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Book Review: ‘Storytelling: The Indispensable Art of Entrepreneurism” by Rudy A. Mazzocchi


Storytelling isn’t only for writers or Hollywood producers, and this book is a great resource for people who are starting a business or venturing into the world of entrepreneurship.

In a simple, straight-forward language, often sprinkled with humor, Mazzocchi — who isn’t only an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year winner but also an award-winning medical thriller author — takes the reader through the process of developing their story to maximize success, especially when it comes to attracting investors.

Mazzocchi begins by defining what it truly means to be an inventor/founder entrepreneur as opposed to other titles, such as a start-up entrepreneur, and professional manager. He also explains what the art of entrepreneurism entails, stressing the importance of how the telling of the story needs to improve during the entrepreneurial journey or “it will fall off the cliff into the abyss.”

But how do you spin a visionary tale that has not yet happened, but could, and should happen? Mazzocchi compares this to trying to explain your dreams or fantasies to a stranger — they are real and exciting to you but difficult for others to appreciate. And even when you get your story across, why should they care? It is here that the author’s expertise comes into play, taking the reader through each part of the story and step of the process, from developing the “hook” to knowing your audience to keeping their interest, and more.

Storytelling is a fascinating read, chock-full of information, advice, and interesting “behind-the-scene” anecdotes from someone who’s been there and done that first-hand. Though it is primarily aimed at entrepreneurs, the wisdom of this book applies to many other careers and aspects of a person’s life. Reading this book is like having your own business mentor or coach guiding you every step of the way through the development of your story. Highly recommended!

Find out more on Amazon and Twilight Times Books.

Visit the author’s website.

My review was originally published in Blogcritics.


Top 5 Ways to Kill by Author Duane Harden

Duane Harden just doesn’t teach you theory but rather you learn through his very own life hands-on experiences that come along with building a strong portfolio of successful businesses, including residential and commercial real estate, a restaurant, a music company, and many more. He began with no financial education, but he was determined and inspired. Today he leads a Cash Flow Club where he mentors entrepreneurs on how to start and grow their business so they, too, can become financially free.

His latest book is 5 Easy Steps to Financial Freedom: Do What You Love & Get Rich Doing It.

Visit Duane Harden’s website at

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Top 5 Ways To Kill!

You and your friends have become experts at committing murder

Ideas take on a life of their own and you’ve come up with some really great ones especially on how to make money and get out of debt.  However, you and your accomplices are so use to committing murder you don’t realize when you’re doing it.  As soon as an idea starts to take shape in your mind like an embryo in it’s mother’s womb, you use your ninja style tactics to kill it rather than putting your talents to better use.

Here are the top 5 ways you’ve been trained as a “lethal weapon”:

#5 – Other peoples failures.  When I was opening my restaurant, I asked a fellow restaurateur who had just filed bankruptcy if I could take her out to lunch to discuss her experience.  She replied “of course” as long as I was willing to pay her a consultant fee.  Obviously, she thought I considered her an expert at opening and running a restaurant so much so that I would pay her for her advice.  I was only interested in learning what not to do.  Needless to say, that lunch date never happened as her response totally let me know why she was out of business.   I then thought about other people in my network who were restaurant owners.  When I asked them about their experience the biggest piece of advice they could give me was “don’t go into the restaurant business”.  Just because they were not successful in running their business doesn’t mean that I would suffer the same fate.  If I had listened to them I would have never opened.  Take advice from mentors who have been successful in the business you want to open as well as listen to mentors who have failed miserably so you can learn from their mistakes.

#4 – Co-workers.  You’re co-workers are probably just as miserable at their job as you are.  They don’t see a way out and how dare you think you can come up with the answer to creating a better life.  So remember this when you’re sharing your idea with them around the office water cooler.  Don’t let your enthusiasm wither way with their negative comments after you’ve shared with them how you’re going to escape from Alcatraz.  Their reactions are coming from the fact that you’re getting out and leaving them behind. Let their bad advice go in one ear and out the other.

#3 – Friends.  Who needs enemies when you have friends like these?  Seriously, the friends who don’t support you in your ideas are still your friends.  It’s just that they love you so much they don’t want to see you get hurt.  Let them know that you really do appreciate their concern and just want a listening ear.  They don’t have to understand what it is you want to do. Just be there for you. When I first started in real estate investing, I had some friends who were skeptical when I would say I was buying a house with 100% financing.  They just didn’t understand the concept.  I then realized that I had friends who were great for hanging out with and partying and another set of friends whom I could have intellectual conversations with or discuss business ideas.  They were all great friends I just had to figure out which bucket they fit into and tailor my conversations accordingly.

#2 – Family – I lead a Rich Dad, Poor Dad Cash Flow Club in Manhattan.  I often hear members say that their family doesn’t support them in their ideas.  That’s because they’ve seen you try so many before and failed.  It’s not that they don’t support you but rather react like your friends do.  They love you so much they don’t want to see you hurt again.  Just remember when responding to their reactions that most successful people are successful because they’ve gotten pretty good at failing.

#1 – You – You are your #1 Killer of ideas.  You allow your negative thoughts as well as those of others persuade you that your idea just won’t work.  You quit before you can ever get started. The moment you realize that all things are possible you’ll stop committing murder and letting your ideas come alive.

In my book “5 Easy Steps To Financial Freedom: Do What You Love & Get Rich Doing It” I teach you how to identify your idea killers by taking you through my “crabs in a pot” exercise.  I also show you ways to turn every negative into a positive so instead of being stopped you are propelled to pursue your dreams.  Stop killing ideas as you’ve been doing it long enough.  It’s time to learn to live.

MindStir Media J.J. Hebert says books should be treated as business

The publishing winds have changed direction and with that a new attitude among authors. Those who have been in the business long enough know the tricks. If you don’t treat your books as a business, you’ll never succeed.

MindStir Media J.J. Hebert interviewed at Virginia Beach Publishing Examiner today. Read full article here.

Startup Business Entrepreneur Cynthia Kocialski on ‘Startup from the Ground Up Virtual Book Tour’

Cynthia KocialskiJoin Cynthia Kocialski, as she tours the blogosphere February 1 – March 25 2011 to talk about her new startup business book, Startup from the Ground Up: Practical Insights for Entrepreneurs, (CreateSpace).

Cynthia Kocialski is the founder of three companies – two fabless semiconductor and one software company. In the past 15 years, she has been involved in dozens of start-ups and has served on various advisory boards. These companies have collectively returned billions of dollars to investors. Cynthia has worked with established companies to bring start-up techniques and technologies to corporations desiring to process improvement and efficiency.

Prior to her work in the start-up community, Cynthia has held a wide range of technical, marketing, and management positions at major corporations. At IBM, Cynthia began with financial software to facilitate the tracking of sales and inventory for international operations. She later moved into development and engineering management working of scientific workstations. Finally, Cynthia transitioned into technical marketing and strategic planning role for graphics and digital video components for personal computers. At Matrox, Cynthia was the general manager, overseeing the R&D area of digital video and image processing product lines,

Cynthia graduated of the University of Rochester with bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and applied statistics. She also has graduate degrees from the University of Virginia in both electrical engineering and systems engineering.

She also writes the popular Start-up Entrepreneurs’ Blog and has written many articles on emerging technologies.

Her latest book is Start Up from the Ground Up: Practical Insights for Entrepreneurs.

Start Up from the Ground UpMany entrepreneurs have that sudden spark of inspiration, that moment when an product idea is born, their minds start racing quickly with images of all its potential, jumping from one possibility to the next, and then their thoughts slowly settle and arrive at vision a futuristic company – one with crowds of customers beating at the doors of their new office building, inboxes overflowing with requests from the press wanting to interview the founders, and phone ringing with investors all wanting to get in on the deal. Finally, reality brings the entrepreneur’s thoughts to a screeching halt, “How do I go from this great idea to this great company. Where do I start?”

The idea is born, but you can only go so far with just an idea. Start-ups don’t fail because companies are unable to build a product; they fail because the business factors needed to bring that product into the market are either neglected or ignored. Practical, insightful and actionable, Startup from the Ground Up gets you moving down the right path and thinking in the right direction with tips, strategies, and techniques on how to launch a start up. Readers will discover:

  • Why it’s not enough just to have a great product
  • How to take a product concept and turn it into a full-fledged successful business
  • Why it is so important to start marketing your product as early as possible and how to get started
  • How to build a team and keep them, and why a team is more than founders and employees
  • If you seek outside funding, what investors will be looking for and how to entice them

Cynthia, founder of three companies, has worked with over 25 start-ups, and she knows that having a great product isn’t enough. You have to know how to get your product out in the marketplace. The quickest way to get any fledgling idea to realize its full potential, Startup from the Ground Up provides insight that ensures a proper foundation for success.

You can visit her website at

For more information on her virtual book tour, you can visit Cynthia’s official tour page here.

Start Up from the Ground Up

Pump Up Your Book is an innovative public relations agency specializing in online book publicity for authors looking for maximum online promotion to sell their books. Visit our website at to find out how we can take your book to the virtual level!

The Second-Half Adventure by Kay Marshall Strom l Q&A + Blog Tour

Kay Marshall Strom is the author of thirty-six published books, including her most recent, The Second-Half Adventure: Don’t Just Retire-Use Your Time, Skills & Resources to Change the World.  Her writing credits also include numerous magazine articles, short stories, curriculum, stories for children, two prize-winning screenplays, and booklets for writers.  Kay speaks at seminars, retreats, and special events throughout the country.  She and her husband Dan Kline love to travel, and more and more Kay’s writing and speaking take her around the word.  To find out more about Kay, or for contact information, check her website at

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Kay.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

This is book number 34 for me.  I have two others finished and scheduled for release, and am under contract for another fiction trilogy, that one set in India.

Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?

Special Women of the Bible, a book of 10 Bible stories for children featuring Bible women.  It was published by Concordia in the 1980s.

The Second-Half Adventure by Kay Marshall Strom (click on cover to purchase)

Actually, it was accepted by the first editor who saw it.  But here is why… I took the rough (and I mean rough!) manuscript to a writers’ conference, and while I was there, I learned much of what I should have known before I ever started. I rewrote the proposal and proposal chapters and got a second chance.  That’s part of the reason I’m such a proponent of good writers conferences.

Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?

Although I had that first book published right off, I certainly have experienced my share of rejection slips—so many I refuse to count them!  I always say it’s not time to give up until you have collected enough rejection slips to paper your bathroom.  Even the word “rejection” is too disheartening to remain in a writer’s vocabulary.  Writers absolutely must develop elephant-tough skin!

Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?

Concordia had a series of children’s books I just loved (the Arch books) and I longed to have my book be in that series.  It wasn’t, but I was very pleased with what they with it.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

I really thought I had achieved my ultimate dream.  My family and I celebrated by going out to a Chinese restaurant for dinner.  That’s became a tradition, by the way.  Still today, when a new book comes out, we go out to a Chinese restaurant to celebrate.  Now, with a higher advance, I can also get egg rolls!

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

My mother-in-law arranged for a book signing at a huge Christian bookstore in San Diego, California, where she lived.  I took four outfits to the book signing, because I could not decide what to wear.   Also, I wrote up a press release for our local newspaper, which resulted in my first ever speaking engagement.

Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?

Nope!  Writers conference is the route I suggest to writers all the time.

Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

Oh, let me count the ways!  My first three books were all written in long hand.  Can you believe it?  But here’s the main way I’ve grown as an author:  Back then, I said to an editor, “Tell me what you will publish and I will write it.”  Now I say, “I am writing from my own burning passion.  I’d love to have you publish it, but if you say no, I shall write it anyway.”

Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up?  What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?

In my urgency to stay published, I tried hard to be all things for all editors.  I wasn’t and never can be.  It took many years for me to find my own passions and write to them.

Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

My last ten or so books concern the general theme of calling the Church in the U.S. to find it’s place in the worldwide body of Christ.  When I first started this—right after September 11, 2001—one publisher after another told me, “Face it, Kay, Christians in American simply don’t care about people outside our borders.”  My biggest achievement is helping to prove them wrong.

Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

Well, my original profession was elementary school teacher.  That was pretty cool.  One time a little boy in my class was making a safety poster and he drew his house with a bunch of old wood piled up in back.  Then, with typical third grade spelling, he wrote his caption:  Old broads are dangerous.  I loved that poster!  Whether writer, teacher, or whatever, I want to be a dangerous old broad!

Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

I have been able to combine the two, because I’ve had the opportunity to teach writing.  I love that!

Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?

Well, about three years older, but otherwise, just about the same as now: Still pumping out the books and still loving every minute of it.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Never give up!  Keep on writing. Everyone gets better and better; no one gets worse and worse.

Kay Marshall Strom is on a virtual book tour throughout the months of January and February 2010.  If you’d like to see her official tour page, click here.

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