Tuesday, August 18, 2015

What: Harry Beckwith, Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing (Warner Books, 1997).

Why: A satisfyingly quick read that will improve your marketing skills.

I’m currently struggling with the decision whether to attend my 40th high school reunion. Not that this was a terrible time in my life (as, apparently, it is for many people), but I wasn’t exactly a cool kid. (Cue the knowing looks from my colleagues.) I got good grades, which tended to lend a certain geekiness to my reputation, although I was also mildly athletic and something of a politico. Like many of the people I deal with on a day-to-day basis, I really didn’t come into my own until my college years.

So here’s me cracking open this book to see how I can improve my business development skills, only to stop short at the following passage: “College…seduces us with the notion that real life will be an oasis where sheer talent is what counts….Life is like high school.”

This does not come as great news to someone whose grand slams in life came after his high school years.

Luckily, Harry Beckwith—local author and consultant—explains why this is true, in a book composed of short and quickly digestible chapters aimed at helping those of us who missed the memo about life skills. Much of his advice is predictable and in fact pretty basic (especially for a successful entrepreneur), but where Beckwith shines is linking the ideas together and presenting the ideas in very accessible form.

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