Online Book Club just published a new review of Julia. It received a perfect score in their rating system from an independent reviewer. Please see the review below:

There are not a lot of books that have intriguing and creative ways of teaching about successfully steering the ship in a service-focused business, especially when it comes to managing financial and human resources.

How Julia Found Happiness and Financial Success by Michael G. Colburn is one book that fits the bill perfectly. The book is centered around the story of thirty-seven-year-old Julia, who had just lost her husband, Carl, in an accident. The void that this event left in her heart would see her leave everything behind, including her job as a senior designer for toys and games, and head to France to clear her head. She would come back and undertake the challenge of starting her own business, birthing her company, Intriguing Design & Development (IDD). After a couple of years, she would enlist the help of her friend, Mark, to guide her in managing the finances, and he would offer numerous vital lessons that are littered throughout the story.

I must commend the author for how well he has incorporated lessons on managing finances into the story of a character that readers will find easy to get behind, especially after she suffered the horrible loss that kicked off the story. I not only rooted for her but also found her willingness to learn and determination to improve commendable. Besides the financial lessons offered here, I think that readers will greatly benefit from mirroring Julia’s attitude to work. This is one of the most important things to learn, and the author has captured its significance expertly through this story.

The lessons on finance range from understanding when to bill clients in a timely manner and tracking time (both direct and indirect hours) and its significance to managing a growing workforce. Julia also encourages inclusion in the workplace, as she eventually invites all staff to participate in her sessions with Mark. How do you determine how much to charge your clients? How do you determine your revenue targets? The author, through Mark’s lessons, provides practical answers to these questions, and another thing I like about the methods is that it helps you make informed decisions instead of just guessing.

Furthermore, the importance of setting goals was also reiterated, but the author ensured that he included an even more important aspect, which was measuring goals. To this end, several interesting tools, like the firm “chargeability” ratio, the billing ratio, the net effective multiplier, and the overhead multiplier, are included in the lessons. Also, there is a budding romance between Julia and Mark for readers to look forward to. Whether she completely gets over Carl and gives Mark a chance or not will be left unanswered until you pick up a copy of the book.

Michael G. Colburn’s How Julia Found Happiness and Financial Success is a professionally edited book as well since I found just three minor errors while reading it. I did feel like some of the tools discussed could have been omitted, as they created some confusion for me when I first read them, but I understood them better the second time I read through, indicating that the lessons here require practice. I did not dislike any aspect of the book. Therefore, a rating of four out of four is in order. Entrepreneurs who are looking to develop their businesses financially will benefit from this book, and I would recommend it to them.

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