For me, The Wealth of Connections was preaching to the converted. Every morning, I read a fragment of a book titled “Big Potential” by Shawn Achor. Shawn argues, exactly like Vincent Pugliese, that collaboration is so much better than trying to make it on your own. In fact, Shawn calls working alone Small Potential. In contrast, collaboration and working with others is the Big Potential.
So, I didn’t need convicting. Maybe that’s why the only CON I want to mention is that The Wealth of Connections didn’t wow me. In fact, it was unusually hard for me to read it through. And I have no idea why. When I reviewed my highlights, they were almost evenly distributed throughout the whole book. The passages I highlighted were powerful and impactful. Yet, the overall reading experience wasn’t.
Maybe that was because the book is filled with stories, but for my analytical mind, they were just fillers. Some of them, like Funzi’s story, felt essential and the author referred to it multiple times throughout the book. Others were just confusing for me, like of that guy who worked in TV. I’m not American, so it meant exactly nada to me. My only takeaway was that a guy expressed his gratitude with every encounter with a bigshot, and it was all he needed to stand out. Hey, a paragraph would be enough to drive the point home, not the whole chapter!
So, I felt bombarded with stories, and some of them I couldn’t even deconstruct. When Vincent summarized everything just before the last part of the book, I was delighted – finally, some concrete points! I highlighted whole paragraphs there.
However, despite my lack of reading satisfaction, The Wealth of Connections is a good book. If it can drive the point home that collaboration is the most important thing, not just in your career, but in life, then it will be the greatest book for you.
I would have needed to write a 10,000-word booklet to properly explain how good The Wealth of Connections is. So, instead, in this review I’ll just highlight several…
I love that Vincent’s whole concept starts from character. I know Jim Rohn’s “Cultivating an Unshakable Character” by heart. I think no one has ever explained better than in this program why character is a foundation of any achievement in life.
And character is actually the one thing you can work on alone. If you surround yourself with the right people (exactly like Vincent recommends in his book), you can accelerate your progress. But no one in the world can ever replace you in shaping your own character.
I love how the author deconstructed shyness for what it is: self-centered attitude. One of the hardest battles in my life was overcoming shyness. In that battle, I discovered that it was all about me all the time. I was shy because I was so concerned about what others will think of ME.
I wrote a whole book on the topic of shyness, and my conclusions are ideally in line with Vincent’s reasoning. I vote for his approach. Nothing will cure yourself faster from shyness than being curious about others and focusing on them.
“If someone can’t handle the truth, the depth of their friendship will always be shallow.”
I agree 100%. A friendship where you cannot be fully honest is a parody of the friendship. Of course, you need to support your friend, but by no means has it given you permission to lie. How can I get better if my friends hold off feedback about my vices? I’d probably get informed about those vices from some nasty people, and that experience would be both painful and not very useful. It’s hard to accept the hard truths about yourself when they are not spiced with love.
My own private definition of a friend is: “Someone who knows everything about you and still loves you.”
Honesty is, indeed, generosity. Especially in friendship.
“A powerful network unlocks doors. It presents opportunities that would never have been made available through hard work alone.”
Hard work is overhyped.
Early in my author career, Hynek Palatin took pity on me and created several book covers for me free of charge. My previous covers were so heinous he just couldn’t stand them.
My best friend, who works in Philip Morris, sent an introduction to the HR department mentioning my work around personal development. I got a speaking gig there.
Engel Jones introduced me to the host of the Inspired Money Podcast. Dan Miller and Guy Kawasaki were guests there! Me too.
I could have never achieved the above feats without my network. Well, maybe I could have, but the price would be enormous! With the help of my friends, it was basically effortless.
Tips on listening. Tips on being silent and asking questions. Vincent’s advice is spot on.
Interesting that the author is naturally curious, but he explained it so well. Usually, when something is easy for you, it’s hard for you to explain the details.
But I’m way below Vincent on the curiosity scale, and I had to consciously develop this trait. And I tell you, he nailed it.
Curiosity is all about others, not yourself.
I also wrote a whole book about making business connections. And you know what? Vincent’s advice overlaps with mine to the T, exactly like with shyness.
Connections won’t happen out of the blue. You need to build them, invest in them, and cultivate them. You need to do this consistently. And then, one day, they will be there when you will be needing them most.
I could go on, but I’ll stop here.
“Who we surround ourselves with has more to do with the success of our careers, our communities and our lives than we are led to believe.”
We have been fooled to believe that our successes are in big part a function of our own talents and achievements. They aren’t. The 20/80 rule has its application here as well. About 20% of your success depends on you. It is the Small Potential. About 80% of your success depends on people who you surround yourself with.
Vincent Pugliese explains how to surround yourself with the right people.
If you believe in self-help or self-made, you need to sober up and read this book. Period.