I am reviewing the biographical witty book Rupee Millionaires by Frank Kusy which is an excellent book that I bought on kindle. This book although about running a business importing stuff from India and then initially selling it at a market stall and later selling it to shops isn’t strictly speaking a business book and is probably just as much a travel book. It does have a lot of info on the scams done by businesses especially when first started to help them make more money so is interesting for that. Frank had a friend called Spud who helped him in the business and apparently later went to jail for 12 years for blowing up a house and initially when he heard was opposed to the book but later read some of it and liked it. They apparently got 17 suitcases of stuff through Indian customs by claiming it was for a poor widow and the clerk said well it’s Independence Day today and let it through which they could subsequently sell cheaper than anyone else and still turn a profit. Because they didn’t have tills all the cash was cash in hand and they declared a bare minimum under the £49,000 VAT threshold in Britain which means you don’t have to register for value added tax. They went on the Enterprise Allowance Scheme where they get a kind of small grant every week to live on and that allowed them to poor as much as possible back into the business particularly into buying more stock. They specialized in gold and embroidery that of course they could buy really cheap and then sell on. Sometimes they’d offer to buy a whole shops contents at a knocked down price. I did really enjoy this book and incidently 1 million rupees is roughly equivalent to £20,000. I would very much recommend it and there is another review of another book by this author at http://oldscratbag.com. That book is called Kevin And I In India.

The book I read to research this post was The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos And The Best Of Amazon by Brad Stone which is a very good book that I bought from kindle. This book is a biography about Jeff Bezos the founder of Amazon the website that started out selling books and has now branched out into many things. He started out as a child going to a school for gifted children where students were encouraged to explore things and didn’t have a set curriculum. They learned whatever interested them and later he became a teaching assistant at one of these schools. After being born his mother later on married a man who would go on to adopt him. His natural father was very poor and I think agreed to it because he thought it would give his son a better start in life. Amazon originally had offices in a run down part of Seattle and a homeless person showed the staff how to operate the key pass lock on the front door of the building on their first day. They were a start up business financed largely through venture capital. Any of the initial staff who wanted to work for them had to relocate to Seattle although they were helped with relocation expenses. When the company did go public many of the investors have been very loyal to the company hanging on to shares even when they haven’t made a huge profit. A lot of this is because of its rapid expansion that has meant profits have had to be ploughed back into the company. Things like Amazon Web Services which has become so popular as a cloud computing site people often celebrate the start of a new business by giving the new company owner a voucher for that website. Amazon has also expanded into things like kindle with its e-books which now outsell books and Amazon Prime where they pay a subscription and get free unlimited 1st class postage on products and streamed tv series and films. Amazon is quite like companies like Google and Apple in that especially among customers people are quite fond of them and are keen to buy there products. Some companies are different to this in that they have a bit of a fearful image. I did enjoy this book, which is around 500 pages so a decent length and would definitely recommend it.

 

The book I read to research this post was The Paperless Lifestyle by Jason Bracht which is a very good book that I downloaded for free from kindle. This book is around 100 pages so is a decent length. Obviously especially if you are a business you must keep hard copies of certain things which means having them in paper form but this book gets you close to getting a paperless office. If you have Microsoft Office, One Note lets you take down notes and store it on your computer. An app for things like tablets called lemon lets you scan receipts and blow them up to read them. Evernote lets you store things across all your digital devices and is proving very popular. There is cloud computing services like Carbonite that you store back ups of your computers so they can be restored in a crisis. You shouldn’t ignore external hard drives, flash drives and SD cards as they can store a lot of information. You shouldn’t have so much paperwork it takes up more than a few drawers. You should also get a scanner and shredder to help you deal with paperwork. Tablets and smartphones as well as laptops will store loads of stuff. One important element is all this stuff you store has to be categorized and preferably with key words which you can do both with Evernote enabling you to easily find stuff.This is quite an interesting book that I enjoyed reading and would definitely recommend. It is well written.

 

The book I read to research this post was Learning To Leap: A Guide To Being More Employable by David Schindler which is a very good book that I downloaded from kindle for free. This book isn’t about being self employed and looks at making your skills more marketable so you can improve your job prospects. One thing you should be looking for in a job is the chance to develop. Many companies on employees constantly taking training courses but you do need the training necessary to do the job properly. A fine balance should be reached with many employees being expected to do at least some of their learning in there own time. At http://careerbuilder.com/psychometrics.psx there is a questionaire with a difference. It asks you a series of questions and comes back to you with videos of people in various jobs who gave similar answers with the idea it can guide you to careers you otherwise wouldn’t have thought of. At the University Of Essex although the book doesn’t give there website address they have a questionaire that assess your strengths and weaknesses and guides you to what careers you should be considering. In the future the impact of social media is going to grow with much emphasis being placed on the really big sites like Facebook and Twitter. Having a diversified field of followers and friends will get more and more important in job seeking. One thing this book does say is employers often say potential employeees especially the young don’t have the skills to do jobs. Someone did research into this and decided the potential often have the skills but don’t present them in the right way. I really enjoyed this book and I think would recommend it.

I am reviewing the album X by Chris Brown which is a very good album. I think this is his 6th album and it has been quite successful making number 2 on the US album charts. Chris is probably best known for assaulting Rihanna the popstar whom he had a relationship. I think calling this album X is no coincidence. He did plea bargain a light sentence but a lot of that goes on in America. His first single became the first debut single by an act to top the US singles chart since P Diddy. His debut album made number 2 in the US. He was born in Virginia and taught himself to sing and dance in addition to being in a gospel choir. A record company as part of their package to release music by him arranged to have some coaching. He apparently did grow up in a violent environment where his mum’s boyfriend was frequently violent. After the incident with Rihanna many radio stations refused to play his music. I must admit the music on this album is pretty good. Apparently there was a funny incident when some celebrity whose name I can’t remember was having a go at him on twitter and it turned in to an argument with them sending each other hash tag messages. I think its the last place you want to have an argument.

I am reviewing the album Strut by Lennie Kravitz which is a very good album. This album was released recently. Lennie is part Russian-Jewish and part Afro-Carribean. He is named after his uncle Leonard who died fighting in Vietnam and got a lower graded medal than what he should have due to racial discrimination. It was rectified posthumously in 1994. Lennie had a British number 1 single with Fly Away that was more popular due to it being used on a tv commercial. He has had quite a lot of hit singles and has also won quite a lot of Grammy Awards. He was married to the actress Lisa Bonet perhaps most famous for The Cosby Show. They divorced in 1991 amid rumors he had a sexual relationship with Madonna whilst working on the single Justify My Love which he has always denied. Lennie doesn’t come from a religious background but is quite religious nowadays. He has released a couple of singles from the Strut album. He also had a small part in The Hunger Games and its sequel. I did quite enjoy this album & think I would recommend it.

I am reviewing the live hard rock album One Wild Night by Bon Jovi which is a very good album. Although the album is said to be tracks recorded from 1985-2001 only 2 tracks were recorded prior to 1995. They are one of the biggest selling acts of all time with over 100 million sales worldwide. This album only made number 20 on the Billboard Chart. It includes quite a lot of pretty good songs. Bon Jovi formed in 1985 and are signed to Island Records. There album New Jersey featured 5 top ten and 2 number 1 hits. That is a record for a rock album. I did quite enjoy this album.