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On Business Gurus and Lottery Or Why Reading Business Books Never Made You a Millionaire

I buy lottery tickets. I know there is a (much) higher chance of getting killed in a car accident (a ratio of 1

lottery millionaire to 12 car accidents casualties in the UK if you must know) but I still do.

Why? Because it gives me a few minutes each week of fantasising about what I’ll do with the money if I win. I know I most probably never will but dreams are worth a fiver, aren’t they?

I did, however, stop reading business gurus’ books years ago. It’s just not worth the effort, even if I can find one that’s only a fiver because buying it is not enough. You have to read it as well.

And not because they are bad, but because I realised that the chances of me becoming a millionaire by reading a business book are as slim as winning the lottery. Again, much more likely I will get hit by a car…

The reason is simple - you can’t really change who you are. You can learn a few skills and tricks and even implement them successfully but there is a reason this hidden element of success is called The X Factor - no one knows what it really is and that’s because it’s probably not one thing but a combination of a few elements, and lots of luck.

If there is one element under your control that I have found to be crucial for success is who you know - in order to succeed you need to be connected to the right people. And by “connected” I don’t mean a LinkedIn contact, but real connection, so networking in the real world is crucial. This immediately brings up a barrier - not all people (myself included) are natural networkers. Some can work a room like magic, others will just fumble so there again, reading about networking is not enough. You need to have the social skills to do it properly and this is not something you can read in a book. So luck again.

My advice? Find what you are good at and perfect it. You can obviously continue to read business books - you’ll probably even learn something from them but remember they will not make you a millionaire.

Or buy a lottery ticket. At least you know the excess proceeds go to good causes.

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