Despite some recent negative publicity and some crazy ballot initiatives that thankfully were rejected by the voters, let’s not forget that we live in arguably the best city in the United States.

We have two local people who have published books that are well worth your time. Joseph Michelli’s “The Starbuck’s Experience,” made the Wall Street Journal’s best-seller list, coming in at No. 13, and beating out our own columnist Jeffrey Gitomer’s “Little Red Book of Selling,” which is No. 15.

Steve Bigari, who owns several McDonald’s franchises and Mr. Biggs, also has a new book, “The Box You Got.”

I have not read these books all the way though — and finding the time to start doing book reviews won’t be happening anytime soon — but I wanted you to know about these books by local people.

Don’t forget that there are plenty of good things going on and good people in our city. Michelli’s introduction is titled “Taking you and your business to the extraordinary.”

Bigari’s introduction goes like this: “Author’s warning: Reading this book will create feelings of passion and a desire to change your life. This author strongly encourages, but takes no responsibility for, your action.”

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Bigari believes that “everybody is a leader” and tells us to “throw out the idealized notion of leadership” because we’re all leaders.

It took Bigari four-and-a-half months to write the book. I asked him what our local business community could learn from reading it. He responded: “People always tell me, ‘Think outside the box.’ That’s wrong. Real success depends on what you do with the box you got — your circumstances of your life right where you are.

“In my book, I present ‘Bigg Ideas’ that will help you get inspired, instigate change and innovate in your life. You can transform the world you live in — and be the kind of visionary leader who helps your co-workers, family and friends apply these ideas to their own lives.”

Michelli received cooperation from Starbuck’s senior management on his project. He writes, “While at first I was amazed by the grace, openness, and free rein they gave me, I later came to realize how much of their willingness to grant me access was at the core of their success model.”

Both of these local authors deserve the Springs business community’s support. So go buy their books. Michelli’s is available at most bookstores, and Bigari’s is available at www.theboxyougot.com. We can learn from them.

Knock me over with a feather

I got a call recently from Michael Mitchell at the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization. He asked “Do you know why I am calling?” I said “Not a clue.”

Well, it turns out I have been chosen to receive VFW’s Citizen of the Year award at an event Dec. 3 in Denver. This took me completely by surprise. We have a saying around here: “Always do the right thing.”

Well, supporting our troops and military installations is simply doing the right thing.

The banquet begins at 6 p.m. at Denver Marriott City Center and is open to everyone who would like to attend. Tickets, which are $40 for veterans and $50 for non-veterans, can be purchased by calling VFW at (303) 571-5659.

So, give them a call and let’s show our support of the VFW and our military.

When I accept this award I will be accepting on behalf of the Colorado Springs community.

And rest assured that I know there are many of you out there much more deserving of this than I am.

Lon Matejczyk is publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal. He can be reached at Lon.Matejczyk@csbj.com or 329-5202.