Book Reviews

Book Reviews

“Uncommonly helpful! A heart transplant in a book… a book to be lived, not just to be read! It will make your life smile!”

People are more important than business, but when you move people… you move business! 

“Giving Candy To Strangers” is about creating abundance in your life and business through the power of relationships. An inspiring and informative guide weaved together with personal stories and metaphors for stepping out or your comfort zone by creating new relationships, cultivating the old AND developing a “Pay It Forward” mindset.


More reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble


Giving Candy To Strangers is a business staple that can help almost anyone improve their bottom line and their life!
— Art Flater, CEO, Central Office Systems Corp., INC. Magazine Top Ten Small Business Award Winner

My good friend Stan Holden touches a sensitive but powerful nerve inside of every human interaction in Giving Candy To Strangers.
— Kenny Luck, Every Man Ministries

It was great fun representing Stan’s award-winning animated short “Rebel Without a Claus.”  Stan has a knack for bridging creativity and fun with business endeavors and personal relationships.  In that spirit, Stan’s motivational book Giving Candy to Strangers reads with light bulb moments of fresh, helpful (and yes, “bright”) information.
— Sara Margoshes, SMA, LLC, literary agent

There are very few people who can energize my creativity the way Stan can. He has the ability to listen, challenge my way of thinking then hit it out of the park with “what if” ideas that make sense. I recently used one of Stan’s techniques with a client that hadn’t called me back on a proposal and, of course, it worked! Stan’s title should read Creative Philanthropist.”
— Clint Schwald, President, Big Idea Marketing, Inc.

What I find intriguing about Stan’s concepts is the optimism and counter intuitive approach to traditional business. He teaches you to do things different and shows that it is not just business but other social issues that can benefit from this positive risk taking philosophy. His entertaining to read style makes the information easy to understand, learn and apply.
Michael Schumacher, Ph.D, Former Chief Probation Officer OC CA and co-author of The 8% Solution, Preventing Serious Repeat Juvenile Crime.

I met Stan at a networking event a few years ago and we have enjoyed a friendship and business relationship ever since. I enjoyed being the stranger that received his candy! “Giving Candy To Strangers” is a delicious read!
— Cheri Tree, CEO and president – V2 Velocity, author and creator – BANK™

It is easy to find our plates full in our day to day lives – whether at home, at work, or at play. “Giving Candy to Strangers” is a sweet reminder that building human connections is a key ingredient in satisfying one’s appetite for success. Stan’s sense of humor and unique perspectives bring a truly fresh perspective to the table
— Mary Bowers, (MLE) Major League Eating champion

The first business book you should read

on January 13, 2016

We all know and admire those who can do things with out-of-the-box thinking. Being different, innovative and creative in business does require a risk level but it also brings greater satisfaction both to the business person and the customer. Stan Holden is such a person and he has been successful in business by approaching it through a heart-centered standpoint and by building lasting and meaningful relationships.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Giving Candy to Strangers which felt like Stan was sitting across from me dispensing his wise and proven-true advice on how to approach business dealings. The book is divided into eight parts, each made up of short chapters. He discusses how to create connections without an agenda and overcome any objections in doing so, how to nurture your existing relationship and how to build relationships through social media. He also talks about doing cold calls and using humor to create connections. This section cracked me up!

I’m a people person by nature and love to make connections and this book confirmed that the way I’m approaching my business is good. Stan says you should mix pleasure with business and I agree. I grew up with an entrepreneurial dad who would invite the Encyclopedia salesman at the door for a glass of wine before they got down to business. In my business, I speak to my clients on the phone for as long as they need when I know most who do this work only communicate through emails. I also encourage the authors I work with not to hide behind their publicist or publisher but to get to know their readers.

The book is filled with appropriate and motivating quotes, fun facts and also cartoon drawings for each part. It is a fun book to read and although written in a light-hearted humorous way, it is no less valuable than any other business book out there. Actually, if you are in any type of business or just want to improve your work, I suggest this is the first business book you should read. Why? Because it deals with the fundamentals of good dealings with people, which in today’s dog-eat-dog competitive world, is much forgotten.

I am going through each tip Stan outlines in his book and have already implemented some successfully. Yes, it will bring you out of your comfort zone, but it will also make you experience the satisfaction and joy in connecting with people who can become not only customers but life-long friends. It will make you smile again as you work and it will make you remember the fun part of the daily grind.


I started giving candy to strangers and it’s pretty sweet!

on January 18, 2016

Within the myriad of books on business, there are many with tools and tricks to help in different facets of the business. While Giving Candy to Strangers does have its share of strategies and suggestions to help you create a more natural sales practice, the gift of this book is in giving us a different way of approaching sales. With the sheer abundance of companies offering the same products, available worldwide via the web, how does one stand out and create a lasting and loyal customer base? They key, in Stan’s opinion is to give candy to strangers.

This is not literal, of course, as the last thing we need is to add to the diabetes epidemic.“Giving candy to strangers” is a metaphor for stepping out of your comfort zone and creating new relationships in a spirit of generosity and openness, without trying to engineer any particular kind of outcome. – Stan HoldenStan teaches us, right from the beginning, to get out of our comfort zone. He views anyone within arms reach to be a potential relationship, rather then a quick sale. You will learn why making a funny comment in an elevator might be better then cold calling. You might never think of wrong numbers in the same way, after reading this book.Stan’s humorous style makes this book easy to read, yet don’t discount the wisdom found within. Whether you consider yourself a salesperson or not, this book can be beneficial for any entrepreneur or business owner.

The new economy is no longer based on the best products, but on the best relationships and this book will challenge you on 52 main points. Within those 52 points lies hundreds of anecdotes, advice and tricks to create lasting and beneficial relationships.Just like one has better success of catching a butterfly by simply letting them come to you, rather then run after them…the same is true with sales today. If you approach someone with a sales first mindset, they will run away (fly away if they have superpowers, which is what I would like to do when a pushy salesperson approaches).

Stan’s method instills a genuine interest in those around you and makes people comfortable to approach you. Sales eventually come, in more abundance, because clients feel the motivation behind the actions.I really enjoyed tip #5 “Get your ducks in a flow” which deals with Analysis Paralysis. It truly moves one to action.I’m afraid that if an organization does not follow this new trend in sales, they will see their sales dry up and evaporate before their eyes. I started giving candy to strangers and it’s pretty sweet!


I laughed out loud several times while reading this book and I absolutely love Stan Holden’s approach to sales.

on January 20, 2016

You would think that reading a book about sales and how to attract customers and prospective clients would be dry and very uninteresting. This book is not like that at all.

In fact, I laughed out loud several times while reading this book and I absolutely love Stan Holden’s approach to sales. This is the type of person that I would be thrilled to do business with and/or purchase products from.

EVERY SALESPERSON NEEDS TO READ THIS BOOK AND FOLLOW STAN’S ADVICE. If they do, they will be almost guaranteed success.

Also, this book can apply not only to sales, but to life in general. Stan’s approach to sales is also a great way to live your life and an amazing way to meet people.

I RATE THIS BOOK AS 5 OUT OF 5 STARS and I plan to follow Stan’s advice just to better my life.

I would suggest that this book should be read by everyone. It is not just a book on sales and everyone should learn something from reading this book.


Not a typical sales book

on December 23, 2015

Very easy to read book on creating friendships and business connections. Not a typical sales book. He really dives into creating fun, genuine relationships. Most of the time when you accomplish that sales will naturally follow. My wife and I started meeting people right away after reading this and having a blast in the process. There’s also a very helpful section on using social media as well that has paid off well for us in a quick time. Recommend this book to anyone in a sales or leadership position.


I think this is a great book for the beginning salesperson–as well as the salesperson who has lost some of their customer service oriented zeal along the way.

on January 6, 2016

I received a complimentary copy of this book for use in a blog review. All opinions are my own.

Giving Candy to Strangers offers a different view of the sales career. Throughout the book, Holden offers example after example of the importance of relationship building to a salesperson’s success. With so much emphasis on texting and internet communication–it’s easy to forget the human element of sales. The human element of making someone remember you and your product days (or even months) down the road. While building customer and client relationships isn’t a unique aspect of sales success; building relationships with anyone and everyone just to build a relationship is a different view of the long term sales career.

Holden provides real world examples to back up his relationship building strategy. I think it’s important to remember the old saying that “everyone is a customer” when selling a product or service. Holden teaches readers to build relationships with everyone–because you never know when that person may need you, your service or your product. Holden provides pages and pages of examples of the value of relationships to the success of his business ventures.

Giving Candy to Strangers is written with knowledge and heart. Holden practices what he preaches and his words seem to resonate a belief in his methods. Holden has seen sales success from his techniques and he shares them in this book in an easy to understand, conversational manner. He even throws in some fun facts that make interesting conversation starters throughout the book as well.

Would I recommend Giving Candy to Strangers by Stan Holden. I don’t think the importance of relationship building in sales is unique–but, I do think it is falling by the way side as we seem to have less human-human contact in our daily lives. Holden offers ways to develop relationships both in person and online–and tips and tricks for leveraging those relationships for sales success. I think this is a great book for the beginning salesperson–as well as the salesperson who has lost some of their customer service oriented zeal along the way.


I will be reading it a second time, marker in hand.

on January 11, 2016

The term – heart led or heart centered – seems to be a catch phrase that is becoming more prevalent in both the written word and at motivational conferences. As it’s one I fully embrace, I cracked open Giving Candy to Strangers with great excitement, ready to hear this author’s contribution to the subject and it didn’t disappoint.

There are several notes I would like to make. First, a lot of truths are shared here. As they are shared, I suspect you, like me, will realize you actually already know them deep in your core. The rat race the business world encourages us to embrace looks at numbers only. How many sales? How much earned? This has caused us to push the idea of building relationships to the side. It’s time to embrace building strong personal connections again. Next, the author’s decision to offer an easy to read writing style and super short chapters is perfect in today’s busy world. Readers can absorb each lesson one small sound byte at a time and take the time needed to incorporate it before moving on. Lastly, the author offers simple ways for natural introverts or those shy in social situations to dip their toe into how to feel comfortable talking with strangers and building new relationships.

I suggest you have an underliner ready when you read this one. It’s not for the BIG strategies you will read, it’s for the many simple concepts that will hit you between the eyes each chapter – and there are many. Kudos to the author on offering a great angle on building your business that can be applied to other areas of your life as well. I will be reading it a second time, marker in hand.

I would recommend this book for everyone.

on December 19, 2015

My name is Teresa got Stan book Giving Candy to Strangers.Is a awesome book. Single Mom a little down on myself read the book different person. This book is a life changing event. I would recommend this book for everyone. It really helps you threw difficult things in your life. Amazing book. Also makes a great Christmas gift for the readers in your life. Go to Amazon now and order yours won’t regret it.

Even though I am not planning on starting a business, I do plan on keeping this book. It is a wonderful read and I highly recommend it for anyone.

on January 21, 2016

Giving candy to strangers is a nonfiction book written by the author and artist for Chicken Soup of the Soul. In this book he describes how to grow a business.

The Forward of the book is written by Kevin Sorbo. Even though he has been in many movies and television shows, he is best know for the series Hercules: The Legendary Stories. To be honest I do not usually read the forward in a nonfiction book even though it does contain helpful information but when I saw Sorbo I read this one. One sentence stuck out at me in this forward. “Do business with the joy of the kid”. In this book you will see that Holden does have the joy writing and teaching others how to grow better relationships to grow their business. This book is an easy read and fun.

On another page this book can actually can be used in just developing personal relationships and not necessarily a business owner. For example Holden mentions just being warm and open to others is one of the simplest tasks one can do. This relaxes the person.

Each chapter begins with a relevant quote, which I liked. The quotes come from all over. Some include a Chinese Proverb, the Beatles, Kevin Bacon, and William Shakespeare.

I really do recommend this book. Even though I am not planning on starting a business, I do plan on keeping this book. It is a wonderful read and I highly recommend it for anyone.


This book is almost “too” smart, yet so simple, so easy and so warm to read.

on February 3, 2016

I am not much of a reader. However, after reading just the first couple of chapters of “Giving Candy to Strangers”, Stan connected me to truth and wisdom. Stan guided me, as if he was right next to me, to a mindset that my subconscious mind naturally recognized as my ever-present and genuine desire to help and to be of service to people, even those we call “strangers”.

I am “savoring” the contents of each chapter because “Giving Candy to Strangers” is (almost tastes) “so good”. Perhaps more importantly, I am “out there” trying to “live” each chapter. And, that is (at least for me) the correct way to read, well, to live this book (as per Stan’s helpful instructions). I know I will become better at everything I do for reading “Giving Candy to Strangers” and for living its contents. In this book, Stan simply spoke to me at just the right tone of voice; and, he guided me right and guided me well.

“Giving Candy to Strangers” should be at the top of “everyone’s” priorities to read/live, not just “sales people” (…then again …Aren’t we ALL “sales people” after all?). “Giving Candy to Strangers” sort of “transfered” Stan’s wonderful heart to me through its wise words of experience. (uhmmm… Would that qualify as a “heart transplant”? 🙂

For a moment I thought, “This book is almost “too” smart, yet so simple, so easy and so warm to read. If I had any say so in your life, I would say, “Let this book become a part of you. Don’t just read it. Go live it! …chapter by chapter. You will be so glad you did. Applying it will make your life smile!”

I believe that it’s also worth mentioning that the book, especially its cover, is quite pleasant to the eye and also feels unusually nice to hold. It just feels like a good companion to bring along. The cover is smooth; and, it has nice and bright color combinations and sort of “bumpy”, 3D, colorful lettering. I almost wanted to eat the candy on the cover because the candy looks so real! 🙂

I think it’s little “extra” details like the ones displayed on the book cover (beyond the awesome content of the book) that show the love, care as well as the best and highest intentions that Stan Holden and his collaborators had in mind and at heart when “Giving Candy To Strangers” was being “brought to life”. “Giving Candy to Strangers” somehow reminds me of food lovingly cooked by a caring mother or a delicious treat brought home by a loving father.

Maybe a new category of “Strangers” has also been created by Stan Holden to go with “Giving Candy to Strangers”, the kind of strangers we want to help and serve. How about calling these un-expecting strangers (who are about to be helped or served), “STANgers”?!


One of the best non-fiction books I read in 2015

on January 11, 2016

Stan Holden is not your typical businessman, he’s not a CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a long-standing board member for some top tech firm. But Holden has a lot to add to the world of business. Giving Candy To Strangers is a book about doing the right things in business and how they can help you succeed, grow, and even dominate. The point of view is written more on a personal level though, which is fine for me because as an owner of my own business and an entrepreneur I am the one who runs the day-to-day business.

Holden splits the book into parts and chapters. Each chapter is short and to the point with some nice comedic bits thrown in for good measure. I didn’t know that I could smile so much reading a book about networking and improving your interpersonal relationships with others around you (both in and outside of your company). I found myself vigorously highlighting different quotes and sayings and anecdotes to remember for later. By the end I had the book mostly highlighted and I’m not even upset about it.

I think that a fresh face and opinion from outsiders is needed to keep things interesting or to remind some of us that we’re not “all that.” I will definitely be using some of the advice that I learned in this book to further myself, both in the business world and outside of it.

A true work of non-fiction that was actually fun to read, Stan Holden’s Giving Candy To Strangers is one of the best non-fiction books I read in 2015

If you hate selling, read “Giving Candy to Strangers”

on December 22, 2015

Stan Holden brings a whole new take on the ancient art and science of selling. If you hate selling, read “Giving Candy to Strangers”! If you’re like me, you’ll be touched by the power that we have to impact others in positive ways – just like “Giving Candy to Strangers”. Love the book – getting ready to start a Meetup driven by Stan Holden’s message.


5.0 out of 5 stars

I highly recommend this book to anyone who desires to develop interpersonal relationships through the media or in person.

Although many of the same points have been made by other motivational authors, Stan Holden says it effectively, through short, “sweet” chapters which do not feel drawn out or boring. In Stan Holden’s book, Giving Candy to Strangers, he makes many strong points – some of which defy decorum – but it works! Unlike many motivational books, Stan combines strong energy, humor, guidance with just the right amount of examples…short and sweet! What is even more impressive, is how successful he has been in most all of his endeavors! He has had a lot of personal tragedy to overcome in his life, but he did it!

The main ideas, basically, are these six “be”s: be yourself, be open. be confident, be energetic, be determined, and be willing to laugh at yourself. Then he guides you how to accomplish these ideals and more.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who desires to develop interpersonal relationships through the media or in person.


Giving Candy to Strangers is a book I’d recommend to every entrepreneur and sales person.

on January 6, 2016

One of the opening quotes in the book is one from Rick Warren – Life is about relationship, not acquisition. For me, that about sums up what this book is about. In times where people are wont to put results before relationships, Giving Candy To Strangers is brings a refreshing outlook to the whole business of sales.

As I was reading the book, I thought of all the times I have been turned off by people who sell Amway products and Herbal Life. Their attempts to chat up strangers is all about trying to convince you that they are leading such wonderful lifestyles and wouldn’t want you to miss out on that! Frankly, they leave me with the distinct feeling that they are out to con me!

Stan Holden focuses on keeping things real and allowing others to see you as you are, while you approach them with empathy and humor. One of the points I really appreciated was ‘Do What’s Right When No One Is Looking’, which is truly the foundation for good relationship building.

Giving Candy to Strangers is a book I’d recommend to every entrepreneur and sales person.

This is a great book for the business minded!

on January 7, 2016

I find a lot of times when I am reading a book that is “self help” where it is trying to help you take steps forward in something (personal, business, etc.); the reads tend to be dry, drawn out, and typically boring.

Giving Candy to Strangers was none of the above! It wasn’t dry. It was actually humorous. It wasn’t drawn out. The chapters seemed to be short and to the point. It wasn’t boring. There were always steps to take to move forward or new things to try.

As a business minded individual, the biggest thing they tell you is that relationships are much more powerful than the actual business part. Stan Holden definitely reiterates it, but in a way that feels… normal. Not forced.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a business mind, owns a business, runs a business, wants to own a business, etc. It really is a valuable read with some great activities to expand your “business”.

Anyone in sales may benefit from reading Giving Candy to Strangers

on January 17, 2016
Giving Candy to Strangers is all about growing your business by being a people person. Instead of focusing on making a sale, Stan Holden says that making and keeping friends is the most important thing that you can do to make sales.

The author explains how to be more outgoing, keep relationships, and even have a good time while your bottom line improves. Anyone in sales may benefit from reading Giving Candy to Strangers, whether it’s a salesman or a business owner, there’s some good advice along with common sense.

What a refreshing world view!

on March 14, 2016
I love Stan’s philosophy: giving for givings sake, without expecting anything back. Too often these days relationships are built on “what can you do for me,” rather than friendship for friendship’s sake. Stan reminds us of the joy of play, making new friends, and approaching each day and person we meet with openness and curiosity. What a refreshing world view!

This is the best book I’ve ever read, very easy to read.

on December 28, 2015
This is the best book I’ve ever read, very easy to read. The first two sections I already do with very positive results. The information contained within the two covers should be required reading for everyone. I look forward to putting the whole content into practice. Looks like I’ll be giving lots of candy to strangers. That will warm my heart.