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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

 

Home Sweet Home Page by Carma Spence-Pothitt - Book review


Home Sweet Home Page

The 5 Deadly Mistakes Authors, Speakers and Coaches Make with Their Website's Home Page and How To Fix Them!


By: Carma Spence-Pothitt

Published: Dec. 19, 2009
Format: Paperback: 73 pages
ISBN-10: 0557044332
Publisher: Lulu.com



"Your website's home page is it's most precious and valuable "real estate". The home page is like a virtual business card, a virtual storefront and a virtual greeting card all rolled into one", writes professional website designer Carma Spence-Pothitt, in her concise and idea packed book Home Sweet Home Page: The 5 Deadly Mistakes Authors, Speakers and Coaches Make with Their Website's Home Page and How To Fix Them!. The author describes the most common errors business and professional people make with their websites, why these mistakes are so costly, and how to repair them the right way.

Carma Spence-Pothitt recognizes the critical importance of a business website in general, and of a strong and compelling home page in particular. She treats a website home page in the same way as she would examine a bricks and mortar storefront or office design. The first impression made by a storefront, window display, or reception area create the same initial response as the first glance at a company home page. That crucial connections gives the author the insight to uncover the costly design flaws in countless business and professional websites.

For Carma Spence-Pothitt, those five key problem areas are:

* Lack of clarity
* Lack of professionalism
* Lack of an invitation to continue the conversation
* Lack of a reason to continue the conversation
* Bad copy on the page



Carma Spence-Pothitt (photo left) not only describes the most glaring issues on the home page, but she provides valuable advice on how to repair them effectively. The author begins with the obvious, but very often overlooked concept of establishing the purpose of the website. All too often, the business professional fails to isolate the goals of the site, leaving it without any clear direction. That lack of site clarity leads directly to the other major mistakes on the site as well. Without a clear vision of the site's role in the business, and how it will support the objectives of the company, the site will fail to produce the expected results. Carma Spence-Pothitt demonstrates how to create a strong mission statement for the website, providing the overall framework for building the home page and the rest of the website, to work toward fulfilling that mission.

For me, the power of the book, is how Carma Spence-Pothitt packs so much punch into a small volume. The book spends little time on frills, and is devoted entirely to identifying the problems found with business and professional home pages, and to creating their solutions. The book's focus and sparse design are, in many ways, a mirror of the ideal website as described by Carma Spence-Pothitt. She establishes her vision and purpose for the book, and follows logically and efficiently toward that goal. Having the layout of the book reflect the same logic, as the proposed solutions to website mistakes, demonstrates a clarity of purpose on the part of the author. The book can be read in one sitting, as is helpful for a busy business person. The valuable site mistake self assessment can be completed, and the solutions presented in the book, can be put into action immediately.

I highly recommend the valuable and action oriented book Home Sweet Home Page: The 5 Deadly Mistakes Authors, Speakers and Coaches Make with Their Website's Home Page and How To Fix Them! by Carma Spence-Pothitt, to anyone seeking to understand why their website isn't achieving its full potential as a business creation tool. By understanding the vital importance of the untapped power of the home page, to build reputation and increase business, this book serves its stated intentions very well.

Read the handy and practical book Home Sweet Home Page: The 5 Deadly Mistakes Authors, Speakers and Coaches Make with Their Website's Home Page and How To Fix Them! by Carma Spence-Pothitt, and put some real punch into your home page, while avoiding some of the most frequently occurring errors that haunt and weaken so many business and professional websites. The ideas and proven real world solutions offered in this book will go far to establishing your website, and its prime home page real estate, as a leader in your industry.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

 

The Curse of the Mogul by Jonathan Knee, Bruce Greenwald & Ava Seave - Book review



The Curse of the Mogul

What's Wrong with the World's Leading Media Companies


By: Jonathan A. Knee, Bruce C. Greenwald, Ava Seave

Published: October 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
ISBN: 9781591842644
Publisher: Penguin/Portfolio











"The media industry is facing multiple financial and operational crises on an unprecedented scale", write finance and management experts Jonathan A. Knee, Bruce C. Greenwald, and Ava Seave, in their insightful and eye opening book The Curse of the Mogul: What's Wrong with the World's Leading Media Companies. The authors raise some critical questions about the viability and management decisions made by the major media corporations, and dispel many of the myths surrounding the industry and its well known ownership and CEO names.



Jonathan A. Knee (photo left), Bruce C. Greenwald, and Ava Seave describe a media industry, that despite its well publicized and self proclaimed sense of being indispensable, is one that fails to live up to its financial and stock value expectations. The authors point out that the major players in media rarely achieve stock values and return on investment that even matches the average of any of the major stock indexes. Instead of building company and shareholder value, these companies have lost $20 billion from their collective balance sheets. The book describes why the media companies, despite their optimistic buzzword filled press releases, perform poorly in the marketplace, and how their future business prospects look bleak as well.



Bruce C. Greenwald (photo left), Jonathan A. Knee, and Ava Seave describe the major causes of the weak business performance of the media giants. One of the core problems of the industry is the all powerful ownership of these closely held corporations. Household names including Rupert Murdoch, Sumner Redstone, and Ted Turner dominate their companies with their force of personality. Very often the moguls indulge in wrong headed decision making, blinded by their own sense of importance, and end up with money losing acquisitions that fail to match their promised value. At the same time, the authors demonstrate that media moguls consider their industry to be like no other, and therefore cannot be judged or valuated on the same terms as other major corporations. This myth of self importance and indispensability to the economy, as the authors point, is used by the moguls to defend their weak financial performance.



Ava Seave (photo left), Bruce C. Greenwald, and Jonathan A. Knee portray a world where all powerful media moguls can make brilliant financial and acquisition decisions, and immediately negate that move with another that was ill advised at best, and entirely disastrous at worst. For me, the power of the book is how the authors provide a clear eyed analysis of the root causes of the major media companies' many failures, tempered with fair descriptions of what went right in their boardroom decisions. The book shows clearly that there are both good moguls who operate their companies well and create shareholder value, and their are bad moguls who are ego driven, follow misguided growth policies, and fail to understand the realities of a changing marketplace including the online world. The book also shows a light at the end of the tunnel for the media corporations, and how they can become more profitable and effectively run businesses in the future. Of course, as the authors write, there is no certainty that the media moguls will adopt and follow the best course.

I highly recommend the myth destroying and groundbreaking book The Curse of the Mogul: What's Wrong with the World's Leading Media Companies by Jonathan A. Knee, Bruce C. Greenwald, and Ava Seave, to anyone seeking a well balanced and thought provoking book about how and why the major media moguls make flawed business decisions. The authors dispel the usual mogul supplied myths of synergy, growth, of content being king, and of their ego driven sense of being essential to the industry. The book offers valuable lessons from media companies who made successful strategic business moves, and why they outperformed the other moguls in building shareholder value.

Read the essential and in depth book The Curse of the Mogul: What's Wrong with the World's Leading Media Companies by Jonathan A. Knee, Bruce C. Greenwald, and Ava Seave, and discover how the media corporations can meet the challenges of the internet and build profits, by discarding their traditional mogul driven business models. The demise of the media companies is not at hand, but if they fail to embrace the new realities facing the industry, they will continue to lag behind the rest of the economy. The authors offer the media moguls a fresh vision. It's up to the moguls to accept it and put that vision into action.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

 

The Back Of The Napkin (Expanded Edition) by Dan Roam - Book review


The Back of the Napkin (Expanded Edition)

Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures


By: Dan Roam

Published: December 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover, 304 pages
ISBN 9781591843061
Publisher: Penguin/Portfolio





"The problems we face today are global. To solve them we need a global language. Simple pictures that align with basic human perception will be that language", writes President of Digital Roam, Inc., and consultant, Dan Roam, who adds to his ground breaking, creative thinking, and problem solving techniques in The Back of the Napkin (Expanded Edition): Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures. The author adds all new material and color touches, to add even more value to the already classic book, about conveying ideas through simple drawings.

Dan Roam understands the power of a picture or diagram for exchanging thoughts and ideas. The concept of expressing thoughts and ideas through simple line drawings is deceptively simple, and often dismissed mistakenly as a result. Very complex ideas can be distilled into a few easily drawn pictures, and understood readily by a very wide audience. The ability to create easy to grasp drawings requires a thorough understanding of the problem at hand. Dan Roam describes in vivid detail how to approach the crux of any problem, through his processes for seeing the big picture in new and exciting ways. When the totality of the problem is understood, the complexity falls away, leaving the core issues of the problem, leading to its solution. That problem, solution, and process for achieving successful implementation, can all be expressed through pictures, helping to sell the solution through deeper understanding.



Dan Roam (photo left) recognizes that not all people are artists, and also that not everyone will accept his powerful problem solving techniques at face value. Instead of forcing his concepts onto the reader, he gently draws the skeptics into his problem solving tools, through understanding that people approach problems in different ways. The use of simple line drawings, arrows, and other visual cues, presents even the most difficult and perplexing obstacle in a different and manageable format. When the process is completed, the basic issues of what seemed like an insurmountable wall, present themselves as answers and viable solutions. Through demonstrating the ability to express the problem and solutions in pictures, the individual develops a deeper and more insightful understanding of all of the underlying complexities of the problem. As a result, the solution can be shared with others in pictures and diagrams.

For me, the power of the book is Dan Roam's powerful and universally applicable process for understanding problems and developing creative solutions. These problems and solutions, when seen through the different eyes and ways of seeing presented in the book, become more manageable and become solvable. The discovered solutions, that present themselves through the drawing technique system, become readily understandable and ready for successful implementation. Dan Roam guides the reader through each one of his techniques, including real world case study examples, in a friendly and engaging style. The book contains so many hidden and overt elements of fun and enjoyment, that the reader can't wait to finish the book and apply the drawing techniques to existing problems. The recognition, by the author, that pictures and drawings are a universally understood language, is especially critical in today's globalized economy. Pictures require no additional languages, as they are a cross cultural language themselves.

I highly recommend this expanded and updated edition of the classic book The Back of the Napkin (Expanded Edition): Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures by Dan Roam, to anyone seeking a powerful, breakthrough problem solving technique. This is such a useful and important book that it will be turned to for inspiration again and again. The material can be read and reread, with deeper insight into drawing and pictorial representation of problems and solutions discovered every time. There appears to be no problem too difficult for the drawing concept to overcome. The material in the book is simply that powerful as a creative thinking tool kit.

Read the absolutely essential book on problem solving The Back of the Napkin (Expanded Edition): Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures by Dan Roam, and put even your most stubborn barriers to the test. When the systems described in the book are employed, the problem loses its power as its vital elements appear as simple drawings. The solution will soon follow. This is a book that every business person should have on their shelf, and turn to every time a problem arises. Let Dan Roam, and the power of simple drawings, picture your success.


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Saturday, March 27, 2010

 

Traction: Get A Grip On Your Business by Gino Wickman - Book review



Traction

Get A Grip On Your Business


By: Gino Wickman

Published: October 2007
Format: Hardcover, 232pp
ISBN-13: 9780979799006
ISBN-10: 0979799007
Publisher: EOS






"Forget all your pre-existing ideas about how to run your business. Now imagine a birds-eye view of your business and look down on it from above", writes entrepreneur and developer of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), Gino Wickman, in his highly practical and results oriented book Traction: Get A Grip On Your Business. The author describes a powerful system designed to ensure that a business owner recognizes and understands the most important principles in operating an entrepreneurial enterprise.

Gino Wickman has been an entrepreneur since age twenty-one, and took over running the financially troubled family business at age twenty-five. He turned the company around into a successful business, and sold it for a profit seven years later. The knowledge he gleaned from that experience, and the concepts he put into action in that company, form the nucleus of this valuable book. As an experienced entrepreneur, Gino Wickman recognizes that most business people find difficulty in one or more areas of their company. These problems are a lack of control over the business, difficulties with people inside and outside the company, a lack of profit, that an insurmountable growth ceiling has been reached, and that no new initiatives or ideas are working. The author shares his effective real world solutions to these all too frequent entrepreneurial roadblocks.



Gino Wickman (photo left) describes his six component system, and its simple and straightforward methodology as including creating a vision, getting the right people in place, collecting the right data, removing the issues that block the vision, putting effective processes in place, and gaining traction in the execution of the business with focus and accountability. The author points out how he distilled this six point system through culling the most critical aspects of running a business from close to one hundred seemingly important problems. When the six key priorities are understood, and brought under control, writes Gino Wickman, an entrepreneur is well positioned for business success. The simplified system helps a business person maintain focus on what is critical to a smoothly operating company, while avoiding the distractions of less critical issues that remove that focus.

For me, the power of the book is how Gino Wickman distills the most crucial aspects of operating a business into six very actionable principles. When these core competencies are recognized and understood by an entrepreneur, the book contains an in depth chapter on each one that describes why it is important, and how to implement the concept into any company. The book also contains an interactive aspect where the business person can conduct a self analysis of the company strengths and weaknesses in each of the core components. That business examination helps create a richer understanding of where problems exist, as well as areas in which the company is succeeding quite well. The author guides the entrepreneur through the entire process, in a step by step easy to understand format, making the application of the system more effective and profitable.

I highly recommend the very hands on and business transformational book Traction: Get A Grip On Your Business by Gino Wickman, to any entrepreneur or small to medium size company executives who are seeking a simple, yet highly effective tool for regaining control of their business.
The book is written in plain language, and is easy to put into action, while creating value for a business person seeking results and not platitudes.

Read the profit building book Traction: Get A Grip On Your Business by Gino Wickman, and regain control over your business. Instead of the five areas that create headaches and sleepless nights for many entrepreneurs, this book offers tried and proven answers to real world problems. It's a game changer for any business.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

 

The One-Week Job Project by Sean Aiken - Book review



The One-Week Job Project

1 Man, 1 Year, 52 Jobs


By: Sean Aiken

Published: April 6, 2010
Format: Paperback, 288 pages
ISBN: 9780143170518
Publisher: Penguin Canada











"I'd felt ready to graduate for some time. I wanted to do my own thing, to start working toward something. The only problem was that I had no idea what this something was", writes 2005 graduate in Business Administration from British Columbia's Capliano College, where he was voted Valedictorian, blogger, and employment adventurer Sean Aiken in his inspirational and self discovering book The One-Week Job Project: 1 Man, 1 Year, 52 Jobs. The author describes his year long employment sampling experiences, of working fifty-two different jobs across North America in fifty-two weeks, with humour and a sense of enjoyment of his personal journey.

Sean Aiken, like many young people when the graduate college, had no idea as to what career path he wanted to follow with his life. For many recent graduates, simply getting a job - any job - is sufficient, even if the career isn't in keeping with their personal goals, values, and aspirations. Sean Aiken decided to take a much less traveled road. Instead of leaping head first into any employment opportunity that offered his a pay cheque, he undertook a unique and life changing experiment. He offered to work one week at a time, and experience many different types of employment, in the hope that he would discover his true mission in life. From the very first job, where he takes a literal bungee jump into the abyss, he takes a metaphorical leap into the unknown of his own career goals and life purpose.



Sean Aiken (photo left) learns a great amount about every job at which he tries his hand, and shares his achievements and disappointments with his readers. Even more importantly, Sean Aiken learns much more about himself, and to what purpose he wants to devote his life. Along the way, he began to understand that many of the old platitudes, that form the nucleus of almost every graduation and convocation address, hold a very powerful element of truth. A person not only can achieve whatever they desire in life, but also they must pursue their passion and their inner compass along that journey. Whether he is instructing rock climbing, working as a reporter, trying his hand as a baker, or a fashion buyer, Sean Aiken dives into every occupation with a zest for life that draws his readers along on his quest for his true passion.

For me, the power of the book is how Sean Aiken shares his passion for life and for exploring as many options as possible in his life. He takes the reader along on his voyage of self discovery, as he learns about life, love, and the truly important aspects of life. He doesn't just go through the motions of each job, but treats every occupation with the dignity and respect that is their due. As a result of his caring about the jobs and the people who work at them, Sean learns valuable lessons about each one of them, and how he can apply those discoveries to other jobs and aspects of his life. The author's humour shines through the book as he shares his adventures, mistakes, and personal foibles along the way. He never loses sight of his vision, and the wisdom of discovering his passion in life and what he intends to do with his life.

I highly recommend the entertaining book about finding passion for life The One-Week Job Project: 1 Man, 1 Year, 52 Jobs by Sean Aiken, to anyone of any age, who is seeking their true purpose in life. While not everyone would undertake the same road on that quest as Sean Aiken, that is one of the points made by the author. Sean followed his own passion for learning and understanding many jobs, with the hope that he would happen upon the one that would fulfill his life aspirations and dreams. For someone else, the road to that deeper understanding would take a different course. The author demonstrates that many different ways of uncovering our dreams are possible, and that we can learn much about ourselves as we take that plunge.

Read the unique and enjoyable adventures of a journeyer on his quest for self discovery The One-Week Job Project: 1 Man, 1 Year, 52 Jobs by Sean Aiken, and be inspired and motivated to seek your own true passion in life. It's never too early to begin that journey, and it's also never too late to find what you really want to do with your life. Follow Sean Aiken's lead and take that symbolic bungee jump into the unknown, as you will never know what you may find within yourself.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

 

The River Kings' Road by Liane Merciel - Book review



The River Kings' Road

A Novel of Ithelas


By: Liane Merciel

Published: March 2010
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
ISBN-10: 1439159114
ISBN-13: 9781439159118
Publisher: Pocket Books






The uneasy peace between the warring kingdoms of Oakharn and Langmyr is almost shattered, by a horrific attack by armed men and the horror of bloodmagic, on the Langmyr border village of Willowfield. Mercenary Brys Tarnell barely escapes, holding the heir to the Oakharn throne in his arms. He discovers a young peasant woman Odesse, and together with her baby and the infant noble, they begin their journey to find help. The ambitions of Laferic, an embittered Oakharn lord; a young priest of the Sun named Sir Kelland; and his champion archer and female companion Bitharn; and a powerful dark force called a Thorn, find their lives and the destiny of the kingdoms entwined in the magical, adventure fantasy The River Kings' Road: A Novel of Ithelas by author Liane Merciel.

The grand fantasy themes of love, war, destiny, good, and evil play out in elegant fashion in this first in a fascinating new fantasy series by Liane Merciel. The events in the novel, portrayed in a realistic manner, are propelled forward by logic and by events larger than the characters themselves. When the horrific attack on the village occurs, the mercenary Brys Tarnell acts realistically, in protecting the infant lord, as well as ensuring his own self preservation. When he convinces the young mother Odesse to join him in returning the baby home, she does so realistically and within character. Throughout the novel, the characters act as they should, based on their personalities and motives, that are often mixed in the gray area between good and evil. The nuances and shades of gray give the characters much more depth, and helps them to come alive on the page.



Liane Merciel (photo left) creates a world where events have consequences, and once placed in motion, take on a life of their own with unexpected results. The quest for peace between the long time warring kingdoms may be the end to which their rulers aspire, but the author raises the critical question of whether the means to achieve peace are justifiable. This theme is important in our world, as it is in the novel, where rulers very often consider some deaths to be acceptable in reaching their desired outcomes. The author presents an alternative concept where the least likely person, without power of ambition, can change the course of history in ways unforeseen by the leaders of the kingdoms. As the grand themes play out, the personal goals and motivations of the characters drives their actions, and very different outcomes are the result.

Sir Kelland and Bitharn discover that their unspoken love, in spite of Sir Kelland's vows, lead to events that may have disastrous results. Sir Kelland is torn between his devotion to his vows and ideals, and his love for Bitharn. Along the way, their story becomes part of the grand events unfolding in the world around them. Just as Brys Telland and Odesse find themselves unlikely protectors of an heir to a kingdom, individual motivations cause events to change in ways unexpected by their rulers. The author makes clear, and in convincing fashion, that the actions of ordinary people make as much difference in the world as those of the great and powerful. The lowliest of people can change the course of history through love, duty, and a sense of honor, even if that duty is thrust upon them by events beyond their control.

I highly recommend the enthralling and character driven fantasy novel The River Kings' Road: A Novel of Ithelas by Liane Merciel, to anyone seeking a new voice in the fantasy literature genre. This first book in the exciting new series is certain to entice readers to want to follow the further adventures of the people and their stories, as they unfold in the rest of the books. The power of the book is the realism of the characters, acting as real people would, both selfishly and for the benefit of others. The people are true to life, and are memorable for their humanity.

Read the exciting and page turning novel The River Kings' Road: A Novel of Ithelas by author Liane Merciel, and be whisked away to another time and place, where magic is real, and where the people are very much like us. The author's world is one of good and evil, love and sacrifice, and of people living out their destinies through their own actions. The novel is a wonderful and delightful first entry in a very promising new fantasy series.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

 

Marianna Olszewski: Live It. Love It,, Earn It - Blog Business Success Radio

Listen to Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio



Money coach, Founder and CEO of Madison Financial Management LLC, and author of the inspirational and life changing book Live It, Love It, Earn It: A Woman's Guide to Financial Freedom, Marianna Olszewski, shares her secrets for learning how to love your money, and how to make it work for you. She describes how to remove the fear of money, and the dread of being short of cash, to live a more rewarding life. She discusses how to change your thoughts from negativity to a positive outlook that attracts people, opportunities, and financial success. She teaches how to learn to act as if you already have money, and to love it when it arrives.

Marianna Olszewski is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on BlogTalkRadio.

The show airs live on Thursday, March 25, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Money coach, Founder and CEO of Madison Financial Management LLC, and author of the inspirational and life changing book Live It, Love It, Earn It: A Woman's Guide to Financial Freedom, Marianna Olszewski shares her secrets for learning how to love your money, and how to make it work for you. You will learn:

* Why women often hold themselves back from achieving financial independence

* Why you should learn to love and respect your money

* How other successful women achieved their financial goals

* How to act as if you are successful and then watch it be your reality



Marianna Olszewski (photo left) is considered one of the most respected women on Wall Street. Marianna earned her money the old fashioned way - with hard work. She began as a New Jersey teenager juggling three jobs and today manages a financial business while living her life to the fullest.

A renowned motivational and financial speaker, Marianna regularly presents seminars for and delivers keynote addresses to women’s associations, universities, and national conferences. Marianna is founder and CEO of Madison Financial Management LLC a registered broker dealer and hedge fund marketing company. In a relatively short period of time and in her early thirties Marianna grew Madison into a multi-million dollar business. Prior to Madison, Marianna worked with a number of financial institutions, including IBM Pension Fund, Bloomberg Financial Markets and Paulson Partners LP. Marianna has an MBA in International Finance from Fordham University and a BS in Finance from Rutgers University.

As part of her mission, Marianna is involved with many women’s causes and serves on the board of a number of charitable organizations. Marianna is involved with Dress for Success, Girl’s Quest, Step-up Women’s Network and other organizations. With the launch of Live It, Love It, Earn It, Marianna will be donating a portion of her royalties to nonprofit organizations dedicated to empowering, educating and assisting women and girls.

Marianna is featured in the media including MSNBC, ABC, Fox & Friends, Fox News, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Daily News, Philadelphia Weekly, The Huffington Post, Vogue, Women Entrepreneur, Glamour, Esquire, GQ. Marianna contributes as the Money Expert on Its Your Health and, the Money Expert on Mom Talk Radio and the Money Coach on Sassybean.com.

My book review of Live It, Love It, Earn It: A Woman's Guide to Financial Freedom by Marianna Olszewski.

My written Q and A interview with Marianna Olszewski.

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 money coach, Founder and CEO of Madison Financial Management LLC, and author of the inspirational and life changing book Live It, Love It, Earn It: A Woman's Guide to Financial Freedom, Marianna Olszewski, as she shares her secrets for learning how to love your money, and how to make it work for you. She describes how to remove the fear of money, and the dread of being short of cash, to live a more rewarding life. She discusses how to change your thoughts from negativity to a positive outlook that attracts people, opportunities, and financial success. She teaches how to learn to act as if you already have money, and to love it when it arrives on Blog Business Success Radio.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

 

Jerry Simmons: Digital Distribution of eBooks and Audiobooks - Blog Business Success Radio

Listen to Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio



Publishing expert, Founder and CEO of the INDI Publishing Group, LLC, and author of the essential book What Writers Need To Know About Publishing, Jerry Simmons, describes the revolution that is taking place in the world of publishing. He discusses how ebooks, electronic books, and audio books are turning the book publishing and distribution industry upside down. He shares his ideas as to where the industry is headed, and what authors, distributor, as well as major and independent publishers need to know to position themselves properly for success in this new electronic world. Discover how to take best advantage of the opportunities available to writers, as well as how to avoid the pitfalls, of an online and electronic publishing industry.

Jerry Simmons is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on BlogTalkRadio.

The show airs live on Tuesday, March 23, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Publishing expert, CEO of the INDI Publishing Group, LLC, and author of the essential book What Writers Need To Know About Publishing, Jerry Simmons, describes the revolution that is taking place in the world of publishing. You will learn:

* Why publishing is evolving rapidly toward electronic books

* How distribution of books is changing with ebooks and audio books

* Why authors must understand their rights and the new world poof publishing

* What the future holds for the publishing industry in a digital world



Jerry Simmons (photo left) began his career in publishing in the fall of 1977 as a Sales Representative for Random House. In 1979, Jerry joined the book division at Warner Communications, where he spent more than twenty-three years in sales and management. During that time the company expanded to become The Time Warner Book Group (sold in 2006 to Hachette Book Group USA, a French Company). Their sales team distributed over a thousand titles a year from a number of large publishing houses including Little, Brown; Warner Books; Hyperion; Miramax Books; Bulfinch; Back Bay; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; and Disney.

Jerry sold books to some of the largest independent booksellers and mass merchants in the country as well as managing a sales force nationwide. Jerry Simmons retired as Vice-President, Director Field Sales in 2003.

Jerry Simmons spends his time writing, teaching, and speaking with writers about the importance of understanding the marketplace for selling books and the business of publishing.

His commitment is to provide essential information writers need for achieving success. His goal is to help writers become successfully published authors by educating them about the business of publishing and revealing the secrets of the largest booksellers and publishers in the world.

My book review of What Writers Need To Know About Publishing by Jerry D. Simmons.

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 publishing expert, Founder and CEO of the INDI Publishing Group, LLC, and author of the essential book What Writers Need To Know About Publishing, Jerry Simmons, as he describes the revolution that is taking place in the world of publishing. He discusses how ebooks, electronic books, and audio books are turning the book publishing and distribution industry upside down. He shares his ideas as to where the industry is headed, and what authors, distributor, as well as major and independent publishers need to know to position themselves properly for success in this new electronic world. Discover how to take best advantage of the opportunities available to writers, as well as how to avoid the pitfalls, of an online and electronic publishing industry on Blog Business Success Radio.

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

 

Cold by Bill Streever - Book review



Cold

Adventures in the World's Frozen Places


By: Bill Streever

Published: July 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover, 304 pages
ISBN: 9780316042918
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company












"The world warms, awash in greenhouse gases, but forty below remains forty below", writes Chair of the North Slope Science Initiative's Science Technical Advisory Panel and noted biologist Bill Streever, in his lyrical tribute to all things cold and frozen Cold: Adventures in the World's Frozen Places. In language akin to poetry, the author shares his heartfelt love for the Arctic, and for the cold places of the world, and the plants, animals, and people who love in those frigid climes.

Bill Streever understands that the cold of the Arctic region, with its ice bound oceans, lakes, and frozen tundra, is critical for the survival of life on Earth. Without the cold, acting as gargantuan global air conditioner, the planet would overheat, and much of the flora and fauna of the Earth would perish. He also knows that people would be hard pressed to avoid extinction as well. He visits the colder climate regions of the world, rejoicing in their diversity of plant and animal life. Bill Streever makes clear that he loves the cold, and has respect for the explorers of the past who trekked to the poles, and traversed those ice and snow laden regions.
Their often tragic story, and the tales told by the winter habits of the indigenous plants and animals, tell of the importance of understanding and respecting very cold temperatures.



Bill Streever (photo left) travels the world, and shares his impressions of every locale where he discovers ice, snow, and well adapted life in abundance. The author ventures into the fields of history, biology, geology, chemistry, physics, and mythology as he conveys his story of the essential role of ice caps, tundra, local plants and wildlife, and people in the health of the Earth. Sharing anecdotes, blended with historical documents and scientific discoveries, the author expresses his thesis very well. Combining his scientific training with a poet's vision, Bill Streever writes a story that is moving and a joy to read. His writing is so evocative of the cold temperatures of his various locations, that he makes the reader feel cold with his words. He succeeds in his quest to share his love of cold with readers, and in conveying its value and importance.

For me, the power of the book is how Bill Streever creates a compelling case for celebrating cold as a crucial part of the global ecosystem. Whether describing the hibernation habits of northern animals, or sharing vivid descriptions of how people live and thrive in Arctic conditions, the author always shows his love of his topic. Bill Streever doesn't hesitate to take a side regarding global warming and planetary climate change. For the author, global warming is real, and he shares his evidence with the reader. The author challenges the reader to recognize the value of cold in the world, and why it's vital to maintaining life as we know it on Earth.

I highly recommend the insightful and seminal book Cold: Adventures in the World's Frozen Places by Bill Streever, to anyone seeking a deeper appreciation of the cold, and the frost bound places of the world. In language befitting a novelist, the author shares his stories and scientific knowledge with the reader. The story of the book is one of the interconnected nature of every living thing on Earth, and how the absence of heat is as important to life as warm temperatures.

Read the landmark and essential book Cold: Adventures in the World's Frozen Places by Bill Streever, and discover yourself the joys to be unearthed in the Arctic conditions of places like Alaska, the Yukon, Antarctica, Greenland, and Siberia, as well as all other locations on the globe that experience sub-zero temperatures. Far being forbidding, unlivable, and devoid of life, Bill Streever rejoices in and celebrates them and their role in the planetary eco-system. You will never look at low temperatures, the polar regions, or shiver in the cold in the same way again.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

 

Kevin Coupe & Michael Sansolo: The Big Picture - Author interview



Kevin Coupe, of MorningNewsBeat, and co-author along with Michael Sansolo, of the endlessly entertaining and insightful book The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies, was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions about their book.

Kevin Coupe shared the background of the book and a number of examples of why movies are essential sources of business knowledge. He even shared a few must see movies that every business person should watch for the wisdom contained in their stories.

Thanks to Kevin Coupe for his time, and for his interesting and thought provoking responses.

What was the background to writing this book The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies?

Kevin Coupe: Michael and I used to chat about movies we’d seen, and often would draw lessons from different films and mention them in conversation, and from there - because a good writer never wastes anything - they’d find their way into columns and even speeches that we were doing to business groups. At one point we sort of looked at each other and said, “This is a book!” We were actually surprised to find out that nobody else had really worked this particular territory, so we got to work.

The main thesis of your book is there are important business lessons to be learned from the movies. Can the movies really teach us about how to operate our businesses more successfully?

Kevin Coupe: Absolutely. All you have to do is pay attention and think about the movies in a different way. The book actually serves as a primer in how to do that.

Our goal is to get people to focus on the importance of storytelling and narrative. Movies are a tool...albeit an incredibly effective one.

One of the greatest and most effective tools of creative thinking is to take two seemingly different subjects and find correlations between the two. How did you discover the connection between the business examples that movies offer, and business concepts?

Kevin Coupe: It’s what we do. Both Michael and I have carved out careers writing and talking about business - primarily, but not exclusively, about retailing. Our job, as we see it, is to get people to think about issues, problems and opportunities in different ways...to see the larger context and to learn from unorthodox places.

On my website, MorningNewsBeat, I use pop culture references almost every day - sometimes a line from a Jimmy Buffett song, sometimes a quote from a Robert B. Parker novel, and sometimes a memory from some sixties television series that most people have forgotten. Movies were just another example...but a good one because there are so many movies that so many people have shared.



Kevin Coupe (photo left)

Stories have been used as teaching tools for valuable life lessons since the dawn of time. Are the movies providing that same communal teaching role in today's society?

Kevin Coupe: The key word is actually in your question: “communal.” We chose movies because they are a common language, a common mythology. One of the things we’ve found is that as they work their way through the book, readers actually get to the lessons in our various chapters before we do...because once we get them thinking about movies in a different way, they can anticipate where we are going. Sometimes they come up with the same lesson we do, sometimes not. We’ve gotten emails from folks who take entirely different lessons from movies than the ones we’ve used in the book. Which pleases us to no end.

There are many different types of movies, including action, adventure, biopics, date movies, comedies, drama, and the classics. Do the different genres of movies offer business lessons?

Kevin Coupe: Sure. For example, our book has chapters about classic movies such as “Citizen Kane” and “Casablanca,” as well as low-brow Adam Sandler comedies, with stops in between for pretty much every genre in every decade starting with the forties. Again, sometimes the lesson can come from a plot point, sometimes from a scene, and sometimes from just one line that illustrates a larger point. “Round up the usual suspects,” is just one line from “Casablanca,” but it illustrates a business mindset that we explore in the book.

Does each specific movie genre provide a certain type of business lesson, or can very different lessons be gleaned from, for example, different comedies?

Kevin Coupe: There is no hard and fast rule, and the lessons are varied. In “Young Frankenstein,” for example, the lesson is about always being prepared for the bad times (which Gene Wilder’s title character most certainly is not). In “50 First Dates,” the plot - about a man who tries to romance a woman with no short-term memory - gives us an important lesson about customer service and loyalty marketing.



Michael Sansolo (photo left)

As with all lists, some examples stand out above all of the rest. What are the three or four must see movies that every business person should watch?

Kevin Coupe: “The Godfather” stands head and shoulders above the rest, offering a master class in management. But here’s a question that we encourage our readers to consider: Who is the better Don, Vito (Marlon Brando) or Michael (Al Pacino)? (It goes without saying that Sonny - played by James Caan - is lacking in sustainable leadership skills.) Vito and Michael have very different strengths, and they operate within different contexts. We think that people with leadership roles in organizations should watch “The Godfather” (and even its sequel), and then discuss management and leadership styles. It is a great game with a serious subtext.

If I had to pick a couple more, I’d point to “Babe,” which is all about finding talent in unexpected places, and “American Gangster,” which is about brand equity. These are vastly different movies - one is a fable suitable for children, and the other is a mob drama about the heroin trade in the late sixties. But they are both compelling, with important business messages.

What is the single most valuable lesson that readers can take from your book and apply to their own business lives?

Kevin Coupe: Don’t operate in a bubble, and understand the importance of narrative in communicating your vision of leadership. You can have a vision for a business, but if you can’t communicate it to employees, customers and even business partners in easy to understand terms, it is useless.

What is next for Kevin Coupe and Michael Sansolo?

Kevin Coupe: Well, right now we are spending a lot of time in the blogosphere, where we have had the pleasure of talking about the book. This is happening even as we give speeches about the subject, which is a real pleasure. And we’re trying to figure out how to get past all the clutter and attract the attention of the folks at “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report,” and “Morning Joe.”

Then...dare we say there could be a sequel? We’re already thinking about it, and the box office receipts for the first book have been encouraging.

*******

My book review of The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies by Kevin Coupe and Michael Sansolo.

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The Big Picture by Kevin Coupe & Michael Sansolo - Book review



The Big Picture

Essential Business Lessons from the Movies


By: Kevin Coupe, Michael Sansolo

Published: January 15, 2010
Format: Paperback, 232 pages
ISBN-10: 0971154287
ISBN-13: 978-0971154285
Publisher: Brigantine Media









"Business lessons abound in movies that aren't about business", write co-authors Kevin Coupe and Michael Sansolo in their endlessly entertaining and insightful book The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies. The authors describe how the power of story telling through the movies convey many important business lessons, even from movies that have no obvious business plot line.



Kevin Coupe (photo left) and Michael Sansolo recognize that all stories contain deeper truths than appear on the surface. Throughout history, stories have been told and become part of a society's communal experience. In our modern society, movies take the role of shared story telling. As with all great stories, the best of the movies, contain wisdom that may not be obvious at first glance. In the case of the movies discussed by Kevin Coupe and Michael Sansolo, there are gems of wisdom that can be applied to any business or career, in any industry. For the authors, movies represent a treasure trove of business advice, told in an engaging and memorable way, that can be learned and passed along to others through the power of narrative.



Michael Sansolo (photo left) and Kevin Coupe discover critical business teachings in movies as diverse as action and adventure, biopics and documentaries, comedies, date movies, dramas, and the classics. Each of the movies presents a story, that when examined for parallels to business, yields numerous pearls of wisdom in an entertaining and memorable format. Whether the movie is the classic "Casablanca", a or a Tom Hanks comedy, the movies demonstrate that business problems have analogous solutions in the plots. Whether it's finding an implementing a vision successfully as in "The Right Stuff, becoming great as in "Bull Durham" or using word of mouth advertising as in "When Harry Met Sally", the business lessons may not be obvious, but when viewed as teaching tools, the movies are a wealth of information and inspiration.

For me, the power of the book is how Kevin Coupe and Michael Sansolo take two seemingly disparate concepts in movies and business lessons, and combine them into an effective and memorable business textbook. The ease of reading the book, and the format that invites opening the book to any movie for a fresh lesson, creates the same impact as browsing for just the right movie at a video rental outlet. Any pressing business problem from vision and leadership, to branding and marketing, to ethics and taking responsibility, can be examined through the lens of the movie story line.

The resulting book, is a pleasure to read and reread, just as great movies are a delight to watch over and over again. Indeed, the authors point out, that the business concepts that they gleaned from their own viewing, may not be the same takeaways that other people may uncover from the film. Every movie presents many different problems and solutions, and each of the motion pictures discussed in the book is a wealth of instruction, waiting to be learned and taken to heart.

I highly recommend the fascinating and fun to read book The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies by Kevin Coupe and Michael Sansolo, to anyone seeking a refreshing and enjoyable way to solve some of the most difficult challenges facing any business. The teachings in movies, whether overt or hidden just below the surface, are memorable and easy to understand and digest. Such is the power of story as a learning tool, and this book outlines how to use that technique to best advantage.

Read the engaging and idea packed book The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies by Michael Sansolo and Kevin Coupe, and prepare to discover valuable and timeless business knowledge through the enjoyment of the best offerings of the silver screen. You will never watch movies without seeking the hidden business advice again.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

 

Steven J. Fogel: My Mind Is Not Always My Friend - Blog Business Success Radio

Listen to Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio



Principal and Co-founder of Westwood Financial Corp., motivational thought leader, and author of the inspirational and life changing book My Mind Is Not Always My Friend: A Guide For How Not To Get In Your Own Way, Steven J. Fogel set a goal of becoming a millionaire by age 30. He achieved that goal but still found something missing in his life. He never felt truly happy. He set about searching for answers to the psychological and spiritual mysteries of life. He sought his life's purpose. For Steve, it was sharing his self-transformational techniques to help others to relieve unnecessary pain and to get out of their self imposed straitjackets.

Steven J. Fogel is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on BlogTalkRadio.

The show airs live on Thursday, March 18, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Principal and Co-founder of Westwood Financial Corp., motivational thought leader, and author of the inspirational and life changing book My Mind Is Not Always My Friend: A Guide For How Not To Get In Your Own Way, Steven J. Fogel set a goal of becoming a millionaire by age 30. He achieved that goal but still found something missing in his life. You will learn:

* Why your mind may be sabotaging your life and dreams

* How your mind operates as machinery that can be repaired

* How to develop new guiding principles for your life

* How to recognize you can't control events but only how you respond



Steven J. Fogel (photo left) set a goal of becoming a millionaire by the time he was 30. He achieved his objective and was proud of his success, living the lifestyle he’d always dreamed of. He had a talent for making and keeping money.

But his happiness was fleeting. He soon found that the old line “Money can’t buy happiness” was true—and the joke was on him!

At 26, he had a lovely home, a wife and, soon, kids. At 36, he came home every night to a Hollywood mansion, a picture-perfect family and all the things he’d thought he was supposed to have. He was outgoing, good at telling jokes and stories, and usually had a smile on his face.

But no matter how much he accomplished—how much he had—he never felt truly happy for long.

For the past 35 years, he’s been searching for answers to the psychological and spiritual mysteries of life. He engaged in every method for self-transformation that came across his path, hoping to find the antidote to his emotional pain. He became a painter and a writer; took up music, acting and standup comedy; and produced independent films, in addition to running his company.

What was missing was a sense of purpose to his life.

Then, after many years of searching for it, his purpose came to him: to share the self-transformation techniques he’d learned on his search in order to help others relieve their unnecessary pain and get out of their self-imposed straitjackets.

Steve Fogel is a principal and cofounder of Westwood Financial Corp., one of the largest owner-operators of retail properties in the United States with a portfolio of over 93 shopping centers in 23 metropolitan markets worth over one billion dollars. He is a licensed real estate broker and past chairman of the California Arts Council.

He is the author of My Mind Is Not Always My Friend: A Guide For How Not To Get In Your Own Way (Peppertree Press, 2010) and The Yes-I-Can Guide to Mastering Real Estate (Times Books-Random House).

My book review of My Mind Is Not Always My Friend: A Guide For How Not To Get In Your Own Way by Steven J. Fogel.

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.

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

Let's talk with Principal and Co-founder of Westwood Financial Corp., motivational thought leader, and author of the inspirational and life changing book My Mind Is Not Always My Friend: A Guide For How Not To Get In Your Own Way, Steven J. Fogel who set a goal of becoming a millionaire by age 30. He achieved that goal but still found something missing in his life. He never felt truly happy. He set about searching for answers to the psychological and spiritual mysteries of life. He sought his life's purpose. Foe Steve, it was sharing his self-transformational techniques to help others to relieve unnecessary pain and to get out of their self imposed straitjackets on Blog Business Success Radio.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

 

My Mind Is Not Always My Friend by Steven J. Fogel - Book review



My Mind Is Not Always My Friend

A Guide For How Not To Get In Your Own Way


By: Steven J. Fogel

Published: March 1, 2010
Format: Paperback, 200 pages
ISBN-10: 1936051508
ISBN-13: 978-1936051502
Publisher: The Peppertree Press






"The voice in our head that comes from our machinery takes our judgments and interpretations and turns them into stories or tales, which it replays over and over. The become the basis of our programming, which forms the patterns of our behavior", writes co-founder of Westwood Financial Corp. and motivational thought leader Steven J. Fogel, in his inspirational and life changing book My Mind Is Not Always My Friend: A Guide For How Not To Get In Your Own Way. The author provides a framework for managing your own mind so it doesn't control your life, through creating new guiding life principles that lead you to the life of your own choosing.

Steven J. Fogel understands that our life experiences shape our behaviors in ways that we may not even realize or understand ourselves. As a result, our minds have created automatic responses and default behaviors that control our lives, even in ways that may be harmful or self destructive for us. Steven Fogel describes these unconscious responses as machinery. While that mechanized analogy may sound daunting at first, the author considers it to be helpful for us. If our experienced formed mind is like machinery, then it can be prepared, and guided to operate in a manner that helps us to achieve personal fulfillment and happier lives. Through this reshaping of our thoughts, we can let go of self destructive thoughts and actions,and replace them with ideas and principles that take us in a more positive direction.



Steven J. Fogel (photo left) recognizes the feeling of not being happy or in control of his own thoughts. Despite becoming a millionaire, and living in a mansion with his family, he wasn't happy. He decided to change his mind's programming toward the goals that he wanted to achieve as a person, and not what was expected by others. Steven Fogel felt the fear of making a personal transformation, but instead of denying that fear, he used it help develop and realize his own personal vision. He created his own set of guiding principles, and shares the techniques of that journey with his readers and his speaking audiences. Once free of his own self created machinery of the mind, he was able to take control of his personal destiny, and present those ideas to other people. Steven Fogel realizes as well that a person can't control everything in life, but people can choose how they react and respond to events, resulting in personal empowerment.

For me, the power of the book is how Steven J. Fogel shares his own personal journey toward transformation with the readers, and uses it as a teaching tool to help guide others to find their true path. His insight that the brain operates like machinery, and can be programmed to operate automatically, creates an empowering sense of choice for his readers. While a person may have created self destructive programming in the past, that behavior is not permanent. It can be changed, and the mind can receive a fresh way of thinking that leads to happiness and personal fulfillment. The author provides practical learning tools that give the reader the means to rid themselves of the previous behavior, and replacing it with the strength of a new perspective on one's own life.

I highly recommend the personal success building book My Mind Is Not Always My Friend: A Guide For How Not To Get In Your Own Way by Steven J. Fogel, to anyone seeking to become aware of their own self defeating behavior, and having the desire to change their lives for the better. Instead of having the machinery of the already programmed brain run one's life, this book provides the means to reshape the entire unconscious thought process. The result is the ability to choose one's own personal destiny and ideal of personal success.

Read the motivational and behavior altering book My Mind Is Not Always My Friend: A Guide For How Not To Get In Your Own Way by Steven J. Fogel, and take back the machinery of your own brain. When you reclaim your own thoughts, and remove self doubt and the self destructive behavior that makes you unhappy, your life is transformed forever. Instead of your mind being your enemy, this book will turn your mind into your true friend that helps create your success.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

 

Numbers Rule Your World by Kaiser Fung - Book review



Numbers Rule Your World

The Hidden Influence of Probabilities and Statistics on Everything You Do


By: Kaiser Fung

Published: February 2010
Format: Hardcover, 224 pages
ISBN-13: 9780071626538
ISBN-10: 0071626530
Publisher : McGraw-Hill Professional







"Numbers already rule your world. And you must not be in the dark about this fact", writes professional statistician Kaiser Fung, in his engaging and endlessly fascination book Numbers Rule Your World: The Hidden Influence of Probabilities and Statistics on Everything You Do. The author shares real world applications of statistical data and thinking, and how numbers and probability have a deep and crucial impact on people's lives.

Kaiser Fung walks the reader through the mysterious, but always intriguing world of applied statistics. His stories range from dispelling the popular myth of the average person, and why variation from that average is what is really important, to uncovering hidden nuances in numbers that may not be apparent at first glance. The author describes the trade offs that are made in a statistical world where probability precludes perfect accuracy. He uses examples of lie detectors and performance enhancing drugs to demonstrate those difficult choices. Numerical measurement contains many problems, according to Kaiser Fung, but this book presents ten interrelated stories of the positive effect that mathematics plays in creating a more workable, safe, and enjoyable life for everyone.



Kaiser Fung (photo left) demonstrates how variability in results need not be explainable in rational terms. Simple correlation is often enough, as in the case of credit scores. On the other hand, the author describes how correlation is no substitute for causation in the case of a food safety issue. Averages of groups, according to the author may hide more information than they divulge. As a result, comparing smaller groups, within larger groups, with similar sub-groups will yield more useful information than the average of entire groupings. Understanding why comparing like to like is critical, helps make sense of data as seemingly disparate as SAT scores and insurance risks. The author makes clear that effective use of numbers and statistical analysis exposes many proposed solutions to problems as being ineffective, while discovering other more effective ways to solve those issues.

For me, the power of the book is how Kaiser Fung presents some advanced statistical concepts in easy to understand language. At the same time, the author guides the reader through the many applications for statistics and numbers, while demonstrating how they are often misused by many people and organizations. Kaiser Fung explodes many myths, including the idea that drug testing and lie detectors are infallible. As with all of his stories, the benefits and trade offs of applied statistics are defined clearly for the reader. He also demonstrates how the same statistical principles can be applied to many problems that appear to have nothing in common with one another. The stories, as a group, are positive ones about how numbers in general, and statistics in particular, are used every day to enhance people's lives.

I highly recommend the very accessible and reader friendly book Numbers Rule Your World: The Hidden Influence of Probabilities and Statistics on Everything You Do by Kaiser Fung, to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the importance of statistics and numbers as tools for creating better lives for people. The examples presented in the book, to illustrate the statistical principles, are easy to understand and provide a deeper insight into how numbers play a critical role in decision making at the personal, organizational, or political levels.

Read the intriguing and always interesting book Numbers Rule Your World: The Hidden Influence of Probabilities and Statistics on Everything You Do by Kaiser Fung, and you will never look at numbers and statistics in the same way again. By applying the principles and concepts outlined in the book, you will also be able to make better and more rational decisions in your own life, and create better outcomes for you, your family, and your business.


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