Monday, April 26, 2010

Book review: Billionaire in Training by Bradley Sugars

Billionaire in Training (Because Millionaire just isn’t rich enough…) by Bradley J Sugars

As the title suggests, this book is focused on creating and continuously increasing your wealth. The author explains important concepts such as cash-flow and passive income and looks at different stages in business and how people at those stages can improve their wealth situation. The method this book uses is on creating a business and building that business into a profitable one so you can sell and repeat the process. The author looks at ‘five levels of entrepreneurs’ and how each level thinks about money and how they can reach the next level.

What I gained from reading this book:
I had low expectations for this book based on the title. I expected another book on how to use massive amounts of debt and buy foreclosed properties to build wealth. I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case. After the first few chapters I was worried it was just another marketing hype book focused on selling seminars and other books by the author. While this is partly true, I did find valuable information that really made me think about my current situation and why I need to do something about it.

First, the negatives. In one way, this book is a vehicle the author uses to sell his workshops, business coaching services, books and a board game. Almost every chapter you are reminded that you can contact an ‘ACTION business coach’ to get you on track to wealth. For some people, it will be too much marketing but for me it wasn’t enough to annoy me. It’s actually interesting to read the book to see the techniques the author uses to promote his other products and services. After all, his cross product selling is one of the reasons he is rich! One technique that is commonly (or overly) used is when the author uses uppercase type to highlight certain words. Turn to any page and you will without a doubt find words in uppercase like RICH, LEAD, PASSIVE, WEALTH, MAKE MONEY WITH MONEY, CASH etc. Whenever I see this it puts me off because it has been abused so many times by bad salespeople. If I make EVERY other WORD uppercase, it REALLY gets ANNOYING to read. Also, you begin to THINK that everything you are READING is only HYPE and SALES PITCH. But in this case, I didn’t believe it was hype.

Another thing that bothered me was how many times the author would say something like “Later I’ll show you how to…” “More on this later” “I’ll go into more detail later”. It makes the whole book sound like a sales pitch. Most people will probably be fine with that style of writing, but it bothered me.

Now for the positives. I found most of the points the author made had excellent foundation and really made sense. For example, the author suggests that you do not create a business in a field you excel in, which is something most people would think the opposite. So if you can give a good haircut, you shouldn’t start a hairdressing business. Why? Because instead of working on the business and thinking of ways to increase cash-flow and profitability, you will be stuck cutting hair. Also, because of your skill and knowledge as a hairdresser, you won’t be happy with the other employee’s haircutting skills so you won’t be able to move away from that position yourself. In essence, you will be stuck with a job instead of running a business. Points like these really give insight as to why so many businesses fail. I really felt that most of the points were very logical. Simple observations like how an employee ‘earns’ money while a manager ‘makes’ money really give good insight to how people in different positions think about money.

Overall, I felt I really learned something from this book and will really try to use the concepts in my life.

As a side note, I did notice after reading it that although the title reads “Billionaire in Training”, the word Billionaire wasn’t used once in the entire book. Or at least I never saw it. Which makes me believe the title was chosen for marketing reasons, not to describe the content. Hmm.. Bit misleading but still a good book.

Many of the points make sense. Some of the points are very unique and stand against popular belief, which gives a great way to look at your current situation and how to improve it.

One of the purposes of the book is to promote other products and services. Some people may find this annoying as it does distract from the real information. The use of uppercase to highlight words is overused and cheapens what the author is saying.

Recommended for: People wanting to quit being an employee
This book gives an excellent overview on how to move from being an employee to a self-employed person to a manager all the way to an Entrepreneur. While the book may be light on information, the information it does provide is very thought provoking and logical.

Genre: Wealth

Overall rating: 7 out of 10 stars

Australians can buy the book by clicking the picture below:
Billionaire in Training: Build Businesses, Grow Enterprises, and Make Your Fortune (Instant Success Series)

Where to from here:
In this book the author mentions The E-Myth Revisited and I suggest this book after you have read this one. The book also has a recommended reading list of books I have not read yet but would be a good source to continue on the topic. It should be noted that 8 out of 17 of the books listed in this list is by Brad Sugars - another example of cross selling in action.

If you have read this book, feel free to give it your own rating by posting a comment below.

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