The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg is a book that examines what makes millionaires, well rich people vs. the rest of us… you know poor and unsuccessful people.
All I can say about the book is I thought it was an amazing book that changed my life. I actually read it twice. Not for the reason you might imagine though. See the picture below.
I read the majority of The Education of Millionaires when I had to do jury duty. When you are serving your time in jury duty it's always a good idea to bring a book. The day I went to jury duty I decided to take Michael Ellsberg's book from a pile of books which are in the “I'd like to read it but when will I have time?” category. Well, you'll have a lot of waiting around time in jury duty so it wasn't a problem.
So I reread, well skimmed, the book again just to see if it was as good as I original thought in a non jury duty state of mind. Was it? Not really.
While I enjoyed The Education of Millionaires Ellsberg has a tendency to ramble on in parts of the book. Sometimes you say, “Ok, yeah I get it. Can you talk about something else?” This is probably due to the fact Ellsberg is used to write articles instead of books. He mentioned he used to do a lot of writing for SEO (search engine optimization) for people in Australia which I can certainly understand. Google doesn't actually appreciate a good writing, just a lot of text. Hence why this is review is longer than it probably needs to be. 🙂
Publishers usually require that books be a minimum number of pages on a shelf so that they don't disappear among other books in the bookstore as well. Yes, I believe some of these are still around.
Also what annoyed me while rereading the book is when Ellsberg drops lines like this;
“We Americans are obsessed with success, and we readily snap up books promising insight into the lives of successful people and how to emulate them.”
Ok well… no shit you did title your book “The Education of Millionaires” so who do you think is going to read this book? He also makes recommendations in the book about the importance of learning marketing and specifically direct response marking. This basically means email marketing and ironically when I was on Ellberg's email list he did little of it. I'm pretty sure he doesn't do much list segmentation.
In The Education of Millionaires Ellsberg also makes some recommendations. I took him up on one of them and read Spin Selling by Neil Rackham which he claims is an incredible sales book. I read Spin Selling and honestly it is a really poorly written book by a scientist/researcher that should not be writing, period. For the several chapters Spin Selling is mindless drivel and word diarrhea. I'm surprised a publisher even released this garbage onto bookshelves since it is so poorly written. I guess McGraw-Hill forgot to have editorial oversight on this book and must have not even hired editor. The way I see it is Neil Rackham needs Ellsberg's advice on writing, Ellsberg does not need to take Rackham's advice on selling. Luckily I didn't spend any money on the copy of Spin Selling I have but if I did I would have been pissed, like when I dropped money on Breakthrough Blogging.
Neil Rackham needed to write a book because there is no f$%&@ way this guy ever got any science grants approved. A scientist with shit writing doesn't get funded. A scientist with good sales skills can get a book deal though.
The Education of Millionaires is much more amazing when you read it during jury duty. Reading any book during jury duty makes me believe that you could read anything and think it is incredible. I could have read a Spot books or Where is Waldo and said to myself, “This book has changed my life.”
Ellsberg does have good messages and points out that most people are not successful because of where they want to school. They took risk and action and used what talent they had to make something of themselves. He gives many examples, perhaps a few too many, of unusual paths to financial and business success.
What I like about Ellsberg's writing is that is is simple and straightforward. You have the feeling that you he is your friend and he is having a casual conversation with you. His copy-writing skill show through in the book.
The Education of Millionaires – Key Takeaways
- Learn Marketing, it is very important.
- Email Marketing is good to use.
- Rich people don't think like poor people.
- Learn dancing, then teach it where beautiful “loose” women congregate.
- You can read a lot during jury duty.
- Any book read during jury duty you will think is incredible (even if it is not).
Considering that Michael Ellsberg talked with a lot of millionaires, and probably still has access to them, I think a more interesting project would have been to record audio interviews. He then could post them on his website as a weekly podcast. Since everybody loves hearing successful people talk and he seems to like doing interviews and meeting people.
Would I read Michael Ellsberg's next book? Yeah, if I was stuck in jury duty. 🙂