You know when it's 3:30 in the p.m., and time to say the heck with health guru Dr. Oz and his sermons about cruciferous veggies? You're drawn instead to a deli with a wall-full of chips and cookies that look better than the Super Bowl in 58-inch HD.
That wealth of options calls to mind Success magazine (where Dr. Oz, incidentally, has a health column). There are no 8,000-word pieces about a genius solving spherical mathematical issues. No in-depth profiles about where Rahm Emanuel's power starts and stops.
It's snackable content. Catch a few thoughts about boosting confidence, scan a piece about Mary J. Blige's moving journey, get some quick Roth IRA advice. Put it down, repeat.
Success, a monthly, resembles an in-flight magazine in that vein. Reach into the seatback pocket, read a bit, then do it again and again to pass the time until landing -- all with the expectation that something intriguing will be found.
It's unlikely I'd actually pay the cover price of $5.95 at Hudson News before boarding, but would most welcome it if, say, the previous passenger left it behind, next to American Way.
Success' target includes small business owners and C- suiters aiming to drive EBITA, but what makes it a quality read is there's something for everyone. Arguably, its weakest content comes in its attempt to appeal to that core audience, where it offers a heavy dose of leadership advice.
But that can feel like a CliffsNotes for what's new from self-help gurus and motivational speakers -- a group that tends toward the repetitive, too-obvious and banal.
For example, regular columnist John C. Maxwell's piece arguing leaders need to provide feedback before a year-end review isn't exactly trailblazing.
Side note: Success might do well to limit Maxwell's self-promotion. His columns often plug and cite his books -- which doesn't exactly connote fresh content.
Returning to Success' potential for wide appeal, the book does seem to have juice in the celebrity machine, landing such topnotch cover subjects as Alicia Keys, Serena Williams, and Anthony Hopkins.
Still, the latest issue goes without a household name in Jim Collins, an expert on entrepreneurship and company coaching. His profile highlights Success' editorial philosophy: never is heard a discouraging word. Reporters don't go calling disgruntled former colleagues looking for comments.
And the recession? A business going under in scandal? It would not surprise if the articles in 2010 were as optimistic as 2006.
Other content runs the gamut from advice on stretching, to features on CBS's twin reality hits in "The Amazing Race" and "Survivor," and Fox News' Neil Cavuto dealing with MS.
Then there's this month's look at William Wang, who invented the Vizio brand of flat-screen TVs and worked with Costco to turn them into a top seller in a brief period. Another feature introduces a 27-year-old superstar pianist with an Adidas contract.
A previous issue had Papa John making dough, in more ways than one. These breezy profiles on triumphant self-starters are the best of Success.
Published by: Success Media, part of Video Plus, L.P.