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Make Yourself Useful by Arnold Schwarzenegger

I just finished Make Yourself Useful by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I must admit I enjoyed the book more than I expected.

Click on the pic to get it on Audible.

Arnold comes across as really likable guy in this audiobook. In the intro he mentions that he is recording it at home you, the listener, may here his dogs coming into the room or traffic outside. You never do by the way.

And since it is Schwarzenegger the accent is thick, but it makes the book very memorable. And in a way kind of like you’re having a beer with him.

The book is organized with six principals that he believes makes for a good life: 1. Have a clear Vision 2. Never Think Small 3. Work You Ass Off 4. Sell sell sell, 5. Shut Your Mouth, Open your Mind 6. Break Your Mirrors.

We all know his very public life, from being a body builder, to being a major movie star, to being the governor of California. I’ll be honest I had totally forgotten that he had done that.

The biggest take away from the book is something I already knew a little bit about, that he had invested in real estate as a way to protect himself as he began his movie career. It was a way to protect his downside. He knew if things didn’t go the way he wanted them to he would always have a place to live and form of income from the rentals he owned. It allowed him to focus on getting the big roles and not little supporting roles. He didn’t have to take a crappy role because he had income from his real estate investments.

Of course, he got that money from his Mr. Universe days. But he also worked as a brick layer which gave him income when he was taking business courses. And I believe taking those business courses helped him with his movie career, protecting him from bad agents and learning how business works.

Ultimately I came away from this book learning realizing that Schwarzenegger is actually a really curious guy. He is eager to learn. We may not want to be massive movie stars or go into politics, but his eagerness to learn and be open is simply enough of a principal to move any of us forward.

In someways this book is a conversation with a father or possibly a grand-father his children. “This is what I have learned.”

I would recommend the book.