Caught Between a Dream and a Job (revisited)

Default CoverHAVE YOU EVER FELT like you are at a point in your life where you just want more out of it? You may or may not be content with your current career choice, but there’s something inside that just keeps nagging deep within your spirit.  CAUGHT BETWEEN A DREAM AND A JOB: How to Leave the 9-5 Behind and Step into the Life You’ve Always Wanted by Delatorro McNeal II may just be the inspiration you need to motivate you to get serious right now.

ARE YOU THINKING or have you thought about owning your own business, but haven’t done it yet? Are you afraid of failing? Don’t know where to start and dread having to read one more self-help book? Well, before you throw in the towel,  read this book. It might just be what you need to motivate you.  Some of the examples are:

  • Identifying your destiny and purpose, and the need for a transition.
  • Hiring yourself and landing your real dream job.
  • Tips for stepping powerfully into your dreams.

THE GOAL OF THIS BOOK is no different from any other, but it is the infectious energy  leaping from each page that sets it apart from others, making it a worthy reading option.  Do the work, look within, and have the courage to ask yourself the hard question – “How badly do I want this?” Then put all of those good ideas into action?

CHANGE IS NEVER EASY but the rewards of your leap of faith can be as vast as you want it to be. What’s your game plan? What’s your plan of action? What’s your exit strategy? All these questions and more are addressed and/or answered. Mr. McNeal invites and reminds you to be an active participant in your future.

THOUGHTS for your SOUL:

  • “Nothing in life is guaranteed, but one thing is; if you don’t try you will fail, it’s about taking risks.”
  • “When the social archeologists of tomorrow look back on the days of yesteryear and find your footprint, what story will it tell? What social imprint will you make? What will your legacy be?” – Jason Drenner
  • “The self-employed are the wealthy folks of America. The average net worth of a family where the head of a household works for someone else is $65,000. When it comes to the self-employed, the average net worth is $352,3000.” – Dr. Steve Sjuggerud
  • There will be 10 million new millionaires in the United States alone created between 2006-2016. Prime candidates are those people who are in direct selling, technology, in home-based business, product distribution, or wellness field.” – Paul Zane Pilzer, Economist, Trend Forecaster and best-selling author of The Next Millionaires.

Delatorro McNeal shares his personal testimony, of how he systematically worked to make that transition. The advice is practical, timely and pertinent, as well as structured to walk you through the process. Each of the best practices are explained in detail, with an inspirational quote to keep you focused. He invites and encourages you to be an active participant in your future. To do that you have to be open, take notes, highlight poignant passages, WRITE your answers down and reflect. CAUGHT BETWEEN A DREAM AND A JOB is jam-packed with suggestions. . . You just have to have the courage to step out on faith. By the end of the book, you are convinced that your dreams are possible . . . If you have the courage to pursue them and it starts with the step you take today!

This review may differ slightly from the original January 8, 2014 post.

Let’s BOND over BOOKS rates CAUGHT BETWEEN A DREAM AND A JOB as MELODICALLY MEANINGFUL (151-300 pgs) . . . Just the right mixture of content and pages

 

Find Your Extraordinary

findyourextraordinaryA LIFE “So full of passion, positivity, will, tenacity, and gratitude that can transform your life from ordinary to extraordinary” is within your grasp. To have it, you’ve got to want it! FIND YOUR EXTRAORDINARY: Dream Bigger, Live Happier, and Achieve Success on Your Own Terms by Jessica DiLullo Herrin is the story of a woman’s ordinary to extraordinary.

INSIDE MANY OF US is the longing or desire to do more with our life before it gets too late. In the pursuit of passion, we often stumble upon our purpose. Jessica DiLullo Herrin stumbled onto her path while on a treadmill in graduate school. The idea sparked an insatiable thirst that drove her to ultimately drop out and while she doesn’t encourage it, it worked for her. That idea was Della & James, which became WeddingChannel.com and was ultimately sold to The Knot (the online wedding planner website) for $90 million.

TIMING AND PREPARATION are everything. Her next business venture is Stella & Dot a direct marketing, e-commerce and social media company that sells jewelry and handbags through Trunk Shows given by independent contractors or entrepreneurs.  Stella & Dot grossed over $100 million last year

JESSICA DiLULLO HERRIN writes of her struggles, her tenacity, her perseverance, and her ‘normalness’, but she never let it minimize her dreams. Struggles are real and her’s is relatable. A $100 million company comes with its own struggles, although these “new” struggles were not the struggles of an ordinary person, we can still  learn from her story.

THOUGHTS For Your SOUL:

  • Don’t think about how your past limits your future, but instead about how your unique past has made you stronger.”
  • It’s not about who is more successful – it’s simply about whether you are happy with the trade-offs that come with your choices.”

ALONG THE WAY to her dream Jessica knew she “was going to pay some dues and work some jobs that were not altogether awesome.” What are you willing to sacrifice or give up to pay your dues? Taking a step back to move forward could be the best strategic move that gives you the additional perspective needed to propel forward.

FIND YOUR EXTRAORDINARY while inspirational on so many levels, cultivates and feeds the entrepreneurial spirit. Risk is not something to fear, risk reminds us that “Extraordinary exists only outside of your comfort zone. Fear will always be there, but if you push yourself to find it, your courage is there, too.” This is the kind of book you want to read multiple times or share with a friend.

WHEN YOU ARE BRAVE ENOUGH to “Develop the will to do things your way, without fear of failure or how your choices look to anybody except yourself” you can discover your extraordinary.

Let’s BOND over BOOKS rates FIND YOUR EXTRAORDINARY as MELODICALLY MEANINGFUL (151-300 pages) . . . Just the right mixture of content and pages.

Disclaimer: BONDing for BOOKS received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

JumpStart Your Leadership

Default CoverSOME PEOPLE WANT TO BE A LEADER, others are comfortable to be a follower, so how does a follower make the successful leap to a leader? Each day there are opportunities to step up and lead or stay in step and follow. JUMPSTART YOUR LEADERSHIP: A 90-Day Improvement Plan by John C. Maxwell can help you prepare for the leap to the next level.

WE ALL HAVE OUR OWN PERCEPTION of what a good leader “looks” like and who a leader should be. But we can easily state what and who a bad or ineffective leader looks like. “Everyone has the potential to become a better leader,” but it takes patience, commitment, work, and attitude to make it happen. Change is never easy, but the reward is well worth the work.

YOU CAN’T LEAD IF NO ONE WILL FOLLOW and you won’t be an effective leader if your followers don’t respect or trust you. The ability to lead is important in the workplace and let’s be honest, the stereotype of a leader is typically a man, not a woman. Influence is an important factor and everyone has the ability to influence somebody. “Because leadership is influence, if you can increase your influence with others, you can lead more effectively.”

JUMPSTART YOUR LEADERSHIP MAKES NO DISTINCTION about whether a man or a woman would make a better or more effective leader. However, it does provide a platform where everyone has the same opportunity and exposure for their professional development. John Maxwell calls leadership a journey and he has been passionate about sharing what he knows about leadership and has influenced quite a number of people along the way.

IN THIS HIGHLY COMPETITIVE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT preparation is the key to seizing any opportunity and to show people that you deserve the responsibility you have received. Mr. Maxwell had six questions he asked himself that are worth sharing:

THOUGHTS for your SOUL:

  1. What is a leader?”
  2. “How should I define leadership?”
  3. “Where does leadership start?”
  4. “What should I do first?”
  5. “How can I increase my influence with others?”
  6. “How can I develop a productive team?”
  7. “How can I keep getting better as a leader?”

HOW MUCH ARE YOU WILLING TO INVEST IN YOURSELF? JUMPSTART YOUR LEADERSHIP uses a 90-Day daily journal template along with inspirational quotes, brief lessons, reflective questions, spaces to write down your responses and provide clarity of thought and action. The goal of the author is for you to start where you are to develop into a better leader by preparing today for tomorrow’s opportunities.

THERE ARE NO SURPRISES with any self-help book and a common thread throughout the book is commitment and practice . . . Remember, practice does not make perfect it makes better! A good way to practice is to read the entire book (it is relatively short and can be read in two hours) then go back and read it daily for the next 90 days. Partner with a co-worker, mentor or friend and take 5 to 15 minutes a day to discuss, support, encourage, challenge one another and hold each other accountable. Good luck!!!

Let’s BOND over BOOKS rates JUMPSTART YOUR LEADERSHIP as MELODICALLY MEANINGFUL (151-300 pgs) . . . Just the right mixture of content and pages.

Spiritual Sobriety

Spiritual SobrietyAS WITH ANY OTHER ADDICTION, my overzealous religious practice came with a dark side.” Elizabeth Esther chronicles her journey as a religious addict and her road back to recovery in SPIRITUAL SOBRIETY: Stumbling Back to Faith When Good Religion Goes Bad.

RAISED IN A HIGHLY RELIGIOUS FAMILY, which she compared to a cult, Elizabeth Esther learned at an early age how to overindulge in the Spirit of the Lord. Through this behavior, she conditioned herself to have (what she described) an unhealthy attitude towards God. Later in life, as well as during the times she was in recovery Elizabeth discovered she was “Using God, a church, or a belief system” to measure her self-worth.

FOR ELIZABETH being a religious addict meant she had a hard time saying “no.” No, to the rituals, the attention, the euphoria she experienced when she praised God or did His work. No different from what any other addict would face, “There was the uncomfortable, sometimes painful letdown once the spiritual high wore off.”

MUCH OF HER RECOVERY PARALLELS other recovery programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Addicts Anonymous, as well as church-based support groups. She joined many support groups and pointed out that she could “Be more honest in nonreligious support groups because I wasn’t worried about tarnishing my good-Christian-girl reputation.”

THOUGHTS for your SOUL:

  • A process becomes an addiction when the process becomes the center of life, the most important reason for living, when a person becomes dependent upon the process for mood-altering relief.” – Robert Neil Minor
  • Imagination is a tool that helps us change things while fantasy is a distraction that prevents us from accepting the things we can’t change.”

MS. ESTHER TOOK ONE DAY AT A TIME and found a way to experience peace in her life. Her path included the importance of boundaries because “Without them, our vulnerabilities become liabilities and we are often left feeling used and discarded.”  She spoke with courage from her heart. However, SPIRITUAL SOBRIETY read like a series of journal entries or blog posts and missed the opportunity to be a landmark resource for Religious Addicts.

THOUGH IT’S NEVER EASY to expose your vulnerabilities, Ms. Esther showed hers. Words have the power to change lives and if this book helps one person, then it was worth reading. “Whatever your situation, surrender. Get help if you need it. Face your reality and become spiritually sober.”

Let’s BOND over BOOKS rates SPIRITUAL SOBRIETY as MELODICALLY MEANINGFUL (151-300 pgs) . . . Just the right mixture of content and pages.

Disclaimer: BONDing for BOOKS received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

The Art of People

ArtOfPeopleHOW WELL DO YOU UNDERSTAND PEOPLE, how well can you communicate with people, and how well can you get people to do what you want them to do?” At some point in your adult life, (whether personal or professional) one or all of these questions have crossed your mind. THE ART OF PEOPLE: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want  by Dave Kerpen gives you the road map to fine tune your people skills.

WE LIVE IN A WORLD where many people are starving for attention and connection. Bombarded daily with “man-made emergencies” and the need for “immediate answers,” it seems people have forgotten, don’t know how, or can’t communicate effectively. Today the stakes are higher and consequences of missed or lost opportunities long-lasting. We live in a self-centered society and have to find a way to stand apart from the crowd.

HAVING SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE SKILLS means that you take learning or honing these skills seriously. To get started Mr. Kerpen recommends you take the Enneagram (similar to the DiSC assessment or Myers-Briggs) provided in Appendix A of the book. The more you know about who you are, the easier it is to communicate with others. The Enneagram identifies four personality types: People-Pleaser, People-Leader, People-Guru, People-Persuader. Once identified you can work on enhancing your strengths and improving your weaknesses.

THOUGHTS for your SOUL:

  • Always accept the glass of water . . . Even if you’re not thirsty, take the drink.” – Tip 13
  • Don’t let one unkind word destroy years of praise . . . Praise is powerful, contagious, and totally inspirational.” – Tip 48
  • Make Time Your Friend . . . You can prioritize only a limited number of relationships in your life at work and at home.” – Tip 30

ELEVEN PEOPLE SKILLS and 53 simple, yet effective tips (techniques) provide the outline. Dave Kerpen weaves stories from his personal and business experiences to narrate in this clear, practical, easy-to-read book. Whether you are shy or a social butterfly there is a techniques/tip for you.

THE ART OF PEOPLE will challenge you to think beyond your circumstance; to move and act on what you have read. Implementing these tips will get you out of your comfort zone. Communication is the key that unlocks the secrets of networking. After all, “You can’t achieve happiness or success in a vacuum; it all hinges on the bonds you build with the people around you.” Any one or all of these tips could be the game-changer.

editor's choiceLet’s BOND over BOOKS  rates  THE ART OF PEOPLE  as  MELODICALLY MEANINGFUL (151-300 pgs) . . . just the right mixture of content and pages.

Disclaimer: BONDing over BOOKS received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

What I Know Now

WhatIKnowNowjpgTHERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE. It’s time to be bold about who you really are,” according to Ann Curry, former NBC Today Show co-anchor. This quote and other words of wisdom are shared in WHAT I KNOW NOW: Letters to My Younger Self, edited by Ellyn Spragins.

THIS SIMPLE YET PROFOUNDLY INSPIRATIONAL BOOK where 41 women “share the wisdom they wish they’d had when they were younger,” is full of the wisdom of the ages. In today’s world, there is more pressure on a woman to have a successful career, be the attentive mother, hang out with friends and have time for herself. Some feel like a failure or guilty because they have not found that balance. The reality is that constant balance is a struggle. Olympia Dukakis said, “There’s no ladder to success. The rhythm of life runs in cycles . . . Things live, grow, die.”

FOR MANY WOMEN, that struggle is real. The struggle for equal respect, equal pay, and equal opportunity binds all women into a sisterhood for empowerment. The stories shared are not unique, but they are deeply personal examples of the signposts that make you pause and reflect before you make your next move. Male or female, if you could write to your younger self, what would you say?

THOUGHTS for your SOUL:

  • You must embrace these changes . . . You mustn’t bury or deny the darkness. You gotta live through it; you can’t cheat.” – Olympia Dukakis
  • Every action creates a memory that is imprinted upon you and affects you in subtle ways — ways you are not always aware of.” -Phylicia Rashad
  • What I know now is that women can actually come pretty close to having it all, but you just can’t have it all every day.” – Marilyn Carlson Nelson

WHILE THE WOMEN FEATURED may be famous and their journeys may not mimic your own, each woman has a story to tell that may help one person who reads it. A story, her story worth reading, sharing and repeating. The essence and honesty of each heartfelt letter are reminiscent of the advice you might get from a sister, a grandmother, an aunt, mother or mentor. Hindsight is the bonus in life and experience is what fills in the gaps.

Let’s BOND over BOOKS rates WHAT I KNOW NOW as MELODICALLY MEANINGFUL (151-300 pages) . . . just the right mixture of content and pages.

Permission granted from RandomHouse Publishing