1. The Way Of The Wolf – Jordan Belfort
“A paint by number for building and maintaining a world-class sales force”
A knowledge in sales is vital to all those wishing to achieve success in their lives. Whether or not you are actually selling a product or service, you will throughout both your professional and personal lives need to effectively stand yourself apart from others, lead and negotiate in some way. It could take the form of requesting a promotion, asking someone on a date or even trying to persuade your child to eat their vegetables. Jordan Belfort’s novel seeks to equip every reader with ‘The Art Of Persuasion, Influence, And Success.’
The Wolf of Wall Street, or Jordan Belfort, I’m sure requires very little introduction. As a former stock broker famous for his penny-stock scam, he has since turned his life around, occupying himself now within the law as a best-selling author and motivational speaker.
In his most recent (2017) book, The Way of the Wolf, Belfort maintains the sensationalistic tone prevalent in his preceding books, but steers the subject matter away from himself and onto the reader, promising to hand-over a system so ‘powerful and effective’ that it will be the ultimate ‘game-changer’ to anyone who puts it into practice. While he cannot help but admit that he is in fact a ‘natural born salesmen,’ he does wish to bestow upon his reader the same powers, and has written a theory-based book relaying how he has managed to generate such boundless success in not only his own life but also the lives of all of those who have undergone his training. It is important too to note his insistence that his system be used responsibly.
The Way of The Wolf does not maintain a narrative structure. Instead, it is split into chapters that outline the different sections of his Straight Line System, with the first section revealing the rather miraculous creation of his technique. While he does provide micro-narratives throughout to keep the reader engaged, the purpose of this book is to communicate methodology.
The three main principles of the Straight Line Sales System are:
- Developing rapport quickly
- Gathering intelligence (e.g. does the product suit the buyer)
- Controlling the interaction
The book conveys how to put these principles into practice and move a client along a straight line from the opening to the close of a sale, by focusing on specific tonality and body language techniques.
Before reading this book, I had no idea the meaning or even existence of most of the techniques divulged in The Way of The Wolf. I now feel as though I have the knowledge of a successful salesman, ready to be put to use in achieving success in my own life.
In the competitive world we live in, proficiency in Belfort’s Straight Line System will stand you in excellent stead for generating success, perhaps on the kind of scale as The Wolf of Wall Street himself.
‘In The Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, uses the Straight Line Sales and Persuasion System to turn a group of misfits, and below-average earners, into sales-closing, money-earning rock stars who can sell anything to anyone. And now, Jordan invites readers behind the scenes as he reveals his exclusive step-by-step strategies for creating massive wealth for himself, his clients, and his sales teams. Every technique, every strategy, and every tip has been tested and proven to work in real-life situations.’
2. The 4-Hour Work Week – Timothy Ferris
“Options – the ability to choose – is real power”
The title of Ferris’ book alone I’m sure was enough to secure its place as The No. 1 New York Times Bestseller – I mean – who doesn’t wish to ‘escape the 9-5, live anywhere and join the new rich’?
Timothy Ferris is an entrepreneur, investor, author and podcaster. He features in Fast Company’s list of ‘Most Innovative Business People’ as well as on Fortune’s ‘40 under 40’. The 4-Hour Work Week is just one of five of his successful publishings, and he’s also received many accolades for various blogs, his investments, his own podcast programme The Tim Ferris Show, and his twitter account which has been voted as one of ‘5 Must Follow Twitter Account for Entrepreneurs.’ Despite the fact he clearly knows what he’s talking about, I was still skeptical about his book which promises its reader lots of money, lots of free time and very little work. It just sounded a little bit too good to be true.
What Ferris’ book is really about is efficiency. He challenges his readers’ current levels of productivity by explaining Pareto’s 80-20 principle; which is that roughly 80% of your productivity comes from only 20% of your time. With this in mind, his book is split into four main sections.
Step I – D is for Definition
In this section Ferris encourages us to think about what it is that we really would like to achieve, what is holding us back, and what the cost of our dreams would be.
Step II – E is for Elimination
This section is about ‘cultivating selective ignorance.’ Ferris teaches us how to avoid procrastinating and prevent ineffective multi-tasking, as well as how to deal with time-wasters (whether that be in real-life, over the phone or via email). The purpose of this is to free up enormous amounts of time that would otherwise be consumed by interruption.
Step III – A is for Automation
By outsourcing work and mastering the art of delegation, even more time can be freed up. This is where the idea of passive income and the dream of having a business that runs itself starts to come in.
Step IV – L is for Liberation
The final step is all about spare time and the ability to travel. Step IV is essentially what happens when Step I, II and III are put into practice.
Throughout every step Ferris inserts success stories to show people from all walks of life experiencing positive change as a result of The 4 – Hour Work Week’s methods.
Ferris’ book will teach you how to find for yourself a way to make money that is tailored to the lifestyle that you desire. If success for you means both financial and time freedom, The 4-Hour Work Week is one to read.
‘Forget the old concept of retirement and saving for the future – there is no need to wait and every reason not to. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing first-class world travel, earning a monthly five figure income with no management, or just living more and working less, this book is the blueprint.’
3. How To Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
“To be interesting, be interested”
Dale Carnegie was a writer and lecturer who specialised in developing courses to improve business performance. This took place in the form of public speaking, salesmanship training and self-improvement courses.
How To Win Friends and Influence People was first published in 1937 and has retained its popularity ever since. I suppose that’s because despite drastic changes in lifestyle over the past 83 years, fundamental psychology remains the same. Carnegie’s principles are alarmingly simple, which made me realise how often it is we let our common sense slip away. We overcomplicate matters to such an extent we forget the power of a smile, the power of listening and the power of showing appreciation. This book will serve as a wake-up call.
How To Win Friends and Influence People is split into four main parts:
Part One: Fundamental Techniques In Handling People
Part Two: Six Ways To Make People Like You
Part Three: How To Win People To Your Way Of Thinking
Part Four: Be A Leader: How To Change People Without Giving Offence or Arousing Resentment
Before the first part begins Carnegie provides a list of strategies to help us get the most out of his book, which include developing a desire to learn, actioning what you learn and coming back to review the book about once a month. Each part is then filled with stories from throughout history that relay how powerful these principles are.
The epiphany each reader will have in reading this book, is that if you are kind to people, people will be kind back.
By taking an interest in people, people will become interested in you, and by making people feel important, they will make you feel important.
Carnegie committed himself to helping those struggling as a result of the economic disaster of the 1930s (The Great Depression), which makes his book more relevant today than it has been for years. We can recycle his guidance – we know it’s worked to help people create success following previous hard times – so it can work to help us today.
‘How To Win Friends and Influence People has the potential to turn around your relationships and improve your dealings with all of the people in your life.’