The Cats of laughing Thunder

The Cats of Laughing Thunder, Guide for Kids and Money, an e-book copyright by ThinkerBlox, written by S. S. Curtis, MBA, JD.

Following a disclaimer, nineteen chapters of advice for children on money and how to save, invest and use it are offered. A simple introduction is followed by six chapters giving suggestions to all with respect to starting your own business; working for someone else; allowances; gifts; saving money. These are set forth in a manner that can be understood by quite young children. The followed chapters contain subject matter that perhaps may be of greater interest to those somewhat older, but still couched in appropriately understandable language. Specifically, these offer material about compounding; first account; needs versus wants; budget; productive spending; debt; investing, certificate of deposit; bonds; stocks; real estate; charity; the human brain and money. A twentieth chapter provides author’s websites and in turn, is followed by a brief biography of the author and the source of her series name. The volume finishes with excerpts from coming books.

Summary: A short book of explanations and suggestions with respect to management of money directed toward children, even of quite young age.

5* for targeted audience.


BUDGETING, an e-book published, copyright and written by Noel Bradshaw.

Subtitled “How to take control of your money, reduce debt and start living” the book then presents a legal notice declaring copyright, a disclaimer notice declaring innocence of any expressed or implied warranties and non-responsibility for any losses incurred from reading the document. There follows a Table Of Contents, an Introduction, 6 pertinent chapters and a conclusion. The introduction acknowledges the complexity and extensive range provided by the subject but indicates that the basics are the subject of this book. Chapter One then explains that a person must begin “to first get a big picture what it (the budget) is part of, which is personal finance management.” It continues by discussing “needs”, “current position” and “future needs”, explains “cash flow” and elements affecting it and introduces “Budgeting”. Chapter Two explains differences between “good” and “bad” debts and “Budgeting and Debts”. Chapter Three details the importance of having a plan and the importance of “mindset”. Four concentrates on minimizing expenses, expands on the importance of mind set, stresses the need to set goals and stick to them, discusses the difference between needs and wants and suggests alternative means of saving/gaining extra monies. Chapter five is about “Investing in Your Future” specifying simple formulas for saving for the future and risk factors to be considered. Chapter Six considers the subject of “Bad Debts”, the need to address them, how best to handle them and considerations for gaining additional income. The Conclusion offers hope that the author’s suggestions will be helpful to the reader. Two Annexes are provided – A: “Sample Contingent Savings Approach Budget”; B: “Sample Prioritized Savings Approach Budget”.

Discussion/Conclusion: The author, as indicated, has attempted to provide the basics of ‘Budgeting’ in a quite simplistic manner directed toward the neophyte and/or the individual who is prone to ‘let things slide’ and/or the one who may be inclined toward being overly influenced by action of peers.

4* Simply presented discussion probably helpful for targeted audience.

Acquired, What Now?

AQUIRED, NOW WHAT? ISBN: 9780692143384 Vigilant Press, an e-book Copyright and written by Keno Vigil.

Following the title, the author admonishes the reader to “Embrace the flux and uncertainty of M&A and become a savvy and bulletproof business professional. Your Journey Awaits.” The book then provides 30 chapters detailing a mass of material required for dealing with and successfully surviving a merger or acquisition of the company of which one is an employee. The first three chapters detail the need for such material because of the huge number of these transactions which occur yearly. Involved not only are small ‘start-ups’, but medium and large companies as well, each of which may be involved in friendly or unfriendly negotiations and may be of equal or unequal size. The next 6 chapters explain much about the circumstances and the learning process the author personally had endured when he had been involved in 6 such situations. The rest of the chapters present myriad suggestions of the many steps one can take before the event occurs, during the transition and beyond the immediate transition period. The almost countless differences that may exist between one’s former employer and the new one also are examined and certain chapters deal especially with such specifics as: “The Acid Test: Will You Survive or Not?; Pillow Talk that discusses discussion with family/partners; The New Culture that describes the often almost completely incomprehensible new usage/meanings of words/abbreviations; Does Your Boss Have Your Back; Taking Care of Your Group; and more.

Discussion: the author appears to have provided a treasure trove of thoroughly up-to-date suggestions for any individual facing a situation in which he/she is, or is about to be, involved in a M&A. Most prevalent throughout is emphasis on the vital need for adaptability, ability to regulate your emptions, and to employ your intelligence, integration and innovative abilities to their fullest. Proper interpretation of nuances also may be vital. Most helpfully included are a list of 10 factors that provide an “Acquisition Fitness Score” and 6 “Integration Strategies. Included at the end of the book are: Appendix A: Provides Further detail on “The Survival Fitness Analysis Worksheet and Score”; Appendix B: Key M&A Terms. There also are 20 specific References, another list of short references; and finally more short details “About the Author”.

5* Seemingly a must read for anyone subject to changes effected by M&A.

Profitable Conservation

Profitable Conservation ISBN: 9780997087925, Gypsy Road Publishing, copyright and written by Mark Aspelin.

The author’s basic thought in presenting this book is to demonstrate that it is possible to engage in conservation methods that benefit wildlife, biodiversity and still be profitable for business with the additional plea for everyone to participate in this greatly needed endeavor, even in a small but thoughtful manner. He begins by explaining that he received a reality check in the Saiwa Swamp National Park in East Africa while working there as part of the International Crane Foundation. He was approached by a local tribal leader who asked if he could help them gain business acumen. He could not help, but decided to return to gain an MBA and from here he acquired a myriad of jobs associating businesses with conservation and biodiversity. He approaches this many sided subject by dividing it into 3 Parts. Part 1 “A Primer on Green Business Strategies and Biodiversity Conservation.” consists of 2 chapters that provide “A Primer on Green Business Strategies from a Business Perspective” and “A Primer on Biodiversity from a Conservative-Biology Perspective”. Part 2, Profitable Conservation Strategies for Wildlife and Biodiversity” consists of chapters 3 through 7 and reviews areas of Habitat Destruction and ways to avoid them; Profitable conservation methods to employ against Invasive Species; methods to employ against Pollution, Climate change and Ocean Acidification; Overharvesting; Sustainability Reporting; The Biodiversity Section. Part 3, Chapters 8 through 12 discuss Profitable Conservative Case Study Natura (Brazil); that of BHP Billiton in Australia and the United Kingdom; Walmart in the United States; NEC Corporation in Japan; a Conclusion calling the world to action “One Purchase at a Time”, Don’t Litter and “Make Your Land Permeable to Wildlife”. A Few Parting Words are offered along with a Glossary.

Discussion: The author has presented one of the most all-encompassing discussions of the mass of knowledge and activity that conservation entails this reviewer ever has read. Further, he has provided this material in a very readable form, yet supplied each chapter with a wealth of corroborative references for the interested reader to pursue further if desired. This is a book that any and every one with even a modicum of interest in the world in which we live definitely should read. Parenthetically, it presents an ‘eye-opening’ account of how seriously large businesses throughout the world are engaging in conservation and biodiversity methods and offers simple suggestions for each individual to participate by their own daily efforts.

5* Highly recommended for any and all world residents.


Go Slow to Grow Fast

Go Slow to Grow Fast ISBN: 9781946633477. Forbes Books copyright and written by Brent R. Tilson.

The author opens with an introduction explaining his early moves and development as an entrepreneur, his early positions and final decision to proceed with his own entrepreneurial activity. Specifically his activity is aiding big business owners to avoid the trap suffered by so many. According to an MIT study, 1 in every 4 high growth businesses fail within 6 years and one of the most important affects actually, the company’s largest investment item, the employees. Frequently in fast growing companies a culture clash occurs between seasoned and new employees. Here, a way to avoid this difficulty is presented along with precise ways of avoiding and/or remedying the other numerous problems resulting from growing too big too fast.

The material is presented in eight chapters using driving an automobile and problems encountered therewith as a template for comparison. Chapter 1 is Losing Traction followed by Slipping out of gear, Overheating, Into the Garage, Shifting the Operations Gear, Shifting the People Gear and Driving and Thriving.

Discussion: Some of the many problems encountered will be familiar to individuals running ‘big’ businesses. For each of these the author provides a workable answer. Included among them, besides moral and decrease in average tenure of employees, are such matters as loss of a major client, operational weaknesses, weak performance management practices and more. There are a growing number of books dealing with business problems today. All seem to offer large amounts of helpful suggestions. This is the first I have read that targets that specific group of businesses, and there seem to be a growing number, that have experienced rapid growth. This would appear to be required reading for such an audience before the problems encountered become too big and disaster sets in. Parenthetically, the closing statement by the author regrettably may not ‘set too well’ with some readers. However, this reviewer was particularly impressed with the author’s final statement. He graciously acknowledges numerous individuals who have been helpful in his obviously successful career and has the commendable temerity to end with “Finally, I am thankful to be covered by the grace of my Lord Jesus Christ, without him I am nothing.”

5* Especially for targeted group.




Interrupted Entrepreneurship

Interrupted Entrepreneurship ISBN: 9781946633361, Forbes Books by Ramėz A. Baassiri.

The subject of Baassiri’s book is to provide information with respect to retaining a business through many generations. According to a compilation of statistical facts, this indeed is a daunting task. The author’s research discovered that “…even though family firms make up two-thirds of the businesses around the world, they struggle to survive beyond generation one” and that “only about 30 per cent of family firms make this transition successfully, while only 10-15 percent make it to generation three and only 3-4 percent make it to generation four. What’s more, it is estimated that 70 percent of a family’s inheritance is lost by the second generation and 90 percent is gone by the third generation.” The author, desirous of extending his own family business researched further and discovered that “those families that do survive are the ones willing to keep an eye on new horizons. Just because a business model or product has worked in the past doesn’t mean it will continue to do so, and while innovative diversification and delving into something altogether new could be disruptive (IE), it is an opportunity to negotiate a new path.” He then provides numerous examples of families who did just this followed with seven more chapters expanding upon how his family accepted a powerful key interruption and the adjustments they had made and how expansion of earlier preparations aided. These he followed with an eighth extolling the need for forward, positive thinking.

Discussion/Conclusion: The author has provided a template upon which to extend a family business for countless generations. Among many suggestions offered are: “Live what you love and love what you do” and to “hone your skills toward what you love to excel in”. Also included are the necessity to believe in yourself, openly communicate, be trustworthy and able to trust other family members, establish a sound basic constitution (actually similar to that of the U.S.) for running the business, avoid confrontations among the ‘board’ with respect to hiring, firing and other minutia, and above all, the CEO must be resilient, self-controlled and forward-looking with respect to entrepreneurial interruptions. The book, as so often seems to happen, offers description and suggestions somewhat repetitively throughout the chapters. However, the material provided is well documented and even scholarly in its presentation with a quite impressive list of 210 references. Thus, it is a must read for any individual running a family business or anyone anticipating such action. Also immensely interesting material as collateral knowledge for the intellectually curious.

5* Must read for family owned business; fascinating for intellectually curious.