Who out there doesn’t want to get real value for their money? Well, I have a two-scoop treat for you today. One is fiction. The other is non-fiction. One delivers laugh after laugh. The other will show you how to succeed in business while keep hold of your soul. Two first-rate books that not only deliver all they promise but also help those in need. That’s right. 100% of the proceeds go to charity.
Author Ross Murphy created this delightful slip of a book to fulfill a promise he made to himself after the death of his friend Billy Burke–an irascible old fellow Murphy met while living in Newbridge, County Kildare twenty-plus years ago. That promise was to preserve Billy’s stories. Billy was a story teller of rare talent and reading about his early encounters with “Yank” Murphy at an old-school pub called O’Malley’s sets a wonderfully atmospheric stage for the reader. I felt as if I were huddled into a worn booth, the din of conversation and the clink of pint glasses falling away as Billy launched into “The Undertaker” or “The Priest and the Frog” or the hilarious “The Best Pub Ever.”
Some of these stories are wee bit silly, others a wee bit shocking, but they are all funny, pitch-perfect, and move one into the other seamlessly.
I also love that all of the proceeds from AN SEANCHAI go to benefit the Independence Fund, an organization that works to help severely wounded veterans.
Alphabet Success – Keeping it Simple. The Secret to Success.
Author Tim Fargo created a successful insurance fraud investigation company and sold it for big bucks. But this happy ending didn’t happen without some failure along the way. Fargo mines the good and the bad and presents (via a riff on the alphabet) an uncomplicated outline for building a business that works. A lot of his advice is also applicable to people outside the business world.
I like that Fargo acknowledges from the beginning that he’s always wanted to be rich. It made me say to myself “Well, whatever I may think of his book, at least he’s honest.” What sets Fargo apart from other “How to Succeed in Business” coaches is that he clearly differentiates fancy toys (say a Ferrari) as a motivator or symbol that spurs one towards a goal and the goal itself. The distinction is subtle, but it makes the difference between a life filled with money and cool stuff and one built on accomplishment that (as a by-product) allows one to enjoy money and stuff.
I like the way Fargo balances up-to-the-minute technology (e.g. computer programs that track the handling of customer complaints) and old-fashioned good customer service (sending a client a real birthday card rather than an email or e-card). He’s a man who knows that tracking and quantifying the value of a given account is important, but so is maintaining meaningful contact with the individuals behind the account.
In the end, I think that’s what sets ALPHABET SUCCESS apart from so many books in its category–it never forgets that a business is at its foundation a human interacting with other humans. So, there’s room for mistakes as well as growth. Mistakes MAKE for growth.
And if this isn’t enough to get you to give this book a try, all of the proceeds of the book generated in 2014 will go to support children in Africa via Save The Children. How’s that for putting a human face on success?