Do you remember this clever piece of advice from the Jefferson Airplane song? We all know how crucial it is to expose ourselves to words, images and sounds that help us along towards where we want to go. In this new column, we will highlight personal and professional development tools—books, audiovisual programs, movies, podcasts or any other media—that have been circulating among networkers.

And while we’re being taught, why not also be moved and entertained? Do you have a must-see or must-hear recommendation? Simply email dormouse@networkingtimes.com.

BOOK or E-BOOK
Escape 101: The Four Secrets to Taking a Sabbatical or Career Break without Losing Your Money or Your Mind

By Dan Clements and Tara Gignac, N.D. (2007)


If you’ve ever dreamed of getting away but think you can’t take a break from your business, think again. According to the authors of this delightful short read, it’s not getting away that is hard, it’s thinking about it.

Since the time of the ancient Greeks, writers and philosophers have sung the praises of taking a break from everyday life and its traditional boundaries. The difference is that today, taking a sabbatical is easier than ever. Escape 101 teaches you how to turn your dream escape into reality, with a step-by-step plan for dealing with money, work, your home and your business. You’ll learn how to:

  • find the motivation to follow your dream of taking time off (your why that will help you find the how),
  • take a year off without sacrificing your savings or investments,
  • successfully pitch your sabbatical to your team,
  • take a year off on a shoestring budget,
  • be away from your business for extended periods of time and still remain profitable.

And Escape 101 is not just for travelers. If you want to take time off from the pressures of your business for any reason (for example, writing a book, going back to school, or pursuing a hobby), this book can open your mind to the possibilities and get you closer to your goal.

BOOK
Riches in Niches: How to Make it BIG in a Small Market

By Susan Friedmann, C.S.P. (2007)


When it comes to succeeding in today’s business world, it’s not how much you know, it’s how much you know about your niche. Susan Friedmann trademarked the term “nichepreneur,” meaning someone who is positioned as a specialized expert in a given industry or business.

According to Friedmann, entrepreneurs and business owners looking to succeed in today’s economy need to transform from being generalists to specialists.

“There is a problem of sameness in the marketplace,” says Friedmann. “Consumers are unable to differentiate between one service or product and the next. Overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of providers in the market, they begin to view the services of skilled professionals as a commodity—and once something becomes a commodity, the only way to differentiate yourself is by price.”

The benefits of being a nichepreneur include greater profitability, an ability to offer quality service more efficiently and the chance to pursue those topics that really spark a customer’s passion.

This 298-page quick read provides hands-on, practical tips for identifying and profiting from your niche. Friedmann conducted extensive interviews and begins each chapter with a brief profile and advice from a successful nichepreneur. Each chapter concludes with a “Speedy Summary,” which highlights how new nichepreneurs can benefit most from the information and transform today’s career into tomorrow’s success story.

PROGRAM
Dump It! 52 Easy Ways You Can Dump a Lifetime of Credit Card Debt and Grow Your Wealth Instead
By Randall Blaum and David Scotland (2008)

The average American family has close to $10,000 of credit card debt; according to financial experts, many of them are in a revolving debt cycle from which they will never escape. That’s why Randall Blaum set out to create Dump It!, a complete do-it-yourself debt-reduction program that includes DVD, audios, book and workbook.

The program begins by helping you understand why credit card debt is rampant (it’s not all your fault) and what the credit card companies don’t want you to know. Next, it teaches you about validating your debt, minimum debt load, fair debt collection, credit counseling and debt managing plans. The final chapters warn against common credit myths, fraud and scams, and explain how to shop for a loan, lower your interest rates and raise your credit score.

Randall Blaum has been called “the people’s teacher” of credit card debt reduction and financial literacy. Having been in over $50,000 of credit card debt himself, he lays out the methods that helped him get off the debt-repayment treadmill for good. Dump It! is also based on his three years of in-depth research into the murky world of credit card companies and credit card debt during the production of the movie U R Pre-Approved (see article p. 42).
BOOK
The Prosperity Bible: The Greatest Writings of All Time on the Secrets to Wealth and Prosperity
By Napoleon Hill, Russell H. Conwell, Elbert Hubbard, James Allen, Florence Scovel Shinn, Wallace D. Wattles, Ernest Holmes, Charles Fillmore, Ralph Waldo Trine, Charles F. Haanel, William Walker Atkinson, P.T. Barnum, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Collier, Helen Wilmans, F.W. Sears, Theron Q. Dumont, Elizabeth Towne and Emmet Fox; compiled by Tarcher/Penguin (2007)

Do you own a bible? Most families in the Western world do. Does anyone read it cover to cover? Most people don’t. The same goes for this bible: if you love and believe in prosperity, this deluxe compilation (hardcover with slipcase) of some of the most cherished writings on success, abundance and wealth, printed together in one volume for the first time, may be the perfect addition to your family library.

The Prosperity Bible features nineteen classics by leading teachers and thinkers from a variety of backgrounds, covering a vast range of topics from religion, philosophy and politics to finance and self-help. These are the writers who created the idea of a mental formula for success in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and they have one key thing in common: a commitment to helping others understand the universal laws of money and how to let it flow. This 1,280-page volume is a resource to treasure and return to again and again for reminders, advice, know-how and inspiration.