Aspiring entrepreneurs will benefit from Tracy’s straightforward strategies.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

HOW TO START AND GROW YOUR OWN BUSINESS

A hard-line path to successful entrepreneurship for beginners.

In the latest book, prolific self-development author Tracy (The Science of Influence, 2019, etc.) offers prospective entrepreneurs methods for reaching one’s financial goals. His tone is inspiring (“In entrepreneurship today, you can start with nothing”) and his prose highly readable, but more importantly, his advice is no-nonsense—which is where the book diverges from many other entrepreneurship guides. His tips, however, aren’t framed as optional, because Tracy learned his lessons the hard way; he lacked a high school diploma and worked as a laborer before becoming a successful entrepreneur. The fifth chapter of his book, in particular, is a treasure trove of tough love, stressing self-sufficiency over entitlement (“Nobody owes you anything….You cannot imagine a successful person who blames all their problems on someone else”). Tracy’s “1,000 percent formula” also promises practical magic: It asserts that “if you increase your income by 25 percent per year, then you will, by compounding, increase your income ten times in ten years,” and one can do this, he says, by steadily increasing one’s productivity. Many of his clients did so in six or seven years, he writes; the author did so in five. Tracy effectively breaks his process down into manageable steps, starting by increasing one’s productivity by 2% per month by starting one’s day earlier, working harder, staying later, planning every day in advance, and not wasting any time. Chapters incorporate questions that will help readers formulate action plans that cover all the bases, including creating a “realistic” business plan, developing a marketing strategy, and making hiring and firing decisions. Regarding the latter, for instance, Tracy notes that many organizations tend to hire people slowly and fire them quickly (“There is a basic rule that says that the best time to fire a person is the first time it crosses your mind”).

Aspiring entrepreneurs will benefit from Tracy’s straightforward strategies.

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-72251-017-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: G&D Media

Review Posted Online: Dec. 4, 2019

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

ECONOMIC DIGNITY

Noted number cruncher Sperling delivers an economist’s rejoinder to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Former director of the National Economic Council in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the author has long taken a view of the dismal science that takes economic justice fully into account. Alongside all the metrics and estimates and reckonings of GDP, inflation, and the supply curve, he holds the great goal of economic policy to be the advancement of human dignity, a concept intangible enough to chase the econometricians away. Growth, the sacred mantra of most economic policy, “should never be considered an appropriate ultimate end goal” for it, he counsels. Though 4% is the magic number for annual growth to be considered healthy, it is healthy only if everyone is getting the benefits and not just the ultrawealthy who are making away with the spoils today. Defining dignity, admits Sperling, can be a kind of “I know it when I see it” problem, but it does not exist where people are a paycheck away from homelessness; the fact, however, that people widely share a view of indignity suggests the “intuitive universality” of its opposite. That said, the author identifies three qualifications, one of them the “ability to meaningfully participate in the economy with respect, not domination and humiliation.” Though these latter terms are also essentially unquantifiable, Sperling holds that this respect—lack of abuse, in another phrasing—can be obtained through a tight labor market and monetary and fiscal policy that pushes for full employment. In other words, where management needs to come looking for workers, workers are likely to be better treated than when the opposite holds. In still other words, writes the author, dignity is in part a function of “ ‘take this job and shove it’ power,” which is a power worth fighting for.

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7987-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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