‘Book Reviews’ Category

Book Review: “The 4-Hour Workweek: Expanded & Updated” by Timothy Ferriss

January 4th, 2010

We originally reviewed “The 4-Hour Work Week” here. As we said, the three chapters on “Income Autopilot” are probably among the best, concise step by step guides to building a successful, profitable, automated internet store. But this book is more than that — it’s how to reboot your life. Reading this book is like taking the red pill and discovering you have been living in The Matrix. It’s about escaping the rat race, yes, but — to use another movie metaphor — “You’re no longer part of the System. You’re above the System. Over it. Beyond it…. We are” the New Rich (NR), as Ferriss calls it. The author says: “How is it possible that all the people in the world need exactly eight hours to accomplish their work? It isn’t. Nine to five is arbitrary.” This and other “rules” are just so much software that has been plugged into our brains. Ferris teaches you DEAL (or DELA if you are currently employed), which stands for Definition, Elimination, Automation, and Liberation. The new expanded edition has over 100 pages of new content, including updated resources and more real word examples and suggestions from members of the NR.  It’s about how to use technology more effectively, but it’s also about making more effective decisions — i.e., applying the 80/20 rule to everything, ruthlessly. Topics include outsourcing, mini-retirements (rather than waiting until you’re older) and the concept of geoarbitrage. We recommend you take this red pill. Here’s the link to Amazon:  The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content.

(Reviewed by Rich Dog Millionaire.com)

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Book Review: “So Sue Me!” by Arnold S. Goldstein, Ph.D

April 30th, 2009

We always look for ways to make money but, strangely, we ignore the equally-important part about keeping the money. Author Arnold S. Goldstein, Ph.D is perhaps America’s top asset protection attorney. You know, it’s crazy we don’t spend more time protecting what we earn, since we can potentially lose it faster and easier than we can earn it. In his best-selling book, So Sue Me! How to Protect Your Assets from the Lawsuit Explosion, Goldstein has some sobering statistics:  In America, “There’s a one in five chance that you will be sued next year. (One in three if you are a doctor or business owner.)” America has 90% of the world’s litigation. And keep this in mind: “You don’t have to do anything wrong to get sued and to lose.”  And you can lose everything, unless you protect yourself — and the time to set up asset protection is now and not when you get sued.

Goldstein’s book is a fast, easy, no B.S. read. This reviewer did it on a 3-hour plane trip. There are, essentially, three ways to protect your assets 1) Owning exempt assets; 2) Titling your assets in one or more protective entities/firewalls (LLCs, for example, instead of sole proprietorships); and 3) Encumber or equity-strip assets to make them less valuable to creditors. The author goes over each of these in good detail. And it’s not just for the rich. If your net worth is $25,000, you need to protect that $25,000.

Goldstein discusses offshore asset protection strategies as well. The thing to remember here is that the goal is NOT to avoid taxes. The goal is to use legal means to increase your protection.

(reviewed by http://www.richdogmillionaire.com/)

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Book Review: “The Home-Based Bookstore” by Steve Weber

April 14th, 2009

Author Steve Weber begins his book, The Home-Based Bookstore, by saying: “Selling used books on the internet is one of the greatest opportunities available to small entrepreneurs today.”  Weber has sold over $1 million in used books to customers in over 30 countries. You can start small, making a few hundred dollars a month, maybe beginning with books on your own shelf; and you can grow it into a full-time business. First, Weber tells you where you can find used books, and he explains what kind of books to search for — versus the types of books to avoid (i.e., fiction mostly, especially books that have been best-sellers since, obviously, there’s a lot of copies out there). He then goes into where to sell your books. Amazon, of course, is on the list. If you go to a book detail page on Amazon, you will see an option to buy a used copy of the book. Here, booksellers of all sorts sell their wares. Abebooks is another major marketplace. (You can also build your own site.)

Weber teaches you how to price the books, inventory them, and manage your business, from sales to fullfillment, to customer service, and — one of our favorite topics — advanced automation. There’s an interesting chapter on collectible books (people are looking for first editions). Robert Chamber’s 1939 classic “The Big Sleep” currently goes for over $12,500.

The Home-Based Bookstore: Start Your Own Business Selling Used Books on Amazon, eBay or Your Own Web Site

(reviewed by www.richdogmillionaire.com)

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How to Blog Like Hugh Hefner, Or Build an Internet Business Like That

April 11th, 2009

One of us just finished the biography of Hugh Hefner, Mr Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream. The key take-way — that kept coming back again and again — is that, Hefner was not only the Editor and Publisher — he was also the demographic. In other words, he was putting together a magazine that HE would want to read. In MORE other words, he built a business that he was passionate about. And THAT is the key to success. Look at McDonald’s: Ray Kroc was not passionate about hamburgers; he was passionate about franchising, and one of his executives was passionate about real estate — the result: a $40 billion business.

What we’re saying is, you need to build a business around something you are passionate about. “Naked girls, sounds good!” Yes, grasshoppers, but look at the situation, Hefner saw the opportunity in 1953 — in a world of Esquire-type mags — for nudity, in a cool, sophisticated way. He wrote a whole Playboy philosophy about it. So what are you passionate about? Yes, it can be sexual, but what opportunity can you find today, in 2009? If you blog about your passion — or if you build an e-retail site about your passion — you are automatically WAY AHEAD of your competition, if they are just thinking of it as a way to make bucks. You will eventually make more bucks because you will attract those who have the same passion as you. You will have no problem blogging about your topic late at night, after work (or adding another product to your online store) because you like — love — doing it, just like your readers/customers love it.

Expertise — and eventual success — is simply, ultimately, the result of passion.

(original content by www.richdogmillionaire.com)

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Book Review: “The E-Myth Revisted”… And Why Most Internet Businesses Will Fail

April 8th, 2009

“The E-Myth” books by Michael E. Gerber are not generally internet-biz oriented but the series has been among the best-selling business books in years. Do you know what the “E-Myth” is? Basically, it’s the fatal assumption that many, if not most, entrepreneurs have, in starting up and running their business. The assumption is that: knowing the job equals knowing the business. In other words, consider a character that Gerber introduces to us, in “E-Myth Revisited”: Sarah, who is an expert at baking pies. She assumes that, because she knows the techincal side of the business — baking pies — she knows the most important part of the pie business. But she doesn’t, not even close. Just because you know how to set up a website, or you are pretty good with Adwords, doesn’t mean you know how to run an internet business. Another point Gerber says: “If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business, you have a job.” This is also what Tim Ferris was saying in his great book, reviewed here, about the importance of automation.

The way Gerber explains automation is through the model of franchising. Eighty-percent of all new businesses fail within the first five years, 75% of all business-formatted franchises SUCCEED. Franchises concentrate on building a business SYSTEM that can operate automatically — and autonomously — without you having to be there, and it can be expanded — and duplicated — which is what empires are made of. Consider Sarah’s pies — and consider the McDonald’s Big Mac. Is McDonald’s Big Mac the best, tastiest hamburger ever? Most would say no — but McDonald’s is a $40 billion a year business, with nearly 30,000 restaurants in 120 countries.

So look at it this way, whether you are a blogger or internet retailer or any other internet entrepreneur: If you want to grow and build a successful business, what can you learn from McDonald’s and others? Nobody else is talking about this today in “cyber world.” For these reasons, we recommend: The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

 

(reviewed by www.richdogmillionaire.com)

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The Bible of E-Retailing: Internet Top 500 Guide

April 7th, 2009

Being armed with statistics can give you the edge of need. The Internet Top 500 Guide is published every year by Internet Retailer magazine. We recently reviewed the IRCE, the annual e-retailing convention operated through the magazine. As we mentioned, it’s probably not the convention you need to go to if you are just starting out. Similarly, this “Bible of E-Retailing” may be “too much information”  for now. But it can be fascinating, if you have the extra money to spend (a single-user license is $195.00). Basically, it’s a detailed report, with facts and figures, on the 500 top e-retailers. The magazine describes it like this:

“Each annual edition of this data-rich directory profiles and ranks the 500 largest e-retailing businesses based on their latest annual online revenues. It also provides dozens of metrics on their web sites, including web traffic, conversion rates, number of SKUs, average ticket, growth rates, customer satisfaction and performance ratings, search engine effectiveness, lists of all their vendors, corporate address and top management . The Guide also lists contact information for nearly 2,000 top e-retailing executives.”

So this could become a power tool for you when you are in a position to use it… BTW, according to their 2007 report, who was #1? It comes as no surprise: Amazon. Number two is Staples. (Remember this is their 2007 sample, which you can see here.

(reviewed by www.richdogmillionaire.com)

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Book Review: “We Are What We Click”

April 4th, 2009

As Bill Tancer says, in the last five words of his book, Click: What Millions of People Are Doing Online and Why it Matters — “We are what we click.” In other words, you can draw a profile of people by looking at online behavior — what they type into search engines, what sites they visit… It is the kind of market research that your grandparents’ generation could only have imagined, even for “real world” applications. For example, as Tancer explains, if you own a store that sells prom dresses, brick and mortar or otherwise, and you assume the biggest promotional or sales season  is April/May, you would be wrong. (For prom dresses it’s actually January.)

Like any good storyteller, Tancer starts his tale with some sex — Chapter One is entitled PPC, as in “Porn, Pills, and Casinos.” Fun fact: the domain www.sex.com has generated upwards to $750,000 per month in PPC revenue. A self-employed software salesman registered sex.com in 1994. The domain was subsequently stolen from him, but he eventually got it back. Another fun fact: Twenty-percent of all email spam is for Viagra.

“How to” questions are nearly 3% of all search-engine queries in the United States. That may give you some ideas when you are marketing your business. The internet has fundamentally changed the nature of marketing itself. As one hotel executive told Tancer, “I use to rely on my brand to keep my hotel full.” Now he spends his time keeping up with TripAdvisor.

Studying the internet like this is new, and potentially very powerful. You can start making predictions, based on what people are doing online. More to the point — as an associate of Tancer says — you aren’t so much making predictions as finding out about stuff before everybody else does. The author explains how he has used his research to pick the winners of reality TV shows. And by examining the early adopters of today’s biggest websites, you could, potentially, predict the big websites of the future. Another important part of internet marketing: the superconnectors of social marketing — the increasing power of sites like MySpace and Facebook.

Tancer is a statistics geek and sometimes his excitement for the stats can get into dry territory, but overall we find this amazing material. He works for Hitwise, a firm that concentrates on this type of research. As we have said before, most of your competitors have no idea about this stuff; they probably don’t even think to care. Meanwhile, our copy of Click is highlighted with all kinds of notes and ideas. POP QUIZ: If you are a common celebrity ( female, particularly), what is the #1 thing you can do that will catapult you straight to the top of celebrity-world? In this book, Tancer reveals what it is…. hint: Paris Hilton did it…

Click: What Millions of People Are Doing Online and Why it Matters

(review by www.richdogmillionaire.com)

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Book Review: “Adwords for Dummies” by Howie Jacobson PhD (Update)

April 2nd, 2009

The great thing about the “For Dummies” series of books is that they really try to make things as easy and as understandable as possible — usually no complicated tech jargon (when you come across such stuff, they warn you with a “Technical Stuff” icon and mark it as “What You Don’t Have to Read.”) AdWords For Dummies (it’s got 5 full stars on Amazon; with 74 reviewers) starts off the best way possible — getting YOU started. Chapter 2 — after a quick Chapter 1 goes over the pay-per-click industry — is a step-by-step guide to “Setting Up Your Starter Edition Account” (on Google Adwords). In an afternoon — actually maybe an hour or so — you could stop thinking about it and actually be doing it, with an active Adwords campaign. Once you jump into the wading pool, you can then read on and become an expert swimmer. Jacobson and Google’s Starter Edition will take you in as gently as possible (TWSS).

If you are already using Adwords, this “For Dummies” book is a good overall textbook. No guru rhetoric; just some common sense how-to info that’s easy to read (some cartoons too), and it can then become a good desktop reference. Anyway, starting is the hardest part so just DO IT! Trust us, the COOLEST thing is turning on that Adwords campaign and going to bed, knowing all those little keyword sales guys (Jacobson’s metaphor) are working for you while you sleep. Yes, you may wake up with $0 sales the first day — but you have STARTED — which is more than what 90% of everybody else does!

 UPDATE: FYI, One day after writing this review, Google announced changes to the Adwords interfact, as reported here.

(original content by www.richdogmillionaire.com)

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Book Review: “The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging”

March 15th, 2009

The Huffington Post  has shot to the top of charts of blogging since launching in 2005. Now they have a reporter assigned to the White House Press Corps. We have read many books on blogging, considering that Rich Dog Millionaire is a blog. We are always trying to improve things. Many of the books we’ve read, strangely — or maybe not so — have been written by techno-geeks. These geeks started up a blog five or more years ago, have achieved a certain amount of success, and now they have written books, even if they aren’t writers, even if they can’t really write a book. There is one book — we will not mention it — in which the guy literally lists pages — and pages — of HTML language that, I guess, we are suppose to somehow copy from his printed book and paste into our blogs, for one reason or another.

This Huffington Post book is different, and as a result, is refreshing. Several critics have complained that the book is light on detailed information, with wide blank borders and a lot of sidetracks and self-promotion about the Post. Yes, but it is a fun and enjoyable read, without any crazy HTML code. And BTW, they do things that well-researched books should do, like define blogs and give us the history of blogs. Don’t look for money-making blog ideas in this book. Rather, sit back and enjoy a nice read about blogging — and the community of blogging. A lot of existing books about blogging seem isolated in their perspective. This is the first book we have read that discusses blogging in social, community terms. And this might give you one of the edges you need to succeed: The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging

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Book Review: “Internet Riches” by Scott Fox

March 14th, 2009

“The Simple Money-Making Secrets of Online Millionaires”

This is really the best time to start up an internet business. This past Friday was the 20th birthday of the internet and, after two decades, the world wide web has matured into a technology that has changed the way we live.  Between 2006 (when this book was originally published) and 2010, online retail sales will have doubled (from $172 billion to $329 billion per year). The internet is — at this moment — the single, best opportunity for business success.

Writer Scott Fox, an e-commerce consultant, shows you how relatively easy — and inexpensive — it can be. In the beginning of the book, he lists the difference between the first-year startup costs of a traditional “brick and mortar” retail business and an online retail business. The traditional retail business would cost you between $35,000 and $250,000. How much for an online retail startup? Less than $1,000.

“Internet Riches” reminds us of the big opportunity on the internet: niche marketing. Fox interviews many e-commerce entrepreneurs “from all walks of life”:

** “How Matt makes six figures a year selling top-quality products without owning any inventory or even leaving his house in Spartanburg, South Carolina.”

** “How Geneviere, a recent college graduate, has built a nationwide company by simply creating a website that matches parents and babysitters.”

**”Sid, a former grocery-store meat department manager in a small Midwestern town, who built a major international web-based business around his favorite game: shooting pool.”

Fox has several great examples like these (including some folks who blog for a living). The rest of the book includes good, basic information on how to start up your online business, from acquiring domain names to building easy, basic websites. He also writes about various opportunities, such as CafePress, which we wrote about here.

This book will get your wheels turning, with real ways of turning your expertise or passion into a money-making online business. Check it out: Internet Riches: The Simple Money-making Secrets of Online Millionaires

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