I first saw Scott Ginsberg speak a few years back at a funeral directors conference (don’t ask) and then last year he happened to be the speaker for the local young professionals organization that I was a part of for many years. Scott has made a name for himself by permanently wearing a name tag and being a guru on approachability and networking, and in his new book, -able, he is branching out.
The last book of Scott’s that I read was How To Be That Guy, which was specific to business networking and finding one’s business niche. -able covers the broader topic of setting oneself up for success, mostly for business but the tips can also be applied to other aspects of life. I think this plays well for many businesspeople, most of whom in my experience are as competitive and driven outside of work as they are when at work. I think these driven readers will really enjoy -able.
-able is written in a scattershot manner, with 35 chapters on all varieties of accessibility—being findable, engageable, sellable, retweetable, sought-after-able and many others, some of which are real words. They’re also connected to some really zany metaphors:
• “Be more spread-able than syphilis in a steam room”
• “Be more yes-able than Brad Pitt, down on one knee, naked, holding a seven-carat diamond”
• “Be more request-able than ‘Freebird’ at a Florida State frat party”
• “Be more addict-able than crack, but without killing millions of people”
Scott’s prose is an uninhibited kind of writing that you either enjoy or you don’t.
The material itself is thick with several tips for success for each chapter. There’s so many tips and ideas that some tend to repeat themselves, but repetition is the key to learning. Some of Scott’s anecdotal evidence is colorful and interesting, and it’s always worth reading. I do wish though that Scott had more focus in -able, and I don’t think it would have hurt the book if there were 25 strategies instead of 35, larger type, and more writing on implementation and overcoming obstacles. Everyone wants to have top Google rankings and be a master networker, but it’s not easy or everyone would do it. By itself, -able shows the way to success but doesn’t always explain how to capitalize on the knowledge. Perhaps that’s something we all must figure out on our own.
-able is an intriguing book and it certainly has more polish than How To Be That Guy, which was written almost five years ago. Readers who digest these tips and apply them in their daily lives will see real results. But I also think the book is a shotgun blast of good tips that can apply to a variety of life’s situations, and—like a shotgun—the effectiveness of the blast depends on your aim.
-able: 35 Strategies for Increasing the Probability of Success in Business and in Life
Published by HELLO, my name is Scott!