Candid, refreshing advice for self-guided businesspeople.

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A book of inspiration and practical tips for self-employed business owners that goes beyond the usual.

Shaw, a photographer, podcaster, speaker, coach, and consultant, has been self-employed for his entire career—from age 14 through midlife—and works with clients who are also self-employed. In this debut guide he introduces a “self-employment ecosystem” with the aim of providing everything necessary to create a sustainable business and lifestyle for oneself. An introductory section describes the paradox of self-employment: wanting to control one’s own destiny, while finding oneself in uncontrollable circumstances. It goes on to list symptoms of work-life imbalance and to present his ecosystem concept. The main text is organized into three parts: “Personal Development,” “Business Strategies,” and “Daily Habits.” Each offers the author’s personal experiences and client success stories as well as useful explanations and pithy, practical advice. The “Personal Development” section covers such topics as one’s mindset regarding money and how to deal with obstacles and limiting beliefs. Clear, memorable explanations abound; for example, he encourages readers to think of letting go of one thing to reach another as like Tarzan swinging from vine to vine. “Business Strategies” includes an explication of what the author calls “hug marketing,” pictured as a series of concentric circles. Shaw offers a novel, step-by-step way to conceptualize a website that’s refreshingly easy to grasp, explaining it as an emotional journey. The section also covers such elements as defining one’s niche and inspiring referrals. “Daily Habits” suggests ways to sustain growth, creativity, and work-life balance through various techniques and how to handle rejection and self-employment in midlife. The book’s tone is immediately relatable; self-employed people in creative fields will feel seen. Throughout, the author’s style is personal, candid, and conversational, sometimes reading like a pep talk tinged with self-deprecating humor. Several brief exercises and worksheets will help readers think through the author’s principles, and an additional workbook (not seen) is available on the author’s website. Overall, this book will be worthwhile for anyone running their own business or thinking of starting one.

Candid, refreshing advice for self-guided businesspeople.

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-77458-004-2

Page Count: 220

Publisher: Page Two

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022


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. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011


A clearly delineated guide to finally eradicate poverty in America.

A thoughtful program for eradicating poverty from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Evicted.

“America’s poverty is not for lack of resources,” writes Desmond. “We lack something else.” That something else is compassion, in part, but it’s also the lack of a social system that insists that everyone pull their weight—and that includes the corporations and wealthy individuals who, the IRS estimates, get away without paying upward of $1 trillion per year. Desmond, who grew up in modest circumstances and suffered poverty in young adulthood, points to the deleterious effects of being poor—among countless others, the precarity of health care and housing (with no meaningful controls on rent), lack of transportation, the constant threat of losing one’s job due to illness, and the need to care for dependent children. It does not help, Desmond adds, that so few working people are represented by unions or that Black Americans, even those who have followed the “three rules” (graduate from high school, get a full-time job, wait until marriage to have children), are far likelier to be poor than their White compatriots. Furthermore, so many full-time jobs are being recast as contracted, fire-at-will gigs, “not a break from the norm as much as an extension of it, a continuation of corporations finding new ways to limit their obligations to workers.” By Desmond’s reckoning, besides amending these conditions, it would not take a miracle to eliminate poverty: about $177 billion, which would help end hunger and homelessness and “make immense headway in driving down the many agonizing correlates of poverty, like violence, sickness, and despair.” These are matters requiring systemic reform, which will in turn require Americans to elect officials who will enact that reform. And all of us, the author urges, must become “poverty abolitionists…refusing to live as unwitting enemies of the poor.” Fortune 500 CEOs won’t like Desmond’s message for rewriting the social contract—which is precisely the point.

A clearly delineated guide to finally eradicate poverty in America.

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 9780593239919

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

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