In this new book published by Greenleaf Book Group, author Mark Hopkins argues that being good at your job isn’t enough to succeed in this fast-paced, information-fueled economy. Workers who think quickly and outside the box will be the ones continually rewarded. 

Through stories of entrepreneurs and other inspiring people, readers will come away with the habits for success: passion, vision, curiosity and a mix of the right professional contacts and organizations.
2013 just started, but so far this year, I’ve lost one friend to cancer, had one 30-ish employee suffer two heart attacks, another receive open-heart surgery, and a third employee recently inform me he is battling Stage 4 lung cancer.  
At 57, I’m seeing things differently than when I started the company at 40, broke and with a two-year-old daughter. There’s just not as much time left as I had when I started out. My goals and desires are way different than in 1996 when a golden contract came my way (even though I didn’t actually have a company yet). 
Today, with my business established, a child in college and hopes of retirement, a title like “Shortcut to Prosperity” catches my attention. 
This book came out in January 2013. The author, Mark Hopkins, had a career in engineering at Hewlett Packard and Emerson Electric before starting his own company in 1996. He grew his company in a big way, eventually selling it for $44 million a few years ago. I felt Hopkins could teach me some things worth learning. But beware: the author is upfront in saying, “There is no shortcut to prosperity.  It’s a lot of freaking work.” (Not a big surprise to any of us!) 
At this phase in my life, I am looking for a way to maximize my smartness.  I’ve done a lot of courses, seminars and reading. I run a business with 55 employees so I welcome all input that can help take us to the next level. 
The book’s purpose is “to teach you how to make the most of your game — to share the skills, habits and best practices that are not taught in school but are critical to achieving success and business and in life.” It is divided into three sections: Find your Field of Play (think deeply about what you want because “prosperity” has a different meaning for all of us); Develop an Unfair Advantage (map the steps and leaps necessary to get there); and Recruit Allies (recruit the people who can help us along the way).  
Within these sections lie the 10 shortcuts, or entrepreneurial habits, for building an exceptional career. While not exactly “shortcuts” (because they take thought, time and effort to discover and apply), they are a set of skills that can be learned and utilized so that achieving our personal version of prosperity is a likelihood rather than a long shot.    
Hopkins’ writing is clear, concise and readable. I can work a full mind-bending day and still review his words at night and draw inspiration. This is a book worth examining at any age, and at any point in life. 

Gail Sutton is the president of Better Business Cleaning Inc. in Erie, Colo.