top of page

The 4 Essentials: A Misfit's Journey to Mindset, Strategies, Values & Purpose

Paperback, Kindle & Audible editions are at & The audio + e-book combo is only here at






New York Times Bestseller | #1 Amazon
A Mini Memoir, Short Stories & Paradigm Shift in Global Education


BOOK SUMMARY: Taking readers on a street-smart journey about academic, career & business choices, Cliff Michaels provides a thought-provoking narrative on 4 Essentials to success & happiness (mindset, strategies, values, purpose). Exploring paradigm shifts in global education, Cliff shares lessons as a dyslexic student who dropped out of USC at 19, then launched companies in real estate, finance, and technology. Ultimately discovering his greater purpose after a multi-million dollar Dotcom failure in 2000, Cliff draws upon historic & modern mentors from daVinci and Spielberg to athletes, activists, and groundbreaking entrepreneurs. Written with passion and purpose, "The 4 Essentials" empower anyone to earn their Real-World MBA (a Masters in Basic Abilities). 


FUN FACTS: With each sale, books are donated to students & schools in need. Originally titled "The 4 Essentials of Entrepreneurial Thinking: What Successful People Didn't Learn in School," Cliff updated the title & sub-title in 2016 when fans sent fun letters sharing their misfit journeys too.

How Can We Help?  Contact Cliff Today.


“Cliff’s formula for life, careers & entrepreneurs shifts the way we teach & learn success principles. The response by 300 students at USC’s #1 entrepreneur class was amazing!”  Blake Spencer  Class President, USC Business School

“The 4 Essentials is a fun read. Like Cliff, it’s full of passion with new ideas and timeless wisdom.”  Dave Logan • USC Professor, NYT Bestseller “Tribal Leadership”

“Cliff’s writing is full of inspiration & practical lessons. I highly recommend "The 4 Essentials.” Blake Mycoskie • CEO, TOMS Shoes, NYT Bestseller “Start Something That Matters”

“Cliff delivers a powerful path to profits, passion & purpose.” Tony Hsieh • CEO, Zappos, Bestseller “Delivering Happiness”

“The 4 Essentials should be required reading from classroom to boardroom.”  Jim Weldon • Founder/CEO, Trovo

“I use "The 4 Essentials" as part of my curriculum. My students ranked Cliff our #1 speaker.” Alice Heiman • Entrepreneur Prof, Univ of Nevada

bottom of page