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Saturday, October 31, 2009

 

Defending The Enemy by Elaine Fischel - Book review



Defending The Enemy

Justice For The WWII Japanese War Criminals


By: Elaine Fischel



Published: December 2009
Format: Paperback, 412 pages
ISBN: 978-1-935456-03-2
Publisher: Bascom Hill Publishing Group






"This is simply my story written with the hope it will bring more understanding of why American lawyers defended the leaders of their most recent enemy - Japan", writes former legal secretary for the defense during the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) Elaine Fischel, in her riveting and landmark eye witness account of the trials of alleged Japanese war criminals, Defending The Enemy: Justice For The WWII Japanese War Criminals. The author brings all of the participants to life, in a little known but important area of international law and history.

Elaine Fischel began, like many Americans upon their nation's entry into World War Two, with an intense dislike of Japan, the country's leadership, and of the Japanese people. As the war deepened, she heard of atrocities committed by the Japanese forces against Allied troops and civilians. As a result, she admits openly in the book that she set out to Japan believing the Japanese people were evil and even perhaps subhuman. Her stay in Japan, as part of the IMTFE judicial team, and her introduction to the people of Japan, changed her mind and outlook forever. As she became more intensively involved in the judicial proceedings, Elaine Fischel formed many friendships in Japan, and even with those who were charged with war crimes.



Elaine Fischel (photo left) not only formed deep and lasting friendships with the accused who she refers to as "enemy friends", but she saw many of them convicted and sentenced to death. Her accounts of her emotions during these events are powerful reminders that forgiveness is an important part of the human experience. At the same time, Elaine Fischel found herself believing ever more strongly in the values of the American legal system. The basic American legal concept that the accused is innocent until proven guilty, became part of the foundation of her lifelong belief in the American justice system. She also points out the profound idea, that the exposure of the Japanese people to the best of the American legal procedures and attorneys, helped pave the way for Japan's return to the family of nations.

For me, the power of the book is the author's first hand account of the trials, and of her growing friendships with her "enemy friends". Her understanding of the inner goodness of the Japanese leaders despite their being charged with unspeakable crimes, is a testament to the power of the human spirit. If Elaine Fischel was able to forgive the person, if not the crime, is evidence of the goodness of humanity. Instead of vengeance, the Tribunal set out to give every defendant a fair and open trial. While there were various members of the Tribunal who didn't always live up to the ideal of the legal system, Elaine Fischel describes how the system did achieve most of its goals. The author provides vivid portrayals of all of the most prominent members of the legal community, as well as personal accounts of the many defendants in the trials.

I highly recommend the powerful and must read book Defending The Enemy: Justice For The WWII Japanese War Criminals by Elaine Fischel, to anyone seeking a deeper and more personal understanding of the little known trials of Japanese war criminals following the end of the Second World War. The story told by Elaine Fischel is also one of realization that justice is important for everyone, and that all people are entitled to legal representation in court. That recognition of the power of the basic right of everyone to a fair trial, is especially critical, when the defendant faces charges of committing the most horrific of acts.

Read the crucial first hand account of history as it unfolded Defending The Enemy: Justice For The WWII Japanese War Criminals by Elaine Fischel, and discover that the spark of humanity still shines, even in those people accused of the most horrendous crimes. Share with the author the joys of friendships, and join in the sorrow of watching friends tried, often convicted, and sentenced to be hanged. This deeply moving book, and its lasting tribute to the importance of justice for all, is not to be missed.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

 

Connected by Nicholas Christakis & James Fowler - Book review


Connected

The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives


By: Nicholas A. Christakis MD, PhD. & James H. Fowler PhD.

Published: September 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
ISBN: 9780316036146
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company






"The key to understanding people is understanding the ties between them", write authors Nicholas A. Christakis MD, PhD. and James H. Fowler PhD., in their groundbreaking book Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives. The authors demonstrate that social networks have a profound effect on how people live, think, and behave. There are even discernible rules governing that behavior and the relationships between people.

Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler apply years of research into the complex social relationships between people, and how those interactions have a direct influence on how connected individuals will behave. The authors also discovered in their research that an individual can have their behavior changed even by people who that person has never met and doesn't even know personally. Friends of friends can be more influential than more closely tied people. Human society, according to Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler form networks that parallel other networks found in science, and indeed human networks can be even more complex than those found in nature or in technology. For the authors, these human connected networks can even take on an organic life of their own.



Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler (both in photo left) recognize that the understanding the importance and influence of social networks changes the perception of individual control over one's life. The authors realize that such an insight can be frightening for many people. On the other hand, they consider the powerful idea that interconnectedness is a crucial force in a person's life. That force can also be one for good, and can have benefits for all members of the interconnected networks. For Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, knowing how people are connected is critical for understanding the human experience.

For me, the power of the book is the in depth analysis undertaken by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler as they delve into the connections that create human networks. Because people interact with one another, and friends of friends have friends, a social network can exert considerable influence over how people within the group behave. That knowledge can be applied to fight the spread of disease, inspire more people to vote, or to help find suitable marriage partners. The authors also describe the importance of social connections in the online internet world. Their research found that networks and internet communities behave in a similar manner to connections made in the off line world. The knowledge of how connections are created, multiply, and interact can have a powerful effect on people's health, safety, and happiness.

I highly recommend the exciting and important book Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler, to anyone seeking a deeper, science based study of human connectedness. The authors provide compelling evidence that social networks are a crucial part of the human experience, and how those network interactions can have profound effects on the lives of the network's membership.

Read and take time to ponder the concepts presented in the must read book Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler. In an ever shrinking world, linked more closely together through the internet and globalization, a clear understanding of how connections are formed and effect their participants is vital in the global economy. At the same time, the same concepts can be applied to recognizing the influence of one's own social networks. The book is a wonderful guide to how people interact and behave, and is essential reading for everyone.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

 

Linda Tarr-Whelan: Women Lead The Way - Blog Business Success Radio

Listen to Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio



Entrepreneur, Demos Distinguished Senior Fellow, and author of the important and insightful book Women Lead the Way: Your Guide to Stepping into Leadership-and Changing the World, Linda Tarr-Whelan, shares some startling facts about women in business and in public life. She dispels that myths that hold women back and provides real world advice for building women's confidence and skills. She shares ideas for building a collaborative leadership model for women base on communication and cooperation.

Linda Tarr-Whelan is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on Blog Talk Radio.

The show airs live on Thursday, October 29, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Entrepreneur and author of the important and insightful book Women Lead the Way: Your Guide to Stepping into Leadership-and Changing the World Linda Tarr-Whelan, shares some startling facts about women in business and in public life. You will learn:

* The importance of women leaders for making positive change

* What holds women back from achieving top leadership roles

* How women can gain the skills and confidence to become great leaders

* How a group of women can create a tipping point for change



Linda Tarr-Whelan (photo left) is a premier expert on women's leadership in this country and internationally. As a Demos Distinguished Senior Fellow, she is a frequent speaker to college and women's audiences, in the media and as an advisor to top officials in the United States and Europe on the role of women. Linda promotes how more women in leadership is good business and smart politics.

Her new book, Women Lead the Way: Your Guide to Stepping into Leadership-and Changing the World, brings her strong experience, the powerful research and her personal convictions about women's strengths to the ground level with a practical roadmap for women to move up.

She has always been a change agent. The constant thread in her life and work has been to lead beyond the status quo to a more egalitarian, peaceful and just world. She has pursued the dream of women's advancement from her first day on the job as a nurse, when she was fired for failing to stand up when a doctor came into the room. She carried her passion and determination to top positions including Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

My book review of Women Lead the Way: Your Guide to Stepping into Leadership-and Changing the World by Linda Tarr-Whelan.

Listen live on Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific time.

BlogTalkRadio.com

If you miss this very informative show, it will be available for free download as a podcast for iPod, iTunes, and MP3 players; or play it right on your computer. To download this, or any other of my guest interviews, go to the Blog Business Success host page and click on Archived Segments. Once there, click on the podcast icon at the end of the episode description, to download the show free of charge for your listening enjoyment. You can also subscribe to the show feed.

Add to iTunes

To call in questions for my guest, the number is: (347) 996-5832

Let's talk with entrepreneur, Demos Distinguished Senior Fellow, and author of the important and insightful book Women Lead the Way: Your Guide to Stepping into Leadership-and Changing the World Linda Tarr-Whelan, as she shares some startling facts about women in business and in public life. She dispels that myths that hold women back and provides real world advice for building women's confidence and skills. She shares ideas for building a collaborative leadership model for women base on communication and cooperation on Blog Business Success Radio.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

 

William Cusick: All Customers Are Irrational - Blog Business Success Radio

Listen to Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio




Consultant and CEO of Vox, Inc., and author of the groundbreaking book All Customers Are Irrational: Understanding What They Think, What They Feel, and What Keeps Them Coming Back, William J. Cusick, shares the shocking news that your customers are irrational. He describes how recent research in neuroscience confirms that customers make their decisions to buy a product or service on emotion. Logic is only applied later as a rationale for the purchase. He shares tips for making certain your brand promise appeals on an emotional level. He points out the importance of seeing your business from your customer's point of view. He also shares how to better retain customers by developing an emotional attachment to your business.

William Cusick is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on Blog Talk Radio.

The show airs live on Tuesday, October 27, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Consultant and CEO of Vox, Inc., and author of the groundbreaking book All Customers Are Irrational: Understanding What They Think, What They Feel, and What Keeps Them Coming Back, William J. Cusick, shares the shocking news that your customers are irrational. You will learn:

* Why customers are irrational and make buying decisions based on emotion

* How to incorporate irrational behavior into your brand promise

* How to capture meaningful information about what your customers really want

* How to focus on customer retention as more effective than adding new ones



William J. Cusick (photo left) is CEO and Founder of Vox, Inc., a successful customer experience consulting firm in Chicago. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies, including Allstate Insurance and Zurich North America, as well as many small and midsize companies to improve profitability through a more effective customer experience.

Bill Cusick has over 20 years of experience helping companies understand the importance of focusing on their customers and improving the customer experience. He’s a recognized expert in customer behavior and communications through all channels.

He is a frequent speaker and writer on all things related to customer service and experience. His new book, All Customers Are Irrational: Understanding What They Think, What They Feel, and What Keeps Them Coming Back explores how customers think, and how companies can shape desired customer behavior.

Bill helps client companies in the following ways:

* Customer Experience Speaking Engagements
* Customer Road map and Strategic Executive Workshops
* Customer Experience Consulting
* Specific Customer-Focused Strategy and Communications Projects

My book review of All Customers Are Irrational: Understanding What They Think, What They Feel, and What Keeps Them Coming Back by William J. Cusick.

Listen live on Tuesday at 8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific time.

BlogTalkRadio.com

If you miss this very informative show, it will be available for free download as a podcast for iPod, iTunes, and MP3 players; or play it right on your computer. To download this, or any other of my guest interviews, go to the Blog Business Success host page and click on Archived Segments. Once there, click on the podcast icon at the end of the episode description, to download the show free of charge for your listening enjoyment. You can also subscribe to the show feed.

Add to iTunes

To call in questions for my guest, the number is: (347) 996-5832

Let's talk with consultant and CEO of Vox, Inc., and author of the groundbreaking book All Customers Are Irrational: Understanding What They Think, What They Feel, and What Keeps Them Coming Back, William J. Cusick, as he shares the shocking news that your customers are irrational. He describes how recent research in neuroscience confirms that customers make their decisions to buy a product or service on emotion. Logic is only applied later as a rationale for the purchase. He shares tips for making certain your brand promise appeals on an emotional level. He points out the importance of seeing your business from your customer's point of view. He also shares how to better retain customers by developing an emotional attachment to your business on Blog Business Success Radio.

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Japan Took The J.A.P. Out Of Me by Lisa Fineberg Cook - Book review



Japan Took the J.A.P. Out of Me

By: Lisa Fineberg Cook

Published: October 2009
Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1439110034
ISBN-13: 9781439110034
Publisher: Downtown Press




"Six days after a very In Style wedding, my husband, my rock, and I are on our way to Japan", writes Lisa Fineberg Cook in her often hilarious and always fascinating memoir Japan Took the J.A.P. Out of Me. The author shares her experiences, openly and with complete honesty, of her life as a newlywed living in Nagoya, Japan.

Lisa Fineberg Cook left her carefree and pampered Beverly Hills life behind, as she journeyed across the globe, where her new husband had taken a two year teaching contract. Unaccustomed to Japanese life and customs, the author discovers that expatriate life can be both challenging and rewarding. Often longing for a return her California home, Lisa Fineberg Cook struggles with loneliness, language barriers, and laundry. Her new marriage is often tested, but she and her husband develop even deeper bonds, as they share their trials and triumphs together. The resulting one year memoir reads likes a novel, and is filled with joy, sorrow, laughter, and tears. For the author, the adventure is one she will never forget.



Lisa Fineberg Cook (photo left) experiences severe culture shock upon her arrival in Nagoya, Japan. The Toyota Capital is very little like her home in the United States, and her first reaction is that she won't be able to cope with the new life. As she overcomes language and cultural barriers, she finds work as a teacher of conversational English. That experience leads to a job at a school for girls. Once the author develops an understanding of the transportation system and the cultural differences, she finds common bonds with the people of Japan. Her recognition that all people share both joy and suffering is made clear upon a visit to the Atomic Museum in Hiroshima. The discovery of that universal bond helps her to better connect with the people of Japan. In the end, Lisa Fineberg Cook finds a deep love for the people and the culture of Japan.

For me, the power of the book is in the fresh, authentic story telling by the author. Told in blunt, and often frank language, Lisa Fineberg Cook conveys her sense of being lost, and unable to cope with a world far outside her previous life experience. The memoir is one of personal growth, and of learning more about herself and her husband, and their ability to overcome obstacles. In the end, their marriage is even stronger, and their love for the people and society of Japan resonate through the book. From her initial culture shock, the author learns to travel about and to live in Japan, while establishing friendships with several of the local people. At the same time, the author pulls no punches regarding the role of women in Japanese society, and of her concerns with a culture that she considers restrictive and conformist.

I highly recommend the warm and wonderful book Japan Took the J.A.P. Out of Me by Lisa Fineberg Cook, to anyone seeking a memoir of real world experiences as an expatriate living in Japan. The story is not sugar coated, and the language often raunchy, but that style makes the truth even more immediate. The message of overcoming obstacles as the author ventures on her journey of self discovery, is a powerful one that stays with the reader long after the book is closed.

Read the witty and heartfelt personal account Japan Took the J.A.P. Out of Me by Lisa Fineberg Cook, and see life in another land and culture through the eyes of someone who experienced the adventure first hand. The book is a story of hope, and shares the idea that anyone who can live successfully half way around the world, can do anything. Lisa Fineberg Cook's story proves that to be the case, as she triumphs over adversity, and becomes a better and stronger person as a result.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

 

Ansel Adams: In Color by Ansel Adams - Book review



Ansel Adams in Color

By: Ansel Adams, Andrea G. Stillman, John P. Schaefer
Edited by: Andrea G. Stillman, John P. Schaefer

Published: October 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover, 168 pages
ISBN: 9780316056410
Publisher: Little, Brown, & Company






"However, were I starting all over again, I am sure I would be deeply concerned with color. The medium will create its own esthetic, its own standards of craft and application. The artist, in the end, always controls the medium", wrote legendary photographer and environmentalist Ansel Adams in an essay captured in the breathtaking and beautiful tribute to his often overlooked color photography Ansel Adams in Color. While Ansel Adams was best known for his black and white photography, his color landscape photographs are stunning examples of the master at work.

Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984) was an artist with a camera. His often ambivalent feelings toward the use of color film were based on a lack of technological quality in color film, on the viewers' perceptions of the reality of the subject, and on the vision of the artist as expressed through the medium. In the case of the technological shortcomings of the color photographic medium, they had been increasingly solved during the latter part of Adams' lifetime. Because of these advances in science, Ansel Adams was able to reconcile his preference for black and white photography, with the potential of the color medium. At the same time, however, Adams remained concerned that the color processing and printing technology would not provide an accurate portrayal of the subject matter. This book dispels those concerns, in the beauty, power, and unique vision seen in the photographs.



Ansel Adams (photo left) was a visionary artist. He recognized the importance of color photography as an art form, yet expressed concern that the colors seen in the finished product would not be accurate representations of that art. He was also concerned that a color photograph would give a false impression of reality to the viewer. In a black and white picture, the artist could express vision, without it being accepted as objective reality. That fear that vision would be subordinated to perceived reality haunted Ansel Adams, but as the book demonstrates, his art and his vision are clearly on display. Adams was a genius with a camera, and his art is undeniable, in the color plates shown in this wonderful collection.

For me, the ethereal photographs selected by the editors are breathtaking in their composition, and in their capturing of the essence of the landscape. The power of an artist, at the height of his powers, is evident on every page. Ansel Adams loved the environment and the natural beauty of nature, and conveys that sense of wonder to the viewer. His concern that someone looking for complete reality in the photographs is answered by the poetry of his camera angles, and his portrayal of his vision of nature as an esthetic experience. The photographs draw the viewer into the art, and share his vision for all to see, and to understand.

I highly recommend the important and essential guide to the color photography of Ansel Adams on display in Ansel Adams in Color to anyone seeking a better understanding of the art, vision, and philosophy of Ansel Adams. As a photographic artist, his color portraits have been tragically underrated up until now. This indispensable introduction to the color photography of Ansel Adams provides a glimpse into the mind of a master artist at work.

Read the important and and landmark book Ansel Adams in Color by Ansel Adams, and edited by Andrea G. Stillman and John P. Schaefer, and discover the majestic world envisioned by Ansel Adams. This is a book you will treasure for a lifetime, and return to over and over again, as you reexamine your own perspective on the artistic brilliance of a true artistic genius.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

 

All Customers Are Irrational by William J. Cusick - Book review



All Customers Are Irrational

Understanding What They Think, What They Feel, and What Keeps Them Coming Back


By: William J. Cusick

Published: July 2009
Format: Hardcover, 240pp
ISBN-13: 9780814414217
Publisher:AMACOM - American Management Association





"Whatr we've learned over the last few years is we are all, in fact, irrational. And irrational isn't all that bad". writes CEO and Founder of Vox, Inc. William J. Cusick in his groundbreaking book All Customers Are Irrational: Understanding What They Think, What They Feel, and What Keeps Them Coming Back. The author describes effectively how understanding how and why customers are irrational, can help build your business and your brand, while enhancing customer experiences.

Bill Cusick recognizes that customers are irrational in the sense that their buying decisions are based on emotional responses. At the same time, the author understands that customers are often unable to describe their true needs and desires regarding products and services. William Cusick bases his analysis on modern studies of brain activity surrounding a purchasing decision. The choice is made subconsciously, and then acted upon by the conscious brain. The author makes the seldom discussed leap of understanding that people within companies also act in an irrational manner regarding customers. Instead of striving to retain customers, businesses devote massive amounts of resources to acquiring new customers. The organizations ignore the real cost of customer acquisition that is anywhere from five to ten times more expensive than keeping current customers happy and satisfied.



William J. Cusick (photo left) not only points out that both customers and companies act in an irrational and emotional way, but suggests that irrationality can be turned into an asset. Instead of continuing the mistaken belief that customers act in a rational manner, the author recommends applying emotional appeals not only to sales and marketing, but also to customer relationships and product design. Since customers either won't tell a business the truth about their products and services, or are simply unable to do so, William Cusick recommends studying their actions instead. A customer's actual behavior, and not their words, is what really should matter to the business. By framing every customer interaction terms of irrational behavior, the organization can get a true picture of the customer's needs and desires. In the end, the customer can be given a positive emotional customer experience that builds the customer list through both retention and growth.

For me, the power of the book is the recognition that neither customers or companies are rational. The emotional response of people is what matters, and any allegedly rational ideas are applied later as justification for the purchase. Not only does William Cusick describe effectively how customers behave, he also makes powerful suggestions for changing the way a company does business to take emotions and irrationality into account. Indeed, he suggests using emotions and experiences in a positive way to build stronger customer relations, that result in more sales and repeat business. The author takes the step of describing how to integrate processes into the organization to ensure that customers' emotional needs are understood and become an integral part of any transaction.

I highly recommend the important and insightful book All Customers Are Irrational: Understanding What They Think, What They Feel, and What Keeps Them Coming Back by William L. Cusick, to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of what truly motivates a customer, and how to apply that emotional behavior to all customer experiences. At the same time, the same concern with irrationality can be utilized to enhance the organization's internal ways of thinking and of acting as a business. A thorough understanding of how people really make decisions and behave is critical to operating a successful business both online and in the bricks and mortar world.

Read the customer experience transformational book All Customers Are Irrational: Understanding What They Think, What They Feel, and What Keeps Them Coming Back by William J. Cusick, and embrace the important concept that customers are indeed irrational. They make their buying decisions based on emotions, and if a company understands this key idea, then a business can create a positive customer relationship. Read this book and put the power of irrationality to work for your business. Your customers will be happier and your business will become much more successful.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

 

Over The Holidays by Sandra Harper - Book review



Over The Holidays

By: Sandra Harper

Published: October 6, 2009
Format: Trade Paperback, 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1439158703
ISBN-13: 9781439158708
Publisher: Pocket Books






California resident Vanessa Clayton is having difficulty getting into the holiday spirit, and dreads having to prepare any seasonal meals and parties. Her sister in law, New England dwelling Patience Channing adores the holidays, and makes elaborate preparations for the season. When Vanessa and her family are unable to afford the trip East, Patience and her family arrive in Los Angeles for the holidays. Family difficulties, including Vanessa's lack of family support from her absent and ill husband, her artistic sister Thea, and her mother Carol, cause Vanessa to be under severe stress for the holiday season. How the family matters are resolved, and the holidays end, provide a humorous and sensitive slice of seasonal life in the delightful novel Over The Holidays by Sandra Harper.

The strain of preparing meals, taking care of the family, and helping a brooding playwright polish his play for the theater, cause Vanessa to temporarily lose her bearings. The arrival of Patience, who tends to take over the holiday preparations, adds to Vanessa's already rising level of stress. The change of scenery, and a bit of holiday magic, work wonders for Patience, and her daughter Liberty. The seasonal spirit has some intriguing effects on Vanessa, and on her sister Thea, as they examine their lives in new and different ways. The effect is handled by Sandra Harper with a light, breezy comedic touch, as the characters rediscover the meaning and importance of family, and of making decisions that can change a lifetime.



Sandra Harper (photo left) understands that much of what causes holiday stress is the expectation that the season can work magic. While the novel is about the magic of family, the characters often arrive at their conclusions only after learning some difficult lessons. The characters suffer, as many families do, from not communicating with one another. Instead of sharing their feelings and personal needs, they assume the other family members will understand. Instead, the lack of conversation between in laws and siblings creates chasms of misunderstanding that cause pain for all concerned. At the same time, the novel is about the importance of family, and of the power and strength of family bonds, that can withstand even the toughest of tests.

I highly recommend the wonderful seasonal read Over The Holidays by Sandra Harper, to anyone seeking a story about family and the expectations and challenges of the holiday season. Patience and Vanessa may have different ideas about what creates a perfect holiday event, but their hopes are tied to their personal ideals of what a family gathering should be, and not necessarily the reality of the desires of their relatives.

Read the engaging and life affirming novel Over The Holidays by Sandra Harper, and let the spirit of the holiday season flow through the pages. The joys and sorrows of the characters will ring true for many readers, as they see themselves and their families within the pages of the novel. In the end, the reader will rediscover the power and joy of sharing and communicating with others, and renew their love for their family members.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

 

Mark Magnacca: So What? How To Communicate What Really Matters To Your Audience - Blog Business Success Radio

Listen to Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio



Sales consultant and President of Insight Development Group, Inc. and author of the practical step by step guide to understanding customers and enhancing sales So What?: How to Communicate What Really Matters to Your Audience, Mark Magnacca, shares valuable insights into what your potential customers really want to hear in your sales and marketing message. He points out that your customers don't care about you. He says they also don't care about your product or service. What they really care about is how your product or service will benefit them. Once a sales or marketing person understands the cold hard facts, then it's possible to make more sales, be more successful, and have more fun in business and in life.

Mark Magnacca is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on Blog Talk Radio.

The show airs live on Thursday, October 22, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Sales consultant and President of Insight Development Group, Inc. and author of the practical step by step guide to understanding customers and enhancing sales So What?: How to Communicate What Really Matters to Your Audience, Mark Magnacca, shares valuable insights into what your potential customers really want to hear in your sales and marketing message. You will learn:

* Why your customers don't care about you and your products or services

* Why understanding the So What Questions are critical to sales success

* How to discover what the customer really wants

* How to communicate better with customers and really engage them



Mark Magnacca, (photo left) Insight Development Group, Inc. and MarkMagnacca.com, is a recognized business building coach, keynote speaker and author of So What?: How to Communicate What Really Matters to Your Audience and of The Product is You. Mark's mission is to help sales professionals get greater results in less time by teaching his clients to put all of their communications, verbal and written, to the So What Test. By adopting a So What Mindset, clients learn to communicate and structure every message according the needs of the listener.

Insight Development Group, Inc. specializes in training clients to create crisp, concise and compelling reasons to set themselves apart from their competitors. By creating a personal brand and effectively articulating their value proposition, clients of Insight Development Group, Inc. gain a huge competitive advantage and accelerate the sales process.

My book review of So What?: How to Communicate What Really Matters to Your Audience by Mark Magnacca.

Listen live on Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific time.

BlogTalkRadio.com

If you miss this very informative show, it will be available for free download as a podcast for iPod, iTunes, and MP3 players; or play it right on your computer. To download this, or any other of my guest interviews, go to the Blog Business Success host page and click on Archived Segments. Once there, click on the podcast icon at the end of the episode description, to download the show free of charge for your listening enjoyment. You can also subscribe to the show feed.

Add to iTunes

To call in questions for my guest, the number is: (347) 996-5832

Let's talk with sales consultant and President of Insight Development Group, Inc. and author of the practical step by step guide to understanding customers and enhancing sales So What?: How to Communicate What Really Matters to Your Audience, Mark Magnacca, as he shares valuable insights into what your potential customers really want to hear in your sales and marketing message. He points out that your customers don't care about you. He says they also don't care about your product or service. What they really care about is how your product or service will benefit them. Once a sales or marketing person understands the cold hard facts, then it's possible to make more sales, be more successful, and have more fun in business and in life on Blog Business Success Radio.


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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

 

So What? by Mark Magnacca - Book review



So What?

How to Communicate What Really Matters to Your Audience


By: Mark Magnacca

Published: June 2009
Format: Paperback, 147pp
ISBN-13: 9780137158263
ISBN: 0137158262
Publisher: FT Press





"The people you are trying to communicate with, sell to, or reach don't really care about you, or what you have to offer, until they know how what you have can benefit them", writes Founder and President of Insight Development Group, Inc. Mark Magnacca, in his practical step by step guide to understanding customers and enhancing sales So What?: How to Communicate What Really Matters to Your Audience. The author demonstrates how simplifying your sales goals to engage the customer and take their needs and desires into account, will result in more sales and a happier life for everyone.

Mark Magnacca recognizes that many sales and marketing people spend their time and energy talking about themselves, their company, and the virtues of their products and services. The author points out that this approach may have worked in the past, but it's a recipe for failure when attempting to engage the modern customer. In a wired world where a competitor, with very similar products and services is only a single mouse click away, engaging customers is critical for achieving sales success. The modern customer, writes Mark Magnacca, cares about themselves. They will respond to traditional sales messages with a shrug and an eye roll, that indicates that their needs and desires are not being met by the sales representative. The book teaches the reader how to get past what the author calls the So What Matrix, really engage the customer.



Mark Magnacca (photo left) understands that many sales people are highly successful at problem solving, and helping customers to achieve their goals and happiness. At the same time, the author is careful to point out, that success can lead to complacency. An inability to adapt to changing economic times, and to learn new ideas and techniques can turn a top producing sales representative into a weak performer. Many times, sales reps will begin to think of themselves, or even about what they are about to say to a prospective customer. The moment that this mindset becomes part of the salesperson's thinking, the focus on the real needs of the customer is lost. At the same time, many business people stop sharing their message with the customer, and lose that crucial customer engagement. When the customer focus and conversation is lost, very often the market will disappear as well.

For me, the power of the book is how Mark Magnacca not only describes how to be a more engaging, and successful sales representative or marketer, but he also demonstrates why the activity is important. Many books will provide the step by step sales and marketing system, but they will often neglect telling the reader why that approach is necessary. On the other hand, some books will take a theoretical approach, but fail to provide the practical hands on techniques to put those ideas into action. Mark Magnacca offers the best of both worlds, with an explanation of why the activity is critical, and then shows how to apply the concept in the real world of sales. The emphasis on keeping the message simple, and focused on the customer rather than the sales rep, is repeated over and over throughout the book, but each time emphasizing a different aspect of the customer engagement.

I highly recommend the easy to read, yet powerful book So What?: How to Communicate What Really Matters to Your Audience by Mark Magnacca, seeking to enhance and improve their sales and marketing communication. For anyone in sales and marketing, who is serious about listening to and engaging the customer, this book will provide the tools necessary for helping your customers to understand how your product or service will benefit them and improve their lives.

Read the clear and concise message of the must read book So What?: How to Communicate What Really Matters to Your Audience by Mark Magnacca, and truly make a connection with your customers. Learn why the customer doesn't care about you, and instead discover how to change your sales and marketing focus from yourself to the real needs of your customers. Your clientele will be happier, and you will be more success as well. No longer will your customers say "So What?" to your marketing message, and instead become happy and loyal buyers of your products and services.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

 

Stephanie Chandler: LEAP! - 101 Ways To Grow Your Business - Blog Business Success Radio

Listen to Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio



Entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, and award winning author of the highly practical step by step guide to business growth LEAP! 101 Ways To Grow Your Business, Stephanie Chandler, describes how business growth and success require much more than a simple business plan and a dream. She describes many practical strategies that can be put into place immediately to help your business grow. Her tips include leveraging the internet, working with the media and finding needed business capital. Her advice is geared to keep your business rolling in any economy.

Stephanie Chandler is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on Blog Talk Radio.

The show airs live on Tuesday, October 20, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Entrepreneur and award winning author of the highly practical step by step guide to business growth LEAP! 101 Ways To Grow Your Business, Stephanie Chandler, describes how business growth and success require much more than a simple business plan and a dream. You will learn:

* Why some small business people are successful and others are not

* How to put the LEAP formula to work in your company

* How to leverage marketing and customers for more business

* Why the internet, social media, and automation are critical to success



Stephanie Chandler (photo left) previously worked in the fast-paced Silicon Valley in a variety of roles including software sales, technical training and technical support. When she developed an ulcer before her 30th birthday, she knew it was time for a complete lifestyle change.

Following much contemplation and a year of planning, Stephanie fled corporate America in 2003 and opened a bookstore in Sacramento, California (she sold the store in 2007).

Owning a retail store gave her a hands-on education in the realities of small business marketing. Chandler began studying internet marketing strategies and quickly brought her store website into the top three results on Google, giving her business a competitive edge. A passion for internet marketing was born.

Stephanie launched BusinessInfoGuide.com, a directory of resources for entrepreneurs, in 2004. She is also founder and CEO of Authority Publishing, a custom publishing and marketing company.

Stephanie Chandler is an author of several books:

LEAP! 101 Ways To Grow Your Business (Career Press, September 2009)

The Author's Guide to Building an Online Platform: Leveraging the Internet to Sell More Books (Quill Driver Press, May 2008)

From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur: Make Money With Books, E-books, And Information Products (John Wiley & Sons, December 2006)

The Business Startup Checklist and Planning Guide: Seize Your Entrepreneurial Dreams! (Aventine Press, September 2005)

Stephanie Chandler has been featured in numerous media outlets including Entrepreneur Magazine, BusinessWeek, Inc.com, and More Magazine. She is also a frequent speaker at small business events and on the radio. She loves what she gets to do every day and finds great joy in learning and teaching about her favorite topics: internet marketing, social media and publishing.

My book review of LEAP! 101 Ways To Grow Your Business by Stephanie Chandler.

My book review of From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur: Make Money With Books, E-books, And Information Products by Stephanie Chandler.

Listen live on Tuesday at 8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific time.

BlogTalkRadio.com

If you miss this very informative show, it will be available for free download as a podcast for iPod, iTunes, and MP3 players; or play it right on your computer. To download this, or any other of my guest interviews, go to the Blog Business Success host page and click on Archived Segments. Once there, click on the podcast icon at the end of the episode description, to download the show free of charge for your listening enjoyment. You can also subscribe to the show feed.

Add to iTunes

To call in questions for my guest, the number is: (347) 996-5832

Let's talk with entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, and award winning author of the highly practical step by step guide to business growth LEAP! 101 Ways To Grow Your Business, Stephanie Chandler, as she describes how business growth and success require much more than a simple business plan and a dream. She describes many practical strategies that can be put into place immediately to help your business grow. Her tips include leveraging the internet, working with the media and finding needed business capital. Her advice is geared to keep your business rolling in any economy on Blog Business Success Radio.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

 

Overcomers, Inc. by Lynne Klippel - Book review



Overcomers, Inc.

True Stories of Hope, Courage, and Inspiration


By: Lynne Klippel

Published: October 1, 2009
Format: Paperback, 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1934509264
ISBN-13: 978-1934509265
Publisher: Love Your Life Publishing, Inc.






"You will find this a book of diversity. There are many authors, from many walks of life. However, they all share a common bond. They triumphed over tragedy and gleaned wisdom in this process. While this is not a religious book, there are stories full of faith, of many kinds and flavors. It is funny how in your darkest times, faith often becomes your brightest light." writes author and publisher, and overcomer herself, Lynne Klippel in her inspirational and moving anthology of hope Overcomers, Inc.: True Stories of Hope, Courage, and Inspiration. The collected stories create a strong message of hope, even in times of uncertainty, fear, and despair.

The author of each straight from the heart essay in this powerful collection describes how adversity was faced, and how those very difficult challenges were overcome. The stories of hope are diverse, and are written by real people, living through, and triumphing over tragedy, illness, sorrow, and pain.

The book summary describes the greatness of the personal achievement, often despite terrible odds:

Overcomers, Inc.: True Stories of Hope, Courage, and Inspiration will give readers the knowledge and emotional resilience to face the most difficult times of life by sharing inspiring stories of triumph.

You will find this a book of diversity. There are many authors, from many walks of life. However, they all share a common bond. They triumphed over tragedy and gleaned wisdom in this process. While this is not a religious book, there are stories full of faith, of many kinds and flavors. It is funny how in your darkest times, faith often becomes your brightest light.

All of the contributors to this book want to encourage you to hold tight to your belief that a better day will come. It is their sincere desire to pass along what they’ve learned through their own trials, to make your journey easier.




Lynne Klippel (photo left) has done a tremendous service by making these inspirational stories available. The book is not like many anthologies of inspiration, but is intended as a guide, for the reader to keep handy for those moments when all hope seems lost. The various writers, from all walks of life, have all been in the same depths of despair, yet they emerged from their problems stronger, wiser, and able to share hope with others.

Business readers may be especially interested in the following author interviews, available in conjunction with the book itself, as they provide additional background for the author's story. There are many more author interviews, but these are a wonderful introduction to the many deeply personal stories of hope:

How the Airline Safety Speech Saved My Life - Amelie Chance

From Trauma To Triumph: One Woman's Empowering Journey From Fragmented Child to Conscious Entrepreneur - Charlon Bobo


Saying Good-bye to a Business I Loved - Christine Kloser

Second Chances - Kathleen Gage

The Waiting Room Miracle - Lynne Klippel

I highly recommend the life transforming collection Overcomers, Inc.: True Stories of Hope, Courage, and Inspiration by Lynne Klippel, to anyone facing serious challenges in their personal, professional, or business life. Each of the authors in the book have met and have overcome similar life challenges. Their experiences give hope to all that there is a way out, and that you will emerge on the other side, a stronger and wiser person.

Read the life affirming book Overcomers, Inc.: True Stories of Hope, Courage, and Inspiration by Lynne Klippel, and be sure to look over the many gifts offered to readers who purchase this powerful anthology. Learn how other people just like you, achieved triumph over adversity, as they overcame some of life's most serious challenges. You too can be an overcomer.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

 

LEAP! 101 Ways To Grow Your Business by Stephanie Chandler - Book review


LEAP! 101 Ways To Grow Your Business

By: Stephanie Chandler

Published: September 20, 2009
Format: Paperback, 255 pages
ISBN-10: 1601630794
ISBN-13: 978-1601630797
Publisher: Career Press




"As business owners, we want the flexibility and freedom that is supposed to come with owning our own companies, yet many of us have no idea what it looks like", writes best selling business book author and entrepreneur Stephanie Chandler, in her highly practical step by step guide to business growth LEAP! 101 Ways To Grow Your Business. The author shares easy to understand tips, that are proven business builders in the real world, to help any entrepreneur grow a business, while creating valuable personal time for maintaining balance in one's life.

Stephanie Chandler is a successful entrepreneur, who draws on the valuable knowledge and insights of many of the leading thinkers in business planning, management, and marketing. She sets up her book in four major sections that form her LEAP business building strategy:

* Leverage
* Execute
* Accelerate
* Prosper

The concepts are powerful in their simplicity. Using your many resources and planning the business create the Leverage. Taking positive action on the developed plan forms the Execute. Picking up the pace and taking a huge step forward are what build the Accelerate. Reaping both business and personal rewards while keeping the business flowing smoothly create the Prosper. Taken together, Stephanie Chandler establishes the framework for applying proven techniques to take the business to the next level.



Stephanie Chandler (photo left) combines business planning with strong follow through activities that will transform any small business into a more effective, efficient, and profitable company. She provides helpful and very easy to apply ideas for developing a solid business plan that combines strong money management techniques with powerful marketing concepts. The author demonstrates how to utilize online and offline marketing channels to enhance sales, while automating the system and generating unlimited customer referral business. At the same time, Stephanie Chandler helps the business person to generate media attention, from both traditional media outlets and from online media sources.

For me, the power of the book is its easy to follow format for developing and enhancing any business enterprise. The concepts presented in the book are proven business boosters, and work well in any economy. In today's uncertain economic times, any book that shares business ideas that generate revenue and grow the company, should be given strong consideration. Not only does Stephanie Chandler share her own strong business expertise, but the book is packed with interviews and advice from many of the leading entrepreneurial minds in the business. The result is a book that helps to plan a successful company, and then provides the essential tools to make those plans a reality.

I highly recommend the business growing book LEAP! 101 Ways To Grow Your Business by Stephanie Chandler, to any entrepreneur seeking a highly readable and hands on book to make their company a success. The no nonsense approach used in the book makes it a handy guide that can be referred to over and over again, whenever a business problem should arise. Every page contains a usable piece of valuable wisdom that can be put into action immediately.

Read the small business transformational book LEAP! 101 Ways To Grow Your Business by Stephanie Chandler, and put the four LEAP steps into action in your company. You will be pleased at how your profits jump and your personal rewards become ever greater over time.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

 

Waiting For Columbus by Thomas Trofimuk - Book review



Waiting for Columbus

By: Thomas Trofimuk

Published: August 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover, 408 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7710-8546-8
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart










A man, admitted against his will to a modern psychiatric hospital in Spain, insists he is the famous Fifteenth Century explorer Christopher Columbus. His disjointed stories of his loves and obsession with the journey to the West, told to a sympathetic nurse named Consuela, provide tantalizing clues of his life. At the same time, an Interpol agent is also searching for a missing person, who matches the description of the mysterious man who claims to be Columbus. Their lives become entwined as they all search for meaning in the magical and endlessly fascinating novel Waiting for Columbus by Thomas Trofimuk.

The richly textured novel is part allegory and part character study, where events of the past and the present intermingle to create a complex whole. The mysterious man, who calls himself Columbus, is an explorer. Like all people, he is on his life's journey, and that voyage to his self discovery is both literal and symbolic. While seeking and also avoiding his true identity in this world, his rambling stories of the great navigator, form an allegory for a the human journey across the sea of life toward the unknown and undiscovered land of death. The West is the land of the dead in many religious traditions, and also represents the afterlife. The metaphor of the ocean voyage as living one's life permeates the book, and forms a backdrop for the journey to understand oneself.



Thomas Trofimuk (photo left by Randall Edwards) also writes a story about identity. The author formulates the difficult question of who a person really is and if that identity can be created internally, is given by others, or perhaps a combination of the two possibilities. For Columbus, the created identity is real on a deep level, as he is truly an explorer in his own heart. He seeks love and desires to be loved by others, and the ocean also becomes a metaphor for love as a journey of discovery. Nurse Consuela becomes Queen Isabella for Columbus, as she facilitates his voyage by listening to his stories, thereby providing him with symbolic ships, and a reason for the journey toward the unknown.

Not only is the self styled Columbus an explorer, he has already lived part of his adventure stories in the literal world. In his mind, however, he changes the literal details to more romantic tales, in the manner of Don Quixote. Indeed, the symbolic aspects of the patient's often puzzling narratives are an intriguing parallel to the adventures of Don Quixote. Both are seekers of truth and beauty in a world where those qualities are often absent, and for Columbus they exist only within the mind, and in the quest for the promised wonders of the unexplored Western sea. The obsession to discover what lies beyond the limits of this worldly life, drives Columbus to seek knowledge of the possibility of a better and happier life across the symbolic sea.

I highly recommend the powerful and captivating novel Waiting for Columbus by Thomas Trofimuk, to anyone seeking a story of love, hope, and the search for identity. While Columbus may only exist in a literal sense in the patient's mind, the truth is much more complex. Everyone is on life's journey across the vast ocean of this world toward the unknown and unknowable possibilities of the next world. There may be a rich reward or there may be monsters. There may even be an edge of that world of which the ship of life falls off into oblivion. Columbus dares to take that risk, and discovers himself in the process. He, like all people, are waiting for that explorer Columbus within them, to be their guide on the journey of the joys, loves, and sorrows of life's ocean.

Read the unforgettable novel Waiting for Columbus by Thomas Trofimuk, and join the always intriguing, if occasionally frustrating Columbus, as he shares the tales of his voyage with the beguiling Nurse Consuela. Follow their voyages to self discovery, and their search for the undiscovered lands beyond this life and their own mortality, as they wait for the true Columbus within themselves.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

 

Mitchell Allen: A Survival Guide To Debt - Blog Business Success Radio

Listen to Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio



Debt management expert and President of Debt Education and Certification Foundation, and author of the practical and easy to understand guide for taking control of debt A Survival Guide To Debt: How To Overcome Tough Times & Restore Your Financial Health, Mitchell Allen, describes how to make smart choices about how to get out of debt, and how to recover the financial and personal effects of hard times. Instead of focusing only on entering or avoiding bankruptcy, he presents all available options, and how to take fullest advantage of them. Learn valuable tips and strategies for emerging from debt and for regaining control of your finances permanently.

Mitchell Allen is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on Blog Talk Radio.

The show airs live on Thursday, October 15, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Debt management expert and President of Debt Education and Certification Foundation, and author of the practical and easy to understand guide for taking control of debt A Survival Guide To Debt: How To Overcome Tough Times & Restore Your Financial Health, Mitchell Allen, describes how to make smart choices about how to get out of debt, and how to recover the financial and personal effects of hard times. You will learn:

* The many causes of personal debt problems

* How to recognize the warning signs of possible debt problems

* How to assess your options including personal bankruptcy

* How to establish a plan to stay of debt issues permanently



Mitchell Allen (photo left) is the founder, president, and chairman of Debt Education and Certification Foundation, a leading provider of personal debt management courses. Courses he helped develop have been used in over 200,000 counseling sessions, and he has personally conducted more than 1,000 interviews with individuals in financial crisis.

Mitchell previously worked for Citigroup and The Associates Financial Corporation as senior director of modeling, where he led a team of economists and statisticians in developing statistical models to predict response, risk, and fraud within various private label credit card portfolios.

My book review of A Survival Guide To Debt: How To Overcome Tough Times & Restore Your Financial Health by Mitchell Allen.

Listen live on Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific time.

BlogTalkRadio.com

If you miss this very informative show, it will be available for free download as a podcast for iPod, iTunes, and MP3 players; or play it right on your computer. To download this, or any other of my guest interviews, go to the Blog Business Success host page and click on Archived Segments. Once there, click on the podcast icon at the end of the episode description, to download the show free of charge for your listening enjoyment. You can also subscribe to the show feed.

Add to iTunes

To call in questions for my guest, the number is: (347) 996-5832

Let's talk with debt management expert and President of Debt Education and Certification Foundation, and author of the practical and easy to understand guide for taking control of debt A Survival Guide To Debt: How To Overcome Tough Times & Restore Your Financial Health, Mitchell Allen,as he describes how to make smart choices about how to get out of debt, and how to recover the financial and personal effects of hard times. Instead of focusing only on entering or avoiding bankruptcy, he presents all available options, and how to take fullest advantage of them. Learn valuable tips and strategies for emerging from debt and for regaining control of your finances permanently on Blog Business Success Radio.

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