By Quentin Fottrell
Vicky Oliver, author of The Millionaire’s Handbook: How to Look and Act Like a Millionaire, Even if You’re Not, says it’s possible to live like a millionaire on a budget. Or – at the very least – look like one. Oliver also gives seminars on job-hunting, image presentation, and business etiquette. She lives in Manhattan. But how do millionaires look and act? Lesson One: Start chasing tornadoes and throwing boomerangs.
Pay Dirt: What made you come up with the title?
Oliver: I thought its’ a really good book for our times. We’ve been suffering from a recession that hasn’t gone away. We all want the “lux” lifestyle. Things are tighter now and it’s harder to enjoy it. The book also has style and hair tips.
Hair tips? How can women manage expensive highlights on a budget?
I don’t get highlights. But whether you buy a box of L’Oreal dye or go to a professional it breaks the hair. If you straighten it, it gets broken a second time. I suggest learning to live with the natural color that God gave you. Sometimes going darker makes you look younger.
More men are dyeing their hair these days, too.
Some men want to look younger in the workplace, too. Even male hairdressers are less used to knowing what to do with a man’s hair. If the color is wrong, it can make men look much older. Men should keep their temples grey for a more natural, blended look.
You don’t give your age.
No, I don’t.
You know what Oscar Wilde said about a woman who will tell you her age?
He said a woman who will tell you her age will tell you anything.
Yes, so it’s good that you didn’t. Is the book also about how to marry a millionaire?
It is, at the end of the book. But it’s more about looking more successful than you are and attracting success. I talk about elocution tips and pronunciation too.
So are there any American accents people should remove permanently?
Television announcers have a neutral accent as they tend to be from the Midwest.
Is that actually true?
Yes, a Dan Rather kind of an accent is considered neutral.
You also say it’s good to have eccentric hobbies.
It makes you more interesting if you have an obscure hobby like that: tornado-chasing and boomerang-throwing. Everybody skies, plays golf and plays tennis. It’s not particularly momentous. This book is also about networking and finding people to share your interests.
How about looking good at business meetings and parties if you’re low on cash?
Just buy one suit and wear it every day if you have to. It will take you much farther than a lot of clothes that are poorly made. It’s about prioritizing the money you have. Befriend sales people and try to find out when the sale is coming. [Read more about befriending sales staff and how bad manners can cost a fortune here.]
And pouring Dunkin’ Donuts coffee into a Starbucks thermos? You recommend that. Have you done it?
I haven’t, but I have a new thought out there: You should tip yourself. Why do we stand in line at places like Starbucks and buy overpriced lattes and throw the change in a tip jar? If I saved that tip, I could have $3 extra a week.
Pay Dirt recently interviewed Steve Siebold, author of “How Rich People Think.” He said the rich don’t talk about TV shows like American Idol. Do you agree?
I don’t want to pick a fight with an author, but popular culture is for everybody. Television is going through a renaissance now. It’s so snooty to look down on others.
The publicity for your book says it helps to read books favored among the wealthy. Really?
I don’t put it like that in the book. But it’s good to be informed. I had a friend who was being interviewed at a big financial firm. He asked about the painting on the wall and was told, “That’s a Jackson Pollock.” My friend said, “What’s a Jackson Pollock?” He didn’t get the job. You’re better off going to the restroom and looking it up on Google. Don’t put your foot in your mouth. And, if you are listening to a conversation at a party, don’t suddenly ask, “What is Somalia?” You can learn a lot by listening.
Thank you, Vicky. Pay Dirt is listening.