Amazon describes this book as a “refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero that helps you identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want…so you create a life you totally love. And make some damn money already.”
First, I’d like to start off by pointing out that I actually read the book. Sort of. I waffled between reading it and Audible...which is pretty much how I consume all business and self-help-y type publications. But since I’m currently the only member of the Club, I’m giving myself a pass. (If this Club grows, you can vote on whether this is or is not acceptable. I personally think this approach is freaking awesome.)
Since this is my first book club and I am the only member, I Googled “questions to ask at book club.” I found a website that was clearly designed in the 90s, and I copy and pasted those questions. So away we go:
Which character do you like the most and why? The least and why?
It’s a self-help book, so I guess I like me best, and the author least…except when I’m feeling down about myself…then flip it. I kid. The truth is, the author is funny, intelligent and motivating. It makes sense why she’s writing this book, because she has carved out a happy, grab-life-by-the-bananas existence. Also, this question doesn’t really make sense for the book topic.
What passage from the book stood out to you?
While some things border on The Secret (i.e. self-actualization makes things happen – full disclosure: I never read The Secret so I could be flubbing this reference), I love her emphasis on overcoming fear.
“Nobody who ever accomplished anything big or new or worth raising a celebratory fist in the air did it from their comfort zone. They risked ridicule and failure and sometimes even death.” – J.S.
This is true and has been true since the dawn of civilization. And yet, the fear of failure is still perhaps the biggest obstacle of growth in modern society. I have missed many opportunities because of it.
Her take on money also resonated with me. Money is a tool and not inherently evil. Don’t beat yourself up if you want it. Just ensure that once you attract money, you use it to make the world a better place. And have some fun.
Are there situations and/or characters you can identify with, if so how?
She was in an aggressive, kick-ass girl band in the 90s. They were successful, despite being musically challenged, because they really loved and “felt” it deep down. I was never in a band, but I feel like this could be a metaphor for my professional life.
Did you learn something you didn’t know before?
Specificity matters. You can’t generally want success. You need to define exactly what success means to you. What do you want? Give yourself (and the Universe?) direction. Working towards an undefined goal is a recipe for not meeting your own hopes and dreams.
In short, this is a book that will give you the kick in pants you need to make a big decision and chug along to make that big decision turn into something bigger. It is inspiring, strangely compassionate and always entertaining.
I want to close by telling you how I came by this book.
I was on vacation: the first I had taken in more than two years. I found the book in the dining-slash-yoga space of an Airbnb rental. When you move into someone’s home, you get an idea of who they are. It was clear the owner was living a meaningful life. I was both envious and curious.
I bought the book and started reading it, at times aloud to my husband while we laid on the beach. He is not a self-help-y guy, and sometimes he would say, “Shhhhhhh Alison…I'm pretending to sleep.” But more than a few times he would say, “Where are you in the book, will you read out loud?” And I would. And sometimes we would pause and talk about what we'd just read.
When we came home I made some definite decisions regarding my career, and he is currently getting funding for a new endeavor. Causation or correlation? Either way, it's definitely badass.
What book would you recommend for our next book club?