Business Brilliant: Surprising Lessons from the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons [NOOK Book]

Overview

Ask a member of the middle class what it takes to become wealthy, and she'll tell you it takes a bold new idea. Tell that to a self-made millionaire, and he'll vehemently disagree. What explains the difference in mind-set between the self-made wealthy and the rest of us? It's not what you think, as journalist and entrepreneur Lewis Schiff convincingly illustrates through groundbreaking research and compelling storytelling.

For decades, the middle class has believed that the road...

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Business Brilliant: Surprising Lessons from the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons

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Overview

Ask a member of the middle class what it takes to become wealthy, and she'll tell you it takes a bold new idea. Tell that to a self-made millionaire, and he'll vehemently disagree. What explains the difference in mind-set between the self-made wealthy and the rest of us? It's not what you think, as journalist and entrepreneur Lewis Schiff convincingly illustrates through groundbreaking research and compelling storytelling.

For decades, the middle class has believed that the road to success meant working hard and playing by rules passed down from previous generations. But as the 2008 economic crisis has made clear, the old rules no longer apply. While household net worth has declined for most, self-made business leaders—entrepreneurially minded individuals born into the middle class who have accumulated significant wealth—have prospered. What makes these have-mores financially successful while the rest of us have never felt more uncertain about our professional and financial futures?

In Business Brilliant, Lewis Schiff reveals the eye-opening findings from a national survey of middle-class workers and self-made millionaires, offering practical guidance to show the rest of us what America's self-made rich already know. Through his research, he holds a mirror to our most commonly held beliefs about success and then reveals the truth about how wealth is really created by surveying the truly wealthy. In doing so, he explodes the conventional wisdom and identifies the distinct principles practiced by individuals who may or may not be any smarter than the rest of the population but seem to understand instinctively how money is made. They don't employ business-as-usual practices; they adopt a "Business Brilliant" mind-set. The book illustrates how these self-made millionaires choose their careers, negotiate to win, and leverage social networks to accumulate their wealth.

Schiff argues that it is the synergy behind seven uncommon practices, not serendipity or luck, that produces success. He offers a practical four-step program anyone can follow to position themselves to succeed more often and a roadmap to compare your own Business Brilliance to the executives and entrepreneurs who have successfully navigated our rapidly changing economy. While Business Brilliant doesn't promise to make you rich, it can help you achieve better results in your career and accumulate wealth faster.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Best-selling author Schiff (executive director of Inc. Magazine's Business Owners Council service; The Influence of Affluence: The Rise of the New Rich and How They Are Changing America) argues that the "business brilliant" ways of the wealthy may be learned. He shares the results of a widespread survey he conducted after the 2008 financial crisis to determine how the "self-made wealthy" continued to prosper. Schiff's examples feature self-made leaders such as Richard Branson and Bill Gates. However, he ultimately debunks what he calls "myths of wealth" by highlighting the differences between the middle class and self-made millionaires; for example, 30 percent of the middle class thought "coming out on top in business dealings is paramount," while 75 percent of self-made millionaires agreed with that statement. Chapters on imitation over innovation, negotiations, and social contacts are followed by an appendix of 17 essentials to master on the road to wealth. VERDICT A fascinating read that challenges popular opinions about what it takes to be wealthy. Recommended.—Sarah Statz Cords, Reader's Advisor Online, Middleton, WI
Publishers Weekly
Schiff (The Middle-Class Millionaire), executive director of Inc. magazine's Business Owners Council, pulls no punches as he challenges the status quo and the wisdom of financial gurus like Suze Orman. At the heart of the book is the question: "What is the difference between middle-class people and millionaires?" Schiff uses a 2009 survey by Russ Prince together with results that Prince achieved with his wealthy clients to supply many of his answers. One group was a sampling of middleclass households, whereas the other groups were self-made millionaires (those who started out middleclass). Though the facts can be dizzying, Schiff offers useful insights such as "people who are the most brilliant at business are also those who fail most often," and urges readers to understand that "failure can be good." Meanwhile, he cautions against "the myth of innovation." Ultimately, the difference between middle-class and millionaire is that "middle-class people protect themselves by becoming more well-rounded and ordinary, while the millionaires enrich themselves by becoming more specialized and extraordinary." It's hard to go wrong with advice like that.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Tariq Farid
“Having started Edible Arrangements, an international franchise with more than 1,000 stores, I know that the more “business brilliant” my franchise partners are, the more likely they are to build hugely successful stores. I wish I had read this book a decade ago.”
Steve Hindy
“Whether you are starting a new business or navigating your career, conventional wisdom doesn’t get you very far. Lewis Schiff clearly outlines the true characteristics of success I wish I had read Business Brilliant 25 years ago when we started The Brooklyn Brewery.”
Booklist
“Schiff builds his narrative on solid evidence, including research data comparing and contrasting the self-made person with the usual middle class.”
Kirkus Reviews
An engaging look at "realigning our career-development practices with the world we live in today." Inc. magazine's Business Owners Council executive director Schiff (The A to Z Money Book from Armchair Millionaire, 2005, etc.) presents research on the differences in outlook between two groups: those with net worths in the range of $1 million to $10 million and those with net worths between $50,000 and $80,000. "The starkness of the gap between the two groups was stunning," he writes--as was "the conflict" between the ideas of those who have achieved success and those who haven't. The author presents the research along with case studies and arguments against popularly held misconceptions about how people get rich. Schiff takes issue with experts like Suze Orman who recommend savings and frugality as the path to riches; the author argues that it distracts from the goal of making more money. He examines the origins of the financial success of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, and he is also concerned with establishing the importance of taking ownership and responsibility for financial and life decisions. He emphasizes repeatedly the importance of asking and learning negotiating skills. Most new hires, he writes, do not negotiate salaries and terms with their employers, leaving thousands of dollars on the table because of it. Schiff also discusses how to formulate negotiating strategies and put together financial plans, and he provides a list of "essentials" for becoming business brilliant, including: "Write Down Your Goals," "Commit to What You Do Best," "Get a Coach" and "Don't Procrastinate." Not necessarily groundbreaking, but a mostly intriguing, different kind of take on the self-help moneymaking genre.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062253521
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/19/2013
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 312,901
  • File size: 615 KB

Meet the Author

Lewis Schiff is the executive director of Inc. Business Owners Council, a membership organization for Inc. magazine's top entrepreneurs and owners of closely held family businesses, and maintains a blog about behavioral entrepreneurshipon Inc.com. Schiff has coauthored two books: The Influence of Affluence: The Rise of the New Rich and How They Are Changing America, which charts the rise of America's growing affluent middle class through original research and analysis, and The Armchair Millionaire, which describes a wealth-creation system that leverages Nobel Prize-winning methodologies.

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