Thursday, September 10, 2015

Book Review #27: Getting Rich Your Own Way: Author: Brian Tracy

To read the detailed chapter wise summary of the book, click HERE

The objective of the book 'Getting rich your own way' written by Mr.Brian Tracy is to provide a set of ideas and concepts that, if put into practice, will help one achieve their financial potential. The book does not focus on a single approach to building wealth and the preponderance of  insights, guidelines, concepts and inspirational inputs makes this book a must read for anyone who has a goal of becoming wealthy.

What makes this book very valuable are the actual contents. This book is filled to the brim with useful contents. Mr.Tracy uses a broad brush and touches upon almost everything. At some places this book reads like a study guide on investing. At other points, it is an inspirational book and at others, it is a compendium of common sense based practical approaches. 

Mr.Tracy is a marketing expert. If there is one theme that covers the entire book, it is the importance of marketing and selling on one's path to riches. It is possible to become rich without knowledge of marketing, avers Mr.Tracy, but the path becomes much more easier if one  has expertise in marketing. 

As pointed out in the book, there are many routes to riches. One of the routes, chosen by most of the millionaires in America, is the path of owning and running a business. Almost 70% of millionaires in USA run their own companies providing products and services that the public wants. A chapter is dedicated to running a real estate business. 

Almost 10% of millionaires work for others, especially in the areas of marketing and sales. Mr.Tracy spare no effort in emphasizing the importance of marketing skills. He exhorts the reader to take classes, update themselves in the latest concepts in marketing, sales and finance and learn from the experiences of great marketeers. 

Author points out that almost 98% of people do not achieve their financial potential because they do not have clarity regarding their goals and wants. Without that clarity, people get confused about what they want and how to approach and wander from one situation to another like a flitting butterfly. Author emphatically recommends writing and rewriting ones goals on a daily basis to ensure clarity and focus. Clarity of goals will provide the energy to take action to achieve those goals. 

The book emphasizes four aspects if one wants to become rich. First aspect is the mind. Everything that is created by man started off as a concept or idea in the mind. This means that one has to work on making oneself mentally ready to become rich. We discussed one aspect, goal clarity, already. The other mental aspects of equal importance are maintaining a positive approach to life. One should consciously strive to remove negativity from the mind and replace it with positive thoughts. Optimism help people to expect success and motivates them to try different stuff in their quest of success. Final aspect of working on mind is to accept responsibility for what happens to oneself and not to blame others or environment for the outcomes of one's actions. The third aspect about mind is the emphasize on idea generation. Path to wealth starts off with great ideas. Creativity is what generates ideas. Author lays a lot of stress on developing creativity that he has dedicated one full chapter to that topic.

Second aspect is the bias for action. It is not sufficient that one has a lot of ideas. One should also take quick action to validate, accept / discard one's ideas. This will remove the clutter in the mind space and create space for new ideas to flow. Until one takes action to convert ideas from the mind to the physical realm, one cannot make progress. As the author quotes in the book, 'You just need the last idea to succeed to become wealthy'.

Third aspect covered is the importance of continuous and life-long learning. The book provides a number of options for one to learn new stuff. Since the world is changing rapidly, only continuous learning can help one keep up with the changes and take advantage of the same.

I have already covered the fourth aspect of the book, which is the importance of marketing and sales in ones quest for wealth. All the successful individuals had one thing in common. They had faith in their ideas and had the ability to communicate the benefits in simple terms to the customers. Fortunately, marketing skills are learnable and one should definitely consider upgrading one's skills in this area as a part of continuous learning, the third aspect covered above.

Finally, there are two features of the book that I want to bring out. Each chapter start and end with relevant quotations. There are two quotations that I liked more than others. One is "The future has many names. For the weak, it is 'The Impossible'. For the fainthearted, it is 'The Unknown'. For the thoughtful and valiant, it is 'The Ideal' -- Victor Hugo ". The other quote that I liked was "The grass is not in fact always greener on the other side of the fence. Not at all. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered -- W.Somerset Maugham".

The other feature is the 'Action Exercises' featured at the end of each chapter. These detail specific actions that the reader has to take to apply the ideas mentioned in this book. The action exercises move the book from the theoretical, conceptual and advisory level to the practical realm.

Now time for some cribbing.

Books by Mr.Tracy are darn difficult to review. I have read his book 'Goal' and I just finished reading 'Getting Rich Your Own Way'. The fact remains the same. Mr.Tracy's books are filled with memorable points, ideas, concepts, practical applications and wisdom in every line. It is difficult for a reviewer to capture the essence of these books since entire book is the essence.

Still a reviewer must try. Reviewing books is his task.

In the review of the book 'Lords of Finance' published in this blog, I had underscored the importance of a well-structured book. The table of contents should give the reader an idea of the high level layout of the book. Knowing the layout will make it easy to follow the book as one progresses reading it. 

The trick is to make the Table of Contents of a book like an aparitif. It should provide an initial interest in the book and should generate curiosity to continue reading. The TOC should neither be too terse, nor be too elaborate. 

That is where this book fails the initial test. For a smallish book of about 250 pages, the TOC is far too detailed. 

And once you go inside, the book demands a lot from a reader. The book is filled with headings and sub-headings and sub-sub-headings, printed in fonts of all sizes and types, be it bold, italic, center aligned or left aligned. Too much structure in the book make one's head go round as one tries to put all together. 

Too many discrete contents, if you see my drift.


As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, if you have a goal of building wealth, reading this book is a sine qua non.

If you do not have that goal, perhaps you are not reading this book.