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
The Connectors
How the World’s Most Successful Businesspeople Build Relationships and Win Clients for Life

By Maribeth Kuzmeski (2009)


This book is a treasure chest filled with the relationship-building secrets that lead to lifelong clients, repeat customers and endless referrals.

In today’s commoditized marketplace, no matter what product or service you sell, there’s probably someone somewhere able to offer it cheaper, faster and maybe even better. So how do you differentiate yourself? The Connectors shows that the only thing that truly sets you apart is the quality of your relationships with your prospects and customers.

Everyone knows the importance of relationships in business, and most people would admit that their relationships could be better—yet they don’t spend time working on the underlying skills. This book explains how to develop better, more productive connections, illustrating its points with stories of some of the world’s most successful professionals, including Lee Iacocca (Chrysler), Herb Kelleher (Southwest Airlines), Amadeo Giannini (Bank of America) and Jack Welch (General Electric). Even if you’re not a “people person,” you can dramatically grow your business or your career by learning a few new approaches to relationship-building. To accomplish this, The Connectors presents a five-step methodology:

  • Stop pitching and preaching, and start truly connecting;
  • Find your social IQ—and improve it;
  • Put relationship-building principles to work daily;
  • Focus on others and reap the rewards yourself;
  • Ask the right questions—and sell without selling.

In The Connectors, you will learn how to differentiate yourself through the impact you leave on others so you can build profitable, long-lasting business relationships.


BOOK
Viral Explosions!
Proven Techniques to Expand, Explode, or Ignite Your Business or Brand Online
By Peggy McColl (2010)

In this new release, Peggy McColl tells the story of how she discovered the power of online marketing to capture a global customer base and build her business, including catapulting her book Your Destiny Switch (2007) to the New York Times bestseller list.

“Internet growth has surpassed all projections and continues to expand every day,” says Peggy. “Those who are adapting to the online medium will reap the rewards for years to come and have the potential to grow their businesses and build their brands exponentially.”

Using many examples and stories, Viral Explosions! gives you:

  • A specific, proven program that even those who aren’t techno-savvy can follow and tailor to their own goals and needs;
  • The critical differences and similarities between offline and online marketing every marketer needs to know to be successful;
  • The vital steps needed to build a global customer base, generate additional revenue and foster customer loyalty without having to leave the comfort of your home.

In addition to being a bestselling author, Peggy McColl is an internationally recognized expert in the field of self-help and Internet marketing. As an entrepreneur, business owner, mentor and professional speaker, McColl has been inspiring people to build a lucrative business while creating a fulfilling life. She provides effective Internet marketing solutions for entrepreneurs, authors, publishers, professionals and business owners who want to establish an online presence, achieve bestseller status, build their brand and grow their business online.

While Viral Explosions! is filled with practical how-to’s, it also includes chapters such as Passion, Prosperity Consciousness and Partners. It has a foreword by Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth, and comes endorsed by Bob Proctor, publisher of Networking Times.

BOOK
Why Chinese Women Are Not Broke
Real Life Stories and Proven Keys for Success

By Giovanna Pang Garcia (2009)


Entrepreneur and inspirational speaker Giovanna Pang Garcia wrote Why Chinese Women Are Not Broke to help people see beyond the challenges of our changing economy. Giovanna gives her own meaning to the title words not broke: “It means a person who is not broken, a whole person, a well-balanced human being who is living a fulfilling life.”

Giovanna starts her book by describing the stereotypical view of Asian women as too modest and restrained to achieve greatness. “In reality,” she says, “the opposite is true: the strong work ethic, pragmatic attitude and perseverance Asian women possess is the perfect starting point to achieve success.”

Giovanna was born in Hong Kong and came alone to America at age 16. Like many other immigrants, she had to overcome the language barrier and vast cultural differences. She experienced many hardships, including abuse, depression and discrimination, but thanks to her relentlessly can-do attitude, her challenges made her stronger and more confident. She started her own computer networking corporation and retired at age 40 to become an inspirational speaker.

In order to corroborate the thesis of her book, Giovanna interviewed 100 trailblazing Chinese women who are highly successful and contributing to society, including:

  • Amy Kiang, vice president of global wealth management, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch;
  • Jenny Ming, president, Charlotte Russe board member, Kaiser Permanente;
  • Anne Chow, senior vice president, Premier Client Group, AT&T;
  • Sonya Gong Jent, vice president of operations, State Farm Insurance;
  • Congresswoman Judy Chu;
  • Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch, president, US-China Education Trust;
  • Ms. Debra Wong Yang, Los Angeles board of police commissioners, former US attorney and a California judge.

The interviews show that despite adversity, limited opportunities, modest backgrounds and gender stereotyping, these women succeeded by combining their core Chinese values (including family, discipline, integrity and a commitment to lifelong learning) with the freedom and entrepreneurial spirit of America. The lessons yielded from their inspiring stories form a blueprint anyone can follow to achieve a life of greatness.

E-BOOK
Marketing with Heart
Ad Design 101, Plus Tips

By Nancy Anderson Powell (2009)


For many of us, the idea of advertising and promotion conjures up visions of forceful, pushy tactics designed to extract money from unsuspecting people. This e-book shows you how to market to today’s conscious consumer from a place of authenticity and integrity.

Nancy Powell has been a long-time advocate of voluntary simplicity in marketing through the communication of benefits and values. She draws upon thirty years of corporate and small business PR and marketing experience as a consultant, network marketer, writer and publisher.

According to Nancy’s research, most small business owners have no formal marketing training. Despite having a plethora of corporate brochures and sales tools at their disposal, most network marketers find it difficult to write a simple flyer, directory listing or business networking intro.

Why spend hours studying, when Nancy has done your homework? This seventy-page e-book will help you:

  • Stop wasting money on ads that don’t work, by using a simple pre-test;
  • Increase your leads and advertising response rate by 50 to 80 percent;
  • Write headlines that attract attention;
  • Develop a heartfelt elevator or short networking speech;
  • Freshen your existing ads and implement cost-free promotional ideas;
  • Learn expo booth design tips and follow-up ideas;
  • And much more.

Nancy shows you how to present your promotional messages in a physical format and emotional tone that appeal to your prospects’ shared values. Designed for the conscious entrepreneur, this e-book is an excellent shortcut to learning how to market yourself, your product or your service. (Available at NetworkingTimes.com)

BOOK
Happiness at Work
Be Resilient, Motivated and Successful—No Matter What
By Srikumar S. Rao, Ph.D. (2010)

One of the most powerful ways to attract others to your business is for them to see you happy and fulfilled by what you’re doing. What if you could be happy every day, no matter what? Srikumar Rao not only believes this is possible, he shows you exactly how to achieve this state of mind.

When you’re worried about your finances and your future, should you really be asking yourself, “Am I happy?” “Yes,” says Dr. Rao, “because happiness works.”

Using thought-provoking exercises and inspiring life lessons drawn from ancient wisdom, world history and business, this transformative guide shows you how to reclaim your joy for living—and create your own vision of success. Learn how to:

  • Greet each day with a sense of purpose.
  • Commit intensely and joyfully to everything you do.
  • Stop defining the events in your life with “good” and “bad” labels.
  • Create your own miracles—no matter what life throws you.
  • Attract positive people, energy and results into your universe.

With a foreword by Marshall Goldsmith, author of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, this interactive guide redefines what it means to be successful, rich and happy by helping you make a more profound connection to the joy that already exists in your heart.

Drawing on themes from his pioneering course, “Creativity and Personal Mastery,” which ranked among the most popular and highest rated at Columbia University, UC Berkeley and London Business School, Happiness at Work can benefit every person seeking meaning in business and in life—and every organization that seeks an edge in a hypercompetitive market.

BOOK/AUDIO
The Leader Who Had No Title
A Modern Fable on Real Success in Business and in Life
By Robin Sharma (2010)

The core message of The Leader Who Had No Title is that every single one of us has the opportunity to show leadership in our work and within our lives, every single day. This isn’t some motivational platitude. Sharma believes it’s possible for anyone to lead, because leadership isn’t about the title on our business cards. Leadership is about the strength of our influence, our willingness to innovate, the quality of our attitude and our commitment to excellence. This doesn’t mean that organizations should get rid of titles and structure. It simply means that leadership is a behavior—and anyone of us can show it.

The book is the result of the fifteen years Sharma spent as a leadership advisor to Fortune 500 companies, including FedEx, Nike, Microsoft, GE, IBM, and organizations like Yale University and Young Presidents Organization. Built around real-world insights, lessons and tactics that successful entrepreneurs use to win in business (and in their personal lives), the book is written as a story with a group of memorable characters who bring the whole lead-without-a-title process to life.

“The goal was to write a book that not only is full of powerful success tactics to achieve your leadership best,” says Sharma, “but also one that entertains and deeply inspires.”

Finally, this book is about the opportunity every human being has to show leadership, regardless of whether or not they have a title, and the responsibility we all have to work at our best potential—and make a difference in the lives of everyone around us in the process.

If you’re at a point where you are ready for extraordinary performance, exceptional leadership and to play full out with your life, this book will be highly helpful.