I read the book “How to get filthy rich in rising Asia” by Mohsin Hamid this weekend. It’s one of investor Chris Sacca’s top two book recommendations. The other is “Not fade away: a short life well lived” by Laurence Shames and Peter Barton. I bought that book as well and hope to read it soon.
“How to get filthy rich in rising Asia” is the fictional tale of a young boy from a poor family living in rural Southeast Asia. I think the author leaves the country where the story takes place open to the reader’s imagination. The boy moves to the city together with his father, falls in love, gets an education, gets a job, gets married, and starts his own business. Through a combination of luck, motivation, and pragmatism, he builds wealth and a life that very few people with similar starting conditions are able to achieve. Let me not share the rest of the story so that I don’t spoil the book for those of you that want to read it.
Although the book is a piece of fiction, it contains many life and business lessons which make it similar to a self-help book. However, the author’s light tone, ability to poke fun at traditional self-help books, and pragmatism make it much more relevant than other books in its category. Although the lessons shed light on and are particularly relevant for emerging markets, most of them are also valid for developed markets. Even if you don’t agree with each lesson, the book will open your eyes to how different people think.
I left the book with a newfound perspective for lives very different than my own, gratitude for the starting conditions that I was given in life, and a deep sense of the resulting responsibility that I have to put these very fortunate starting conditions to good use.
If this post resonates with you, you’ll likely enjoy reading the book as much as I did.