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August 19, 2008

Business related books

Filed under: Business,Readings — Fei @ 4:25 pm

Since the beginning of this year, I read quite a few interesting business books. Here I just share with you my thoughts. What I like the books, and what I don’t like them.

– “Cashflow quadrants: rich dad’s guide to financial freedom”. It’s the best seller of New York Times. The author, Robert Kiyosaki, wrote dozens of books on achieving financial freedom. Among his books, I like “Cashflow quadrants” best. It categorizes people into four groups: Employee, Self employed, Business owner, and Investor. People in different groups have very different mindsets and they cannot understand each other. This book describes the value system of the people in each group, and their relations to financial freedom. I don’t endorse all Robert’s idea however (see his wikipage for detail). Most of his books are motivational without any detailed plan to achieve success. But still, you can only achieve what you can imagine (remember the law of attraction?). After all, the most difficult thing is to start. For this, I like a quote from the book: Many people will not head down the street until all the lights are green. That’s why they don’t go anywhere.

– “Secrets of the millionaire mind: mastering the inner game of wealth”. The author, Harv Eker, is the founder of Peak Potentials Training, a personal development company. Many people may have already heard about the company. Similar to the books by Robert Kiyosaki, this book is also focused on changing the “inside”. It describes 17 mindsets that successful business owner possess.

– “E-myth mastery: the seven essential disciplines for building a world class company”. It’s author, Michael E Gerber, is the founder of E-myth worldwide, a small-business development company. Frankly, he is a so so writer. If it is not highly recommended by a successful business person, I wouldn’t finish the first part. But yes, it is a great book. According to that business person, it is a business bible. It provides step by step illustration on the seven most important aspects of company building. It is a cook book for small businesses. To me, it provides some real contents, which is very different from the previous two books. But still, the book focuses the entire first part (which is also the not so well written part) on changing mindset… I like two notions from the book: work on your business, not in it. business is building a system.

– “Four hour work week”. My opinion on the book changed a lot while I listened to it (I read the audio book, which I don’t think a good source). When I listened to the middle of the book, I thought,hmm … he doesn’t know how to do business. After all, he is in his 20s when he writes the book. He’s very lucky to be successful in the very beginning. He views business as hard rigid guidelines, but in fact business composes another very important aspect: social. Business is also very social, so relations are very important. But later, as I listened more and more, I found I liked the book a lot better. The book gives very detailed instructions on dealing with different situations, achieving the goal of maximizing profitability. Even though I still think he’s very rigid in doing business, I like all the other points he wants to make.

If we say the first two books are motivational, the last two books provide detailed methods in doing business.

And I have another book to recommend. it is:
– “The millionaire next door: the surprising secrets of americas wealthy”. The authors, Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko, spent twenty years studying the affluents of the Americans. In the book, they used a lot of statistics, numbers, and examples to show who the millionaires are. If you don’t know what makes millionaires, or if you “think” you know what makes millionaires, just read the book. It will surprise you. In a very short summary, most millionaires are frugal, well planned, and disciplined. They are PAWs (Prodigious Accumulator of Wealth).

If I ask a hundred people what business is, I will get a hundred different answers. Just drop me a message. I will tell you what I think. Maybe we can learn from each other 🙂

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