Transformational Books: 21 Questions for 21 Millionaires
Have you ever wondered what it would take to become a millionaire? The book, 21 Questions for 21 Millionaires explores how people who aren’t well known or celebrities become quiet millionaires. The author, Brandon Pipkin, is a motivational speaker for corporate, professional and trade events. He is also an established and proven trainer of professional sales teams. He interviewed 21 millionaires to find the secret for success. By his own admission, he didn’t find a secret formula, but he does identify five specific commonalities that tie their experiences together.
How was this book transformational for me? The interviews with the 21 millionaires are reprinted almost exactly as they occurred. They aren’t summarized or paraphrased, filtered or otherwise repackaged to promote an agenda. You get clear insight into who these people are and what motivated them. I really liked and respected some of the millionaires, and disliked others. You don’t always get that sort of access to people in a book. And the interview format made it easy and quick to read – you can read one or a couple of interviews at a sitting.
As a small business owner myself, I have committed to helping passionate people and organizations market products, services or causes they believe will transform the lives of their target audience. The more I have the opportunity to see how others have succeeded, the more insight I will have into how I can succeed as well.
Here’s what I took away from reading 21 Questions for 21 Millionaires:
Different People, Different Paths
There were many different paths to success for the millionaires in the book. Some followed a traditional path of climbing a corporate ladder before branching out onto their own unique success path. Some meandered through a desert of failed attempts, half-successes or even tragedy before finding their success path. Some seemed to just get lucky, with opportunities, networks and markets magically aligning to light the way. Some followed a passion while others followed the money.
For me, the transformational message is that I need to be even more self-aware. I need to understand who I am, what motivates me, and to stick to the objective I stated above. It’s how I will recognize my unique success path and the many twists and turns it is likely to take.
Recognize & Act Upon Opportunities
There is one thing that I think all the millionaires had in common. They had an uncanny ability to recognize the opportunities that arose. More importantly, they acted upon those opportunities, almost as if by some sort of naive instinct. This was a pattern of behavior that recurred throughout their lives.
For me, it’s a riff on a theme that I’ve suspected throughout my life. The more you dig into your area of expertise, the markets in which you specialize, and the networks in which you operate, the more natural and innate is your ability to recognize opportunities.The many examples in the book provided me with added inspiration and discipline for continuous improvement and continuous education. I know that I need to commit to honing my skills, staying on top of market trends and expanding networks. It’s what builds your trust and confidence in yourself to recognize opportunities and act upon them.
Nothing new here – my grandfather told me to work hard. Success is hard work. 21 Questions for 21 Millionaires just reinforces the message. It’s not about working 100 hours a week and flaming out – although there were millionaires who fit that mold. But it’s definitely more than punching the clock. The overnight success is one of the most destructive myths in today’s society. We need to be reminded how much work goes into “overnight success.”
Watch Out – The World is Changing
Here’s the cautionary note. The millionaires all recognized that the world – economies, markets and society – is changing. Some didn’t recognize it soon enough and fortunes were won and then lost when warning signs weren’t heeded. Retailers failed when they didn’t anticipate online retailing and global distribution systems. Real estate professionals failed who missed the real estate bubble and global recession. It happens over and over. And the pace of change is accelerating.
Most of the millionaires in the book said that they didn’t have a formal plan when they started out, or a business plan when they started their business. However, they were quick to point out that things are different now than they were in the 70s, 80s or even the 90s. Global competition has changed. The internet and technology has changed commerce, retailing and business in fundamental ways. Many of the millionaires now admit that planning is essential to their current businesses.
21 Questions for 21 Millionaires
There is a lot to learn from the 21 interviews in the book, and my transformational insights are unlikely to be the same as yours. Different people, different paths, right? But maybe if you read it, you’ll be interviewed for the next edition.
This article is the second in the category, Transformational Books. In 2018, I will write articles on the books that I complete during the year and explain how they had a transformational influence. If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of 21 Questions for 21 Millionaires, you can click on the affinity program link to Amazon.com in this article.