Thursday, June 7, 2012

Book review of “The ABC's of Building a Business Team That Wins” for Entrepreneurs' Connection

the full title is The ABC's of Building a Business Team That Wins: The Invisible Code of Honor That Takes Ordinary People and Turns Them Into a Championship Team. I was expecting a book on how to pick advisors like accountants, real estate brokers, lawyers, etc. However this book was about creating a team that works according to a "code of honor" that is created by the team.

Essentially the code of honor is a set of rules that the team creates and lives by in order to maintain a high level of accountability and performance. The idea makes sense as teams and people and general need rules by which to live by. Author Blair Singer does a good job of organizing the information and presenting it in an easy to read fashion.

He goes on to say that the team's mission should always come first, then the team members as a group, and then the individual. He discusses a wide range of organizational processes in this context, such as setting goals, selecting team members, developing people, overcoming obstacles, and using pressure to achieve results.

 I found this book can be applied for more than just business; you can also use this for any type of a group that can be considered as a team or even apply it in your family’s daily life

Don’t miss out Go buy this book and use it to become the leader you are meant to be. Click here and pick up a copy.

Robert Biro


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Book review of “5 Levels of Leadership” for Entrepreneurs' Connection

book cover of the 5 levels of leadership
Buy this book now at amazon!
just click here.
There are many leadership books out there. But none of them can compare to this book. As a matter of fact, John Maxwell’s The 5 Levels of Leadership made it onto the Wall Street Journal hardcover business bestseller list. John Maxwell is an international recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author. He has written more than sixty books. Collectively, they have sold more than 20 million copies and been translated into more than fifty languages. In addition, John routinely speaks to Fortune 500 companies, government leaders, and churches.

This book embodies the core of teaching that Maxwell has been speaking about since I found out about him. It lays out his entire leadership model. If you are new to his work, I would start with this book. In many ways, it is a roadmap to the others.

John starts with the idea that many people confuse having a leadership position with actually being a leader. He makes it clear that this only the entry point to leadership. It is level 1.

The five levels of leadership are:

 1. Position—People follow because they have to.

 2. Permission—People follow because they want to.

 3. Production—People follow because of what you have done for the organization.

 4. People Development—People follow because of what you have done for them personally.

 5. Pinnacle—People follow because of who you are and what you represent.

John describes each of the five levels in detail and has an abundance of real-world examples. He articulates the behaviors that best characterize them. What I thought was great was the fact that he also goes over the downsides that can sometimes keep leaders from going to the next level. For you at the Entrepreneurs Connections group, you might like the part where he explains how to get from whatever level you are now to the next one.

The book is an extremely fast read. You will want to go over it many times because it’s particularly content-rich, the chapters are short and it makes ample use of subheads, bullets, and lists. This book would make a great study for any group wanting to take their leadership to the next level. I heartily recommend it.

Don’t miss out Go buy this book and use it to become the leader you are meant to be. Click here and pick up a copy.
Robert Biro

Buy this book new for $16.49 or used for $13.92 or Kindle E-book for $12.99

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Book review of “All Marketers Are Lairs” for Entrepreneurs' Connection

All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of TellingAuthentic Stories in a Low Trust World . With that provocative title and opening salvo, well known author, marketing expert, and business blogger Seth Godin takes the reader on another landmark journey into the marketing field.

After reading All Marketers Are Liars, your approach to marketing, advertising,
In this book, Seth Godin discusses the practice of telling compelling, attention grabbing stories about a product and gives examples of products that use this approach and shows that this practice is a compelling ways to market a product. The story that is told is the "lie" that he references in his title most.
The author points out that great marketing stories succeed because of the following attributes:
1.    A great story is true. A great story is not based on facts. Its truth lies in a consistent and authentic message.
2.    Great stories make a promise. Great stories promise something to the consumer that is bold and worth listening to. BMW calls their offering "The Ultimate Driving Machine." As someone who loves to drive, when I hear this promise, it makes me feel like going out and driving a BMW.
3.    Great stories are trusted. In the Amazon Kindle story, the story teller is Jeff Bezos, who founded in the 1990's with the story of a better way to purchase books.
4.    Great stories are subtle. People like to draw their own conclusions. Consumers will come up with the story themselves. When we see a television ad for the Apple Ipad, does Apple come out and tell us what the story is? No. Instead they show people using the Ipad in cool and different ways, with various applications, and let us draw our own conclusion.
5.    Great stories happen fast. A good story engages people quickly. It gets to the point. One of Kawasaki's commercials for quads and off-road motorcycles immediately shows users ripping through the woods on a Kawasaki Quad, and then switches to a rider tearing through the desert terrain on a Kawasaki dirt bike.

6.    Great stories don't appeal to logic, but they often appeal to our senses. Does Axe body spray really attract hundreds of woman to you all at once, as the commercial portrays? Of course not! But does the prospect of attracting a lot of women by using Axe body spray appeal to eligible men? Of course it does.
7.    Great stories are rarely aimed at everyone. Watering down a story to appeal to everyone, will appeal to no one. The Axe body spray story isn't intended to appeal to a fifty-five year old woman with four children. Rather, the story is intended for a younger, specific male demographic.
8.    Great stories agree with our worldview. The best stories are aimed at listeners with a specific worldview, who will feel better and more secure after hearing the story because it already agrees with what they believed in the first place.
Telling stories about a product is a fairly common and accepted practice in most marketing department nowadays. If the idea that telling stories is new to you, than you might find this book an interesting read because throughout the book Godin gives examples of well-known brands and their stories.

Don’t miss out Go buy this book and use it to create your great story!
Robert Biro

Monday, May 7, 2012

Canon Powershot SX10IS 10MP Digital Camera

i've had 4 video cameras in the last 10 years.. i like this one because it does well in any light, and the audio is impressive. it also has focus-while-zoom which a lot of lower end video cameras do not have. there is a newer hd model available. negative is no interchangeable lenses. here's a sample from earth day.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Book review of “Thinkertoys” for Entrepreneurs' Connection

If you’re looking for a way to increase your creativity or If a significant part of your life requires creativity, particularly creativity that is attached to solving real-world problems, , the second edition of Thinkertoys may just be what you’ve been searching for. this book is tremendous. Thinkertoys is filled with exercises designed to make you think outside the box and help stretch your creative abilities. It offers tons of creative exercises along with a lot of detail on how to really squeeze the juice out of each one. It’s basically a book where you can sit there and try several specific techniques on each page as you read it.

The author, Michael Michalko, prefaces the book by stating that Thinktoys is for “monkeys,” not “kittens.” He defines “kittens” as people who ask for help, but are not willing to make the effort necessary to make changes. “Monkeys,” on the other hand, take the initiative and face challenges head-on. Michalko states that the activities contained within the book must be used, not merely read, for them to make a difference in the reader’s way of looking at problems.

I found this book enlightening. I was surprised over and over by the simple exercises that I couldn’t figure out until reading the explanation. I didn’t even make it into the first chapter before realizing my shortcomings. For example, in the introduction, there is a picture of the word “FLOP.” However, if you look closely, the center of the “O” contains an “I,” so the complete message is “FLIP FLOP.” I’m embarrassed to say that I would never have picked up on that on my own. It gave me an immediate desire to read more and work on my creative skills.

Thinkertoys is the best single collection of quick creative thinking exercises that I’ve found in a single book, ever. It’s not a be-all end-all compendium of these exercises, but many very good ones are in the book, including a few great ones that I knew before reading it and several more that I added to my repertoire after reading it.

Don’t miss out Go buy this book and use it to gain the creative edge. Click here and pick up a copy.

Robert Biro

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Book review of “The E-Myth Revisited” for Entrepreneurs' Connection

Book review of “The E-Myth Revisited” for Entrepreneurs' Connection

Cover of The E book Revisited
Do you find yourself overworked, understaffed, or worse have a feeling you’re going broke at your company? Have you felt that if things don’t change you may come to hate the work you do. “The E Myth Revisited” book is a guide to success for small business owners. Author Michael Gerber observed that most small businesses are started by what he calls "technicians", that is people who are skilled at something and who enjoy doing that thing. (For example that can be anything from a computer programmer to plumber to a dog groomer to a musician or lawyer.) When these technicians strike out on their own, they tend to continue doing the work they are skilled at, and ignore the overarching aspects of business. Rather than owning a business, they own a job, and they find themselves working for managers who are completely clueless about how to run a business- -themselves.

The solution, Gerber suggests looking at franchises as a model. In comparison to the dismal rate of ordinary small-business start-ups, 75% of franchises succeed at 5 years. The reason they succeed is that they are set up so that any unskilled person off the street could walk in, buy a franchise, run all operations in the franchise, and have a fairly good chance of success. The product of franchise companies is a business model, not food, hotel rooms, etc. In order to meet this level of success, franchise companies have clear operations manuals, procedures, consistent sales approaches- -every detail of running the business is specified down to dress codes and wall paper.

By asking us to consider the franchise approach, Gerber is not saying to go out and buy a franchise license. Instead, he says to imagine that you want to sell your business as a successful franchise within a finite period of time. If so, what will you need to do regarding your business plan and management in order to meet this goal? That is, if you were going to make your business fool-proof so that any unskilled person could take over as owner after a few years and succeed with it, what will you need to do?

Overall, I found the ideas in this book extremely insightful and incredibly useful. He can be a bit wordy and choppy at times. If you're a small business owner whose business is out of control, stagnant, or worse, this book can be a light in the dark.

Don’t miss out Go buy this book and use it to build your business. Click here and pick up a copy.

Robert Biro