July 18th, 2010

Books!

If you can ...

For some reason I had been not getting around to reviewing this book for ages … I'd picked it up (along with a whole bunch of web-based resources related to it) last September when its authors addressed the Social Media Club's monthly meeting. It took me a while to get into reading it, as I'd picked up their preceding The One Minute Millionaire book on the theory that there would be a certain continuity between the two. I suppose this is, to some extent true. Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen's Cash In A Flash: Fast Money in Slow Times bears both its predecessor's odd format (training material on the verso, “teaching story” on the recto) and focus on having “regular people” achieve their dreams through setting up their own businesses. The main difference was that, by the end of 2009, the real estate “magic bullet” that had been so strongly advocated in the previous book was no longer a serious option, and so there had to be a new route to all those dollars waiting just beyond the unenlightened seeker's reach.

Once again, in the "story" half, the participants faced a challenge, formed a working group, and managed to overcome the obstacles just in time, with various members achieving assorted levels of success, despite not necessarily having much belief in the process. Personally, this rings so amazingly hollow to me from what I've seen in my life experiences that the less said about the “novella” part of the book, the better. These and similar business “self-help” books always seem to advocate forming a “mastermind” group to achieve these sorts of beyond-belief goals. It has been my unwavering experience that anything that involves more than three people (and that dynamic is likely to have some dead weight) is going to get hopelessly political, bogged down in power struggles, and at best will have parts not carrying their load, and pissing off the ones who are. I'm sure that an idealized “dream team” would be very exciting and worthwhile, but one might as well wish for a goose that lays golden eggs.

Anyway, there are three “elements” to the “system” here … the first being “Wow Now”: forming a concrete vision of your “dreams” with the key phrase: “Your dreams must be more real than your fears”. This involves a lot of self-psyching (self-hypnosis?) with “higher vibration words”, not using anynegative not so positive” phrasing, and even re-writing how you remember your past. This is the “mind” part of the system, the next is the “heart” approach, which is the “Inner Winner”, a name they give to “gut feelings”, “intuitions”, etc., in contrast to the “Inner Whiner” which listens to one's “critical voice”. In this section there's a lot of exercising in journaling, self-analysis, etc., to find out what the “right” inner voice is talking about. Frankly, I found these first parts very well done, and despite the touchy-feely aspects, thought that this was quite worthwhile, and even wished there were workshops on this locally. However, the next part, the “Dream Team”, as noted above, might as well have been a section on how one needs to get Sasquatch, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, Nessie, and a couple of Leprechauns and Space Aliens together before becoming a success. I'd be thrilled to know a half a dozen people that I'd “trust with my back”, but I've never met one in real life … again, your experience with Humanity may be different, but this is where this (and other books like it) fall apart for me. Interestingly, they provide a 15-point questionnaire to “qualify” one's Dream Team members, but it's a list that I doubt that anybody (myself included) would be able to satisfactorily answer!

The last section of the book is called “Rapid Riches”, and offers up thumbnail sketches of ways that one might (if they had the other three elements in place) attain the title's “Cash in a Flash”. Again, I guess if you don't have the “Wow Now” mindset, the “Inner Winner” standing on the neck of the “Inner Whiner”, and that ever-elusive “Dream Team” you're screwed. They break down these opportunities into “PSI”: Products, Services, and Information, or, more informally, stuff, doing stuff, and teaching others to do stuff, although these seem to have centered on real estate (again, despite the market), and e-books. Well, I guess we discovered why it took me 9 months to do this review. I must admit that I read the book, and did not “work through the exercises” (as there were parts of those for which I have never had answers, so would likely still be frustratingly “stuck” there still). This also, obviously, pokes sharp sticks at very sore parts of my psyche, so do take into account how you handle this sort of stuff.

As noted, I bought Cash In A Flash from the authors at a meeting, but it's sufficiently new (it came out last Fall) that it's likely to still be around at the brick-and-mortars. Amazon has it at about a third off, and their new/used guys have “very good” hardcover copies for under three bucks (plus S&H). Despite my “wailing and gnashing of teeth” above, I do feel this is a very good, albeit “newagey”, sort of book that could very well help many people to find a way to making a new lifestyle. I know that there are protégés of Hansen & Allen out there who are (apparently successfully) pitching their own snake oil on late night TV, but I would be more enthused if there were hundreds, if not thousands of folks out there who were saying “I did what they wrote and now have everything I ever dreamed of!” … caveat emptor, and all that … this could be the book for you, if you happen to be the right person in the right situation with the right conditions … I just don't think that that is me.


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