrence Anthony
I feel a deep connection to elephants. Tears spontaneously run down my face when I see them in the wild. Elephants have an amazing ability to communicate and form connections.
In this book, the late animal conservationist Lawrence Anthony takes you into a heartwarming, funny, and poignant experience of his own with elephants. When Lawrence died, the elephants in this book freely traveled to his house and stood vigil for him. They knew. They wanted to pay homage. Their connection to Lawrence was deep.
Elephants made me rethink the way I connect with my community. Your business is built on connections. You can’t do without them. What you do with them is always open to innovation. This book will help you look at connections and how to nurture them with new eyes.
Who you become as you reach for your goals is crucial to helping you achieve them. I encourage you to check out these books. They’ll provoke your thinking and may just inspire you to grow in new ways and create something great in your business!