Jul 21

Duct Tape Marketing Book Review

Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide by John Jantsch is about developing and executing a marketing plan to grow and develop your business.

Here are some of the takeaways from Duct Tape Marketing:

1. Decide who matters
2. Be different
3. Have a niche for your business
4. Sell at a premium
5. Don’t be in a commodity business
6. Have a great guarantee
7. Have great service
8. Solve a problem
9. Know what you really sell
10. Price is a function of value
11. Educate, don’t sell
12. Create a marketing kit
13. Have a blog
14. Keep employees involved
15. Educate employees
16. Be focused and have a good call to action
17. Make targeted ads
18. Have good headlines
19. Write as you talk
20. Know what a customer is worth
21. Create referral partner network
22. Effective marketing eliminates the need for selling
23. Get to know customers
24. Set goals

Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch is a good and easy to understand marketing book. It provides small businesses with the information to create simple yet very effective marketing plans. If you are a small business owner or thinking of becoming one, this is a must add book to your personal library.

Jul 14

Executive Decision Movie Review

Executive Decision is the 1996 action film starring Kurt Russell, Steven Seagal, Halle Berry, Oliver Platt and John Leguizamo. A group of terrorists hijack a 747 airliner headed from Athens to Washington D.C. with the stated objective of releasing their leader. An intelligence expert thinks that the real reason is to release nerve gas over Washington D.C. and that the plane shouldn’t be allowed to enter U.S. airspace.

The movie opens with Lieutenant Colonel Austin Travis (Steven Seagal) leading a U.S. Army Special Forces raid on a Chechen mafia safe house near Trieste Italy. They are unsuccessful in recovering the Soviet nerve agent, DZ-5, that they came after as it had already been moved. In the raid, Travis loses one of his men.

Three months later, El Sayed Jaffa (Andreas Katsulas), one of the world’s most feared terrorists, is apprehended. Shortly after this, Oceanic Airlines Flight 343, a Boeing 747-200, from Athens to Washington D.C. is hijacked by Jaffa’s second in command, Nagi Hassan (David Suchet) and a number of Jaffa’s men. Dr. David Grant (Kurt Russell), an intelligence consultant, is summoned to the Pentagon for a top level meeting about the hijacking. While at the briefing, Grant theorizes that Hassan’s main objective is to release the DZ-5 in US airspace and not the release of Jaffa. Travis comes up with the idea of using an experimental F-117 that can dock with other aircraft to take out the terrorists and defuse the bomb.

Travis, his Special Forces team, Grant and engineer Dennis Cahill (Oliver Platt) all board the F-117 and head toward the intercept point of the hijacked 747. The initial docking goes ok. Then the two planes hit turbulence while the assault team is transferring from the F-117 to the 747. Cappy (Joe Morton) is seriously injured. Grant goes to help him and then the docking sleeve begins to break. Travis sacrifices himself to save the rest of the team by closing the 747 hatch. The F-117 breaks up and is lost. The surviving assault team members plus Grant and Cahill find that they have lost half of their equipment and have no communication to the outside. Just after they get onboard, the group is nearly discovered when the pilot checks in the hold they are in to see why a warning light is going off.

The group begins searching the plane for the DZ-5 and putting a map together of where the terrorists are onboard the plane. The group finds the bomb, which an injured Cappy and Cahill work on disarming the bomb while the rest of the group works on their assault plan. Back at the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Charles White (Len Cariou) and other top military leaders decide to release Jaffa since they have not heard from the assault team. After Jaffa is released and working on the bomb, the team realizes there is a sleeper onboard who controls the bomb. Grant decides to contact Jean, a flight attendant, who had protected him from being seen earlier by Hassan in order to help him find the sleeper. Jean thinks she has found the sleeper just before a flight of four F-14 Tomcats arrive to escort the 747 away from US airspace.

U.S. Senator Mavros (J. T. Walsh) tries to negotiate with the Secretary of Defense before he realizes Hassan is going to kill him as a warning. Hassan kills Mavros to show that he is serious about his endeavor. One of the team uses the tail lights of the 747 to signal the Tomcats to let them know the team is on the plane and not to shoot it down.

Grant and Jean begin the assault to take back the plane by going after the sleeper. When they get to the man that Jean thought had the electronic device, it turns out to be a case of diamonds. Grant immediately spots the real sleeper, Jean-Paul Demou (Robert Apisa), the man who built the DZ-5 bomb. The rest of the team begins the assault and takes out all of the terrorists except Hassan. During the assault, Cappy and Cahill disarm the bomb and some stray bullets go through the plane’s fuselage and cause the plane to decompress. In a last ditch effort to destroy the plane, Hassan kills the pilots in hopes of crashing the plane. He is killed by one of the Special Forces members.

Grant, with the help of Jean, tries to land at Washington Dulles International Airport despite barely knowing how to fly. He misses the approach at Dulles, but then heads to nearby Frederick Field. He lands the plane, but the runway is too short so the 747 ends up going into the sand berm in the overrun area. The movie ends with Grant and Jean heading off in a FBI car together to get a cup of coffee and then to a debriefing.

Executive Decision is a good action movie. Kurt Russell, Halle Berry and the rest of the cast do a good job in their roles. The movie has some good action scenes as well as flying sequences. Executive Decision has an ending that includes Frank Sinatra singing its Nice To Go Traveling. If you like action movies or Kurt Russell movies, then Executive Decision
is worth a watch.

Jul 07

The Price Of Everything Book Review

The Price of Everything: Solving the Mystery of Why We Pay What We Do by Eduardo Porter looks at why people pay the prices they do, how people’s beliefs affect prices and how prices affect everyone’s life.

The author breaks the book down into nine chapters that cover topics from the Price of Things to The Price of the Future. Here are some of the take aways from the book:

1. Many people buy things just because they are more expensive
2. Conspicuous consumption (rich buy things just to show off)
3. Frequent sales and markups keep consumers from knowing if they are getting a truly good deal
4. The internet has brought more price discrimination
5. Prices ending in .99 sell more things
6. People prefer things they choose to things other people choose for them
7. Great issues when pondering what a life is worth and the cost benefit analysis that goes into it
8. Richer people tend to be happier
9. Polygamy decreased due to need of social cohesion
10. Christianity spread monogamy
11. Women going into the workforce led to massive changes including political and culturally
12. Many different reasons for pay gaps
13. 1980’s saw middle class dynamics begin to change
14. Free isn’t free
15. Free has the power to destroy
16. Culture sometimes has high costs
17. Most successful religions are the ones that are the strictest
18. Rising or falling prices can be good or bad depending on the situation

The Price of Everything by Eduardo Porter is a well written and easy to understand book. If you are looking for a book about how products are priced this in not it. If you are looking for a book about the price of things, life, happiness, women, work, free, culture, faith and the future, then The Price of Everything is the book you are looking for. Eduardo Porter fills the book with interesting facts and insights that make you think about the price you are paying for everything in your life. The Price of Everything by Eduardo Porter is worth a read if you are interested in finding out how everything in your life gets its price.

Jul 04

The Millionaire Mind Book Review

The Millionaire Mind by Tomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. is a very in depth look into how typical millionaires got to where they are and how you can become one of them. His in depth study looks at what made them wealthy, how they think about money, found their vocation, run their household and choose their spouses.
The Millionaire Mind is broken up into ten chapters with each being about an area of the typical millionaire’s life that help make them successful. Here are a few of the many takeaways from the book:

1. Don’t be addicted to consumption
2. Don’t be credit dependent
3. Buy when others sell
4. Think differently from the crowd
5. Ignore critics
6. Never take rejection personally
7. The harder you work, the luckier you become
8. Millionaires love their careers
9. Learn how to make accurate judgments about people
10. Have an accountant and attorney as advisors
11. Look out for opportunities that people walk past everyday
12. Believe in yourself
13. Pick a very targeted niche
14. Never consider relying on other people’s money to make you rich
15. Be frugal
16. Never borrow long-term with the prospects of short-term income
17. If you wish to become affluent, associate with economically productive people
18. Buy things you want, not things to impress people
19. There is a strong correlation between net worth and the proportion of one’s wealth that is invested in real estate
20. Never try to adopt an economic orientation that is incongruent with your abilities and aptitudes

The Millionaire Mind by Tomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. is well written and full of great and interesting facts and information about typical millionaires and how to become one. If you want to learn how to think like a millionaire and become one, then The Millionaire Mind by Tomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. is a must read and a must add to your personal library.

Jun 24

The 4-Hour Workweek Book Review

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss is about helping you create a system where you do not have to have the traditional 9-5 job and you can live anywhere in the world that you want while doing your work.

Here are some of the many takeaways from the book:

1. Have others work for you
2. Work smarter not harder
3. Be the owner
4. Ensure payday comes everyday
5. Challenge status quote
6. Retirement planning is a worst case scenario
7. Timing is never right
8. Emphasize strengths, don’t fix weaknesses
9. Don’t choose unhappiness over uncertainty
10. Create automated source of income
11. Follow Pareto’s Law 80/20 Rule in professional and personal life
12. Don’t work for work’s sake
13. Be selective
14. Always have a clear list of priorities
15. Focus on output and get rid of distractions
16. Learn to be different when it counts
17. Limit email consumption and production
18. Batch time consuming tasks
19. Avoid meetings without clear objectives
20. Empower people
21. Outsource work
22. Pick an affordably researchable niche market
23. Fewer options equals more revenue
24. Get rid of things you don’t need
25. Adversity doesn’t build character; it reveals it

The above are just 25 of the many takeaways from The 4-Hour Workweek. Besides the many great takeaways, there also a lot of great tools listed in the book that can help you with ideas and getting your new business going. Timothy Ferriss does a great job of writing this book and making it simple to understand. He offers great tips and tools that will help you start living your dream life. The 4-Hour Workweek is a must read and addition to your personal library if you are looking to start or improve your business or to start living your dream life.

Jun 20

Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing Book Review

Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing: What the Rich Invest in, That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter takes a look at what investments that the rich invest in that allows them to continue to become richer and richer. The book is also about teaching you investor lessons and how to obtain the investments of the rich.

Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing is full of great investor lessons and takeaways to help you on your journey to becoming rich. Here a few of the many takeaways from the book.

1. The rich don’t work for money, money works for them
2. Two types of money problems: not enough and too much
3. You must create your own investment plan
4. Invest in multiple asset types
5. “Investing is a plan, often a dull, boring, and almost mechanical process of getting rich.” Rich Dad
6. Use data not intuition, experience, knowledge or common sense when investing
7. Have to invest time to become rich
8. Be rich, comfortable and secure in that order
9. Create a financial team
10. Don’t compete with other people in your journey to becoming rich
11. Know what kind of income you are working on (earned, portfolio, real estate)
12. True investor is prepared for whatever happens
13. Buy investments for cash flow
14. 5 D’s Dream, Dedication, Drive, Data, Dollars
15. Buy and create assets
16. Never take a job for money, but for long term skills you will learn
17. Invest to win
18. Always have a clear mission
19. Run business from financial statements
20. Keep up with changes

Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter do a great job with Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing. The book is well written and easy to understand. It has great lessons, rules and information that will help you on your journey to becoming rich. Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing makes you think, challenge what you have learned in the past about investing and helps you create a foundation to start with on your own journey to becoming rich. Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter is a must add to your personal library if you are interested in investing and becoming rich.

Jun 06

How To Be Creative eBook Review

How To Be Creative by Hugh MacLeod is an excellent eBook on the importance of creativity and how to be creative. The eBook is broken up into twenty six distinctive sections.

Top 20 ideas and takeaways from How To Be Creative:

1. “The more original your idea is the less good advice other people will be able to give you.” Hugh MacLeod
2. Trust your feelings
3. A big idea will change you
4. Good ideas come with a heavy burden
5. It is liberating to have a great idea
6. Success takes time
7. Don’t wait to be discovered by some big shot or you will probably fail
8. Admit you have a personal Mt. Everest and try and climb it or you will have regrets
9. No correlation between creativity and equipment ownership
10. As an artist gets more into work and gets more successful, his number of tools tends to go down.
11. Don’t hide behind pillars
12. Successful people are good at spotting pillars and getting rid of them
13. Avoid crowds altogether
14. Your creativity will cost more than you think
15. Question how much freedom your path affords you.
16. Being creative is an amazing and life changing experience
17. There are no shortcuts
18. Be creative in everything you do
19. Keep up with changing times
20. Inspiration precedes the desire to create

Hugh MacLeod does a great job with How To Be Creative. He provides a great deal of thought provoking ideas in regards to the importance of creativity and how you can become creative. Get How To Be Creative by Hugh MacLeod here and start being creative.

Jun 02

Angels in the Outfield Movie Review

Angels in the Outfield is the 1994 baseball movie starring Danny Glover, Tony Danza, Christopher Lloyd, Adrien Brody, Matthew McConaughey, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Neal McDonough. It is a remake of the 1951 film of the same name. The movie is the story of Roger, a young boy, who prays for angels to help the California Angels win a pennant so that he and his dad can be a family again.

Angels in the Outfield begins with Roger Bommans’s (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) dad showing up at the foster home he lives at and tells him that he is giving him up. Roger asks when they will be a family again. His father replies sarcastically, “I’d say when the Angels win the pennant.” Roger and his friend J.P. (Milton Davis Jr.) sneak into a California Angels game and witness the team get in a fight amongst themselves. That evening Roger prays for God to help the Angels win and after he prays, a star, unseen by Roger, twinkles in the sky. The next day they go to see the Angels play the Blue Jays. In the middle of the game, two angels show up and help Ben Williams (Matthew McConaughey), one of the Angel’s outfielders, make a catch. Only Roger sees the angels. Al “The Boss” Angel (Christopher Lloyd) shows up and tells Roger that only he can see the Angels and that they came because he prayed for them. An angel then helps Triscuitt Messmer (Tony Longo) hit a home run which wins the game for the Angels. J.P. wins a photograph with George Knox (Danny Glover), the Angels Manager, but he lets Roger get the photograph. Roger tells Knox that the Angels won because of the angels.

The next day Knox goes to see Roger and ask him more about the angels. Knox asks Roger and J.P. to come to the next game as his guests. Al appears to Roger and tells him the rules about the angels appearing. Roger tells Knox to switch Ray Mitchell (Stoney Jackson), the Angels third baseman, for Danny Hemmerling (Adrien Brody), a utility infielder. Hemmerling gets an improbable hit and the ball goes nuts, which allows the Angels to win. Knox decides to keep the boys around as good luck charms for the rest of the season. The next appearance of an angel is to seemingly washed up pitcher Mel Clark (Tony Danza). Knox puts Clark in and he pitches a shut out game. After the game, Knox plays a sandlot baseball game with Roger, J.P. and local neighborhood kids.

The Angels begin climbing up the standings and eventually winning games without the help of Al and his angels. At the end of the season on the next to last game day, Maggie Nelson (Brenda Fricker), Roger’s foster mom, has to take Roger to a court hearing. At the hearing, Roger’s dad signs him away to the state and gives up all rights to him. The Angels lose the game and it goes down to the last game of the season for the pennant. After the game, J.P. accidentally lets it slip to Ranch Wilder (Jay O. Sanders), Angels Broadcaster, that Roger sees angels and that Knox has been winning because of Roger’s advice. Ranch goes to the newspaper and has a story printed about Roger, the angels and Knox. Hank Murphy (Ben Johnson), the Angels owner, threatens to fire Knox over the issue if he does not renounce all of the nonsense from the newspaper article. At the press conference, Maggie speaks about Roger and for Knox. The Angels players stand behind Knox as their coach. Murphy decides to let Knox keep his coaching job.

On championship game night, Al shows late in the game, but only to check on Mel Clark. Al informs Roger that Mel has smoked too much and is dying, but he doesn’t know it. Al tells Roger that championship games must be played without any help. In the 9th inning, Roger gives a struggling Mel Clark the angel sign and then the team and the whole stadium give him the sign. Mel gets the last out of the game by himself and the Angels win the pennant. After the game is over, Murphy fires Ranch Wilder due to all his snide remarks about the team. Angels in the Outfield ends with Knox adopting Roger and J.P. J.P. sees Al at the window and says “I knew it could happen.” Al circles around the house and says “We’re always watching” and flying off into the stars, which re-enact a baseball game.

Angels in the Outfield is a great baseball and family movie. Danny Glover, Tony Danza, Christopher Lloyd, Adrien Brody, Matthew McConaughey, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Neal McDonough and the rest of the cast do a great job in the movie. Angels in the Outfield has a touching story that is full of humorous moments. All of this adds up to Angels in the Outfield being a must add movie to your movie collection if you like baseball and family movies.

May 27

Kiss of the Dragon Movie Review

Kiss of the Dragon is the 2001 action movie starring Jet Li, Bridget and Tchéky Karyo. The movie is the story of Liu Siu-jian, a Chinese intelligence agent, who goes to Paris to apprehend a Chinese mob boss and in the process uncovers corruption in the French police force in the form of Inspector Jean-Pierre Richard and his men.

Kiss of the Dragon opens with Liu Siu-jian (Jet Li), a Chinese intelligence agent, arriving in Paris. He is there to arrest a Chinese mob boss by the name of Mr. Big (Ric Young) who is wanted for heroin smuggling. He meets Inspector Jean-Pierre Richard (Tchéky Karyo) at the hotel where Mr. Big is going to meet his contact. Things go horribly wrong when one of the two women that Mr. Big has with him stabs him in the chest. Liu sees all of this on surveillance and rushes to stop Mr. Big from being killed. Richard comes in shortly afterward and shoots and kills Mr. Big and then the girl that stabbed Mr. Big with Liu’s gun. At this point, Liu finds out that Richard is a corrupt cop. Liu fights his way out of the hotel after taking a surveillance tape showing Richard shooting Mr. Big.

Shortly afterward, several Chinese agents arrive in Paris to find out what happened with Liu. Richard tells them that Liu is the main suspect for Mr. Big’s murder, but the Chinese do not seem to believe the story. Liu meets with one of his fellow agents and gives him the tape. Richard’s men show up at the meeting and kill Liu’s contact. Liu escapes and heads to his contacts place to keep a low profile. While at his contact’s house, he sees the second girl, Jessica (Bridget Fonda) from Mr. Big’s murder. She helps sew him up after he took a bullet from his last encounter with Richard’s men. Liu realizes that she can prove his innocence. A couple of Richard’s men show up and wreck the place that Liu is staying at and kill the owner. Liu and Jessica escape.

Jessica says she will help Liu if he will retrieve her daughter who Richard is holding hostage. Jessica steals the surveillance tape back. The two then go and rescue Jessica’s daughter. They are met by Richard’s men and narrowly escape, but not before Jessica is wounded. Liu is able to get her to the hospital in time. Liu has had enough and heads to the police station where Richard’s office is. He takes out Richard’s men one by one until he reaches Richard’s office. When he gets to Richard’s office, Liu is shot by Richard while trying to rescue Isabel, Jessica’s daughter. In the process, Liu sticks Richard with an acupuncture needle in the back of the neck in a place known as the “kiss of the dragon” which kills him. The movie ends with Liu safely returning Isabel to Jessica.

Kiss of the Dragon is a good action movie. It features a lot of great action and fight sequences. Jet Li, Bridget and Tchéky Karyo do a good job in the movie. Jet Li and Tchéky Karyo make for good opposites in Kiss of the Dragon. Jet Li makes this movie with all of the action sequences that he is in. If you like action movies and or Jet Li movies, the Kiss of the Dragon is worth a watch.

May 20

Generate Thousands In Cash On Your Stocks Before Buying Them Or Selling Them Book Review

Generate Thousands in Cash on your Stocks Before Buying or Selling Them by Dr. Samir Elias is about creating cash flow, reducing your stock’s cost basis, generating profits and knowing when to buy and sell. The most important concept of the book is generating cash flow from stocks whether you own them or not.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the book:

1. Best time to buy is when everyone else is scared.
2. When selling covered calls, choose a target price that is 10 to 20% more than current market price
3. Selling covered calls reduces average price of stocks
4. Sell call options if stock is going down, put options if stock is rising
5. Do not be greedy
6. Always be proactive
7. Selling puts generates cash without owning the stock
8. Options are rarely exercised unless option has less than two weeks left to expiration and at least ¾ point in the money.
9. Watch for stocks with public sentiment
10. Go against the crowd
11. Closely follow news on companies you invest in.
12. Create your own investing rules and investing
13. Trading needs to be treated as a business
14. Never should you be saying “I cannot afford to lose money”
15. Limit loss per trade to no more than 2% of your trading account
16. Decide what kind of investor you are and then develop your trading system.

Generate Thousands by Dr. Samir Elias is a well written book about options. It is a good look on how to generate cash flow from stocks whether you own them or not. Part of the book is easy to read and understand. The remaining parts of the book are full of formulas, charts, graphs and somewhat complex trading methods. If you are looking to expand your knowledge of options Generate Thousands is worth a read. If you are a true options novice other books such as The Rookie’s Guide To Options would be a better first read on options.

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