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June 16 , 2008

Business Brilliant

Surprising Lessons from the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons


Ask a member of the middle class what it takes to become wealthy, and she'll tell you it takes a bold new idea. Tell that to a self-made millionaire, and he'll vehemently disagree. What explains the difference in mind-set between the self-made wealthy and the rest of us? It's not what you think, as journalist and entrepreneur Lewis Schiff convincingly illustrates through groundbreaking research and compelling storytelling.

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For decades, the middle class has believed that the road to success meant working hard and playing by rules passed down from previous generations. But as the 2008 economic crisis has made clear, the old rules no longer apply. While household net worth has declined for most, self-made business leaders—entrepreneurially minded individuals born into the middle class who have accumulated significant wealth—have prospered. What makes these have-mores financially successful while the rest of us have never felt more uncertain about our professional and financial futures?

In Business Brilliant, Lewis Schiff reveals the eye-opening findings from a national survey of middle-class workers and self-made millionaires, offering practical guidance to show the rest of us what America's self-made rich already know. Through his research, he holds a mirror to our most commonly held beliefs about success and then reveals the truth about how wealth is really created by surveying the truly wealthy. In doing so, he explodes the conventional wisdom and identifies the distinct principles practiced by individuals who may or may not be any smarter than the rest of the population but seem to understand instinctively how money is made. They don't employ business-as-usual practices; they adopt a "Business Brilliant" mind-set. The book illustrates how these self-made millionaires choose their careers, negotiate to win, and leverage social networks to accumulate their wealth.

Schiff argues that it is the synergy behind seven uncommon practices, not serendipity or luck, that produces success. He offers a practical four-step program anyone can follow to position themselves to succeed more often and a roadmap to compare your own Business Brilliance to the executives and entrepreneurs who have successfully navigated our rapidly changing economy. While Business Brilliant doesn't promise to make you rich, it can help you achieve better results in your career and accumulate wealth faster.

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