To grow or not to grow

Two seeds lay in the field where the farmer had thrown them. As the autumn days passed, birds searching for worms, and the wintry wind, loosened the earth, which slowly began to cover them. Patiently, they waited as the nights grew longer and the days grew colder. They huddled together for warmth. Even below the surface of the earth they noticed the changes going on above them. They felt the quality of the rain change as the warm squally autumn winds from the west gave way to the winter winds from…

When your problems are tough to swallow like a handful of salt

An aging master grew tired of his apprentice complaining, and so, one morning, he sent him to get a bag of salt. When the apprentice returned, the master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it. The young apprentice looked at the master as a lost puppy as he did not understand the purpose of it all. But still the apprentice did as the master said. “How does it taste?” the master asked. “Bitter” said the apprentice as he…

BRAND ATLAS: Branding intelligence made visible by Alina Wheeler and Joel Katz

Genres: Marketing, Branding, Design Rating: 3/5 Recommend to: Product managers, Designers, Marketers, Start-up founders, Influencers. Number of pages: 144 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK: Sometimes there are topics that you are really interested in but you just don’t know where to start. So much information, and so much to learn… For example you are interested in being an entrepreneur. So you want to build a business. In today’s world that means you are building at least one brand…

A lesson about establishing true worth

One day a young man came to the Teacher and said: “I came to you because I feel so pathetic and worthless that I do not even want to be alive. Everyone around me is saying that I’m a loser, a useless idiot. I need your help, Teacher.” The Teacher, glancing at the young man, hurriedly responded: “I’m sorry, but I’m very busy right now, so I can not help you. I need to urgently settle a very important matter.” He added: “But if you agree to help me in my…

How not to carry work related problems home

A contractor that was just hired had a rough first day on the job. When going to work that day, a flat tire made him lose an hour of work, then his electric saw broke down in the middle of his work, and to top it all, his old pick-up truck refused to start after a long day. Luckly his boss was there and he offered the contractor a ride home. While his boss drove him home the contractor sat in total silence. As the two arrived at the contractors home, the…

SELL WITH A STORY: How to capture attention, build trust, and close the sale by Paul Smith

Book about selling by Paul Smith
Genres: Business, Sales, Nonfiction Rating: 3/5 Recommend to: People in sales, marketing, HR, Project managers, Team leaders. Number of pages: 304 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com Buy now at Amazon.de What kind of book would we read if we would get to read your life story? How many pages and how many chapters would the book have? How many twists and turns, disappointments, failures, successes, lessons and so on would we get to read about? Would you recommend your book/stories to other as a…

What would you do – The bus stop dilemma

TheBustStop choices
Picture yourself driving alone in your car on a wild, stormy night. After a hard and long day at work, you can see yourself parking your brand new sports car in the garage and relaxing at home doing nothing. But when you pass by a bus stop, you see three people waiting for the bus: An old lady who looks as if she is about to die. An old friend who once saved your life. The perfect person you have been dreaming about. So you decide to stop and give one of…

The black and white pebble

Many years ago in a small Indian village, a farmer had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a village moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the farmer’s beautiful daughter. So he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the farmer’s debt if he could marry his daughter. Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the proposal. So the cunning money-lender suggested that they let providence decide the matter. He told them that he would put a black pebble and a…

SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE: The New Science Of Human Relationships by Daniel Goleman

Genres: Psychology, Social Science, Nonfiction Rating: 3/5 Recommend to: Marketers, Start-up founders, Entrepreneurs, People in sales, Coaches, HR. Number of pages: 416 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com Buy now at Amazon.de THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK: This book takes us on a journey on which we learn how we are currently affected by our past, by the people around us, and the thoughts we consciously keep going through in our mind. The foundation of our actions/reactions is our brain (the neurons, their…

How much is an hour of your time

A man came home from work late again, tired and irritated, to find his 5 year old son waiting for him at the door. »Daddy, may I ask you a question?« »Yeah, sure, what is it?« replied the man.  »Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?«»That«s none of your business! What makes you ask such a thing?« the man said angrily. »I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?« pleaded the little boy. »If you must know, I make $20.00 an hour.«…

What can you learn from a hammer and some nails

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally…

You see a flaw, others see a gift

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water…

PITCH ANYTHING: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal by Oren Klaff

Genres: Sales, Entrepreneurship, Business, Presentations, Nonfiction Rating: 4/5 Recommend to: People in sales, Customer service, Entrepreneurs, Project managers, Marketers, Start-up founders, Coaches. Number of pages: 225 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com Buy now at Amazon.de THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK: The book will give you valuable understanding of grabbing attention of anyone, which is one of the most important skills a person can have. A lot of successful entrepreneurs proved that you do not have to be the smartest person in the room to…

WHOEVER TELLS THE BEST STORY WINS: How to use your own stories to communicate with power and impact by Annette Simmons

Genres: Sales, Entrepreneurship, Business, Presentations, Nonfiction Rating: 4/5 Recommend to: People in sales, Customer service, Entrepreneurs, Project managers, Marketers, Start-up founders, Coaches. Number of pages: 226 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com Buy now at Amazon.de THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK: At first I thought this book would be a treasure of stories that I could learn from and tell to others. Like the books Magic of Metaphors or Lead with a Story. But I found out that this book takes a different route of explaining…

CONNECTED: How your friends’ friends’ friends’ affect everything you feel, think and do by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler

Genres: Psychology, Social science, Behavioral Sciences, Nonfiction Rating: 2/5 Recommend to: Marketers, Entrepreneurs, People in sales. Number of pages: 368 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com Buy now at Amazon.de THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK: I picked up this book because the topic of connections, and how I am being influenced, and how I can influence others is something that I am very interested in. With that in mind, I have to say that this book was not that good. There are some…

JOIN THE CLUB: How peer pressure can transform the world by Tina Rosenberg

Genres: Social Science, Sociology, Psychology Rating: 3/5 Recommend to: Marketers, Start-up founders, Entrepreneurs, People in sales, Coaches, Public figures. Number of pages: 432 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com Buy now at Amazon.de THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK: Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are. That is how much peer pressure defines us. Peer pressure is the power of influence you give to others over yourself based on your need of acceptance and acknowledgment of others. In every circumstance…

A quarryman wants to become a rock

The quarryman’s work was hard. He worked all day in the quarry from dawn to dusk. His hands were hard and callused. His back was bent, and his face was weathered and lined. He was not happy. He said, »This is no life. Why is it my fate to be a quarrymen? Why can’t I be someone who has more wealth than I do? If only I were rich, then I’d be happy.« An Angel appeared and said, »What would have to happen for you to know you were rich…

Caged birds freedom

The bird in the cage had lived there for a very long time. Often it would look through the bars of the cage, out of the window to the meadows and trees beyond. It could see other birds flying free in the open air and often it would wonder how it would be to feel the sun on its back, the wind in its feathers, to swoop and soar and snatch mosquitoes in flight. When the bird thought of these things it could feel its heart beating with excitement. It…

The Value Of Time

A businessman had amassed a fortune that amounted to three million dollars. He decided that he would take a year off from work and live in the kind of luxury that his wealth allowed him. But no sooner had he made this decision than the Angel of Death beckoned him. The man, who was a skillful negotiator, tried every argument he could think of to dissuade the Angel and to buy himself more time. But the Angel of Death was adamant; the man’s time had come. In final desperation, the…

CHOICE by Renata Salecl

What was the hardest choice you have ever made in your life? Take your time and think about it. Or if you think about it, which choice you have made in the past affected your future the most, be it for the positive or for the negative? Why / on what basis did you make that choice? Was it a rational or emotional choice? Was it entirely your own choice or was it partially influenced by outside elements (friend, family, culture, surroundings)? Making a choice is your right, your privilege and…

Today is the day the giant comes

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a very bright and trustworthy young woman. Having learned all she could in her own village, she set out to explore the neighboring lands. After some time, she came upon a great city surrounded by a huge castle wall. »Surely I can learn something new from the people here,« she thought to herself. But after entering the city, she found its people too frightened and depressed to share any wisdom. »Why is everyone here so sad?« she asked. One…

A story of two monks and a woman

Two monks were on a pilgrimage. They had already walked many miles avoiding where they could run into people for they were from a particular order of monks that were forbidden to speak to or touch women. They had no wish to offend anyone so they kept to the by-way and lived off the land. It was the rainy season and as they walked across a broad plain they were hoping that the river they had to cross would not be impassable. From afar they could see that the river…

A wise elderly man and two travelers

Once there was a wise, elderly man who spent his days just outside his village sitting under a shady tree where he would think. One day, a traveler came up to him and said, »Old man, I have traveled far. I have seen many things and met many people. Can you tell me, if I go into this village, what kind of people will I meet there?« The wise man replied, »Yes, I’d be happy to tell you. But first, tell me what kind of people you’ve met in your…

BRAINFLUENCE: 100 Ways To Persuade And Convince Consumers With Neuromarketing by ROGER DOOLEY

Imagine that you have a business or you work in a company and it’s up to you to drive sales up. You are neck and neck with your competition and you just can’t find a way to get the upper hand. Let’s spice things up and let’s say that if in the next  five too ten years you will not make a significant difference in your market share your company will go belly up (out of business). What would you do to boost your company/brand recognition and as a result…

Unconscious Branding: How Neuroscience can empower (and inspire) marketing by Douglas Van Praet

By using this or that brand we signal the world our beliefs, what we stand for, and who we want to be, or how do we want to be perceived as. Now some of you may not agree that the brand of drink you drink, or the clothes you wear, or what kind of phone or computer you have is because of the image you want to project to others. You simply have them because they are the best quality for that amount of money, or something like that. But, is…

The Branded Mind: What neuroscience really tells us about the puzzle of the brain and the brand by Erik du Plessis

The Branded Mind by Erik du Plessis
As a little kid growing up I never wondered why my favorite soft drink was Coca Cola (Coke). All I knew was that this drink was sweet, had bubbles and after drinking it, it made me go aaaaaaahhhhhhh, of course a burp here and there was also normal. And as I remember I was allowed to drink it only on special occasions, like birthdays, for holidays and when we were on vacation. It’s not that we couldn’t afford it, we could, it was just that for me as a little kid growing…

The Magic Of Metaphor: 77 stories for teachers, trainers and thinkers by Nick Owen

Magic_Of_Metaphor
Metaphors and stories… With stories and metaphors you can solve conflicts, you can in an indirect way tell the rules, acceptable behavior, consequences of breaking the rules, subconsciously plant an idea, trigger a value or a need, and explain something when there is a misunderstanding. Simply by telling a story or using a metaphor, you can influence people without them knowing it. And that is magic! Many times when you want to influence someone by directly telling them what you want them to do or not to do, they could resist you or worse,…

The Buying Brain: Secrets for selling to the subconscious mind by Dr. A. K. Pradeep

How much control do you have over your mind? A funny thing to ask isn’t it, but the issue is serious. Every day people and businesses invest a lot of money in researches to find out how they can influence people more subtle – you could even say secretly, and more effectively. They are doing the research because they want you to buy their products or services. So if they are gearing up,  coming “guns blazing”, why aren’t you doing everything in your power to protect yourself or in this…

The Speed of Trust: The one thing that changes everything by Stephen M. R. Covey

Trust Covey
What is trust? Is it tangible, can you put a price on trust? Mr. Stephen M. R. Covey says trust has a big impact on cost, on price and the speed of how fast you can get things done. And I agree. You trust your friend, co-workers and family members (the ones you do), because you know them, they have proven they are responsible, they get things done if you ask them to, and they are accountable for their actions even if they make mistakes. On the other hand you have…

Triggers: Sparking positive change and making it last by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter

“What triggers me and how? And how do I control myself?” That was going threw my mind when I saw this book. And right then I knew I had to read it.  After reading it and looking back on my legendary epic failures in my responses and behavior in certain moments I understand now why that happened. We all have them, even you, maybe not in public but most probably in private in our closest circles of friends and family.  And there is a reason why we snap at work or…

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

Customer value
What affects the success of your business the most? Well to answer that you simple have to look at your business as it is. It is a customer based service even if you have products, your main goal is to service your customers with those products. So the success of your business is affected the most by how happy your customers are with you, what do they think about you and how efficient you are in keeping them. And if you do everything right, your customers will take care of…

Covert Persuasion: Psychological Tactics and Tricks to Win the Game by Kevin Hogan and James Speakman

Covert Persuasion
Maybe you are asking yourself this very moment “Why would I even want to learn or read about Covert Persuasion psychological tactics and tricks?” My question to you is why not? Tactics and tricks described in this book are used on us every day. And who is using them? Well, people who know about them, people who sell to you their products, their services and their ideas. Has anyone ever sold you something that you actually didn’t want to buy, but you bought it because the person selling to you…