Blogger Eric Barker is on a quest to master the science of success: What factors determine it, how is it achieved and why is it still so deeply misunderstood?
In "Barking Up the Wrong Tree," released this month, Barker explores the reasons that valedictorians don't become millionaires, what pirates and serial killers have to teach us about cooperation and how to finally achieve work-life balance using tips from Genghis Khan.
"I've had a very unconventional career," Barker tells CNBC, "so I had always wondered about these maxims of success."
In the excerpt below, adapted from a chapter titled "Do nice guys finish last?" Barker lays out a set of rules to adopt "so we know how to be ethical and successful — but not a chump."