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Despite the rise of social media, many recommendations still happen offline, with people sharing their experiences with friends over the phone or face-to-face.

Word-of-mouth marketing works for companies of all sizes, but you might just have a leg up if you’re a small local business. A new restaurant is a perfect example. If a friend tells you about a wonderful dining experience at a spot nearby, it’s easy to check it out for yourself. If during your meal, the owner greets you at your table and makes sure you’re enjoying yourself, that leaves an impression. You may even return repeatedly and form a relationship with the owner and staff.

I consider myself an avid reader even though at times, I really do not get the time to complete a book in one read! Well, these days who does? One book I have been reading that has inspired me and hopefully all the people I have shared it with is The $100 Startup. In this book, Chris Guillebeau shows you how to lead a life of adventure, meaning and purpose while also earning a good living. I have heard so many friends struggle with unhappy lives and unhappy jobs and unhappy bosses that this book struck a cord.