The Education of Millionaires (Book Review)


title: The Education of Millionaires – Everything You Won’t Learn in College About How to Be Successful

author: Michael Ellsberg

what you’ll learn: how to “hack” you way into wealth, without a college degree

Why You Must Read It 

The Education of Millionaires – Everything You Won’t Learn in College About How to Be Successful holds a very special place in my heart. Seriously, if it was not for this book, this site would not exist.

I’ll be honest. You won’t learn any new skills that’ll make your rich instantaneously. It won’t teach you how to flip real estate for massive cash. It won’t teach you how to trade penny stocks for a million dollars in profit. It won’t teach you how to rise through the ranks of a MLM pyramid and earn passive income through the people your recruit.

No, it will do something better … much, much better. And more realistic.

Your life could be an utter piece of crap. You may have done everything wrong. You may have lost everything you’ve ever had. But truthfully, there is only 1 thing in life you have to learn and do to be successful — that will turn your life around. And that is … learning and mastering the success skill. (Yes, success is a skill. And it is made up of 3 different things.)

I just wanna reinforce that you don’t need to go to college to learn it. In fact, it is better if you did NOT go to college.

I’m gonna be real with you. It’s gonna be hard. And it’s gonna be a lot of work. But I promise it is the gateway to wealth.

Personally, this is a book I could not just read once. Every man should have one or more books that he refers to over and over again. And for me, this is one of them. (The other is the Bible.)

Every time I get overwhelmed by useless things I “should” do …

Every time I need a refresher on how to be among the 1% …

Every time I need a swift kick in the nuts to take action …

I refer back to this book.

I then remember what I must focus on and what I must do. And in no time, I am re-energized and back on the fast track.

The author, Michael Ellsberg, wrote some really good articles on some very popular websites. They are very much related to the theme of the book. I urge you to check them out:

If you want the mindset of a millionaire …

If you want to learn how to acquire the success skill …

If you liked the two articles he wrote …

You definitely need to get The Education of Millionaires. You will not be disappointed.

Table of Contents

Introduction – The Craigslist Test of the Value of a BA

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

Success Skill #6 – Build the Brand of You

Success Skill #7 – The Entrepreneurial Mind-Set Versus the Employee Mind-Set

Epilogue – The Education Bubble Is About to Pop, Are You Prepared for the Aftermath?

Choice Excerpt

Around two years ago, at the age of thirty-two, I came to a shocking realization.

Not one penny of how I earned my income was even slightly related to anything I ever studied or learned in college.

I was bringing in a very solid income as a direct-response copywriter, on a freelance schedule that many of my friends with paychecks and bosses envied (never at my desk before 10:30 A.M., lots of time for Rollerblading in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, in the middle of sunny weekdays). One could say I learned writing in college, but it is more accurate to say that I had to unlearn the turgid, academic style of writing favored in college, in order to write anything that moved product or made money for me or anyone else.

What’s more, I wasn’t making solid money (somewhere around $75,000 as a freelance copywriter, plus additional money coming in from my own book writing, which pushed me over $100,000) simply because I had become good at writing copy. I was earning money because I had become good at marketing and selling my copywriting services. There are boatloads of good freelancers who are broke, simply because they don’t know how to market and sell their services. Think I learned any marketing or sales at Brown University? Rather, I spent my time writing papers decrying the capitalist system in which marketing and sales take place (and most of those papers came back with an A on them).

Beyond career, for the first time in my life, I was also having the feeling of being successful in my personal life. I had just gotten engaged to Jena and was enjoying a loving, stable, fulfilling relationship with her. This was after about a decade (my entire twenties) of being a total mess in relationships. It didn’t just happen by accident that I was now enjoying a great relationship; I learned how to be a better partner, by investing in a zillion workshops and reading a zillion books on the topic, until something started to shift.

I was also enjoying vibrant day-to-day health for the first time since college. Years of partying (starting in college), combined with poor eating habits, began to take their toll in my twenties, as I began seeing a gauntlet of doctors and specialists for symptoms of depression, constant low energy, and mood swings. I didn’t get better until I started paying a lot more attention to my diet and lifestyle. After doing that, I began to feel energized and vibrant on a consistent basis for the first time since I was a kid.

In other words, for the first time as an adult, I was absolutely loving my life. My professional and personal life were exactly where I wanted them to be. Yet, as I took stock of my life in this moment, I realized: the fact that I had done well in college—even the fact that I had gone to college in the first place — had absolutely nothing to do with my adult happiness, fulfillment, success, or contribution to others. Zero. Zip.

I had learned a lot about how to live as a successful, happy adult. Yet nearly all that learning had been self-education in practical matters, out in the real world in my twenties, outside the bounds of a classroom.

This got me thinking: What would education for a successful life look like? You can define a “success” any way you want — wealth; career; family; spirituality; sense of meaning and purpose; vibrant health; service and contribution to community, nation, and humanity — or any combination thereof. What would an education look like that was laser-targeted only toward achieving these real-world results, and zealously cut out all bullshit not directly related to living a happy, successful life and making a powerful contribution to the lives of the people around you?

Certainly, this education would look nothing like anything taught on current college campuses, or anywhere inside our nation’s entire educational system. If you wanted to take this course of study, you’d have to do so on your own, outside of college, as your own teacher, because this course doesn’t exist anywhere within the halls of academia.

So I decided to write this book, in which I pose these simple questions: What do you actually need to learn in order to live a successful life? How and where can you learn it?

While there are many ways I could have gone about answering these questions, I decided to answer them by interviewing and learning from successful people, like Bryan Franklin, who did not finish college.

I first got the idea to take this tack after entering into a serious relationship with Jena, who is now my wife. Jena, a year younger than I, did not complete college. Yet during her twenties, she amassed far more wealth than I did, despite the differential in our educational credentials pointing solidly in my favor. What did Jena learn during her self-education about making her way in the world that I did not learn during my college education?

Around 90 percent of the people I interviewed and feature in this book are literal millionaires, and several are even billionaires. Some are famous, many are not. I’ve also chosen to include, for around 10 percent of my interviewees, people like Jena, who are not millionaires (yet!), but who are clearly on their way, who exemplify the spirit and lessons of this book, and who are accomplishing amazing things in the world, via the strategies described in this book.

For the record, I’m not a millionaire myself, and I did complete college (Brown, class of ’99). I’m not an example of the self-educated millionaires I write about in this book. But I’ve learned a tremendous amount from them. I write extensively about the changes I’ve experienced in my life applying the skills and lessons I’ve learned from them, so you can see how these skills apply to all people, not just those who are already millionaires, and not just those who didn’t complete their formal education.

All of the millionaires and successful people I interviewed for this book said “no thanks” to the current educational model. And with their self-education, they have built businesses, amassed fortunes, helped others live better lives, and even changed the world.

These are the people we’re going to be learning from in this book. They have much to teach us about how we can educate ourselves in the practical skills we need, in order to be successful in a rapidly evolving, shape-shifting, and self-reinventing economy. They are going to teach us how we can get, for ourselves, “The Education of Millionaires”: the real-world skills that these millionaires studied and learned in order to get where they are in life.

What they have to teach applies to you no matter what age you are and whether or not you’ve been to college already. Lifelong learning and professional development are necessities in the current career environment; this book is your guide to self-education for success in the twenty-first century.

The people in this book also have much to teach us about what kinds of practical life skills and career-oriented content your children should be learning if our educational system is to take the new realities of this twenty-first-century digitized, globalized, flatworld economy seriously — an economy in which every traditional assumption is being turned on its head, shaken up, and called into question, including traditional assumptions about education

Get it now!

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  1. Sounds like a great book!

  2. Just got the book and started reading it. So far, very fascinating.

    Great review as well Alex.


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