Aspiring entrepreneurs will benefit from Tracy’s straightforward strategies.



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...


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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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.


“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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