A vacation just isn’t a vacation without a good novel. While the news junkie in me gobbles nonfiction by the pound, that genre seems somehow ill-suited to the beach.
In preparing to soak up some sun this Labor Day weekend, I wondered how I could relax but still get some work done, at least for my trusty Book Scan readers. I thought maybe—like me—you’re looking for an escape without leaving the office entirely.
That brought me into the world of real estate fiction. A cursory search of Amazon’s real estate-related fiction offerings presented me with a whopping 403 entries in the romance novel category. Five—count ‘em, five!—of these books all had the same title. Turns out the phrase Hot Property is as much a cliché in real estate fiction titles as it is in listing copy. Continue reading »
We’re bombarded with tales of the new normal. These narratives focus on the scary notion that unemployment and economic growth levels might stagnate right where they are today and stay there forever. But we’re also hearing about the people who make up the new normal. In just the last couple months of REALTOR® Magazine’s Daily News items alone, headlines question the opportunity the future holds, thanks to shifting demographics and changes in people’s economic values:
- First-Timers Make Up Smaller Share of Buyers
- Millennials Will Become Home Owners Later
- Financial Crisis Sparks Housing Commitment Phobia?
- Did the Housing Crash Affect Home Ownership Views?
Just last week we learned that the word “underwater,” as pertaining to home value vs. loan amount ratio, was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Was there ever so concrete evidence that the Great Recession has entered our cultural lexicon?
Perhaps American consumers are entering a new phase. But is that necessarily a negative thing? And are you ready for it? Continue reading »
Tempering the sometimes overly-sweet world of self-help books can be an age-related challenge, and we may just have popular culture to blame for that.
Though there are any number of references I could conjure to make my point, I have a specific one in mind. There’s a moment in the book/movie Fight Club that spoke deeply to my generation. Author Chuck Palaniuk writes these words for the chaotic character of Tyler Durden:
You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everyone else, and we are all part of the same compost pile.
The reason that quote—which may just sound like a flowery insult to some—was meaningful for kids growing up in the ‘90s had a lot to do with the fact that we were overstuffed with goal-setting exercises and surrounded by elders who believed all kids needed to succeed was a positive self image. Saying that this was, in fact, not the case was a resonant and revolutionary statement for many of us.
Perhaps that’s why it’s difficult for me to get into certain self-help books. For example, Bill Fields’ Get Up, Get Over and Get On With It: Lessons for Turning Life’s Setbacks Into Successful Comebacks, recently came across my desk. In Lesson Two of the book, Fields preaches the exact opposite sentiment of that expressed in the aforementioned quote:
You are absolutely unique…If you did not exist, there would be a hole in creation, a gap in history, something missing from the plan for humankind.
So, am I a snowflake or not? Continue reading »
We all know a sales manager or two like Brad Hutchinson, the main character in Brian Souza’s new book. Seems like they always have three things:
- amazing numbers,
- endless confidence,
- and no clue how to manage people.
But how do you break it to them that they should be more concerned about leadership than their own leads?
In The Weekly Coaching Conversation: A Business Fable About Taking Your Game and Your Team to the Next Level, Souza has created an short, breezy tale in order to teach such managers how to become true leaders. The story begins with Brad heading out to a local bar to toast his “Sales Leader of the Year” award, as well as his general awesomeness. He invites his whole team out to celebrate, but when he gets stood up by the lot of them, he’s forced to question all that he set out to celebrate. Luckily, “Coach” Mick Donnelly is at the bar and easily explains why Brad’s all alone.
“You said that you crushed your number, right? Well… how many people on your team crushed theirs?” Coach asks. Continue reading »