Step into the Spotlight – Book Review

It’s funny to see Al Ries giving one of the blurbs on the back of Step Into the Spotlight!- ‘Cause ALL Business is Show Business! by Tsufit (at least the back of the review copy I read) as most of the book is ripped right from his handbooks (namely

and TThe 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing). She takes Ries’s advice for marketers and turns it into tips for self-improvement by self-promotion.

Then there’s Ries’s quote itself, which glimmers with irony. He says, "Read this book to turn yourself into another Donald Trump or Richard Branson." That quote can be read as either an endorsement — or a warning. Yes, you could become this universally derided icon whose best business deal was inheriting (with his siblings) much of his father’s $400 million fortune. Or you could become an innovator who radically tries to reinvent various industries’ business models, succeeding in a big way often enough.

The book isn’t bad. At times, I was even engaged with it. Yet Tsufit, as you can imagine from someone who chooses to ditch the last name, frequently vacillates between endearing and cloying. The cloying’s in the majority.

I gather I’m not the target audience. It’s not that I can’t make use of many of Tsufit’s recommendations – just about anyone can, whether for branding, public speaking, or confidence building. Yet I’m also not a big an of self-help books, or people who use themselves as every last example, or people who use way too many exclamation points; three of the seven chapters include exclamation points, and another adds one in the subhead. On a whim, I checked the dedication page, and there’s even an exclamation point there. This is someone who thinks way too highly of what she’s saying, so much of the book becomes noise.

Perhaps this isn’t a book review so much as a warning. There’s good, perhaps great advice here. But you have to be ready for all the shlock and rehashing and ego and hamming. It’s like Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman – he’s all about screaming and scenery chewing, but once you get past that, it’s a decent flick.