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Business Brilliant: Surprising Lessons from the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons Hardcover – Mar 19 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness (March 19 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062253506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062253507
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #306,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Having started Edible Arrangements, an international franchise with more than 1,000 stores, I know that the more “business brilliant” my franchise partners are, the more likely they are to build hugely successful stores. I wish I had read this book a decade ago.” (Tariq Farid, Founder and CEO, Edible Arrangements)

“Whether you are starting a new business or navigating your career, conventional wisdom doesn’t get you very far. Lewis Schiff clearly outlines the true characteristics of success I wish I had read Business Brilliant 25 years ago when we started The Brooklyn Brewery.” (Steve Hindy, Founder and President, Brooklyn Brewery and co-author of Beer School)

“An engaging look at ‘realigning our career-development practices with the world we live in today’… intriguing, different kind of take on the self-help moneymaking genre.” (Kirkus)

“Schiff builds his narrative on solid evidence, including research data comparing and contrasting the self-made person with the usual middle class.” (Booklist)

“…Schiff offers useful insights such as ‘people who are the most brilliant at business are also those who fail most often,’ and urges readers to understand that ‘failure can be good.’” (Publishers Weekly)

From the Back Cover

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.

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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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
According to Lewis Schiff, this book tells "the story of how wealth is created now. It showcases the greatest success stories of our time because that's the way good stories are told." The seven principles for wealth creation identified in this book "are not just about getting rich, although for some readers that's exactly what will happen. They are about realigning our career development practices with the world we live in today." He wrote this book for "the millions of educated and intellectually curious people who have made a good living playing by the rules that might not work for them anymore." This is what Marshall Goldsmith had in mind when suggesting that "what got you here won't get you there" to which I presume to add, "What got you here won't even let you remain here," wherever and whatever "here" may be.

Schiff introduces the Brilliant Business System, one that is characterized by a "synergy" of its various parts. As he explains, "In truth, synergy describes the way complex systems and processes - such as a football play or the way a poison gas combines with an explosive metal to produce extraordinary table salt - can produce outcomes that are unexpected and unrecognizable from their component parts. In a synergistic system, a set of simple and mundane individual factors can interact and affect each other in improbable ways, creating results that can seem breathtaking and - to the uninformed - mysterious in origin."

Rather than list the aforementioned seven principles in this brief commentary, I think they are best revealed within Schiff's lively and eloquent as well as informative narrative, in context.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the best book I have ever read on entrepreneurship & business. It is nearly flawless - hence the 5-star review. Flawless because it educates & entertains while allowing the reader to see entrepreneurship through the eyes of multimillionaires.

Like the title of this review implies, I loved the "Myth Buster" quality of this book. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were indeed (world class) imitators, not innovators. Many would-be-entrepreneurs fall into the trap of thinking they have to create something 100% new, when in fact most fortunes are made by copying an existing successful business.

Business Brilliant is also the first book I read which dared compare the habits of middle class employees against those of multimillionaires in order to derive very clear insights such as "success requires many failures". The insights have allowed me to look at my career in a brand new light and see the path ahead of me more clearly. From now on, my goal is to become more "Business Brilliant".

This book is recommended for entrepreneurs and would-be-entrepreneurs who want to know how fortunes a really made -- not the fables told by the business press. In the real world, there is no single genius toiling in a garage -- only people taking chances & willing to face yet another failure.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wow. This book was such a blessing. Not only did it actually talk about some myths related to what most entrepreneurs hold as gospel, but it also gave the common-sense reasons as to why they actually don't work!

This book has helped me transform my business relationships, and view of my business, in terms that I know will be setting me and my business partner up for success for many years to come.

Lewis - Thank You for helping me to see things that I have been overlooking in my business for years, and helping to set me up powerfully for wealth, happiness and success in my business!
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