I had borrowed this book from a business associate who highly recommended it to me. The book is rather unusual; it is a self-help book, but it is built in a form of a novel - or perhaps I should say a novella, because it is not very long. Traditionally, self-help books are non-fiction. This was is the first time I saw one in a fiction format. I found that very intriguing.
The writing itself is not the best, but the book has a lot of wisdom, both about business and life. We meet Michael, a struggling salesman. Michael's car runs out of gas and gets stuck in front of a beautiful mansion. The estate is called "Twelve Pillars, " and the mansion has twelve pillars as well. Michael gets help from Charlie, a kind old man who takes care of the estate. Charlie mentions that the 12 pillars represent 12 principles of business success Mr.Davis, the estate owner, has followed to achieve what he now has. Naturally, Michael wants to know the 12 principles, so he asks whether Charlie knows them. The old man does, and he is willing to share. He has several more meetings with Michael, during which he reveals the principles one by one. By the end of these meetings, Michael understands much more about business and about life, and so does the reader.
The book was very easy to read. Most of the principles are very obvious, common sense, yet many of us tend to overlook them. I liked how Charlie emphasized personal development, the importance of working on yourself as well as on your business. When Michael said he does not read books, Charlie was shocked, and said he would not have another meeting with him until he reads at least one. This speaks volumes. People who do not read rob themselves of so much.
I recommend this book to any business-minded person or anyone who would like to take a thoughtful look at life, business, relationships, and more.