My friend Chris gave me a copy of "Winning Through Intimidation" to read - wow. Just wow.
Title's misleading. It's actually about how not to be intimidated, and how to generally do good business by being prepared and ready. At least, I think that's what it is, I'm only halfway through.
Here's an excerpt from page 106-107. Bold added by me:
The lender went crazy. During the ensuing heated discussion he said two things that would ring in my ears for a long time to come and, consequently, help me to prepare for earning and receiving substantial money in the near future.
The first thing he said was: "You have a lot of nerve trying to earn $15,000 on one deal; why, you're only a broker."
Boy, did that ever make me see the light. My posture was all wrong; I was only a broker. I had no "right" to earn $15,000 on one deal. It was all right for the lender to earn that much - and more - for such "services" and "privileges" as "prepaid interest," "discount fees," and "prepayment penalties." It was all right for the lender simply because he had the right posture; he was dealing from a position of strength. People don't generally begrudge a wealthy man making money, but I was trying to violate an unwritten rule of business - the rule that a poor guy doesn't have the "right" to make money.
His second remark, however, was even more unbelievable: the lender said it was "unconscionable" for me to be charging a 3% brokerage fee for the placement of a second mortgage loan.
By that time I was at the point where I had to restrain myself from laughing out loud. [...] Here was a man who had built his fortune on the misfortune and financial desperation of others, who earned interests rates of 15% and more by using hidden charge gimmicks such as "prepaid interest," "discount fees," and "prepayment penalties," and who was now saying that it was "unconscionable" for me to make $15,000 on one deal.
Awesome stuff. The whole book's good. It's got lots of stories of the author coming up in the world in the 1970's, learning lessons, making mistakes, and generally being mistreated and abused by people in business until he started asserting himself more.
Book was updated and re-released a few years ago as "To Be or Not to Be Intimidated: That is the Question" - which seems like a much worse title to me, though probably more accurate and politically correct.
I've actually enjoyed the Oppenheimer bio (by Bird and Sherwin, won the Pulitzer) more than the Dirac book so far, so I would start there if I were you.
Thanks for the rec. I've added it to my list.
If you're looking for something else to read, I've been enjoying "The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac" lately. I guess I have something for the biographies of physicist. I've read about Oppenheimer and Feynman, and I have Einstein (the Isaacson one) on the shelf waiting for me.
Thanks Sebastian. I'll look at getting this book. They do not have it on audible.com unfortunately, but it's pretty cheap on Amazon. Will you do another post on this when you get to the end of the book?