An unusual, conversational, and valuable manual for prospective business owners.

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YOUR CREATIVE CAREER

TURN YOUR PASSION INTO A FULFILLING AND FINANCIALLY REWARDING LIFESTYLE

A seasoned entrepreneur shares techniques and strategies for turning creative pursuits into successful businesses.

In this debut book, Sabino draws on both her own experience as the founder of jewelry brand Lucid New York and the works of well-known, pop-business writers (Seth Godin, Chris Guillebeau, and Tim Ferriss are name-checked frequently) to provide readers with a framework for developing a venture based on creative activities. The volume explores the psychology of creating—and the challenges that innovators often face when combining their passions with the pursuit of profit—and the elements of a thriving 21st-century business. Concise and cleanly written chapters tackle the decision to launch a creative career, growth management, pricing strategies, and marketing and publicity techniques. Each chapter concludes with suggestions for journaling or otherwise examining the topic more deeply. Although Sabino acknowledges that potential creative entrepreneurs may face financial or personal limits on their abilities to forge new careers, the readers who will find this guide most useful are those who have plenty of time (Sabino describes holding a full-time job for a year in addition to starting her business) and money (working for free “is a simple and effective way to start almost any career you dream of”). Some of the counsel will be familiar to readers of business books—tips on managing time effectively; understanding the psychology of pricing—while in other cases, Sabino brings a unique perspective, as in her recommendation against focusing too much on developing new products: “If we move on from what we’ve completed way too soon, we deprive clients from knowing about it and owning it.” The manual is also notable for its applicability to a wide range of entrepreneurial styles and strategies: Sabino addresses readers who are initiating lifestyle businesses as well as those chasing venture capital and IPOs, and both groups should find the book helpful. While readers will have to look elsewhere for advice on the more nitty-gritty details of running a business, they will find worthwhile information on a mindful approach to creative entrepreneurship here.

An unusual, conversational, and valuable manual for prospective business owners.

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-63265-111-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Career Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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The Stoics did much better with the much shorter Enchiridion.

THE LAWS OF HUMAN NATURE

A follow-on to the author’s garbled but popular 48 Laws of Power, promising that readers will learn how to win friends and influence people, to say nothing of outfoxing all those “toxic types” out in the world.

Greene (Mastery, 2012, etc.) begins with a big sell, averring that his book “is designed to immerse you in all aspects of human behavior and illuminate its root causes.” To gauge by this fat compendium, human behavior is mostly rotten, a presumption that fits with the author’s neo-Machiavellian program of self-validation and eventual strategic supremacy. The author works to formula: First, state a “law,” such as “confront your dark side” or “know your limits,” the latter of which seems pale compared to the Delphic oracle’s “nothing in excess.” Next, elaborate on that law with what might seem to be as plain as day: “Losing contact with reality, we make irrational decisions. That is why our success often does not last.” One imagines there might be other reasons for the evanescence of glory, but there you go. Finally, spin out a long tutelary yarn, seemingly the longer the better, to shore up the truism—in this case, the cometary rise and fall of one-time Disney CEO Michael Eisner, with the warning, “his fate could easily be yours, albeit most likely on a smaller scale,” which ranks right up there with the fortuneteller’s “I sense that someone you know has died" in orders of probability. It’s enough to inspire a new law: Beware of those who spend too much time telling you what you already know, even when it’s dressed up in fresh-sounding terms. “Continually mix the visceral with the analytic” is the language of a consultant’s report, more important-sounding than “go with your gut but use your head, too.”

The Stoics did much better with the much shorter Enchiridion.

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-42814-5

Page Count: 580

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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A deftly argued case for a new kind of socialism that, while sure to inspire controversy, bears widespread discussion.

CAPITAL AND IDEOLOGY

A massive investigation of economic history in the service of proposing a political order to overcome inequality.

Readers who like their political manifestoes in manageable sizes, à la Common Sense or The Communist Manifesto, may be overwhelmed by the latest from famed French economist Piketty (Top Incomes in France in the Twentieth Century: Inequality and Redistribution, 1901-1998, 2014, etc.), but it’s a significant work. The author interrogates the principal forms of economic organization over time, from slavery to “non-European trifunctional societies,” Chinese-style communism, and “hypercapitalist” orders, in order to examine relative levels of inequality and its evolution. Each system is founded on an ideology, and “every ideology, no matter how extreme it may seem in its defense of inequality, expresses a certain idea of social justice.” In the present era, at least in the U.S., that idea of social justice would seem to be only that the big ones eat the little ones, the principal justification being that the wealthiest people became rich because they are “the most enterprising, deserving, and useful.” In fact, as Piketty demonstrates, there’s more to inequality than the mere “size of the income gap.” Contrary to hypercapitalist ideology and its defenders, the playing field is not level, the market is not self-regulating, and access is not evenly distributed. Against this, Piketty arrives at a proposed system that, among other things, would redistribute wealth across societies by heavy taxation, especially of inheritances, to create a “participatory socialism” in which power is widely shared and trade across nations is truly free. The word “socialism,” he allows, is a kind of Pandora’s box that can scare people off—and, he further acknowledges, “the Russian and Czech oligarchs who buy athletic teams and newspapers may not be the most savory characters, but the Soviet system was a nightmare and had to go.” Yet so, too, writes the author, is a capitalism that rewards so few at the expense of so many.

A deftly argued case for a new kind of socialism that, while sure to inspire controversy, bears widespread discussion.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-674-98082-2

Page Count: 976

Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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