Book Reviews

I love nothing better than reading and am never without a book! I read extensively about business, inspirational people, personal and spiritual development. I read to learn, to explore different ideas, to get my mind thinking creatively, to unwind and to switch off. And more often than not I turn to books when I’m looking for an answer to a question or solution to a dilemma.

In this section of my website, I share the books that have influenced me and which may be of benefit to you. As you can imagine, I’m always on the look-out for new books to read, so I’d love to hear your recommendations. So post details of these on my Facebook page or tweet me at @DenyseWhillier!


thecompundThe Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

“It’s the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices. Success is earned in the moment to moment decisions that in themselves make no visible difference whatsoever, but the accumulated compounding effect is profound.”

“The Compound Effect is one of the best books I’ve read on what it really takes to become successful at anything. Darren Hardy’s central premise is that the only path to success is through the repetition of mundane, unsexy, unexciting, and sometimes difficult daily disciplines compounded over time.

Hardy has created a life formula:

Your Choices (decisions) + Behaviour (action) + Habit (repeated action) + Compound Effect (Time) = Goals

So for example, if you want to lose weight, cut out just one 150 calorie snack or drink each day for a year. This simple discipline would result in a weight difference of 15 pounds by the end of one year. (150 x 365 = 54,750 calories saved, divided by 3500 calories per pound = 15.64 pounds difference.)  That’s the equivalent of cutting out a small glass of wine each day.

This immensely practical book sets out an easy-to-use, step-by-step operating system allows you to chart your progress, multiply your success and achieve your goals. So if you’re serious about living an extraordinary life, use the power of ‘The Compound Effect’ to create the success you want.

emythThe Emyth Revisted by Michael Gerber

“The fact of the matter is that we all have an Entrepreneur, Manager and Technician inside us. And if they were equally balanced, we’d be describing an incredibly competent individual. The Entrepreneur would be free to forge ahead into new areas of interest; The Manager would be solidifying the base of operations; and The Technician would be doing the technical work.”

A classic, this revised and updated edition of this bestseller dispels the myth that somebody who understands the technical work of a business can successfully run a business doing that technical work. Gerber explains that the problem is very few people have been properly trained in how to run a business. Most small business people start out as technicians who get hit by an ‘entrepreneurial seizure.’ Their tendency is therefore to retreat back into the one thing they feel certain they know how to do well: the technical work. To be a real business owner, we have to move beyond our comfort zone and learn how to think strategically about our business rather than working in it.

The book’s core message is that rather than doing all the work yourself, we should set up easily replicated business systems. Once we have a functioning system in place, we can then hire a relatively inexperienced person and meticulously train them to follow the system we’ve set up. The better the system, the better the employee performs and the better your business performs. This leaves us free to do the real work of an entrepreneur, thinking about how to improve and grow our business.

millionMillion Dollar Habits by Brian Tracy

“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.”

I’m a huge fan of Brian Tracy’s work so it was difficult deciding which of his 52 books to recommend. I settled on “Million Dollar Habits” because having great habits is such a key factor in determining our business success. 95% of what we think, feel and do is determined by our habits. As Brian Tracy says, “your success in life and work will be determined by the kinds of habits that you develop over time. The habit of setting priorities, overcoming procrastination, and getting on with your most important task is a mental and physical skill. As such, this habit is learnable through practice and repetition, over and over again, until it locks into your subconscious mind and becomes a permanent part of your behaviour.”

“Million Dollar Habits” outlines the primary habits top business people tend to have. The book starts by describing how habits are formed, and how we can change unhelpful patterns. It goes on to explain those habits which will help us be successful in all areas of your life, from business, marketing and sales, health, through to personal relationships.

Although some of the content is similar to what Tracy has written before, there is also much new information which if practised consistently will lead immediately to better business and financial outcomes. 

Platform: Get Noticed In A Noisy World by Michael Hyatt

“A platform is what you stand on to be heard. In the past, that platform might have been a physical stage – today, platforms are composed of people. A borrowed platform, like a large number of Twitter followers, isn’t really a platform – it can be taken away from you. A really effective platform is one that you own, like a mailing list or a blog.”

Michael Hyatt

I’ve been reading Michael Hyatt’s blog for several years now, so wondered how much new content there would be in this book. I needed have worried because this book is a fantastic read, whether you’re new to promoting your business online or more experienced. I wrote pages of notes from this book and now have a long To Do list of actions to help me build my own platform.

Michael Hyatt is one of the top business bloggers in the world, and former CEO and current Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers. He provides practical, step-by-step advice on how to build a powerful platform, or tribe of loyal supporters. He takes readers behind the scenes, to teach us what best-selling authors, public speakers, entrepreneurs, musicians and other creatives are doing differently to win customers in today’s crowded marketplace.

wealthSeven Strategies For Wealth & Happiness by Jim Rohn

“You cannot change your destination overnight. You can change your direction.”

Jim Rohn was an American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker whose rags to riches story played a large part in his work, and influenced others in the personal development industry. Central to Jim Rohn’s thinking is the concept that personal philosophy is the major determining factor in how our life works out – the winds of circumstance blow on us all, and yet we don’t all arrive at the same destination. What guides us to different destinations is the way in which we’ve chosen to set our sail. And this is our personal philosophy.

This book sets out a series of timeless principles which, when acted upon, will create wealth within your life. Written in ‘layman’s terms, it is full of classic Jim Rohn quotes like, “rarely will your income exceed your personal development” and “don’t send your ducks to eagle school – all you will get is unhappy ducks!”

thinlThink and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Remember too that all who succeed in life get off to a bad start, and pass through many heart-breaking struggles before they “arrive”. The turning point in the lives of those who succeed usually comes at some moment of crisis, through which they are introduced to their “other selves”.” 

“Think and Grow Rich” is considered one of the most important financial books ever written. Napoleon Hill researched more than 500 of the most affluent men and women of the time to find out what made them so successful. He then developed a simple but powerful 13-step formula to help readers to think like the rich and so achieve whatever s/he wants in life.

The concepts taught by Napoleon Hill changed the way I thought and transformed my life. These include developing a definite purpose, organised planning, building a Positive Mental Attitude, channelling the power of the sub-conscious mind and how becoming persistent cultivates faith. Essential reading!


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