What’s Working Now (Shahla Hebets)

(guest post by Olympia)

3 out of 5 stars

CUT TO THE CHASE:

Hebets emphasizes the importance of a YOU-centric business — a business that always prioritizes the customer’s needs — and gives examples of how companies (like Patagonia) utilize this model while providing useful tips for aspiring business leaders. Though it’s of interest to anyone in the business world, smaller and/or newer business owners (particularly those in the fitness industry, where many of her examples come from) might find her advice most helpful. I learned a handful of useful techniques that have applications outside business and found it to be, overall, an enjoyable, relaxing, and a somewhat informative read.

Longer Version:

In nonfiction books, it’s often important to start with the author’s credentials, and here, Shahla Hebets, does not disappoint. She’s consulted with numerous Fortune 500 companies, but unfortunately, she did not apply all of that business knowledge to this book. I was enthralled by the her keen insights… for the first twenty pages. The latter portions were, in comparison, a disappointment.

The book is about being YOU-centric as a business, namely solely prioritizing customers. Consequently, she claims that advertisements should never sound like a sales pitch. Ads should appeal to the demographics of the given company and not draw too much attention to the brand. This is somewhat contradictory when compared to literature and real-world anecdotes that often stress the importance of establishing and maintaining brand recognition (for example, Jim Collins’s writings on brands that are built to last).

Several chapters were devoted to discussing the importance of social media. (Admittingly, I got a little lost, since my social-media knowledge is limited.) She highlights the difference between Instagram and Facebook, and how to change your posts accordingly–which might be useful for those (like me) who are not social media heavy; most modern companies with younger employees may already be savvy enough to skim these chapters.

Her discussion on keywords in social media and other platforms and the use of influencers — made with full awareness of how big tech’s search algorithms are constantly changing — yields some broad, but surprisingly useful, tips.

Comparison to Other Authors/Books

If you’re an aspiring or current business-leader seeking useful tips, this will be an informative read. Still, as a relative novice in business (mostly reading Wall Street Journal or books by Jim Collins), I already knew several of her points, so if you are a seasoned businessman, you may find this to be to elementary.

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