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How to Be Rich

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  704 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Learn J. Paul Getty's secrets on making money and getting rich in this "excellent How To book from a $$$ and sense man" (Kirkus Reviews).

There are plenty of books on making money by men who haven't made much. But if J. Paul Getty, who Fortune magazine called "the richest man in the world," doesn't know how, who does? Here the billionaire businessman discloses the secrets o
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 1st 1986 by Berkley Books (first published January 1st 1965)
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Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is titled How to Be Rich, rather than How to Get Rich, for a reason. Getty does not teach how to amass fortune, but he rather explores the philosophy, mindset, and characteristics associated with leading a rich life. What is particularly noteworthy is his characterization of three kinds of people. The first group is individuals who work best when they entirely work for themselves--when they own and operate their own business. Next are men who, for whatever reason, do not want to go in ...more
Franco Arda
Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book goes beyond the matter of making money written by one of the richest people living at his time. Getty writes that 'richness' is at least as much a matter of character, of philosophy, outlook and attitude, as it is of money. And to be truly rich, regardless of fortune or lack of it, a man must live by his own values.

While several chapters are average ... the chapter 'The Art of Individuality' if one of the finest chapters i've ever read. Artists of any profession, but in
Jan 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
I got paid to read this. The only interesting or unique part was Getty's personal antcedotes, which we completely dated and sometimes sexist.

Did I mention I got paid?
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Overall, this book is now out of date. Although Getty has some insights that would still work in today's modern age, most of his strategies wouldn't have worked in the 90s, much less now. I was also highly annoyed at his arrogance and chauvinism. This book was supposedly updated for the 80s, but he never ever even thinks about the possibility of a woman using this book (because, you know, it's a man's job to take care of his family. He also had some faults of logic, for instance, claiming he alw ...more
Alex Timberman
I was inspired to read this book, and bought it, while at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California. What an impressive man he was, to leave behind such a beautiful house of valuable and rare art.

This book "How To Be Rich" goes into the mind of J. Paul Getty, as he tells his story. He talks about his family, his rise as a business titan, and on what he thinks an executive should be like. He also talks about his vision for America, which even though this book was written in the 60s, sounds ver
Tiago Soares
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lessons and Principles on How To Be Successful in Life.

This type of books written by no other than the rich people themselves never stop to amaze me with their wisdom and pieces of advice.

I have come across some horrific things said about him, but of course, always said by the media in the way they perceive things. When in fact you happen to also hear and read from the people themselves, you see that these people, most of the times are very aware of their less good traits; which most often than
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This book wasn't exactly what I expected, more of an insight into Getty's story and his attitude toward society and culture than anything else. It won't be of any practical value for anyone trying to become rich, but it's an entertaining read anyway. Getty was far more anti-conventional than I had realized. He lambasts conformists in every sphere, including business, art, and education, but of course at the time he wrote it he was well protected financially from the need to fit in.

One part of h
Peter Tillman
Jul 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
I was surprised how much I disliked this book. I'm a geologist, I like reading industrial history, and I love Mr. Getty's two California museums. I guess it was his evident arrogance and misanthropy, and how poorly he treated his five (!) wives and family -- the latter not covered in the first part of this memoir and business-advice book, to where I quit reading.

Getty was quoted as having said "A lasting relationship with a woman is only possible if you are a business failure", and "I hate and r
Jack Zerby
Aug 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
What's amazing about this book is that it's not about how to create wealth, but about what it takes to become someone who can handle wealth. He spends an entire chapter blasting the cog-like mentality of the working class, and how the entire educational system sets all of us up to be good employees, not innovators or entrepreneurs. He stresses over and over that money is not the end-all-be-all, and that the pursuit of happiness is empty, it's the pursuit of purpose.
Josh Moore
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Unlikeable man talks about his viewpoint of the world with no room for other opinions.
Thang Nguyen
No one's fortune can be an end worthy of his being." He loved the challenge of business, but the incentive was not to pile up money, but rather to accomplish something lasting.

At least 30 to 40 percent of so-called economic suicides occur when a man is successful, not when he is failing. When a man has achieved the peak of success, often he has nothing left to scramble for.

Far from emasculating or effeminizing a man, a cultural interest serves to make him more completely male as well as a more c
Henrik Haapala
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wealth, how-to, biography
“Luck, knowledge, hard work - especially hard work - a man needs them all to become a millionaire. But, above all, he needs what can be called ‘the millionaire mentality’: that vitally aware state of mind which harnesses all of an individuals skills and intelligence to the tasks and goals of his business.” 37

“The man who wants to go into business for himself should choose a field which he knows and understands.”

“A sense of thrift is essential for success in business.”

“The door to the American Mi
Robert Gebhardt
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Some quotes:

"many a man who is supposed to have, say, ten years' experience has really had only one years' experience repeated ten times over."

"True, the cost of retiring these people and of paying them pensions years before they were due to receive them is very high. But we have found that the cost is significantly less than the cost of keeping them on our payrolls, where they not only draw full pay, but cause more harm than good, producing losses instead of profits"

"I'd rather try to make a go
Jonathan Crabb
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really interesting book which was a series of essays written by Getty for Playboy magazine in the 60s. The book is largely a series of anecdotes on how Getty made his fortune (largely oil exploration) and what he sees are the important parts of being a businessman. This was the majority of the book and was a decent set of precepts for budding executives to be or business owners to be. His advice on different parts of being wealthy large fell flat to me with tired or very upper crust advice (real ...more
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
I read the book due to the fact that the author was the richest man on earth and had decent ratings.
Unfortunately it's very basic and doesn't get into details on art, real estate, the stock market etc... Despite the fact that it's from the 60s.
His story, first chapter is ok. The part on management is not worth the time, you should read from some econ professors like Drucker instead.
Not worth the time imho.
Steven Cruice
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
As many have mentioned, the title is not what you think. The book is a helpful survey of ways to do business well with a lot of practical advice from Getty’s personal experiences. I found most of the principles he lays out in the book to be just as applicable today as they were back when he wrote the book. It’s a fairly quick read and worthwhile for anyone in business.
Ayibatari Ogounga
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Dan lok recommended this book, really good stuff. This is about how one conducts himself and what it actually cost to attain wealth. Various steps to help one think about topics lay here. Some things I remember: money is supposed to work continuously to create wealth, Familiarity breeds contempt.
Allyson Novak
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Very interesting book however it is geared toward men so me reading it I felt like he thinks women can’t be millionaires.
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Short title, but long on sage advice. Words.Of.Wisdom. From a true business warrior.
Brian  Ambrosini
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-read
Great and insightful knowledge from an American Pioneer.
Michelle Mullens
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
sound advice but more interesting read from a historical perspective
Boye Adeifé
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Study manual
Mike Seigler
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read. An honest oil man with honest advice dispensed.
Adrian Solorzano
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
There are some nuggets of wisdom here. Overall the view point is outdated. The book is well written but it's worth checking out at the library.
Josiah R
I found this book to be both fun and valuable, especially the first chapter which is essentially Getty's autobiography. There are also good chapters on general ideas like speaking out about one's beliefs, going against the grain, etc. I felt like Getty got off course when he started talking about real estate and other stuff he didn't know as much about, but all in all it was a great book.
Stephen Heiner
Jan 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In a day of "get rich quick" it's important to slow down and take a look at this title. It isn't "how to get rich." It's how to BE rich. Mr. Getty wrote this book as part memoir and part how-to. Written in 1965, originally as a serial for a magazine, it is free of the fluff that accompanies many business books today. Indeed, as a sort of "classic" it helps those who are paying attention to connect the commonalities between what Mr. Getty wrote in the 1960s with what is still discussed today. Som ...more
Quicksilver Quill
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Who knew that one of the great businessmen and entrepreneurs of the 20th century was also a great writer? In How To Be Rich, Jean Paul Getty delivers an insightful and entertaining guide for anyone who is interested in achieving success through business.

Pulling no punches, J. Paul tells it like it is, offering his hard-won knowledge and no-nonsense wisdom on how to be an effective businessman—and how to carry it off with a bit of flair besides. Although the book’s title may seem misleading—Getty
Kyle Robins
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book has reminded me of the number one reason I want to be an entrepreneur. Paul Getty says, "No one can rightfully say that American business has discharged its responsibilities and done its job until every employable citizen has steady, full-time employment and until every American family is well-fed. well-clothed, well-housed and able to live in comfort and without fear."
With a country where over 46% of current jobs are expected to be replaced with advancements in technology/robotics in
Christopher Lewis Kozoriz
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: by-billionaires
...despite all the many advantages he enjoys, the wealthy businessman's life is not all champagne and caviar. He must accept the fact that, despite his wealth and position, there are drawbacks to being a millionaire. He may be respected or admired for achieving success and wealth, but he must expect that a considerable and vociferous segment of the population will envy and even hate him for it. There are times when he may be praised for what he says or does, but he will be reviled at least as of ...more
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
The title of this book is meant to be taken literally. There is very little, if not vague information on how to accumulate wealth. J. Paul Getty does a wonderfully blunt job of telling us who we must become to attract and maintain wealth. One must keep in mind the time in which this book was written, and remind yourself Mr. Getty has earned the right to speak with such candor by his own level of success in this field.
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“The conformist is not born. He is made. I believe the brainwashing process begins in the schools and colleges.” 11 likes
“There is, however, hope for any person who wants to remain an individual. He can assert himself and refuse to conform. He'll be on his own, that's true, but while he will not have the security enjoyed by those who do conform, there will be no limits to what he may achieve.” 9 likes
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