Anita asked for my thoughts on the philosophy discussed in the soon-to-be released book, How to Get Rich: One of the World’s Greatest Entrepreneurs Shares His Secrets, by British billionaire Felix Dennis.
Apparently, according to a recent article in Time, he says such things as, “Being a team player is for losers,” and, “If you’re going to be [rich] it’s going to be at the expense of such things as happy family relationships and friendships, and you’ll need to accept the fact that many people will think of as a jerk.”
How does someone who espouses to be a go-giver respond to that? Here’s what I said to Anita (in brief—you can hear the entire interview here).
1. Without having read his book (which I look forward to doing — I love learning from billionaires, and guarantee there are some terrific nuggets in there), I can’t know whether those words are totally out of context, or just a way of promoting his book by making it sound “sexy” (i.e., “forget all the nicey-nice stuff, I’m going to show you how to really get rich!”).
2. Even if he truly is the nastiest person who ever lived (which I doubt, as a brief Internet search shows he is loved by many), the fact is this: For him to have gotten wealthy, he had to provide lots of great value (Go-Giver Law #1) to the lives of many, many people (Go-Giver Law #2).
3. In Good to Great, by Jim Collins, there is a fascinating chapter on what Jim calls “Level Five Leaders.” These are top CEOs who’ve earned tremendous incomes and are hugely respected within the business world and the other circles in which they travel. These people — as well as the many hugely successful people I’ve had the privilege to know — tend to base their lives and actions on values and characteristics such as honesty, integrity, humility, encouragement and, more than anything, adding significant value to every relationship in which they’re involved.
Can one get wealthy by being nasty? Well, one can get wealthy AND be nasty, providing they also find a way to add lots of value to the lives of lots of people. But, by and large, success – financially and in other areas of life that are so important – is easier to obtain by being a go-giver . . . and it’s a lot more gratifying.
Your thoughts? We’d love to read them.