Yearly Archives: 2010

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Me Vs. the Library

Judging by my always incomplete reading list to the right, and my book reviews posted here, you are safe to assume that I frequent my branch of the Brooklyn Public Library quite often (Mapleton, holla!)

Even though I’ve got five books out, one of them on my husbands library card (oops), I decided to go insane and type “small business” into the catalog search. Now, Im at page 16 of 150 and needless to say, I’m a little overwhelmed. And yet not.

So many of these books seem to be saying the same thing. “How to start and grow your business!” “the small business manual” “the small business SURVIVAL GUIDE!” and so on. I’ve come to a point where I have read SO. MUCH. of the same thing over and over again (as you’ll notice in some of my reviews) that I find myself skipping so many books because they look like they have the same drivel. Well, that’s not fair…it’s not drivel because the information is so important…but when you’ve read about Sole Props vs. LLCs vs. S Corps so many times that you could be an expert speaker on MSNBC it’s time to spread the search out to new horizons.

So I pledge that, with the exception of the books I have now, that I will search out new ideas or at least books that look deceptively like they will have new ideas in them. And if there’s ever a book you’d like me to search out please feel free to let me know…I’d love to take some recommendations!

Oh, PS, I got the notice that this domain needs to be renewed soon which means Handmade Brooklyn is a year old. Celebrate!

Book Review: 8 Patterns of Highly Effective Entrepreneurs by Brent Bowers

I’ve been putting off finishing this book, not really for any particular reason other than it fit perfectly in my bag and was easy to read on the subway.
If you already are an entrepreneur then this book is nothing new. However, that is not an argument against this book…on the contrary I liked it very much. It was an easy read, used a diverse range of entrepreneurs (one that was even in the beauty industry!), and humanized them. I think a lot of times books like to give entrepreneurs a sort of Sir Richard Branson (love him!) stigma: we’re all adrenaline-driven risk takers and damn the consequences…this book, instead, showed all of the failures that we seem to go through as the stubbornly self-employed.

Do I have the 8 patterns described in the book? A little smugly: yes, yes I do. But I think that if you wanted to believe in these traits and genuinely believed yourself to be an entrepreneur then I think you’d find a way to tailor these qualities to yourself…so in the end who the hell knows. I do think the main pattern/trait/whathaveyou that seems to be reiterated in this book, though under different names, is this:
Entrepreneurs are fluid
We bounce back, fall down, get up, keep moving, are restless, etc. It was comforting to read that so many get bored with their projects quickly, it definitely made me feel a little less crazy.

Time to read 4-5 subway rides
Would I? Yes if you’re looking for a pat on the back for doing what you’re already doing. It’s a good motivator

Quick book recap

So I’ve still been reading, but apparently not able to post book reviews (more on that in the next post). Here’s a quickie recap of books I’ve read and if I think they’re worth your time:
Interesting Reads

“The Way to the Top” by Donald Trump.

I know, I know, how cliche. I picked it up on an impluse and it’s a pretty quick read. It’s a bunch of CEO’s, entrepreneurs, etc giving advice on how to get ahead. Some of it is the stuff you’ve heard before, some of it is motivational, some of it is really long and boring. But overall it’s pretty cool to get into the heads of CEOs.

“How to Castrate a Bull” by Dave Hitz

Yes, there really is a section on how to castrate a bull. The book is about Hitz’s struggle to create a tech company and his ups and downs as a startup. It’s a good read if for only to get the perspective of someone who started up completely different from us “indies.” It’s easy to get through and Hitz’s sense of humor helps it move along.

Don’t bother/Couldn’t Finish

“Guerilla Marketing Goes Green” not as great as the original, I couldn’t get through it.

“Marketing Kit for Dummies” Totally ineffective if you don’t have the CD…I can’t really say either way whether this is a good tool or not since the library didn’t have the CD with the book. If you’ve used it, leave a comment and let me know.

There were a few others, I will head to my library to see what they were…apparently not that memorable! *ba-dum-ching*

Book review: Little Red Book of Selling

I picked this book up as a recommendation from a colleague and..welll……meh.

If you’ve been reading along with me then you’ll know why I didn’t like this book: it’s nothing new. Jeffrey Gitomer talks about how he is a magical shaman of sales (my words, not his) and he will tell you how he does it, and PS he’s not going to sugarcoat his language for you so suck it up. Okay fine. I have learned that sales is a conversational thing, not a by-the-book technique, but dare I say I was…underwhelmed…at his off-the-cuff language.

Look, it’s a great book if it’s your first book on selling. But if you’ve been doing sales for awhile, or you’ve read any other book on selling then this is nothing new.

It does come with a nice bookmark attached to the book, though. Which is nice

Time to read: 2-3 subway rides

Would I? Meh….