Friday Book Review! Master Your Time, Master Your Life by Brian Tracy

Image result for brian tracy master your time master your lifeSuccess guru Brian Tracy’s new book is centered on the concept of time. Although each chapter has the word “time” in it, Master Your Time, Master Your Life is not about time management as much as it is about life goals and on what areas to focus your efforts.

The first chapter, for example, is about “Strategic Planning and Goal Setting Time.” Successful people, Tracy writes, are those who plan their strategy and select their goals. “One of the most important types of time is the time you spend thinking, deciding and planning how to achieve the things you really want in life.”

Tracy recommends establishing a personal strategic plan based on four questions:

  • Where am I now in my life? Review your accomplishments, family situation, financial situation, and health and fitness.
  • How did I get to where I am today? Identify the choices and decisions that led to where you are today. Recognize the sources of your successes — and setbacks.
  • Where do I want to go in the future? Imagine a perfect life five years in the future. Get into the details of how it would be different from the present.
  • How can I get from where I am to where I want to be? Identify what you need to be doing today to make that ideal future become a reality.

Some of the chapters, such as “Productive Time” and “Work Time,” involve more conventional time management suggestions.

In the “Work Time” chapter, Tracy dives into how to overcome the “seven major time wasters” at work (telephone, email and text interruptions; unexpected visitors; meetings; fire fighting; procrastination; socializing and idle conversations; and indecision and delay).

In the “Productive Time” chapter, Tracy highlights the three keys to productivity:

  • Clarity. Tracy’s focus here is on a clear understanding of expected results — the production part of productivity. Exactly what will make people see you as dependable and valuable?
  • Focus. Productivity depends on a single-minded focus on the task at hand. Multitasking productivity, writes Tracy, is a myth.
  • Concentration. Being able to concentrate for extended periods of time is a difficult but vital skill, he writes.

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Book Review: Now, Build a Great Business!

During a Soundview Live event featuring global leadership consultant Brian Tracy, the best-selling author of How the Best Leaders Lead referred to himself as a synthesizer of information. This information is culled from Tracy’s intense regimen of scholarship. In a Soundview Author Insight Series interview, Tracy revealed that he has devoted a minimum of three hours to reading every evening for the past 40 years. Readers might assume that Tracy’s newest release (co-authored with Mark Thompson) Now, Build a Great Business would be the first in a multi-volume treatise on the lessons from Tracy’s studies.

In one respect, the book accomplishes the task of delivering the finer points of presenting a culmination of Tracy’s and Thompson’s research and experience. However, it does so by stripping business down to its simplest truths. These are the principles that are frequently forgotten or buried beneath rhetoric and trends. The authors pinpoint time and again that despite piles of books devoted to re-imagining the path to success, businesses that do succeed continue to model basic ideas.

Tracy himself described the book in this manner: “We needed a prescriptive book, a book that says, ‘Here are the specific steps you take to build a great business.’ These are the specific steps that every single person who’s ever built a great business has done. We’ve taken my work with 1,000 companies in 55 countries and put it into practical steps that a person can follow.”

Executives who have tried a variety of solutions to improve their business and have met with more disappointment than success will want to give Tracy and Thompson’s book a careful read.

You can get your copy of the Soundview Executive Book Summary of Now, Build a Great Business by clicking here. For more great business book summaries, visit Soundview’s home on the Web:

Three Great New Soundview Book Summaries

In several parts of the world right now, winter conditions are causing chaos for travelers. If you’re one of the thousands of people that are stuck in an airport, make the most of your extra time by checking out one of a trio of new summaries from Soundview Executive Book Summaries. The new summaries are:

The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely – In his groundbreaking book, Predictably Irrational, social scientist Dan Ariely revealed the multiple biases that lead us into making unwise decisions. Now in The Upside of Irrationality, Ariely exposes the surprisingly negative and positive effects irrationality can have on our lives. Focusing on our behaviors at work and in relationships, he offers new insights about what really motivates us on the job, how unwise actions can become long-term habit, and more.

Now Build a Great Business by Brian Tracy and Mark ThompsonNow, Build a Great Business! is an essential success kit from business heavyweights and acclaimed authors Mark Thompson and Brian Tracy. It is filled with straightforward, powerful strategies to ignite growth in your business and is packed with insights from face-to-face interviews with world-class business leaders. This executive summary offers practical steps that you can take away immediately and clear-cut strategies for moving your business forward.

Exploiting Chaos by Jeremy Gutsche In this executive book summary of Exploiting Chaos, one of the best trend spotters in North America reveals powerful strategies for thriving in any economic climate. Author Jeremy Gutsche offers examples of successful iconic companies — Disney , Hyatt, MTV, and more — that started during periods of recessions, arguing that periods of uncertainty actually fuel opportunity, reshuffle the deck and change the rules of the game.

For more information on other great executive book summaries, visit Soundview online at

10 Great Quotes from 2010

Don’t ask why, but I’m the type of person who always feels the need to read the “Comments” section that follows any online news article. Maybe I’m hoping for a reader to provide some unique insight that escaped the journalist that wrote the piece. Instead I’m usually treated to a melange of spam, conspiracy theories and inane political babble. Sometimes the most interesting part of any comment is if a reader throws in a quote into his or her signature. After reading an article about the recent snowfall here in the Northeast (including the Philadelphia suburbs where Soundview Executive Book Summaries operates), someone felt the need to post a comment tying slow-moving plows to a “Big Oil” conspiracy to keep cars stuck in traffic, thereby burning more fuel. I was ready to dismiss this lunatic until I saw his signature. It read, “Don’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. That way when you judge him you’re already a mile away and you have his shoes.”

I know it’s not the most original quote in the world but for a moment, it made me smile. It also led me to consider some of the best quotes from Soundview’s Author Insight Series. This exclusive MP3 interview program gives Soundview subscribers unique insights direct from the authors of today’s best business books.

Since I previously covered the first half of 2010 in a previous post, here (in no particular order) are the best quotes from the second half of 2010’s Soundview Author Insight Series:

1. “When a bank or an investor sits down and decides whether they’re going to support your recovery plan going forward, you’re probably not going to be in the room.” — Shaun O’Callaghan, author of Turnaround Leadership: Making Decisions, Rebuilding Trust and Delivering Results After a Crisis

2. “‘I prefer you’ are the three strongest words today in the customer’s vocabulary, if you want to create profitability.” — Robert H. Bloom, author of The New Experts: Win Today’s Newly Empowered Customers at Their Four Decisive Moments

3.The reality of it is that we’re really at a perfect storm right now of a number of factors that are coalescing that are preventing salespeople from working.” — Jill Konrath, author of Snap Selling: Speed Up Sales and Win More Business with Today’s Frazzled Customers.

4. “It’s hard to imagine that anyone would be willing to do all the things that you need to do as a leader and make the sacrifices that are required to get extraordinary things done if his or her heart wasn’t in it.” — Barry Posner, co-author (with James Kouzes) of The Truth About Leadership: The No-Fads, Heart of the Matter Facts You Need to Know.

5. “Just being that little bit more informed, just being that much more attuned to what the pulse of the marketplace is saying about you will allow you to do a better job.” — Charlene Li, author of Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead.

6. “Is your product going to evolve towards being the absolute pinnacle of quality and the best at what it is, the highest fidelity, or is it going to evolve toward the idea of being super convenient. If it tries to continue to be too much of both, it’s never going to be enough of either.” — Kevin Maney, author of Trade-Off: Why Some Things Catch On, and Others Don’t.

7. “If you can’t keep it in your head, that means that you have to go find it, and you can’t just go and find it online or in books, you need to be able to connect to other people who are, kind of, your ‘guild of experts.’” — Karie Willyerd, co-author (with Jeanne Meister) of The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today.

8. “Viral marketing forces companies to have good after-sale service for their customers. If you don’t, you’re going to suffer.” — Adam Penenberg, author of Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today’s Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves.

9. “A weak leader seeks agreement and a fierce leader wants the truth.” — Susan Scott, author of Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and In Life One Conversation at a Time.

10. “Your customers will tell you how to get rich if you just ask them.” — Brian Tracy, author of How the Best Leaders Lead.

Last Chance: Soundview Live is Tomorrow!

Just wanted to put up a quick reminder to everyone that you still have time to sign up for Soundview Live featuring Brian Tracy! The event takes place tomorrow, Tuesday, September 21 at Noon (Eastern). It is your exclusive chance to hear one of the world’s foremost experts on business and excellence give you all-new insights into how your business can make even this tough economy one in which to shine.

Brian will deliver his presentation “Seven Ways to Maximize Your Profits” and debut content from his upcoming, sure-to-be bestseller Now Build a Great Business. Don’t forget that Soundview Live is your unique opportunity to ask best-selling authors questions that relate directly to your own company. Needless to say, Brian’s schedule demonstrates that he’s one of the most in-demand business and personal consultants on the planet. Grab the opportunity while you have it and sign up to be a part of our online audience.

And as I always remind everyone, if you are a current Soundview subscriber, this event is FREE! Also, if for some reason you miss your chance to hear the event live, an archived link of the event will be made available in the coming weeks.

Courage, Greatness and Your Business

It’s easy to admire someone for his or her business accomplishments. Magazines tout the visionaries who lead both the traditional brand superpowers and the up-and-coming houses of innovation. The press also enjoys shining the spotlight on “rock star” CEOs whose personalities often enhance an already prolific amount of business intelligence.

However, from time to time, we hear about someone whose bravery extends beyond the boardroom. The other day I was reading Brian Tracy’s blog and I found myself struck by the power of his simple message. Tracy, for those that aren’t aware, has been battling throat cancer over the past several months, a point he addresses in this blog post. For all of his achievments as a strategist, consultant, author and business visionary, one of his finest moments may be his taming of a very serious illness with equal parts courage and positivity.

I can admit here that Soundview had been in contact with Tracy during the period of his treatment. He spoke with determination and had an upbeat attitude the entire time. Despite undergoing treatment, Tracy gladly spoke of his book Now Build a Great Business. This book and its inspiring contents will be the subject of an upcoming edition of Soundview Live!

Tracy will speak on the topic of “Seven Ways to Maximize Your Profits.” I had the opportunity to review some of the material during our planning sessions, and I can honestly say that Tracy’s perspective amazes me. I really hope you can join us on Tuesday, September 21 at Noon (Eastern) for the next installment of Soundview Live. You’ll have the exclusive opportunity to ask Brian questions about your business, a value to which the thousands of organizations with whom Brian has worked can attest.

Don’t forget, if you’re a Soundview subscriber, you get to attend Soundview Live for FREE!