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It Sure Beats Working: 29 Quirky Stories and Practical Business Lessons for The First-Time, Mid-Life, Solo Professional Paperback – July 30, 2007
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About the Author
An award-winning humorist, entrepreneur and recovering corporate marketer, Michael Katz translates his unique view of everyday life into useful, authentic and entertaining business insights. As Founder and Chief Penguin of Blue Penguin Development, Inc., Michael is a recognized expert in the development of electronic newsletters, and helps clients significantly increase sales by showing them how to build on their existing relationships. Since launching Blue Penguin in 2000, Michael has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Business Week Online, Bloomberg TV, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and other national and local media. He is the author of three books, and has published over 175 issues of his “E-Newsletter on E-Newsletters,” a biweekly with 5,000 passionate subscribers in over 40 countries around the world. Michael has an MBA from Boston University and a BA in Psychology from McGill University in Montreal. He also has a second degree black belt in karate (Kempo), a first degree black belt in parenting (three children), and is a past winner of the New England Press Association award for "Best Humor Columnist."
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The chapters are short—unlike some writers who beat a dead horse with annoying repetition to make sure you've absorbed their material—Michael says what he has to say and moves on to the next topic (chapter). You can read one chapter a day for a month, or devour the whole book in a few hours. Each chapter typically starts off with a short story that most of us can relate to, and then he turns that into a quick but practical teaching tool on customer relationships, marketing, best practices, etc., that you can apply to your business. It's not hype, and it's certainly not filled with suggestions that will force you to bust open your piggy bank and spend thousands on a new web designer, life coach, or whathaveyou to reinvent yourself... It's solid advice from his own experiences that will help you (re)create a business you'll be proud of.
Michael began his adult life as most of us do, graduating collage and working for a large corporation. As many working professionals can relate, he discovered working in a large company was not his true direction in life. If you are stuck in a cubicle hard at work and are trying to avoid the political drama at work, you will share his angst when he speaks of attending unproductive meetings and his yearning to leave a boring job.
Katz attained his goal of leaving his "secure" job with a large company and striking out on his own. If you are thinking of leaving your job, or you have recently joined the ranks of solo professional, this book is a must for you. The greatest benefit to the reader is the authors ability to candidly tell us his experience, and make the reader realize he is not alone in his struggle to make it in the world as a solo professional.
Since I am also a mid-life individual who changed course in his professional life, I felt as if he was speaking directly to me, although I can't relate to his struggle with baldness. My hair is all there, but has turned gray.
The chapter I enjoy most is entitled "Become a Leading Expert in Something". Michael Katz is an expert in development of electronic newsletters, and one day found himself with a client who was a life coach. This life coach had lived the majority of her life with chronic illness, but had not capitalized on her uniqueness in raising a family and building a successful career while battling this illness. Michael while consulting with the life coach on a newsletter was able to refocus her efforts and declare her new expertise. Now the life coach can be defined as an expert in the field of thriving in the workplace while having a chronic illness.
If you are on the fence thinking of starting your own business you will enjoy his "10 Really Good Reasons to Quit Your Job and Start Your Own Business". Some of the top ten reasons I enjoyed include: dancing to your own music, never having to retire, and finding your purpose.
This book is typical Michael Katz, funny, informative, and a great read. Although his book focuses on the solo professional, much of his advice transcends the sol proprietor and is good advice in being successful in both your personal and business life.
As a retired professional who started a solo business after retirement and as founder and owner of SocialMaturity I'm always interested in information that will give boomers and beyond insight into starting a business on their own and retirees an easier transition into retirement. Because so many of us start second careers, I found Michael's book to be a "must read."
His engaging wit and his easy writing style made each chapter/"quirky" story a valuable lesson for those of any age who are starting a solo business.
"It Sure Beats Working" is highly recommended for anyone, young or old, who is starting a solo business.