Goals! by Brian Tracy

Every year, I make it a point to read a motivational book.   Motivation is like bathing – it doesn’t last forever and needs to be repeated periodically – although I must point out that I bathe more than once a year!

This year, it was Brian Tracy’s book.  I really enjoyed the entire book, but I must say the last few chapters were an absolute  crescendo of motivational remarks from great figures from the last two centuries.

I would recommend this book without reservation to anyone who’s looking for ideas on getting to the next level.  Enjoy!

Escape from Cubicle Nation


I have enjoyed following @PamSlim on Twitter, and listening to Pam’s podcast, “Escape from Cubicle Nation,” so when her book was published, I bought it right away.  I was not disappointed.  Dealing with a variety of both practical and emotional factors that must be addressed by the prospective escapee, this book walks through the process of actually starting a small business and leaving your day job.

Thinking about The Dip

I’m a huge Seth Godin fan, but I had just never gotten around to reading The Dip.  But on the strength of Shoemoney’s recommendation I grabbed a copy, and thoroughly enjoyed it.   To synthesize it in a sentence:

Never quit something with great long term potential just because it’s unpleasant right now.    But be sure it has great long term potential before investing any more energy into it.

Zen Cart, by Suhreed Sarkar

It’s really difficult to write a good manual for a product like Zen Cart. The chief obstacle to universal acclaim is the fact that the market is highly segregated: newbies who are unlikely to venture beyond modifying simple admin settings are not going to want to the customization details that will excite experienced PHP developers. So how do you balance these interests?

Suhreed Sarkar’s new book Zen Cart E-commerce Application Development walks the wire nicely. It provides ample coverage of admin panel basics that every shopowner needs to know, and also takes the time to discuss topics like changing templates and writing CSS. There is code in every chapter (even some code I wrote from Better Together), which is going to be very helpful for someone who wants to go beyond the customization capabilities which are available through the admin panel. The book’s treatment of add-ons is also useful, as is the background and comparative information for people coming from OSCommerce.

If I had to buy a single book on Zen Cart, it would still be Goh Koon Hoek’s manual. However, for users seeking a litle more detail and a gentle introduction to changing files and using contributions, this book is a nice addition. Good luck to Suhreed Sarkar and Packt Publishing!

MMM: In praise of Georges Doriot

Harvard Business School professor Georges Doriot started the world’s first venture capital firm, American Research & Development (ARD). Professor Doriot said,

“I want money to do things that have never been done before.”

If reading sentences like this gives you a boner, then now’s the time to start your own company. Tomorrow’s millionaires are being made today. What are you waiting for? Start now.

Why Read Fiction?

If you want to become successful in business, you must understand people.
If you want to understand people, you must read fiction.

Do you believe these two statements are true? I certainly do. Fiction allows us to experience things we otherwise couldn’t – indeed, it allows us to experience things we may not even want to actually experience first hand, but want to know about. It opens the goodie bag for us, breaking down boundaries, opening new perspectives and creating fresh passageways. My friend Professor Phil Rogers has a similar take, and puts it this way:

One way in which I think we benefit from reading fiction is that it serves to expand our experience. We can’t possibly have all the experiences or know all the kinds of people we read about, but all of those vicarious experiences, or even just exposure to imagined experiences, broaden our understandings of what is possible or introduce us to possible responses to imagined experiences or people. And to the extent that greater understandings and greater understanding empower, then the reading of fiction must necessarily empower.

Here’s what That Software Guy is reading. So what are you reading?