An engaging, empowering business protection guide.

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Toxic Client

KNOWING AND AVOIDING PROBLEM CUSTOMERS

Corporate attorney and prolific author Sutton (Finance Your Own Business, 2016, etc.) discusses how to identify, sidestep, and untangle oneself from problem customers in his latest entrepreneurism manual.

The customer isn’t always right, says Sutton; in fact, he says, he or she might be a freeloader, a “feegoader” who “will use every angle to goad, or pressure you to reduce your fee,” or even mentally ill. Such “toxic” folks are everywhere, he says, and they particularly prey on business newcomers who are unwilling to turn away customers—but should. After that warning, Sutton goes on to shares his own stories (as a young lawyer, he had to defend a client who never paid his bills) and case study examples of difficult or downright disastrous customer relationships. He then offers tips on how to spot and evade bad apple clients, such as listening for clues and trusting one’s instincts on first meetings, and performing due diligence, including credit checks. He provides tactics for shaking off those who seem like trouble, such as by having clear, upfront policies on details such as retainers and return fees; by claiming an “imaginary partner” that one must consult before entering into agreements; or by saying that one is bound to a non-compete clause. The author concludes with three appendices that detail key avenues of recourse when one does get ensnared, including liens, small claims court, and collection agencies. Sutton’s book is an engrossing venting session with anecdotes that will be entertaining and relatable, especially to anyone who’s ever worked in restaurants or construction. They reinforce the idea that one shouldn’t be too nice—and, in fact, one should be wary—when dealing with people in one’s business. He also cites an array of sobering statistics to support this view, including that nearly 20 percent of American adults have a mental disorder, and that it can cost $50,000 to recoup $10,000 in unpaid fees. The book only skims the surface of legal advice that one might need for actual lawsuits, but it still offers a good kick-start to safeguard oneself against such prospects. 

An engaging, empowering business protection guide.

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-944194-03-1

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Success DNA, INC.

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2016

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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 timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

STILLNESS IS THE KEY

An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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