Book Review: Fortune and Freedom

April 3, 2009

476The basics to a happy life: define success, work towards it every single day, balance work and social life.  That is the basic philosophy behind the teachings of Jim Hirschfield, lifetime entrepreneur and author of the book, Fortune & Freedom: The Entrepreneurs Guide to Success.

Too many books on entrepreneurship have the same cliché advice and false promises.  This book challenges conventional wisdom about owning and operating your own business by approaching it from another direction.

Throughout the book, you are reminded that success is something that you have to define for yourself.  It is not something that can blindly seek and stumble upon.  It is about setting goals, and working each and every day to accomplish those goals.  In a sense, those people who are truly successful and happy in their success get to where they are on purpose, never by accident.

In addition to some fine business planning and strategic advice, the book ties in some personal advice for your life outside of business.  As Jim defined success for himself, it was a successful business alongside a balanced personal life, where family events were just as important as business meetings.  The happiness of his family and friends was held just as high as the success of his business.  With this philosophy, Jim preaches finding a steady balance in all your endeavors to attain true happiness.

As you read the book, you feel as if you are sitting down with an old friend and discussing the many joys of life.  You get a good sense of who Jim is, and what kind of life he lived.  As the reader, you can view a successful entrepreneur’s experiences up close and personal, and feel comfortable knowing that everything you read is attainable.

One of my favorite sections of the book focuses on the definition of success as freedom.

If you have your long term goals in mind and you are progressing toward them, then the other day-to-day stuff is an irritant with which you can deal.  Defining success is crucial in almost anything you do, including business deals, working with people, and the many day-to-day decisions involved in business.  How can you be free if you do not define what that means?

We are all working towards freedom.  Whether it’s the freedom to travel, the freedom to spend more time with our families, the freedom to work in whatever industry you want, or the freedom to just do nothing.  This book will help get you there by offering some real life advice on passion, commitment, and decision-making. By the end of this book you will feel like all your goals are that much more possible, and your eyes will be open to new opportunities to improve your life.

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What Would Google Do? (Book Review)

February 11, 2009

9780061709715“It’s about seeing the world as Google sees it, finding your own new worldview, and seeing differently.  In that sense, this isn’t a book about Google.  It’s a book about you.”

The first thing that you notice when you start to read the new book from Jeff Jarvis, What Would Google Do, is that this book is going to open your eyes to many “hidden truths”.  By breaking down Google’s philosophy, beliefs, and culture, Jeff shows us everything that has changed in the world since the explosion of the online world.

In exposing everything that Google has done, we can finally start to look at the world through their eyes.  Whereas many media, marketing, internet companies are clinging to ideals and beliefs of the old economy, Google and a few others have redefined what companies can do, how they can behave, and how they can develop.

Page by page, Jeff breaks down the rules that Google has followed to continue to grow and be successful.  And in doing so, he relates how other companies can use the same ideals to take advantage of a new generation of consumers that talk and discuss products and services in an open forum.  And through personal stories, detailed explanations of online activity, and an overview of how the major internet services work, we can see just how important it is for companies to join in the conversation, find niches, create communities, and act to serve the customer.

This is a must read for anyone who wants to further understand the power of the network. As the world continues to change through an ever expansive and open online society, it is vital that you know the rules of the game.  Jeff Jarvis will show you what is changing, where we’re headed, and how you can adjust and prepare yourself.  It is a creative way of looking at the world and will inspire you to embrace it.

You’re turn, what are some other books that do a great job of looking at the world in an interesting way and explaining new ideas?  What inspires you?  Let us know in the comments area below.

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