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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Don't be deterred by the subtitle (initially I was) because, in fact, Harry and Christine Beckwith provide in this volume a wealth of invaluable insights concerning personal improvement as well as professional development rather than cynical self-serving strategies and tactics. They know exactly what Peter Drucker meant when he observed that "Each of us is a CEO." Moreover, they wholly agree with Bill George and countless others that the most effective CEOs are "authentic" leaders in that they demonstrate (in George's words) "the highest integrity, [are] committed to building enduring organizations...who have a deep sense of purpose and are true to their core values...who have the courage to build their companies to meet the needs of all stakeholders, and who recognize the importance of their service to society."

Moreover, this book is not - as at first I incorrectly assumed -- a significant departure from Harry Beckwith's previously published books. On the contrary, it is wholly consistent with the values he affirms in each. For example, except for commodities, I agree that people buy from other people, not from companies. When commodities are involved, competitors (e.g. Sam's Club and Costco) must "sell" themselves because their products and prices are about the same. In this volume, the Beckwiths point out that authentic people are credible - as are companies -- because they have earned respect and trust. What individuals "sell" may be invisible (decency, character, integrity, dependability, etc.) but authenticated or contradicted by their behavior. These are precisely the same values that Harry Beckwith affirms in his earlier works, notably Selling the Invisible and What Clients Love. As with most (if not all companies), whether or not an individual achieves success (however defined) will depend almost entirely by (a) what she or he does and, more importantly, (b) who he or she is. The standard of measurement is authenticity.

Of special interest to me are the "Successes and Delightful Failures" which the Beckwiths discuss (pages 275-306) because each focuses on basic human experiences with which any reader can identify. Better yet, with two exceptions (i.e. Larry Gatlin and Arnold Palmer), those involved will be wholly unfamiliar to almost all readers. They introduce us to them as if they were close personal friends of theirs. (In fact, they are.) The Beckwiths suggest that important life lessons can be learned from each of them and these lessons are best revealed within the narrative. The book ends with "three thoughts - no, three passionate convictions." And again, yes, I will not reveal them in this narrative. That would be like opening someone else's gifts.

However, although the Beckwiths have years of experience in sales and marketing, and are knowledge leaders in those separate but related "competitive sports," their book is only secondarily about selling and promotion. The primary focus is on personal development during the journey to self-fulfillment.

By the time the Beckwiths offer "three thoughts - no, three passionate convictions" as the book ends, they have made it crystal clear that each of us must be personally and fully accountable for what our life is...and isn't, for what our life becomes...and doesn't. During any "journey" of personal development and self-fulfillment, it really helps to have companions from time to time when help is needed.

Those who read this book will be grateful to have Harry and Christine Beckwith among their companions. And grateful to them for introducing them to others who also offer valuable insights: Larry Gatlin, Morrie Wagener, Arnold Palmer and "Dr. Buck," Sheryl Leach, "Bruce" from Procter & Gamble, Raphael Asti, and Gionanni Freeli. As readers then continue their own "journey," they will be grateful for the practical and principled wisdom the Beckwiths so generously share and, especially, for the pleasure of their company.

Boy voyage!

Those who share my high regard for this volume are urged to check out Bill George's Authentic Leadership as well as True North which he co-authored with Peter Sims. Also Michael Ray's The Highest Goal, James O'Toole's The Executive's Compass and Creating the Good Life, David Whyte's The Heart Aroused, Secrets of Success (an anthology of Fortune articles), David Maister's Practice What You Preach, and Success Built to Last co-authored by Jerry Porras, Stewart Emery, and Mark Thompson.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
You, Inc. is really a great book. There is both good news and bad news about the book. It is extremely easy to read. You simply fly through the book. Which is good and bad. The lessons are so short and there are so many of them, it makes it difficult to absorb and remember all the great information.

But it is a book that you can pick up anytime and start reading anywhere in the book and find something valuable. All the lessons stand on their own. Harry presents over 150 ideas and lessons about how to make your business and/or yourself better.

If you are familiar with his other best selling works, "Selling the Invisible" and "What Client's Love", you will feel very comfortable with this book. (If you have not read these two book, I highly recommend them.)As you read the book, you will find yourself saying, "I know that." But as Harry instructs there is a huge difference between knowing and doing. And all too often, we think because we know, we do. As Beckwith points out, that is simply not the case.

Christine Beckwith, Harry's wife, contributes to the book. Her writing is a lot more personal and touching.

Harry gives a lot of insight into why we do the things we do. The book is filled with very valuable information and should be read ever so often as a refresher or reminder to do the things we know.

Well worth reading ... two or three times per year.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2007
This is one of the top five business books I've read this year--and one of the easiest to read. Read it as a novel from cover to cover, or as a cookbook, dipping into sections of interest.

The title is deceiving. Selling often implies getting. You, Inc. is about giving. It is unlike Beckwith's previous bestsellers--it is less about processes and more about stories with a point the reader can apply

Above all else the book emphasizes the power of story. What do children want? Another story! What do they remember? Stories! As adults we're not much different. We are captivated by stories. Many of the authors' tips are related to cultivating the fine art of storytelling. And the author's demonstrate recursive ness--using the thing to teach the thing.

You'll be captivated by Morrie Wagener who built a wonderful series of auto dealerships--after first paying $2,000 to employees out of his own pocket to cover bounced checks his employer wrote. Or how a sandwich closed a sale worth $34 million--doubling the company's size in a day. Or how a "no" from both Larry Gatlin and Arnold Palmer became "yeses." All because of the homework that was done and because one of the authors had "paid it forward" over the years--and Palmer's oncologist saw the value of paying it back.

But as delightful as the stories are to read, read it for the lessons that will take you from where you are to where you want to be, for the right reasons--because you want to add value and make a difference.

This book can help you answer the question: What difference do you, you company, your product and/or your service make? And answering that will help you become a person of passion, and people connect with passion because we all want to feel excited about who we are, what we do, and the difference we make.

Armchair Interview says: A book about business--and your important role in it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2007
Best-selling authors Harry and Christine Beckwith are back with what will surely prove to be one of 2007's finest business books, YOU, INC.--The Art of Selling Yourself. Unlike so many other books of this genre, YOU, INC. does not talk "at" you; rather, it talks "with" you as if you're actually having a conversation with the Beckwiths over a cup of coffee in your living room. The 311-page book is filled with sage business, marketing and personal insight and advice. The authors skillfully share their thoughts about subjects such as planning and preparing, communicating, listening and speaking, relating, attitude and beliefs, tactics and habits, successes and delightful failures, and more. I found myself wishing to slowly read this book so that I could fully absorb each wonderful morsel Harry and Christine Beckwith have provided through their wise, thought-provoking book. My advice: buy one copy to read and one more so that you can mark up with your own personal notes and highlights. YOU, INC: The Art of Selling Yourself, provides the "meat and potatoes" we can all apply for successful personal and professional lives. The reader is truly the beneficiary of the authors' wealth of professional experiences, insights and counsel. I'm a better person for having read it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I like books that contain two voices but merge the perspectives: I learn more that way and the material is a lot more interesting. Imagine my happy surprise when I realized that You, Inc. not only has that feature but also combines the concepts for several books: one on sales; one on entering the workplace as a young person; and one on manners. The resulting mix is interesting and lively.

While many books about the business world are all about techniques, independent of your identify and values, the Beckwiths don't have that limitation. They see presenting yourself honestly and approachably as good for everyone.

The book is also deeper than many books that focus in those areas. You'll find lots of snippets of research information that properly reinforces their messages. For example, we tip more when people make us feel good than when we get great service. But how much time do most of us focus on how the other person is going to feel? Well, we should do so a lot more. In essence, a lot of this book is simply explaining the practical reasons why the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you) is so widely admired by various religions and ethical thinkers.

This book will make a great gift to any college or post-college soon-to-be-graduate who is looking for a job. It will be a lifesaver for people who find that they've stalled in their careers . . . or might even be on the downside.

I personally found that I could use the book as a sort of compass needle to help test if I'm relating well to others. I was helpfully reminded not to share with people too many things that I do (that will overwhelm and confuse them) and to act consistently.

I thought that Selling the Invisible was an exceptionally good business book. I suspect that You, Inc. will be a more helpful one because so many more people can use the advice in this valuable volume.

But if you are looking for ways to accomplish things other than rapport, you won't find much help here. So you'll need some other books. But that's all right. No one book can give you everything you need except the Bible.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2007
If after reading a book you can walk away with just one view point or idea that inspires or enlightens, the book has succeeded. The Beckwiths do this time and again, delivering smart lessons in easily digestable sound bites. In this book, they shine a light on their own wisdom which has informed their own style. First, they aptly point out that everyone has to master the job of selling. Whenever you have to get the attention of someone, get them to understand and then get them to respond, you are selling. Sometimes you want to do that proactively and sometimes you have to do that just to be who you are, or as they say, "Some people will undervalue you. Make a plan to set them right."

When selling, you are not competing against others necessarily, but against distraction and stereotyping among other influences. Given that, the Beckwiths' very own style -- presenting captivating stories which consider by-necessity short attention spans -- demonstrates how to communicate in a way which sticks. Some of the other lessons on dressing and communicating are pretty fundamental. But all the other lessons stitched together create a message with heart: "if you are selling yourself, you are selling your spirit."
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2007
Please, save yourself the money! You, Inc. is an OK book that covers a lot of basic information for people completely new to sales or a profession/career that does not deal routinely with people. I found the writing style no better than eight grade level. If you want a light read, and one with more humor that you can reference easily, I recommend Jeffrey Gitomer's books over this brochure by Beckwith. Thin self-help books like Beckwith's validate that money can be made by copying every other book on the market, slapping a 'sticky' title on the cover, and adding to the authors growing fortune. Please don't add to his already significant pile.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2007
I love all of Harry's books, yet this one may be the best of them all. There are so many valuable tips and strategies to help anyone in any business. Some of it as common sense, and some are fresh ideas to think about. And, it is all well written. Simple and direct. Now, the key is to put all of this great information to work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2007
Harry and his wife Christine have put out what I think is Harry's best book since SELLING THE INVISIBLE. Like "Selling" it has sharp marketing advice in Harry's value-added, witty and straight-to-the point style. I've been a marketing consultant for 25 years. I use Harry's books as a quick reference source. So an added bonus in this book is the detailed Table of Contents. It allows you to quickly scan the contents - find the subject of interest - and go right to the page you need. I should share consulting fees with Mr.Beckwith since I pass along his advice so often. Bottom line: YOU, INC. is a "must have" for any business owner or marketing professional.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2009
This is a good book for any sales professional at any level in their career. The topics are written in very short chapters (most are less than 3 pages) so it kind of jumps all over the place but the subjects are practical, relevant and often overlooked by other books. It's the kind of book you'd keep around and re-read certain passages. A simple, straightforward book with practical advice.
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