Updated on 08.10.09

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Never Eat Alone Book Club Edition

Trent Hamm

The recent Total Money Makeover book club seems to have been a huge success. Two times a week seems to work, and focusing on discussion-oriented points in the book made it quite interesting as well.

As a result, I’m going to follow it with another book club, starting on Wednesday, September 2. This time, I’ll be focusing on Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz, which was actually the most requested book when I asked for suggestions for the next book club. It focuses on how to build value-based relationships with others, mostly in a professional context, but the ideas really work in every avenue of life.

Given that Never Eat Alone is a bit longer book, the book club will likely be a bit longer, too, stretching to seven or eight weeks. As before, there will be entries twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Don’t be afraid to jump into the discussions of this one! I think it’ll be quite fun.

And now, for some interesting and relevant links. Please note that I usually post twenty or thirty interesting links a week to my del.icio.us site and I pick ten or so from that to post here, so if you’d like to see the links as I find them, check out that page.

A Message to Those Confused About Career Direction It’s normal NOT to know what you want. It took me most of a decade to figure it out and there’s still times I believe I don’t have it perfect. The biggest challenge is that we often want conflicting things – things that simply cannot coexist. Figuring this out can be a real challenge. (@ soul shelter)

How to Make a Million Dollars While Eating Lunch The idea is simple: if you take one simple action and repeat it over a very long timeframe, you’ll have huge success. Her example of the “million dollar lunch” involves trimming lunch down by about $6 per workday then socking that into a Roth IRA, netting you $1M over 41 years. (@ millionaire mommy next door)

Why I Stopped Being Paranoid and Started Using Mint I’m still paranoid. I still have not seen the reason to use Mint (and share my personal info) that isn’t met by personal software at home that doesn’t allow any of your info to pass through a third party. It feels like you’re just increasing your likelihood of identity theft (however slightly) without any real net benefit. What does Mint do that Quicken does not? (@ smarterware)

Top 5 Economy Based Board Games that Make You Think The board games are Agricola, Puerto Rico, Power Grid, Caylus, and Le Havre. All of them are excellent games that mirror the nature of economics in various ways. If you’re playing just one that mirrors economics, I’d probably suggest Power Grid. My favorite game for playing of the five is either Puerto Rico or Agricola – I adore them both. (@ wisebread)

The Power of Resourcefulness This is one worth thinking about a little bit. Peeing in the shower seems unsanitary at first glance, then perhaps not really all that useful upon second thought. But if you’re able to do it while doing other things (such as washing your hair), you can actually save significant water – a toilet tank full. Baker expands the idea, carrying it forward into a general discussion about resourcefulness. (@ man vs. debt)

The False Lure of Multi-Level Marketing The biggest problem I have with MLM systems is that it basically encourages people to abuse their friendships by guilting their friends into buying stuff they don’t want. Ever been invited to a Tupperware party or a Pampered Chef party? They’re just painful – a person trying to cajole their friends into buying stuff that their friends don’t want. The friends do it, even though they don’t want to, but they resent it a little – they feel like they’re being used. Never mind the fact that the salesperson rarely makes very much money anyway. Sounds like a big lose to me. (@ free money finance)

The Five-Day Freeze: Batch Cooking for the Rest of Us Batch cooking simply means preparing meals or other foodstuffs in advance and freezing them in quantities such that they can be easily thawed and used. The article mentions eggs (in the form of quiche), cookies, zucchini, hamburger, and peppers, but those options just scratch the surface. If you have a lot of freezer space, techniques like this pay off left and right. (@ wisebread)

“Try Something Eight Times Before You Give Up.” So many people try something once or twice, decide it’s not for them, and give it up. What I’ve often found is that if you try something a good number of times – like eight – the value often only becomes apparent after multiple tries, and then it becomes a very valuable tradition. The two big examples I can think of are cooking at home – you have to try it a lot of times before you start producing something worthwhile – and strategic board games like Agricola and Puerto Rico, which don’t really shine until you’ve played them many times and everyone knows the rules well. Established traditions and skills can be beautiful parts of one’s life. (@ happiness project)

Overweight And In Debt: The Correlation Between Weight Gain And Pocket Drain Clearly, there’s some overlap between overspending and overeating. We need to spend and eat to survive in the world, but without some self-control, one can easily overeat and overspend, both of which are dangerous. I think it’s a stretch to say that all overweight people are in debt, which is what the title might lead you to believe, but I agree there are some similar psychological principles at work here. (@ frugal dad)

For the Self-Employed, It’s an Endless Workweek The “endless workweek” is a real danger for anyone who’s self-employed. Self-employment can really blur the boundaries between work and personal life, and quite often that means that work can dominate everything. I often feel like I’m in this position; my solution is to put up some strong barriers in time/life that work cannot cross, no matter what. (@ wall street journal)

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  1. korgo says:

    food is always the killer for me, i always buy expensive food.

  2. Kevin M says:

    Can’t wait for the Never Eat Alone book club, it’s a book I need to read to expand my reach professionally. This will give me a great excuse to get off my butt and do it.

  3. Gabriel says:

    Great article! “A message to those confused about career direction” – isn’t that most of us? I liked where it was coming from. I myself like to dabble in lots of business enterprises, since I haven’t really made my mind up yet. Glad to know I’m not alone!

  4. I’m with Gabriel. I haven’t really locked in on one specific career with one specific direction. I’m still exploring and looking for my options.

    This book sounds like a book I need to read, as I tend to like to eat lunch alone and read the WSJ, but I know that I’m losing valuable relationship-building and networking time.

    Looking forward to it,


  5. momof4 says:

    I missed the direct sales post the other day and see you’ve kind of echoed it again today. I think you’re perspective is skewed, because it’s something that YOU don’t like so it must be that we all feel that way. I’ve been doing direct sales via the home party plan for over 4 years, managing and training a sales team as well. I checked my numbers this morning and I’ve personally sold $109,080.00 in product in my career. Less than 1% of those sales have been made with family and friends ( No business survives selling just to family or friends, not direct sales or a hardware store or any other kind of business). As of today my income has been nearly 90k total. I have always shown a profit and paid taxes on my earnings, as opposed to taking a loss. Just today I’ve had 2 phone calls and 4 emails ( no Joke! today was an unusually busy day) from people who are looking to purchase product from me, just individual orders, not a party. Clearly somebody out there must actually like the product in order for me to be bringing in a paycheck. I don’t know that many people! Obviously there are direct sales opportunities that are bad, and unethical sales reps that prey on those who are desperate for cash or who get swindled into purchasing product without fully knowing or understanding the business. That’s a shame and it happens in all types of businesses. I think that direct sales can be a good source of income with the right product for the right person at the right time. I think a better post would be how to evaluate a home business opportunity to see if it is right for you ( and for many people the answer is no).
    email me if you ever want any additional info.

  6. thebaglady says:

    Thanks for the link to my boardgames article Trent. I think it is really cool that you are into these board games because a lot of folks have never even heard of them. I can’t wait until my kid is old enough so I could play these games with him.

  7. Wish I hadn’t missed “The Total Money Makeover” book club, but I for sure won’t be missing this one. Definitely something anyone in business needs to know – how to network and build meaningful relationships, and how to make use of those relationships pertaining to your career.

  8. Ram says:

    looking forward to “never eat alone” discussion.. i have just placed a hold at a local library – i will be reading the book along with the discussion here – hope i will receive the book in another week.

  9. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    momof4: since most of my comments relate to the dangers of selling to family and friends, I’m not sure exactly what you’re defensive about. Clearly, you’re not selling to family and friends.

    However, if you’ve managed to sell $100K of product to people who aren’t family members or friends…. I can’t help but think you could be making a lot more for yourself as a salesperson directly employed by a company.

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