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The Knack: How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up [Kindle Edition]

Norm Brodsky , Bo Burlingham
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Too many start-ups don't make the grade - what makes a successful business take off?

Starting a new business is exciting, but there are many traps for the unwary. Some would-be entrepreneurs stick so firmly to their step-by-step guides that they don't see what's really going on. Others become so obsessed with potential problems they lose sight of the bigger picture. What they really need, according to serial entrepreneur Norm Brodsky, is a mindset that will help them to stay focussed on the real goals and grab opportunities whenever they arise. He calls it 'the knack'. It's helped him to build eight phenomenally successful companies, and in this book he uses stories of real companies facing real challenges to show you how to develop it too.

Product Description


Encouraging, succinct and informative, this is an excellent guide for anyone looking to dive into a new business or expand an existing one. (Publishers Weekly )


Encouraging, succinct and informative, this is an excellent guide for anyone looking to dive into a new business or expand an existing one. Publishers Weekly

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 732 KB
  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (10 Nov. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031RDVVY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #213,606 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Norm Brodsky is on the money 11 Oct. 2008
Though not available yet in Europe, The Knack is on the shelves in every US airport which means TransAtlantic travellers don't have to wait to sample this delightful and inspirational, b.s.-free treat from Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham. Inc magazine is the best when it comes to magazines on entrepreneurship and Norm is its best columnist. In The Knack, he gives you a passenger-seat ride back over his business odyssey which has seen him build an unglamorous inner-city storage business into an exemplar of entrepreneurship and community building. Anecdote-rich and brimming with commonsense advice, you'll find out how the King of Jordan and a daily shower gave Norm the tips he needed to build a customer-crazy company which he's just sold for $110m.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This book presumes that just because you're smart and capable, this doesn't mean you'll be any good at running a business. Jumping straight in with the numbers, it immediately shows that figures are everything - don't understand the numbers, and you are going to fail.

However, from there the book goes on to be an educative primer on just about every aspect of owning and running a small business - from closing the right types of sales to identifying your core competencies; from spreading your client base to dealing with banks, venture capitalists and other lenders.

There is basic advice on building a business for sale; how to treat competitors; negotiation skills; holding on to clients; choosing salespeople; and who to turn to for advice.

In 274 pages it isn't going to teach you all you need to know about the above, but with lots of real-life cases from the author's mentoring background and own business (and in the form of letters, presumably from his magazine column, which are too brief and don't add much), this book is a fast and useful read containing many pieces of advice that I suspect will serve any budding entrepreneur well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Readable Overview of Core Business Fundamentals 27 Feb. 2013
To me this book is really about the 80/20 of business. Those few core elements that if you get right then you're running a fundamentally sound business, equally if you don't, no matter what you do you're in trouble.

Many small business owners get stuck in what Perry Marshall called 'bright, shiny object syndrome', where you're always reaching for new distractions that you think will boost your business, without doing the simple things right. Norm Brodsky brings you through those simple things in a very easily readable narrative, focusing on case studies of his own successes and failures as well as those of the people who he gave advice through the years. It's about the importance of key numbers in your business, but also equally the psychology behind your decisions and actions.

He's quite up front about his own failures and character flaws, and writes in a warm, relaxed and confident tone of a man who's been there and done that and has little to prove, least of all to himself. It makes for easy reading, but there's value in there.

Seemingly this book sprang from a popular column in Inc Magazine, but thankfully it doesn't feel like a couple of dozen articles stretched over 250 pages, a trap some fall into. In fact he neatly slides excerpts from his 'Ask Norm' column into relevant case studies. He's very balanced, broad and empathetic in his descriptions and analysis of himself, his competitors and those he gave advice to.

To conclude each chapter he does a little bullet point reminder of principles he's just explored. Some might find this a little over-simplistic but for me it was a welcome addition. It might have benefited further by expanding that to explicit actionable tasks to analyse one's own business. Maybe that would be asking too much.

To sum up, it was an enjoyable read, and I still managed to gain insights in spite of already having read dozens of business books. Get it, it's well worth the price!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Niblick
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I own hundreds of books varying from business to sales to educational literature and this book is in the top 5 of books that I not only enjoy reading but must read on a regular basis. The book is so good in my opinion that I own the audio book and the Kindle version as well.

It is so down to earth and honest and perfect for anyone starting up or someone who needs a reminder on how to survive.

This is a must buy for anyone who is a small entrepreneur.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical down-to-earth experiences 12 Dec. 2009
By Ian Howlett VINE VOICE
I really enjoyed this book. It's a pracitcal insight into how the author (Norm) built his businesses, and he goes over successes and mistakes. There's useful sidebars called "Ask Norm" where he deals with the typical questions that people have. The book covers a lot of ground, and perhaps if you're a total newcomer to business some of it will go over your head. Well worth a read.
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