Something beyond a job ...

I’d given myself a bit of a break from reading the stuff that would normally be featured in here, indulging in some “fun reading” in archaeology and physics.  However, a book that I recently received caught my eye and went to the top of the to-be-read pile.  I noticed that the introduction to it had been written by another author whose most recent book I had finished several months back, and I’d not been able to get around to writing the review for it.  Since both of these are at least peripherally about the job search (well, ways to make money outside of a job), I figured that I’d pair them up as a “book feature”.

The first of these is Joel Comm’s KaChing: How to Run an Online Business that Pays and Pays, which is, essentially, a manual for setting up an on-line business.  Comm takes an interesting approach here, walking the readers through what he’s done, and the resources that he’s used.  Frequently books in this sort of  ballpark try to be encyclopedic on what’s out there, and I don’t think he offers up more than one alternative to what he mainly uses (except in a few cases where he’s using multiple things on the same project) when discussing “how-to”, which makes figuring out “how to” a lot more direct.  While I really enjoyed reading this book, there were hovering doubts.  As I note in my review, I have been involved in assorted projects with e-commerce aspects (to varying degrees) for around 15 years now, and it’s been my experience that it is the rare, perhaps even lucky, individual who is able to make even enough to sustain the web portion of their business, let alone make a living from it.  Of course, there are scads of books that tell me that I’m wrong, and Comm uses examples like his mother’s site (spun off of her frequent travels), that seem to be making decent money within their particular nice.  Maybe I’ve been “snake-bit” (and it’s certainly felt like that in various situations), but my take is that this is, while being a very clear step-by-step process for getting one’s on-line business up and running, representing the best possible results, and not what the average Joe could expect to develop.

The reason that I thought of combining these two books into one feature here was that Foreword to Joel Comm’s “KaChing” was written by the co-author of the other, Mark Victor Hansen.  M.V.H., along with Robert G. Allen, has written a couple of books with the stated intent of seeding large numbers of millionaires.  Certainly the late-night airwaves have their students well represented, and it seems that there might be (although it’s not detailed) a similar mentoring situation here.

I typically review a book within a week or so of finishing it, but I finished reading Hansen & Allen’s Cash In A Flash: Fast Money in Slow Times way back in November of last year, and it had been sitting on my desk waiting all this time.  Why?  Well, I’d thought that it was because I didn’t want to give my opinions of it until I’d had time to really work through the various exercises in it, which would have, practically speaking, involved re-reading most of it.  However, as I got into writing my review, I found that I was having a good deal of “reactive” response to it, and I may have simply been avoiding writing a review, to avoid the book.  Again, this is not because it’s not a good book (although, like its predecessor, The One Minute Millionaire, it’s very strangely formatted with both a workbook and a novella side-by-side as you read through) but because on a “gut level” I just don’t believe that what they’re “selling” is possible, at least for me.

Where Comm’s book is very “straight to the point” and focused on “how to”, Cash In a Flash is very much a book about the philosophy of making money outside of a “job” context … one might even say it’s mystically inclined.  Its system is on three levels, which could be called “mind”, “heart” and “group”, and has exercises which are just shy of self-hypnosis, and others that are hard to not call “brainwashing” (specifically the ones about changing one’s memories).  However, those were not the tripping points for me here, it’s the concept of being able to successfully assemble a “dream team” or “mastermind” group that wouldn’t swiftly decay into power struggles, petty conflicts, ego flame-outs, etc., that pushed this into incredulity for me.  Without the group, the system doesn’t work, and I’ve never seen more than 2 people working together that didn’t lead to “undesired results”.

Again, I really liked both of these books, but I used to be a big fan of Santa too.  More details are, as always, off on my review site (here and here specifically).  I obviously “have issues” with material in these that you or others might not, so I would still recommend them, but with a warning that you’re likely going to need more than the proverbial pinch of salt when processing them!

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