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lordlancaster (Newcastle upon Tyne, England)

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Four Thousand Days: My Journey From Prison To Business Success
Four Thousand Days: My Journey From Prison To Business Success
by Duane Jackson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly inspiring!, 29 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a truly remarkable book by an exceptional person. A refreshingly honest account of how Duane Jackson turned his life around from convicted (amateur) drug smuggler to one of the UK's most successful tech startup entrepreneurs of recent years. It's an incredibly inspiring story with an almost fairytale ending which proves that hard work, determination and a little bit of good luck can really pay off. Although 'The Sage Wars' chapter is likely to be popular with readers for the cheeky 'David vs. Goliath' guerrilla marketing and PR tactics he employed to raise the profile of KashFlow and cause trouble for the market leading accounts software company, it's actually one of the least interesting. What's much more fascinating is Duane's detailed account of the time he spent in jail for the aforementioned crime where he continued to educate himself and hone his entrepreneurial skills in order to survive and thrive, before starting and growing his KashFlow under the wise and watchful eye of Lord Young. It also highlights how someone with an 'outsiders' view can revolutionise and disrupt a market by devising an innovative new way of doing business and of using technology. Even Sage, his former arch-enemy, has benefited from his work by iterating and improving their own cloud-based Sage One accounting product which has since overtaken KashFlow in popularity in the UK. I have personally always admired Duane for his achievements at KashFlow but having read this book I'm even more impressed with the man. Nice one Duane!

The Ultimate Guide to Writing and Marketing a Bestselling Book - on a Shoestring Budget
The Ultimate Guide to Writing and Marketing a Bestselling Book - on a Shoestring Budget
by Dee Blick
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.82

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource for authors & writers!, 19 Feb. 2015
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This is an excellent resource for anyone who is thinking of writing a book or has already written one and wants to do a better job of marketing and promoting it. Dee has a lovely, down-to-earth writing style which I enjoy reading and this book is packed full of genuinely useful and practical tips and advice from start to finish. Although I am a published author who has done lots of public speaking in the past there were lots of things in this book that I can learn from and I have already started putting some of her tips into practise and given more thought to the style and structure of my presentations. Even simple things like having a copy of my book with me when I give a talk and passing it around the audience sound so obvious and yet I'd never thought to do that before! I did this at the next talk I gave after reading the book and it went down well with the audience with at least two people saying they were going to buy a copy as a result. Whether you're looking to get a book deal or self-publish, this book has it all and I really can't recommend it highly enough. Buy it!

Start It Up: Why Running Your Own Business is Easier Than You Think
Start It Up: Why Running Your Own Business is Easier Than You Think
by Luke Johnson
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for anyone starting a business in Britain today, 16 Jan. 2012
Despite not being a household name, Luke Johnson is one of the UK's best/most successful, serial entrepreneurs. His columns for the FT and Management Today are some of the most insightful in Britain today, as he tells it how it is without any fluff.

Full of personal anecdotes of success and failure, plus advice on what an investor is really looking for, if you're thinking of starting a business in the UK today then you really need to own this book!

Riverside: Newcastle's Legendary Alternative Music Venue
Riverside: Newcastle's Legendary Alternative Music Venue
by Hazel Plater
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for music lovers everywhere!, 14 Jan. 2012
'Riverside: Newcastle's Legendary Alternative Music Venue' is a must-read for anyone who has ever been to a gig, been in a band (or dreamt of being in one) or has any interest, love or passion for the music industry.

Lovingly compiled by former employee Hazel Plater and fanzine writer/avid gig-goer Carl Taylor, the book takes you through the entire history of the club from inception to closure and is filled with first hand accounts and anecdotes from the people who worked there, the punters and the fantastic bands and DJs who played there too.

Until the Riverside opened its doors in 1985, Newcastle was usually overlooked by touring bands, but it soon established itself as one of Britain's best live music venues with practically every great band and DJ from the 80's through to the late 90's playing there, including Nirvana in their first ever European gig!

Not only was the Riverside a great live music venue, but it was also the home of the legendary house night 'Shindig' which attracted global fame to the club. For 20yrs, the Riverside WAS the epicentre of the music industry in the region and locals (including myself) owe a great debt to those who came together and made it all happen.

Apart from being a fantastic slice of nostalgia for anyone that walked through the doors, this book provides wonderful inspiration for anyone, of any walk of life, demonstrating what incredible things can happen when you dare to think big.

Buy this book now! You need it on your shelf! :o)

Zarrella's Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas
Zarrella's Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Social Media advice and insight from a REAL expert!, 23 Aug. 2011
I read this last night and it's excellent. Full of insightful data that will help you understand and manage your social media activity more effectively.

Instead of the usual 'rainbows and unicorns' myths and untruths that lots of 'social media experts' talk about, Dan Zarrella (Hubspot) has condensed his many years of expertise and data analysis into this highly readable and conversational book which will make you think differently about all you've done (and been told) before.

Includes data on the best days and times to Tweet or update your Blog / Facebook status, why people share things (and what makes them shareable), the most common trigger words that can help build up your 'Followers' / 'Fans' or encourage people to share and Retweet your content. Essential reading.

Bit Literacy: Productivity in the Age of Information and E-mail Overload
Bit Literacy: Productivity in the Age of Information and E-mail Overload
Price: £0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Top Tips for Better Email Management and Productivity, 10 Aug. 2011
It's well documented that `information overload' is a big cause of stress and anxiety in the workplace and an overflowing email Inbox can be a major culprit. Having a poor filing system can also slow us down and make it difficult to find the information we need when we want it.

`Bit Literacy' by Mark Hurst is full of fantastically usedul (and practical) tips and advice on improving productivity in the workplace.

For example, myy favourite is the following which I recommend that you try;

- Create a new folder in your Inbox called !TO DO LIST!
- Spend some time ruthlessly reading, deleting and filing into sub-folders all remaining email that is currently sitting in your Inbox
- All emails that still require an action should be moved into the !TO DO LIST!
- The ultimate aim is to be left with a COMPLETELY empty Inbox at the end of each day (see screenshot below) and an empty !TO DO LIST! folder by the end of the week

Try it and I promise you'll be amazed by how much more efficient and productive you feel.

For more gems like this I highly recommend you read this book! :o)

Read This Before Our Next Meeting
Read This Before Our Next Meeting

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are business meetings a waste of your time?, 3 Aug. 2011
How many meetings do you have at work where you leave thinking `what a complete waste of time and effort'?

If the answer is `a lot' or `most of them' then you really must read Al Pittampalli's excellent new book `Read This Before Our Next Meeting`.

The latest title from The Domino Project, Al's book highlights all that is wrong with the `traditional meeting' and suggests a better, more productive way to do business through the `Modern Meeting`.

Describing Microsoft Office email Appointments as `weapons of mass interruption', Al hits the nail on the head when he says that it's far too easy for people to call team meetings with little care or thought for the impact they might have on the recipients that have to sit through 'another bad meeting'.

Furthermore, he points out how meetings have become stalling tactics and havens for complacency and collective indecision in too many organisations around the world. Too many meetings with too many people (or the wrong ones) leads to inaction, compromise and mediocrity. `Less talk, more action' should be the new mantra.

Some of the key themes and ideas I took from the book which I will be trying to implement in future include;

- Thinking really, really carefully before calling a meeting and who you should invite. (Sounds obvious but is a very important point to make).
- Taking your time to circulate reading materials before the meeting and INSISTING that all attendees read them beforehand. If they turn up for the meeting without reading, then you are perfectly within your rights to ask them to leave. Time is precious and you certainly don't have time to go through the background info at the beginning. These types of `informaional meetings' are a big waste of your and everyone else's time.
- Simply turning up for a meeting isn't enough. All attendees should be expected to `turn up' in mind and spirit and contribute something to the meeting. Make it clear that they must add some value to proceedings (asking questions, sharing insight, offering to take on task) otherwise they aren't welcome or necessary and won't be invited to future meetings.
- Make sure that all meetings have a clear purpose, clear objective(s) and end on time. Put a big visual countdown timer on display so people know that you mean business.
- Ensure that someone makes good and proper notes from the meeting which are circulated soon after with clear action points for all attendees. I would actually suggest that if it's important, the person calling the meeting should also take their own notes and follow things up personally. Ideally, all attendees should be making their own notes too and taking responsibility for actions in the actual meeting (far too many do neither and then can't remember what was agreed to).

Like all Domino Project titles, this highly useful book is deliberately fast-paced and designed to be read in around 1hr (I read mine via Kindle App on my Windows Phone on the bus journey home from work).

So, if you're sick of feeling like your time is being wasted by pointless meetings or are simply looking for ways to improve your professional capacity and productivity at work, then I highly recommend you grab hold of a copy. Even better if you can share it with your colleagues too so they can understand where you are coming from.

Perhaps you could even hold a `Modern Meeting' to discuss how to roll them out across the organisation?

Anything You Want
Anything You Want

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Making dreams come true for others and for yourself', 6 July 2011
This review is from: Anything You Want (Kindle Edition)
Another fantastic book from The Domino Project, 'Anything You Want' tells how Derek Sivers (Founder of CD Baby) almost accidentally turned a hobby into a hugely successful business (deliberately slowly) over 10yrs which he then sold for $22 Million when it outgrew him and stopped being fun.

However, it's much more than that. It's an insight into the mindset and philosphy of a truly enlightened entrepreneur who instead of seeking to make his business as big as possible, tried to keep it as small as possible with a total focus on customer service and 'making dreams come true for others and for himself'.

Full of great anecdotes and mottos like using 'Hell Yeah, or No' to decide whether to proceed with an idea, reading this book will inspire you and help you think completely differently about your motivation and purpose in life. Highly recommended!

Get Off Your Arse
Get Off Your Arse
by Brad Burton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brad Burton = Human Force Of Nature!, 27 April 2011
This review is from: Get Off Your Arse (Paperback)
I just finished Brad Burton's awesome book 'Get Off Your Arse' this morning and think it's essential reading for anyone starting a business or at a crossroads in life!

Working for Shell LiveWIRE (the UK's biggest online community for young entrepreneurs), I read A LOT of business, management, marketing and self-help books, but this is one of the most enjoyable, funny, practical and useful ones I've come across. Unlike many 'business gurus' Brad's no-nonsense approach to telling you EXACTLY how it is and calling a spade a spade is really quite refreshing.

He's been there, done that, worn the t-shirt and is still doing it not only for himself but for the many people he helps support through his motivational speaking gigs and 4Networking Business Breakfast events.

Online he can come across as outspoken, brash and controversial but I love that about him. He's 100% true to himself. Having had the pleasure of meeting him and experiencing the 'Brad Grenade' first hand - a whirlwind of excitement and energy when he walks in the room, I wish more people in business and life were like him.

Highly recommended! Just about to start reading 'Get Off Your Arse Too' :o)

Poke the Box
Poke the Box

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly inspirational!, 1 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Poke the Box (Kindle Edition)
Wow! Read my smartphone Kindle app version of 'Poke The Box' on the train home from a Student Entrepreneurs conference in Manchester. Was already feeling really inspired but now I'm raring to Go Go Go!

Seth does it again with another classic! Essential reading for anyone that wants to make a positive contribution to the world in any line of work! :o)

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