If you were all anthropologists (or perhaps religious studies buffs) I would tell you that Michael Port's Book Yourself Solid is a modern hagiography. Reading, something like: how to do business with love.
He offers, I suppose, through his book=information product his well-modulated speaking and guiding voice to the hopeful and emerging service business professional, to blot out those dark, perhaps, honest statements that our best friends tell us. Many embattled road warriors also admit to having lost some essential part of their souls. 'They say': the economy is depressed, the market is going to implode, your business will fail, over one-half of all new businesses fail in x years; this is not practical, you should listen to reason, give up!
Michael Port spares a sentence or two to use your head, this includes doing research. He probably should emphasize the latter a little more. What he offers instead, within a practical framework, is some light. Some questions. Why not go big? Why not go bigger? Have you considered that you are meant to serve some folks, and not others? And, is it not 'nearly criminal' for you NOT to get off your butt and find those people? After all, people express their values by what they purchase. (Authors John Eckblad & David Kiel, explore the archeology of finances, in their 'If your Life were a Business, would you Invest in it?) Michael does say, if you are a service professional and don't want to 'serve' then get out now.
As a product of his time, Michael offers, in a James C Scott, kind-of-way a moral economy of words. The book is for sale, coaching is for sale. And, as any good guide, he asks us to enter into an experiment, a dispensation of belief. In this 'as if' world, the 'real economy' is not dollars, but heart. Albeit, the engine, is showing up to do the grunt work.
Listen, as my father who just turned eighty-six says, 'the proof is in the pudding.' This book is a well-bound workbook. It is a dialogue with exercises. When I read the free chapter on how to have a sales conversation I felt like a 'fish drawn to water.' Obviously, I needed to get in the pond and get wet. I sought out the hard cover copy at the local Indigo/Chapters (sorry Amazon) and paid the full, Canadian dollar equivalent of $31.00 plus 15% tax. No saving my money here!
Why? Because I am: (1) committed to my business, and (2) need to book clients solid. The book is a gem if you have this need. It contains a few surprises if you read it-all. Behind this book is a community; smart people who are bold enough to share while on the run. Is Michael Port the Messiah? No. (I am voting for Guy Kawasaki: The Art of Start is a time-tested, battle-hardened Guide for starting anything.) Did Michael Port save my life? No. Has diligently reading through this book moved my business forward? Yes.
PS. I ran into a business colleague today. I mentioned that I was just finishing the last chapter and last class of the 16 week Book Yourself Solid course on-line. I had never done something that radical before, I said'and I researched it thoroughly. 'Oh, I have that book,' she said. 'I haven't got past the beginning but I really liked Michael Port's Red Velvet Rope Policy. That made such an impact on me that I fired my first client ever. I even sent back a cheque. It was the hardest thing to send back real money. But I read that and thought, who needs the aggravation? Would you recommend the course?'