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30 Second Book Review: Zilch – The Power Of Zero In Business

Who has time to read books? We all should, but it's tough to know what is worth reading. Each week, this blog will spotlight a new book relevant for marketers or people in business with ideas worth learning and sharing. Through a combination of a personal interview with the Authors, and short review – you'll get the basic premise of the book and why you might want to read it. To recommend a book to be featured, send an email pitch to

This week's featured book is Zilch – The Power Of Zero In Business, a story-filled guide based on the author's experiences in the non-profit world on how to help your business get ahead by doing more with less.

THE 30 SECOND REVIEW (Why You Should Read It):

IMB_Zilch-The-Power-Of-Zero-In-Business-Book Sometimes the biggest ideas are born out of frustration. For Nancy Lublin, the frustration of seeing large companies with oversized budgets squandering their resources simply because they didn't understand "the power of zero" offered that moment that led to this book. Taking the lessons from her successful non-profit consulting career, Nancy offers an idea filled guide to doing more with less. Her advice on offering a "lofty purpose" for your organization, how to make it more fun for your employees and how to inspire people are based on her experiences of motivating her own employees to pour their hearts and souls into their work. If you know Nancy from her monthly column in Fast Company, this book won't be a disappointment. Like her column, the book is immediately insightful, filled with practical advice and is based on a non-profit philosophy that almost any business could learn from – whether they are interested in making a positive impact in the world, or just selling a few more widgets. (Review written by Rohit Bhargava)

THE INTERVIEW (Thoughts from Nancy Lublin):

IMB_Zilch-Nancy-Lublin 1. What inspired you to take your personal approach to business and write a book about it?

I was at a meeting with a ginormous company, discussing a new campaign they were about to launch. Everyone freaked out to learn that the budget was being slashed to a "mere" two million dollars. Their solution? Find more money. But I was sitting there salivating at the thought of two million in launch funds. And it occurred to me that my not-for-profit friends & I could teach these people a lot.

2. In a world where so many marketing and communications pros are struggling to avoid getting their budgets cut – you focus on the philosophy of doing more with less. Can you share the big idea of this book and why you think the business world needs to hear your message?

There are a lot of non-for-profits out there that do extremely well as BUSINESSES – its not all do-gooding and rainbows.  We don’t always have enough people, money, or even time – but we’re scrappy & creative and we get things done, sometimes with nothing at all.  I think businesses have a lot to learn from this principle, especially in a tight economy.  More money is not always the best answer.  For example, job titles don’t cost you a thing, but can give you a major bump in employee morale.

3. Despite your background in the nonprofit world, you seem to write for a broader audience than that in Zilch. Who do you think the ideal audience is to read this book?

I think the ideal audience is business folk – entrepreneurs, CEOs, and anyone who is looking to create or manage an efficient and effective business where they have happy productive employees, while still meeting their bottom line. But there are a lot of lessons in there that are useful to anyone – whether a middle-manager, student, or even a stay-at-home mom.

4. What is the most successful thing that you did once the book came out to spread the word about it and encourage people to get it?

We sent copies to some of the top CEOs and executives in the country and they loved it! Pfizer bought 300 copies for their managers and had me come talk to them in December. I was at Citigroup speaking to about 150 people. You’ve got to put yourself out there & make sure that the message is being heard.


Official Book Website:

REVIEW PHILOSOPHY (Why This Review Matters):

All the books that are reviewed in this series are worth your time. That's why you won't find any negative book reviews on this blog. As an Author myself, I have hundreds of book on my shelf and have researched hundreds more. I get many invitations to preview books and choose just one every week to share here on this blog. Read my other book reviews at

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#1 WSJ & USA Today Bestselling Author

Rohit is the author of 9 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.


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