July Book Club Pub Crawl: The Education of Millionaires

by Ronnie Nurss on July 5, 2012

The Education of Millionaires is written by Michael Ellsberg, who dedicated years prior to this book’s publication interviewing a wide range of millionaires and billionaires who never received a college degree.

The purpose of this book?

To explore and uncover the deep-rooted myth of the American Dream that if you go to college, get good grades, and graduate with that degree then you’ll be on the fast track to a long, successful career. In the midst of this, Ellsberg discovers that the biggest thing you actually will not learn in college is how to succeed professionally.

Having recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree, I resonated with this book. Of course I did learn a ton of useful skills in college. It’s just that most of that learning actually happened outside the classroom, at least for the skills that I apply to my career and personal life today.

And to be completely honest, everything I learned inside the classroom from writing a press release to creating a satisfactory powerpoint presentation, I could have learned in the real world or through a quick google search and 30 minutes of research, without having to pay $4-5k a semester.

Instead, this book argues that you can learn most of the skills or knowledge you get with a college education in the real world, and possibly much more. And he shows you how several of today’s millionaires and billionaires did just that.

It’s a far better education and more rewarding to spend 4 months working 40 hours a week in an actual real sales job selling products to real people than it is to spend a semester learning sales tactics from a text book and sitting through 90 minutes of lecture a couple times a week.  Plus, you actually get paid to learn a skill like sales in the real world instead of spending $4,000 in tuition and $150 for the dry sales textbook that you’ll be forced to read.

College will not teach you, for example, crucial skills that Ellsberg has formulated from dozens of interviews with big time entrepreneurs and successful millionaires like:

-Finding great mentors
-Building a diverse, world-class network
-Real world sales and marketing skills
-Mastering the art of bootstrapping
-Actually making your work meaningful (see the movie Office Space)
-and much more…..

Mark Twain once famously said, “I never let schooling interfere with my education.”  In today’s world, where people expect that schooling is just enough to be successful, this quote couldn’t be more timely…no matter your age, career, or education background.

Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or seeking a successful and rewarding career, a student or a seasoned professional with a 25-year career, The Education of Millionaires can influence and change your life and career for the better.

Stay tuned for next blog post, where we will dive into a success skill that Ellsberg covers in the book, and one that isn’t the most popular but easily the most influential and powerful: sales.

Buy The Education of Millionaires here and join us on Thursday, July 26 at 7 p.m. for our monthly Book Club Pub Crawl!

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