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How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying – Book Review

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“How to Succeed at Business” by Abraham Joshua Heschel is an introduction to the principles of business that will help students become better than the best. The book was inspired by Shepherd Mead’s concept of the ‘Lust of Success’. “How to Succeed at Business” consists of thirteen essays, each exploring one aspect of business success.

What separates this book from others on how to succeed in business is that it is written with a humorous vein. For instance, the first essay addressed how to succeed in business without trying too hard, using a classic example of a man who went to work and ended up getting fired for jumping the corporate ladder. The second essay looked at the differences between being humbled by failure and humbleness when overcoming big business obstacles. “How to Succeed at Business” used an amusing example of a corporate executive who decided to quit his job rather than take a pay cut in order to increase his benefits.

“How to Succeed at Business” was written by Noah St. John with a light and witty touch. The twelve chapters cover subjects ranging from business planning and strategies to motivational speakers and window washers. The use of humor throughout the book kept the reader’s attention. In the first chapter, there was a funny quote attributed to Mark Twain that said, ‘The difference between a failure and success is just one thing-a higher degree of stupid.’

Chapter one starts out with, ‘It’s difficult to be successful, some people can’t succeed at all. I’m not just talking about how you fail sometimes, I’m talking about how you can succeed with grace’. The book voice switches to a more business like tone with the author making it sound as if he were advising a big business corporation. The humor in the book is lighthearted and it makes you laugh a few times but not often.

The next chapter called “How to Succeed at Business” begins with a case study based on the personal life of Noah who was a city contractor. Noah had to make sure that every subcontractor that he hired followed the contract. One of the subcontractors became so unreliable that his workers would quit and hire other workers who would show up on time and do the same job. Noah then went up the corporate ladder until he reached the top position.

The last third chapter called “How to Succeed at Business” tells the story of a young buck who was trying to figure out what kind of car he wanted to purchase. He goes up the corporate ladder until he realizes that he wants to be a Realtor so that he can help people buy their houses. At the top of the rewind pole is a lesson in salesmanship. After all, a good salesman is one who knows how to sell and market a product.

The last two chapters of the how to succeed in business without really trying, is the Fosse way scheme and the bud frump plan. In the Fosse way scheme, Bob finds himself getting rich fast by selling shares of his stock portfolio to the public for huge profits. Then, after losing a chunk of his capital, he sells it all back and becomes a billionaire. However, it is up to Bob to learn how to trade stocks and invest in real estate to get back some of his investment.

The final chapter of how to succeed in business without really trying, is a how to book about a man named Frank Loesser who was a very successful stockbroker in the early World Wide Web days. One of the most interesting things about this book is that it is all fiction. It’s all made up. But, because Loesser was so successful, he was able to impart some secrets to other people about what he did. I think one of these secrets may work for you if you are struggling in your own business.


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