Tag Archives: business

Book Reviews: Fizz, The Woman Code, Science… For Her!, & The Management Of Luxury

Hello everyone,

it’s that time of the week when I review the books I’ve been reading lately. Here we go:

Fizz: How to Drive Word of Mouth Marketing for Outrageous Success by Ted Wright
Word of mouth is still one of the most effective ways to drive sales. A lot less expensive than advertising in traditional media, it provides much better results, albeit at an initially slower pace. This slower pace is one of the reasons why a lot of businesspeople are sceptical of its success and refuse to use this all powerful technique. But after reading Wright’s book, you’ll look forward to start your own word of mouth campaign.
The secret of its success? Influencers. For it to work, you must first find people who love your product and are willing to spread the word about it to everyone who will listen. And then you need to train them to do so in the most effective way. But of course, you also need to have a good product with an exciting story or feature that will make it easy for people to talk about and buy it. Giving out samples also helps. A LOT. But that’s not all. Wright also debunks popular myths about word of mouth marketing and explains how to track the results of your campaign.
Although a bit repetitive at times, Fizz is full of case studies and interesting tips and tricks to help you harness the full power of word of mouth for your business. The writing style is quite colloquial and engaging. This is not your average boring business book. You’ll love both reading it and implementing its tips.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

The Woman Code: 20 Powerful Life Strategies You Need to Navigate Today’s Challenges by Sophia A. Nelson
We all live life by a code, whether we realise it or not. It’s the set of values that governs all our actions. If it is not solid and authentic, we’ll make mistakes and hurt ourselves and others. We’ve all been there. We’ve all been through tough times, done things we regret, and questioned our self-worth. If that’s you, this is book is for you.
Nelson shares her powerful code to help you lead a balanced and fulfilled life. This code unlocks your potential of being the best person you can be, and that already resides inside of you. You just have to find it, and harness its power. The code is made up of 20 principles divided in five sections: The Personal Codes, The Emotional Codes, The Spiritual Codes, The Professional Codes and The Relational Codes. The first, and most important one, is knowing your value. Others include being authentic, accountable, resilient, unafraid of aging, being ready to apologize when you make a mistake, refusing to engage in gossip, and lots more. When applied, the code helps you navigate life’s challenges, both in your personal and professional life, go after your dreams, and build meaningful relationship with people.
None of the advice given here is groundbreaking. Some will say most of it simply good ol’ common sense. But the tips are still effective and inspirational. When we lose our way, a reminder of what we can achieve when we stay true to ourselves and treat ourselves and others with respect is always welcome.
My only problem with the book is the writing style. Nelson never preaches. She’s smart, wise, and compassionate, and yet I found it hard to relate to her. I didn’t find her style particularly engaging, and yet I can’t quite pinpoint why. It’s annoying. But the book isn’t. It’s a useful and inspirational resource for all women, especially those who have lost their way.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 3.5/5

Science …For Her! by Megan Amram
I had never heard of Megan Amram before coming across her book, but from her credentials, she sounds pretty smart. She is one of Forbe’s 30 Under 30 in Hollywood & Entertainment, a writer for NBC’s hit show Parks and Recreation, and one of the funniest people on Twitter. Her new book, Science… For Her! is described as a “politically, scientifically, and anatomically incorrect textbook, […] a pitch-perfect attack on everything from those insanely perky tips for self-improvement to our bizarre shopaholic dating culture to the socially mandated pursuit of mind-blowing sex to the cringe-worthy secret codes of food and body issues,” and a blend of “Cosmo and science to highlight absurdities”, including subjects like “this Spring’s ten most glamorous ways to die” and “what religion is right for your body type”.
I wasn’t sure what to make of that, but I hoped it would be a satirical funny book with some actual science, written in the style of, and poking fun at, women’s magazines. Instead, I got neither science nor humour. Not only the book wasn’t funny, it was very offensive. Now, I’m not one of those people who gets easily offended. I abhor political correctness, believing it to be a form of censure. I can easily laugh at things the politically corrected crew would find offensive, but one thing I will never laugh at, and I will always find offensive, are rape jokes. Seriously, this book is full of them! They have nothing to do with science and they just help to normalize rape and create a culture where this hideous crime is acceptable.
But even if someone had had the decency to remove the rape jokes, this book still wouldn’t be funny. I get what Amram was trying to do. Science… For Her! tries to mimic the colloquial style used by women’s magazines and, like them, is full of silly tips that make no sense. My problem is that she has taken the satire too far. The silliness, which permeates every page, is just over the top and exaggerated. For the first 10 minutes, it makes you laugh, but then it just bores you senseless. There is just no substance to it. Science… For Her is a lot more vapid than Cosmo will ever be, and because of that, the satire completely fails. Satire is a great way to bring out and challenge what’s wrong with society. In this case, the belief that women know nothing about STEM and are not encouraged to pursue a career in those fields. But that isn’t even addressed here.
While I love the concept of Science… For Her!, the execution is just bad and painful. So disappointing.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 1/5

The Management of Luxury: Strategy in the Global Luxury Market by Benjamin Berghaus, Sven Reinecke, Günter Müller-Stewens
Are you a manager for a luxury brand? Then, this book is for you. The Management of Luxury is a collection of 26 articles written by 51 individual contributors from around the world and edited by Benjamin Berghaus, Günter Müller-Stewens, and Sven Reinecke, that will help your company evolve with the times and stay competitive.
After defining what luxury is and who its customer are, the authors provide tips, backed by case studies and market research, on all aspects of the business. You’ll learn what the most promising emerging markets for luxury are and how you can successfully start trading in those countries; how to create a brand that customers love and don’t feel guilty purchasing from; how to create a business strategy that allows your business to grow and be successful; how to create luxury products responsibly, without damaging the environment; how to use social media to your advantage; how to hire the best employees for your brand; how to fight fakes; and lots more.
The book is very comprehensive and extremely useful, although somewhat boring. The writing style is very academic, and thus quite dry in places. As such, it has a very limited audience: managers of luxury brands. For them, the information in this book is highly valuable, regardless of the way in which it is presented. But for anyone else, the book just isn’t entertaining enough to hold their attention for long.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 3.5/5

What do you think of these books?

Disclaimer: this book was sent by PR for consideration. In addition, this post contains affiliate links.

Book Reviews: Doable, Brave Girls, Always In Fashion, & Second Chance

Hello everyone,

here’s what I’ve been reading lately. Enjoy!

Doable: The Girls’ Guide to Accomplishing Just About Anything by Deborah Reber
Every teenage girl has ambition, goals and dreams they’d like to achieve, but few know how. If you don’t have a clue and think only a lucky few can make their dreams come true, check out Double: The Girls’ Guide To Accomplishing Just About Anything. The book is a wonderful and practical how-to guide on how to accomplish all your personal and professional goals. “The Doable Way” features 8 steps, including defining your goals, then breaking them up into smaller, manageable chunks, creating a support system, dealing with setbacks, and actually doing the work. Each chapter also features exercises that will help you put the tips in practice and a small recap.
Although “The Doable Way” is just the same old advice to goal setting (and is therefore helpful for adults too), here it is explained in a way that really resonates with teens. Reber uses their language to communicate with them, and peppers each chapter with examples of what young girls have achieved when following these steps, allowing her readers to identify with and relate to them. That will give them one more incentive to practice what Reber suggests, and become empowered in the process.
Overall, this is the best book about goal setting and planning for teenagers that I’ve come across so far, and I highly recommend it to those who feel lost and don’t know how to turn their dreams into reality.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

Brave Girls: Raising Young Women with Passion and Purpose to Become Powerful Leaders by Stacey Radin and Leslie Goldman
The middle school period is the most formative stage of life. Unfortunately, for most women, it’s hell. Rather than learning how to advocate for themselves and others, find their voice, become autonomous, and make a difference in the world, girls learn to stay silent and not make a fuss. Dr Radin wants to change that, and give middle school girls the tools they need to become the powerful, passionate and confident leaders of the future. That’s why she founded Unleashed, a charity that “empowers adolescent girls to recognize their power, learn to embrace it, and use it effectively by taking a stand against an injustice they are passionate about, and advocating for animal rights and welfare in the process.”
Drawing extensively from her experience with Unleashed (so much so that at times the book feels as an ad for the charity, but an ad that will want to make your daughter enroll in it as soon as possible) and the latest research, Dr Robin teaches parents, teachers, and caretakers how they can empower young women. She explains the negative effects sexism and gender inequalities have on both a girl’s healthy development and the society she lives in, and provides valuable tips on how to fix these problems. They include teaching young girls how to manage their emotions and conflicts, how to value differences, and how to communicate and say what they mean without fear of rejection. It’s a very compelling and engaging read and one I highly recommend to anyone who wants to help create a more egalitarian world.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

Always in Fashion: From Clerk to CEO — Lessons for Success in Business and in Life by Mark Weber
Mark Weber started his career as a clerk in a clothing store, and quickly climbed up the career ladder, becoming first the CEO of Phillips-VanHeusen (PVH)/Calvin Klein and then CEO of LVMH Inc. (USA) (Louis Vuitton/ Moet Hennessy) and Chairman and CEO of Donna Karan International. In Always In Fashion, he explains how he did. Part memoir and part career guide, in each short chapter Mark shares one or more of his experiences in the industry and tells readers how they can implement what he learned so they too can work their way up. Lessons include how to select a career path, prepare for an interview, stand out from your co-workers, learn from your mistakes, figure out when to walk away from a deal, how to look for a new job after you’ve been let go by your old company, how to mentor talented people, and a lot more.
Although short, the book is packed with insights, tips, and advice that anyone, from any industry, can implement to succeed in their career. It is fast-paced, highly engaging, and very informative. Although you can easily finish it in a couple of days, you’ll want to consult it again and again. Regardless of what problems you have in your career, or in which potion you are currently in, you’ll find a pearl of wisdom to help you out in here. Highly recommended.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

Second Chance: for Your Money, Your Life and Our World by Robert T. Kiyosaki
How did we get into the current economic mess? And how can we get out of it? Robert T Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, tries to answer both questions in his new book, Second Chance: For Your Monet, Your Life, And Our World. The book is divided in three parts: Past, Present, and Future. In the first part, the author explains what he believes to be the causes of the present crisis. He mentions the laws passed in the United States that are having a disastrous effect on the economy, and explains how the banking and monetary systems are rigged against the working and middle classes, and, most important of all, how lack of financial education in school is keeping the vast majority of people poor by preventing them from making smart financial choices. He also warns us that there’s gonna be another big crash in 2016, so, if you put your money in the stock market, be careful. I admit sometimes his theories are weak (the author relies too much on Wikipedia as a source), but his advice to invest a part of your money at least in the primary and secondary (real estate, primary resources, gold, and your own business) rather than tertiary (financial market) sources of wealth makes a lot of sense.
The second part is the shortest. It explains what is happening at the moment. Finally, the third and last part provides some solutions for the present crisis. These solutions are drawn from Kiyosaki’s personal experience, the advice from his rich dad (some of which overlaps what he wrote in his first book) and R. Buckminster Fuller. Fuller believed that humanity is at a critical stage in the evolutionary process. To survive, we must choose generosity over greediness. “The Great Spirit wants all humans to be rich,” he said. Some of the tips the author provides in this section can seem too risky and insane to some people, but they work. Kikoysaki explains how the right kind of debt can make you rich, how living below your means only keeps you poor (instead, you should look for ways to expand your income), and urges us, rather than look for a job, to look for problems that need solving and find ways to serve as many people as possible. He also believes we should stop asking God for help, and start looking for ways to help God help us. In other words, he’s telling us how the rich are making their money. You know the saying. If you can’t beat them, join them.
My only problem with the book is that it’s too short. It just skims the surface of the problem and solution, rather than examining the topics in-depth. Kiyosaki has a knack for explaining complicated financial concepts in an easy to understand manner, but I think this time he oversimplified a bit too much. Having said, I highly recommend this book to everyone who wants to improve his/her financial situation. It will help you change your mindset about money and find ways to make money work for you, rather than the other way around.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 3.5/5

What do you think of these books?

Disclaimer: this book was sent by PR for consideration. In addition, this post contains affiliate links.

Book Reviews: Victorian Murderesses, The Marriage Game, & Creating Business Plans

Hello everyone,

I have read and reviewed three more books for you. Enjoy!

Victorian Murderesses: A True History of Thirteen Respectable French and English Women Accused of Unspeakable Crimes by Mary S. Hartman
If you’re interested in gruesome crime tales, where every detail of the murders is minutely and vividly described, this book is not for you. If you’re expecting a light, scandalous, and sensationalist account of each crime, you’ll be disappointed too. Instead, you’ll get something much, much better. In Victorian Murderesses, Hartman uses the stories of 13 British and French ladies accused of murder to take a close look at the role women had in Victorian society, what influence that society had on their lives, how this led to them being accused, something erroneously, of murder, and the impact society’s view on women had on the outcomes of their trials. The result is fascinating and will completely change your views on women’s lives in the 19th century.
The crimes are only briefly described. Instead, the author focuses on the backgrounds of these women to examine what kind of lives they led, and why they felt they had no option but to commit murder or why they were so easily, albeit wrongly, cast in the role of murderesses. The book is divided in six parts, each of which discusses two cases (one involved two women) that have similarities in common. The cases are listed in chronological order, which allows the readers to see how much the situation of women, and the problems they faced, changed throughout the course of the 19th century. This is also useful to understand how different life for women in England, were they began to emancipate themselves much sooner, and France was.
The book is beautifully written, meticulously researched, and extensively noted. It’s a long, scholarly, read, but a very engrossing one too. Yes, it has poison, guns, sex, intrigue, and plots, but these were only small parts of the women’s lives, and, unless they were a huge part of their motives, they remain firmly in the background.
Victorian Murderesses is definitely one of the most compelling books that I have read this year. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the lives of Victorian women as well as crime.
Available: Amazon
Rating: 4.5/5

The Marriage Game by Alison Weir
No one ever played the marriage game better than Elizabeth I. Although the Virgin Queen never had any real intentions of getting married, she was great at manipulating all her suitors, be they powerful foreign princes or ambitious English noblemen (including her beloved Robert Dudley), promising them her hand in marriage and then drawing out the negotiations endlessly as a means to secure peace and advantages to England. This is the subject of this book, which starts where The Lady Elizabeth left off, with a young Elizabeth just ascended to the throne.
The first couple of chapters were really boring and slow, with endless discussions about why Elizabeth should get married and very little else. I was almost ready to stop reading, but I’m glad I didn’t. Although her councillors, especially Cecil, attempt till the end of her childbearing years to force her to get married to someone (anyone, really), all the problems and events that occurred during her long reign, such as the many plots to put Mary, Queen of Scots, on the throne, the invincible armada, and Elizabeth’s visit at Dudley’s residence Kenilworth Castle, help speed the plot along and add drama and intrigue to the story.
But the book is also a love story of Elizabeth and Robert Dudley, describing the blossoming of the amorous relationship, and its deterioration as Robert’s resentment at Elizabeth’s constant promises and refusals to marry him grew. But throughout their ups and downs, the two never stopped loving each other.
I also loved Elizabeth’s portrayal. She’s capricious, jealous, and selfish, but she’s also loyal to those she loves and to her subjects and is always striving to do her best for them. She’s a clever and skilled diplomat, but also a woman with deep emotional wounds and fears that prevent her from going through with a marriage plan even when it seems the best choice for her and her country. In the end, the choice to remain a Virgin Queen may have been the right one, but it is clear that has cost her a lot.
Although slow at the beginning, the book is well-written. Weir makes Elizabeth, Robert, Cecil, and the Tudor court, with its intrigues and plots, ambitious upstarts and faithful councillors, come to life. A few times, Weir slipped back into her non-fictional style, telling rather than describing what happened during a certain year. But these slips are, luckily, few and short. Weir tends to be quite faithful to the historical record, although, like all novelists, she takes a few liberties. When she did so, she explained her reasons in an appendix at the end of the book.
The Marriage Game isn’t for everyone. If you like fast-paced novels full of plots, secrecy and intrigue, this will likely disappoint you. Instead, this is a novel of Elizabeth’s relationship with Dudley, her endless negotiations with her many suitors, and her deeply-rooted fears of marriage. If you always thought someone should have written a novel about that, you should definitely pick up this book.
Available at: amazon
Rating: 4/5

Creating Business Plans by Harvard Business Review
If you’re thinking of starting a business or just proposing a new initiative within your organization, then you need a business plans. Without a good, well-crafted one, it’s unlikely that you’ll get much, if any, support. But creating a good business plan is a difficult, even daunting task. Where to start? By picking up a copy of Creative Business Plans. Part of the 20 Minute Manager series, this is a short book that covers all the basics, such as how to present your idea clearly, how to develop a good business plan, how to project rewards as well as risks, and how to anticipate any concerns your audience may have. It briefly but throughout explains what you should put in each section and then shows you an example of a business plan for a made-up company that you can use to model your own business plan on. Each chapter is straight-to-the-point, so you don’t need to navigate through a lot of jibber jabber to find the information you need. Highly recommended.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4.5/5

Are you going to pick up any of these?

Disclaimer: I received these books in exchange for my honest opinion. In addition, this post contains affiliate links.

Book Reviews: Six Steps To Small Business Success & The Power Of Noticing

Hello everyone,

I have two books reviews for your today. Enjoy!

Six Steps to Small Business Success: How to Start, Manage, and Sell Your Business by Bert Doerhoff, David Lucier, Lowell Lillge, R. Sean Manning, C. Gregory Orcutt
Starting and running a business is a lot more difficult than it sounds. It’s not just about creating a product and advertising it to your clients. There are a lot of legal and financial issues that you’ll have to deal with. Books on the topic abound, but they usually discuss the best practices for large business, which are different from those smaller business, with smaller budgets and smaller revenues, should implement. To help you navigate these complex issues, five American CPAs have joined forced and written Six Steps to Small Business Success: How to Start, Manage, and Sell Your Business.
It is a small guide that covers all the different stages of your business and the different challenges you will face during each of them. So, it begins by discussing everything you need to know before starting a business, how to create a financial plan and budget, how to hire, deal with, and compensate your employees, how to manage your marketing operations and customers, how to sell your business, and what to do with your life afterwards. A lot of their advice focuses on the legal requirements that must be met, the taxes that must be paid, and a thousand more things that we tend to ignore until our accountant or lawyer brings them up. This book could be useful even for those professionals, as it offers them a starting point to explain complicate issues to their clients in a way they will easily understand.
But if the style is clear and straightforward, it is often a bit dry too. Although each author has its own writing style, none of them use a colloquial one. Instead, their keep their writing professional and quite formal. In other words, they write like you’d expect CPAs to, but without all that convoluted lingo that makes it impossible for anyone to understand them. Having said that, I haven’t found a book that covers so much useful information for small business owners and, as the aim of the book is to educate rather than entertain, I think this it deserves a place in your library. It will definitely make starting, running, and selling your business much easier.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

The Power of Noticing: What the Best Leaders See by Max H. Bazerman
Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Paedophilia in the Catholic Church. The 9/11 terrorist attacks. The current economic crisis. The devastation of hurricane Katrina. How could all these horrible events be allowed to happen without anyone noticing anything and taking the appropriate precautions? Especially as all these events, as has been proved afterwards, were all predictable and could have been if not avoided, at least mitigated? We often blame the leader of an organization or a specific group of people for these disasters, accusing them of greed or selfishness. And sometimes that’s true. But, as Max H. Bazerman, a Harvard Business School Professor, points out in this book we, as human beings, are programme to miss or ignore certain details, even important ones. For instance, we are less likely to discover frauds when they happen slowly overtime.
In each chapter, Bazerman discusses real life events and experiments designed in his executive MBA classes to identify the mistakes leaders made, what they failed to notice, and why. Then, he gives useful suggestions to prevent that from happening again. This last part, though, is quite short. Bazerman prefers to teach you by example through case studies and experiments than by a boring list of instructions or do’s and don’ts. Some people will love this approach, while others may feel like something is missing.
Of course, this book is not just for politicians, CEOs, or leaders of an organization. We should all learn to notice what didn’t happen as well as what happened, how to acknowledge self-interest, how to recognize who is really to blame for a disaster, and how our attention is easily diverted and manipulated by advertisers, politicians, and anyone who wants to convince us to follow their agenda even when it goes against our own interests. This will help us make smarter choices, such as buying from retailers that sell safer products (did you know that Blitz, the company that made gas cans that sometimes exploded, hurting or killing people, was workingon  an improved design to fix the problem, but had to ax it when Walmart refused to sell it because it would slightly increase the price?), or coming up with new solutions to fix an old problem, or simply noticing what sellers aren’t telling us when they’re trying to get us to buy something. Just by asking why people are acting the way the do and thinking ahead to what they may do next may help us make the right decision and prevent bad things from happening.
Maybe it’s because Bazerman is a professor, but the writing style, although clear and straightforward, is somewhat formal and, at times, especially when he discusses the financial aspects of frauds, a bit dry. I would have preferred a more colloquial approach, as it would have made the book flow better. Despite this small fault, though, this is a book that everyone should read. It will make you realise how much you’re not noticing and teach you how to fix that so that you can make smarter choices both in your professional and personal lives.
Available at: amazon
Rating: 4/5

What do you think of these books?

Disclaimer: this book was sent by PR for consideration. In addition, this post contains affiliate links.

Book Reviews: Irene A Designer From The Golden Age Of Hollywood, Robert The Bruce, & One Size Never Fits All

Hello everyone,

ready for today’s reviews? Let’s get started then:

Irene: A Designer from the Golden Age of Hollywood: The MGM Years 1942-49 by Frank Billecci and Lauranne Fisher
In the Golden Age of Hollywood, actresses were the epitomes of timeless elegance and sophistication. That was, in part, due to the very talented but troubled designer Irene Lentz-Gibbons, who created countless looks for the big screen before moving on and starting her own label, Irene Inc. But if you’re looking for a full, in-depth biography of this remarkable woman, you won’t find it here.
Irene: A Designer from the Golden Age of Hollywood: The MGM Years 1942-49 is a short volume that focuses on Irene’s time at MGM. Based on interviews of people who knew Irene well, unprecedented access to her records, and the memories of her personal artist, Virginia Fisher, the book reveals what it was like to work for such a big study in the ’40s, and the friendships, politics, and backstabbing that took place behind the scenes. It’s peppered with anecdotes about the movie stars of the era, who often sought reassurance from Irene, and glimpses into her tragic personal life, marred by the loss of her first husband, the love of her life, and alcoholism.
Although chapters are short, they are widely illustrated. The book is full of photos of Irene and her staff and of sketches of designs created by the designer for the many movies she worked on, including some that were never used. They are absolutely gorgeous.
If you’re a fan of Irene, fashion, or Hollywood’s Golden Age, you can’t miss this book. It deserves a place in your library.
Available at: amazon
Rating: 4/5

Robert the Bruce: King of the Scots by Michael Penman
My science teacher in high school loved his subject and knew it inside out. You couldn’t fault his knowledge. But you could fault the way he imparted it to his students. He would just enter the classroom, make sure we were all present, and then he’d started talking, piling science facts one upon the other, using always the same dry and monotonous tone of voice, for the next 50 minutes. As a result, me and most of my classmates really struggled in his subject.
What has all this got to do with Robert the Bruce? It’s simple. Michael Penman reminds me of my science teacher. He knows and loves his subject, but he doesn’t communicate it clearly. Rather than telling the story of what Robert did after Bannockburn (the book is supposed to focus on that, although the first chapters cover his struggle to be recognized as king before that battle), he chooses to pile facts upon facts upon facts, which makes, at time, for some very dry reading. Worse, some of these facts, such as the endless lists of land transfers from Robert’s enemies to his allies, are irrelevant and disrupt the narrative of the book while also leaving no room for important background information. For instance, in the first part of the book, where Robert and Comyn are both battling for the throne, the author doesn’t mention what right the latter had to it. He also often introduces new characters (and there are plenty of them) into the story without giving us much information about them. As a result, if you’re not already familiar with the history of the time period, you’ll often feel lost and confused.
Having said that, this book isn’t all bad. It is clear that Penman has done his research. The book is extensively noted and debunks common myths about Bruce. Therefore, it would be an interesting read for scholars and students of this period looking for accurate information about Rober’s kingship after Bannockburn. But casual readers wouldn’t enjoy it much.
Available at: amazon
Rating: 3/5

One Size Never Fits All: Business Development Strategies Tailored for Women (and Most Men) by Arin N. Reeves
Only a very small number of women hired by professional firms makes it to the top and becomes a leader of the organizations they work for. Why is that? According to Reeves, it’s because most firms continue to encourage the use of traditional business development strategies, which were created and developed by men and thus focus on their strengths. But women (and some men) are different, and these tactics simply don’t work for them.
That’s when the shoes come in. Doesn’t matter how talented a player you are, if you play basketball wearing shoes that don’t fit your feet, you’re gonna perform poorly and maybe even cost the team the match. Yet, this is exactly what women are been asked to do every day. And when they fail, they feel frustrated and start doubting their abilities. But these women are very talented, qualified and competent. They’re just not well equipped for the game they are playing. Just like a player needs the right shoe size, women need to use tactics that work for them.
After explaining why traditional strategies aren’t working for women, Reeves proposes a series of alternative approaches that both firms and women, on their own, can adopt to develop business and thrive in their careers. It’s not going to be easy. Business development is closely linked to money and privileges, and those who are enjoying them won’t let them go without a fight. But change is possible. Reeves’s strategies are simple and customizable, allowing each woman to pick and adapt those that best suit her personality and strength, bringing home results that their bosses and partners simply won’t be able to ignore.
If you’re a woman or a man struggling with business development, or a boss who wants to see the women in his/her organization thrive, I highly recommend you pick up this book. It may transform your life.
Available at: amazon
Rationg: 4/5

Which of these books would you like to read?

Disclaimer: this book was sent by PR for consideration. In addition, this post contains affiliate links.

Tradesmen's Token: Toy Tavern in Hampton Court

In times of acute shortage of coins, English traders issued their own bona fide private coins to enable their trading activities to proceed. The Gentleman’s Magazine, a Victorian magazine, wrote a series of articles on some of these tokens and the businesses that issued them. I thought it’d be nice to share those stories with you, so let’s see what the magazine wrote about the Toy Tavern, a once very famous tavern in Hampton Court, and its token, shall we?

THE Toy Tavern at Hampton Court is one of the most ancient in England. It was a flourishing hostelry in the days of James I, and there is reason for believing it existed during the dynasty of the Tudors. It formerly stood close to the water-side, between the bridge-foot and the palace gates; but in 1840 the old building, being in a ruinous state, was taken down, and the name and business removed to its present position, opposite the Green or ancient tilting-ground, only a few hundred yards west of its former site. There has been some difficulty in ascertaining the origin of this singular designation “The Toy”.

As the house lay close to the river, bordering the towing-path, it has been suggested that the name might be traced to this circumstance. On the other hand, it has been supposed that the original sign was “The Hoy” (which would be appropriate enough for a water-side tavern) and was gradually clipped or abbreviated, in the patois of the west-country bargemen, into “T’oy”. But in Miss Strickland’s “Lives of the Queens of England” (Anne of Denmark vol vii p. 461) an explanation of the origin of this name is given, which there can be little doubt is the true one. “Fronting the royal stables (now appertaining to the Toy Hotel) is a small triangular plain. This plain in the era of the Tudors and Stuarts was the tilting-place, and indeed the playground of the adjoining palace. Here used to be set up moveable fences, made of net-work, called toils or tois, used in those games in which barriers were needed, from whence the name of the stately hostel on the green is derived.”

This is borne out by a passage in the Rev. D. Lysons’s “Middlesex Parishes”. “In the survey in 1653 (preserved in the Augmentation Office) mention is made of a piece of pasture-ground near the river, called the Toying Place; the site probably of a well known-inn near the bridge, now called ‘The Toy'”. This tavern stands directly facing the ancient Tilting or Toying Place, now commonly called Hampton Court Green, one side of which is bordered by “Frog-walk”*. The stables attached to it formerly belonged to the palace, and their dull and gloomy architecture contrasts strangely with the stately and handsome facade of the tavern. In these stables we may suppose the horses were housed, and the Tois kept prepared for the tilts and equestrian games which were held opposite; so that the present position and property of “The Toy” are in singular harmony with the origin of its name.

William III, who lived much at Hampton Court, patronized the Toy, and was in the habit of giving periodical rump-steak dinners to his Dutoh courtiers at the tavern, terminating no doubt with a glorious consumption of tobacco. It is well known that the king and his Dutch friends had an ardent passion for smoking, which was probably forbidden to be indulged within the palace walls. John Drewry, who issued this token, adopted the heart-shape; it is undated, but must have been struck between 1648 and 1672, the period to which this species of currency was limited. We have delineated, among our former examples, specimens of the square and the octagon. These were all departures from the ordinary circular form, and were probably devised to attract notice.

* This is noticed in the “Lives of the Queens of England,” vol xi p 49. “The queen (Mary II) took up her residence at Hampton Court permanently for the summer in July 1689. She took a great deal of exercise, and used to promenade, at a great pace, up and down the long straight walk, under the wall of Hampton Court, nearly opposite the Toy. As her Majesty was attended by her Dutch maids of honour, or English ladies naturalized in Holland, the common people who gazed on their foreign garb and mien named this promenade “Frow walk”: it is now deeply shadowed with enormous elms and chestnuts, the frogs from the neighbouring Thames, to which it slants, occasionally choosing to recreate themselves there; and the name of Frow-walk is now lost in that of Frog-walk.”

Further reading:
The Gentleman’s Magazine