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Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth – Book Review

Grit by Angela Duckworth. Reviewed by Charelle Griffith

As a book blogger and a book club leader it is inevitable that people will ask me “Have you read xxx?”. Now a book I had been asked a number of times about was Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth and I would have to sheepily respond saying I hadn’t. After reading Talk Like Ted by Carmine Gallo as part of PropelHer’s Book Club (read the review here) I decided it was time to read the book that had the same title as the Ted talk.

 

GRIT: THE POWER OF PASSION AND PERSEVERANCE is broken down into three parts: What grit is and why it matters, Growing grit from the inside out and Growing grit from the outside in.

 

In PART 1: WHAT GRIT IS AND WHY IT MATTERS Angela outlines her understanding of GRIT. She states that “GRIT has two components: passion and perseverance”. Angela goes on to explain her research into finding a predictor for success. It is a fact that “our potential is one thing. What we do with it is quite another”. Angel was driven to find out why some people end up being successful whilst others don’t.

There is the common belief that going well in school was the key to success, but Angela states that “Apparently, aptitude did not guarantee achievement”.

In fact, Angela believes that “the focus on talent distracts us from something that is at least as important, and that is effort”. 

For Angela, effort is key for making everything happen.

Without effort, your talent is nothing more than your unmet potential. With effort, your skill is nothing more than what you could have done but didn’t. With effort, talent becomes skills and, at the very same time, effort makes skill productive”

 

In PART II: GROWING GRIT FROM THE INSIDE OUT Angela explores perseverance and that fact that some people will often say they got bored of something as a reason for changing their passion. Novelty is a basic drive. We are driven to desire to learn about new things. However, novelty doesn’t always have to mean running after the next new, shiny object. Angela explains that “novelty for the beginner comes in one form, and novelty for the expert in another… for the expert, novelty is nuance”.

Angela states that “the grittier an individual is, the few career changes they’re likely to make”. However, part of this is also influenced by how one sees their occupation – “just about any occupation can be a job, career or calling… How you see your work is more important than your job title”. If you believe your occupation is your calling then you are likely to preserve through harder times.

Then Angela looks at the relationship between grit and optimism, grit and mindset and grit and hope. With regards to hope she states, “Grit depends on a different kind of hope. It rests on the expectations that our own efforts can improve our future.”

I deeply resonated with this quote. I know a major reason for me preserving through my education, in work and in business is because deep down I believe I am in control of my future and the effort will pay off.

 

In PART III: GROWING GRIT FROM THE OUTSIDE IN Angela explores how to increase your grit from your environment. There is a section on how to parent to make your children grittier and then a section on creating a grittier working environment.

Environment plays a role in how gritty you are and Angela recommends “If you want to be grittier, find a gritty culture and join it.” The reason why this works is because “The drive to fit in – to conform to the group – is powerful indeed”. As many personal development books will tell you the role of the group of people around you is very important and this is no different when it comes to grit. We become like the people around us. As a result, if they are gritty you are likely to become grittier.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

I absolutely loved Grit by Angela Duckworth and can absolutely understand why so many people recommend the book. Now I am sure I am slightly biased. At one point, you can take a quiz to find out how gritty you are and overall, I was fairly gritty, which came as no surprise. This obviously means I enjoy hearing that GRIT will win over natural talent in the end. Regardless, I think it is a great book because it comes down to science. Angela is a very smart woman and throughout the book, she hasn’t just looked at success from one angle. She has looked at the army, sports, spelling bees, education, business and more. It is a thoroughly researched topic, but delivered in a very manageable way.

 

Like what you read? Leave a comment below.

Want to know more? Why not buy a copy of GRIT BY ANGELA DUCKWORTH for yourself?

 

Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich by Lois P. Frankel, PhD – Book Review

Nice Girls Don't Get Rich by Lois P Frankel - Book Review by Charelle Griffith

Last year PropelHer’s Book Club read Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel, PhD. At the time I was obsessed with achieving success in my career and even though the idea of the “corner office” doesn’t really exist in the performing arts I thought it would be a perfect book to read. It turned out to be a good choice with many women resonating with at least some of the mistake mentioned in the book. So I decided in 2017 we would read Lois’ other book, which is Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich: 75 Avoidable Mistakes Women Make With Money.

Now if you have been following the blog you will know I have been reading a lot of money books this year. I have reviewed The Millionaire Fastlane, The Automatic Millionaire, You Are A Badass At Making MoneyThe Science of Getting Rich, I Will Teach You To Be Rich and Secrets of Six Figure Women.

Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich follows the same format as Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office. There is a self-assessment right at the beginning where you answer a number of questions and then are shown which areas you are strongest and weakest at. I really like the self-assessment idea as this means if you are short of time you can just read the chapters where you are the weakest. Great for busy, ambitious women like myself – although obviously, I read the whole thing. However, you can do the self-assessment and you will be pointed to read specific chapters.

 

The seven chapters are:

  • Getting into the money game
  • Taking charge of your financial life
  • Spending your money wisely
  • Learning money basics
  • Saving and investing for future wealth
  • Maximising your financial potential at work
  • Playing it smart with your money

Lois states that the book is “not just a book on financial planning. It’s also a book about financial thinking.” and there are a number of mistakes that specifically explore women’s thinking to finances. Some of these statements are sweeping generalised statements, which can be hard to accept, such as “A woman’s mind-set is all too often about doing for others at the expense of taking care of our own needs”.

However, there are lots of very practical tips. The book explores financial planning, becoming financially literate, controlling your spending, investing for future wealth, attitude to debt, home ownership, pensions and negotiating. The fact is that improving in just a few areas can make a drastic impact on your future.

Now it is likely if you read the whole book there will be some sections that really aren’t applicable to you. For example, I am a great planner and saver so some tips I didn’t need. However, it is also reassuring to realise you aren’t making all of the mistakes, which can make it easier to accept the ones you do make.

For me, I really resonated with the quote “It’s not the actual amount of money that you earn that determines whether or not you’ll be rich, it’s what you do with what you earn”. This is one of the reasons I really don’t like the coaching industry with its emphasis on creating 10k months. If you earn £10,000 and then spend it all then are you really rich?

The truth is what do you do with the money you earn? Are you spending it all? Are you saving it in a 0.01% bank account? Or are you investing it?

Anyone can be rich if you learn the rules and play to win!

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, I think Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich has sound advice and that you can quickly action. It isn’t written in a particularly sexy way, which is why I believe it isn’t as popular as some of the other money books out there. However, it gives highly actionable points that I genuinely believe would help every different type of women out there to take control of their financial situation for today and the future.

I read Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich as part of PropelHer’s Book Club. PropelHer’s Book Club is a book club for ambitious women who want to work on themselves to further their personal development and professional success. If you are interested in joining you can find out more here.

 

Like what you have read? Leave a comment below?

Want to know more? Buy a copy of Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich for yourself?

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight

Book Review of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight. Review by Charelle Griffith

I remember back in December 2015 buying The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I am a massive hoarder and decided in 2016 I was finally going to change that. So when I came across The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k I was very intrigued. At first, I thought it was by the same author, but then I realised it was actually by Sarah Knight and by no way approved, endorsed or authorised by Marie Kondo.

At the beginning, Sarah shares who the book is for. She states that “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k is for all of us who work too much, play too little, and never have enough time to devote to the people and things that truly make us happy”.

The subtitle of the books is “How to stop spending time you don’t have doing things you don’t want to do with people you don’t like” and that is exactly what Sarah addresses in the book. The fact is that lots of us care too much about what other people think (and I definitely do at times). That would be fine if there weren’t implications, but unfortunately, time and energy are limited and you can’t get back what you spend on pleasing others instead of yourself.

 

The book is broken down into four chapters:

  1. On giving, and not giving, a f*ck
  2. Deciding not to give a f*ck
  3. Not giving a f*ck
  4. The magic of not giving a f*ck dramatically transforms your life

 

In Chapter 1 Sarah recommends that you “stop saying yes right away to please others and, instead, take a moment to question not only whether you give a f*ck (i.e., care) about the matter at hand but whether it deserves a f*ck (i.e., your time, energy and/or money) given to it as a line on your F*ck Budget.”

 Stop saying yes straight away is sound advice. In the moment we can feel pressurised to say yes to something we don’t want to do. Therefore, putting some time, and possibly distance, will help you to go with how you honestly feel rather than feeling you are under pressure.

 

Sarah then defines what not giving a f*ck actually means:

Not giving a f*ck means taking care of yourself first”

“Not giving af*ck means allowing yourself to say no”

“Not giving a f*ck – crucially – means releasing yourself from the worry, anxiety, fear, and guilt associated with saying no”

“Not giving a f*ck means reducing mental clutter”.

 

Now that everyone is clear on what giving a f*ck actually means it is time to dig deeper and in Chapter 2 four categories are outlined:

  • Things
  • Work
  • Friends, Acquaintances, and Strangers
  • Family

For each category, you are giving a number of examples and then a space to write your list of things. Now Sarah doesn’t shy away from the fact that just because you decide on what you don’t care about it means you will easily be able to say no in the future. Her recommendation is that you create a personal policy. She believes that  “Personal policies are an excellent way to conserve your f*cks swiftly, efficiently, and with an extremely low risk of hurt feelings”. 

Chapter 3 and 4 look what you gain by not giving a f*ck. The purpose of not giving a f*ck is not to be mean to other people, but so you are able to concentrate on what is important to you. By saying no to others you gain and Sarah says that “Time, energy, and money are the things you gain by ceasing to give a f*ck”.

 

The purpose is about having time to do what you want to do. Sarah writes about the idea of fitting and that she wrote the book for people who where tired of fitting in. Her actual words were that the book was “for people who are exhausted by presenting a façade of interest, enthusiasm, and conformity to the rest of the world. It is about empowering them (you) to feel free to be themselves (yourselves) and live their (your) best lives.

 

I love that point. Now the book might swear a bit more than I would like, but I love the ethos of what Sarah is trying to do. It is about you forgetting about conforming for your family, friends or society. It is about doing what you want to do, rather than what you feel you should do. This is exactly what I teach through PropelHer. Life is too short to live it for someone else, but that can be easier said than done. Through “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k Sarah provides some techniques to help you spend your time how you please.

  

Like what you have read? Leave a comment below?

Want to know more? Buy a copy The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k  for yourself.

Not a big reader? It is also available on audible – access 30-day free trial here.

 

The One Thing by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan

The One Thing - Gary Keller - Jay Papasan - Book Review by Charelle Griffith

If you are familiar with my blog you will know I spend a lot of time reading books about personal development and success. I am obsessed with understanding how others achieve extraordinary results in their life and business. So when I came across The One Thing, by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, I was instantly drawn to the subtitle The surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results.

 

It doesn’t take long to find out what the one thing is. Very early on the one thing is revealed as a narrow focus – “extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow your can make your focus”.

In Chapter 2, the concept of THE DOMINO EFFECT is introduced. In short, a domino is able to knock down another domino that is 50% larger. Whilst one domino knocking over another bit not seem life-changing, it is when you put a row of dominos together. Starting with just a 2-inch domino, and increasing the size of a domino by 50% each time, the 23rd domino could be the height of the Eiffel Tower. This story is used to exemplify that “extraordinary success is sequential, not simultaneous”. All you have to do is to work out how to create “a domino effect in your life”.

The One Thing states “The problem is we tend to act on what we believe even when what we believe isn’t anything we should”. Our beliefs play a major role in our success. Unfortunately, many of us have beliefs that aren’t true, but believe them to be true. In order to embrace THE ONE THING you need to address the six lies that lie between you and success. Those lies are:

  1. Everything Matters Equally
  2. Multitasking
  3. A Disciplined Life
  4. Willpower Is Always on Will-Call
  5. A Balanced Life
  6. Big Is Bad

Once you have learnt that the above “truths” are in fact lies, then you can focus on the truth, which according to Gary Keller is “that success comes down to this: being appropriate in the moments of your life”.

Through the book, you learn that THE ONE THING is actually multiple things. For example, “Your big ONE Thing is your purpose and your small ONE Thing is the priority you take action on to achieve it”. Gary just uses the term THE ONE THING to mean your focus. Whilst having a big ONE Thing, having a purpose, is important it is also important to be able to prioritise.

It is common when doing a goal setting exercise to set a long-term goal and then work backwards and Gary encourages readers to do this exercise. He guides you from thinking about your ‘SOMEDAY GOAL’ and then work backwards. The purpose of this exercise is to ensure your goals are all connected – “Connect today to all of your tomorrows”. To achieve extraordinary results in your life you have to work out the sequential steps you need to take and you have to ensure that everything you are doing is helping to help your future goals.

“The most successful people are the most productive people”

There is a lot written about productivity and the steps you can take to ensure that you are maximising success. It can come across a little excessive, for example, Gary suggests that you spend “4 hours a day for your ONE Thing”. Now for the average person this may seem a lot, but this isn’t a book for those wanting to live an average life. This is about creating an extraordinary life.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I am a big fan of The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy and there are many similarities around the ideas of focusing on continuous action and building momentum. However, the domino effect is a great picture to imagine in your head and ensure that you are focusing on taking the continuous steps that will build your strength and impact.

“Actions build on action. Habits build on habits. Success builds on success”.

Also, it is very achievable idea. Anyone can focus on ONE Thing. It makes success accessible to everyone if you just ask the right questions and they can stay focused.

I read The One Thing as part of PropelHer’s Book Club for Ambitious Women. PropelHer’s Book Club is a non-fiction book club that meet in Covent Garden, London, as well as meeting online. Want to join a community of ambitious women who read excellent books to support personal development and professional success? Come join PropelHer’s Book Club.

Like what you read? Leave a comment below and why not buy a copy of The One Thing for yourself?

You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero

You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero - Review by Charelle

 

Early on in my journey of researching money making books I came across You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero. I read Jen Sincero’s first book, You Are A Badass, on holiday in 2016 and was so disappointed. Lots of people had been raving about the book so I finally gave in and it just didn’t have the transformational effect it had on others. So I was hesitant, but when a friend said she would send me the audiobook for free I thought I had nothing to lose.

In You Are A Badass At Making Money: Master The Mindset of Wealth, Jen shares her money story from broke to wealth and believes she can help you to change yours too. The book focuses on your mindset towards money. Whilst Jen is honest about how she paid thousands of dollars for coaches and invested lots of money into building her profile, her brand and her company, for her the transformation was a result of her changing her mindset.

Early on in the book, she refers to reading Wallace Wattles’ The Science of Getting Rich (you can read my review of The Science of Getting Rich here) and coming across the quote:

 “Whatever may be said in praise of poverty, the fact remains that it is not possible to live a really complete or successful life unless one is rich”.

When she originally read that quote she was disgusted, shut the book and for years continued to make very little money. However, a few years later she re-opened it and it totally changed her life. She realised that Wallace was right and she needed to stop feeling pride around being broke, because honestly there was nothing to be proud about. Jen says

“One of the biggest obstacles to making lots of money is not a lack of good ideas or opportunities or time, or that we’re too slovenly or stupid, it’s that we refuse to give ourselves permission to become rich.” 

And why would you not give yourself permission to be rich? Because you are carrying round negative beliefs towards money. Some of the beliefs Jen had and no doubt many other people have to are:

  • Money doesn’t grow on trees
  • Money causes stress
  • There is never enough money
  • Always have a backup plan
  • It’s lonely at the top
  • You can’t make money doing x

 

I mean, why would anyone want to be rich if they believed all of those things? So Jen started to face those negative beliefs head on and began to apply lessons from the law of attraction into her life.

Jen is very honest that her journey for making money was uncomfortable. She believes that the real secret is you have to take huge, uncomfy risks. You have to do stuff you’ve never done before, to make yourself visible, to acknowledge your own awesomeness, to risk looking stupid”.

She pushed herself outside of her comfort zone to grow her company, gain big clients and make the money she had always dreamed off.

As with any mindset book, it wouldn’t be complete without some affirmations. At the end of each chapter there are suggested money mantras:

I love money and money loves me.

I love money because it is the root of so much awesome

I love money because money is always here for me

I love money because it comes when I call

I love money and I am grateful every day that it is surrounding me with its glorious goodness

I love money because I am a fearless, badass, money making machine.

I love money because it lets me be, the most be I can be

I love money and I will not give up until I am surrounded by all the wealth I desire.

Along with the money mantras, as any good success coach would, Jen sets you some tasks. Some of these are journalling tasks, whilst other require you to take action.

Although the focus is on Jen’s journey at the end of every chapter Jen shares a Success Story. This is a story of someone else who has been able to transform their money situation and make money!

 

Final Thoughts

What I loved about this book is that Jen is a fabulous storyteller. Whether it was the goats who had managed to get into a house and trash it, or the gauze around her injured toe, which she refused to pull off. Jen has a fabulous way of using every day stories and then relating it back to money.

You Are A Badass At Making Money was my first audiobook. If you haven’t already used Audible, you can access a free 30-day trial here. Now, I have been avoiding listening to audiobooks for a while. Whilst I appreciate you can get through more books by listening to the audio than by reading the physical book, I don’t believe you absorb the book in the same way. It is also more difficult from a reviewing perspective to not have a text to refer back too. However, I feel listening to the audio version of the book may have contributed to me enjoying this book more than Jen’s first book, if for nothing more than I loved her voice.

Overall, if you have read other money mindset books then Jen doesn’t bring a lot of new advice to the table. However, she writes in a very informal, friendly tone and by appearing ‘ordinary’ it helps to feel as if you could replicate her rise to riches for yourself.

Like what you have read? Leave a comment below?

Want to know more? Buy a copy of You Are A Badass At Making Money for yourself?

 


I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi - Book Review:Summary by Charelle

 

Would you like to be rich? If you are like most people then the answer will be YES. With that in mind I have been reading the most popular money focused, money-making and how to become a millionaire books and in this post, I will be sharing my thoughts on I Will Teach You To Be Rich: No guilt, no excuses – just a 6-week programme that works.

I can’t quite remember when I first came Ramit Sethi, but given that when you type into Google the words ‘ I want to be rich’ his website iwillteachyoutoberich.com appears on the first page it isn’t surprising I came across him. His book I Will Teach You To Be Rich is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller so I definitely thought it was worth a read to see how good it really was.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich sets out to share with you a 6-Week Programme to get your finances in order.

 

 Week 1 – Optimize Your Credit Cards

Week 1 focuses on credit cards and Ramin states that “Credit is one of the most vital factors in getting rich”. The chapter explores credit source and credit report and provides some tips to help you improve your credit score. The purpose is to start acting today because “Rich people plan before they need to plan” and by working on improving your score now it will help you in the long run if you do need credit.

 

Week 2 – Beat The Banks

In Week 2 the focus is on your bank account. The advice is to not switch banks chasing great introductory rates, but instead to focus on a bank that charges no fee, has a reasonable interest rate and provides a good customer service. By the end of the week you should have a bank account and a savings account.

 

Week 3 – Get Ready To Invest

Week 3 is all about investing. The main focus is investing in your pension because if you aren’t investing in your pension and your company offers to match your contribution you are literally throwing free money away!

Ramit shares a great statistic in this chapter that “On average, millionaires invest 20% of their household income each year”. If you aren’t at that level yet, don’t panic! Most people are not investing 20% of their household income, but then again, most people aren’t a millionaire. I just thought that was a useful statistic to use as a benchmark.

 

Week 4 – Conscious Spending

Now when I saw the title of week 4 I was very intrigued. Ramit’s website iwillteachyoutoberich.com focuses on making more money rather than reducing your spending. In fact, he is known for never encouraging to cut your coffee (he is totally against The Latte Factor).

The aim of week 4 is to create a “Conscious Spending Plan”. This is where you make sure that you are “saving and investing enough money each money” so you have the freedom to spend the rest of your money on whatever you like and feel totally guilt-free.

Ramit spends some considerable time comparing the frugal to the cheap and states that “The mind-set of frugal people is key to being rich”. So what is being frugal? According to Ramit, frugality “is about choosing the things you love enough to spend extravagantly on – and then cutting costs mercilessly on things you don’t love.”   

 

Week 5 – Save While Sleeping

By Week 5 you should have a solid plan of how your income is being spent, saved and invested. Now it is time to automate everything so you can spend more time enjoying your money and minimal time managing it.

 

Week 6 – Investing Is Only For Reach People

The final week, week 6, is all about investing. Between week 5 and week 6 there is a chapter in the book called ‘The Myth of Financial Expertise’. In this chapter, Ramit explains you don’t need an expert and you can invest money yourself. In fact, he says that “the vast majority of twentysomethings can earn more than the so-called “experts” by investing on their own”. That chapter is meant to be preparing you to believe you can invest as week 6 is all about understanding investing more.

Week 6 covers lots of financial topics: stocks, portfolio volatility, shares, bonds, diversification, tracker funds, lifestyle funds and much more. It is a great way to start learning a bit more about key financial terms and products. By the end you should discover what type of investor you are and be able to begin investing.

 

That’s it the 6 weeks are done, but the book hasn’t ended. There is some extra information on how to manage your system now that it is all set up. Additionally, there are some discusses on big money topics, such as student loans, paying for your wedding and buying a house.

  

FINAL THOUGHTS

Early in the book, Ramit writes “The single most important factor for getting rich is getting started”. This is a belief I strongly agree with and as a result I am doing most of the things the book tells you to do. However, if you are someone who really isn’t in control of your finances this is a great book. It covers virtually all of the day-to-day areas of finance that you need to handle and if you follow the book in 6 weeks you would be in a better financial situation. Would you be rich? Probably not, but at least you would be on the way.

Like what you have read? Leave a comment below?

Want to know more? Buy a copy of I Will Teach You To Be Rich for yourself.

Talk Like Ted by Carmine Gallo

Talk Like Ted - Carmine Gallo - Charelle Griffith Book Review

If there is one thing I believe that drastically excels your professional success it is public speaking. With that in mind, I decided that PropelHer’s Book Club would read Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gallo.

 

TED Talks are watched my millions are considered the leaders when it comes to presentations so a book that analyses the best of the best will surely help anyone improve their public speaking, right?

Carmine opens by stating that “Ideas are the currency of the twenty first century” but are ideas are only powerful if you are able to communicate them. That is why being a good communicator and a good public speaker is becoming increasingly important.

The 9 tips are broken down into three categories: Emotional, Novel and Memorable

 

EMOTIONAL

“The first step to inspiring others is to make sure you are inspired yourself”.

Carmine is passionate that a speaker needs to find a “unique and meaningful connection” to their presentation topic. Whilst this makes sense in a TED context, I am sure there are lots of people who have to deliver speeches they aren’t particularly passionate about. In that situation, Carmine encourages you to try “dig deep” and that through exploration a connection can be found.

At numerous times the book suggests that “great communicators reach your head and touch your heart” and this can be achieved through storytelling, which is “the ultimate tool for persuasion”. Carmine argues that “Personal stories actually cause the brain of both the storyteller and the listener to sync up”. Lots of great communicators emphasise the importance of storytelling, but Carmine goes further by exploring the three types of stories you can use: personal stories, stories about other people and stories about brands and products.

 

NOVEL

Scientifically we are designed to enjoy learning new things. In fact, “Learning something new activates the same reward areas of the brand as do drugs and gambling”. So as a presenter you need to “reveal information that’s completely new to your audience” or if the information you are sharing is known then it is your responsibility to package it different or offer “fresh and novel way to solve an old problem”.

 

Another way to make your presentation novel is to add humour. Now as someone who doesn’t describe themselves as funny I really like that Carmine said “You don’t have to be funny to be humourous”. In fact, being humourous isn’t about telling jokes, which you are advised to avoid.

MEMORABLE

For most people you don’t just want listeners to engage in your presentation, but you want them to remember it when they leave. To make a talk more memorable you should look at being able to “touch more than one of the senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell”. A great way to be able to appeal to more senses is through a prop and one of the most memorable props is Bill Gates mosquito in Mosquitoes, malaria and education. 

 

Overall, I found Talk Like Ted really useful. With TED being the best of the best in terms of public speakers I was worried that it may seem a bit unrealistic for the average person, but Carmine gives really simple and actionable information. For example, introduce humour, aim for 190 words per minutes, appeal to as many senses as possible and keep words on powerpoint slides to a minimum. It doesn’t what stage you are at you can apply this information and because of that it is definitely a book I would recommend to anyone wanting to improve their public speaking.

 

I read Talk Like TED as part of PropelHer’s Book Club for Ambitious Women. Want to join a community of ambitious women who read excellent books to support personal development and professional success? Come join PropelHer’s Book Club.

Like what you read? Leave a comment below and why not buy a copy of Talk Like TEDfor yourself?

Key Person of Influence by Daniel Priestley

Book Review and Summary of Daniel Priestley's Key Person of Influence. Review by Charelle Griffith

I’m not quite sure about how I came across Daniel Priestley’s Key Person of Influence , but the title automatically interested me. Influence plays an important role in professional success, so I am always trying to learn more about how people increase their influence.

Daniel states that “Key People of Influence enjoy a special status in their chosen field because they are well-connected, well known, well regarded and highly valued” and that through the book a reader will learn “The Five-Step Method to become one of the most highly valued and highly paid people in your industry”. Not only will you become a Key Person of Influence, but if you follow his system you can “become a Key Person of Influence within your industry in the next twelve months”. Now who doesn’t love a promise like that?

Influence is a hot topic. As a marketer I have seen how the role of influencers has increased drastically in marketing campaigns. People buy from people and brands and business want to do business who those who influence others. Influence is modern day currency and Daniel argues that “your most valuable asset is the number of people who know you, like you and trust you”.

Before you can become a Key Person of Influence “You have to pick something that you are going to become known for and you need to start promoting it and turning money away anything that isn’t quite right”. Basically, you need to choose your niche and Daniel actually encourages you to choose a micro-niche. He states that “From a tiny micro-niche big things can grow, but it almost never happens that a business sets out to please everyone and actually achieve it”. So once you know the micro-niche you want to become a Key Person of Influence in the real work starts.

The Five-Step Method is:

  1. Pitch
  2. Publish
  3. Product
  4. Profile
  5. Partnership

PITCH is about being able to communicate your message. PUBLISH is about writing a book. PRODUCT is about having products that people can buy and creating a product eco system. PROFILE is about making sure you have a great online presence. PARTNERSHIP is about working with others to expand your reach and raise your profile.

On the whole, I agree with the five-step method. However, when it came to the topic of writing a book Daniel’s attitude made me angry. Daniel believes that anyone who wants to be a Key Person of Influence should write a book. He suggests that you “choose a title that reinforces you are a Key Person of Influence. It should be a brand enhancing and you should feel proud to tell people that you are the author of that book”. He is treating the book as the new business card and it is all about how being an author changes people’s perception of you.

Daniel argues that “it is not vital that your book is a massive seller, it is more important that you are an author”. As an avid reader who believes in the power of books, I despise this attitude. I believe should Books should be written to improve the lives of others. They are a way of sharing your knowledge with the world and you should write it with the intention of selling lots of copies and benefitting lots of people.

Overall, Key Person of Influence was an easy read with a clear structure that you can follow. The principles make sense and I am sure someone who follows them will see their influencing power increase. Would you be a Key Person of Influence in a year? Well, I would like to meet someone who has done it.

 

 

Unfinished Business by Anne-Marie Slaughter (Book Review)

Unfinished Business - Anne Marie Slaughter - Charelle Reads

Anne-Marie Slaughter wrote Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family after publishing her article “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All”. When Anne-Marie was approached by Secretary Clinton to be the first woman director of policy planning at the State Department it was as she described “a foreign policy dream job”. However, after two years working away from her family, Anne-Marie really began to question women, work and family and whether “having it all” was possible. After posting the “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” article on The Atlantic Anne-Marie was inundated with comments, which led her to write Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family.

Women had often asked Anne-Marie “How do you balance work and family?” Often, she didn’t respond with the whole truth because it was complicated. However, she outlines three mantras that she believes people are following, which are only a half-truth answer.

“You can have it all if you are just committed enough to your career” 

“You can have it all if you marry the right person”

“You can have it all if you sequence it right”

Unfinished Business isn’t the first book on women in the workplace and Anne-Marie highlights the popular choice in the genre “Lean In”. She states that  “For young women, what is most attractive about the “lean in” message is that it tells them that the fate of their careers and families is within their control… The problem, though, is that it’s often just not true”. Anne-Marie makes that comments because she believes that a woman doesn’t have power over everything. Whilst we would like to think we can control everything, in actual fact many things are outside of our control.

When it comes to the discussion around women in the workplace the topic of work life balance often pops up and Unfinished Business is no exception. Although Anne-Marie admits to using the words “juggling” and “balance” she prefers “the idea of striving toward a good “work/life” fit.” This is about finding a job that fits the life you want to lead and ultimately as life is unpredictable a job needs to be flexible.

Unfinished Business explores the idea of “care and competition” and how has a society we don’t value the role of care enough. This is shown through payment and status. An interesting perspective Anne-Marie brings to the debate is that care isn’t just about looking after children, but with an ageing population, the likelihood is increasingly more people will need to look after their parents.

Anne-Marie believes that to succeed you need to approach your career in phases and “don’t drop out. Defer”. This theory is based on planning “for leaning back and as well as leaning in”. Now obviously, you can’t control anything, but if you really want to have a career and family then at least imagine how you will fit the two alongside each other from the beginning is key.

Overall, I really enjoyed Unfinished Business. I love Anne-Marie’s frank take on the realities women face being carers and workers, as well as conversations about men and the role they plan. The world of work isn’t really ready for those who are carers and workers, which is why we see so many Mothers leaving work to set up their own business.

I read Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family as part of PropelHer’s Book Club for Ambitious Women. Want to join a community of ambitious women who read excellent books to support personal development and professional success? Come join PropelHer’s Book Club.

Like what you read? Leave a comment below and why not buy a copy of Unfinished Business for yourself?

The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles

The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D Wattles. Review by Charelle

When it comes to the topic of making money, becoming rich and creating wealth, The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles is one of the oldest still regularly read. Originally written in 1910, The Science of Getting Rich has inspired lots of other money books including Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret.

  

THOUGHT

The central theme of the book is that “getting rich is the result of doing things in a Certain Way”. A big part of this involves THOUGHT.

 

“THOUGHT is the only power which can produce tangible riches from the Formless Substance”

 

Like a lot of other Law of Attraction books, Wallace talks about the need the power of visualisation – “You must form a clear and definite mental picture of what you want; you cannot transmit an idea unless you have it yourself”. Wallace repeatedly talks about the power of clearly being able to visualise the money you want. He emphasises only focused on the rich and allowing no images of poverty or failure to enter your mind.

 

MONEY AND TALENT

Wallace doesn’t believe that money follows talent. He states that “many people who have great talent remain poor, while other who have very little talent get rich”. Talent alone will not make your rich. You need to use your talents in the right way and follow the science of riches. However, Wallace does admit that “It will be EASIER for you to succeed in a vocation for which you already have the talents in a well-developed state; but you CAN succeed in any vocation”.

 

ANYONE CAN BECOME RICH

Repeatedly Wallace writes about riches being open to everyone. Firstly, there is an emphasis on the fact the being poor now doesn’t mean you can’t achieve riches in the future – “No matter how poor you may be, if you begin to do things in the Certain Way you will begin to get rich”. That is because Wallace doesn’t believe in needing money initially to make more money. In fact, he states that “No one is prevented from getting rich by lack of capital”.

Not only is riches open to anyone regardless of their financial background, but it is also open to you regardless of your industry. Wallace states that “You can get rich in ANY business”. This statement really stood out for me. In society there are such strong stories around industries that make money (finance, tech and legal) and those that don’t (arts and culture). However, within every industry there are some who are rich and some who are poor.

 

TAKING ACTION

Action is another key theme within the book. Action is what makes you rich –

“If you do a sufficient number of efficient acts, you will become rich”. In addition to efficient act, there is an emphasis on acting now.

 

“Act now. There is never any time but now, and there never will be any time but now”

 

What I personally found interesting was Wallace’s emphasis on why “There is nothing wrong in wanting to get rich”. This is something that comes up frequently in books about women and money, but it was interesting to hear it being stated by a male author. Wallace follows on to say that wanting to become rich is “great or noble” and “ The desire for riches is really the desire for a richer, fuller, and more abundant life”. I believe that part of the reason Wallace believes there should be no shame in wanting to be rich, is because you make the world richer and that is the best thing you can do.

 

“The very best thing you can do for the whole world is to make the most of yourself”

Overall, Wallace believes that “There is a science of getting rich, and it is an exact science”. However, I’m not entirely convinced that The Science of Getting Rich reveals a scientific process to follow. Regardless, there are lots of value in the book and it was definitely worth the read.

Like what you have read? Leave a comment below? 

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