Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Review: The Richest Man in Town by W. Randall Jones

Guest Review of The Richest Man in Town ,written by my husband Greg:

In a format vaguely reminiscent of Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich, the author, W. Randall Jones,has interviewed quite a few so called "RMIT's" (richest man in town) across the country in order to extract the essence of what has made them so successful. In The Richest Man in Town , these interviews are then distilled into a set of twelve principles that are put forth for us mere mortals to follow. Among the most memorable and inspiring stories are those of the spiritually minded David Green, founder of "Hobby Lobby" and Jim Oelsclager of the Akron based investment company "Oak Associates" who has run a successful business despite the challenges he faces with multiple sclerosis.

Jones advises us to "find our perfect pitch". That is to say, one needs to delve into a certain amount of self discovery to learn what we do best and will consequently have the drive and passion to dedicate our energies too. It is essentially equivalent to the maxim "do what you love, the money will follow" with the additional qualification that we can't all be successful at everything we do. In other words, if your parents told you that "you can be anything you want to be", they were well meaning but misguided. The truth is that each of us must find our particular calling and pursue it, we can't all be successful at everything we do no matter how hard we try. We are not interchangeable parts.

This is not a step by step "how to" book to become rich (I don't know if such a thing exists). By digesting and emulating the principles described here, you will learn many common attributes of highly wealthy individuals. There are some common themes such as the focus being placed on the journey rather than the destination, if your only goal is to become rich rather than being the best at what you do, then you will likely fail, and that RMIT's don't understand the meaning of the word "retirement". Unbridled optimism can be detrimental and must be tempered with realistic thinking. It's a fact that something like 70% of all new business fail, so risk taking and putting oneself back in the ring following failure is part of the equation. I will add my personal observation that I believe that following these principles will not necessarily lead to the path of riches, however those who have made it typically do follow them. For example, if your ultimate passion is to create the best decorative toothpick holder in existence, you are not guaranteed success in the marketplace if there is close to zero demand for such a product. Once again, realistic thinking is a requirement.

Personally, I'm not interested in becoming an RMIT, I would be happy to reach the point of financial independence and be able to retire comfortably. The book is still relevant though as I suspect that these techniques "scale down" to lesser degrees of success.

The audio book concludes with an interview with Jones. As the founder of "Worth" magazine along with his other ventures, he has surrounded himself with wealthy individuals and clearly is qualified to report on this topic. In addition, his passion for the subject comes through in both the interview and in his writing style. I plan on listening to this again as the principles espoused are generally good principles to live by independent of the desire to become wealthy. In some respects The Richest Man in Town could be considered a modern day companion to Think and Grow Rich. I'll give it 5/5 stars.

Listen to an excerpt here.

Read an excerpt here.

Check out The Richest Man in Town author website.

Thanks to Hachette Books for providing this audiobook for review.


  1. That's so great that your husband did the guest review. Mine doesn't even like reading! :(

  2. The book does sound interesting, even if it won't lead us to wealth. I'm with you, though - I'd just like a comfortable retirement.

  3. Good review, sounds like the book is about things we already know (at least readers of a certain age, lol). I don't aspire to great wealth, I'd just like to be comfortable - maintain where I am now.

  4. Great review, Greg! My husband would probably love this.

  5. I really love how your husband will read and review some of these books. Excellent thoughts on this one!

  6. sounds like an interesting book. gotta try an audiobook one of these days. :-)

  7. I agree with a lot here, but many RMIT believe that it is solely their doing that got them there. Granted all the principles that he suggests probably are vital, but let's not forget that it's not all about drive. Who you know and general circumstances (being in the right place at the right time) play a HUGE role in one's success.


Thanks for visiting and sharing a comment!