• Review: On Becoming a Leader

    Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal development, career, or entrepreneurship book. Knowing how to be a leader – and using that skill from time to time – opens doors for you no matter what you’re doing in life. It helps your career. It helps your social standing. It creates a positive reputation …

  • Is Your Work Too Important?

    “One of the symptoms of approaching nervous breakdowns is the belief that one’s work is terribly important. If I were a medical man, I should prescribe a holiday to any patient who considered his work important.” – Bertrand Russell, The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell When I worked at my previous job, I always felt like …

  • When One Partner Is Self-Employed

    Whenever I mention that I’m self-employed and work from home while my wife works outside of the home, I usually receive a question or two from readers who are thinking about a similar arrangement. They want to know about how we balance things. How do you balance household chores? How do you balance parenting chores? …

  • 15 Ways to Be a Leader Today – or Any Day

    Three years ago, one of my mentors was debating internally about how to handle a personnel situation. There were enough funds to employ one person. The performance of one worker was better overall, but the other worker often showed flashes of brilliance and was trusted more by his coworker. In the end, the decision was …

  • Review: Basic Black

    Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal development, personal productivity, entrepreneurship, or career book. For the first time ever, I’m reviewing a book as a result of an impassioned plea from one specific reader. Susan, however, is one special reader. She started reading The Simple Dollar in early November 2006, right as the …

  • What Is a “Good Job”?

    During my senior year of high school, after I had learned that I had received enough scholarships to attend a major university, I sat down and studied all of the majors that were available to me. Two of them really stood out, due to my personal interests: English and mathematics. Unfortunately, as soon as I …

  • Review: The Assertiveness Workbook

    Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal development, personal growth, or career book. Over the past several months, I’ve reviewed a lot of books about entrepreneurship, building relationships with others, and climbing the career ladder. All of these techniques have one thing in common: they require you to stand up for yourself and …

  • Eleven Things You Can Do Today to Fall Behind Financially

    Financial success is something that’s built up slowly over time. It’s not something that happens in one giant rush (unless you’re very lucky) – instead, it’s the culmination of a lot of little choices made over many years. Every day, we’re faced with lots of choices. Good choices lead us down that path towards financial …

  • Review: Escape from Cubicle Nation

    Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal development, personal productivity, or career book. Several months ago, I wandered upon Pamela Slim’s excellent blog, Escape from Cubicle Nation. In a nutshell, the blog covers the transition from working in a cubicle (i.e., a traditional job) to self-employment – and all of the issues in …

  • Enlightened Self-Interest

    Jim writes in: You write all the time about just helping people and that it will somehow help you. I don’t see it. I understand how it’s beneficial to help someone who can obviously help you, but what benefit is there for helping others beyond the idea that it’s the right thing to do? Before …

  • The Netflix Culture of Excellence – and How to Capture It In Your Own Life

    Yesterday, I stumbled across a brilliant presentation on Netflix’s corporate culture, via Jason Kottke’s website. The presentation did a brilliant job of outlining how Netflix has used an atypical corporate culture to build a very successful business. Here’s that presentation: Culture View more presentations from reed2001. In fact, successful is an understatement in describing Netflix. …

  • Review: Career Renegade

    Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a career, entrepreneurship, personal productivity, or personal development book. Perhaps it’s just my perspective, but there seem to be a lot of books out there right now that seem to encourage people to make a radical change in their careers. I think these books all come from a …

  • Putting the Strength of Weak Ties to Work

    While doing research for my book, I’ve been spending some time digging into building friendships and relationships with people around you. How valuable are they, really? How can you make them more valuable? Are online relationships valuable at all, or just a distraction? In the process of researching these topics, I dug into a famous …

  • Makers and Managers: What You Are, and How It Can Help Your Career

    And now for something a little different… I recently read a fantastic article by Paul Graham entitled Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule, in which Graham outlines that people who “make” things run by a much different work schedule than those who “manage” things. A key excerpt: There are two types of schedule, which I’ll call the …

  • The Best Career Advice, in Ten Words or Less

    After the huge success of asking for the best money advice in ten words or less, I decided to repeat the experiment. About a week ago, I challenged my followers on Twitter to give me their best single piece of career advice in ten words or less. Again, I was flooded with responses. After spending …

  • Does Earning More Trump Frugality?

    Milton writes in with a good question, worthy of discussion: I don’t see why I should spend fifteen minutes making a batch of homemade laundry detergent just to save a few bucks when I could spend that fifteen minutes building my career. Most “frugality tips” seem like a waste of time. Let’s say you have …

  • Ten Unusual Ways to Improve Your Appearance of Confidence That Really Work

    I’ve seen it over and over again: the person in the office with self-confidence is the one that gets the plum assignments. The promotions. The raises. The recognition. The others, who sit back quietly, get left behind (and sometimes resent it). For a long time, I was one of the resentful folks. I had a …

  • Review: The Adventures of Johnny Bunko

    Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a career, personal productivity, personal development, or entrepreneurship book of interest. Without really paying attention, I picked up Daniel Pink’s book The Adventures of Johnny Bunko at the library. I just glanced at the cover, noting the subtitle (“The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need”) and that it …

  • 480 Ways to Make More Money Today

    If you’re like a lot of Simple Dollar readers, you’re reading this article at the start of your work day (and if you’re not, imagine you are, at the start of your next work day). You’ve got a pile of things to do today, some of them urgent, but many of them not so urgent. …