REVIEWS FOR Taking the Mystery Out of Business

June Maffin, Book Reviewer, Bookpleasures

Running a business – a good business – is work. No doubt about it. The author recognizes this and focuses on the “how-to’s” of professional success in a delightful, conversational way making this book a “must-read” for those about to begin a new business venture and seasoned small business owners alike.

Linda Faulkner began her business career over thirty years ago and her experience in every function within an insurance agency coupled with the ability to write – and write well - result in a compact, hard-hitting, easy-to-read book filled with honesty, forthrightness, encouragement, wisdom and a straight-forward dose of reality. She grabs the reader at the first sentence: “Clueless is a dangerous place to be.” And from that point on, the reader is on a journey with an experienced and wise mentor who skillfully guides the reader away from a state of cluelessness to self-confidence.

While this is an easy read, it’s a book to be reckoned with on several levels for it offers both practical advice for those involved in small businesses – and life in general. Much commonsense is sprinkled throughout the book – nuggets of tips and hints such as “Attitude is the single most important element of success;” and “How you interact with people, your levels of perception and compassion, your sense of humor, your generosity and sincerity … dictate whether people like and trust you. In business, you won’t go far if you’re not likeable or trustworthy.” See what I mean? That last sentence could easily be rephrased for a self-help book about life’s lessons: “In life, you won’t go far if you’re not likeable or trustworthy.”

But, back to the business world. If you want to know how to identify villains and avoid mayhem, murder, and perhaps even professional suicide in the business world, “Taking the Mystery Out of Business” is for you. It’s quite a different approach from Shepherd Mead’s satirical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” because to be a success in the business world, one must not only try, one must learn - and work. And Faulker tells the reader just how to do that through her identification of nine fundamentals for professional success: Mental Attitude; Research; Resources; Essential Business Knowledge; Relationship; Organization; Time Management; Money; and Customer Attention.

What sets this book apart from other similar books? After each chapter, Faulkner gives a brief review and then provides an assignment of a series of questions based on the particular chapter – and, at the end of the book, gives an overview summary of the book - excellent pedagogy.

I suspect that Faulkner facilitates her workshops the way she writes: casual, informative, approachable, articulate and positive, sharing personal highlights (even those learning opportunities when things didn’t go exactly as planned) and the wisdom she has garnered over decades in the business world. So, whether you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur about to begin a new venture, already a small business owner and want to increase your income or reduce your expenses, an MBA student wanting to grasp the basics of business entrepreneurialship, or someone who would welcome learning how to be successful in life, this 190 page book is for you.

Janel Queen, Director of Career Advancement, School of Business, Administration, University of Montana

Yes, Clueless is a dangerous place to be!  That’s why regardless of whether someone is a budding entrepreneur, a new graduate just getting started, or an experienced professional, Linda’s book is a must read! For those who haven’t run a business or managed people, it might save their career or their business. For those who’ve already been at it for a while, it’s a gentle reminder of important concepts and good business practices. Her customer service stories and principles are outstanding illustrations of what to do and not do. 
The way Linda writes makes reading her book enjoyable and memorable – which makes it very useful as well. Her examples help make it real for newbies so they don’t have to learn the hard way and gently reminds veteran business managers, as well. Linda’s book really is an arsenal of tools and resources to help managers and their businesses succeed.  I can see myself referring back to the book regularly--I’ve been at this a while!


Exactly as promised!, (5 of 5 stars on Amazon)

This business book "delivers the goods" exactly as promised. I've seen textbooks that weigh in at 20 pounds and contain the same information, but in less palatable form. As a current business owner, I discovered ideas and concepts I wish I'd known from the start.

Who will benefit from Faulkner's book?
·         Anyone who's considering a business venture. The seven scenarious of why businesses fail (page 37) are worth the cost of the book.
·         Anyone who operates a business and needs to increase income or cut costs.
·         Managers and employees who want to excel and grow.
·         Experienced professionals who need a refresher course.
·         Business students who want to master the basics without spending $140 on a giant textbook.
You can't go wrong -- this book is worth the money!


Do more, earn more, and enjoy more with your small business (5 of 5 stars on Amazon)

"Taking The Mystery Out Of Business: 9 Fundamentals for Professional Success" by Linda Faulkner is a quick book to read with a lot of practical advice regarding not just business, but life itself. Yes, it is primarily aimed at business, but some of the advice will help a person in any organization and even family life. Faulkner illustrates her points with both research and personal examples. At the end of each chapter, she provides an assignment, which if you actually take the time to answer the questions she poses, will result in a plan to take your business to a higher level... I think one of the most important things that comes through with this book is Faulkner's positive and optimistic outlook and attitude... If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner who wants some suggestions and tips as how to better run your business and succeed, Faulkner's quick read will motivate you and set you in the right direction." - Alain Burrese, J.D.


"While the book is aimed for those who are full-time business people, there are things a writer can learn to deal with the business side of publishing ... Some of the topics that I found most helpful were having the right mental attitude, relationships, organization, and time management ... I highly recommend this book for all writers. Linda has the background and expertise to be totally credible, and the book is written in a comfortable, easy to understand style." -- Maryann Miller, editor, journalist, columnist


"Having known her for several years, I've learned that Linda Faulkner and I agree on  many things, business-wise: honesty in all relationships, excellent "bend-over-backwards" customer service, the best possible product delivered, and the importance of networking--the right way! I'm pleased Linda has taken the time to share her business experience and expertise in book form, because she does it as a matter-of-course in her everyday life with her many business associates."  -- Bill Samsoe, Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce