All Articles Tagged "book review"

Liz Weston’s ‘The 10 Commandments Of Money’ Teaches The Rules Of The New Economy

March 26th, 2014 - By Michelle Alerte
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10-commandxLooking for a way to get your head above financial waters? In The 10 Commandments of Money: Survive & Thrive In The New Economy by Liz Wetson, readers get 10 comprehensive chapters detailing 10 clear and simple strategies for surviving and thriving in the current economic climate. Each commandment starts with three rules: The Old-School Rules, The Bubble Economy Rules and The New Rules. Each rule demonstrates how the financial world continues to evolve.

The first commandment — “Create a Budget That Works in the Real World” — sets the stage for the type of advice you can expect throughout. Weston breaks up the financial advice with the definitions of Insider Terms like 401(k), Enrolled agent, and Personal Savings Rate. And she ends each chapter with action steps to guide readers. Sections are blocked off to answer frequently asked questions or give valuable tidbits of information.

Although for most of us, myself included, wrapping our heads around financial terms and action steps can seem daunting, Weston makes The 10 Commandments of Money comprehensible, filling it with practical advice that anyone can use to get started with making important changes today. “Aim for a spending plan where your ‘must-have’ expenses don’t exceed 50 percent of your after tax-income. Wants are corralled to 30 percent and you’re saving or repaying debt with the remaining 20 percent,” she writes.

With commandments like, “Pay Off Debt the Smart Way,” “Treat Your Marriage like a Business,” and “Defend Yourself in the War on Consumers” everyone will find answers to the questions they’ve always had. Many readers may find the Insider Terms to be most valuable since understanding difficult financial terms makes approaching finances a whole lot less intimidating.

Besides the practical issues, Weston turns her attention to special cases in order to help people who aren’t living within life’s usual circumstances. “How to Budget if Your Income Isn’t Regular” will be particularly helpful for the millions of self-employed people working in today’s business landscape. And Weston offers advice on creating multiple income streams, which includes work from administrative assistant to pet service provider. Each job outlines creative tips on where and how to get in the door. Even on the topic of remodeling your home, Weston takes the time to explain how to discover which remodels make sense and how to pay for them.

The 10 Commandments of Money may not answer all financial questions or solve all financial mishaps, but readers will definitely get a major head-start in a multitude of directions. Weston’s advice in the book touches on as much as any single book can and offers a “Resources” section of additional books to further provide readers with invaluable sources.

According to Nielsen NetRatings, Weston is the number-one most-read personal finance columnist on the internet. She writes for MSN Money, AARP The Magazine, and has a syndicated newspaper column called “Money Talk.” Weston is also a regular contributor for Marketplace Money, Talk of the Nation and All Things Considered on public radio. She has also written a bestselling book titled, Your Credit Score.

MN Biz Must-Read: “Networking is Dead”! Long Live Networking!

December 6th, 2012 - By Andrea Williams
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By now you know the adage is true: “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” And regardless of your industry or title, having the right network of people around you can mean the difference between a failed entrepreneurial venture and startup success, or a languishing career trajectory and an office in the C-suite.

But the burning question remains, how do you navigate chamber of commerce meet-and-greets and LinkedIn groups to successfully build an overflowing Rolodex? And how do you ensure that those contacts are actually the right ones – people that can and will propel you forward in business and life?

These questions and more are answered in Networking is Dead: Making Connections That Matter (November 2012, BenBella Books), by Melissa G. Wilson and Larry Mohl.

Networking is Dead is written in fable form and tells the story of two colleagues (Meredith and Lance) who enlist the services of a “networking sensei” (Dan) to help whip their circles of contacts into proper shape.

As Meredith and Lance meet weekly with Dan, learning how to effectively build a bigger, better, stronger network, the reader is like a fly on the wall, privy to all of Dan’s insider tips for thoughtful and masterful connecting. Every question asked by Meredith or Lance is one that readers have probably wondered themselves, and each of Dan’s answers can be immediately plugged into the reader’s own playbook for future use.

Meanwhile, readers will likely identify more closely with one of the characters: Meredith is an outgoing social media pro who has tons of connections but feels that few are actually meaningful, while Lance is a shy accounting executive who just wants more connections, period.

The close of each chapter features a copy of Meredith and Lance’s weekly homework assignment, provided so the reader can follow the same path as the students. Tasks from week/chapter five, “Give First,” include: give wisely – not to receive, but to offer value – and get started by asking one of your partners what one thing he or she would like your help with.

In fact, much of the book focuses on the notion of a higher purpose for all of the constant “liking” and “following,” the idea being that in the process of climbing your own proverbial career ladder, you can – and should – pull up a couple folks with you. Read: Selfish pursuits must be checked at the door.

So does that mean you have to relegate yourself to a life of charitable lack, forgoing your own visions of success and prosperity? Hardly, say Wilson and Mohl. By focusing on authentically serving others, you will attract more opportunity than you could ever imagine.

Likewise, the authors suggest that readers examine their own connections, categorizing contacts into one of three groups: Exchanger, Giver, and Taker. The titles are self-explanatory, and though readers may feel inclined to fill their networks with as many givers as possible for their own personal gain, Wilson and Mohl urge professionals to seek out Exchangers, or those people who will be a constant resource for giving and receiving information and opportunities.

The authors also recommend that readers not rush the process: “Only by focusing on a few, high-quality connections – 10 or fewer at first – can you truly accelerate your goal achievement. It’s paradoxical, but starting small to grow a big network is the way to go.”

That said, if your sole purpose is to amass as many Facebook friends as possible, or your last Google search was “How to Get 5,000 Twitter Followers in 30 Days,” Networking Is Dead is probably not the book for you.

If, however, you want to grow your network organically and strategically, focusing on “connections that matter,” this is most certainly a must-read.

Andrea Williams is a journalist and writer based in Nashville, TN. For more, follow her @AndreaWillWrite.

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ What’s All The Hype About?

May 23rd, 2012 - By madamenoire
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This becomes a vicious cycle, completely emotionally exhausting. Over time, it looks like love addiction. Unable to bond in a healthy way, this couple bonds in an addictive way; I can’t live with you and I can’t live without you.

The draw to this kind of guy is powerful for women who are trying to heal their own childhood wounds. Deep down, she wants to bring him out of the darkness of his wounded soul, draw him into the light and heal him. By so doing, she proves something to herself — that she is special and worthy of the attention, love and desires of this compelling man. There’s just one tiny problem: it doesn’t work.

Contrary to fantasy fiction, you cannot heal the wounded guy with love. He needs several swift emotional kicks in the butt. He needs loads of “tough love,” not the “sweet, I-adore-you” kind of love you want to give him. His healing cannot come from you being his Mommy, the one he didn’t have before.

He needs to hit rock bottom and experience a dramatic loss before he can begin to heal. The pain of doing what he’s always done has to be greater than the pain of change. Because his wounds have compelled him to do so much damage, he needs to experience remorse. There are other steps, but they are best taken in a therapeutic setting, not in the course of a relationship. Big clue: most of them never do heal because they don’t allow themselves to be vulnerable enough to be hurt enough to have to change.

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Blair Underwood Is Fine, But Can He Write?

July 15th, 2010 - By Demetria Irwin
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Blair Underwood is a lot of things: actor, producer, director, giver of all types of fineness, but he also has a title you might not be so familiar with.  From Cape Town With Love is Underwood’s third go-round as co-author in a mystery series that chronicles the life of Tennyson Hardwick, a gorgeous actor turned private detective whose life is full of sex, guns and danger. Husband and wife team Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes, both award-winning authors, have co-penned all of the Tennyson Hardwick books.

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Writer Tells African-American Hair Tales In “Curly Like Me”

June 21st, 2010 - By madamenoire
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"Curly Like Me"

By Demetria Irwin

Stretch, pull, burn, slather in grease. These are just a few of the ways some of us naturally curly Madames have tortured our hair and scalp over the years. Teri LaFlesh, author of Curly Like Me: How to Grow Your Hair Healthy, Long and Strong, understands that struggle and she’s here to help.

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