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The Richest Man in Town by W. Randall Jones

The Richest Man in Town by W. Randall Jones [3] bills itself as containing the “inside secrets of America’s self-made millionaires.” In it, Jones talks about the Twelve Commandments of Wealth, illustrating each with quotes and stories from the richest men and women from a variety of cities across the United States.

W. Randall Jones is a pretty rich man himself, having founded Worth Magazine, and in this book he spent two years interviewing local business editors and community leaders in a hundred towns to find the most successful and richest self-made individuals in each. 96 of the 100 were men, which, coupled with simplicity, gives us the title of the book. From there, he used public data to value their holdings to estimate their net worth, which is to say it’s a guess. Either way, the stories and quotes you read in the book come from very rich and successful people, even if they aren’t #1.

Twelve Commandments of Wealth

  1. Seek Money for Money’s Sake and Ye Shall Not Find
  2. Find Your Perfect Pitch
  3. BYOB: Be Your Own Boss
  4. Get Addicted to Ambition
  5. Wake Up Early – Be Early
  6. Don’t Set Goals – Execute or Get Executed
  7. Fail to Succeed
  8. Location Doesn’t Matter
  9. Moor Yourself to Morals
  10. Say Yes to Sales
  11. Borrow from the Best – and the Worst
  12. Never Retire

In each chapter, Jones weaves the stories from the richest men and women in town to support the commandment of the chapter. If it’s RMIT Commandment #3, then he’s explaining how each of the entrepreneurs found success in controlling their own destiny and being their own boss. If it’s about failing to succeed, he’s sharing the failures of many of the richest men and women prior to their success stories.

The book is a lot like Ryan D’Agostino’s Rich Like Them [4], except D’Agostino actually interviewed affluent people in their homes about their success. The lessons from both are valuable and the books are similar in that regard, but I think Jones’ Richest Man in Town focuses on teaching a lesson in each chapter, rather than just learning from a success story.