Friday, April 20, 2012

Book Review: The Peak to Peek Principle

A Book You Can Buy From Me

Book Title: The Peak to Peek Principle

Author: Robert H. Schuller

Publisher: Thomas Nelson (hardcover), Bantam (paperback)

Date: 1990 (Bantam)
ISBN: 0553283782

This is another Robert Schuller faith-equals-business-success book. Like the others it was a bestseller in the 1980s and is now easy to find for sale, cheap, often donated to benefit sales by someone disillusioned with Schuller's form of Christian ministry.

As noted, I've never liked Schuller's ministry, and regret that the opportunity to kick it has come only after it's come down. It needed kicking while it was raking in the money.

However, Robert Schuller does know how to turn a modest beginning into a huge, glittering, profitable business. That's the one thing he has unquestionably done well. That he's done it as well, for as long, as anyone could reasonably hope to do, and has had to retire and turn his Crystal Cathedral over to children who didn't inherit his preaching talent, is one of those inevitable facts of life that may be airbrushed, but can't be completely denied, even in books like The Peak to Peek Principle.

What the Peak to Peek Principle is, is a general policy for entrepreneurs. If you set a realistic, achievable goal and reach it, you'll have a minor "peak" experience. After that you could slack off into a decline, or you could immediately "peek" forward to another realistic goal and regard yourself as moving toward your next "peak." In other words, maintain momentum.

Will this work for your business? Ah, well...Schuller was definitely too quick to confuse lucky breaks with signs of God's approval, and overlook the vagaries of the market. Lots of people who listened to Schuller's exposition of the Peak to Peek Principle, and believed it, are now bankrupt. Lots of people who discovered it on their own are now bankrupt. Lots of people who discounted it (I'm not sure what their alternative approach might have been) are bankrupt too.

The key to avoiding bankruptcy is to avoid debt. The Peak to Peek Principle is, however, a cutesy-wutesy name for an approach to any project that can help anybody. Many of us did discover it on our own, as it might have been with the summer projects our parents encouraged us to work on. If you wanted to get a room remodelled, an old car on the road, or a lot of garden produce sold, before school reopened, what did you do? Likely, you made a list--written down or not--of things you needed to do each week, worked toward completing each step, and, after finishing each step, started on the next one. Move the clutter out of the room. Clean the room. Repaint the room. And so on.

If you've never completed a summer project, or if you've been too overwhelmed by the thought of "growing" a business to consider how this approach applies to a task like that, The Peak to Peek Principle may be helpful to you. I'm not going to deny that Schuller's obnoxious extroverted personality oozes through this as it does through all of his books, but in this book he does have something worthwhile to say. Some otherwise sane people can actually profit from this book.

So it's an excellent Book to Buy From Me if you want to support this web site and get the right to post a free advertorial, with live links to your own business site. As usual, the minimum $5 for the book plus $5 for shipping includes a $1 royalty payment to Schuller. Other dealers on Amazon may offer clean copies cheaper, but they aren't making royalty payments to living authors--so far as I know that's this site's unique specialty. Alternatively, if you're in Gate City, Virginia, you can look for my cleaned copy in Oliver's, where it will cost less than $10 since it won't have to be shipped, or in Mountain Treasures, where it may wind up if not sold at Oliver's and will be even cheaper.