1. Your family background helps.
Lenin came from an affluent, educated family, and his older brother was a revolutionary.

2. Decide what you want early in life, and get a good education in a field related to your goals.
Lenin knew he wanted to be an activist in his teens, and went to university for a law degree. He performed well in school.

3. Always be active in organizations relevant to your goals. Become ubiquitous.
Lenin spent his twenties holding leadership positions in many revolutionary organizations. He was a prolific writer.

4. Choose a spouse who will support your work, and be a helpful partner.
Lenin’s wife was a fellow Communist who helped him write, and followed him to Siberia.

5. Define a profession around your strengths, and be a leading advocate of that profession.
Lenin was the foremost promoter of the importance of the professional revolutionary. He popularized the idea that trained, educated revolutionaries (like him) were essential.

6. Recognize a key underlying truth that everyone else in your field is missing.
Lenin realized that a democratic political system would not bring about Communism. He consistently advocated armed revolution and one-party rule.

7. Don’t flinch from the risks inherent in your profession.
Lenin spent much of his young life in jail due to his revolutionary activities.

8. When the revolution comes, you have to go there.
Lenin was in exile when the Russian Revolution began. As soon as he heard the news, he made an epic journey through war zones to return to Russia.

By the time the Russian Revolution began, Lenin had laid the groundwork to become the leader of the USSR. He took advantage of the chaos between factions to establish his own party and its Soviets as the center of all power. He was thirty-five.

(Note: I don’t endorse all of these, but my friend Sarah sent them to me, and they seemed interesting enough to post. Neither of us are communists!)