How to Make Millions with Your Ideas by Dan S. Kennedy

Published: 1996; 250 Pages

Category: Business, Entrepreneurship, Success

Quick Takeaway: How to Make Millions with Your Ideas is a pull-up-your-boot-straps-and-go-to-work type of book. However, this book is not just about working hard. It as about using your ideas to surpass others, and it is about taking ordinary business concepts to extraordinary levels by focusing on Millionaire-Maker Strategies which Dan Kennedy clearly explains.

Why I read this book: It was suggested in The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Notable Quote: “Money made by pioneering is no more valuable than money made from reliable, predictable means.” – Dan S. Kennedy

Book Report: Written in 1996, How to Make Millions with Your Ideas has an old-fashioned salesmanship feel to it, however this should not preclude anyone from reading and learning valuable strategies from a proven millionaire who is passionate about making money and teaching others how to do the same. How to Make Millions with Your Ideas might have a bit less of the feel-good motivational rhetoric in other books on entrepreneurial success, but it is certainly not short on practical advice on how to succeed.

After highlighting eight high-probability areas of opportunity for millions of dollars to be made, one of the first concepts in the book is that not everyone has to be a progressive innovator who creates a game-changing product. Rather, Kennedy shows that it can be much easier to take an ordinary business and do something different with it. His case study for this is an ordinary plumbing company in an ordinary, small town that, by doing things differently from others, ended up becoming one of America’s fastest growing companies.

Other case studies include ThighMaster, Domino’s Pizza, and Barney (the children’s TV character). With these examples, Kennedy highlights that 1) there really isn’t a magic product that just takes the country by storm, but sometimes failure before creativity is involved in hugely successful products, 2) that figuring out what services customers would value that aren’t offered can lead to hugely successful profits, and 3) that refusing to quit when traditional methods of distribution (or anything else) reject what you have to offer can lead to amazing multi-million-dollar results.

The glue that really holds How to Make Millions with Your Ideas together are Kennedy’s forty-five Millionaire-Maker Strategies that are woven throughout the book with explanations and examples. A few of these strategies are:

Diversify in marketing to fully exploit Total Customer Value.

Provide the customer with an exceptional guarantee.

Break the rules.

Clarity of purpose.

Get others to do your selling for you.

Do not undervalue what you know.

Success breeds success.

Other important components of How to Make Millions with Your Ideas deal with marketing, distribution, and even selling a company. All these are shown with practical tips on what Kennedy has found to work in his own experience and while working with countless other businesses, and he simplifies things by providing practical lists on exactly how to accomplish certain tasks such as exclusively controlling your products, getting involved in direct marketing, and getting valuable publicity.

After all the practical advice on starting, growing, and selling a business, Kennedy provides the reader with his Million-Dollar Rolodex which is forty-five pages of contacts regarding product sourcing, mail-order marketing, trade publications, trade shows, distribution channels, publishers, advertising placement, and many other resources. Of course, many of these “contacts” are outdated, however running through his categories is a good way to see what types of companies/services are available to help grow companies.

Through his stories and advice, Kennedy ignites the entrepreneurial excitement of possibility within the reader. Near the end of his book, Kennedy explains that he never had a college education nor did he have any formal training, rather it was his ideas that made his millions, and it is his goal that by keeping focused on big ideas and practical strategies, anyone can make millions with their ideas too.

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