Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business
That is a pretty powerful title, and I wouldn’t expect anything less, given that Gene Simmons is the author.
Me, Inc; was published in 2014 by Harper Collins, written by Gene Simmons.
The book is his personal manifesto on business and life, with the aim of giving those hungry for success the tools that they need to manifest their goals.
Gene splits the book into two parts. Part is “Me, Inc.” and gives the reader an overview of Gene’s life, where he came from, the path that he followed and the lessons that he learned along the way. Part 2 is “You, Inc” and is about you, the reader. In this second half, Gene shares the ideas and tools that you need to make progress.
Here is Gene talking about the book:
and here is my take on it:
Part 1 – Me, Inc.
Me, Incorporated. Part 1 of this book gives the reader an autobiographical overview of Gene’s life. He shares his origin story with us, from his upbringing in Israel, his first entrepreneurial ventures in the cactus fruit industry and his eventual move to America.
Along the way, Gene takes care to make sure you are understanding and picking up on the key points that he wants you to pick up on.
The narrative then moves to his time in America, and we find more young entrepreneurial ventures from him – by this point, a couple of chapters into the book, you are left in no doubt as to Gene’s business mind developing from a very early age. The best part of this is, in all his early ventures, nothing he does is that difficult. It just took a little thought.
The next chapter gives us an overview about how Gene started creating “Gene Simmons”. If you listen to musicians from great bands, you can spot a common theme – they decide who they want to be… they figure out the “character”… then they set about turning themselves into that person.
And we see it here with Gene Simmons.
Gene then tells us the story behind his first band, Wicked Lester, the lessons he learned and how he swiftly moved on to forming KISS with Paul Stanley. He gives a brief overview of branding and how, for him, it was more of a gut instinct that he followed.
We get a bit more Gene Simmons history / self promotion, hearing about his TV show and some of his other ventures, and his philanthropy, before moving on to the second section of the book – You, Inc.
Part 2 – You, Inc.
In this section of the book, Gene moves from autobiographical to a more informative role, giving some great advice for life and business.
Life and business. There shouldn’t be a separation between the two.
He starts off by asking about who you are, and hitting you with a rapid fire succession of life lessons:
- You have to focus on something
- You can’t focus on many things at once
You have to come first. Your work has to come first. Everything else and everyone else have to come second.
Part 2 of this book can get a bit intense. If nothing else, it stirs a little controversy up!
He then moves on to talking a bit about what some people would called money mindset, or, the emotions we often attach to money. Gene talks about the platitude “Money is the root of all evil”, that old saying that we have all heard a million times… and probably influences us on a subconscious level more than any of us care to realise. After he explains to us that “lack of money is the root of all evil” (have you ever asked yourself what the root of money is…?), we move onto role models.
Role models. Find someone who has achieved what you want to achieve, study what they did, and repeat it. If you have ever watched / read anything by Tony Robbins you have probably heard this a 100 times already, but it is always worth hearing again.
The next chapter covers wasting money. If you have ever wanted to achieve something, you will know that whatever you do requires at least one of:
- Financial capital, i.e. money
- Social capital i.e. knowing the right people / people who can help you
If you are spending your money on holidays and doodads, then you won’t have money to invest into your business ideas. The message here is to think about the long term and to ask yourself if you really need what you are about to spend your hard earned money on.
Single, or married? This chapter covers what Gene has learned from relationships over the last 4 decades. It takes a bit of an autobiographical tone and almost reads like an extended apology. It becomes obvious that Gene regrets some of his past actions and attitudes, and on a pleasant note, is now in a much happier place with his family and personal relationships.
The last few chapters cover a variety of topics, giving advice for parents on helping their children feel the entrepreneurial bug to advice to women on how they succeed in the endeavour of their choosing. You’re given some great advice on pushing forwards through failure (which is why this blog has been started!) and investing your money – which is a key secret to long term financial stability and success.
The book ends with a challenge to the reader:
- Know your values
- Have self-restraint (i.e. respect your values)
- Have self-determination – you make your own path