Stop mon­key­ing about

…and be­come a mil­lion­aire

Finweek English Edition - - Openers - BY FRIK ELS frike@fin­

AF­TER READ­ING The Mil­lion­aire Maker I re­alised – with deep re­gret and res­ig­na­tion – that I’ll never be­come one. I think it’s be­cause I can’t imag­ine com­ing up with a con­cept like The Mil­lion­aire Maker. The Mil­lion­aire Maker, by Matthias Sch­meltz, is proudly be­ing sold as Most Ex­pen­sive Book Ever Pub­lished! And by all ac­counts Mr Sch­meltz is do­ing very well out of it, in fact I think he’s added many to the mil­lions he al­ready has from sell­ing Rain­bow vac­uum clean­ers by get­ting peo­ple to buy his mas­ter­piece (his words, not mine).

I just can’t imag­ine poor peo­ple – and ev­ery­one who’s not a mil­lion­aire th­ese days is poor – dol­ing out $995 (R7 363) for a 437page mo­ti­va­tional book. You can pick up the Seven Habits of Highly Ef­fec­tive Peo­ple for R20 in the bar­gain bin at CNA. Who Moved My Cheese? can be found in mil­lions of sub­ur­ban bath­rooms around the world. If you buy The Most Ex­pen­sive Book Ever Pub­lished! you be­gin a full seven grand fur­ther away from your dreams. The Mil­lion­aire Maker is a col­lec­tion of apho­risms, short mo­ti­va­tional ar­ti­cles, the odd in­spi­ra­tional poem, bil­lion­aire bi­ogra­phies and bucket loads of ad­vice and quo­ta­tions.

Socrates and Lin­coln fea­ture, but here’s one from a Paul J Meyer: “What you can vividly imag­ine, ar­dently de­sire, sin­cerely be­lieve in, en­thu­si­as­ti­cally act on, must in­evitably come to pass.” That’s what I tell my­self ev­ery Wed­nes­day and Satur­day night queu­ing out­side Seven Eleven for Lotto tick­ets.

The short chap­ters are crammed choca-block with com­mon sense stuff. In the chap­ter How to Make Your First Mil­lion, we’re told not to make the mis­takes mon­keys make (if some­thing doesn’t work im­medi- ately, mon­keys drop it and look for some­thing else). I be­came a bit dis­cour­aged af­ter read­ing this, but was re­lieved to find 100 pages later the chap­ter Be­com­ing a Mil­lion­aire is Only a Mat­ter of Time.

In Change Your Ques­tions, Change Your Life! there are ex­am­ples of 10 wrong ques­tions and 10 good ques­tions. “Why can’t I re­mem­ber?” is a wrong ques­tion. A good ques­tion is: “How did I re­mem­ber last time?” My ques­tion is: What if you can’t re­mem­ber how you re­mem­bered last time?

Part VII, In­vest­ments, is quite pe­cu­liar. Sch­meltz is not a great be­liever in the stock mar­ket. He says you should put your money in land, gold and specif­i­cally tim­ber, which is “ready for a big bounce”. The pot­ted bi­ogra­phies of bil­lion­aires we, the read­ers, should em­u­late in­clude not only the usual ones like Bill Gates and Richard Bran­son, but also Prince Al­waleed Bin Talal and Sheikh Mo­hammed Bin Rashid al Mak­toum.

Th­ese are sur­pris­ing choices. Prince Al­waleed’s un­cle is the King of Saudi Ara­bia and Sheikh Mo­hammed owns Dubai.

But you can’t dis­agree with Mr Sch­meltz’s logic here: be­ing born into the royal fam­ily of an oil­rich coun­try is a sure-fire way of be­com­ing a mil­lion­aire.

My own ad­vice is cut straight to the chase: the page and a half on The Pur­pose of Life starts on page 219. It wasn’t writ­ten by Mr Sch­meltz.

* Fin­week is giv­ing away a copy of The Mil­lion­aire Maker ($995). It in­cludes a carry case, a voucher worth 500 euro for a one-hour con­sul­ta­tion with the au­thor, a Mont Blanc Marker and the chance to win a Mediter­ranean cruise.

Send your ideas on how to make a mil­lion to frike@fin­ to stand a chance.

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