Book Review: The Peebles Principles

(Review written by Kenneth Davis)

At once engaging, informative, and keenly insightful, The Peebles Principles may well serve as a call to take action as much as it is a how-to guide on becoming a multi-millionaire. Through a detailed series of successful deals – with a failure or two thrown in for good measure – R. Donahue Peebles constructs a platform from which he presents 12 principles that have guided his entrepreneurial ascension for decades. The principles serve as an inspiration, not only to entrepreneurs, but to anyone in pursuit of a vision. It is this underlying quality that makes this book a must read.

In each chapter of his book, Don Peebles illustrates how one or more of his principles surface in the deal being described. Although set in the pretext of multi-million dollar transactions, the true value that the reader derives is in the principle itself; the business deals are simply the vessel by which each principle is delivered. Written in a manner by which readers of varying backgrounds can take away kernels of knowledge, the principles are deceptively straightforward, succinct, and applicable to everyday transactions, not just multi-million dollar deals!

The Principles are easily adoptable, and in many cases, are already at play in some fashion in your life. Take for example these three:

1. Make your money going into the deal

– This principle easily blends common sense with seasoned business practicality. The simplest interpretation is that we should seek to save money on every transaction. By doing research, comparison shopping, and improving your knowledge base, you improve the likelihood that you will save money in any transaction. Whether you are purchasing a car, acreage, or the latest technological fad, you ensure that you make money (but not spending more than you should) going into the deal by adequately understanding the value of the desired object. You probably do this everyday but don’t think of it in these terms!

2. If the key doesn’t fit, change the lock

– Reminiscent of “think outside of the box,” this principle is probably best interpreted at the personal level. For example, many individuals choose a career path based on perceived monetary value, and then go on to realize that they no longer (if they ever did) enjoy what they are doing. A number of “successful” people have walked away from lucrative careers to pursue their passions in life. By shifting the paradigm to focus on the activities for which they were uniquely skilled, these individuals opened the door (changed the lock!) to a new world of fulfillment. Their measure of success shifted to personal satisfaction, and if they happened to get wealthy along the way, even better for them!

3. Be the last man standing

– In order to win, succeed, or simply survive, one must have the will to persevere. Several of Peebles’s successes were obtained because he believed in the deals (make your money going in!) and never wavered, even as those around him lost their resolve. Of all the principles, I believe this is one is the strongest. It would serve well as a personal mantra.

Entrepreneur or layman, perennial winner or abject failure, this book provides the impetus to develop and follow through on winning strategies. Don Peebles deftly presents the qualities that we can control from within, but also lays bare the fact that externalities must also be proactively managed. Regardless of your position in life, this book presents you with principles that transcend the realm of business and provide you with the tools to succeed in life. Well done!

Kenneth Davis is a Management Consultant who is interested in Real Estate Investing and lives in Houston.

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