What You'll Learn

Enjoy both the 5-Hour Audio Book and the FREE 150-page E-Book + E-Course Tools to master your 4 Essentials. In a one-of-a-kind mini-memoir, followed by short essays, Cliff Michaels takes us on a street-smart journey through life & career moves while outlining paradigm shifts in global education. Sharing trials & triumphs as a dyslexic student who dropped out of USC at 19, Cliff went on to launch successful companies in real estate & finance, then lost it all as Co-Founder of a pioneering tech firm during the DotCom Crash of 2000. Spotlighting mentors from Socrates & Spielberg to Artists, Activists & Entrepreneurs, Cliff illustrates how he bounced back from personal & professional loss, discovering his greater purpose & smarter roads to success & happiness through 4 Essentials (mindset, strategies, values, purpose). Weaving colorful stories & dynamic lessons at every turn, Cliff provides a blueprint to your Real-World MBA (Masters in Basic Abilities).

"Cliff's writing is creative and inspirational. I highly recommended "The 4 Essentials." Blake Mycoskie • Founder, TOMS Shoes

"Cliff Michaels delivers a powerful path to profits, passion, and purpose." Tony Hsieh • CEO, Zappos

"Cliff's '4 Essentials' change the way we teach & learn success principles. The response from 100s of students at USC's top entrepreneur class was amazing. Fight on!" Blake Spencer • Class Pres., USC Business School

"When Cliff spoke at our class, the students ranked him our #1 speaker. "The 4 Essentials" is now a part of my curriculum, sharing the entrepreneurial spirit." Alice Heiman • Entrepreneur Prof, Univ. of Nevada
  • "MY LESSONS FROM THE EDGE" is Cliff's mini-memoir & misfit's journey through life, school & entrepreneurship. A fun, fast-paced, one-of-a-kind learning experience!

  • 1) ESSENTIAL 1: Discover why MINDSET is the catalyst to growth and a critical bridge to creativity, wealth, happiness, and overcoming challenges.

  • 2) ESSENTIAL 2: Discover why STRATEGIES such as goals, focus, and people skills are critical to result-driven individuals, teams, leaders & organizations.

  • 3) ESSENTIAL 3: Discover why VALUES such as integrity, humility, gratitude, and sportsmanship are keys to thriving careers, communities, and relationships.

  • 4) ESSENTIAL 4: Discover why PURPOSE principles such as passion, friends, family, health, and making a difference are driving forces to personal & professional growth.

  • CONTENT HIGHLIGHTS: Over 100 Short Stories & Inspirational Quotes • Defining Success & Happiness • Motivational Drivers • Leadership Keys • The Power of Thank-You Notes • Creative Thinking • Result-Driven Practice • Emotional intelligence • Embracing Chaos & Change 

  • BONUS TOOLS: Challenge Exercises • Book-Tour Speaking Highlights • Cliff's Favorite TV & Movie Clips on related subjects • Optional Quiz & Completion Certificate

  • FUN FACT: The book was originally subtitled "The 4 Essentials of Entrepreneurial Thinking: What Successful People Didn't Learn in School." When fans sent letters sharing their "misfit journeys", Cliff updated the sub-title to reflect the book's broader themes. Teachers have since added The 4 Essentials to their high school & college curriculums.

Course Lessons


    2. Pre-Start Survey ( 1 MIN)

    3. Cliff's Quick Tips & Pep Talk (1 MIN)

    1. Cliff shares his backstory and personal journey that inspired him to write The 4 Essentials • Filmed Live  at USC's #1 Entrepreneur Class • NY Times Bestseller Book Tour • USC Host Prof. Dave Belasco

    1. Enjoy this inspirational highlight from Oscar-Winner Film "Dead Poets Society" starring Robin Williams & Ethan Hawk. This film had a profound impact on millions of fans, introducing Latin phrase Carpe Diem (seize the day) into our consciousness.

    1. The 4 Essentials: A Misfit's Journey (Full E-Book of the NY Times Bestseller)

    1. Misfits, Rebels & Troublemakers • Cliff's Journey Intro • The Real-World MBA Concept of 4 Essentials (9:12)

    1. Chapter 1 • A Misfit's Journey Begins (9:17)

Course Details

  • $19.95
  • 39 lessons

Meet Your Instructor

NY Times Bestseller • Entrepreneur • Strategic Coach • Consultant • Facilitator

Cliff Michaels

BORN in NEW YORK and raised in L.A, Cliff lives in Del Mar, California. Known for his fun, down-to-earth style, Cliff brings a passionate, result-driven approach to every challenge.

FOUNDED in 1992, Cliff Michaels & Associates specializes in start-ups, venture capital, mortgages, real estate & global education. Cliff's dynamic methods to accelerate growth include e-courses, cohorts, coaching, consulting & forum retreats for students, families, leaders & entrepreneurs.

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, Cliff's mini-memoir & short stories on historic mentors present a paradigm shift in global education (The 4 Essentials: A Misfit's Journey to Mindset, Strategies, Values & Purpose). The book launched #1 on Amazon in 2012 and is FREE with the 1-Day MBA E-Course Series. In 2016, Cliff's 1-Day-MBA Workshop (Imagineering Ideas) was one of the highest-rated events at TEDxLA Imagine Week.

SEE CLIFF's BLOG for "Backstory & Book Highlights Live @ USC."

PAST PRESIDENT of the Entrepreneurs' Org L.A, Cliff developed EO's first charity & mentor programs benefitting Boys & Girls Club and Inclusion Matters Playgrounds. Supporting youth & underserved communities has been a passion ever since.

GIVING BACK > With each sale, FREE 1-DAY MBA E-courses go to learners & teachers in need. Cliff is also a member of USC’s EdTech Ventures, building global solutions for remote-learning.

SPONSOR EDUCATION! To GIFT Cliff's E-courses, cohorts, live workshops & retreats, visit our SPONSOR PAGE TODAY!


Jayme Riggio

CEO, Riggio Allstate, Top 1% Nationwide

“From classroom to boardroom & Main Street to Wall Street, The 4 Essentials should be required reading. Cliff's journey is authentic, and his wisdom is spot on for past, present, and future generations to explore.”

Tony Hsieh

CEO, Zappos, NYT Bestseller “Delivering Happiness”

“Cliff Michaels delivers a powerful path to profits, passion, and purpose. The core values we promote at Zappos are very much in line with Cliff's 4 Essentials for success in life & business."

Blake Mycoskie

Founder/CEO, TOMS Shoes, NYT Bestseller “Start Something That Matters”

“Cliff’s writing is full of inspiration & practical lessons. I highly recommend The 4 Essentials for students and professionals alike!”

Blake Spencer

Class President, USC Marshall Business School

“When Cliff presented The 4 Essentials to hundreds of students at USC’s #1 Entrepreneur Class, the response was amazing. Thanks for sharing your journey and wisdom. We’re all big fans!”

Mary Mazzio

Award-Winning Filmmaker, Attorney, Social Documentarian

“Cliff is the consummate entrepreneur with a contagious can-do spirit. Engaging and real, his personal story and life lessons are riveting. I’m proud to call him a friend and highly recommend The 4 Essentials.”

Peter Thomas

Chairman Emeritus, Young Entrepreneurs’ Org (YEO)

“I've known Cliff 20+ years and his content is pretty fantastic stuff. A visionary leader & pioneering entrepreneur, Cliff sets a winning bar for life & business training.”

Doug Mellinger

Managing Director, Clarion Capital

"There's too much theory out there. Cliff provides a real-world framework for success. Thanks for bringing this important resource to the world."