Isn’t it about time for a little Reality Check?

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Seems like just about everyone has an opinion these days about what to do in our current state of dismal affairs.  Buy low, sell high.  Run back to the safety of your job.  Do like The Great Depression and build The Next Great Thing .  Market like hell.  Live on Top Ramen and Dollar Store sodas.

Rather than this fleeting, news-driven advice, I prefer down-to-earth, market-agnostic advice.  Which is the kind of stuff you can find in Guy Kawasaki’s new book Reality Check.

Guy has been on my High Council of Jedi Knights for a long time.  And not just because he has been a link sugar daddy (my affectionate nickname), driving good traffic to my blog.  But because I admire his writing, business sense, heart, drive, and willingness to experiment and take criticism.

In this book, he has culled the best posts from his popular blog How to Change the World.  As someone who has just done a blog-to-book project, I know this is not an easy task.

He explains the focus of the book in the jacket cover:

wanted to provide hardcore information to hardcore people who want to
kick ass, and I wanted it in something you can hold in your hands – a
book.  Why?  Because a book boots up faster than a blog and is not
dependent on internet connectivity, battery life or the ineptness of
HTML printing."

My top ten favorites from the 94 chapters:

  1. The 10/20/30 Rule of Pitching (specific, useful advice for constructing a presentation, even if you aren’t pitching for money)
  2. The Top Eleven Lies of Entrepreneurs (pragmatic advice for not embarrassing yourself in front of investors or partners)
  3. The Art of Bootstrapping (how not to kill your credit score and alienate your spouse)
  4. The Myths of Innovation (an interview with author Scott Berkun)
  5. The Art of Branding (close to my heart – I like Guy’s take on it)
  6. DIY PR (do it yourself public relations for the acronym-challenged)
  7. How to Get a Standing Ovation (presentation advice from one of the business world’s best presenters)
  8. The Art of Firing (real, human advice for the unpleasant but necessary task of any manager or entrepreneur)
  9. The Art of Evangelism (practical advice from someone who has done a lot of thinking and acting on the subject)
  10. My Hindsights in Life (original written over a decade ago, with a great new update – gives insight into not just Guy’s mind and ethics but heart)

This book really is a great read for not just aspiring entrepreneurs but entrepreneurial employees. Think of it as the much heavier business cousin of "The Elements of Style," a critical resource to have at arm’s length to steer you on a good path and keep you out of trouble.

Tomorrow, November 18 at 5pm EST, I will be on a teleseminar discussing the book with Guy, Rich Sloan of StartupNation and Andy Sernovitz, author of Word of Mouth Marketing:  How Smart Companies Get People Talking.  It should be a fun and useful conversation.

To sign up, go here.  If you can’t listen live, sign up anyway and you will get the recording.

If you want me to ask or comment on anything in particular, let me know in the comments here. 

I will be on Twitter during the call — if you don’t follow me already, please do!

Filed Under: Book Review

3 Responses to “Isn’t it about time for a little Reality Check?”

  1. Victor J. says:

    while i was again reviewing my options to move from my extensive scientific career:
    2 M.Sc., 2 PhDs, 3 Postdocs, and Assistant Professor, track,
    i was aiming to use the skills as
    analyst in investment banking, hedge funds, creative publisher, graphics designer, consultant, IT expert,
    I have realized that all of these jobs are much worse than what i do now … uups !
    while i cannot tolerate my current job anymore, it looks that i will not be able to tolerate other cubicle jobs even more.
    so again i thought that having own company is perhaps what i should do and fast, until i lost my momentum in life by consenting to too much rubbish.
    Over the years several great ideas for interesting new companies were crystallizing in my head and now it is nearly ready. I just need 1-2 other people to do it together, as some of the skills needed i shall never be able to absorb – i do know my limitations in some areas very well; this is compensated by some of my strong sides which is my clear advantage.
    How can i find such people is a big question?

  2. TTS says:

    Hi Pam – Thanks for the write-up on Guy’s book. I read his The Art of the Start and loved his direct, pragmatic ideas. I am brand new (<3 months) to the blogging world and have a lot to learn. My passion is ideas and one of my two sites is called "Quixoting - A Quest for New Ideas". I use it to release my new ideas to the world and to inspire others to take action on theirs.

    I've added you to my blogroll there and now follow you on Twitter, get your feed. Look forward to reading more!

  3. I like Guy because year after year he comes up with the real goods – sensible methods don’t just read well on the page or in a blog post, they help people solve business problems. That’s what’s most important to me. It’s a bonus that he does it without BS and with wit.