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Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money
Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money
by Robert T. Kiyosaki
Edition: Paperback

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An epithany - get it and maybe change your life..., 4 Mar. 2005
"Rich Dad, Poor Dad" has now been on the best seller lists for an amazing 200+ weeks and shows no sign of stopping. As this is a book about finance, not normally the most exciting of subjects, how might this performance have been achieved? What makes this book so special?
I can only tell you what I have seen. I have had copies of this book "borrowed permanently" from me by friends and family. I have struggled to start a conversation at a dinner with the person next to me, then next hour in animated debate on mentioning this book or it's author, Robert Kiyosaki. I have made tens of thousands of pounds by following the guidance of this book, increasing my net wealth many times over. I know people who have made much more (but then they started earlier!). It really is an epiphany for a lot of people; it lives up to the hype and can indeed, change your life.
Now before you get all nauseous and think I'm some pie-eyed hack, let me tell you that I don't do self-help books. Ever. I am a hard-nosed, MBA qualified businessman. I am very critical of some of Kiyosaki's latest works and promotions. But this book, more than any other factor, has helped me to succeed.
Kiyosaki simply lays out two views of life: what I call the thoughtless drone and the leading entrepreneur. The drone puts in the hours, earns a salary and generally follows the standard "2.4 children & mortgage" lifestyle. This includes substantial debt, "keeping up with the Jones's" and a never-ending cycle of want without ever becoming truly wealthy. The entrepreneur, on the other hand, focuses on becoming wealthy through seeing the world differently, taking calculated risks and stepping outside the behaviour of the norm.
As in most things in life, attitude is critical and that is what "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" gives you. While Kiyosaki is criticised for repeating the work of other books, for being too vague, for waffling, I feel these critics have missed the point. "Rich Dad" helps you to change the way you see the world. Once you have achieved that then anything is possible. For a huge number of people the epiphany of opening this book is something they will not forget.


Quick Hits - 10 Key Surgical Strike Actions to Improve Business Process Performance
Quick Hits - 10 Key Surgical Strike Actions to Improve Business Process Performance
by Cross
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maximum business impact - bring structure to "common sense", 16 Feb. 2005
Business is really quite simple: you either delivered more to your stakeholders today than yesterday (happiness) or didn't (sadness). To be business "happy" then is the objective of almost all of the people that we call managers. I like to think of business "happiness" as coming from three sources: people, product or process. "People" is WHAT the business does; product is your OUTPUT and process is HOW we do things.
Most managers spend almost all of their time on people. Client visits, recruiting and rewarding employees, communicating with stakeholders and attending meetings. Many managers spend very little time on product and process, but these two define most of the "happiness" that is possible for your company. This book is a VERY practical guide for helping those inexperienced in the latter, process management, to make a big impact fast.
So what, you may say? Why should I care about process management? Well I would suggest that if you look around your company; you might well find that you already care! If your business is involved in outsourcing or off-shoring, did you improve the process first before you delegated responsibility? Or did you send away a set of work that was a nightmare for those inside your company, which with distance became a real burning issue for customers? In fact, how much of that work was value added? All of this work you are still doing and the stress induced - is it really being done effectively and efficiently, right first time? Should it be done at all?
Cross lays out 10 steps which start at the most basic "unclog the workplace" and logically and incrementally step up to step ten, the forming of "customer teams" for the remaining work that is really high value. This is not rocket science, it's just applying a logical thought process to improving the work going on before your very eyes. As the legendary Jon Theuerkauf says on the back cover "Common sense is not necessarily practiced! Cross provides insights and reminders of practical, time-tested and simple ways to improve". Given the amazing impact that Theuerkauf's global team has had (Six Sigma Innovative Project of the Year 2005), and is having, within banking that is praise indeed. These guys really rock so I bought this book on that recommendation alone.
So then: buy this book. Start at the front. Work your way through. After six months you'll be doing less than half the work with a tenth of the stress, but making twice the money. Now that is called happiness!


Zurich Tax Handbook 2004-2005
Zurich Tax Handbook 2004-2005
by Mr Anthony Foreman
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE book - don't pay tax without it, 26 Nov. 2004
First of all I have to plead a connection - I work for Zurich (at least for the next 30 days) - I have nothing to do with the publication of this book, just wanted to lay the cards on the table.
I was in real need of a detailed understanding of the UK tax system and this book is it. Really - it is. Don't buy the "Red-top guide to Tax dodging", or other sposored tax guide which assumes that you have the IQ of a Scandanavian Pigmy Hamster (yep, made that up), but get this guide that covers all the new stuff in detail at the front and then goes through every part of the mess that is UK tax clearly and succinctly.
I am rather annoyed that having bought this book I have found that you can now buy this book and get one of the rest of the series (pensions, investments, estate planning, retirement, expatriate or business tax and law) thrown in for FREE. So now it is two bibles for the price of one - what more could you ask.
Now I am not suggesting that this book makes great bedtime reading, but it is written clealry and simply for easy understanding - no Inland Revenue waffle here. But when you think of the fortune that you are probably paying Mr Brown and the pain that will be rained down on you if you get it wrong, it has to be in the bookcase.
Or you can always immigrate to New Zealand - 1 page tax return, no inhierentance tax, great beaches. Your choice...


Start Your Business: Week by Week
Start Your Business: Week by Week
by Steve Parks
Edition: Paperback

117 of 126 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really well done - practical, thoughtful and focused, 26 Nov. 2004
The statistics are dire - something like 900% of businesses fail in the first 90 seconds...Ok, so maybe not quite that bad,but you are more likely to find a lesser spotted bandicoot in your back garden than a thriving business after five or ten years trading (pretty sure I just made that animal up - don't go looking for one).
I sort of run a business on the side of my "real job" and have often thought about making it more of my daily routine. I spotted this book in a <competitors> book shop and, over a delightful cappuchino, devoured this book in one reading.
Having read a few books on the subject of entrepreneurship (not one on spelling, obviously), I was delighted as to how practical, focused and thought provoking this offering is.
Firstly this is no "Own Business in 90 minutes" book. It is laid out over 20 week period, taking you from "Ugh, I wanna do something different" to "yes, I would like to hire my 20th employee". I love the way it assumes nothing - you can start from a blank mind (a good place in my experience) and follow it through.
The second thing that I like about it is that it covers all of the bases well and at a decent level. Most business fail for complicated reasons like having no cash and no customers. This book asks sufficiently detailed questions to prevent the obvious from causing you a lot of pain. I feel that this will be of massive help for the person out there who has the "idea for the perfect mousetrap" but has never bothered to ask the opinion of one of those funny customer or bank manager people, but has become very excited about their own genius idea (I for one plead guilty to this).
You will never get rich working for someone else (unless you run a privatised utility company) - so if you want to take the plunge into the world of business on your lonesome than I highly recommend this book - it may well save your company.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 18, 2011 11:57 PM GMT


The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels
The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels
by Michael D Watkins
Edition: Hardcover

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So good I'm making it my plan for my new job, 23 Nov. 2004
I'm off to a new job in 2005 and, sitting and considering my future during my notice period, I wondered if I could do a better job of moving than I did the last time. This book provides a well thought out set of considerations and practical steps that you can follow to make your next critical move a success.
My one criticism is that when trying to summarise the plan onto one powerpoint slide (if you have ever worked at General Electric you will know I can't stop myself doing this), I found it a bit hard to put together a seqential plan; the bits don't easily tie together into an implementable plan timewise. A summary picture would have really helped me.
Maybe this is because each job is different and this book has to cover from CEO to junior manager. In the end I got it down into a plan that I a quite proud of and I am looking forward to my first day with my new employer somewhat more confident than I was the last time.
I like the fact it is well researched and not the first text on related subjects by this author.
I also like the fact that his starting point is that the determination of success is the interacion between the new company and the new employee. If you put together and implement a customised plan along the guidelines laid out here then I feel that you will have given it you best shot - which is all that we can hope to acheive.


1000 Places to See Before You Die
1000 Places to See Before You Die
by Patricia Schultz
Edition: Paperback

84 of 99 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great idea, well, but not perfectly executed, 23 Nov. 2004
I love travelling. Not love, I mean LOVE. My marriage is so based on travel that if we do not have at least two holidays booked and another being planned the divorce papers come out. In the next 6 months I am off to Germany, Malaysia and Australia an trying to wangle a business trip to Hong Kong - so I feel qualified to judge the author's globe trotting tome.
I saw this book in a <competitor> bookstore and went WOW - now there is someone who thinks like me! Patricia Schultz claims to have spent 7 years researching the book and, having read it a few dozen times I can believe it.
Many fellow reviewers have critisiced Patricia for her bias towards the western hempisphere and while I must agree (even I was embarassed by the Anglophobe tone), I have to ask these readers a question - is there any place listed here that you think should be omitted; that fails to meet the mark set. I've been through the whole book marking where I have been (yes, I know it's a bit anal but I did say I was obsessed!) and I could not criticise one inclusion.
Paricia has indeed a taste for, shall we say, the finer places in life, but then so do many of us. If you have not had pre-dinner drinks in Chewton Glen after getting ready in the spa then you have not lived! (Must try to do that again...)
I do not criticise her for including such fine establishments, with their rather hefty bills. Rather I acknowledge that there are many wonderful places that she has left out. My native New Zealand (considered one of the "must visit" places of them all), is only allocated 10 entries. The ones that she has included, though, are on anyones top 50 list of Aoteroa though...
For an American to conceive and write such a book is dumbfounding - 90% of them don't even have a passport. Be happy for her - she done well.
Now - go write a better book if you dare. So that makes it 5,000 things to do before you die then!


Sticky Wisdom
Sticky Wisdom
by Dave Allan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.48

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the end, all businesses survive on innovation..., 15 Oct. 2004
This review is from: Sticky Wisdom (Paperback)
After the "popping of the e-bubble" the last few years have been a tad hard for many businesses. Huge losses, unemployment (not so much in the UK) and a renewed focus on core activities have not made for the most innovative of environments. Now in 2004/05, with profits recovering, the next two challenges for business are innovation for growth and operational effectiveness for decreasing marginal costs and customer satisfaction.
"What if" is an innovation consultancy who offer a set of steps and practical ideas of how to enhance innovation in your business. This book is the follow up to "What If" (this is an improvement in layout, but you don't need both books). The innovation stages are great and it helped me to understand at a high level where my current team are strong and weak, but I think it is the practical nature of the ideas, tools and methods that is the strength of this book.
I really like the different ideas for enabling creative thinking - random connections, opposites, physical trials, focused "hothousing"...each will help you to advance from the normal set of brainstormed ideas that your workshops probably generate at the moment - how many of them couldn't anyone in your industry think of?
What if is a consultancy as well and it is possible that I might get to work with them sometime soon - I am really looking forward to trying out with the experts some of these techniques.
Mind expanding stuff when applied to your eveyday problems - might even help you enjoy your work more - now wouldn't that be a thing!


Pocket Triz for Six Sigma: Systematic Innovation and Problem Solving
Pocket Triz for Six Sigma: Systematic Innovation and Problem Solving
by Geoff Tennant
Edition: Spiral-bound

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really original set of ideas for the Six Sigma expert, 15 Oct. 2004
Six Sigma is on of the business trends of the "naughties". Following the path blazed by Motorola and General Electric, fully 25% of the Fortune 500 have a Six Sigma programme running.
If you are new to Six Sigma, then this book is NOT for you. If, like me, you have been working with this approach for some time and had began to slow down on the learning curve then this book is a great purchase for you and your project teams.
A real danger in Six Sigma is in the link between Analayse and Improve. In many projects, having found the critical X, the team leap straight to one (sub-optimal) solution, drop in minimal controls and then walk. The danger is that you forget the purpose of the method - delivering sustainable gains, and instead fall in "love" with the analysis and data.
Using this little pocket guide, which many Six Sigma people will be used to from the Rath and Strong series, will help you to bring a more scientific and rigourous approach to creating the optimal, not the obvious, set of solutions. Based on a study of the physical principles behind patents, Triz offers a set of tools and approaches that will drive you outside of your current thinking limitations and enable the team to come up with some truly market leading solutions to pilot.
The book is well written and easy to read. I intend to try using it in my coaching for a while and then, maybe, read the full size book by the same author. If this type of knowledge is you bag, this makes a great addition to your briefcase.


The Best of House Doctor
The Best of House Doctor
by Ann Maurice
Edition: Paperback

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Guru on Home Staging hits the mark again, 29 Aug. 2004
Ann Maurice has done brilliantly in the UK by doing what Estate Agents should be doing - working for their clients to sell their houses as fast and for as much money as possible; I doubt that this is a description that many would recognise.
Ann does "home staging". This is a part of the real estate market which she has had pretty much all to her self for a number of years in the UK. It is not property investment, property development, interior design or restoration. It is the activity that leads to the greatest return on investment while ensuring that a property is sold. The focus is short term results from little effort - if only most people who sold their houses had a read of this first! For anyone involved in real estate therefore, this, or one of her other books, is pretty essential reading.
This book covers a lot of her well prove ideas in one place and for that reason is superior to her previous efforts, which have sometimes been paper versions of the TV series. As she now develops her off screen business with training offerings anyone keen to learn more will do well starting here.


Fiona Fullerton's Guide To Buying, Selling And Moving House
Fiona Fullerton's Guide To Buying, Selling And Moving House
by Fiona Fullerton
Edition: Paperback

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The female view - just what the doctor ordered!, 29 Aug. 2004
Fiona Fullerton has written a clear and detailed book which is a great help for anyone considering investing in properties to let or develop. Unusually for the genre, she puts across the female perspective; so missing from other literature but crucial in the property game where the female input in a couple's decision making process is critical.
From a business and due diligence point of view, there is little here that can't be found in any other text on property investment (in fact Rich Dads "Real Estate Riches: How to Become Rich Using Your Banker's Money" by De Roos is much better in this respect), but Fiona covers the post-acquisition activity of decoration and development much better than most. The use of photographs also makes this text stand out from the crowd.
While this text would not be the first text I would by on the subject, it a very useful addition to the library and fills a gap in the market very neatly.


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