Business Books – Selecting a Book That Will Not Waste Your Time

Business books are published every day, and with thousands of business books out there to choose from, how do you know which books to read? Some authors publish books with the intention of sincerely helping you make more money or get out of debt, but there are hundreds of authors who simply want to make themselves money and do not really care about your financial life.

There are hundreds of books available today that can really change the way you think about money and can help improve your current financial situation. Before you buy another business book, take a minute to think about the following eight guidelines and make sure your book is not simply another get-rich-quick book that will only waste your time.

1. Check the ratings and reviews on Amazon
Amazon is a wonderful tool to help find out how people feel about the book you are interested in reading. Amazon provides a 5 star rating system in ½ star increments, so you can see if the book is highly recommended at around 5 stars out of 5, or not highly recommended at a lower star rating such as 1 star out of five. However, use caution with Amazon. You will want to read several ratings and make sure they seem genuine and legit. Many less-known authors will create fake user names and have their peers do the same to drive up their star ratings. It is a sorry way to make themselves look better and their books seem better than it may actually be. If you see that a book has similarly worded ratings and nothing but 5 star ratings, take a second look before buying the book. Also, look at the author’s other books and see how they are rated. This may help give you a good idea of whether or not the author is actually a decent, respected writer.

2. Research the author’s credentials
Use your favorite search engine and type in the author’s name. Look at his/her website and information such as publisher, any reviews in major newspapers, and whom he/she has written for in the past. If you find that the author is published by a reputable publisher such as Harper Collins, Three Rivers Press, Norton, Random House, or John Wiley and Sons, you probably have a well-known and respectable author. Also, if you can find a New York Times book review or a favorable review from a paper such as the Boston Globe, you can feel safe that the reviewer is reputable and the book will be a good read. Also, if you can find that the author has written for well-known papers or magazines in the past like Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, or other large publication sources, you can feel safe that the author has good credentials and is a talented writer.

3. Ask a friend or advisor what they recommend
Some of the best book recommendations some people will ever receive come from respected mentors and peers. For example, if you are taking business classes at a university or working in a business-related office, ask your professors or co-workers what they have read and recommend. You will find that most people are thrilled to talk about books and their personal favorites. People are always glad to give suggestions about what you should read and the most influential books they have read. Why read about what strangers think online when you can hear a first-person account of a book from someone you trust.

4. Harper Collins Business Essentials
Harper Collins produces a line of books called Business Essentials, which is a collection of business books that are the best of the best. Many colleges and universities use these books as required reading in their undergraduate and MBA classes. In this series you will find books by authors such as Michael Dell, the founders of Hewlett Packard, and Benjamin Graham. The books in this series have sold millions of copies and all of them should be required reading for any serious business person.

5. Look for books by business tycoons
If you go to your local book store and look for books with sound business advice, you will most likely find a large majority of them have get rich quick advice and will simply waste your time while reading them. Many of these authors are self-proclaimed to be rich and do not have any credentials that allow them to give you financial advice. The truth is, most business book authors are simply out to make money. However, there are authors out there that have made their millions and billions of dollars the right way, and want to tell you how they did it for your own benefit. Some people who made their money the right way are Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Michael Dell, etc. These people do not want to take your money; they already have billions of dollars. They hope only to tell you their story and tell you how anyone, including you, can go from rags to riches. You can feel good that your money is well spent on books written by business tycoons and that their advice is from the best of the best in the business world.

6. Avoid “Get Rich Quick” or “Make Millions Now” books
Everyone has heard the saying, “If it seems to good to be true, then it probably is.” The same rule applies to business books. Book stores have shelves lined with books about how you can “get rich quick” or how you can use the author’s five secret steps to becoming a millionaire. The truth is that a majority of these books are totally useless. Authors will tell you that they are self-made millionaires and living the life they always dreamed of, but will never tell you how they made the millions of dollars. Why take advice about your money from someone that you have never heard of? Instead of spending your hard-earned money on worthless books by could-be millionaires, spend your money wisely on books that are proven and written by someone notable.

7. Read the first few pages
If you usually buy your books at your local book store or online at websites such as Corner Office Books or Amazon, be sure to not only read the book reviews but also the first few pages. While reading the first 5 to 10 pages, look for sentences that may cause concern, telling you how to live the life you have always dreamed of and how you can make a million dollars fast. You can usually get a general feel for the validity of the book by taking a few minutes to read a couple of pages.

8. Look for books that have been selling for 50+ years
There are numerous books that have been published for dozens of years. You may even come across books by authors such as Dale Carnegie that are highly recommended and have been published for over 70 years now. If a book has been in publication for so many decades, you can bet it is a great read. You will also find books by authors such as Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett that are proven and full of great principles and advice. These authors are usually very old or have passed away, but their books have lived on and are time-tested to have good advice and principles valuable to business people today.

How to Benefit From Reading a Business Book

Business books can be broken down into four categories:

  • Celebrities endorsed
  • Highly researched and informative
  • Me too
  • Effective strategies

Celebrities Endorsed:

Celebrities endorsed business books are those written in the name of or for celebrity entrepreneurs such as Donald Trump, Richard Branson, Alan Sugar, Robert Kiyosaki. In most cases these books do not have an eye catching title because what sells is the name of the individual. This is why if you notice, their names fill the entire cover and the titles of the books are written in small prints.

These ones are also divided into three categories:

1. The one written by the celebrity himself when he was not a celebrity, which are usually really good because at that time they were trying to make their names therefore had to produce great content.

2. The ones they wrote when they were already successful which in most cases are not that good. They contain all the usual I did it so you can do it mumbo-jumbo completely removed from reality.

3. The ones written in their names by some smart person who understands the power of a name. In most instances these ones are also not that good because the celebrity never takes the time to read the manuscript, he never knows what is written in his name.

Highly Researched and Informative:

Highly researched and informative business books are books written mostly by academics or business journalist based upon solid research. They are usually well written in academic or journalistic style and languages and they can be really informative. Examples of these types of books are:

– Good to Great by Jim Collins,
– Built to Last by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras,
– Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne and Value Pricing by Ron Baker.

These are really good books which are very informative and they divulge lots of great information. The only problem with these types of books is they are very complex to comprehend. Even if you read them five or ten times and get to understand the principles; implementing the information in them in your business is difficult. This is because even though they reveal best practices, they do not teach you how to implement those best practices in your business. Like typical intellectuals the writers know their stuff however they do not know how to implement them, therefore cannot show someone else how to implement their ideas.

Me Too:

Me too business books are written by want-to-be experts, who just write books just to be able to say I have written a book. In most cases there are no substances to their books and they do not reveal anything. Their goal for writing books is not to provide information but simple to say, I have written a book on this subject therefore I am an expert.

Effective Strategies:

Effective strategies business books are those written for the purpose of providing information and showing readers how to implement that information in their businesses. Like the highly researched and informative, they provide really good content. The difference between the Highly researched and informative and the Effective strategies is that, the Effective strategies show readers how to implement their theories and ideas.

These are usually written by sophisticated marketing experts who might be expert in their field and also good marketers. As a result of their expertise in their field, they understand the subject matter. But because they are also experts in marketing, they know how to present information in a way that it is quickly assimilated.

How to Benefit from Reading a Business Book:

To be able to derive the maximum benefit from reading a business book, you need to firstly identify your goal for reading the book. For example if you were travelling from London to New York and you needed a book to wear away time on the flight or you were going for a sales meeting and you needed motivation, then I will recommend the Celebrities endorsed business books. Those are written for the sole purpose of motivation.

If your objective for reading a business book is to gain knowledge to implement in your business, I will recommend the combination of the Highly researched and informative business books and the Effective strategies business books. You could read the Effective strategies business books and gain tones of information that can be implemented in your business. However, if you needed complete knowledge base, you will do well reading the two sets of books.

One last piece of advice, if you want to speed read to be able to go through a lot of information within a short time frame, I will recommend that you adopt the following strategies:

  • Ignore 80 percent of all information in any book you read because it is useless to you
  • Read the table of contents, preface, introduction and summary first
  • Breeze through the book with lightning speed

It is only after you have taken the above three steps that you can start reading the book. Reading the contents, preface, introduction and summary would give you an idea of what the book is about. When you scan through it with lightning speed, you familiarise yourself with most of the contents. By the time you really start reading the book, you would have absorbed about 50 percent of the information that will be useful to you.

Remember 80 percent of the information in any book is of no use to you. Your job will be to identify the 20 percent that you can use

Custom Flavored Coffee: Your Choice, The Right Choice

Nothing beats a good specialty coffee. The beautiful thing is that you can create your own! Go ahead; explore; sit back; examine the phenomenon of custom flavored coffee. First, we will explore the creation of those awesome raw coffee beans known as green coffee beans. Green coffee beans are used to create a scrumptious tasting creation of personal choice. What can be said but mmm, mmm, delicious!

In a world filling quickly with choices and customization, a wise decision was creating custom flavored coffee. All the retailer has to offer is a list of syrups and flavorings; add coffee beans; roast. Then you have one delicious, custom-made coffee bean perfect for personal and/or small business use. Of course, people love the chance to have a say in the creation of their beloved coffee. Sitting around and relaxing has taken a whole new meaning.

Most customization of coffee beans is started with the manufacturer. Coffee bean manufacturers start with green coffee beans and ship them directly to the consumer or to the coffee bean retailer. After shipping, the coffee beans are handled with care and precision to insure the high quality of the coffee bean is preserved. Custom flavored coffee beans are only a short step away. The process of creating a custom flavored coffee bean is not as difficult as may seem evident.

The roaster for the custom flavored coffee bean process is usually an inexpensive store bought machine or can be a slightly more expensive commercial brand. Any machine you choose must be fit for your needs and desires. You can get specialized flavorings and additives to add to your roasting coffee beans to suit your tastes and preferences. Of course, preferences is what it is all about. Custom flavored coffee fits every persons lifestyles regardless of personal tastes and style. Why? Because coffee retailers care about you… And your business.

With over $50 billion annually being spent on coffee and coffee related merchandise, coffee retailers want your business. They want your long term loyalty; by providing you with custom flavored coffee beans, they gain your respect and stomach. You know the old saying. The way to win a person’s heart is through their stomach. Don’t like coffee? Never fear! There are many coffee syrups and flavorings that make a great addition to milk, tea, and let’s not forget adding them to baked goods!

Custom flavored coffee is a popular customizable addition to any coffee connoisseurs coffee routine. With the added benefit of your own creation of blends and flavors, your coffee can be named anyway you want it to be named. Who cares if you love that blended coffee.