Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Book Review #37: Think like a billionaire, become a billionaire: Author: Scot Anderson

Your path to becoming a billionaire starts with your mind, what you feed into it and what you take out of it.  Before you become a billionaire, you have to think like a billionaire. 

The book 'Think like a billionaire, become a billionaire by Scot Anderson extensively covers the thought processes followed by billionaires. They (billionaires) think differently about seven things in particular. These are Money, Investing, Jobs, Risks, Wisdom, Time and Problems.

While we think Money is for expenses,
billionaires think that it is for investing. While they see money as a tool to create abundance, we see it as a tool to buy stuff. Investing is the process through which money is converted into abundance. The rich see investing as a priority. They are constantly reading and learning everything about investing. While they budget around their investments, we budget around our expenses. The wealthy see their Jobs as a tool to get enough money to invest. Instead of you working for money, they see money working for you and the path is through investments. One critical difference in thoughts between the rich and the ordinary people manifest in their approach to Risks. While ordinary people are afraid that they will fail if they take risks, the rich feel that they will fail if the do not take risks. We see risks as something that we cannot afford to take. The wealthy see risks as something they can’t afford not to take. Wealthy knows Wisdom as a key to abundance. They are always trying to learn things about themselves and about the world around them. To the wealthy, Time is an irreplaceable resource. It is the most valuable thing they have. They actively look for and remove time wasters from their lives.


First step in the path to riches is to think differently about money. Almost all the cultures look down upon the accumulation of money. We are culturally tuned to dislike abundance. We stop actively looking for money once we have the purported 'Enough'. We have to remove this idea from our minds. We have to start looking at abundance as way to helping and supporting the needy. We should look at wealth creation as a honourable, sacred activity, an activity that god approves. 

Once we have a clear idea of the objective of having wealth, the next step is to have a vision. Make the vision as big as possible. As a start write two post dated cheques. One cheque is to god, to your charitable contributions and your tithe. The second cheque is to yourself. These cheques will act as your vision. 

Once you have the vision, you must have the self-control to diligently commit to the vision. God will ensure that you achieve what you envision. However, god will help you only if you take the first step, only if you put in the effort necessary to meet your vision. This is the Indian concept of 'Than paadhi, daivam paadhi' (You do your part, god will take care of the rest).

There are two types of thinking. One is thinking about the external. This is about what is happening around you. People who focus on external allow events outside of themselves to guide their behaviour. The other type is thinking about internal, about what is happening inside of you. This will focus on your core beliefs and values. This type of thinking will allow us to reach our potential. On the other hand, if these beliefs are wrong, this will cause a resistant force to your prosperity.

While the remaining part of the book focuses on other aspects of thinking, I want to summarize a few concepts covered in this book.

First concept is about different levels of business. You have to become expert in one level before you move to the next level. Many people make the mistake of jumping straight to a higher level without having spent enough time at lower levels. 

The second is about 'Corridor Principle'. This principle was propounded by Robert Ronstadt based on a twelve year study of the careers of MBA students. He found that 'When you launch towards a goal, no matter the distance, you begin to move down a corridor of time. As you move, doors of opportunity will open that you would have never been able to see unless you had stepped out!'. As per this principle, unless you start on something, opportunities will not appear. 

The third concept is about different types of people. First one is The Quitter. He starts on a venture and give up at the first sight of obstacle. They second type is The Camper. He is a little better than quitter. He may learn a lot about different opportunities and may be start out on a few, but do not have the persistence to continue in the face of obstacles. They (Campers) do things to feel better but they don’t do things to be better. They are the persons who has most regret in their lives.

You can say that a camper is a quitter with knowledge. 

The third type of person is the climber. These are the ones that leave a rich legacy. The fascinating aspects is that the climber solves just 5% more problems than the other two and that makes a huge difference in the end.


The fourth concept is the 'Adversity Quotient (AQ)'. This talks of one's approach to adversity. The author talks of ten things that you can do to improve your AQ. These are 1. Believe that God is a good God, Believe in yourself, Look for options, Do it, Failure is not final, Tension and fear stop creativity and faith, Victims never change circumstances, See yourself as God sees you, Know what you want in life, Have new thoughts and knowledge.

The fifth concept is counter intuitive. It says that to achieve money, one must stop chasing money. The author gives the example of a hunter. An average hunter will chase deer and end up with weak and unhealthy ones if at all. The expert hunter will never chase deer. He will set up conditions that will attract the deer to him.You have to become the hunter that deer chases, you have to become the person that money chases.

In summary, excel in whatever you do. Work as if you are working for god. Continue active learning and become wiser each day. Always walk in love. Never hate anything or anyone. Take charge of your life, your thoughts and your actions. And expect to become a billionaire. You get what you expect. 

I have two complaints about this book.

One, it talks a lot about spreading Christianity in India. He talks of donating money, donating bible, donating your effort etc. Being a proud hindu who believe in 'Live and let live' as a core philosophy of my life, I find this attempt at conversion and proselytization repugnant. Especially in the current environment where there is more and more awareness about Christian conversion in India. 

Second is that this book makes Donald Trump as an example. Probably the author would not have used this example, knowing what we know now. Personally I find the use of Trump as an example little disconcerting. After all it is not certain that he is as rich as he is made out to be...

If you ignore these glitches, this is a a very good book that one has to read regularly and reread often. 

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