Review of ‘Project Kickoff’

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Project management expert Hassan Osman, in his book, Project Kick Off: How to Run a Successful Project Kick Off Meeting, offers a three-step method to ensure success of your project initiation. A very short book that covers the actions necessary before, during, and after a project kick off meeting, this book also provides free templates that can be used to keep track of the actions that are essential to keep a project on track and get buy-in from all stakeholders, from members of your internal project team to the customers to whom the project is being pitched.


The author takes advantages of his many years of experience in managing projects, his failures as well as his successes, to take the mystery and confusion out of running a complex, multi-dimensional project.


Written in plain language that is easy to understand, it outlines relatively simple steps that can be mastered by neophyte project managers and serves as a handy guide for more experienced individuals.


I give it four stars for its usefulness.

Review of ‘The Savvy Solopreneur’s Guide to Business Basics’

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The Savvy Solopreneur’s Guide to Business Basics by Karen Barnes is an overview of how to successfully run an online business. Like the author’s other Savvy Solopreneur’s guides, this brief book offers practical advice to anyone who wants to operate a business online. While it’s designed primarily for start-ups, it is also useful for the entrepreneur who is already engaged in online selling of goods or services.

As you begin this book, remember that it is just an overview, and while it provides sage advice that can be implemented in your business, to get the most out of it, you should follow the author’s links to more in depth information.

This is a valuable addition to any entrepreneur’s reference collection; a definite value-added tool that you’ll find yourself referring to often as you grow your online business.

I give this outstanding little overview four stars.

Review of ‘The Savvy Solopreneur’s Guide to Outsourcing’

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If you’re an indie author, or are otherwise engaged in a solo entrepreneurial activity, you might think growing your business (or selling more books) means that you have to cram in more hours of work and learn a whole suite of new skills. Not so. With a minimum outlay of money you can do what many big businesses do; you can outsource the things you’re not good at and spend more time doing the things you do well.

Karen Banes’ The Savvy Solopreneur’s Guide to Outsourcing is a brief tutorial that will help you in the task of finding skilled people to do things for you, leaving you more time to spend on doing the things you love doing. Written in plain words and crammed full of links to resources ranging from dirt cheap to expensive, and with a clear-cut guide to setting your solo business up to take the best advantage of the many resources available, this is a handy reference book for anyone who desires to grow their solo business.

Whether you’re just getting started, or you’ve been at it for a while, you’re sure to find a useful nugget or two of information in this book, so don’t delay; get it today and start taking advantage of all that it has to offer.

This one is a five star addition to your reference library!

Review of ‘Modern Monopolies’

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For most Americans the term monopoly is viewed negatively, but, according to Alex Moazed and Nicholas L. Johnson, CEO and Head of Platform at Applico, a platform application development company, thanks to the Internet, platforms like PayPal, Uber, Google, and Apple are now dominating the marketplace. They are, the authors contend, monopolies that are not so slowly displacing traditional companies in providing a broad range of services and products to consumers in ways that traditionally organized companies can’t match.

Modern Monopolies: What it takes to Dominate the 21st-Century Economy is a history of platform-based entities that details how they have come to exercise monopolistic dominance in the past decade. This book is designed for new entrepreneurs, showing them how to enter and succeed in today’s economy, and for established businesses, with hints on how to make the transition to the platform economy.

Whether you’re running a home-based business or a more traditional concern, this book is filled with useful information to help navigate the turbulent sea of 21st century commerce. In view of the fact that the platform economy is constantly evolving, the authors also include at the end of the book a link to their newsletter, providing updated information, and a glossary of terms used in the book that some readers might find unfamiliar.

This is a highly recommended reference for any level of business.

I give it four stars.

Review of ‘Live Free or DIY’

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Are you a salaried employee who enjoys the work you do, but resent that someone else gets the lion’s share of the rewards for your efforts?  If so, you’ve probably thought of chucking it all and starting your own business. Before you do, though, you’re well-advised to do a little research.

A good place to start is Live Free or DIY by Justin E. Crawford. This short book, short in comparison with most business books, that is, lays out a comprehensive, step-by-step for the budding entrepreneur. It discusses budgeting, business planning, time management, and enterprise structure in easy-to-grasp chapters, complete with illustrative charts and references.

Regardless of your field of expertise, this book, while not the final word on running a business by any means, is a handy reference that you might want to keep handy even after your business is off and running.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my review. I give it four stars.

Review of ‘CEO at 20’

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When he was a sophomore at Louisiana State University, Ben Gothard started his own social media marketing company. While, it’s tempting to say he started on a wing and a prayer, in actuality, he laid out a business plan, obtained funding, and registered the business, becoming a CEO at age 20. In CEO at 20 Gothard outlines the practical steps that a person, at any age, can take to realize his or her dreams and achieve success.

Unlike a lot of how-to books that go on for hundreds of pages, often rehashing points until they become boring, Gothard’s book lays it out briefly and moves on. This book can be read in less than an hour; twenty minutes if you’re a speed reader; but if you’re a budding entrepreneur embarking on your first—or your twenty-first—business venture, you’ll probably read it several times.

A useful reference for your business library. I received a free copy of the book in exchange for my unbiased review. I give it four stars.

Review of ‘You are the Key: Unlocking Doors Through Social Selling’

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Sales are key to profits for any business, and in the present day, mastery of social media selling is essential. You Are the Key: Unlocking Doors Through Social Selling by Apurva Chamaria with Gaurav Kakkar takes you through social selling step-by-step, with comprehensive analyses of some of the principal social media platforms, and advice on how to best exploit them.

While the book is written in the formal style of English most commonly used in parts of the former British Empire, which might make it somewhat difficult for the more informal American reader, the advice it contains makes it worth the effort.

Particularly useful is the attention given to each of the social media platforms, complete with screen captures that effectively illustrate the book’s main points. Whether you’re a freelancer, a small entrepreneur, or a sales representative for a larger company, there is value to be gained from reading and re-reading this handy reference.

As I previously mentioned, the book is written in a very formalized style that many American readers will find unfamiliar, and in some places, difficult to easily comprehend. Reading carefully, however, and making notes to help clarify points, makes it worthwhile in the end.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.

I give the authors four stars for this book.

Photos Available for Sale

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For anyone interested in prints of nature and wildlife scenes, some of my photography is available for sale at:

I’m adding photos daily, but here are some examples of what is currently available:


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Free and Low-cost Images for Your Blog

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Check it out; you won’t be disappointed.

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Review: “Management Matters” by John Hunter

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Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability, by John Hunter. Curious Cat Media.

This work has no ISBN.Russell Ackoff at Washington University in St....

In the opening chapter of Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability, author John Hunter writes, “I believe most of what managers should know was written down decades ago.” I take the meaning of this sentence to be, ‘there are no new management ideas or techniques.’ The author does not, in fact, offer anything new. But, he does provide an analysis of the ‘old’ ideas that he believes to be effective in making an enterprise, any enterprise, more productive.

Hunter calls on the philosophies of such management and leadership gurus as W. Edwards Deming, Russell Ackoff, and Taiichi Ohno, to show how anyone can, with some degree of effort, turn an organization around and make it more capable.

This is a relatively useful book for someone who wants an introduction to management, but there are a few flaws that I feel compelled to point out. First, the author focuses on management, and seems to ignore the importance of effective leadership in building enterprise capability. There are several typos in the book, and some formatting issues in the e-Book version that are a bit distracting, but only of limited negative impact. The area that really needs attention, though, is editing to correct grammatical errors through the text.  This sentence, for instance:  “People who are not willing to learn from the most useful management experts may still be able to accomplish some decent things, but they are very large barriers to reaching the full potential possible from wise management efforts.” I have bolded the areas of the sentence that give me pause.   Another example: “I don’t have much patience for managers not willing to learn from the experts.” The decline in proper use of the language, brought on some believe by the proliferation of electronic media, has inured many of us to hasty grammar, but in a book about enterprise capability, this detracts greatly from what is otherwise a good little book.

The author says that he will be updating the book from time to time. Even with its faults, I enjoyed reading it, and sincerely hope some judicious editing will be his top priority for a subsequent edition.

I give it two of five stars for effort.

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