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

Julie & Julia

By Nora Ephron (2009)
Reviewed by Dave Saunders

Many networkers ask me, when is the right time to start a blog? The answer to that question is easy: right now. A great illustration of the benefits of starting your blog wherever you are is the true story of Julia Child and Julie Powell, as portrayed in the movie Julie & Julia.

Julia Child wasn’t always the famous chef we know today, as we see her living in France, attempting to gain entrance into a prestigious cooking school to find an outlet for her love of food. She faces discouragement as one of the school heads tells her that she doesn’t have what it takes to ever be a chef.

Julie Powell is a disenchanted government secretary who decides to enliven her uneventful life by cooking all 524 recipes outlined in Julia Child’s culinary classic in 365 days from her tiny apartment kitchen. Like Julia before her, Julie is not a master chef as she begins her project. She starts literally on page 1, cooks a dish a day, then writes about the experience in her blog. In the beginning, only her mother is reading it, but soon, people from around the world are eagerly awaiting her daily posts.

Julie & Julia is one more story that shows how following your dream and being passionate about what you pursue is bound to attract others. It also shows that when it comes to blogging, starting at zero builds authenticity and credibility, the number one requirement for a successful blog.

No matter where you are today in your business and in life, you have a voice. A blog lets you use it. Be real and be heard. Watch Julie & Julia for inspiration and start your own dialog with the world today.

YES Is the Destination... No Is How You Get There

YES Is the Destination… NO Is How You Get There
By Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton (2009)

Reviewed by Jackie Ulmer

When you think about hearing the word “no” in your own life, what memories or feelings does it conjure up? Rejection? Sense of loss? Embarrassment? Humiliation?

What if you could transform these negative feelings and instead feel empowered by the word no? Would that make a difference in your business and your life?

Last summer the authors of the popular Go for No book and audio program took forty-four days to drive almost 12,000 miles around the country—from Seattle to Boston, from Miami to San Diego—interviewing more than fifty top performers to prove a single point: you can achieve virtually anything you want in life if you are willing to hear “no” often enough.

The result of their journey is a 98-minute documentary featuring popular authors and leaders such as Jack Canfield, Bob Burg, Chris Widener, Tony Alessandro, Richard Brooke, David Frey, Jordan Adler, Art Jonak and many others. While you may associate these names only with success, this movie will show you how each of them had to hear the word “no” many times over before they were able to arrive where they are today .

One can’t help but come away with a new perspective on failure and rejection after watching this movie. Add this DVD to your personal growth library and periodically watch it with your family, your team or anyone who can benefit from seeing the word no in a different light.

Can I have your Attention?

Can I Have Your Attention?
How to Think Fast, Find Your Focus and Sharpen Your Concentration

By Joseph Cardillo (2009)

Attention plays a critical role in nearly every choice you make. You cannot become who you want to be unless your brain’s attention mechanism functions properly. In this book, author and university professor Joseph Cardillo combines ancient, high-speed attention-building processes with cutting-edge attention research in psychology, neurology and biology.

Through Cardillo’s engaging personal account of the world of human attention, including his experience as a martial arts teacher, this book uncovers some surprising secrets about the workings of your own mind, for example:

  • You can use your attention to perfect any daily activity, from piano playing, to business-related activities, to perfecting your golf swing.
  • In just one-six-hundredth of a second, a random detail you glimpse in the corner of your eye can determine whether you: like someone you just met, cause or avoid an accident, feel happy or depressed all day, succeed or fail at anything you try.
  • Specifically designed meditation techniques can be used to scan and shift brain waves, altering one’s attention as effectively as electrode-packed biofeedback instruments. Most importantly, you can train your attention to turn such processes on or off, on command.

This fresh look at ancient attention skills and new science will transform your thinking about what human attention is, as well as help you incorporate its newfound insights into your daily life. Can I Have Your Attention? even redefines Attention Deficit Disorder and reveals a variety of natural, non-medical tools that can lead to faster, sharper, more targeted thinking and focal power.

eyeQ Vocabulary Builder SOFTWARE PROGRAM
eyeQ Vocabulary Builder™
An Innovative Learning Technology

By Infinite Mind , LLC (2009)

We’ve always known that to become a leader in any profession, you have to be an excellent communicator. Did you also know that, according to the latest research, your vocabulary is one of the single greatest determinants of success?

Leaders need to process information quickly and put it into productive use to solve problems and capitalize on opportunities. But what if the information you absorb is inaccurate? What if the words we read are misspelled or misused, without our even noticing? Or what if the words we absorb into our minds are misunderstood because we don’t know exactly what they mean?

If we fill our minds with words that are misspelled, misused or misunderstood, these words may come out in our speech or in our writing in a way that makes us look or sound uneducated, unprofessional and/or unmannered. That’s where the eyeQ Vocabulary Builder comes in.

Utilizing the latest discoveries in learning technology, this software program allows you to create your own word groups or use the groups provided, focusing on business, social or test prep environments. Studying vocabulary in group lessons has been proven to help you learn faster and with increased retention.

The software program comes with audio CD’s so you can get extra reinforcement while driving or exercising. In just a few lessons, this program can help you acquire the vocabulary that a smart, well-educated, competent professional would use. Even more important is the self-confidence you will develop when you have a crisp, precise and rich vocabulary at your disposal, allowing you to communicate as a leader.

The Richest Man Who Ever Lived

The Richest Man Who Ever Lived
King Solomon’s Secrets to Success, Wealth and Happiness

By Steven K. Scott (2006)

In this short, powerful book, multimillionaire and bestselling author Steven K. Scott reveals King Solomon’s breakthrough strategies to achieve a life of financial success and personal fulfillment.

Steve Scott flunked out of every job he held in the first six years after college. He couldn’t succeed no matter how hard he tried. Then Gary Smalley challenged him to study the Book of Proverbs, promising that in doing so he would achieve greater success and happiness than he had ever imagined. That promise came true, and Scott wrote The Richest Man Who Ever Lived to share with others the lessons he learned.

“Just as there are physical laws that govern the physical universe, Solomon reveals ‘laws of living’ that invisibly govern all aspects of life,” says Scott. He discloses Solomon’s key for winning every race and his power secret for turning dreams into reality. Other chapters explain how to resolve conflicts and turn enemies into allies, and describe the five qualities essential to becoming a valued and admired person in business and in life.

Scott illustrates each of Solomon’s insights and strategies with anecdotes from his personal successes and failures, as well as those of such extraordinary people as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates and Steven Spielberg.

At once inspiring and instructive, this book weaves the timeless truths of Scripture into a detailed roadmap for successful living today. It came highly recommended by master networkers Ken Dunn and Dan McCormick as a must-read for anyone who wants to understand wealth creation and true leadership.

Just Listen

Just Listen
Discover the Secret to Getting through to Absolutely Anyone

By Mark Goulston, M.D. (2009)

You’ve got a prospect who is cynical, a business partner who is furious or a child who is resistant; how do you get people to do what you want in tough situations like these? In Just Listen, veteran psychiatrist and business coach Mark Goulston reveals the secret to how to get through to anyone, even when productive communication seems impossible.

“Here’s the challenge,” says Dr. Goulston. “People have their own needs, desires and agendas. They have secrets they’re hiding from you. They are stressed, busy, often feeling like they’re in over their heads. To cope, they throw up barricades that make it difficult to reach them even when your goals are in sync with their own.”

The good news is, there are simple strategies that can break down the walls that keep you from reaching the people you need to buy into your ideas and goals. Over his career as organizational consultant, relationship counselor and hostage-negotiation trainer for the FBI, Dr. Goulston learned that the counterintuitive step of listening is the real key to getting through. His methods succeed because they create traction rather than resistance. “They pull people toward me,” he says, “even those who are trying to pull away.”

In this book you will learn to:

  • Get the attention of a total stranger you want to get to know;
  • Talk a skeptical person up from an irrational state of resistance to receptivity and rationality;
  • Move tough-to-reach people from indifference to listening, then to considering, to doing and to “being glad they did.”

With a forward by Never Eat Alone author Keith Ferrazzi, Just Listen will give you the techniques and the confidence to approach the unreachable people in your life, and turn frustrating situations into productive outcomes and rewarding relationships.

Networking Like a Pro

Networking Like a Pro
Turning Contacts into Connections

By Ivan Misner, Ph.D., David Alexander and Brian Hilliard (2010)

Authored by the founder and chairman of Business Networking International (BNI), the world’s largest networking organization, this book isn’t just about how to behave at networking groups; it covers networking and referral marketing in the broadest sense of the term.

It starts with establishing the principles of a networking mindset, including the importance of building social capital, the law of reciprocity, the Givers Gain™ concept, abundance thinking and farming (not hunting) for referrals.

Part two goes into the skill sets that will help you develop a successful networking strategy, starting with two essential questions: who are my best prospects and where can I meet them?

In The Butterfly Effect chapter, Ivan Misner tells the story of how he met Sir Richard Branson, an encounter which originated with a friend asking Ivan for a personal favor several years prior. The ripple effect of this seemingly insignificant connection continues as he was recently invited to the Mojave Spaceport for the unveiling of Virgin Galactic’s space tourism program, which since set him thinking about holding business networking meetings in orbit.

Further chapters cover the difference between online and face-to-face networking, and learning how to tell your company story or develop your Unique Selling Proposition (UPS) in just a few words.

Some other ideas you will take away from this read include:

  • How introverts can become excellent networkers;
  • The importance of knowing your vision of where you want to go and who you want to meet;
  • Why networking has become the most cost-effective form of marketing, even though most business schools don’t teach it;
  • How to read a room and distinguish groups of people who are open to conversation and those who aren’t;
  • And how professional networkers track their results using a networking scorecard.

Networking Like a Pro is the most comprehensive book I’ve seen on networking,” says Jack Canfield, and we couldn’t agree more. Revealing networking strategies that work in any economic climate, this book will show you how to reach quality prospects, leverage your contacts, motivate ongoing referrals, and even track your success.