I immediately knew I was on the same page as Tom Marquardt when I got to Part I - Stop Biting Your Nails and Start Sharpening Your Claws. This part begins with an exercise that says " I would like you to take 10 minutes, and ten minutes only, and write down the top five items that you worry about and/or are fearful about on a continuous basis in the space provided below." He then proceeds to tell the reader the fears and worries will always be there but he will teach how to neutralize them using his 14 points. Those 14 points consist of the lot of stops, and as I read through them all it reminded me of self-discipline, something easy to stray away from when in fear and doubt.

One analogy I've never heard of before but made so much sense was when Marquardt  said "A glass of milk has a longer shelf life than a vacant hotel room."  Milk can be kept in the fridge for several weeks and used as needed.  However, when today is gone, today's vacant room cannot receive the



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opportunity of the moment.  This of course, can be translated to any service you sell.  It's all about maximizing revenue generation - today.

Marquardt also advocates "Go be a leader with walk-around, hands-on management.  Forget sending a memo to the associates on how to do it; show them yourself."  This is one aspect of running a business I'm adamant about.  Creating relationships with your team is crucial and in my opinion, mandatory.

What Marquardt says in "My Little Black Book to Success" is nothing new.  However, it's a gentle reminder we all need and being the size the book is, a couple of hours of reading, contemplation and grounding will give us the inspiration to get out of a slump, re-focus on our direction, or make the necessary changes. In our busy lives, combined with the internal fears the media brings to us about the downturn of economy,  it's easy to start doubting our direction in business if there is a lull. Marquardt gives us action plans and strategies that work, if you work them.