Wisdom From Books

From failure to a millionaire at the age of 26! Meet Adam Khoo

Posted on: January 25, 2010

Title page of the book

One of readers of this blog suggested that the book by Mr. Adam Khoo “If I am gifted, so are you” should be reviewed. I was told that Adam Khoo became a millionaire by the age of 26!.

Who is Adam Khoo?

Adam Khoo is an entrepreneur, a best-selling author and a peak performance trainer. From failure to a self-made millionaire by the age of 26, he owns and runs several businesses in education, training, event management and advertising, all with a combined annual turnover of $30 million. He is the Executive Chairman and Chief Master Trainer of Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group Pte Ltd and a director of seven other private companies. Adam is also a director of the Singapore Health Promotion Board (HPB) and a member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO). He is also the best-selling author of ten books including ‘ I Am Gifted, So Are You!’ that was ranked MPH#1 best-seller in 1998 and 1999.

The book which I was able to get hold of is ‘Master Your Mind, Design Your Destiny’ which was the second highest selling book in Singapore in 2004, was on the best-sellers list for 36 consecutive weeks.

The above information is from the website:


“Master your mind, design your destiny” is a very interesting book and starts with this story:

There was once a professor who wanted to go down a river, so he approached a local boatman who agreed to row him downstream for a small sum of money. As they wound their way down the river, the professor decides to show off his intelligence and high education so he started to test the simple boatman.Taking up a stone he had picked up from the riverbank, the professor arrogantly asks the boatman, ‘Have you ever studied Geology?’ The boatman looks at him blankly and replies, ‘Eh…, no.’, hardly even understanding what the word meant.

‘Then, I am afraid 25 percent of your life is gone!’ the professor oftily says. The boatman feels really bad about his ignorance but continues to row on.

As they move further downstream, the river currents begin to get stronger and stronger. The professor picks up a leaf floating on the river and asks condescendingly, ‘Boatman, have you ever studied Botany?’

Confused the poor boatman again says, ‘No.’ The professor shakes his head and says, ‘Tsk tsk, then 50 percent of your life is gone.’ He then signals him to carry on rowing. As they move further downstream, the currents get even stronger, the water is moving faster and the boat begins to sway violently.

Suddenly the professor sees a mountain range, points to it and asks, ‘Do you know anything about Geography?’ Feeling very inferior and humiliated, the boatman again says ‘No.’

The professor snaps back. ‘I thought so. Then 75 percent of your life is gone!’

At this point, the river has become a raging torrent. The water is moving so swiftly that the boatman loses control of the small boat. Suddenly, the fragile craft smashes against a huge boulder, springs a leak and begins to sink.

This time the boatman turns to the professor and asks, ‘Professor! Do you know how to swim?’ The professor fearfully replies, ‘No!’ ‘Then, I am afraid 100 percent of your life is gone!’ says the boatman as he leaps off the boat and powers his way to safety on the shore.

Adam Khoo and his co-author Stuart Tan state in beginning of the books that:

Just like the river, we are living in times of rapid and evolutionary changes. Is the river of life going to get faster and more unpredictable? You bet! This is only just the beginning.

What took a decade to change now takes merely months. Think about this: it took 50 years for cassette tapes to replace records. It then took less than ten years for compact discs to replace cassette tapes. Soon after, it took less than five years for Mini-Discs to appear on the scene. Today, less than three years later, MP3s are looking to make everything else totally obsolete.

Mega million-dollar businesses can become bankrupt because of obsolescence overnight. At the same time, small companies can become worldwide market leaders in just a few years. Similarly, a professional with years of experience and a high market value can become economically enviable within a short period of time. Why?

The new economy is so dynamic that 80 percent of what you learn in school will become obsolete by the time you graduate. 30 percent of the jobs, companies, products and services that are commonplace now never existed a decade ago.

How was Adam Khoo able to move from failure to a millionaire? What were the skills he acquired? Read his story in coming days on this blog.

More ideas from this book shall be shared in the coming week. Feel free to share your thoughts and contribute by giving comments.

Happy reading!



2 Responses to "From failure to a millionaire at the age of 26! Meet Adam Khoo"

Thank you very much, for according me membership in your prestigious Wisdom From Books. I am also in learning & teaching line, Beside being a Director HR in multinational pharmaceutical company, I am a veteran of two wars & prisoner of war. I would to share my experience in the forms of lectures & seminars. However I am ardent believer of E Emerson, who says,’ From the fountain of knowledge drink deep or not at all.’

I am here in Abu Dhabi, for another two weeks then I proceed back to Karachi Pakistan.Insha Allah ( God willing ), I will further promote the cause of learning & teaching. I am not aware of your religion, but in Islam, which means peace, lot of emphasis is given to pursuit of knowledge. First human being Prophet Adam was given due respect by all angels in heaven because of his knowledge. The first Revelation of Holy Quran begins with ‘ READ ‘. In Holy Bible, the famous saying, ‘ Seek & ye shall find, ” is available in chapter, ‘ Salvation,”. In all humility I can speak for hours, for the benefits of pursuits of knowledge.

Reading about this young entrepreneur forced me to ask 2 questions:

Why is that someone from us is not Adam Khoo? or for that matter Jim Rohn or Covey or Tony Robbins; and

What is common amongst all those?

I think we can think about it while we are going through their work.

For that matter, the above book would indeed be a great start!!

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