I frequently receive books to review on my blog and always disclose when they have been provided to me, so here's my disclosure that I received Beyond Booked Solid (in this post I'm going to refer to the book as "BBS" to make the writing easier) from the author's assistant free of charge for my review. Please note that I only will actually review books that I enjoy reading, so maybe 1 out of 10 actually gets any sort of mention.
When I received the book in the mail, I was immediately concerned that I had not read the preceding book, Book Yourself Solid (and this one is going to be "BYS," again for the ease of writing), but once I got in to the first few pages of BBS, I realized that reading BYS was not a requirement and that BBS stands just fine on its own. However, here's some quick background: BYS is about how to market and sell even if you don't like to market and sell, and how to fill up your time with business prospects to increase your revenue; BBS is about moving into building a bigger and better business by focusing on processes, systems, measurement, leadership, and other core functions.
The book is a good read for several reasons, not the least of which is that you get the feeling that Michael Port, the author, writes as he talks -- even though I've never seen his presentations or spoken to him directly, I can as easily envision him speaking in exactly the same way the words are set forth on the page. I like that Port ties in ideas from some of my other favorite authors such as Seth Godin and Timothy Ferriss and shows how those ideas apply to his core ideas (as a side note, if you read The Four Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss right before you read this book, you may tend to see a lot of parallels, which leads me to believe that great minds think alike).
Here's the core theme of the book is simply this: You need to work on your business, while working in your business, while working on yourself. Port not only details how to work through designing effective systems, leadership, project management, and other core business functions, but he also spends an appropriate amount of time reminding the reader that work is not the only thing in life; he provides the framework and the tools to ensure that your business can run effectively and efficiently and profitably, and still leave you time to spend on personal endeavors.
One thing that I truly enjoyed about BBS was the real-life examples spread throughout the book, and specifically the last chapter of the book that profiled several companies that used the techniques throughout the book to build and maintain successful businesses. Too often business writers expouse about theory and technique, but are unable to provide concrete examples of application; Port succeeds in providing very concrete examples of techniques in practice by successful businesses.
Release date for the book is April 18, 2008. To those of you at the 24 Hour Fitness in Centennial that watched me read this early in the morning asked me about borrowing the book, you have my sincerest apologies, but I do hope that you will purchase a copy when it comes out and that my descriptions of the content along with this blog post were enough to whet your appetite.
Link -- BBS website
PS -- as with many of the books that I review, I received a pre-production copy. The copy of BBS I reviewed was actually a simply bound 8.5x11 document . . . it was perfect to be able to read on the treadmill and stair machine at the gym. I thought about 2 things in that regard were I to publish a book:
- Size can matter. If books were available in a simple 8.5x11 edition by themselves or as part of an upsell with the hardback, I would buy it just to be able to read it at the gym.
- There's a marketing opportunity here. How easy would it be to walk into your local gym with a 8.5x11 copy of your yet-to-be-published book and put it on every machine with a magazine/book holder? You could ask people to read it, send feedback via e-mail, and leave it on the machine for the next person to read when they were done.