Who is the Millionaire Next Door?

Chris Rock once explained the difference between being rich and being wealthy very succinctly. He said Shaquille O’Neil is rich but the guy who signs his cheque is wealthy. When you are rich you can loose all the money when you’re a big spender, live beyond your means or try to keep up with the Jones, also known as conspicuous consumption. The education system creates a society of consumers and that is a fact. Nobody in particular is to blame except yourself. When you stay blinded to the reality of life you continue to suffer. The signs of success can be overt and people may pay attention to you for a little bit longer. When it’s not over they may ignore you completely.

This leads me to Millionaire Next Door. The person who recommended this book was non other than Tom Leykis, the American talk radio host. He is a self-made multi-millionaire and brags about it often. In fact it only seems like bragging when it’s taken out of context or when you are jealous of his success. I’m not. I’m a admirer. He speaks honestly and directly about the reality of the world we live in. So I recently picked up a copy of this book, ordering it online as do most of my shopping these days.

This is not an easy read because it has heavy emphasis on numbers, statistics. Something which you may not enjoy reading because again the school system creates a society that dislikes mathematics in any shape or form. Now the research has been done by two Ph.D’s and you can’t fault the depth of their analysis. They surveyed large groups of millionaires and high income producers for several decades. This book is a very good snapshot of the research and you can start to see the common sense almost boring methods by which the millionaires become millionaires.

Here’s the most common denominators of millionaires:

  1. They live well below their means.
  2. They allocate their time, energy, and money efficiently, in ways conducive to building wealth.
  3. They believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status!
  4. Their parents did not provide economic outpatient care.
  5. Their adult children are economically self-sufficient.
  6. They are proficient in targeting market opportunities.
  7. They chose the right occupations.

In South Africa you may be interested in the Who’s Who list of Wealthiest South Africans.

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Touching the tip of this finger with the tip of this finger

Scott Adams God's DebrisThere is something unique about this book but what it is I cannot say. It reminds me of of Zen Koan. And it also reminds me of the philosophy espoused by Osho and Alan Watts to a lesser extent. Really just questioning existence, conciousness and belief. This is the kind of book that really makes your head spin with ideas. I could not stop reading once I started. And I certainly recommend this highly to people who have read widely on religion and science. There is something metaphysical about this and I applaud Scott Adams. This is the work of a genius and that’s always been clear to me when looking deeper into the Dilbert cartoons. And now looking deeper into the soul, the origin, the meaning of life. Scott Adams ranks up there with Douglas Adams in original thinking and wit.

Download God’s Debris free – no strings attached.


The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford

Undercover Economist Tim HarfordWhat does price of Cappuccino and China new wealth have in common?

After being told I this book is better than Freakonomics I had high hopes. And I was not disappointed in the least. As the name says this book reads like a undercover detective story.

What I really like about this book, and perhaps now understanding Economics better, is that Economics is the study of what humans actually do versus what we think they are doing or what they may do. And how using complex mathematical models the non-obvious trends can be determined. I finally understand why coffee shops are so in vogue and particular why you and me would be willing to pay more for something we now make at home. Just having read the final chapter on China is almost like freaky because just yesterday I received an invitation to speak at a conference in Shanghai!

Remember to checkout the website of the author, Tim Hardford, a contributor to the Financial Times and Slate.

If you wanna buy the Undercover Economist from Amazon.com click here.


Benjamin Hoff on leaving authorship

Tao of Pooh & Te of Piglet by Benjamin HoffI stumbled across an essay by Benjamin Hoff about leaving authorship here today. Its not a surprise because I’m well aware of the rise of the multinational corporations. And the rise of globalisation is directly linked to the rise of corporations like this. This in turn makes it difficult for the small guy to compete. But that’s where the Internet comes in. It has returned power to the small guy. You can publish yourself online at a fraction of the cost and still develop a readership.

Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff is a classic in modern literature because it blends fiction from Winnie-the-Pooh to explain the philosophy of Taoism. One day I would like to write stories like this because using the simplicity of children’s stories is a most ingenious way of explaining unfamiliar or unusual philosophical concepts like Taoism. And maybe the same can be said for technology.

To learn more about Taoism please click here…


Scientific Advertising by Claude C. Hopkins

Claude HopkinsScientific Advertising is one of the best books on advertising and marketing ever written and I found an audio version (plus PDF) available freely on the Internet…
Claude Hopkins was one of the greatest advertising pioneers who ever lived. He believed that “Advertising is salesmanship” and as such, it should be measurable and justify the results that it produced. Claude was a strong believer in “Reason why copy” and the principles that he discovered and documented are as true to day, as then. It does not matter what type of advertising medium you use, from print advertising to the Internet, the fundamental taught by Claude are universal and timeless. He believed, that a good product was often it’s own best salesperson and as such he was a great believer in sampling. To help trace his results he would often uses coupons. Coupons gave him the ability to not only measure results, but feedback on how to improve results. He could now test one headline against another, or one proposition against another. This one simple strategy may not sound like rocket science stuff, but when you consider that one headline has the potential to out-pull another headline by 5, 10 or perhaps 15 times, one quickly understands the huge effect that this could have on ones bottom line profit. Below for your enjoyment and benefit is the complete text of “Scientific Advertising” in both Real Audio and PDF format.


Save their face (and their friendship)

How to Talk to Anyone: 101 Little Communication Tricks for Big Success in RelationshipsThis is a tip from Leil Lowndes, a prolific author of relationship, communication books. What has become valuable to me is the female friends I have in my life who are actively looking on my behalf for my next girlfriend and trying to introduce me to them. And this is happening more often. And even though I don’t need the help any more it is constantly increasing my social network. I highly recommend Leil’s book, How To Talk To Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships.

And now for her July Novel Nugget…

If someone asks you the same question twice, don’t embarrass them by answering with precisely the same words. Rescue them from that mortifying moment when they realize, “Whoops, I already asked that.” For example, someone inquires, “What year did you graduate?” You answer, “In 1996.” Later in the conversation, forgetting they had asked, they again pose the question, “What year did you graduate?” Don’t repeat “In 1996”. Hearing you say the same words again makes it disgracefully obvious that they weren’t listening the first time.

Save their face, (and their friendship,) by responding to their repeated question with different words. This time answer “Ten years ago.” They now happily continue chatting, oblivious to the fact that they paid no attention to you the first time.

Yes, you are being kind by rescuing them from their embarrassment But it redounds to your benefit as well. Why? A funny thing happens to people. If you make their big blooper obvious, their well deserved humiliation later turns to subconscious resentment of you.


Marie Forleo's book Makes Every Man Want You

Make Every Man Want You by Marie ForleoThe first chapter of Make Every Man Want You: How to be so damn irresistible you’ll barely keep from dating yourself, is a revised edition of a previous ebook by Marie Forleo. The book title alone is more irresistible then most books of this nature.and suggests a very upbeat author. Yes, Marie happens to be a life coach, dance instructor and choreographer for MTV, VH1 and so forth.

Her writing style is really sharp, crystal clear, to the point, no B.S. that I wish more self-help authors would embrace. Don’t go around the long (wrong) way when you can cut through the forest and get to the other side quicker, and with more learning.

The first chapter, Irresistibility 101, reads like sage advice from the Tao Te Ching. Most adults, men and women, seem to loose the child-like-ness when we grow up. And being like a child is sometimes irresistible. Just think about how some children can just get what they want, or how they can get out of trouble by being cute, cuddly and of course irresistible. There is a lesson here to be learned. Let go and be in the now is the sage advice also found in Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now.

Marie ForleoOne thing I like about Marie is how direct she is in her advice. And one thing I’ve heard her say in a previous interview and I fully agree with, and emphasise in my own discussions of relationships is this: You are likely operating on false information. For me one of the greatest sources of dating/relationship problems stems from divorced parents. In my own situation my mother and father divorced when I was maybe two years old. My dad remarried and my mother had a long term relationship. My dad’s 2nd wife passed away and his been alone since; while my mother’s long term relationship ended when she got pregnant with my sister. After years of frustration I just realised these two are NOT good role models for how to create and maintain, sustain a healthy, loving and fun long term relationship with a woman.

The “Time-Tested Truths” from Chapter 3 almost read like the Four Noble Truths in Buddhism. Just kidding they are solid and I’m listing them here to let them speak for themselves:

  1. A Relationship Will Not Save You
  2. Relationships Are Spiritual Opportunities, Not a Needs Exchange
  3. Life Is Now: This Is It!
  4. Men Are As-Is Merchandise or Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em, Baby!
  5. If You Want Guarantees In Love, You Don’t Want Love

In the next chapter one of the most honest, and funniest lines I’ve ever read in a book like this, and said by a woman: “Here’s a tip: If you think you look fat in a particular outfit, you probably do. This whole chapter is the perfect blue print for a woman to know what NOT to do. And Marie’s chapter titles are as spunky and funny as the book title.

All in all there are plenty of gems in this book. And will become my bible for advice to the female species 😉 So many books go on and on without getting to the point. Marie just knows how to make the point with enough irresistibility you can’t put this book down once you start reading it. I have female friend, Leonora or Leo for short who does all these things without knowing it. She is a magnet for irresistible attention from men. And has some amazing girlfriends. So unlike those really attractive women who are hated by others, Leo is able to project her irresistible nature to the world. And therefore draws constant attention which she directs which ever way suits her best. And the outcome or result? Well happiness or rather inner joy. Because I learned a while ago that happiness is what you expect other people to “give” you but joy is what you have inside. And nobody can take that away from you.


The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida

“The Way of the Superior Man” is a revolutionary new look at the challenges facing the contemporary male. David Deida encourages men to live a full life and to find their deepest purpose so they can give their deepest gifts to the world. After reading this book your view of the world might change.

You will hear new meanings in songs, view your sexual relationship with much more insight and start to unravel the tangled web of life. Suddenly spirituality and sexuality merge into an ecstatic experience.

This is more about living the poetic life than being trapped and tangled in a web of your own making. It is about breaking free and overcoming the challenges of human existence. This book mainly focuses on how men deal with their career/life purpose and women. As a woman, you might be surprised when you discover which one men find to be the most important.

The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire If you are a woman, presently living with a man who has lost his “deepest purpose,” then this book will explain why a man’s view of his “purpose” can make life heaven or hell. After reading this book you will see why it is of ultimate importance even in an unpredictable world. I agree with the author completely on this issue. A man cannot love a woman fully unless he is happy with who he is and where he is going.

If you are a man living with a woman who is not filled with sexual energy and vitality and who seems depressed, edgy and not that interested in sex, then this book gives insight into the mysteries of a woman’s heart and soul. It explains what turns a woman on in the depths of her being and how a man can take her into the realm of sexual ecstasy.

Not only does David Deida unravel the mysteries of women, he has a profound and ancient knowledge of how men function on their deepest levels. He answers so many questions, I truly felt more enlightened in regards to relationship and life issues.

  • What is a man’s highest priority?
  • When should you start to enjoy your life? Is the time now?
  • Are you willing to do what it takes to stay on the edge?
  • How can fear become your friend?
  • Why you should allow yourself time to discover “the unknowing.”
  • How a period of unknowingness can lead to knowing your purpose.
  • What makes a man more attractive to a woman?
  • Why do women love it when a man takes charge on a date?
  • Why do women refuse to surrender? What does surrender really mean?
  • Is she just a woman to you? Or do you want to change her?

David talks about not changing a woman, but loving her. This is so true. I also believe a woman is like a flower who can be encouraged to bloom more fully under the care of a loving man. Whether than means he has to use humor or spend more time during sex, it all counts.

I can imagine David Deida singing: “She’s Always a Woman to Me” although I think he’d change the words because he seems to know the secrets to getting back to the garden of Eden. Women want a man who is sensitive, spontaneous and spiritually alive. A man who can lead a woman into deep intimacy is unimaginably sexy.

If the man she is with is not helping a her to “bloom,” she will either wither, find inner strength or find another man to lead her to sexual ecstasy. I do think some of his explanations about sex border on “orgasm as a tool to attaining enlightenment.”

The type of sex he seems to be talking about is “sacred sex” and is superior to ordinary sex because he describes men achieving an almost oneness with God through having sex with a woman. This seems to be more in line with “Tantra” which has its roots in Tibetan Buddhist spirituality.

While ordinary sex is more mechanical and still pleasurable, he is talking about a rapturous spiritual experience in which the body, mind, heart and soul experience bliss. It is called “divine ecstasy” where the boundaries and ego dissolve. Tantric Sex includes long periods of total devotion and could involve sacred rituals, so you may or may not wish to participate in the more “spiritual” aspects depending on you religion. You almost need to go away for the weekend to find the time.

So, when David talks about spending three hours with your lover, he isn’t kidding. While many philosophies focus on the denial of our senses, this book encourages the full engagement of all the senses. There is an awareness of Tantric Sex, but no deep explanations.

David Deida does show a deep understanding of Tantra in general as he seems to embrace life with a deep spiritual understanding and seems to see living as an ancient art in which you live in harmony with existence.

I think the main goal in this book is to encourage men to see that they can control their lives and that in fact, women want them to be in control. Confidence is of course very sexy. This book is especially for men with a masculine sexual essence who want to deepen their life experience with a lover who has a very feminine sexual essence.

I have found all of David Deida’s books to be intellectually appealing and also sexy on a primal level. I think you can decide what you want to add to your life and there is so much truth in regards to the male/female interaction as a dance or a game. Love becomes the ultimate pleasure. Life becomes a path into an open sky.

Also Highly Recommended (especially for women):


The Ex Factor: How Your Friends Help You Survive a Breakup

It’s Saturday night. You’re home, on your third glass of wine, staring hopelessly into a pint of cookie dough ice cream, wishing that something (anything!) would numb this post-breakup pain. Betcha feel like the saddest girl in the world, huh? But just think how much sadder things would be if you were back with your ex ?- a guy who is so unworthy of your greatness. Says who, you ask? Says Greg Behrendt, coauthor of last year’s hit He’s Just Not That into You, and his wife, Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt. In their new book, It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken: A Smart Girl’s Breakup Buddy, they show you why you absolutely must put down that tub of Häagen-Dazs and pick up the phone. No, not to call him. To call your friends. Yes, these are the good people who are going to help you get over your heartache and get back in the game.You may not have him, but you have something far more valuable right now ?- your friends. “Great. And my health, right? Oh, I’m so lucky.” We know it sounds corny, but having good friends to call on will get you through the heartbreak you’re feeling more quickly than you thought. Their love and companionship can be a beacon during your darkest hours ?- but believe us when we say that those beacons can go out. You want to take care of your friendships during this time, even as they are taking care of you. When you’re on the other side, there’s nothing worse than ending the relentless chatter of the breakup-obsessed friend who doesn’t listen to your or take your advice. Here’s the thing to remember about your friends: They want you to be happy. They want you to be a in a good, loving, and healthy relationship that inspires you to be the best you can be, not one that is difficult and painful. What’s more, your friends can see your ex and your relationship for what it was ?- warts and all ?- and they probably aren’t buying the rewritten version of the perfect love that you’re pining over.

Six months from now, when you are in a completely different emotional space (if not already in a better relationship), you’ll want to look back on this time and feel good about the way you behaved with the people around you. You won’t want visions of Lily Taylor singing “Joe Lies” and bumming out everyone at the party while her friends exchange uncomfortable glances. (If you haven’t seen Cameron Crowe’s film Say Anything, run, don’t walk, to the video store. But don’t wait for your ex to show up on your lawn with a boom box ?- it’s just a movie.)

We know… your friends are always supposed to be there, but for the love of God, give them a break and stop talking about your ex for one minute! We all have those tapes that play in our head ?- what are they called? Oh yeah, thoughts. But some of them are meant just for you. You don’t have to share every single one of them. In fact, stop listening to yourself! If you pay attention to your negative thoughts, you’re only affirming their validity. Those thoughts are like a bratty child ?- if you pay attention to the bad behavior, it only encourages a bigger tantrum. We say this with the greatest measure of love and empathy, but take a step back and try to understand why you need to make a conscious effort not to subject your friends to endless questions, endless tears, and endless analysis during this time. It’s one thing to get dumped by a guy, but it’s another to get dumped by your friends, because they won’t even have breakup sex with you.

You’re great and your friends all know it. They’re on call, ready and wiling to help you get over that loser who wasn’t right for you. However, right now you are stuck in the Melancholy Vortex of your breakup. It’s an uber-powerful trap that sucks you in and blinds you to all the bad, unhealthy, crapola times that were so glaring in your relationship, and it only plays back loops of the best moments, thus obliterating your sense of why it didn’t work out. It’s like A Clockwork Orange. You’re figuratively stuck in that chair with your eyes held open by those weird eyelash-curler contraptions while movies of the two of you in your happiest times flash through your brain to classical music or Coldplay. Your friends, on the other hand, are saying, “Hey there, Hot, Smart, Happening Lady, why don’t you stop strapping yourself into that chair and come sit with us?” And the reality of it is that if you don’t start actually listening to them and taking their advice, your friends will tire of you. Open your mind to what they have to say, and whatever you do, DON’T blame them for pointing out your ex’s less-than-admirable qualities, or trying to give you a reality check about your less-than-perfect relationship. That’s what they’re there for ?- to help you get up out of that chair and start moving on. In return, you need to set a time limit on how long you’re going to dwell on the past. Try setting the limit at eight weeks. If after eights weeks you still need to talk about it constantly, seek professional help and let your friends off the hook. Or talk to your dog. All the dog hears is “blah, blah, blah…” which ?- take it from us ?- is what you are starting to sound like to your friends.

But what if my friends are wrong?
Q: Dear Greg,
My boyfriend and I broke up three months ago after being together for almost four years. Even though it was a mutual decision, I’m wondering if it was the right one. My friends all think I need to get on with my life because I’ve spend my whole adult life with him (I’m three years out of college, which is where we met). They say I’ve been living in a vacuum and they’re sick of hearing about it and never really liked him that much anyway. But the more I dissect it with them, the more I think they’re wrong and just tired of hearing about it. What do you think?


A: Dear Tamara Never Comes,
Here’s the thing people forget: You are also in a relationship with your friends. These relationships will ultimately prove to be more profound that the one you just came out of, and right now, they are certainly more important. Your friends want what’s best for you, and you need to recognize that they’ve been living through your relationship for as long as you have, because friends care about and share in each other’s lives. So accept their opinions and move on. Not only should you trust your own instincts that getting out of the relationship was the right move, but the fact that your friends are backing your decision should only make you feel better about it. You should also trust your instinct when it tells you your friends are sick of hearing about your breakup. Give it a rest and take advantage of the other great things that good friends have to offer: fun, laughter, clothes to borrow, and best of all, activities that have nothing to do with your ex.

Excerpt from It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken: The Smart Girl’s Breakup Buddy, © 2005 by Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola Behrendt. Used with permission from Broadway Books, an imprint of Random House.


The Art and Strategy of Being a Superflirt by Tracey Cox

Superflirt by Tracey CoxWatching two people flirt is kind of like watching a car wreck. There’s all the discomfort, the unmistakable fear and the inability, for the life of you, to look away. But that’s until you learn the tricks of the trade, according to dating (and sex) expert Tracey Cox.

Review by Faraaz Mahomed…

Superflirt’ is one of Ms. Cox’s brand of in-your-face, brutally open, books that aims to make anyone instantly appealing. With an emphasis on body language and unspoken signals, the book delves into the murky underworld that is the mind of the single guy or girl on the prowl. And murky it certainly is. Devious even. Which is exactly why, argues Cox, anyone looking to arrive single and leave attached needs a well-orchestrated plan of attack.

From the section on the ‘Ten second turn-on’ to the illustrated guides on the correct way to stand, sit and do pretty much anything else, those of us who find such ‘advice’ slightly difficult to stomach may find reason to object to the book’s over-the-top promises. But anything’s worth a try. Right?

Courtesy of this self-styled guru, the reader is invited to unlock the mystery behind every look, every gesture and every carefully-planned expression of interest. The author shows us just how elaborate one can be when flirting and just how clueless some of us really are. The slightest touch is often momentously significant. So too, is the coquettish smile or the confident stride. I can just feel the light bulbs going off everywhere.

So not only should you know where to put this and when to do that but what about being able to tell if it’s working? The book is particularly useful if you’re interested in knowing how to tell if your prey is up for it or not. It even has a section called, “Help, it doesn’t seem to be working! Are they interested or aren’t they?” Maybe not the most convincing advertisement, but nothing’s foolproof. At least she admits it.

There are also tips on chatting a prospective partner up and the all-important sex chapter. As with everything else, Cox seems to be privy to a wealth of hitherto undisclosed information. The sex signals are mesmerisingly accurate and almost irritatingly revealing. I guess some of us will have to find some new tricks.

Cox has a background in psychology and it shows. The reader is navigated not simply through the signals but, also, the intentions behind them. And she has countless anecdotal stories to back her up. Beware though. For someone who has all the answers, she seems to have been around the block and then some. Look a little closer, and you’ll find that Cox is ‘happily settled’, whatever that means. Perhaps, then, there’s no one better to share some secrets. Either way, there’s no doubting her worldwide success. ‘Superflirt’ may not be everyone’s cup of tea (forgive the heinous cliché) but it is, at worst, an entertaining read about a topic where some of us will need all the help we can get. Stylish and creative, anyone would be taken in by the book’s appearance and swept away by its promises.

‘Superflirt’ by Tracey Cox published by Dorling Kindersley