Barking Up The Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong by Eric Barker was June’s Business Book. Join me and my fellow book club members as we discuss our key takeaways from Barking Up The Wrong Tree, and let us know what you think in the comments. We concluded that this is one of our favorite book club books and that if you were going to read only one of our business book picks, Barking Up The Wrong Tree is the one you should read.

Eric Barker aims to teach his readers that what we assume about success is usually wrong. Barker starts with the bold statement of, “Validictorians rarely become millionaires.” I have to say, this one hurt because he backed it up with research. It’s funny to think about the most successful students and think that they don’t have what it takes to become millionaires. Barker then talks about introverts and extroverts and the discrepancies in how much they get paid. Shocker: Extroverts get paid more but introverts are more likely to be experts in their field. This reminds me of the finance friday I had with Karrie Klimas where we talked about the power of networking, as a self-identified introvert, it can be hard for me to socialize but I have to say the connections I’ve made have certainly paid off.

A key takeaway that stood out in Barking Up The Wrong Tree is when Barker teaches us about how our “weaknesses” can sometimes be a great advantage. For instance, Micheal Phelp’s body is weird and in normal activities, their are disadvantages to having a long torso and short legs; however once you put Phelp’s in the pool; he achieves much success. This remind me of the quote, “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” and it’s true. We must capitalize on our weaknesses by turning them into strengths.  Within Barking Up The Wrong Tree, Barker gives several small excersizes to his audience. I think in order to get the most out of this book; the excersizes need to be done.

One of the other interesting points barker discusses is about the old Hollywood trope that all millionaire are selfish, and while it might be fun to believe, it’s actually not true. It turns out that those at the bottom and top tend to be givers and that income peaks when you trust others; this is very reminiscent of the Go-giver.

If you are interested in reading Barking Up The Wrong Tree, you can find it on amazon. You can also learn more about the author and hear his bite-sized advice on his blog.

Please watch our book club above and don’t hesitate to join our Business Book Club; it’s completely free, and we are always looking for new members. Check out last month’s book club and we hope to see you next time.