Money-making is one of the strongest desires of human beings. Whether young or old, everybody is thirsty for financial sufficiency. This is why I have decided to X-ray this text entitled “How to Make Money out of Thin Air”.
The text is written by Brian Sher, who obtained a degree in Marketing from the University of South Wales. His subsequent business travels overseas sparked his interest in consultancy, and after spending two years in Los Angeles, he returned to Australia and formed his own company specialising in marketing and business-growth strategies. Working with businesses both big and small, one of his major clients offered to partner him in a new venture – Vision Publishing.
Under Sher’s direction, Vision Publishing experienced phenomenal growth, and ultimately boasted more than $12 million in annual sales. His extensive network and strong reputation as one of Australia’s most dynamic and exciting marketers made him an active and sought-after business coach.
The author says given the title of this book, he can hear the critics sharpening their pencils and the cynics saying “Oh sure, we’ve heard this all before”. Sher admits that this is perfectly understandable as on the surface, making money out of thin air seems like an unbelievable claim.
He confesses that to be honest, he was cynical himself when he first learnt of this practice, adding that but what made him look beyond his initial distrust was that he did not want to work hard for a living. Rather, Sher wanted to work smarter and less to enjoy the finer things in life and have the time to enjoy them.
He says while deciding on how to achieve this, he remembered a statement his father once made, which was “Never work with your hands – it will never make you rich!”
This author submits that although he was not literally working with his hands, he knew he was not far off from this in the wealth-creation stakes, as he was working hard and was not exactly rich. Sher says he had a head full of great ideas and concepts, and was working at a frenetic pace, running around selling these ideas.
The author reveals that he learnt a good living, but that was all, and he needed to learn more. He adds that he needed to learn how and what the rich were doing that he was not. This author says they were making the money and he was just earning it.
Sher explains that he set out to try to change all that by studying what they did, the way they thought and the way they operated, and after a while, he discovered that their habits were not rocket science and it was entirely possible to make money out of thin air.
According to him, if you want to achieve success, it requires nothing more than changing your attitude as you approach your next business venture, and this simple change will be worth millions of dollars to you.
Structure-wise, this book has 15 chapters. Chapter one is entitled “Secrets of the rich”. According to Sher here, “How many times have you heard people use the words ‘make money’? I just want to make money…Thousands of times, I’ll bet, and you’ve probably said them to yourself. Although the words spoken might be identical, what ‘poor people’ (that is, people with a ‘poor’ mentality) mean when they say them is completely different to what the rich mean. The ‘poor person’ looks for ways to do the only thing he or she knows how – that is, to sell more of their time. And this can mean only one thing: working longer or harder.”
Sher educates that when rich people use the words “make money”, they are talking about wealth creation. That is, they never mean selling their time.
In this chapter, the author also discusses other concepts such as unlearning a “poor” mentality; knowing what rich people know; stealing from the rich to give the poor; and a secret file.
Chapter two is based on the interrogative subject of “How rich are you?” Sher quotes Michel De Montaigne here thus: “We are, all of us, richer than we think we are.”
According to the author, almost everyone you know wants to be richer than he or she is at the moment. He says but it is important to understand that being rich in life is not simply about making more money. The author stresses that many people mistakenly believe this is the case.
Sher explains that money is something you can use to get things done and the more money you have, the more things you can do. Many things are more important than money: a loving partner, a supportive family, friends you can trust and depend on, a career you enjoy, submits the author. In Sher’s words, “You might be rich, but without these things you won’t enjoy life as much as you could.”
He reiterates that happiness is largely based on non-material things; and living life to the full is about focusing your emotional energy on positive channels, and directing this energy into everything you do, at work or play.
In chapters three to nine, concepts such as making money out of thin air; never go to school if you want to be rich; the fastest way to make money; his business successes and failures; your need of rocket to reach the moon; it is not worth a thing if you cannot sell it and twenty habits of the world’s least valuable businesses are examined.
Chapter ten is entitled “Twenty habits of the world’s most valuable businesses”. According to Sher here, the wealthiest companies in the world are capitalised in the hundreds of billions of dollars, placing a huge value on these businesses and bringing wealth to the owners.
He adds that however, total capitalisation is not the most important thing to look at when you are assessing how valuable a business is. Sher advises you to look instead at the price earnings ratio (p/e ratio), printed beside the stock price on the business pages of newspapers and you will see that most of these ratios are somewhere around 15-20, but some are much higher, even reaching the hundreds.
The author says the twenty attributes valuable businesses have are operation in large or growth markets; production of unique and timely products; selling only leveraged products; control of residual income; institution of great systems; great customer service; powerful brands; non-dependence on one person; usual market leadership; and attraction of the best and brightest people.
The remaining are predicating reward on performance not longevity/time; possession of high margins; possession of few real competitors; continuous innovation or flow of new products; possession of an investor entry and exit strategy; possession of a big customer database; institution of great marketing; anticipation of customers’ needs; constant addition of value to customers’ experience and education of customers before they sell to them.
In chapters 11 to 15 of this book, this author analytically X-rays concepts such as the world’s most successful and unsuccessful habits; twenty-eight habits of the world’s least successful business people; forty-two habits of the world’s most successful business people; twenty-six secrets to making money out of thin air; and the question of whether you will become a millionaire.
Stylistically, this book is a success. Sher displays a high level of skills of analytical presentation and simplicity of language. He employs reflective illustrations, classical/literary allusions and autobiographical effects to ensure analytical reinforcement, as well as concrete conviction on readers’ part.
There is also inclusion of the question-and-answer section, “The road to riches” exercise, to achieve reader practical participation. What’s more, the title of the book is alluring and emotionally challenging. The cover design is attractive and communicative, while the inside pages are well laid out.
However, since chapter nine entitled “Twenty habits of the world’s least valuable businesses” is the opposite of chapter ten entitled “Twenty habits of the world’s most valuable businesses”, one of them should have been left out of the chapters of this book to avoid conceptual redundancy, especially that we can antithetically deduce the attributes of one from the discussion of the other’s attributes.
But on whole, Sher’s efforts are commendable. If your desire is to make maximum use of the least of opportunity and become rich this year, then you need to read this masterpiece. It is simply irresistible.