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2017 Reading Wrap Up (Charelle Reads)

Charelle Reads

I can’t believe we are on the final day of 2017. Back in July 2016 I decided to read and blog about a book every week until the end of the year. It was a great experience, but reading and blogging about a book every week is hard work so for 2017 I decided to go a little bit easier and only read and blog about a book a fortnight.

This year I have blogged about 25 books

This includes the 12 books that I read as Founder of PropelHer’s Book Club. These were

The Miracle Morning: The 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8AM by Hal Elrod

The Magic of Thinking Big by David J Schwartz PH.D

Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz

The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by Grant Cardone.

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action by Simon Sinek

Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family by Anne-Marie Slaughter

Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gallo

The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan

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

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move The World by Adam Grant.

Braving the Wilderness: The quest for true belonging and the courage to stand alone by Brené Brown

 

 

And then there were all the books I read just for me (and to share on the blog).

The Universe Has Got Your Back, Launch, Option B, Grit, The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving A Fuck, You Are A Badass, I Will Teach You To Be Rich, Key Person of Influence, Secrets of Six-Figure Women, The Automatic Millionaire, The Millionaire Fastlane, Think and Grow Rich, On Becoming Fearless

This year I read a lot about money, a few books around being a stronger woman and a few to improve my business.

As I head in 2018 I am focusing on implementing what I have read and spending less time online and just being relaxed about everything. So for 2018 I will be reading books that is for sure and some I will blog about, some I might vlog about and some I will enjoy just for me. PropelHer’s Book Club will be reading 11 books… and the January book has been announced – The Big Leap – so keep an eye out for that review.

And if you aren’t already following me on Instagram that is going to do so as even if I don’t find the time for full reviews I will be sharing lots of book lover over there at @charellegriffith

 

Braving The Wilderness by Brené Brown (Book Review)

Braving The Wilderness - Brene Brown - Charell

Sometimes there are books that you keep on hearing back and know you need to read. In this case, it wasn’t a book, but an author, Brené Brown, who kept on popping people. I have heard numerous people raved about Daring Greatly and Rising Strong so when I heard that Brené was bringing out a new book, Braving The Wilderness, I thought it would be the perfect read for end PropelHer’s Book Club 2017 with.

Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston and is probably most famous for her TEDx Talk – The Power of Vulnerability.

Brené’s inspiration for writing Braving The Wilderness was the following Maya Angelou quote

You are only free when you realize you belong no place – you belong every place – no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great”.

At the beginning, Brené shares how she struggled with the quote as belonging was always something important to hear. That quote and Brené’s struggle resulted in her going into research mode to really understand what true belonging was and the result is Braving The Wilderness.  

Brené is known for speaking often about authenticity, so it isn’t surprising that it is mentioned in relation to finding true belonging:

“True belonging only happens when we present our authentic imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance”

A chapter that I really connected with was High Lonesome: A Spiritual Crisis. In this chapter, Brene writes that “I don’t think there’s anything lonelier that being with people and feeling alone” and I couldn’t agree more. Living in London, a city with over 8 million people it can be so hard to feel alone when you are completed surrounded by others. It just doesn’t feel the same as when you are alone in a place where there isn’t anyone.

In modern day, a way a number of people try to find connection is via social media and Brene has strong views on social media. She states that “Social media is great for developing community, but for true belonging, real connection and real empathy requires meeting real people in a real space in a real time.”  As far as she is concerned “face-to-face connection is imperative in our true belonging practice”.

For me, in-person is really important. That is why even though I am a member of numerous online communities and run my own I also run in-person events, such as PropelHer’s Book Club in London. For me, I love being in the same space of people and whilst it involves more effort, I believe it is worth the extra effort.

One of the ideas I found really interesting was how we have separated ourselves and now we are surrounded by people with the same political, religious and spiritual beliefs. This results in us not having to have our views challenged and we live in an echo-chamber.

The word like-minded is used so often in a positive manner, however, whilst it may be difficult to negotiate situations where people have different views, it is an important part of life.

A quote that really struck me was “What they don’t tell you is that your thick skin will keep everything from getting out, too”Often, people are advised to grow a thick skin. Life is hard and you need to develop a way to not take everything personally and let it hurt you. However, what isn’t explored is that having a thick skin means you can also end up trapping all of your emotions inside – and that isn’t good for you!

Essentially, the book is about making a choice – would you rather fit in or truly belong?

Near the end of the book, Brené leaves you with a shadowing thought:

“We can spend our entire life betraying ourself and choosing fitting in over standing alone”

 

FINAL THOUGHTS


Overall, I loved this Braving The Wilderness. It spoke directly to my heart and really made me think about how brave I actually was.

I read this book as part of PropelHer’s Book Club – the ultimate book club for ambitious women committed to their personal development and professional success. If you wouldn’t like to find out more click here.

Like the sound of Braving The Wilderness? Why not buy a copy for yourself?

 

 

The Universe Has Got Your Back By Gabrielle Bernstein (Book Review)

The Universe Has Your Back - Gabrielle Bernstein - Charelle Reads

Every now and again there is a book that keeps popping up. That is how I felt about The Universe Has Your Back: How to Feel Safe and Trust Your Life No Matter What by Gabrielle Bernstein. Between Amazon constantly showing it as a recommended read and women constantly sharing how this book had changed their life I thought it was finally time to check it out. With a title including the words The Universe I thought it might be a bit woo-woo for me. However, since Gabrielle Bernstein had appeared on Oprah’s Super Soul Sessions it was worth giving the book a go.

 

Right at the beginning of the book Gabrielle writes:

“We give purpose to our pain, believing struggle and strife are necessary to success or lasting joy and a meaningful life, and we feel safe in a state of conflict and control”

 

So often we complain about how difficult life is, about the challenges we face and about the pain we feel. However, Gabrielle is suggesting that in many ways even though we feel pain with day-to-day struggles, we also feel that it is a necessary part of creating a great life.

Through the book, Gabrielle shares what she calls UNIVERSAL LESSONS

One of those lessons is that When we surrender our will to the power of the universe, we receive miracles. One of the ways Gabrielle suggests you can surrender to the Universe is “to get clear about how the stories and beliefs we carry dictate our experiences”.  All of us are telling ourselves stories and those stories have power because they have an impact on how you experience life.

One area that I definitely agreed with Gabrielle about was the topic of focus and attention. Gabrielle states that “Energy flows where your attention goes” and “What we focus on we create – be it good or bad”. I particularly liked the second point. If you complain that means you are focusing on the negative and you will keep on creating more of that. Therefore, if you want more “good” in your life that is what you need to focus on. That is why the practice of gratitude is so important. Focus on what you want to create more of.

Whilst the book talks about the stories we tell ourselves our words are only part of the picture. In Chapter 4: Your Vibes Speak Louder Than Your Words the focus is on your energy because “Your energy is your greatest source of power”. There is a strong emphasis on you receive the energy you put out and therefore you should focus on having a “loving high-vibe energy”. Gabrielle encourages the reader to lean towards joy, but for many people the problem is that “Leaning toward joy is not our default. But the more we practice this principle, the more natural it becomes.”

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, I was disappointed with The Universe Has Got Your Back. With so many women recommending this book I had very high expectations and as an Oprah lover I expected more from Gabrielle. However, the book does contain some very important lessons such as “The more love you bring to the world the more you will inspire others to live in love.”

 Whilst this wasn’t the book for me I would think it would be a good book for someone who is lost in their life purpose, who is struggling with what they are meant to do with life and looking for a way to turn it all around. Also, if you are someone is new to the world of Law of Attraction or want to learn more about connecting to the power of The Universe then it would be worth giving it a go.

 

Just because I didn’t enjoy it doesn’t mean you won’t? Think The Universe Has Your Back is the book for you? Why not buy a copy for yourself?

 

Rather listen than read? The Universe Has Got Your Back is also available on audible.

Originals: How Non-Conformists Change The World By Adam Grant (Book Review)

Originals by Adam Grant. Review by Charelle Griffith

When it comes to choosing books I like to do my research. Time is precious and I am really not very good at not finishing a book I start. So when I decided to let the PropelHer community make suggestions for PropelHer’s Book of the Month I was nervous about what would be suggested and then eventually win the vote. Luckily for me the winning book was Originals: How Non-Conformists Change The World by Adam Grant. (If you are American your version of the book is called Originals: How Non-Conformists Change The World. I have no idea why they changes change to move, but I think the contents of the book is the same.

 

According to the dictionary original means A thing of singular or unique character; a person who is different from other people in an appealing or interesting way; a person of fresh initiative or inventive capacity”

Adam defines originality as originality involves introducing and advancing an idea that’s relatively unusual within a particular domain, and that has the potential to improve it”.

 

RISK

Adam states that “To be an original you need to take radical risks” and the book devotes a whole capture to risk

A statistic I loved was that “Entrepreneurs who kept their day jobs had 33 percent lower odds of failure than those who quit”. So often the image portrayed by society is to go hard, burn all bridges, leave yourself with only one option and give you 100%. However, Adam is suggesting the complete opposite. He then goes on to tell the stories how even the entrepreneurs who are famous for going all in, like Bill Gates, actually did mitigate their risk.

 

FOOLS RUSH IN

In the world of originality being the first is emphasised.  However, Adam states that “The advantages of acting quickly and being first are often outweighed by the disadvantages”. Part of this is due to the fact that “When you go first to market, you have to make all of the mistakes yourself”. Now this isn’t to say in some industries first advantage doesn’t work. However, I think his point is we should recognise by going later we can learn from the mistakes of others and for some this has major benefits.

 

In Fools Rush In Adam also talks about how we generally are negative about procrastination. As a society, we are obsessed with trying to overcome our procrastination. Adam believes that “Procrastination may be the enemy of productivity, but it can be a resource for creativity”. Part of the reason why it can increase creativity is because when a task isn’t finished your mind will continue to think of different ways you can finish it. Therefore, by not finishing a task in one go you are allowing your brain the time to think of a different way to complete the task. Furthermore, when you procrastinate it can mean you are left with not enough time to fully complete and you are forced to improvise. Adam backs up this idea by discussing how Martin Luther King didn’t actually finish writing his ‘I have a dream’ speech and in fact, the famous I have a dream section was improvised.

 

REBEL WITH A CAUSE

A chapter I found really interesting with Rebel With A Cause. This chapter explored how your birth order could play a role in your originality. Apparently, “Firstborns tend to defend the status quo; laterborns are inclined to challenge it.”. If you want to find out why you will have to read the book. However, as an only child a fact I loved was that predicting personality is more challenging with only children than with children who have siblings”. However, all of theories shouldn’t be taken as fact. Adam clearly states that “Birth order doesn’t determine who you are; it only affects the probability that you’ll develop in a particular way”.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

 Overall, I really enjoyed Originals: How Non-Conformists Change The World. There were a number of sections of the book that definitely contradicted the lessons we are usually taught by society. Furthermore, Adam is an academic and this is can be seen in the writing style of the book. It is full of references to research and thoroughly annotated. Whilst this style isn’t for everyone, it is a style I very much enjoy.

Like what you read? Why not by a copy of Originals: How Non-Conformists Change The World for yourself?

This book was read as part of PropelHer’s Book Club. PropelHer’s Book Club is a non-fiction book club for ambitious with a focus on reading for personal development and professional success. Sound like your sort of thing? Head over to www.propelher.co.uk/bookclub/

 

Rather listen than read? Originals is also available on audible.

Launch by Jeff Walker (Book Review)

Launch by Jeff Walker - Review by Charelle Griffith

If you run an online marketer or entrepreneur you will have probably heard of Jeff Walker, Founder of the Product Launch Formula. Back in September Jeff opened the doors to Product Launch Formula and after being bombarded with emails and facebook adverts I decided I should finally check out his book Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life of Your Dreams.

Launch starts by sharing Jeff’s journey from “Stay-at-Home Dad to Six Figures”. This is a story I had heard before as Jeff often mentions it. However, what I hadn’t heard before was how to made the transition from his first business (trading) to his current business (online marketing/entrepreneurship).

There is no doubt that the internet has changed the way businesses operate and succeed. The reason Jeff is so positive about his formula is partially due to the formula taking advantage of those changes: speed of communication, cost of communication and interactivity.

Jeff’s launch formula is centred around the “Sideways Sale Letter”. Essentially, rather than creating one amazing sales letter he advises you create 3 pieces of content. This should be high-value content, which gets your potential customers engaged and discussing.

Jeff believes there are 10 mental triggers that play a role in selling online. Those 10 mental triggers are:

  • Authority
  • Reciprocity
  • Trust
  • Anticipation
  • Likeability
  • Events and Ritual
  • Community
  • Scarcity
  • Social Proof

The book then walks you through the launch stages: pre-prelaunch, prelaunch, launch and post-launch.

Now an issue many people face when starting a business is not having a list or not having a product and Jeff has an answer for that – The Seed Launch™. So if you are thinking the book is only for people who already have a book up and running that is not true. Even as a beginner Jeff will show you how you can use launches in your business.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Compared to the books I usually read I wrote down hardly any quotes, however, one sentence that did catch my attention was “The only true security is your ability to create value and get paid for that value”. When it comes to starting a business people often worry about leaving the security of a job, but times aren’t what they used to be. There is no security in a job and in fact, the best way you can ensure your ability to financially support yourself forever more is by working out how you, as an individual, can directly get paid.

Overall, I was a little disappointed by this book. This may partially be down to the fact I had watched Jeff Walker’s launch videos and therefore I wasn’t coming to the topic with new eyes. There were a few sections I found interesting and useful, but on the whole, I was underwhelmed and I felt there were too many rags-to-riches case studies. Also, the book is written in a very informal personal tone, which I didn’t resonate with.

I read this book in preparation for launching PropelHer’s Book Club for 2018. The doors are currently open so if you are an ambitious woman who enjoys reading for personal development and professional success check out www.propelher.co.uk/bookclub2018/

 

Like what you read? Why not buy a copy of Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life of Your Dreams for yourself?

Rather listen than read? Launch is also available on audible.

Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant (Book Review)

Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. Book Review by Charelle Griffith

When I heard Sheryl Sandberg had written a new book (entitled Option B) I was so excited! I am a massive fan of Sheryl Sandberg’s first book Lean In. I first read the book back in 2015 and it really resonated for me. After reading the book I joined a Lean In Circle and I doubt my life would look like it was today if I hadn’t read that book (You can check out my post about how Lean In changed my life here.

So with all that enthusiasm, I was a little gutted when I found out it was about facing adversity. I knew all about Sheryl losing her husband, but I thought how will this book be relevant to me. However, Sheryl summed it up perfectly in the book when she wrote

We all deal with loss: jobs lost, loves lost, lives lost. The question is not whether these things will happen. They will, and we will have to face them.”

Option B is written by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, but written in the voice of Sheryl. Having lost her husband in 2015 her story is the main thread through the book. There is a chapter call KICKING THE ELEPHANT OUT OF THE ROOM. It explores how people deal with others who are experiencing grief. That feeling of not really knowing what to do or what to say. Reading the chapter made me think of the way I had behaved around other people who had suffered loss in their life and how it can be really awkward. As an individual, can be hard to know what is the best thing to do and Sheryl suggests the best thing you can possibly do is ask “How are you today?”

Whilst Sheryl’s story is about loss a major message of the book is about resilience, which everyone will need at some point in their life. In the book the work of psychologist Martin Seligman is mentioned. Martin found that when people have a setback there are three P’s that can stunt recovery – “(1) personalisation – the belief that we are at fault; (2) pervasiveness – the belief that an event will affect all areas of our life; and (3) permanence – the belief that the aftershocks of the event will last forever”.

I found this a really useful framework. I know personally when I have felt setbacks it is the feeling of permanence that can make the situation feel overwhelming. However, I can totally see how by knowing that one day the pain won’t be as bad and it won’t feel like it does right now you will be able to recover quicker.

Although the topic of the book is heavy it isn’t all doom and gloom. Part of the book is about how Sheryl tried to find joy and love again in her life. Sheryl writes “When we look for joy, we often focus on the big moments…But happiness is the frequency of positive experiences, not the intensity”. This is why you have a duty to yourself to fill your life with positive experiences often. Stop waiting for the weekend or the big holiday, but do something every day that makes you happy.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

It brings me great joy to say I really enjoyed this book. I admit that I was sceptical at the beginning, but it is written beautifully and in a way that everyone will find value in it.

 

Like what you read? Why not buy a copy of Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, And Finding Joy for yourself?

Rather listen than read? Lean In is also available on audible.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg – Book Review

Book Review of The Power of Habit - Charelle Griffith Reads

When it comes to success, I am a big believer that your habits play a major role in how successful you become. With that in mind, I decided for October PropelHer’s Book Club would discuss The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. The Power of Habit claims to help you understand how habits work and with that knowledge you should be able to work out how you can change your habits for the better.

The Power of Habit is broken down into three sections: The Habits of Individuals, The Habits of Success Organizations and The Habits of Societies. My main interest was in The Habits of Individuals as I really wanted to understand how habits work.

According to the book, habits are formed in loops. There is a cue, a routine and a reward. The cue acts as a trigger so every time your body becomes aware of the cue you will automatically follow through with the routine and the reward. Once habits are formed it this process will happen virtually on autopilot. Charles states that “unless you deliberately fight a habit – unless you find new routines – the pattern will unfold automatically”. Now this has consequences good and bad, depending on the habit and a major problem is that “your brain can’t tell the difference between bad and good habits”. Therefore, it is your responsibility to make sure you form good habits.

All habits aren’t created the same. According to Charles, The habits that matter most are the ones that, when they start to shit, dislodge and remake other patterns”. These are called keystone habits and by changing one of those it can have a ripple effect and help you to change other habits. A common keystone habit is exercise. Charles adds that the most important keystone habit is willpower. Before reading the book I had never thought of willpower being a habit so found this point intriguing.

When it comes to changing a habit there is a golden rule – use the same cue, provide the same reward but change the routine in between. Therefore, to change any habit you first need to be aware of what the cue is and what the reward is. Only once you have established those two things will you be able to start changing your bad habits.

Through the book, the AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) society was explored to see how it was able to help people change a very strong habit – drinking alcohol. One of the things researching the AA revealed was that “if you want to change a habit, you must find an alternative routine, and your odds of success go up dramatically when you commit to changing as part of a group”. This reinforces why programmes like Weight Watchers also works. It is another example of where you are changing a habit (eating or exercise), but using the power of committing to the group in order to help you stick to the new habits.

In The Habits of Societies Charles discusses how the Civil Rights movement happened through the lens of social habits. Apparently, change is created through peer pressure but whilst many people imagine that peer pressure is strongest between close friends that isn’t true. Weak ties are just as important as strong ties. This is partially because with close friends you feel you can let yourself down, embarrass yourself, be truthful etc. Whereas with a weak tie you are much more likely to want to be perceived a certain way.

For a movement to happen there needs to be a number of habits – “They rely on social patterns that begin as the habits of friendship, grow through the habits of communities, and are sustained by new habits the change participants sense of self”. This combination will help a movement to grow to a self-sustaining size where it is bigger than the person who initiated it in the beginning.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Understanding the science behind the habits was fascinating and helped me to understand how I could change my habits in the future. What surprised me was how much I enjoyed the chapters on successful organizations and societies. I was absolutely fascinated by Chapter 7: How Target Knows What You Want Before You Do and how they could identify from what a woman was buying whether she was pregnant. In one instance before a woman had even told her father. Scary stuff!

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone wanting to understand how habits are formed, how we can change them and how you can use habits to make you more successful in life and business.

 

Like what you read? Leave a comment below.

Want to know more about habits? Why not buy a copy of THE POWER OF HABIT for yourself?

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

 

 

I read The Power of Habit as part of PropelHer’s Book Club. PropelHer’s Book Club is a non-fiction book club, for ambitious women who are committed to reading to support their personal development and professional success. We meet monthly in Covent Garden, London and online. If you would like to join a community of ambitious to read and discuss great books with then come join PropelHer’s Book Club.

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.

 

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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.

  

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