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Friday, September 2, 2016

"Smile & Succeed for Teens" by Kirt Manecke. A Review




Smile & Succeed for Teens: A Crash Course in Face-to-Face Communication
Kirt Manecke
Solid Press, LLC
PO Box 145
Milford, MI 48381
www.smilethebook.com
ISBN: 978-0985076214; $9.95; June 2014
5 of 5 Stars
Bright and Brief

When I was twelve years old I had a crash course in people skills. My father’s deep desire was to be financially independent and he was always looking for a way to build his financial fortunes. One year he invested heavily in a product that was only sold through direct sales, door-to-door and word-of-mouth. He prevailed on me to canvass the neighborhoods around our house as a summer job. I lasted one month and learned a ton about people, as well as the importance of eye-contact, being upbeat, knowledgeable about my product, smiling, and asking for the sale. I did fine that month, but could have used a hand-up to save me some grief. Kirt Manecke has fashioned a wonderful little resource just for young adults in his 144 page paperback “Smile & Succeed for Teens: Must-Know People Skills for Today’s Wired World.” This treasure trove is easy to read, heavily illustrated, humorous, and decidedly practical. 

Manecke covers the top ten people skills, how to get a job, the value of smiling, customer service techniques, ways to sell and fundraise, and creating repeat customers. The subjects addressed are straightforward and realistic. The author has several easy-to-accomplish suggestions to help teenagers start their own business. He also drafts out simple ways to land a job; gives clear guidelines on dressing for success; describes what good customer service looks like and uncomplicated ways to accomplish this.

Beyond all of the skills discussed by Manecke, there are two other items that genuinely impressed me with “Smile & Succeed for Teens.” The first is that the final chapter is all about the value of volunteering with not-for-profit organizations. The author not only gives personal examples from his own experience, but he also lists several agencies with web addresses (15 in all) to prime the reader’s imagination. Then, Secondly, Manecke provides loads of free material on the web site affiliated with the book. These include links to job-seeking web sites, formats on how to write a resume, how to make a flyer for your own business, practice job interview questions, more tips on ways to use the phone professionally, instructions on writing a letter and a “Thank-you” card, and many, many more subjects.

“Smile & Succeed for Teens” is a delightful read, and would benefit not only teens but many adults as well. This book would be ideal for parents to purchase for their young adults. And if a business hires many teens and college students, it would be smart thinking to obtain several copies and make it necessary reading during the initial employee training. Do I recommend the book? You bet, and I’m getting copies for both my teenage sons!

Thanks to the author and Solid Press, LLC for providing, upon my request, the free copy of “Smile & Succeed for Teens” used for this review. The assessments are mine given without restrictions or requirements (as per Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255).

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