Wise business counsel from guys who got there the hard way—and who want to help the reader forge an easier path.

STREET SMART DISCIPLINES OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE

Two entrepreneurs impart no-nonsense advice in a blunt business book that hits the mark.

You’ve got to hand it to Kuhn and Mullins. The pair started a company with $1,000, built it into a multimillion-dollar business and then sold it to a large corporation. They say their success was based on “the flawless execution” of seven disciplines they identified and followed. In some ways, their business guide is typical for the genre: Each chapter includes real-life examples, quotes from famous people, sidebars to break up the text and plenty of bullets for easy skimming. Nothing new there. But what distinguishes it is its tone of blunt honesty. They tell it like it is. The result is refreshingly different business writing. For example, in Discipline Three, “Deal with People,” the authors write, “The secret is to downsize your expectations of people. They are the way they are, whether we like it or not, and we must accept that. The wise person fights nothing. Acceptance frees us from having to confront feelings of frustration and disappointment when dealing with others.” In a chapter devoted to getting more business, they discuss the use of social media marketing, urging the reader: “Be honest with yourself. Don’t let the excitement of new technologies get in the way of current business goals.” Whether it’s “street smart” or tough love, the authors’ style commands attention. There may not be anything earth shattering about their advice, but it’s packaged in easily digestible chunks. A nice extra is the “Street Smart Workshop” included at the end of the book—a self-paced walk-through of exercises designed to help accomplish “breakout success.”

Wise business counsel from guys who got there the hard way—and who want to help the reader forge an easier path.

Pub Date: June 16, 2012

ISBN: 978-1466335691

Page Count: 300

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

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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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A vigorous and highly readable plan for building the finances of a new business.

PROFIT FIRST FOR MINORITY BUSINESS ENTERPRISES

TRANSFORM YOUR MINORITY BUSINESS ENTERPRISE FROM A CASH-EATING MONSTER TO A MONEY-MAKING MACHINE

A program of cash-management techniques for aspiring entrepreneurs, aimed at a minority readership.

At the beginning of this business book, Mariga reflects on the birth of her daughter, Florence, and on the depressing prospect of returning to her corporate job and missing some of her baby’s early moments. She realized that she “wanted to show Florence…that I could, that she could, that anyone could be anything they wanted to be in this world.” To that end, she wanted to start her own business, and she “wanted to help entrepreneurs build successful businesses that provide opportunities for others.” In a sentiment reflected by others she’s interviewed, she says that she wanted to strengthen her family legacy, so she founded her own accounting firm. She paints a vivid picture of the hardscrabble early days of other minority business owners like herself, the child of an African American mother and a Chinese father who also had a family accounting business. She and others were “all hustling to acquire clients and build our businesses…and most of us had absolutely nothing to show for it.” She was inspired by Mike Michalowicz’s Profit First money management system, and the bulk of her book is devoted to an explanation of how to make this system work for minority business enterprises. (Michalowicz provides a foreword to the book.) One of the primary goals of Profit First is to build “a self-sustaining, debt-free company,” so a large part of Mariga’s work deals with the details of managing finances, building and abiding by budgets, and handling the swings of emotion that occur every step of the way. As sharply focused as these insights are, the author’s recollections of her own experiences are more rewarding, as when she tells readers of her brief time as a cut-rate accountant and learning that it was a mistake to try to compete on price. These stories, as well as financing specifics and clear encouragements (“Small changes and adjustments accumulate. Over time, they will lead you to your goal”), will make this book invaluable to entrepreneurs of all kinds.

A vigorous and highly readable plan for building the finances of a new business.

Pub Date: May 25, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7357759-0-6

Page Count: 230

Publisher: The Avant-Garde Project, LLC

Review Posted Online: April 7, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

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