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Publisher's Summary

People starting out in business tend to seek step-by-step formulas or rules, but in reality there are no magic bullets. Rather, says veteran company-builder Norm Brodsky, there's a mentality that helps street-smart entrepreneurs solve problems and pursue opportunities as they arise. Brodsky shares his hard-earned wisdom every month in Inc. magazine, in the hugely popular "Street Smarts" column he cowrites with Bo Burlingham. Now they've adapted their best advice into a comprehensive guide for anyone running a small business.

©2010 Norm Brodsy, Bo Burlingham (P)2011 Gildan Media Corp

Critic Reviews

"One is tempted to say 'the only book you'll need on starting a business.' Brilliant! Genius! Choose your superlative - it'll fit." (Tom Peters)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • morton
  • Rego Park, NY, United States
  • 12-16-11

This great audio was originally called The Knack!

I had heard about The Knack for quite some time, and how important it is for any business owner to have. I was delighted to find that The Knack has been released again as Street Smarts and it is as relevant as can be.

I was captivated by this audiobook. The author answered so many questions I had as a business owner. I found the examples he presents to be interesting, useful and yet still entertaining. I highly recommend it for every entrepreneur.

30 of 32 people found this review helpful

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  • Alex
  • United States
  • 01-08-14

Decent read, though definitely not a "Tool Kit"

What did you like best about Street Smarts? What did you like least?

The book predominately follows a narrative of Norm Brodsky, through his successes and failures of his Courier and Record Storage businesses. It has some interesting lessons that I've taken from it, but seems to be incredibly dated. <br/><br/>The thing I liked least is the old, antiquated model he is recommending for starting businesses. In today's rapidly changing environment, you will likely regret trying to follow in his foot steps as the times have definitely changed (since the 80s and 90s). That being said, he has some great timeless advice on sales numbers, surrounding yourself with certain types of people and negotiations and creative thinking.

What did you take away from Street Smarts that you can apply to your work?

I took a few good tidbits away from this book, predominately an absolutely new way on thinking about sales numbers and the hidden risks of watching just gross sales for a barometer for business success. He also had some pearls of insight in creatively tackling problems.

Any additional comments?

If you want a Startup Book for the times we live it, go read The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. Its on Audible as well.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • johan
  • Double Bay, Australia
  • 11-27-12

Well written, engaging and very useful

Would you listen to Street Smarts again? Why?

Yes I would. So much good information for any small business owner and Im sure I missed something.

What did you like best about this story?

The story is very relevant to anyone that has a small business or who is about to start one. This book is full of great business insights that you can apply immediately to your own business.

Which scene was your favorite?

My favourite part was the part where he explained the importance of high gross margins. I immediately made some changes to my own business after hearing that part.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, almost. Took about two days.

Any additional comments?

I highly recommend this.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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If you are in business or are thinking about it..

If you could sum up Street Smarts in three words, what would they be?

clear, concise, understandable

What was one of the most memorable moments of Street Smarts?

My business is nothing like the author's yet I understood each concept as it is explained.

What about Sean Pratt’s performance did you like?

The voice actor comes across as if he personally experienced these stories and concepts. A very enjoyable presentation.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Street Smarts has motivated me to move forward with several "next step" actions that, in the back of my mind, I knew needed to be accomplished.

Any additional comments?

I never leave my comments. This is a first. I can assure you that the concepts related in this audio book are highly valuable to you, your business, and those you interact with every day. I won't say "it will change your life" but I will say that you may choose to handle people and situations differently (for the better) after listening to Street Smarts.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Best Business Book I've Ever Encountered

Definitely a must read for entrepreneurs! I buy books on business constantly; this is different from the others because it's not your Mickey Mouse Fairy Tale story as if everything happens in a perfect world. This book gave real stories with solid advice for the real world in which business is conducted. The fear, the questions, the doubt, and the decisions we all face as business owners are addressed with practical advice, such as looking at your business from the right perspective. My business is a service, and I still gleaned a lot of information and ideas from the examples of his stories. I think the best one, which I wish I would have learned long ago, was not to take business advice from your tax consultant, lol!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Julie
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • 06-24-13

Excellent advice!

Where does Street Smarts rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I'm a small business owner with no formal education in business. This book started with the basics and helped me understand a lot of aspects of business I didn't feel like I could access. Brodsky uses lots of personal stories and experience so the book is never boring. He really makes you feel like you can do it--you just have to be street smart.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me seriously learn! And laugh a couple of times.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Every business owner should read this book!

I've read many business books but this one beats all of them hands down. My new mantra is "What would Norm do?"

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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great solid advice

What was one of the most memorable moments of Street Smarts?

Very detailed and useful story of how he helped his friends in their Datalink business. Love how he ended with that story too.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great Insight

Where does Street Smarts rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Great insight from a person still running a business. He does not hold back in his advice or opinions as well not holding back in his failings and what he learned from them, which is the sign of a great person.<br/><br/>The opening chapter as he retells his meeting with the Stones is a gold mine for anyone considering starting a business. Brodsky asks great questions many of us would never consider.<br/><br/>This is one I will listen to again taking copious notes.

What three words best describe Sean Pratt’s voice?

More than three: I think he did well but I would have prefered someone with a slight Brooklyn accent. The book seems that it is written as Brodsky would talk; I would have like to have heard that voice.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • HOUSTON, TX, United States
  • 10-15-13

Eloquently Insightful!

If you could sum up Street Smarts in three words, what would they be?

Insightful Entrepreneurial Handbook!

Which scene was your favorite?

Every story is just another layer into the entrepreneurial mindset.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

As a struggling entrepreneur, this book is inspiring and thought provoking.

Any additional comments?

I would recommend this book to everyone because it isn't just for the entrepreneur. It can help people understand the business world better, and thus improve his/her chance at getting promoted or getting a raise.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Santiago
  • 11-08-16

Great business read

Sound and simple introduction to business, based on common sense and experience. Engaging, personal and well structured.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Walter Rothon
  • 01-21-16

Surprisingly good!

Informative, instructive and a very good listen. I was surprised how many nuggets there were in this book. This is one I'll go back and listen to again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kevin
  • 12-23-12

Practical and down to earth advice

I loved this book. Norm and Bo write about everyday businesses and their problems, from small businesses to bigger business, and they leave no stone uncovered in telling and showing how business really is. IF you want a successful business based on experience and practicality this is your book. If you want to meditate and hope the universe will provide your business success, then buy something else to listen to. Smart, funny and insightful.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Lewitt C.
  • 05-09-17

good book

Very enjoyable book, written in an easily relatable style. Unlike many books covering this subject matter, it was not full of repetition, just very useful insight into what is required to start and build a successful business.