The Author: Rainer Zitelmann
Rainer Zitelmann not only writes about success, but is himself also remarkably successful in many areas. Zitelmann was born in Frankfurt am Main (Germany) in 1957. He studied history and political science from 1978 to 1983 and, under the supervision of the renowned historian Professor K.O. Freiherr von Aretin, received his doctorate summa cum laude in 1986 with his doctoral dissertation Hitler. The Policies of Seduction.
From 1987 to 1992, he worked at the Central Institute for Social Science Research at the Free University of Berlin. He then became editor-in-chief of Ullstein-Propyläen-Verlag, at the time Germany’s third-largest book publishing group. From 1992 to 2000, he headed various departments at one of Germany’s leading premium daily newspapers, Die Welt, before starting his own company in 2000. He founded Dr. ZitelmannPB. GmbH, which has been the leading positioning consultancy for real estate companies in Germany ever since. He sold the company in 2016. Zitelmann became wealthy as an entrepreneur and investor in the real estate sector.
In 2016, Zitelmann received his second doctorate – this time in sociology – under the mentorship of the wealth researcher Professor Wolfgang Lauterbach at the University of Potsdam. This second dissertation was published as The Wealth Elite.
To date, Zitelmann has written and published 24 books, which have enjoyed global success and have been published in numerous languages. Readers who have enjoyed this book should also read his worldwide bestseller Dare To Be Different and Grow Rich, which has been published in ten languages.
Rainer Zitelmann lives his life according to the same principles he writes about in this book. For example:
Rainer Zitelmann has always embraced change (Chapter 7: Embracing Change)
After Rainer Zitelmann had made a name for himself worldwide as a historian, he left the Free University of Berlin in 1992 to embrace a new challenge – as editor-in-chief of the Ullstein-Propyläen publishing house. Zitelmann then switched tracks again and moved into journalism, where he was appointed head of section at the major German daily newspaper Die Welt – another completely new challenge. At the age of 43, he quit his job at Die Welt and founded his own business. Then, at the age of 58, Zitelmann wrote his second doctoral dissertation and received his doctorate in sociology one year later. At 59, he sold his successful company and started a new career as an international journalist, author and speaker. In his autobiography, which he published on his 60th birthday, Zitelmann wrote: “I’m only just getting started.” He added: “I have never had the feeling that it was too late to start something new. I think it’s a silly excuse to say you are too young or too old for anything. I calculate differently. I started my first job at university at the age of 30. That means I have 30 years of active professional life behind me today. If, like my father, I’m still working when I’m 90, then I still have half of my career ahead of me. I never thought about retiring at 65, although I haven’t had to work for financial reasons for a very long time now. So I can’t understand anyone who, at the age of 45, thinks it’s ‘too late’ to start something new.”
Rainer Zitelmann: “How I got rich” (Chapter 10: Making Money)
Zitelmann not only writes books about wealth, he is wealthy. Nevertheless, until the age of 39, money was not an important part of Zitelmann’s life. “I earned a decent amount as an editor-in-chief and section head, but spent everything I earned. I wasn’t one for saving,” says Zitelmann. In his autobiography, Zitelmann describes how, in 1996 – inspired by a conversation with the German politician Peter Gauweiler – he decided to become rich. “At that time, I was in the red to the tune of minus 10,000 deutsche marks. Five years later I had made my first million.” Zitelmann became wealthy as an entrepreneur with his consultancy firm Dr. ZitelmannPB.GmbH and as a real estate investor.
Rainer Zitelmann and building a personal brand (Chapter 14: The Art of Self-Marketing)
Zitelmann says: “I have always understood that it is not enough to be good at what you do, you also really need to make sure that other people know about it.” As an historian, Zitelmann did not shut himself up in the ivory tower of academia, he also worked as a journalist: “In the late 1980s and early 1990s, I wrote regularly for leading German newspapers such as Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Welt and FAZ. I accepted invitations to appear on television talk shows and organized discussion groups for leading figures from the worlds of science, politics and the media.” As Zitelmann explains, this was just the beginning and he soon broadened the scope of his endeavors: “Today, I no longer limit my focus to publicizing my books and my messages in Germany, but worldwide.” Zitelmann is a sought-after speaker at events in Europe, Asia and the United States and doesn’t just write articles for German newspapers: “In Europe, I write for newspapers such as Neue Zürcher Zeitung and City A.M. and The Daily Telegraph in the UK. I give interviews for renowned media, including Le Monde in France and I am a contributor to LePoint (France), Linkiesta (Italy), Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Swiss) and Washington Examiner in the United States. As an author, I have been on publicity tours in cities such as Beijing (View on YouTube), Shanghai, Shenzhen, Seoul, Washington (View on YouTube) and London.
Zitelmann and self-discipline (Chapter 16: Taking Orders From Yourself)
Anyone who has met Rainer Zitelmann will describe him above all as an extremely disciplined person. In his autobiography, Zitelmann writes: “From the outside, it may seem that way. But I don’t like the term ‘self-discipline,’ because I associate it with the idea that you have to constantly force yourself to do things you don’t really want to do. But this is rare for me. I have only ever needed self-discipline in exceptional circumstances. For instance, over the years I have given up alcohol, smoking, coffee and eating chocolates and ice cream. As I was weaning myself off each of these, I needed self-discipline. Today, these have all long since become habits.
What other people call ‘self-discipline,’ I prefer to describe as ‘absolute reliability.’ To me, being reliable means that your deeds match your words. If I make a promise to someone, I always keep my word. Without exception or restriction. The same applies to the promises I make to myself. Punctuality, for example, is one way to demonstrate that you are reliable. In my experience, being reliable makes life easier. And it pays off. Because if you are committed to walking the walk and not just talking the talk, you gain respect from the people around you and can also expect more from them in return. Unreliable people are not in control. Their words and deeds do not match. They take on things that they never intend to actually do.
My definition of reliability is extreme. That’s why I get into frequent conflicts – professional and personal – with people who have failed to understand that when I say ‘reliability without exception or restriction,’ I don’t mean it as an abstract goal, but literally.”
Rainer Zitelmann is convinced that an author who offers guidance to their readers must also be a living example of their own advice. Otherwise they are not credible. “People recognize this – especially if they ever get to know the author professionally or personally,” says Zitelmann. No one can unceasingly put the principles outlined in this book into practice in every area of their life. “But we should strive every day to put as much of it into practice as possible. After all: ‘Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.’” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe). More information about Rainer Zitelmann: http://www.rainer-zitelmann.com/
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