Sunday, April 29, 2007

Recommendation: Great Book for Grads!

You Inc. The Art of Selling Yourself by Harry Beckwith and Christine Clifford Beckwith offers well written and informative career and business advice. There are hundreds of books on career strategy and getting ahead in business. This book offers the best roadmap based on my 30+ years in the business world. The advice is based on reality, what really works and matters in business.
In fact, I wish I had followed one of the authors' sage advice concerning being a jack of all trades vs. a specialist.

The authors argues correctly," Try to appeal to thousands, and you will appear strongly to no one."

There are plenty of other maxims equally valid.

So if you are just starting out in the business or corporate world or are looking for some great business ideas, I highly recommend this book.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Borders vs. Barnes and Noble

Tale of the Tape (Receipts)......
No fee membership card: Advantage-Borders

Reader friendly website: Advantage- Barnes and Noble

Discount on hardcover books: Advantage: Barnes and Noble

Online newsletter: Advantage-Borders

Display of New Books: Advantage-Borders

Frequency of discount coupons- Advantage- Barnes and Noble

I enjoy shopping in both stores. Borders is a 100% better shopping experience in South Jersey than they were 2-3 years ago. Customer service and product knowledge between both retailers is basically a draw.

The slight advantage to Barnes and Noble is they have done a slightly better job in e-mailing me discount coupon offers of 15- 20% on top of the membership discounts.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Cutting to the Chase

I'll cut to the chase regarding Cut to the Chase and 99 Other Rules to Liberate Yourself and Gain Back the Gift of Time by Stuart Levine.

Rule #1. If you're just starting out in the business world or you are a new manager, this book may be useful for you. If you've been in the business world for five years or more, very little in this book in terms of advice should surprise you and you may not find it particularly new or informative.

Levine offers the following tips to improve your career prospects:
  • Get in early and go home on time
  • Don't hide your passion
  • Focus on one thing at a time
  • Know what's being asked of you

If I borrowed this book from the library, I would not have been as disappointed. However I made a financial investment purchasing the book (hardcover price less store discount) and my return regarding knowledge and ideas was low.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

1960's Book Series Trivia

Anybody remember who wrote the Hardy Boy's series? Chip Hilton? Tom Swift? Frank Merriwell?

I loved reading those books. I could finish books in those series in less than two days when I was 9 or 10 years old. The characters in the book served as role models for this young boy whose father died when I was seven.

Those books spurred my love of reading that continues to this day.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Laying the Smackdown on Mick Foley

My cultural and reading tastes are rather eclectic. I would not readily admit to being a fan of professional wrestling.

The Hardcore Diaries by Mick Foley is the type of book that I would not buy but I'll take it out of the local library and read it.

Mick Foley is an icon in professional wrestling. In the ring, he terrorized opponents as Cactus Jack or Mankind. He was known for his very dangerous stunts and falls in the ring. He once lost part of an ear while wrestling as it got caught in the ring ropes.

Out of the ring, this book captures Foley, the family man and sensitive soul. As adept as he was with a closeline in the ring, he writes with a light touch including self deprecation and charming wit. This book is more a portrait of Mick Foley, the man as opposed to Mick Foley, the WWE wrestler and entertainer.

Unless you follow WWE wrestling or are already familiar with Mick Foley, you probably won't enjoy this book and you won't understand the inside jokes the author makes about his fellow wrestlers.

I haven't read a great or even very good book on pro wrestling or any of its performers. The worst book I read was written about Dusty Rhodes. (It had countless spelling and grammar errors). Even "rasslin" fans like good grammar.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Seth Is Best!

I am a big fan of Seth Godin, his books and his blog. His books and blog are well-written, witty and full of creative business ideas. His blog entries rarely disappoint. I get a lot of great ideas particularly in the areas of marketing, customer service and communications.

I recently read Free Prize Inside! The Next Big Marketing Idea. You can tell how well I enjoyed a book by how much I underlined passages to gain new information or ideas. The pages are coated with yellow underlinings.

He offers great advice for a wide business audience including executives, entrepreneurs, doctors, inventors, marketers and college students.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

"Pistol" Shoots an Air Ball

I was a big fan of "Pistol" Pete Maravich in my youth. I remember the game between LSU and Kentucky where he dueled with Dan Issel. The Pistol had a great game but LSU lost. I tried (miserably) to copy his shot and passing skills. I did wear floppy socks liked Pete did but it never helped my game. I think Pete is one of the three best "white" players I ever saw on the hardwoods.

So I looked forward to Mark Kriegel's Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich. While the book captured the demons and flaws that plagued Pete Maravich in his career and life, I never sensed that the author appreciated the Pistol's basketball genius or style, particularly in his days at LSU. I found the book very dark and joyless.

The book was like a 3 for 10 shooting night, OK but not spectacular....