It's time for you to get street smart and double your income

There are books for investing, and then there are books for starting a business. While starting a business might be a form of investing, it really does warrant its own sub-genre - and right at the top of this reading list should be the very insightful 'Street Smarts', by Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham.

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Why should you listen to Norm Brodsky? Because Brodsky has proved time and time again that he knows what it takes to succeed in business; that's why he's recognised as one of America's serial entrepreneurs. He's founded no fewer than six successful businesses, starting with the messenger service which he launched way back in 1979. His ability to communicate his ideas through books and magazine articles is also evident - this is a man who is the editor of Inc magazine.

And why should you listen to Bo Burlingham? Well, he's another great communicator and has already authored no fewer than four books, which have been published by Penguin. Burlingham has seen the digital business era unfold under his eyes, and his involvement with Inc magazine began all the way back in 1983.

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Street Smarts focuses on what it takes to succeed in business and encourages entrepreneurs to cast aside any preconceptions or ready-made formulas which they may have had in mind. The book is an adaptation of the popular Street Smarts column, which Burlingham and Brodsky have co-written together. They have put together some best bits into a comprehensive guide which takes the form of this tome.

If you've struggled with business financials, and have scratched your head when looking at all the key stats pertaining to your own money, Street Smarts can offer a refreshing perspective on how to look at these key figures.

It's also packed with experiences, which makes Street Smarts helpfully practical. It is all very well someone telling you how something should be done, but by bringing the book to life with examples, Street Smarts is on to a winner.

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While Street Smarts is a book for investing which is written so it's easy to understand, it is by no means simplistic - just free from much of the business jargon which sounds nice but has little meaning.

The book advocates undergoing an outside review before entering into any business venture and urges budding business owners to presume that they have been over-optimistic in their aims, encouraging a dose of objectiveness. Then there is the section on accountants, which makes it clear that, while these finance professionals are experts with money, they do not necessarily have the ability to deliver insights in a business sense.

On the subject of employees, Street Smarts asks readers to consider keeping a distance of sorts between themselves and their employees. After all, should you become real friends with your employees, how hard is it to make the tough decisions which count?

Where Street Smarts might really appeal across the board is its ability to transfer the principles it sets out to most kind of small businesses - this is a book for financial success.

So, if you're just starting a new business and are looking for practical advice, or are in a management position and are after tips to improve the way you operate - Street Smarts can act as a valuable handbook on the way to approach recurrent situations.

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