Tag Archives: self-help

Book Reviews: Headlines Headaches and the Human Condition, Talk RX, & What You Can When You Can

Hello everyone,

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

Headlines, Headaches and the Human Condition by Steve Whiddett
This book sounded very promising. In the blurb, the author argues that, although the media would have us believe that only bad people do bad things and only stupid people do stupid things, we all do bad and stupid things sometimes, often as a result of both internal and external factors that influence, often without us even realising it, our behaviour. They are not done out of malice or ignorance, but due to the use of normal processes to deal with different situations that have helped us survive for thousands of years but don’t work anymore in our modern society. If we understand them, we could prevent a lot of headaches and headlines.
To make his point, Whiddet explores what caused both some of the main events widely reported by the papers, like the banking crisis, and some of his everyday headaches, problems that he caused for himself. Problem is, he only skims the surface. None of the concepts he outlines in the book are discussed in depth, and therefore only give us the most basic understanding of these topics. And that often amounts to good old common sense.
Yet, despite their shortness, the chapters are hard to follow. The blurb says the book is written “using everyday language”, but I don’t know anyone who speaks in such an academic, convoluted way. Maybe in academic circles, but not everywhere else. As a result, his message often gets lost, forcing the reader to read the same passage two or three times to grasp what he is trying to say.
And that’s a shame. The information in this book is both useful and insightful. It just needs to be better presented. Each chapter should be fully developed in an engaging, almost colloquial style that would both entertain and educate. Should this book get a second edition where its flaws are corrected, I would highly recommend it. As it is, it falls short on too many levels.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 3/5

Talk Rx: Five Steps to Honest Conversations That Create Connection, Health, and Happiness by Neha Sangwan M.D.
Did you know that poor, dishonest conversations can negatively affect your physical health? Dr Neha Sangwan noticed this while working at a hospital. Although she had been trained to treat only the physical symptoms, she realised that most of the diseases and illnesses her patients were suffering from were either caused or made much worse by stress. So, she became curious, and startied asking her patients what else was wrong in their lives. “The same issues resurfaced: Unresolved conflict. Unmet expectations. Misunderstandings. Broken promises. Unspoken truth. Heartbreak. Fractured relationships. Separation and Loss. Confusion. Depression. Unhappiness. Somewhere along the way, their communication with lovers, with friends, with co-workers, with family, with themselves—had broken down, and they were unable to bridge the gap. And it had almost killed them.” Once they realised the connection between their physical and emotional well-being, and took steps to fix the relationships with their loved ones that had deteriorated, their health improved. Even when their illness was a fatal one, this new insight gave them the motivation and the tools to vastly improve the quality of their lives during their last months.
Although communication seems simple (aren’t we all doing it every day?), it is rarely honest. We refuse to have conversations that are difficult or unpleasant, lie or simply don’t tell the whole truth for fear that others won’t like us anymore if we were completely honest, and often misunderstand what other people are saying (did you ever think you had come to an agreement with someone only for her to tell you she hadn’t committed after all?). This book provides all the tools on how to have and navigate those conversations. Dr Sangwan helps you listen to your body’s signals to better manage stress, articulate your frustrations and desires effectively, understand and handle your emotions, and much more. Her book is full of powerful insights and tips that can help improve your communication with other people and, as a result, help you live a better life. Highly recommended.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

What You Can When You Can: Healthy Living on Your Terms by Roni Noone and Carla Birnberg
We all know we should exercise more, eat healthily, and just take better care of ourselves. But doing that is another matter entirely. Good intentions aren’t enough to change the bad habits that prevent us from being as healthy as we can be and achieve our goals and dreams. So what should we do? What we can, when we can.
Perfectionism, trying to achieve everything well straight away, doesn’t work. It just makes you feel bad about ourself and give up. Instead, you should acknowledge that you are human. That there can be a thousand reasons why we made that misstep, and that you should be compassionate toward yourself. And then look for opportunities to do something that brings you closer to your goals. Didn’t have time to go to the gym this afternoon? No worries. Take a walk after dinner. Indulged too much at dinner? Have something healthy for breakfast the next day. Don’t give up on your good intentions just because you have made a misstep. Do what you can, when you can, at your time, in the situation you are in. That’s the #wycwyc (pronounced wickwick) philosophy. And it applies to anything, not just eating and exercising.
This book helps you shift your mindset from one of perfectionism to one of realistic expectations and compassion, and offers lots of practical tips on how you can live the #wycwyc life, one little step at a time. Its message is simple, but very powerful. And conveyed in a compassionate, friendly tone that makes you feel like you’re just talking to friends. Highly recommended.
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: Activate Your Brain & HBR's 10 Must Reads on Emotional Intelligence

Hello everyone,

I have some interesting history books to share with you soon, but today let’s talk about a last couple ones about self-help and business. Enjoy!

Activate Your Brain: How Understanding Your Brain Can Improve Your Work – and Your Life by Scott G. Halford
Would you like to harness the full power of your brain so that you can improve your life and work? Then go grab a copy of Activate Your Brain, a helpful guide that will help you navigate your brain and make the most of it. Halford starts by describing our three brains, which are responsible for our automated, emotional and logical functions, how they work, and how our brain acts differently depending on whether it feels threatened or in control.
Of course, it’s when it is unthreatened and in control that our brains function best. How to reach that state? The next three sections explain exactly that. Halford shares the foods our brain needs to function properly, the importance of exercise and sleep, how to reduce stress and build stamina, use focus and willpower to reach our goals, create a sense of meaning and significance in our life, and a lot more.
Halford has a knack for simplifying complicated neuroscientific concepts, making them easily accessible and comprehensible to everyone. And his many practical tips to put what you’ve learned in practice are easy to do and incorporate into your daily life. That way you can improve your brain health and, as a result, make better personal and professional decisions. Highly recommended.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Emotional Intelligence by Harvard Business Review
To be a great leader, you need more than an analytic mind, a decisive personality, and a big track record of accomplishments. You also need emotional intelligence. Although still grossly undervalued in the business world, teams that are lead by emotionally intelligent leaders tend to perform much better, and achieve bigger and better results faster. Luckily, emotionally intelligence can be learned.
The guys at Harvard Business Review have combed through hundreds of articles in their archive and selected ten to help you improve your emotional intelligent, and, as a result, your career. They explain what emotional intelligence is and what traits you must cultivate to boost yours, the importance of resilience, how to understand your strengths and weakness as well as your values and goals, how to manage your and your teams’ emotions to avoid conflicts, how to make empathetic and smart decisions, and much more.
The articles are short, but informative and insightful. They feature several examples of leaders who got it right and others that, with their emotional ignorance, have hurt their team, preventing them from reaching their goals. They also include lots of useful and practical tips on how you can boost your people’s skills. Of course, reading about them isn’t enough. You have to put them in practice too. But if you need help and don’t know where to start, get a copy of this book. You’ll be glad you did.
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: The Emotionally Sensitive Person, Writing Great Books For Young Adults, The Little Book Of Big PR, & The Little Red Book Of PR Wisdom

Hello everyone,

ready for today’s reviews? I have four for you today. Here we go:


The Emotionally Sensitive Person: Finding Peace When Your Emotions Overwhelm You by Karyn D. Hall PhD
Do you experience things more intensely than those around you? Can you feel other people’s pain or joy? Are you easily overwhelmed by your emotions? Do you react to them too quickly without thinking about the consequences? Are you often told “you are too sensitive”? Then, this book is for you.
Hypersensitivity is a real condition that causes those affected by it to be more sensitive to both internal and external stimuli. While this has its pros (emotionally sensitive people are usually more aware and creative), when not managed properly, hypersensitivity can have debilitating consequences, including poor health, emotional instability, and relationship problems. Luckily, there are many techniques and strategies emotionally sensitive people can use to help them manage their emotions.
This book starts with a quiz that will help you figure out if you are an emotionally sensitive person. After that, each chapter concentrates on one aspect of hypersensitivity, explaining how it can affect your life and what strategy you can adopt to address it. Most of the exercises and remedies proposed are based on cognitive behavioural therapy and mindless practices. They help you become more aware of your emotions and modify your reactions to them so that you can better deal with them.
The book is written in a simple., straightforward style that’s both engaging and easy to understand for both professionals and laymen alike. I highly recommend it.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

Writing Great Books For Young Adults: Everything You Need to Know, from Crafting the Idea to Landing a Publishing Deal by Regina Brooks
Young adult books are very popular right now. If you are thinking of penning one or already have and are now shopping around for a publisher, I highly encourage you to pick up a copy of this book. Drawing from her experience as a literary agent, Regina Brooks breaks down the whole process, from developing ideas to submitting queries to agents, into easy to implement steps. Each chapter deals with a different, major, area, such as theme, character development, setting, satisfactory endings, finding the right agent, and lots more.
But if you’re looking for a magic formula to create the next Harry Potter or Twilight books, you’ll be disappointing. No one can write a novel or nonfiction book for you. What Brooks does is simply provide some guidelines and explain what attracts young adults agents and readers and what makes them throw your book in the trash instead. But, of course, you can always disregard her advice and do your own thing. But in that case, you’ll better do it well and be innovative and original.
Brooks writes in a straightforward and engaging way that informs you without boring. There is nothing preachy or condescending about her advice. At times, she may seem a bit harsh, but that’s because she’s honest. As an agent, she rejects many manuscripts every day, and she wants to make sure yours isn’t one of them.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

The Little Book of Big PR: 100+ Quick Tips to Get Your Business Noticed by Jennefer Witter
Any business needs good PR to thrive. Too many, though, believe they don’t have the money for it. If that’s you, you may want to read The Little Book Of Big PR. In it, Witter explains how you can get your unfair share of attention without spending a lot of money. She shares more than 100 tips on any aspect of public relations you need to attract attention to your business, such as branding, media relations, social media, networking, and, for those with bigger budgets who need some extra help, selecting a good PR agency. Each chapter also features a case study to show you how a company thrived after putting these tips into practice.
You don’t have to follow all these tips. Not everything will apply to you. And in some areas, you may already be an expert. Just pick and choose those you believe will be more helpful for your situation and the goal you have in mind. If you already are a pro at PR, you will already be familiar with most of the advice, but there are so many tips here that you’ll probably learn a thing or two too.
The book is short and concise. Witter doesn’t waste time chit-chatting, but goes straight to the point. Yet the tone is engaging and will keep your attention throughout the end. Highly recommended.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

The Little Red Book Of PR Wisdom by Brian Johnson
If The Little Book Of Big PR is aimed at small business owners wanting to attract attention to their products, The Little Red Book Of PR Wisdom is written for PR novices who’d like to learn how to work with the media to successfully promote their clients. Johnson teaches you how to write a press release that won’t be binned straight away, how to contact the right people for your campaign, how to answer interview questions, how to repair a damaged reputation, how to use social media and a lot more. He also debunks common mistakes about PR and shares the most common mistakes novices make… and how to fix them.
Each chapter is short, concise and entertaining. Johnson doesn’t preach. On the contrary, his witty style will teach you a few useful techniques and make you laugh at the same time. Each chapter is also full of case studies as well as anecdotes from the author’s experience in the world of PR. Each one closes with advice from journalists, editors, and producers. These are the people who decide whether to publish or bin your story, so heed what they say! Practical, fun, and informative, this is a book anyone who is thinking of, or has just started, a career in PR should read.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 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.

Book Reviews: A People's History Of The French Revolution, Italian Venice, & The Love Lies

Hello everyone,

it’s time for some more book reviews. Here we go:

A People’s History of the French Revolution by Eric Hazan
Can good intentions and high ideals justify bloody revolutions and the murder of thousands of innocent people? Eric Hazan certainly thinks so. Committed to the idea of equality at any costs, his highly partisan account of the French revolution is little more than a defence of Robespierre and the Jacobins. Hazan constantly refers to King Louis XVI as a tyrant, yet he doesn’t like the same term to be applied to Robespierre, because the many decision of the Committee of Public Safety were taken collectively. He believes the elimination of the Girondins, most of whom perished on the guillotine, was necessary. The Terror, in his opinion, was an invention of the Thermidorians, and its ferocity was nothing compared to that of the White Terror that followed the Jacobin’s fall (of course that’s when the book ends, so if you’re not familiar with this period in French history you just have to take his word for it). The atrocities committed by the revolutionaries, such as the massacre in the Vendee, are played down, while the unjustifiably cruel treatment the royal family was submitted to completely absent. The trials and deaths of the King and Queen are barely mentioned.

Instead, what you get is a long list of facts and speeches, speeches and facts. Rather than concentrating on the most famous moments of the French revolution, Hazan chronicles it all, mentioning little known occurrences and events than don’t make it in most books on the same topic. But, mostly, A People’s History Of The French Revolution is full of speeches of the political figures of the time, such as Robespierre and Danton, and short extracts from revolutionary newspapers such as Hebert’s Pere Duchense. The speeches are both beautiful and terrifying. Beautiful because their orators declaimed high ideals and defended the rights of the poor, and terrifying because they are full of hatred towards anyone considered an enemy and propose violent measures to be taken towards those who aren’t deemed revolutionary enough. I thought Hazen chose those to make me, the reader, feel like the revolutionaries were a bunch of good folks who had to do bad things for the greater good, but if so he failed. To me they were just a bunch of arrogant narcissists who believed that only their opinions and ideals were right and who were willing to commit all sorts of bloody and treacherous acts to implement them.
There really isn’t much commentary here, though. Hazan is no historian and doesn’t try to explain what happened. He just presents you with facts and speeches that fit his agenda. He doesn’t even shares brief biographies of the main protagonists and revolutionaries, making it difficult for the reader to understand why they acted they way they did.
These speeches serve another function too. The endless lists of facts, condensed in such a short space, makes the book quite a dry read at times. The speeches, with all their zeal and fervour, instead, help it to flow more easily.
Even so, students of the French revolution may find it an interesting read. The events are related mostly in chronological order, which is helpful, and full of details neglected by most authors, so you’ll learn something new. I just wish the book provided a more balanced view of the Revolution.,
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 2/5

Italian Venice: A History by R J B Bosworth
Italian Venice tells the story of this beautiful city from the fall of the republic to the present day. We discover what Venetians felt like at being annexed to the Italian kingdom, the glamour and squalor that both existed during the Belle Epoque, how the city fared during two world wars, how it struggled during Fascism, and how it is coping with the tourism boom of the more recent years.
The many tourists that are pour into the city every day is one of the two main problems modern Venice has to face. The other is depopulation. Very few Venetians still live in the city, and most own their living to the tourists, yet rather than being grateful, they are resentful. To what extent, I had no idea before reading this book. I was appalled by the proposals politicians, supported by the people, suggested to greatly reduce tourism in the city. You’d think that at a time of crisis like this, they’d be eager to attract the money tourists bring into the city, but apparently not. They’d rather be jobless. Go figure. Luckily, these laws haven’t been approved yet, but it is disheartening to see how efforts to modernize the city and bring money to it are constantly thwarted.
That’s because there is a “war” between people who want to bring new life to the city by “exploiting” its artistic and historic patrimony, and those who want Venetia to remain com’era e dov’era (how it was and where it was). That’s a dying city that will soon become a ghost one if the latter group has its way. Don’t get me wrong. I believe that it is important to conserve a city’s historical heritage, but many cities manage to do this while changing with the times, so I can’t see why Venetia can’t do the same.
Although the book is interesting, I also found it hard to read. It is so full of facts and all the important personalities who lived in Venice that it’s hard to keep up. In his effort to not miss any details, Bosworth packs too much into this book, which makes for a dry reads at times. I often had to stop because I was having trouble absorbing what I was reading. Still, if you’re interested in the history of Italian Venice, or want to understand why and how it is slowly dying, you may want to pick up this book.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 3/5

The Love Lies: 10 Revelations That Will Transform Your Relationships and Enrich Your Love Life by Debrena Jackson Gandy
Making a relationship work is hard work. Despite being bombarded by experts giving us all kinds of advice on how to create successful relationships that last the test of time, more often than not they end up in painful breakups and divorces. Why? According to Debrena Gandy, it’s because this advice only treats the symptoms, not the cause. The cause, according to the author, is a series of lies that have been instilled into us from the moment we’re born. They include, to name a few, “women need a man to complete them”, “we only have one soul mate”, and “self-love is optional”. She then proceeds to debunk these myths and gives readers tips on what to do instead. The book is also full of exercises that will help you put them in practice.
While I agree with most of the advice given in this book (so not on board with the whole female leadership and male headship idea that says women can influence men but must leave to them the ultimate decision), I didn’t always enjoy the way it was delivered. I found the writing style very confusing. It is a mix of scientific, spiritual, new age, and plain weird jargon. One moment Debrena admits she got these lies as “spiritual downloads directly from God,” then she cites some scientific study to back up her theory, then she explains a passage from the Bible, and finally she refers to the vagina as “goodness”. Books are usually written with one type of reader in mind, but I’m not sure who the intended reader for this one was. I guess she was trying to please everyone, a strategy that always backfires.
Would I recommend this book? Only to those who don’t have a problem with this mix of different styles. Everyone else will find it hard to relate to the author and her message.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 3/5

Have you read these books?

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

Book Reviews: Sacred Success, The Millionaire Wage Slave, Super Job Search, & Brainscripts For Sales Success

Hello everyone,

it’s time for some more reviews. Ready? Here we go:

Sacred Success: A Course in Financial Miracles by Barbara Stanny
This is not your usual finance book. It doesn’t provide lots of tips and suggestions on how you can budget, manage, and invest your money. In fact, that stuff is barely mentioned in one brief chapter. That’s because, before you implement any money strategy, you need to do some groundwork and develop the right mindset. If your beliefs about money are wrong, they’ll get in the way of your financial success. And most women have the wrong idea about money. Wealth, and the power that comes with it, often scare women and put them off. We may all dream of being rich, but we all worry that, should we ever become wealthy, we’ll also become bitches, that no one will love us anymore, or that we won’t have enough time to spend with our loved ones, busy as we are with making money. These beliefs are wrong, but as long as we believe them, we won’t even try to learn how to manage or invest money properly, preferring to delegate these matters to the men in our lives. But what if they can’t be trusted or leave us?
Not taking charge of your finances leaves you vulnerable. Stanny knows this very well. For years, she delegated all her financial decisions for others, with disastrous consequences. Here, she shares her experience and her journey to becoming a wealthy, independent woman, and on her own terms too. Women don’t have to pursue the traditional, masculine route to financial success if that makes them uncomfortable. There is another, better way. It starts with being honest with yourself and developing a good relationship with yourself. You need to figure out what kind of person you are, what is important to you, and what you want to do with your life. Only when you live an authentic life you can develop a financial strategy that suits your needs, supports your values, and allows you to give back to your community and contribute to the causes that are close to your heart.
Stanny writes in a colloquial and straightforward way that’s both entertaining and eye-opening. She forces you to challenge your beliefs and shows you a better way, just like a friend does. Her psychological and spiritual insights, as well as practical tips, make this book a very interesting read for every woman who wants to take control of her finances.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

The Millionaire Wage Slave: How To Get Rich By Working For Somebody Else by Alex Johnston
Alex Johnston is a multi-talented man. When he’s not busy writing hilarious historical novellas set in ancient Rome, he likes to share useful financial advice to help employees become rich. What, that’s not possible you say? Actually it is. You just need two things: income and equity. How to build the latter is the focus of this book.
If you expect a long tome that explains a step-by-step process in excruciating detail, you’ll be disappointed (or, more likely, relieved). The Millionaire Wage Slave is a very short read that you can devour in an afternoon. In it, Johnston illustrates, in his informative and humorous trademark style, the fallacies in our traditional approach to personal finances and points out a better way to make your money work for you. His advice isn’t groundbreaking or new. Its strength, though, is in Johnston’s ability to explain complex financial matters in such a simple way that anyone, even those who know nothing about the topic, can easily grasp and implement straight away.
If you have no intention of starting your own business, but want to get rich and build financial security for yourself and your family, I highly recommend you pick up this book. You’ll regret not having done so sooner.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

Super Job Search IV by Peter K. Studner
Have you lost your job and are now looking for a new one? A dissatisfied employee who took up a job you hate to pay the bills but now wants to change career and do something you truly love and can be proud of? A college graduate who’s looking for your first job? Or a mom who quit her job to dedicate time to your children and, now they’re grown up, wants to reenter the job market? Whatever your reasons for looking for a job, your qualifications, and your experience are, Super Job Search IV can help.
After explaining why the traditional approach to looking for a job (go to college, reply to 1000 ads, send 1000 resumes, and wait to get hired) doesn’t work anymore, Studner points out a better way to find a job that both pays the bills and makes you happy. The catch? It can be time-consuming (although less than looking for a job the traditional way, waiting for months before you can even get an interview).
Studner’s strategy is not even new. It’s simple ol’ networking. But it is still something most of us get wrong, or don’t even try. Stubner explains how to find people to network with, how to leverage the power of social media to your advantage, how to use your contacts to get interviews and a lot more. He also provides useful tips on how to write a resume and cover letter that get you noticed, successfully manage phone, one-on-one, group, and competitive interviews, negotiate to get the salary and benefits you deserve, and a lot more. And if working for someone else isn’t your thing, there’s a whole chapter on how you can start your own business. Everything is explained clearly. No preaching or dry, hard-to-read sections here.
This fourth edition of the book is also interactive. Stubner points out online resources from SuperJobSearch.com and the app superjobsearch that make your job search even easier. These resources are more useful to those living, and thus looking for a job, in the US, whereas the strategies highlighted in the book can work for anyone, anywhere.
If you’re looking for a job, I highly recommend you pick up a copy and start implementing the tips as soon as possible. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll reach your goal.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4.5/5

BrainScripts for Sales Success: 21 Hidden Principles of Consumer Psychology for Winning New Customers by Drew Eric Whitman
Drew Eric Whitman has wrote BrainScripts For Success to explain to businesses how to use the principles of consumer psychology to win new customers. I read it for the opposite reason: to find out the ways businesses use to trick us into buying their products. Either way, it is a very informative read.
Now, Whitman is no conman. He may use his knowledge of psychology to help businesses attract more clients and grow, but he also often states that these principles should be implemented only when you have a good service or product to sell. That way, you won’t be cheating your customers.
Whitman starts by explaining how people make decisions. Every person has 8 primary desires and it’s when you appeal to these that you convince people to buy what you have to sell. He then explains how to identify them, choose the right words and arguments to use, direct the conversation so that you’re always in control, and turn any setbacks to your advantage. Every technique is based on proven psychological principles, and explained clearly and simply, so that you’ll be able to implement it straight away. Of course, not all 21 techniques may apply to your business or situation, so just pick and choose those that best suit your needs.
This book is a must read for salespeople and businesspeople who wants to improve their performance, but also an eye-opener for their customers. Highly recommended.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4.5/5

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: 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: Rich Dad Poor Dad, Living Recovery, Blind Ambition, & Winners Dream

Hello everyone,

today I want to share some inspirational stories with you. Enjoy!

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
Rich Dad, Poor Dad is one of those books you are going to either love or hate. That’s because it dismisses most of the advice our families, friends and school taught us about money, encouraging us to look at the topic from a different perspective. One that completely challenges our current beliefs. It’s our beliefs about money, more than our situation in life, that determines how financially successful we can be. And if you’re not ready to change them, this book will piss you off. And your life will stay the same.
In Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Kiyosaki shares what he learned from his two dads. His biological dad did what everyone else did. He went to school, got a job, bought a house, and struggled financially all his life. His best friend’s dad instead was a school drop out who who became a self-made multi-millionaire. That’s because he was trained to see opportunities where other people only saw risks. That’s because, unlike most people including the author’s real dad, he didn’t consider rich people greedy and evil (we all say we’d like to be rich, but would we really try to become wealthy if that meant others hated us for it?). That’s because he knew the difference between assets and liabilities. Most people, for instance, think of their first house as an asset. It isn’t. Yes, it’ll go up in value in a few years, but that’s good for you only if you decide to sell it or rent it. But you won’t as you’ll be living in it, all the while paying for mortgage, bills, and repairs. That’s why financially successful people postpone buying a house until they have made enough money through their investments to afford one without taking on a big mortgage. Instead, they use their pay-check to invest in real estate, businesses, stock market, and other opportunities that allows their money to grow. That can be risky. That’s why you should never stop learning. Kiyosaki is not a big fan of the traditional school system, but he believes that we should never stop learning. And the more you learn about money and the different investment options available to you, the easier it will be to make the right financial decisions.
Kiyosaki doesn’t preach. Instead, he shares both his experiences and actions and those of his two dads to show us how they shaped their financial, and as a consequence personal, lives. That way, the reader can better relate to the author and his advice, and learn in a more enjoyable and helpful way. The author also has a gift for simplifying complicated financial concepts, explaining them in such a clear way that everyone will be able to grasp them immediately.
The only failing of this book, if it can be so called, is that it only provides an overview about how your beliefs about money can affect your life, either positively or negatively, rather than a step-to-step guide on what to do to make money. It will make you reconsider the way you view financial issues, leaving you eager to try new things. But it doesn’t give you precise instructions on how you can implement your new ideas. For that you will have to read another book or come up with your own way of doing stuff.
Thought-provoking and well-written, Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a must read for everyone who wants to start thinking like a rich person, and act like one.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

Living Recovery: Youth Speak Out on “Owning” Mental Illness by Joann Elizabeth Leavey
Adolescence is a difficult period for everyone. Your body is changing, you are taking over more responsibilities and starting challenging the society in which you live, all the while trying to figure out who you are. It’s even worse when you’re suffering from mental illness. These diseases, and the stigma attached to them, can completely isolate teenagers, thus interrupting their development. Although mental illness in adults is quite well documented, there is as yet not much information about how they affect teenagers and what treatments work best at this difficult time of life.
Joann Elizabeth Leavey is trying to change this. Realizing that mental health services aren’t adequately supporting teens, and eager to find new ways to help them, she decided to ask them what they need. She interviewed 26 young adults between the ages of 16 and 27 in Canada, Australia, and the US. Living Recovery shares the finding of her study.
Although the sample is small, common themes and a pattern emerge. After the emergence of the illness, all teenagers went through stages of loss, adaptation, and recovery. Mental illness can be scary, not just for the affected person but for everyone around them. There are a lot of misconceptions about these illnesses. Affected people are often labelled as lazy, good-for-nothing, weird, or dangerous, and as a result, they lose friends, the support of family members, their jobs or, in the case of young adults, precious school years as they are forced to take time off to get better, and the opportunity to make decisions for themselves. These losses are usually followed by self-isolation, often used by patients to deal with a world they are perceiving as more and more hostile and scary. The last stage is recovery, which can happen, however, only if help is sought. Luckily, all the young adults involved are on their way to recovery, but, if we improve support for this age group, we can help them better and faster.
By giving these young adults a voice, Leavey allows professionals (the book is aimed at them; others may find its academic tone a bit dry at times) to better understand the challenges young adults face and come up with alternative therapies and support systems that can help both diagnose these diseases as soon as possible and treat them effectively.
Overall, this is a wonderful and insightful read that will hopefully inspire other researches to continue Leavey’s work.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 3.5/5

Blind Ambition: How to Envision Your Limitless Potential and Achieve the Success You Want by Patricia Walsh
Diagnosed with a pediatric brain tumor, Patricia Walsh became almost blind at the age of five. As a teenager, she went off the rails, falling into a downward spiral into depression. Until one day she had an epiphany. Refusing to let her limits define her, she decided to turn her life around and became an award-winning engineer, a champion paratriathlete, and an IRONMAN world record holder. How did she manage to achieve so much?
Her incredible inner strength, belief in herself, and determination not to be defined by what happened to her certainly helped a great deal. And so did her Fuel/Fire/Blaze approach to achieving any goal. Your fuel is your base goals, all those small day-to-day tasks that help you achieve your higher goal. Your fire are the important milestones that you have to reach along the way to make your dream come true. And your blaze is your most ardent dreams, dreams that can come true only when you add fuel to the fire. Patricia also stresses the importance of failing gracefully. Everyone experiences some failures and setbacks, but it’s only when we use them as lessons to learn what went wrong rather than as excuses to give up that we can truly succeed.
Although undoubtedly effective, Walsh’s Fuel/Fire/Blaze approach is nothing revolutionary. It’s just a new spin on the same old advice on goal setting. But the real strength of this book is not so much the advice itself, but Patricia’s story. By sharing how her approach has helped her overcome her limitations, Wash inspires readers to go after their dreams. She’s living proof that with the right mindset and techniques anyone, no matter what blows life has dealt them, can accomplish everything they have ever dreamt of. Well-written and highly motivational, I recommend it to anyone who doesn’t believe in themselves and their ability to change their lives and accomplish their goals. You’ll change your minds afterwards, and you’ll be eager to put her tips in practice.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 3.5/5

Winners Dream: A Journey from Corner Store to Corner Office by Bill McDermott
Who doesn’t love a good rags-to-riches story? Bill McDermott, now SAP’s CEO, was born in a lower middle class family that always struggled financially. But his parents were always supportive and encouraging, and taught him that he could do anything he set his mind to. Armed with a positive attitude, a strong work ethic, and a determination to succeed, McDermott set out to make his dreams come true.
After working as a paper boy as a child and starting his own deli to pay his way through school, McDermott was hired as a salesman by Xerox. After a series of promotions, he decided to quit. Looking for a company he could feel proud working for, he eventually landed at SAP and became its CEO. In this book, McDermott explains just how he did it. His tendency to see opportunities where others saw risks, his ability to motivate his staff, his penchant for selling, and his willingness to review his performance to always get better and better, brought him immense success during his career. By sharing his experiences, the reader learns some powerful lessons that will help him/her succeed professionally, such as figure out who your customers are, what they want, and what you can give them that your competitors don’t, trust your employees and build a sincere rapport with them as well everyone else you meet, and find a way to reach your goals without compromising your values.
While I find the book highly inspirational, I was disappointed McDermott decided to share so little information about his personal life. His siblings, parents, wife, and sons make sporadic and short appearances. Instead, McDermott prefers to share information about Xerox and SAP, which, at times, makes for some dry reading. I can see the reasoning behind this decision though. Winners Dreams is not so much a personal biography, but an inspirational read for all those who want to be successful in corporate America. If that’s you, you’ll find lots of inspiration, motivation, and practical tips to reach your goals here.
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.

Books Reviews: The Art Of Social Media, Living Well Spending Less, Leading Women, & Say What You Really Mean

Hello everyone,

it’s once again time for some reviews. Here we go:

The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick
Social media has become a must-have for brands, marketers, authors, and bloggers. And yet many, me included, still struggle with it. If you’re tired of it and are ready to go pro, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of The Art Of Social Media by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick. Kawasaki is the legendary former chief evangelist for Apple, one of the pioneers of business blogging, tweeting, facebooking, tumbling, and has now joined startup Canva with Peg Fitzpatrick. Although Peg didn’t write any chapters in this book (the authors decided that, to maintain consistency and make it easier to read only one person should pen it), she’s an expert in social media too and a lot of the tips are her own.
The Art Of Social Media provides more than 100 tips and resources to really up your social media game. They cover all the main social media channels, explaining how to make the most out of them. Although I read a lot on this topic, I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a lot of tips that I had never heard of and that I look forward to implementing in the near future. The authors also stress that the rules of social media change frequently, so don’t waste too much time before trying these tips, and always keep up with the latest trends.
The book is short and to-the-point, yet engaging and very useful. My only problem with it was the link format. Usually, when pointing to an online resource, authors share the page’s url. Not this time. You need to click on the link to be redirected to the page, but this works only if you buy an e-copy. A physical copy, or my netgalley copy, doesn’t have this feature, preventing you from accessing these resources. I don’t think this is fair. Anyone who reads the same book should have access to the same content. They might have put the urls in an appendix in the physical book or something. But I guess most of their target audience would opt for the ebook anyway, so for a lot of people this won’t be a problem. Unfortunately, though, this decision has left me no choice but to lower the rating a bit (it is still pretty high though!).
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life by Ruth Soukup
Ruth Soukup is the successful blogger behind Living Well, Spending Less. She has just released her first book, of the same name. Although I wasn’t very familiar with her blog, as a blogger myself I am always happy to support fellow bloggers and their new ventures. Plus, the blurb of this book sounds intriguing: “lots of creative, helpful ideas and advice for moms on a budget along with stories from her own journey to discovering what the Good Life is really all about.” Unfortunately, I’ve found that to be quite misleading. The second part of the book, Spending Less, does feature a few tips on how to save money. For example, Soukup explains how to cut your grocery bill in half without giving up meat or healthy vegs and fruits, and how to make your own DIY house cleaning products. But most of the book is about changing your mindset.
Soukup used to be a shopaholic. She tried to fill the void inside of her with expensive pretty things, but this never worked. When she found herself on the brink of divorce for the second time, she knew things had to change. In this book, she shares her story, explaining how she did it. It wasn’t easy. After all, we live in a society that encourages us to buy all sorts of things we don’t need, but this mindset can be quite dangerous. But in the end, as she shares in the first part of the book, Living Well, she learned to find contentment with her life as it is , and strive for the things that are really important in life, and that no amount of money can buy. During this process, her faith helped her a lot.
Overall, Living Well, Spending Less is an engaging, honest, and inspiring read that would help overspenders change their ways and develop healthier habits. But I wish it had included more practical tips as promised.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 3.5/5

Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life by Nancy D O’Reilly
Leading Women gives women all the advice they need to get the career and life they deserve. This powerful advice comes from 20 powerful women, such as “New York Times” bestselling author Marci Shimoff, advocacy leader Gloria Feldt, and Emmy-winning television host Aurea McGarry, all strong women who took the reigns of their lives and achieve their dreams. Here, they share their secrets. And nope, there’s no repetition. That’s because these women don’t share their whole life stories. This is not a collection of mini biographies. It is so much more than that.
Each chapter is written by a different woman and covers a different topic, such as how to get your voice heard and become a natural leader. Each woman shares her personal experiences and the challenges she has overcome, and offers tips on how you can do the same. Their stories are easy to relate to, and their words inspiring. Once you’ve finished the book, you’ll be better equipped to make the most of your life… and won’t be able to wait to do so!
I have one small problem with the book though. While most of the chapters are very engaging and flow easily, I’ve found a few harder to read. They are a bit dry. But that’s to be expected when a book has so many authors, I guess. Still, that’s no reason to pass up on this book. It’s a very inspirational read for any woman.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

Say What You Really Mean!: How Women Can Learn to Speak Up by Debra Johanyak
We all value honesty, but a lot of us are afraid to say what we really mean. We are scared of standing up for ourselves, of hurting people’s feelings, or to be made fun of, so we either dilute the message by using the wrong words or tone of voice or don’t say anything at all. In the long run, this can cause much bigger problems for us.
Johanyak knows this and wants to help. Using case studies, statistics, quizzes, and personal experiences, she covers many aspects of successful communication such as how to use silence effectively, bridge gender differences, and say no without causing friction. Although all her tips are very helpful, they are hardly groundbreaking. In fact, most of them are just common sense. I was expecting some new psychological insights or detailed exercises to do, but instead, there’s no much here that you can’t find in other communication books or even magazines. But I guess having all these tips in one place helps, and the book, written in a colloquial style, is a quick and easy read.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 3/5

Have you read these books or are planning to?

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: The Financially Confident Woman, The Self-made Billionaire Effect, Sticky Branding, & The Curious One

Hello everyone,

are you wondering what I’ve been reading recently? Read on:

The Financially Confident Woman: What You Need to Know to Take Charge of Your Money by Mary Hunt
Like most women, Mary Hunt was told that it was the man’s job to take care of the finances. She never worried where the money came from, and she and her husband kept spending everything they earned, until they found themselves deep into debt. That’s when Mary decided to turn her life around. In this book, she shares her journey and the techniques she used to finally take control of her finances, get out of debt, and develop good money habits.
According to Mary, women’s biggest problem is a lack of confidence. They see money as something bad and learn to delegate all financial matters to the men in their lives. They simply aren’t comfortable dealing with it on their own. But, unless they want to get deep into trouble, it is essential that they learn how to manage it themselves. After debunking the most common myths about women and money, Hunt shares the nine habits of a finally confident woman. They include giving, saving, becoming an investor, preparing for emergencies, and more.
Hunt also shares a six-week plan of action that’ll allow you to implement her advice easily, and keep you on the right track. At the end of the book, you’ll also find a glossary with all the most important financial terms you need to be familiar with to be able to make the best decisions money-wise.
Although none of her advice is new or ground-breaking, it is still valuable and useful. Her personal experiences makes this an honest and refreshing read. You’ll be able to relate to her story and learn money management without being bored or preached to. I highly recommend it to all women who are struggling financially.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

The Self-made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value by John Sviokla, Mitch Cohen
Steve Jobs. Michael Bloomberg. Steve Case. They are just some of the entrepreneurs that became self-made billionaires when they left the corporations they worked for (and had even founded) before and built one or more businesses. Businesses that are now some of the most popular brands around. Why did this happen? What traits do these people have in common? And what would have happened if they had stayed in their previous jobs? How can corporations recognize and nurture, rather than kick out, these men and women?
In their study on self-made billionaires, John Sviokla and Mitch Kohen answer these questions and more. Drawing on research, studies, and personal interviews, the authors are able to debunk common myths about self-made billionaires, such as that they’re smarter, luckier, and take more dangerous risks. Instead, their success, the authors argue, is due to their Producer mentality.
Corporations usually reward employees with a Performer mentality. They are people who specialize in one area, get really good at it, are able to meet the goals set by their bosses, and conform to the way things have always been done. Producers, on the other hand, are disruptors. Armed with creativity, imagination, and good judgement, they are able to think up new products, strategies, and business models. They don’t do things the way they’ve always been done, but are constantly trying to come up with new and better ways to do them.
A corporation, to succeed, needs both performers and producers. If you are a business executive, this book will teach you how to recognize performers and help them thrive, so that they’ll put their talents at your service and make your corporation even more successful. But it’s also a great read for entrepreneurs. To them this guide will provide some valuable insights on what traits and talents they need to develop to create successful businesses. Engaging, informative, and inspirational, this is a must read for business owners, executives, and entrepreneurs.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

Sticky Branding: 12.5 Ways to Stand Out, Attract Customers, and Grow an Incredible Brand by Jeremy Miller
Every business, no matter how small, is a brand. And, to succeed and thrive, that brand must become “sticky”, instantly recognizable by your consumer. Think that’s something only big corporations with massive budget can afford? This book will prove you wrong. It will teach techniques that even more business operating locally can use to make an impact in their marketplaces.
These strategies includes figuring out what your mission and values are, who your customers are and need, engage their eyes with your marketing, over-deliver on your promises and more.
Each chapter is full of tips, backed up by personal experiences and case studies, and exercises that will help you put the advice in practice so you can create a brand, and a business, that keeps making old clients come back again and again and always attracts new ones. Sometimes, this will mean making big changes in your company, such as change its culture, values, and even offerings, but the pain will be worth it. One example cited in the book is a logistics company that transitioned from a general company to an industry leader in retail and fashion. It was a long process that took 18 months, and involved turning away some of their clients and look for new ones, and even layoffs, but now the company is thriving and more successful than ever.
Sticky Branding doesn’t promise you overnight success, but, if you follow its tips, you will create a business that attracts more customers, inspires employees, earns more and won’t be badly affected by the competition. Engaging, honest, and easy-to-read, I highly recommend it to all business owners who want to make their brands sticky.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

The Curious One: From Food Stamps to CEO – One Woman’s Journey through Struggle, Tragedy, Success and Love by Chelsea Berler
I love biographies. In particular, biographies of female entrepreneurs who have overcome difficult odds to create successful businesses and live life on their own terms. Even if you’re not interested in becoming an entrepreneur yourself, these women possess qualities such as resilience, confidence, and intuition that anyone should develop, and that helped them take on hard challenges and make their dreams come true. Their stories are inspirational and motivational.
So, I was eager to read the story of Chelsea Berler, a young woman who often felt judged for being curious and different. Her childhood wasn’t easy. So many bad things happened to her while she was still very young that some would consider it a miracle that she was able to function at all, let alone become a successful business owner married to her soulmate. But she did it. It took a lot of work, mistakes, and confidence in herself, but now Chelsea is the CEO of a marketing agency that supports businesses around the world, and a successful author who inspires people to live life on their own terms. And her passion for it shines through every page of the book.
Problem is, I didn’t find her style of writing very inspirational. The book is very short, and thus feel very rushed. Each chapter only skims the surface of her life, never analysing things in depth. As such, if you’re feeling sorry for yourself and unhappy with your life, and just need to know that you too have what it takes to turn your life around, you’ll find this book inspiring. But if you’re looking for practical tips on what to do to make that happen, then the book falls short. Had it been longer, and provided more information, it would have been a much better read.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 3/5

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