Category Archives: Books

Always Like The First Time – A Book Review

I don’t do a lot of book reviews on this site, though I’ve done a couple. I’m going to start sharing more of them because I’ve read a lot of books, and I know some of them will help folks that come to this blog. Some are just enjoyable as well. This book I’m highlighting today is a bit of both.

Always Like The First Time

A disclaimer up front. The author of this book, Kathryn Pape, is one of my web clients. I also helped edit this book before she sent it to the publishers. I mentioned her in February when I wrote a post about some new blogs I wanted to share that I’d helped to create. Still, this is an unbiased opinion of the book; that’s just how I roll.

I have to admit that I wasn’t sure what I was going to be reading when I started out. Kathryn talks mainly about color therapy, something I’ve learned more about since I manage her site and actually created the page, but something I didn’t really know as much about when I started helping with the book; it’s not a brand new book by the way.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book as I was going through it, even though it was also sad. Kathryn tells the story about going through both the treatments and eventual passing of her 3-year old son from cancer, and how she came up with her beliefs in color and how they could make people feel better both mentally and physically.

She talks about how we all have the choice of feeling better and being positive or negative in our lives based on how we view the word “like” and when we decide to “like”; no, this has nothing to do with Facebook. lol In general, she talks about these 5 principles, in order in the book as:

No one tapes/thinks in your mind but you;

Your thoughts drive and direct your energy;

You feel your thoughts;

Positive thoughts create patience and time;

Influence is an opportunity; you are your cause

This isn’t a long book to read, and after she sent the book to the publishers I got a regular copy of it as well. I think a few people could benefit from this book as it’s a feel good book handling a tough issue. You can visit her site, see what she’s about, and buy it from her products page.
 

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4-Hour Work Week – Lifestyle Review

I know what you’re thinking; two things in fact. One, didn’t you just see this picture a couple of days ago? Yes, you did. And two, if this is a post talking about a book then why not call it a book review instead of a life review? Hey, it’s me, so I have to do something a little bit different. After all, my buddy Marelisa just wrote on it as well, giving it a much different take than just a book review as well.

4-Hour Work Week review

You know, one of the things about speed reading is that, when you’re doing it kind of for pleasure, you tend to stick with stuff that you’re specifically looking for and thus you’re normally happy with what you’re reading. If one is speed reading something they don’t like it won’t stick, and thus it becomes harder to speed read.

I actually read half of 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss at Barnes & Noble many months ago and was really enthusiastic in what I’d read. The concept of finding ways to reduce one’s workload and stress load were very appealing to me. And I understood some of the concepts that could get me there. It was enough to get me to buy the book and read it more thoroughly.

Part of me is now wishing I hadn’t done that. The early concepts I got from the book are still valid, and yet I found myself not enjoying some other parts of the book as much, to the extent that at a certain point I started speed reading some of it again because I just wanted to get past extraneous stuff that I knew I didn’t care about.

First, let’s talk about what I liked in the book. I liked his concept of finding ways to free one’s time so they can do more of what they want to do, which in Ferriss’ case is travel. He set up many ways to get this done, from outsourcing some of the things he didn’t want to do to giving people working for him more power to make decisions for himself. What a life for someone with many interests.

I liked his talk about moving towards minimalism in many ways, including how he travels with luggage at less than 10 pounds; man, that would be sweet. I also enjoyed some of the “case studies” which he was able to include in this particular book because it’s updated and expanded with stories that weren’t available at the first printing, since obviously people hadn’t read his book yet.

I also liked him talking about not being available to everyone 24/7 and having some down time when you really need it. In relating some of this to my life, I rarely give out my cell number because I don’t want everyone being able to always reach me. If my phone rings in the car, I know it’s one of only 5 or 6 people. If I’m out of town, I might give it to a client I’m working with at the time, but I also know that once the assignment is over that’s one less person who’ll ever use that number again.

Now let’s talk about what I didn’t like about the book. I didn’t like that it concentrated so much on travel. Probably 20% of the book covers that topic, and that’s not the book I wanted to read. I thought that some of what I read was irresponsible. For instance, at one point he talks about how one of his plants ended up being closed while he was gone, yet he had fun doing this or that by being unable to be contacted. In other words, his fun was more important than all the jobs that were lost because he decided not to concentrate on an aspect of his business; that’s shameful and affected the lives of a lot of other people.


Tim Ferriss

I wasn’t crazy about the way he and some of his case study people outsourced certain things such that someone else took care of aspects of their personal lives and pulled them away from personal contact. For instance, he tells the story of giving an assignment to college students to reach 3 celebrities and get them to answer 3 questions within 24 hours. However, as a celebrity himself, he’d have never been available to be reached for any student that decided to reach out to him.

Being in business and telling people to only check their email once a week for about an hour or their phones for the same amount of time kind of irks me. True, both can kill time, but if you’re in business you might just have to suck up some of that. Then again, he does have other people handling most of this stuff for him; how many of us could do that sort of thing as readily?

There’s also the advocating outsourcing everything at the cheapest price possible, which leads to him and others sending a lot of their business out of the country and really being kind of smug about it. Yeah, I’ll admit that one of the things that irks me a little bit is not using workers in one’s own country if the only difference in quality is price. That might be a minor sticking point, but it’s one I have so I thought I’d mention it.

To be fair on that last point though, the concept of finding things one can outsource to someone else isn’t a bad one, even if it costs you a little bit of money. Something I absolutely hate is making cold calls of any form; I find reasons not to do it, preferring email or only wanting to talk to people from whom I know there’s already some kind of interest in what I have to talk to them about. Right now I’m contemplating hiring someone to handle a few hours of phone calls for me in one of my industries so I can work on something else. I already have an accountant that handles my bookkeeping and such, and I have a guy who cuts my grass, and let me just get one big contract and I’ll be outsourcing some other things that I not only don’t have time to do, but don’t want to do.

Where do I come down in the end? I think it’s a book many people still need to read because it does get one thinking about ways to make their lives simpler, even to possibly learn how to work it out with your employer so you can not only work from home, but potentially work while being mobile with the feeling that you’re actually sitting at home. True, I have some things I didn’t like, but overall this is a book that, if you’re looking to change your life in some fashion, you need to break down and read.
 

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Don’t Ask – Book Review

I figured that since I’m pimping stuff today I might as well finally get around to talking about our friend Beverly Mahone’s new book Don’t Ask, And I Won’t Have To Lie. It comes with another subtitle as well, ’50 is the new 30 and other tall tales’.

Don't Ask book

At just under 80 pages the book is a very easy and entertaining read. Bev talks about her own “lie” and how it almost cost her life because she wasn’t telling her physician the whole story on how she felt and if she’d been taking care of herself. That started her exploring this concept of lying and the intricacies about it.

The strangest things she talks about are the lies we tend to tell ourselves when we should know better. Things like ‘I don’t smoke much’ or ‘I know I exercise a lot’ when we don’t necessarily do those things. I like to say how good I am often enough when it comes to eating patterns, yet when I was taking time to write down everything I put in my mouth I realized that I do have a tendency here and there to snack a bit here and there, which adds up over the course of a day.

The last quarter of the book consists of a liar’s daily survey you might think to do on yourself, which of course I didn’t do because I don’t want to know. lol It also consists of responses to a survey she conducted that yield some interesting responses here and there, answering questions such as “Your girlfriend’s husband makes some inappropriate comments to you while drinking at a party you’re all attending.” What do you do? Nope, I’m not revealing the answers; it’s on you to buy the book and read it.

Oh yeah, two things for clarification. One, the book is slanted more towards women than men, but there’s enough for men to go around. And two, yours truly is quoted in the book on page 43, where I said: “I have no problem with lies of omission, as I don’t believe everyone needs to know everything.” Ah fame; you’re right on the cusp of my grasp! 😉

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Embrace The Lead

I must be the worst promoter in the world. I just realized that I’ve never really talked about one book that’s more special to me than any other book I’ve ever come into contact with.

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Enjoy this pic; the book’s
over there to the left

That would be a book called Embrace The Lead – Strategies for Management in the 21st Century. Why is this book so special?

Because I wrote it; yup, I’m a published author. Of course, I’ve mentioned it briefly in the past, especially when I wrote a post on how to publish a book. It’s self published, but I have an ISBN number, which means I’m considered as much of a publisher as the big boys, and thus I could sell my book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble if I so chose to.

Let me talk a little bit about my book. It’s a book on leadership and management, and in it I discuss the state of business, employees, and management in today’s working environment.

Let’s face the fact that no one is buying the old story about your place of employment being a “family” anymore. The challenges for employers thus has gotten tougher. It was always relatively tough to begin with, because one thing companies almost never invest in is leadership and management training for their managers and supervisors.

Everyone has reported to someone without the skills for the role, even if they had supreme skills to do the task at hand. In today’s world, bad managers have it even harder because today’s employees aren’t going to stick around in fear of not being able to get another job. Even now, in a bad economy, most employees will look for something else and be gone in a heartbreak because they know they can’t trust companies anymore. Without managers who are also good leaders, there’s nothing encouraging them to stay.

In the book I talk about today’s employees; why managers may be like they are; give a breakdown on different employee types; and discuss tips on criteria for becoming a good manager. For anyone who is in a leadership position at their company, or for anyone who’s thinking about it, this book is for you, from someone who’s been there. Did I happen to mention before that I also do leadership and management training, as well as executive coaching? Why yes, in my post on About pages, which was one of my most popular posts at one time.

If you’re interested in learning more about my book Embrace The Lead – Strategies for Management in the 21st Century, click on the link to see more, including testimonials. I also sell it in two versions; the ebook, and the soft cover, which, if you ask me nicely, I’ll even autograph for you when I send it to you. Now, how many other folks are you going to be reading today who’ve written a full book, and not just an ebook? 🙂
 

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Guy Kawasaki’s ‘Reality Check’

For once, I get to scoop the blogger nation; well, most of it anyway. As of right now, it’s the date of the official release of Guy Kawasaki’s new book Reality Check.

Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki

You may be asking yourself how I get to scoop you if the book just came out. Because I read the book back in May as a test reader and early editor, and already had a copy of the book, though in an incomplete Word document form, and just today I received my free copy of the book in the mail; signed! I actually talked about it back then, when the only regular reader I had was Peter. 🙂
Continue reading Guy Kawasaki’s ‘Reality Check’

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