Book Reviews

“The Turn-Key Revolution: A New View of Business “

1.    Strengths of the Book

  • The key strength of the book is partly owed to the fact that it coincided with the boom in franchising model, which Gerber says rests on the understanding that, ‘The true product of a business is the business itself.’
  • Many people go into business because they like doing something and want to make money from it. Just because you have technical know-how or good at something does not necessarily mean that you are good at running a business.
  • Systems and processes allow your business to scale.
  • Find ways to automate and refine aspects of your business that you can’t use people for.
  • Bring people into your business who can add value and do things better than you – start with the people who can support your systems or marketing.
  • Measure everything, analyse your internal and external data and make changes based on numbers not emotions.
  • Write down everything you need to do so that you can achieve consistent outputs and results.
  • Develop checklists for everything you plan to do more than once.

“The Turn-Key Revolution: A New View of Business “

1.    Strengths of the Book

  • The key strength of the book is partly owed to the fact that it coincided with the boom in franchising model, which Gerber says rests on the understanding that, ‘The true product of a business is the business itself.’
  • Many people go into business because they like doing something and want to make money from it. Just because you have technical know-how or good at something does not necessarily mean that you are good at running a business.
  • Systems and processes allow your business to scale.
  • Find ways to automate and refine aspects of your business that you can’t use people for.
  • Bring people into your business who can add value and do things better than you – start with the people who can support your systems or marketing.
  • Measure everything, analyse your internal and external data and make changes based on numbers not emotions.
  • Write down everything you need to do so that you can achieve consistent outputs and results.
  • Develop checklists for everything you plan to do more than once.

2.   Weaknesses of the Book

  • Sometimes the texts in the book can be a little repetitive and over-simplistic. Using the same invented character over and over.
  • While The E-Myth is great, there is no one-size-fits-all business solution either. While you need systems and processes and standard approaches, you also need to be unique! Combining your ‘why’ and your USP with a consistent and effective product or service delivery makes for a sustainable and interesting business.

3.   Summary of the book

Most small businesses fail, but if from day one you build your business as a franchise prototype so that anybody can take the reins, your chances of success increase dramatically. The key is to go to work on your business, not in your business.

You need a system

In this book Gerber uses McDonald’s as the perfect example of a business that ‘worked and still works’. The brilliance of the concept is not simply the food, but a system that can be replicated thousands of times over. Founder Ray Kroc loved the food but even more he loved the beauty of the system that the McDonald brothers had originally developed: its speed, simplicity and orderliness.

Most small businesses believe that they will grow through hiring brilliant people. In fact, according to Gerber, this is a hit-and-miss way of doing things. What you really need is idiot-proof systems that enable merely good people to do extraordinary things – ways of operating that guarantee a customer is satisfied. If you can build a great business around ordinary people, Gerber remarks, you don’t have to worry about finding extraordinary ones.

Create a world of order

You have to orchestrate, organise, and standardise your business down to the smallest details, because the only certainty in the business is that your staff will act unpredictably. With proper standards, systems and accountability, you cut out that risk, and as a result the customer gets what they want all the time. A business is like a machine that generates money. The more you standardize and refine the machine, the clearer its value will be.

Most people, Gerber said, feel either a lack of purpose in their lives or a sense of isolation from others. A great business can fill both gaps, giving a sense of camaraderie and order that would otherwise be missing. It brings more life to both customers and employees, providing a ‘fixed point of reference’ – an island of purposeful calm in an otherwise disorderly world.

4.   What vital information can members take away and implement?

  • Discover yourself first, know who you are i.e. your strengths and your weaknesses.
  • If you decide to go into business then before you start, ask yourself, “What kind of life do I want to live?” How much money do you want, and how much do you want to work? These are key questions for which you need the answers before you start, as you should set up your business in a way to help you attain your life goals.
  • Learn (how) to systemize your business or work and you would save a lot of resources by so doing and having a fulfilled mission.

Author: Abi Elohim

1. Strengths

  • The book changes the way you think about work and money
  • Also shows you that you can start a business from a young age
  • Focuses on the point that you should try hard to save money and accumulate assets that can eventually replace the income you make from your job.
  • Convinces you that not only can you invest, but you can do so quickly.
  • It is entertaining.

2. Weaknesses

  • It does not provide much detail on how you can use the methods he suggests, but focuses more on a broad way of thinking.
  • If you needed details on how to purchase real estate for eg, it is not in the book.
  • Using language such as Poor Dad like he talking down to the dad that works hard for a living.
  • He also calls working for your income the ‘Rat Race’ which can also appear condescending.

3.     Summary of the book

Chapter 1- The Rich don’t work for money

From a young age, Robert had his first business partner, his schoolmate Mike. They worked for Mike’s dad, who taught them lessons on how to make money. The first rule they learn was that the rich don’t work hard for money, their money works hard for them. The first thing Mike’s dad did was to pay Robert and Mike 10 cents/hr so that they could see what is like to get a salary, and for them to imagine how would that be if multiplied over the time-span of 50 years. Then, rich dad had them working for free, which taught them two lessons: 1) most people are guided by fear (of not being able to pay for their bills) or desire (e.g. greed) and 2) we need to think of alternatives to make money, which Robert and Mike did – at a very a young age they set up a small library room, where they provided leftover magazines to other kids for a small fee.

Chapter 2- Why Teach Financial literacy?

Most people buy a house or a mortgage and consider it to be an asset. However, in business world, it’s actually a liability because the house is not earning anything. The house is eating up resources of the person who has bought it on mortgage. In school, people are taught to earn good grades, get good jobs and be good employees. Generally, financial literacy component is not taught. Therefore, people with a job generally struggle to meet their day to day expenses, middle class people purchase liabilities considering it to be an asset (e.g. a house bought on mortgage or a car on lease!) while rich people construct a sound asset base which generates income for purchase of other assets. Rich dad taught author the assets of rich people. Which include: Real Estate, apartments generating rents and businesses being managed by managers and generating cash. A person can start with stocks, bond and mutual funds (A mutual fund is a professionally managed investment fund that pools money from many investors to purchase securities). but these are not at all a substitute of a business which generates cash flows.

Chapter 3- Mind your business

In this chapter, the author slowly introduces the concept of real estate investing and uses McDonald’s as an example. He points out that McDonald’s may not make the best hamburgers in the world, but owns the “most valuable intersections and streets in America.” The author remarks that individuals need to mind their own business if they wish to become financially self-sufficient. They shouldn’t mind their employer’s business; they should strive for ways to become their own boss and nurture their own businesses.

The author continues his discussion on building assets. To him, real assets are anything with value – stocks, bonds, mutual funds, income-producing real estate, notes, royalties from intellectual property, etc. This chapter also reveals the author’s investment preferences: real estate and stocks.

4. What vital information can members take away and implement?

  • The rich never work for money.  People struggle because they have spent years in school and learn to work for money.
  • To help a person build a strong foundation, you should learn the difference between an asset and a liability and think how to create income generating assets.
  • You can start small.  You don’t need a lot to start in real estate for eg.
  • Get out of the ‘Rat Race’ and have people work hard to put money in your pocket.
  • The rich are the ones who are hardly taxed because they have the knowledge on how to use tax legislation to their advantage.
  • Once a penny goes into your portfolio, it becomes your employee. The best thing about money is that it works 24 hours a day and can work for generations to come: for my children, grandchildren, and so on until someone destroys it.

Author: Carol Williams

Rich Dad Poor Dad is Robert’s story of growing up with two dads — his real father and the father of his best friend, his “rich dad” — and the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.


The book talks on the mindset of money. Both dads had different money mindsets e.g. poor dad said I can’t afford it. Rich dad said how can I afford it.

Book emphasis the importance of financial literacy. 6 lessons


1, Rich people don’t work for money- Essentially rich people don’t work for money. They get money to work hard for them. They control emotions to think instead of reacting. Excellent money management skills are involved. Set up comic book business. Hires his friend’s sister to run it and made money whilst not being present. In order to get the comic books they were wiling to work for free at a store.

2, The importance of financial literacy- Hence why I do l literacy workshops- Financial literacy underpins wealth accumulation. To generate wealth, you need to manage money well. He says its not how much money you make. Its how much you keep and how many generations you keep it for. He says you must master financial literacy. E.g. lottery winners often go back to their poverty as they don’t have financial literacy to maintain wealth. – Defines assets and liabilities. Encourages you to buy assets and not liabilities. If you earn more don’t spend more.

3, Mind your own business- Most people work for their employer, the government and then for the bank through mortgage payments. The key is to mind your own business. This means to build your assets column. Most people focus on building their income column. Earning more income will only help you if you buy more assets. Keep expenses low, reduce liabilities and build a solid base of assets. E.g. stock, bonds, real estate that generates an income, royalties from intellectual property such as music, scripts etc.

4, The history of taxes and corporations. The rich are taxed less than the middle classes especially the educated upper middle class who pay for the poor. In England income tax was only levied permanently on the UK population in 1874. Before that tax was not compulsory. Initially only the rich paid taxes. The way the government sold taxes to the masses was to tell them that paying taxes would punish the rich. The govt appetite for taxes grew and the poor and middle classes would need to pay in. Corporations created to protect the wealth of the rich. Expenses in a corporation are a lot lower then individual income tax rates. You can pay for expenses with pre-tax dollars. Rich hire smart attorneys and lawyers to pay less tax. You need the right knowledge to protect your wealth and you can buy it if necessary. Trusts are also used to protect wealth.

5, The rich invest money- Hence my investment workshop- Need for boldness and courage to make money. Need to take risk. Argues increasing financial literacy is linked to prosperity. Wealth in now inside information. Before it was in land or in industry. Goal is to increase your monthly cash flow form the assets column to the point where it exceeds your monthly expenses. Cash flow game explained. We plan to play this later. Financial intelligence is about creating more options. Most people work hard, save money and borrow. Argues you should invest in financial intelligence. Reading, workshops etc. Financial intelligence made up of Accounting, investing, understanding the markets and the law. Investments come and go. Markets go up and down. Opportunities are everywhere on a daily basis. If you don’t understand the investment do not do it. Discussed big wins he had in property during economic down turns. Sold them on when the market picked up. Buying shares when they are just about to go public for a low price.

6, Work to learn- Don’t work for money – Covered by the next reviewer.


Doesn’t really tell you the how. Hence my workshops. Real estate and small cap stocks are promoted. How do you find these deals?


In all a very good book that encourages you to spend money well, gives good financial literacy and motivates you to build you asset column with income generating assets.

Author: Annette Galoway

Identity Leadership: To lead others you must first lead yourself – Steadman Graham

Book Review: (Chapters 1-9)

1. Strengths

Easy to read

Summaries to high light key points

Case studies from real people’s lives and businesses

Lots of good quotes sprinkled in the book

2. Weaknesses

  • Felt like a plug for his leadership program and other books.

3. Summary Of The Book

Identity. leadership is about leading yourself. You can’t lead others until you know how to lead yourself. To do this, you need to know who you are.

To understand yourself, you need to clarify your passions, purpose and plans.

By knowing yourself, you can lead people authentically. The process of identifying your who you are, is an individual process – it will be different for everyone.

But there are three core questions you must answer

Who are you?

Where are you going?

How are you going to get there?

  • It is important to believe in yourself
  • Know your competence
  • Continually challenge yourself
  • Be patient with yourself.

We often describe ourselves by a our job title. I am a baker, an accountant etc. But it is about the internal. What makes a person tick, what gets them up in the morning that they don’t have to hit the snooze button?

It is important to not let others label you. We are often labelled by our characteristics ie race, gender ethnicity, family circumstances. The world slaps us with an identity and it will never be a reflection of your true identity, capabilities and gifts, it will always be a lesser and more restrictive version of yourself. We need to get past those labels and define ourselves. How do you think and feel about yourself?  When you change your thoughts, you change your feelings, When you change your feelings you change your attitude. WE have the power to write our life’s script.

Create a life based on your passions and strengths. Your life has a unique purpose. You have unique gifts and talents and to discover this, you must look deep inside and NOT outward for your identity. We are only limited by our own thinking and choices.

Success flows from understanding who we really are

We live in an ever changing world, so it is important to know how to adapt. As an identity leader, you are not afraid of change. It is about to asses what change is needed and how to bring about this change.

The book describes well know successful leaders. Each of them is different. There is no formula to leadership it varies based on people’s styles and personalities. There are some attributes that they share: vision, passion, motivation, team building, perseverance discipline, optimism, communication skills, honesty and not being afraid of failure.

A personal insight into Steadman’s life

You may know that Steadman is Oprah Winfrey’s partner. There is a chapter dedicated to her. In this view you embodies Identity Leadership. Oprah was not defined by her life’s circumstances. She know who she is. Steadman says being with a successful woman has meant that he has had to define who is rather than n who Oprah is or their relationship. He has had to work harder on defining himself.

He goes on to identify keys to her success:

  • She works hard
  • She is energetic
  • She believes in and takes personal responsibility
  • She loves learning
  • She is not afraid to take risks
  • She is not afraid of failure
  • She maintains a balance between her personal and professional life
  • She is honest and transparent
  • She is decisive
  • She adds value
  • She loves herself
  • She enjoys the journey

Leaders rise – meaning they are not always leaders. They transitioned into the role. Steadman makes four key points as you become a leader

  1. Becoming a leader is accompanied by more responsibility and leadership is accompanied by more stress especially at the beginning. Manage stress in healthy ways with nutrition, exercise, sleep. Seek wisdom from mentors and other leaders.
  2. Pour energy into enhancing your communication skills. Listen to other leaders and those under you. Express your ideas clearly and seek support where needed.
  3. Give yourself time to grow into your new role.
  4. Realize that as an identity leader, you can impact people where ever you are.

To be a truly effective leader, you need to have a high degree of emotional intelligence. Someone who is emotionally intelligent is aware of his emotions, is able to express them and control them and can handle relationships with wisdom and empathy. The chief components of EQ is self-awareness, self regulation, motivation and empathy and social skills.

By becoming an identity leader, you have three advantages

The planning advantage – the ability to plan and organize your life in the way that matters to them

The performance advantage – doing what you set out to do

The personal development advantage – always looking at ways to develop yourself

Self actualization – what a man must be, he must be. We are all born with innate desires and abilities and what brings us fulfilment is as we develop them, That’s why musicians must make music and arts are at peace when making music. When we self actualize, the world will open up for us.

Back in 1997, Steadman wrote ‘You can make it happen: A nine step plan for success’ This book became a bestseller and he has taught the nine steps across the world.

The nine steps are:

  1. Check your ID – before deciding what to do, understand who you are and what influences your life
  2. Create a vision. Your vision is your life’s journey
  3. Develop a travel plan -having a plan of action
  4. Master the rules of the road Have solid values to help you keep on track
  5. Step into the outer limits – to grow you must leave your comfort zone
  6. Pilot seasons of change -if you do what you have always done, you will get the same results, learn how to create change
  7. Build your dream team – n one can make it alone build a supportive team
  8. Win by decision who you are in the world is largely the result of decisions made in the past. Learn how to make right decisions for your life
  9. Commit to your vision Devote your time and energy to the purist of your goals and vision

4.   What vital information can members take away and implement?

  • Know who you are!
  • There are different kinds of leaders
  • Becoming a leader doesn’t mean you stop developing yourself
  • Master yourself before you lead others
  • Don’t let others define you, write your script

Author: Victoria Labeodan

Identity Leadership: To lead others you must first lead yourself – Steadman Graham

Book Review: (Chapters: 12-18)

1. Strengths of the Book

  • The book is simple, its divided into small chapters
  • There are identity leadership keys at the end of each section
  • There are activation questions at the end of each chapter
  • There are stories of identity leaders which brings the theme into life.

2.   Weaknesses of the Book

  • It was repetitive at times
  • Everything in the book can be summarized in a shorter book.

3. Summary of the book

There are rules along the road to becoming an identity leader: stay determined, listen to your inner voice, unleash your imagination, find balance in your life, be honest, do the work, be positive, think things through, see the big picture.

To achieve something great, to reach your vision, you are going to need to take risks. You can’t stay in your comfort zone, keep on doing what you have always done, and expect to grow and achieve what you haven’t already achieved.

Fear can be crippling in your identity leadership journey. Fear can hold you back from fulfilling your purpose. You need to meet fear head-on, understand its roots and be proactive in overcoming it. Highly successful people fail – a lot – and they use those failures to learn and grow and get to where they otherwise could not. You can learn many valuable lessons from failure.

Identity leaders are not afraid of change – in fact, they learn to embrace it and use it to their advantage.

Having a team surrounding you and supporting you in your identity leadership journey is a critical aspect of achieving success. It takes a lot of people to achieve great things. No one makes it alone. So, look to build a dream team around you.

The decision you make along the way, both big and small, impact your identity leadership journey. Be mindful of the decisions you make and weigh them against your overall goals and vision.

A vision is good only as long as you commit to it. That commitment takes a strong belief in yourself, your abilities, and your goals. Commitment requires action. You show your commitment by doing, not by planning.

Identity leaders know that the way to make the most of their life is to make the most of their 24 hours today, and to live each day with purpose.

The world needs identity leaders – self actualizing people who know themselves and can lead others in meaningful pursuits.

Identity leaders are rare commodities – yet anyone can become an identity leader. You just need to know the answers to these three questions:

Who am I?

Where am I going?

How am I going to get there?

4.   What vital information can members take away and implement?

  • Anyone can become an identity leader
  • Live each day with purpose
  • Ask yourself, who am I? Where am I going? How am I going to get there?
  • Commit to achieving your vision.

Author: Blessing Theophilus-Israel


Miracles Happen : The Life and Timeless Principles of the Founder of Mary Kay Inc.

Book Review


Strengths of the book

  • Inspiring story of an everyday woman like any of us who dared to dream and defied the odds to build an internationally recognized empire
  • An easy read, you don’t want to put it down.
  • Relatable – as I read the book, I felt as though I was sitting with a friend over a cup of coffee and chocolate cake as she narrated her life history.
  • The book is split into easy-to-read chapters each with a life lesson that the reader can apply

Weaknesses of the book

  • Sometimes the stories were interwoven with other events or stages in her life and it’s difficult to tell which stage of her life is being talked about – almost like we are going back and forth on some events.
  • When she was talking about her relationships particularly the husbands, I found myself wondering, which husband are we now talking about?

Summary of the book

It’s a story of an individual whose dream was birthed out of the pain of being surpassed and overlooked in the corporate world because she was a woman. She trained men and then 6months later they became her bosses. Her business did not come out of a desire to make money. It came out of place of pain and of a passion to solve the problem of career limitations that women in her day were having and the lack of flexibility for working mums. After retirement, she started writing a book which would culminate into a career development training manual for women. As she developed that manual, she began to think about the kind of company that would be a conducive environment for women to achieve their dreams and thought, if someone would start such a company, I would go and work for them. Little did she know that God had raised her to birth that company which she did in the midst of adversity and opposition. She developed a can-do attitude because of her mum’s belief in her even from an early age and that was an anchor throughout her life. She also defined the values by which the business would be conducted, and those were the guard rails that made her unwavering in her convictions and the company she built unshakable.

Because of these values, she challenged the morns of conventional business and started a revolution for women empowerment and left a legacy that lives today – we have Mary Kay consultants on every street.

These values such as:

  • The golden rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you
  • Appreciation of others and praising people to success
  • Prioritizing God, then family and then success
  • Infectious enthusiasm for the product and what you do.
  • Always wearing a smile no matter what.

What vital information can members take away

  • Knowing who you are

She starts talking about 4 kinds of people and I am sure we have heard about that

  • Those who make things happen
  • Those who watch things happen
  • Those who wonder what happened
  • Those who don’t know what happened.

She always saw herself in the group of those who make things happen and so should was the children of God – we have dominion on the earth, and we are ones to declare a thing and it will be established.

  • Develop success character

People who succeed have the following characteristics and so we should make an effort to develop our character in these areas too if we truly want to succeed.

  • Enthusiasm
  • Discipline
  • Willingness
  • Determination
  • Appreciation for others

Develop a can-do attitude

  • Can do attitude that came from her mum even as a little girl making meals for her sick father whilst her mum worked. Her mum would always assure her, you can cook that meal that your dad is asking for, you can achieve those A grades. Those words from her mum remained an anchor when she started her business and the key support structures crumbled right before her eyes with the sudden death of her husband who did all the finances, her accountant and solicitor telling her to abandon the dream.
  • Develop Resilience – not letting naysayers swallow your dream

Even with opposition from every direction except from her children she writes, ‘No matter what anyone thought, I would never give up my dream. She says even with naysayers, I simply repeat those words instilled in me all those years ago – ‘You can do it Mary Kay’. And so, you can do it ‘call their names’. Till today that is the mantra that every consultant, director at Mary Kay lives by – you can do it.

  • The power of praise and encouragement

Mary Kay, she says often when a woman joins their team she is like a tight rosebud. After a few months of praise and encouragement she blossoms into a beautiful rose, posed and confident in her newfound skills. We all need praise and encouragement!

  • Have a competitive spirit – Competition is more powerful when you compete against yourself and learn from your own failures. With each challenge I concentrated on competing with myself, she writes. Her biggest mistake came when she competed against her friend who went to university after high school. Mary Kay, not to be surpassed by her parent’s lack of financial prowess to enable her to go to university, decided to get married and even out with her friend. That decision was one of the biggest mistakes of her life.
  • Success comes with a price tag – and you can have it all
  • It is possible to have it all if you are prepared to pay the price. The price tag include sacrificing sleep, social engagements etc. For a long time, her life revolved around work, family and church as she pursued her goals.
  • Failing Forwards – we fail forwards to success. When we rise from our failures, we are not starting from ground zero but from a place of experience.
  • Great business ideas start with a desire to solve a problem and not to make money – Mary Kay started with a dream to come up with a career development program for women and NOT the need to make money. She dreamt of a company in which the employer would treat their employees as they would want to be treated – the golden rule. Her epiphany came when she wondered if someone could start that kind of organization and instead of just wishing she decided to start that kind of company herself.

Even in the early days when they were still finding their feet and experimenting – the golden rule was the measuring stick through which they decided whether to do something or not.

  • Dream Bigger – Every year she would make projections of how many consultants they would have. Not that she believed that they would achieve the number, but as she spoke and declared those figures, they came to pass.
  • Make GOD the CEO of your business – and put things into proper perspective – She writes, we found success because GOD led us all the way. And that everything works when you put your life into proper perspective
  • God first
  • Family 2nd
  • Career 3rd

She talks about miracles that happened in her business that sometimes when they needed something, it would miraculously appear at the door.

12)The power of enthusiasm – leaving your personal problems at home and showing up with a smile on your face, spring in your step and an infectious attitude works wonders. Not only did she find it an inspiration to others, but it was also an antidote for her Rheumatoid arthritis illness too. Ralph Waldo whom she quotes says, nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

Author: Salome Payn

Miracles Happen : The Life and Timeless Principles of the Founder of Mary Kay Inc.

Book Review


Brief Summary: This is the story of a woman who was determined to live her life to the fullest. She chose not to be defined by her humble background. She believed she could do much more, she believed she could inspire others to believe too. The story of Mary Kay Ash is inspirational and is filled with lessons that will no doubt shape any woman!

Summary Probing Questions & Action Steps
 Chapter 1

It all started with a woman, sitting down to take stock of how she had lived her most productive years… what did she like and what did she detest? And then it occurred to her, this is what her dream company to work for would be like; which of course prompted her to take action and create that company. The fact that what was a great decision in 1968 (listing in the stock exchange) became a wrong decision in 1985. It shows the flexibility we must apply to our goals as we live our Dream – constantly taking stock, making necessary changes and realigning while keeping our dream front & center. 

Chapter 1: suggests the keys to being successful “…set apart by their personalities, objectives and abilities…”. Mary Kay Ash had her own share of adversity – from tending to a sick dad to losing her husband 1 month before starting her business, yet 1 thing rings through; she believed in herself and the support of her family always kept her going. She just always believed in her Dream and in the fact that she could do it…

What is your DREAM?
What keeps you awake at night?
Have you articulated it with words?
What steps are you taking towards the realization of this dream?


Chapter 2 & 3

“…anyone who competes has to face defeat and learn how to go on from there…”. Chapter 2 tells of how being competitive the right way can enhance an individual’s growth. As we work towards our goals, there is a need to constantly try to better our best as it guarantees we are living as the best version of ourselves. 

Chapter 3: Makes you rethink your Dream – why do You want to live it? What problems will it solve? What challenges will You face and what plans do You have to navigate the journey. These were obviously the questions Mary Kay had to answer to enable her have her Dream company working as it should. You should try to spend a few minutes thinking about the why, what, how of your dream. Then write it down carefully as Mary Kay did and who knows what will become of it. ..

It’s time to reassess the DREAM – do the What/Why/How analysis
Chapter 4 & 5

Chapter 4: know when to change things round. It takes a bold woman to confront the seemingly good activities that take us away from the core of what we are about. 

In chapter 5:   It is important to have enthusiasm (God within) is
in life. It’s a fuel that keeps up going and lights up others. Interesting to see how we can work it on even when we don’t feel like it.  “how enthusiastic are you about your dreams?”

What stops you?
What needs to be changed? What is sapping away instead of enthusing you to your goal?
Chapter 6 & 7 The core message of chapter 6 is to choose to BE HAPPY and put on a happy face regardless of the circumstance. As Mary Kay pointed out, she realized that most times, people don’t really want to know the true state of your life when they ask how you are so it’s best to keep out unnecessary details and just use her one word answers – GREAT or UNBELIEVABLE! Remember this quote ‘A man is about as happy as he makes up his mind to be’. She suggests reading motivational books and ‘singing’ as a formula for getting in a happy place. In what way can you be an example to those looking to you as an example?
What puts you in a happy place?What are the priorities that guide your life?


Chapter 7: Mary Kay discusses the core of her business strength – putting the priorities of God 1st, family 2nd, career 3rd as front and center of all she did.   2 quotes in this chapter ‘A career is a means to an end. A means by which you can provide comforts and security for your family. It is not an end in itself’ and “When you put God 1st, Family 2nd, Career 3rd,everything seems to work. Out of that order, nothing seems to work”.  The last sentence of this chapter says live today in the consciousness that one day You will stand before God and would need to ask yourself whether your life has been meaningful….
Chapter 8 & 9

These 2 chapters feel like a continuation or more a reinforcement of chapter 7 and the futility of success that does not involve our family. Mary Kay spent a lot of time on this topic because the saddest thing about the ‘career woman’ or the ‘woman with a dream’ is often the loss of family life & support. Research actually shows that many men would keep their wives small in the fear of losing her otherwise… While chapter 8 focuses more on the hats woman wear as women and details of Mary Kay’s relationship with her husband and how she balanced work needs with family needs, chapter 9 focused more on the children’s aspects. Here are a few things. 

  • Coordinate your needs with those of your family members.
  • Take a few moments daily to think about how your family might be feeling about you as a career woman
  • There’s a need for compromise – Mary Kay got home at 7pm daily, even though very busy. Also the example of the woman who boiled onions to give the sense of home cooking.
  • Don’t be too set in your ways to miss out the impact of your decision on family life
  • Teach your children to have chores early
  • The 1st step to getting people to respect you is to respect yourself.
  • The quality of time you spend with your children is far more important than the quantity of time spent. ‘being there does not equate to being a good parent”.

Family decision time – write out the decisions you want to embrace for a balanced family life. 

What changes do you need to make and which ones do you intend to keep?


  • Be careful not to bring your problems home to your family. Share some bits and keep office tension off the table.
- ‘success is so much more wonderful when you have someone to share it with’
Chapter 10 Mary Kay to Get a diary and before you sleep at night, write out the 6 most important things for the next day and tick it off as you go along. It increases productivity in leaps and bounds. Also the idea of handling and paper/document only ONCE! Time is our most essential commodity and we should learn to save it by delegating, multitasking and timing yourself doing the tasks.


Author: Tina Miron



Miracles Happen : The Life and Timeless Principles of the Founder of Mary Kay Inc.

Book Review

1. Strengths

  • Very practical and engaging book on how important things to consider to be a successful business owner and run a successful business
  • All chapters in the book focused on specific topics such as personal development, setting goals, business attire, taking care of emotions, faith, unique niche, having a which gave real life scenarios that I could relate to and it all chapters where breakdown to identify different ways to be successful in business
  • Had unshakeable faith which was important to her and her business.
  • Catered largely to a female audience but I found that the advice she gave was transferable to men but it’s also nice to have viewpoints or educational tips that focus on women and are uniqueness
  • Lead a great life and showed how you can come from nothing a be successful while still being true to yourself, humble, always thought about giving back, how she can better the company and better the lives of women whether with the beauty products or personal development
  • Great autobiography too – very personal so you felt as if you knew her and her personality. Genuine passion to see women win in life
  • Women to be professional and themselves and not feel they have to be/act like men to be successful business women

2. Weaknesses

– Heavy emphasis on being feminine, attractiveness and beauty within business
Came across snobbish – when she had an important meeting with a doctor
who wasn’t dressed very professional or feminine – dress sense doesn’t
define who you are as a person

–  Attractiveness can work in a women’s favor

– Appearance is important but it’s a bad narrative to women who are tomboys, don’t want to be feminine all the time and young women who feel they have to be polished to be taken seriously in the business sector.

3. Summary of the book

This book is a great foundation on how you can become the person you need to become in order have a successful business.

4. What vital information can members take away and implement?

  • Have strong foundations, values and principles that you have for yourself, employees and business (God, Family and Career)
  • Be authentically yourself in business, hold your business with integrity

Author: Jess


I Am My Brand: How to Build Your Brand Without Apology

Book Review


Branding is about bringing your authentic self to the marketplace

There are 8 pillars to branding:

  1. Decision – decide the brand direction
  2. Vision – the ability to think about or plan the future with your imagination
  3. Clarity – being clear about what your brand represents. 80% of communication is non-verbal
  4. Strategy – note the steps from A to B or you will be like driving a car and not knowing the destination
  5. Tactics – Facebook, social media, networking, blogging etc. Do 1-4 first don’t just dive straight in to social media or it will be like a stab in the dark. Do the research.
  6. Metrics – methodologies to measure success of marketing & PR. What are the results? We need the data to drive the decisions, review and analyze the results. Metrics are the backbone to success. Metrics are informed by the market demands and trends.
  7. Ownership- promote your true value and worth, demand it! Walk away from companies and projects that are not serving you. Own your brilliance.
  8. Be unapologetic – your brand is not meant for everyone, just those who need it the most. I am….

Take action, self-belief is key; don’t listen to limiting self beliefs, do it despite the fear Stay focused on your decision / choice, don’t focus on what’s going wrong Energy is contagious – where your focus goes your energy flows.

Developing resilience: don’t dwell on the negative; focus on the solution; get help; sleep; get off social media (stop trying to be superwoman); put on the comedy / change your mood; turn to your happy box; virtual box of things to make you happy; move your body / exercise, walk, gym, dance, yoga Discipline yourself, follow your heart, “Branding is an emotional connection with the target audience”

Chapter 2 of I am my brand – Let’s start at the beginning Decision. unapologetic. Used a vision board and ended up working will all brands on her wall. Corporate brands included. What did she learn? Brand marketing is a formula: creativity, strategy, science, innovation, content, connect audiences. Ask ourselves, what is a brand? “An emotional connection with the target audience” All great brands conjure up an emotion in their target audience.

How is this created?

Brand promise: it conveys what stakeholders connecting with your brand will experience; aligns values; vision and mission e.g. Nike makes you feel powerful (if you have a body you are an athlete). Brand promise builds trust and alters behaviour.

The logo: a creative expression of brand promise; visual assertion of brand promise.

Strapline: three to five words that encapsulate brand promise Jung said colours are the mother tongue of the subconscious Yellow is knowledge and wisdom, green is vitality, Visit She builds for more resources Brand signature: e.g. red sole shoe, sex. Apple logo with a bite, fun, less intimidating to ordinary folk, Brand history, culture, values are also part of branding. Brand as authentic expression of the individual.

Chapter 3 vision: branding is different to marketing.

If the marketing is not working we need a brand audit. Is the vision the same as what is happening? If not, hold a mirror up and change it. Key questions to solve this are What problem are you solving? Is it relevant? Is there a need for the solution you bring to the table? What is the brand challenge? Language and examples are important or we may communicate what we offer in the wrong way. Position yourself as the solution, be solution focused, faith The problem we solve today may not be the problem we solve down the line, methods change, solutions change etc. Your brand promise does not change but the solutions might.

Where is the evidence? Am I the one to solve the problem? Video evidence and testimonials are required. Colleagues and bosses to provide references, evidence of a job well done. Video and written testimonials, behind scene videos, industry reviews, lives, column (agony aunt)

Who is already doing it? Look for aspirational competitors, who is in the marketplace you want to be in and succeeding at a higher level. Learn from them and look at their networks. Own your content and media. Competitors at same level are direct competitors and we can learn from them also. Non direct competitors help us spot industry trends. Don’t price yourself out of the market. You need evidence you are that good!

What is your pestle? Looks at the political, economical, sociological technological, legal and environmental trends in the market. Watching the news helps us understand where we sit in the ecosystem that changes rapidly. Global problems and local global solutions. Bloomberg, CNN, CMBC. Business week, Harvard business review, marketing week. Be in in to know what is happening in the sector. Helps us to recognize potential pitfalls and opportunities. Don’t just do the same as you have always done.

What is your brand perception? Do they see it as you want them to? Social listening – Review social media to review what they are saying about your brand ( many are skeptical of social media but we need to go onto it and utilize its effectiveness) ask stakeholders – feedback; net promoter score – who will recommend you score 1-10; ask new customers – what made you come to me? ; ask non-customers or lost customers How can you strengthen your strengths? Tell me something new, be the expert, master the gift, represent excellence, strategically partner with others to help you; be honest with yourself,


Chapter 4: Branding is like dating. Clarity

The same way you find a life partner is the same way you find a customer for life. Align brand values. Tribe, target market, cheerleaders, why is as essential part of building a brand. Love yourself first.

Personal brand journey is an authentic expression of the individual.  Review your personal brand journey through interests, values, beliefs, friendships, hobbies, fun moments, down moments etc. Turning points, pain into mission, look for the patterns in life, VIA chart. Values, interests and abilities.

Solve problems: what problem are you solving? Staff and client problems are different. Separate chart into stakeholder, the pain point and the solution I provide. Clarify the target audience profile in relation to ethnicity, age, group, gender, geographic location, sexual orientation, profession, monthly spending power, values, media consumption, emotional state etc.

To love me is to know me: what relationship to develop? E.g. Dear visionaries…

The more you give the more you get back. Build relationships.

The promise:  what all stakeholders will experience when working with me.


Chapter5: your difference is your strength- clarity

Brand ID, perception is everything, cohesive integration with all components of brand ID. Builds trust.

BRANDING is PULL / MARKETING is PUSH Work out the pull and don’t just push Create persona of best self rather than pushing content to sell. Don’t stop, it won’t happen overnight Brand personality: the sage – expert, scholar, advisor thinker, The innocent: traditionalist, dreamer, The explorer – seeker, individualist, seek self-realization, freedom valued, excitement and outdoors,

The ruler: the boss, leader, manager, politician, takes control, power, confident, competent and responsible, prosperity environment, high value products

The creator: artist, inventor, innovator, writer, self-expression, technology innovation,

The caregiver: helper, supporter, parent n saint, safety, appreciated, wellbeing, education, family and public service,

The magician: charismatic leader, transformation, catalyst for change,

The hero: warrior, crusader, superhero, saviour, dragon slayer,

The rebel: outlaw, revolutionary, misfit, carve out a path,

The lover: partner, friend, intimate, how product feels such as Victoria’s Secret

The Jester: fool, trickster, joker, live once, live in the moment, feel good, e.g. Muppets, M&Ms

The regular guy / girl: good old boy, next door, solid citizen, silent majority, pg tips, Persia, VW, realists

Do the work, stories and examples

Take Aways: 

  1. Easy to read
  2. Lots of examples to emphasize points
  3. Helps you to pause and do the work after each point
  4. Defines branding versus marketing
  5. Our unique difference is our strength

Author: Maureen Greaves

Business By The Book: Complete Guide of Biblical Principles for the Workplace, Larry Burkett

Book Review


1. Strengths of the Book

  • The ideas proposed in the book are backed by scripture
  • There are practical ideas about how to implement God’s plan in you’re business
  • Stories of Christian business people who use their business as a platform to witness to others
  • The book is accompanied by a study guide for each chapter which helps you to delve deeper into each topic
  • It’s a radical book if you wish to be radical for Jesus Christ and want your business to be used as a vehicle for the salvation of souls.

2. Weaknesses of the Book

  • None

3. Summary of the book

Partnerships are scriptural however it becomes an unequal yoke if you go into partnership with non-believers. Provides guidelines for assessing a partnership: who is in charge, what are your absolute values? Lays the foundation for a successful partnership.

Business Tithing is not a law but there are consequences associated with failing to tithe: “You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of Israel” (Malachi 3:9).

We can give non-cash assets by giving a partial ownership of our business to foundations. That way as the business prospers, so does the Lord’s portion. Testimonies of people like Paul Meyers and R.G. LeTourneau, who gave 90 % and 100% of their income. The gift of a stock in a company can be a double benefit to both the ministry and the businessperson.

Is retirement scriptural. The only Bible reference to retirement if found in Numbers 8:25: “But at the age of fifty years they shall retire from service in the work and not work any more”. That applied to Priests. A recent study by Harvard University found that from 100 people who retired at 65, seven out of eight were dead by 75. Those who continued to work to 75 only one in 7 had died.

Should you sell your business? Christian based businesses can sell their businesses but they should not sell it to non-believers as they will erode all the traces of Christianity in the organization.

Employee retirement benefits – Employers should set aside retirement plan not just for themselves but for employees.

Implementing God’s Plan – there will be three types of people after reading this book.

Group 1 – will say the ideas in the book are illogical, impossible or inapplicable

Group 2 – will like the ideas and have a desire to implement it but will be side-tracked but “The deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22)

Group 3 – doers of God’s Word You can’t do everything but begin with where you are. Start with your own life, start a devotion time in your business, be a witness.

4. What vital information can members take away and implement?

  • Only God alone is wise enough to see the future. Do your giving while you are still around to see how it is used.
  • Consider setting up a benevolence fund in our respective businesses to help employees in need
  • Talk to your spouse about your business decisions
  • Begin by applying the biblical principles to our own lives and then apply to our businesses.
  • Start a devotion time in your business, its legal as long as its optional and invite speakers with proven track record.
  • Treat your employees with love, pay your creditors on time, and provide a good product to your customers
  • Let’s take a stand for Jesus in our businesses.

Author: Blessing Theophilus-Israel


Think and Grow Rich!: The Original Version, Restored and Revised by Napoleon Hill 

Book Review (Chapters 1-5)


1. Strengths

  • Lots of practical steps that one can apply
  • Hill provides detailed explanation of the key concepts
  • Each chapter can be read on their own. It is a book to read through and then revisit on a regular basis.
  • Although this book is called ‘Think and Grow rich’ it can be applied to achieving any goals

2. Weaknesses

  • None!

3. Summary of the book

This book is a classic in personal development genre. Hill outlines 13 steps to achieving success.

Hill spent 25 years carrying out research to and analyzing thoughts of people because he too wanted to know how wealthy people created their success.

He outlines that thoughts are things and needs to be missed with definite of purpose, persistence and burning desire to be turned into reality.

It is important to have a definite purpose and be committed to this until it has become an all-consuming obsession.  You need to know what you want – Hill calls this desire. This burning desire is to be and to do. Don’t need to start with a lot but need to know what you want and have determination and commitment to delivering this.

Hill notes that one of causes for failure is the habit of quitting when there is temporary defeat. Seek expert counsel before giving up.

Embrace opportunity, some-times this comes in different way than expected. Keep your mind alert. Keep on going no matter how hard the things get.

It only takes one sound idea to achieve success. Hill suggests that when riches begin to come, thy can come so quickly in such great abundance, that one wonders where they have been all this time.  When you begin to think and grow rich, you will see that riches begin with a state of mind – with definite of purpose and with little or no hard work.

People tend to think, it will not work. But it is important to be success conscious. Failure come to those who indifferently allow themselves to become failure sensuous. Another barrier to achieving riches is because of people’s habits.  We can chart our course if we have the power to control out thoughts.


Chapter 1: Desire

 Desire is not hope. Wishing will not bring riches. But desiring riches with a state of mind that it becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure will bring riches.

There are six practical steps

  1. Fix your mind on the exact amount of money you desire.
  2. Determine what exactly you need to give in return for the money you desire (there is no such thing as something for nothing)
  3. Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire
  4. Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once whether you are read or not. Put this plan into action
  5. Write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire and name a time limit for its acquisition
  6. Read your written statement out twice a day just before bed and once after arising in the morning. As you read, see and feel and believe yourself already in possession of that money.

Achieving your goal does not need a great amount of education, it calls for sufficient amount of imagination to enable one to see and to understand.

“If you do not see great riches in your imagination, you will never them in your bank balance”

He talks about the infinite intelligence that has strange ways. And believes this infinite intelligence forces human beings to undergo all sorts of trouble and tribulation before discovering their own capacity to create useful ideas through imagination.

To win you must have definiteness of purpose – the knowledge of what one wants and a burning desire to processes it.

Chapter 2: Faith

Faith is a state of mind which may be induced by auto suggestion. When faith is blended with the vibration of thought, the subconscious mind instantly picks up the vibration, translates it into its spiritual equivalent, and transmits it to Infinite Intelligence as in the case of prayer.

Faith is a state of mind which may be induced or created by affirmations or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind through the principle of autosuggestion. Repetition or affirmation of orders to your subconscious mind is the only method or voluntary development of the emotion of faith.

Resolve to throw off the influences of any unfortunate environment you may have grown up in or now found yourself living in and build your own life to order.  Take stock of your mental assets and abilities and you will discover that your greatest weakness is lack of self confidence. This handicap can be turned around with the principle of autosuggestion. Write positive impulses, put this in writing, memorise and repeat this until they become part of the working equipment of your mind.

A self confidence formula is provided – this is a set of six statements about becoming confident.  Any thoughts you have a tendency to become a reality. If you fill your mind with fear, doubt and unbelief in your ability to connect with and use the forces of Infinite Intelligence, then the Law of Autosuggestion will take this spirit of unbelief and your subconscious mind will translate into its physical equivalent.

It is important to combine thought and faith. The amount is limited only by the person whose mind the thought is put into motion. Faith removed limitations.


Chapter 3:

Autosuggestion The medium for influencing the subconscious mind

Autosuggestion applied to all suggestions and all self-administered stimuli – autosuggestion is self-suggestion. It is a all suggestion and all self-administered stimuli that reaches one’s mind through the five senses. Dominated thoughts are the thoughts one permits to remain the conscious mind (whether positive or negate) and will reach and influence the subconscious mind through the Law of Autosuggestion.


Thoughts can be negative or positive and can enter the subconscious mind through the principle of autosuggestion. The subconscious mind is a fertile garden in which weeds will grow in abundance if desirable seeds are not sown. Autosuggestion controls this and individuals have the choice to feed this or permit other thoughts to feed the subconscious.

Using the 6 steps in Chapter 1, can help you feed the subconscious. It is also important to combine this with the steps of the Master Mind group which is described in Chapter 6. These two steps will help you apply the Law of Autosuggestion.

When reading out your statements, it must be mixed with emotion and faith otherwise it will not have the desired effect. This is because your subconscious mind recognizes and acts only on the thoughts which have been well mixed with emotion and feeling.

Don’t be discouraged if you cannot control and direct your emotions for the first time. Remember there is no such possibility of something for nothing. The ability to reach and influence your subconscious mind has its price, you must pay that price. The price is persistence and applying the principles.

When failure is experienced, it is the method that has failed and not the individual. Try a different method until you succeed.


Chapter 4: Specialised Knowledge

personal experiences or observations.

There are two kinds of knowledge: general and specialized Knowledge will not attract money (or any other kind of success) unless it is organized and intelligently directed through practical plans of action that have definite end of accumulating money.  The phrase ‘Knowledge is power ‘is false, it needs to acted and directed to be powerful.

This isn’t about having a lots of education. To be truly educated is to have developed the faculties of mind to acquire anything you want without violating the needs of others.

The ability to transmute your desire into its monetary equivalent, requires specialized knowledge of the product or service. You are not required to have all the knowledge, having a mastermind can help you achieve your goals. The ability to direct and organize knowledge held by other people is just as good as someone else who is high level of education.

It pays to know how to purchase knowledge. You need to decide  what sort of specialized knowledge you need and why it is needed. As knowledge is acquired it must be organized and put into use for a definite purpose through practical plans. Knowledge has no use unless it is applied. Anything including knowledge acquired without effort and cost, is often not valued.

Chapter 5: Imagination

…the workshop of the mind

All plans are created in the imagination If a human can imagine it, it can be created.

There are two forms of imagination

Synthetic imagination

Through this faculty, one can arrange old concepts, ideas or plans into new combinations. This faculty creates nothing.

Creative imagination

This is faculty which inspirations are received. It how the finite human mind has direct community with the Infinite Intelligence. It is how new ideas are handed over to us. This faculty function only when the conscious mind is functionally at an exceedingly high level of intensity or energy. The creative imagination becomes more alert and more receptive.

Your imaginative faculty may have become weak through inaction. It can be revived and made alert through use. This does not die but may have become dormant.

Put your imagination to work by building a plan or plans to transform your desire into money. Create and write a detailed plan based on the instructions in this book. Then carry out these instructions.

Ideas are the beginning points of all fortunes. Ideas are products of the imagination. Give life, action and guidance to ideas, then they take on power of their own and sweep aside all opposition. Ideas are intangible forces, but they have more power than the physical brains that give birth to them. They have the power to live on, after the brain that creates them has returned to dust.

4.   What vital information can members take away and implement?

  • We need to master ourselves and our environment because we have the power to influence our won subconscious mind.
  • Create affirmations and repeat this twice a day
  • Master your mind, think of it like a garden and think about what you think on
  • Resolve to through of influences that do not contribute to your success. This can be from the past or current situation
  • Knowledge is not power, it needs to organized and acted upon.
  • You have the ability to chart your course
  • Your background or your current circumstances do not determine your future.
  • Activate your creative imagination – come up with ideas. Pray for guidance. Everyone has this ability.

Author: Victoria Labeodan


Holy Bible: King James Version (KJV)


The book of James is written by James and talks about the ethics and morality of our faith and wisdom. Wisdom is seen not only as understanding but the ability to apply that understanding in accordance with God’s word.

The book of James starts by talking about the foreseeable challenges we can expect in life. This is relevant to our current context. The world is looking for hope, in a vaccine, in science in man-made solutions to the pandemic but whilst we know God can use science and people, wisdom tells us to rely on God and God alone. When we wait on God’s solution it is complete and final; not temporary or fleeting as we see in the current lockdowns and PPE and handwashing. These are good to protect us now but are temporal and fleeting solutions.

James 1:2-4 “my brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing”.

In 2021 we continue to expect diverse temptations and challenges of various kinds, however, as kingdom citizens we can also expect the protection of our king. We are to stand in the faith and knowledge that whatever happens, we have the solution in Christ. We are to be patient, not rush ahead and make uninformed decisions but to wait and see the full and complete work of God in our lives. True wisdom is patient.

The chapter goes on to say that we have access to all wisdom, from God, not man’s wisdom, but divinely inspired through our spiritual senses e.g. prayer. We are to ask for wisdom of God and it will be given to us liberally. There is no scarcity of wisdom in heaven and since God knows all things, as He created them, we too have access to this information. God’s wisdom is not limited by time, so He knows our past, present and future needs and weaves them all together to create the right solution for us. This does not have to be the same solution He might advise someone else so we have the choice and free will to follow Him. However, in our asking we must position ourselves in faith I.e., believing we already have what we need and that it will be given unto us liberally. We must stand in faith when we ask and not doubt or keep changing our mind. God’s wisdom is limitless.

James 1 Verse 5-6

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all liberally, and upbraided not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with wind and tossed. *

There is a warning about being drawn away by our desires. When we act on these desires I.e. the imaginations and thoughts this conceives sin in our physical mind which leads to death. God and His word is the light (wisdom) we are instructed to follow. Following implies we are moving, taking action and headed in a particular direction. There are no grey areas in the word of this truth. Any error or weakness is on our part, not Gods, yet He is the strength in our weakness.

We are instructed to act on the word of God and wisdom that we have heard. Not to just keep hearing and not doing it. The word empowers us as we hear it and we may become confident, excited and get new revelation about ourselves, our business or relationships. The word instructs us to act on this. It is a call to action, to do the work, find the information, start the business, speak, do have and be.

The book of James talks about partiality as a sin. When we look at someone’s outward appearance and judge their worthiness we sin before God. Demographic examples such as skin colour, gender, culture, money, status / title or position can all be reasons we may include or exclude someone in our sharing, in giving the best resource / seat or other action we have the power to control. It is oppression and discrimination just like racism. We are to act with integrity in all situations, not just in church environments as God sees all. We are to be mindful of keeping the whole law, not just parts of it. All / any form of sin is still transgression of the law.

Faith without works is dead, like the body separated from the spirit is dead. We must act and provide the needs we see presented before us. If we have been blessed to have the means to provide food and housing or clothes and resources to those in need then we must do so. Our works are a manifestation of faith; not to earn salvation but to show we have rightly applied the word to our lives. Wisdom bears good fruit.

James 3

James talks about the power of the spoken word and caution is to be observed with how we use it, particularly if we are teachers and trainers of the word. He reinforces the principle that life and death is in the power of the tongue and we are to manage our speech and direct our (and other people’s) lives with sincerity; like a ship is guided by a rudder and a horse is directed using the bridle in the mouth.

Jealously and selfish ambition is demonic and not from God. Our ambitions and aspirations are to line up with the word of God. Growth and prosperity is in line with greater service and meeting the needs of others. It is a direct result of our service not an aspiration. Wisdom is therefore seen as spiritually akin to being our brother’s keeper and meeting the needs of people within our circle of influence. This influence is not geographical so people can be reached by our obedience, business, wisdom in all parts of the world. Anything other than how wisdom is described in the Bible is demonic.

James 3:17

“but the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”

James 4

James 4 talks about the inner conflict we often have when we seek ‘things’ of this world, things we desire. When we cannot obtain them, we argue and fight against other people or ask wrongly. Just as Eve desired the fruit of the tree (through her physical senses), Satan sowed the seed of disobedience in her mind which conceived sin. Eve heard the word (spiritually) from God and knew what to do / not to do while Satan suggested the opposite using a war strategy. The battlefield was in the mind and Adam and Eve chose to disobey I.e. they were worldly in their desires. Even though men (people) might accuse us (women) as being the one at fault, we were all culpable in the actions we take.

Worldliness is described as coveting the things people find attractive, what our neighbours have or having a jealous spirit. If we hold onto worldly values, we are far from God (described as enmity). When we draw closer to God with humility, He will lift us up. Speaking evil of our bother, judging them is sin. The chapter talks about our ethical positioning and how to govern or conduct life and relationships with consistency and a determination to do what is right in God’s eyes. To do this we must be in communication with God and discerning what He is saying to us in every situation. Not just in church but in our work, business, relationships, and everything. It is not a one-way conversation where we ask for items we want e.g. bigger house, car, bag money etc. Our requests must be focused on the bigger picture, God’s picture for our life and relationships (not a bigger product). Wisdom is wanting what God wants.

James 5

There is a warning to the rich that store things up for themselves and not in service to others. When a rich person is positioned as saving, hiding or storing money and items for themselves, particularly those who have fraudulently kept back wages to others (who helped to get them there) the items would rot as they stored them for the earthly treasures and reasons.

There are people in the body of Christ, the elders who are positioned to help, support, and pray with us and for us. Go to the leadership team for that support and be the leadership team that gives such support. Wisdom is of mutual benefit.

Patience is reinforced, being steadfast and waiting on the soon coming of the Lord. It references the current context of many sufferings and yet being patient to wait on the Lord and stay calm with a determination to wait for His complete solution I.e., do not Pan(dem)ic!

Take always

  1. Wisdom comes from God not from the world
  2. Be patient and wait on God for a complete solution, be steadfast in your faith
  3. Apply the wisdom received from God, act and be the solution to the world problems
  4. Do not envy or be jealous of people, money or things of this world. They are temporary and will not last.
  5. Be careful what you say as you will eat the fruit of it, whether good or evil.

Author: Maureen Greaves


The Bible – Book Of Daniel

Book Review

1. Strengths of the Book

  • Clarity is great
  • Flow is good
  • Inspirational and easy to read
  • Faith and spirituality
  • Thought provocative and call to action

2. Weaknesses of the Book

  • None that I could see

3. Summary of the book

The power of Faith

The power of universal laws and philosophical rules

The power of Faith, doing things a certain way and the science behind getting rich

The Book is intended for men and women whose most pressing need is for money

The books states anyone can become rich

The book has 17 easy to read chapters which are short and sharp

The readers are expected to take the statements in the book by faith, that he or she will prove their truth by acting upon them without fear or hesitation

It refers to certain theories like monastic theory of the universe ; the theory that one is all and all is one, that one substance manifests itself as the seeming many elements of the material world. Basically simply put we all have one source and our source is endless, think in abundance always.

4.   What vital information can members take away and implement?

  • Faith
  • Thought is the only power that can produce tangible riches from formless substance
  • Poverty is sin . God does not want you poor, you were created for increase, to be rich so you can express your fullest potential and capacity
  • You do not take or deal with others unfairly but you can give to every man more than you take from him…Rise from the competitive to the creative plane
  • The power of gratitude, the more grateful we fix our minds on the supreme God when good things happen to us the more good things we will receive
  • It doesn’t matter what business or job you do, you can get rich doing what you do, if you can give increase of life to others and make them sensible of the fact, they will be attracted to you, and you will get rich because every one will come to you first to offer them the particular service you or products. Don’t worry so much on others, only focus and become the very best of you.
  • Maintain a clear image of yourself as successful, and obey the laws of Faith, purpose, abundance, thoughts, gratitude and be aware of the law of gravitation, the law of increase
  • Be certain to advance, be consistent in the presence and absence of others, diligence in preparation
  • Finally start to think in this way, acting and your faith and purpose will make you quick to see any opportunity to better your condition.

Author: Priscilla Muyunda


Becoming By Michelle Obama

Book Review 1- 8

1. Strengths of the Book

  • Interesting insight into the early life of Michelle Obama
  • We see why she was such a formidable first lady
  • Good chronological description of her milestones
  • A deeper understanding of her character

2. Weaknesses of the Book

  • Though well documented I wondered how much she did not say
  • In short how authentic it is

3. Summary of the book

Chapters 1-8  The authors family life with her parents, extended family, her kindergarten, her experience within a low income family and racism. Insight into her feisty character and her refusal to lose or quit. Her friendships, her childhood up till her going to Princeton University, her friendships and her early dating experience, then we get to her working with an organization as an IP lawyer and then meeting Barak and their early relationship.

4. What vital information can members take away and implement?

  • God has a plan for us all follow your purpose
  • Humble beginnings do not mean humble endings; do not let people define you or what you can achieve.
  • The right person in your life can propel you to greatness don’t drive them away with a bad attitude be tolerant
  • Be guided by your principles
  • Don’t take no for an answer, be resilient
  • Foundation is really important and the input of good parents is really important on the output of a child.

Author: Pastor Lola

Book Review – Becoming Michelle Obama Chapter 9 to 18

1. Strengths of the Book

  • Easy to read
  • Easy to understand
  • Engaging
  • Insight into politics
  • Clearly defined stages of her life

2. Weaknesses of the Book

  • There is nothing that stood out as a significant weakness

3. Summary of the book

The second segment of the book: Becoming us signifies a process of the two becoming one, recognizing that her life was no longer her own.

  • Michelle transitions from being single to meeting Barack and starting a relationship with him that would eventually lead to marriage.
  • Spending time with Barack challenged her about her values and her purpose. After the death of a very dear friend, it hit home, just how fragile life was. She took the bold step to leave her job as lawyer to doing something with a purpose, that would make a difference to the more marginalized in the community.
  • Though sceptical about politics she took on a role as an assistant to the Mayor at the City Hall in Chicago.
  • There after she took on a role as the executive director an organization called Public Allies whose aim was helping young people find pathways into careers in public service and non-profit work; she was recommended for the role by Barack. She later transitioned to working at the University of Chicago Medical Centre. Prior to Michelle taking on these roles, Barack had been involved in Project VOTE which was a campaign to get more voters, this was during Bill Clinton’s campaign. Following on from this Barack became more involved in politics.
  • Even though she disliked politics she was prepared to encourage and support her husband from his appointment as senator and eventually to becoming president. She believed in him despite the setbacks. Barack concerns now became her concerns.
  • Michelle was having to juggle a long distance relationship whilst trying to maintain her own identity and career. She was clear about what type of a life she did not want. She recognised that she and Barack were two totally different people and that they would have to accept this and get on with it.
  • She acknowledged that Barack’s political career was progressing and that she would have run the home and raise the children on her own.
  • Michelle fought for her marriage, noticing that the separation was causing a strain on their relationship she sort help from a marriage counsellor.
  • She showed determination, she was disciplined and made the necessary adjustments to accommodate her family. Eventually she gave up her career to fully support Barack in campaigning.

4. What vital information can members take away and implement?

  • Live life on purpose – let purpose govern the decisions you make
  • Continue associating with the right people – the right connections can correct you in love and propel you to where God wants you to be.
  • Do not limit. Although Michelle does not talk about having a strong faith she discovered that her purpose was more than she ever imagined.
  • What we are passionate about is not always enjoyable, but if it is God’s will He will see us through.
  • Discipline ourselves, set aside time, for family, God, business work etc.
  • There will opposition along the way. Do not get side tracked.

Author: Monalisa

Book Review of chapters 19 to 24

5. Strengths of the Book

  • It is written by the author in her own voice, you get the authentic feeling that this is Michelle in her own words.
  • She is candid about her upbringing, about her feelings towards political opponents.
  • The book shows her vulnerability as a mother doing the best she can to protect her family, especially her children.
  • It shows that it is possible to come from an average low-to middle class family and become successful in life.

6. Weaknesses of the Book

  • The length, its chapters are sometimes too long but interesting nevertheless.

7.   Summary of the book

Chapters 1 to 8 were about becoming me

Chapters 9 – 18 were about becoming us

Chapters 19 to 24 were about becoming more

  • In chapters 19 to 24 we learn that there is no handbook for becoming a First Lady of the United States. She understood that she would be measured by a different yardstick as the only African American First Lady to set foot in the White House. She wouldn’t be afforded the same grace as her white counterpart of she was by default an “other”.
  • She had learned through the campaign stumbles that she had to be better, faster, smarter, and stronger than ever. She knew that her grace would need to be earned.
  • She worried that many Americans wouldn’t seem themselves reflected in her or that they wouldn’t relate to her journey. She knew she wouldn’t have the luxury of settling into her new role slowly before being judged
  • She was humbled and exited by the role but she knew it would not be an easy role especially when you have the words, “first” and “black” together
  • She had to tell herself that she was good enough, which is a key them that runs throughout the book. Am I good enough? Yes I am.
  • She decided to go into the White House prepared, she didn’t go about it casually. She went with a well thought-out strategy and a strong team backing her. She had learned from the ugly campaign that if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you will be quickly and inaccurately defined by others
  • She wasn’t interested in slotting herself into a passive role, waiting for Barack’s team to give her direction.
  • The president-elect, is given access to $100,000 in federal funds to help with moving and redecorating, but Barack insisted that they pay for everything themselves, using what they saved from his book royalties. Barack Obama has always been this way: extra-vigilant when it comes to matters of money and ethics, holding himself to a higher standard than even what’s dictated by law. There’s an age-old maxim in the black community: You’ve got to be twice as good to get half as far. As the first African American family in the White House, they were being viewed as representatives of our race. Any error or lapse in judgment, would be magnified, read as something more than what it was.
  • Michelle and her girls were supporting players, beneficiaries of the various luxuries afforded to Barack—important because their happiness was tied to his; protected for one reason, which was that if their safety was compromised, so too would be his ability to think clearly and lead the nation. The White House, one learns, operates with the express purpose of optimizing the well-being, efficiency, and overall power of one person—and that’s the president.
  • Michelle loved being with children. It was, and would be throughout the entirety of her time in the White House, a balm for her spirit, a way to momentarily escape her First Lady worries, her self-consciousness about constantly being judged. Kids made her feel like herself again. To them, I wasn’t a spectacle. When she visited London she told the students of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson that they were precious and she did what was instinctive. She hugged absolutely every single girl she could reach.
  • As First Lady, she knew that regardless of what she chose to do, she was bound to disappoint someone. The campaign had taught her that every move and facial expression would be read a dozen different ways. She was either hard-driving and angry or, with her garden and messages about healthy eating, she was a disappointment to feminists
  • She never expected to be someone who hired others to maintain her image, and at first the idea was discomfiting. But she quickly found out a truth that no one talks about: Today, virtually every woman in public life—politicians, celebrities, you name it—has some stylist, personal assistants, speech writers, PR support etc.
  • The relief they felt after Barack’s re-election in 2012 was immediate. Are we good enough? Yes we are.
  • Michelle and Barack did what they could to protect their kids from too much exposure, declining all media requests for them and working to keep their everyday lives largely out of sight
  • There was a motto Barack and Michelle tried to live by, “When they go low, we go high.”
  • For Michelle, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. She see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end. She became a mother, but she still has a lot to learn from and give to her children. She became a wife, but she continue to adapt to and be humbled by what it means to truly love and make a life with another person. She has become, by certain measures, a person of power, and yet there are moments still when she feels insecure or unheard. It’s all a process, steps along a path. Becoming requires equal parts patience and rigor. Becoming is never giving up on the idea that there’s more growing to be done.
  • She confirms that she has no intention of running for office, ever. She has never been a fan of politics, and her experience over the last ten years has done little to change that.
  • She is an ordinary person who found herself on an extraordinary journey. In sharing her story, I hope to help create space for other stories and other voices, to widen the pathway for who belongs and why. She has been lucky enough to get to walk into stone castles, urban classrooms, and Iowa kitchens, just trying to be herself, just trying to connect. For every door that’s been opened to me, she has tried to open her doors to others. And here is what I have to say, finally: Let’s invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.

8. What vital information can members take away and implement?

  • Have a well thought-out strategy and a strong team to back you
  • Live by the motto: “When they go low, we go high.”
  • We should see life as a process of us becoming, all that God has assigned us to become.
  • We should remember that becoming is never giving up on the idea that there’s more growing to be done.
  • Let’s remember to open doors for others once we get to a place of prominence and position.
  • There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice.

Author: Blessing Theophilus-Israel


The Science Of Getting Rich Wallace D Wattles


Book Review

The book took an incredibly long time to get to the point!

It started by setting the scene about infinite power and resources, attributed mostly to the wonder of the universe, and moved on to talking about taking the right action based on our thoughts. There was a helpful definition of what it means to be rich that was not self-centered but centered around living and being everything we are created to be. It was not explicitly attributed to biblical thinking, but the emergence of scripture came in throughout the later chapters.  Richness includes all aspects of life, not just money. Money is also not diminished as being insignificant or below other things desired. The notion of being ‘holy’ if we are poor was dismissed, challenging a commonly held notion by the church. Being rich is about “being all we want to be” and recognizes the interrelationship in mind, body and soul to bring balance to this. Money was discussed very little, and it was more about our thought process and scientific principles.

Chapter 2 talked about there being an exact science of getting rich and the corresponding laws. Getting rich was not attributed to the environment we are in, the talent we have, doing things in a particular way, saving, or doing what others fail to do. The author attributes getting rich with doing things in a particular way. This way began to unfold over the next few chapters and centred around the right thoughts, attitude, and faith.

It was encouraging to hear the numerous things which did not preclude anyone from becoming rich if they desired it, building the belief that getting rich is open to everyone. Discrimination does not play a part, despite the recognition of potentially corrupt organizations and people. Nether was the lack of riches attributed to the enemy or opposing force.

The author talked about adopting the position of collaboration and creativity over competition; seeing a competitive nature as a limiting belief pattern that assumes there is lack in the universe while the opposite is true. There is more than enough for everyone, and the universe will continue to create more of what is required. There is no limit to supply and the same original substance that created the universe, God,  will supply more of what is needed.

The author sees people as ministers of life, designed to bring abundance into a reality. Every resource is therefore at the command and disposal of those who desire more. The more we desire is not taken away from another but is an exchange in value. The author suggest we give more in value than we take in payment for it as a scientifically proven way to become rich.  Thought is the substance from which all things are made. Sustained and consecutive thought is the power that forms everything we require.

To be rich we are to focus on and visualise this, rather than poverty. Researching and focusing on poverty will bring poverty. We are to meditate on and consider all we want and the richness we desire. Our consciousness is always expanding, seeking an expression in reality; and we desire to have more, do more and be more.

Caution is expressed regarding the focus of our desires. i.e., desire is not about animal instinct, fame, or solely for others without our own needs being met. God wants us to realize not only all our own desires but those of others. This life force is inherent equally in all people. A competitive spirit will quench this creativity.

Negotiating for deals is seen as being ok but we are to do this in a fair and transparent way. Ethics play an important part, and we are to give more than we receive in value. God is trying to express his desire through us as humanity. When we ask for large things, it is God’s pleasure to give these to us; particularly when our desires line up with the word of God and we are in unity with Him.

Chapter 7 talks about the importance of expressing and maintaining an attitude of gratitude. Acknowledging God as the source of all blessings is key. Gratitude has power and a force of nature akin to the law of physics in which actions and reactions have equal force. There were biblical examples expressed of having gratitude through the life of Jesus and His prayers. Jesus thanked the father many times and maintained the connection to God’s power. When we express dissatisfaction, we lose ground, and the negative comes to us. A grateful mind is fixed on the best and receives it. We are therefore cautioned not to rage against the corrupt as God will make these things right and it is all part of the plan, the bigger picture.

Summary / Key points:

  • The book took a long time to get to the point and this happened at the end of the book not in the first part / chapters 1-7. It was frustrating not to have the core aspect of faith, thought and how you enhance these processes rather than just referring to them. )E.g. faith comes by hearing…)
  • There were some references to God, but the universe was privileged in the beginning. This did not detract from the emphasis on faith and thoughts but gave opportunity to reach a secular audience using a scientific frame. It was encouraging to have the scriptures to emphasise the points made and shows the author’s faith as core to the scientific method. Science and faith were therefore in creative co-operation not in competition.
  • Collaboration and creativity are seen as more valuable over competition which is seen as a limiting belief.
  • I Liked the idea of the universal possibility of becoming rich and the simplicity of the text rather than a complicated method. Many current social media experts seek to do it the other way around i.e., make things more complex using scientific words and processes. We can also attribute demographic characteristics with becoming rich (imposter syndrome).
  • Thought is the only tangible power that produces the form from the formless. Being Rich is the manifestation of this belief and faith. Perception is everything. Everything is made from what is perceived.

Author: Maureen Greaves


Willpower: Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength 

Book Review


1. Strengths of the Book

  • The vulnerability and authenticity, as Eric admitted what most will never
    speak about which is the act that he had an addiction that he was battling
    with and thought that he would be better of dead to stop it as it had that
    much control over him.
  • Highlights the power of Self-esteem in both a positive and negative light
    and it also highlights the power of being connected to God/The High
    Higher source as a way to strengthen your willpower
  • The Dieting Rule – If you’re serious about controlling your weight, you
    need the discipline to follow these three rules:
    1. Never go on a diet
    2. Never vow to give up chocolate or any other food
    3. Whether you’re judging yourself or judging others, never equate being
    overweight with having weak willpower you’re serious about controlling
    your weight, you need the discipline to follow these three rules
  • The Oprah Paradox – I’m going through this so it stood out to me highly
    as I now realize it is normal and can be conquered.

2. Weaknesses of the Book

  • The statement in the ‘SACRED CONTROL’ section of Chapter 8
    “Religious people are less likely than others to develop unhealthy habits,
    like getting drunk, engaging in risky sex, taking illicit drugs, and smoking
    cigarettes. They’re more likely to wear seat belts, visit a dentist, and take
    vitamins. They have better social support, and their faith helps them cope
    psychologically with misfortunes.” It may come across as biased, though
    there may statistically be some truth to it.
  • The opinions that Self-esteem becomes narcissism, the self-absorbed
    conviction of personal superiority. Narcissists are legends in their own
    minds and addicted to their grandiose images. I did not agree with this
    being true, as self-esteem is a good trait and narcissism should really be
    aligned with arrogance which is totally separate from confidence.
  • A lot of different theories concerning self-control and self-esteem
    appeared a bit misleading and confusing on my end.

3. Summary of the book

This book detailed psychologist studies and research into personal qualities that
predict “positive outcomes” in life. As a result, they consistently found two traits
which were intelligence and self-control.
Willpower and Self-control were researched and this book detailed the various
outcomes as a result and how willpower plays a significant part in human
welfare. The psychologist’s research revealed that most major problems,
personal and social, centered on the failure of self-control: compulsive spending
and borrowing, impulsive violence, underachievement in school, procrastination
at work, alcohol and drug abuse, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, chronic
anxiety, explosive anger. Poor self-control correlates with just about every kind
of individual trauma: losing friends, being fired, getting divorced, winding up in
prison. Willpower can govern and strengthen your self-control.

4. What vital information can members take away and

✔ SURRENDER – “I had no notion who I thought I was talking to, I just
knew that I had come to the end of my tether,” he recalls. “I had nothing
left to fight with. Then I remembered what I had heard about surrender,
something I thought I could never do, my pride just wouldn’t allow it, but I
knew that on my own I wasn’t going to make it, so I asked for help, and,
getting down on my knees, I surrendered.” Since that moment, he says,
he has never seriously considered taking another drink, not even on the
horrifying day in New York when he had to identify the body of his son,
Conor, who had fallen fifty-three stories to his death.”

✔ SEEK GOD/THE HIGHER SOURCE – For Example Mary Karr’s atheist
prayer. The best she could come up with was: Higher power, where the
f*** have you been? She still didn’t believe in any kind of deity, but she
did decide to keep offering thanks every evening for remaining sober.
About a week later, as she writes in her memoir Lit, she expanded her
nightly prayer by listing other things for which she was grateful, and then
mentioning some things she wanted, like money.

✔ ENVIRONMENT IS EVERYTHING – there are physiological aspects of
alcoholism—some people seem genetically predisposed to it—but going
to AA is nothing like going to the hospital. Diabetics and hypertensives
don’t treat their conditions by sitting around offering one another

✔ SELF ESTEEM plays a significant part in your life wholly in both a
positive and negative manner e.g. Self-esteem becomes narcissism, the
self-absorbed conviction of personal superiority. Narcissists are legends
in their own minds and addicted to their grandiose images. In chapter 9,
research and studies proved this to be true. Children, in particular, tend
to start off with very positive views of themselves. The consensus of the
scientific literature happens to jibe with anecdotal evidence from the
Baumeister household, where there have been conversations like this:
Daughter (4 years old): I know everything. Mother: No, honey, you don’t
know everything. Daughter: Yes, I do. I know everything. Mother: You
don’t know the square root of thirty-six. Daughter (without batting an
eye): I’m keeping all the really big numbers a secret. Mother: It’s not a
really big number. It’s only six. Daughter: I knew that. And this was a child
whose parents had not attempted to boost her self-esteem.

✔ THE OPRAH PARADOX (page 170) – Even people with the highest
self-control can have a hard time consistently controlling their weight
(Chapter 10) so do not beat yourself up about it, as it can happen to the
best of us. Even Billionaires and Royalty (King Henry VIII) face this


cmbc2020Book Reviews