STAY DRIVEN by Archie J. and Cheryl Ludlam Smalls


Inspirational Guidelines for Success
Email this review


Faith-based motivational advice on conducting business, and life, from an auto dealer.

Smalls, an African-American who opened the first minority-owned major auto dealership in Berkeley County, S.C., is a deeply religious individual. He may not be Rev. Ike, but he believes that “if we tell God, our Father, about our dreams of career success or financial freedom, will he not bless us in ways that we could not have imagined?” The author’s God has been a steadying, inspirational force in his life, but the decent, down-home business advice he imparts will put any reader in good stead, religiously inclined or not. Through biblical parables, Smalls explains the rules by which he runs his dealership: focus, diligence, humility, preparedness, being a good neighbor and trusting his gut instincts to do the right thing. Stern but reassuring, he keeps his staff on their toes while making sure they feel integral to the operation. He also provides enriching opportunities out of his own pocket, like schooling that may take employees away from his business but adds to the common weal. Through interviews with Smalls’ family members and associates, co-author Ludlam shows an individual who cherishes his integrity and principles above all else. Smalls may be driven to succeed financially, brimming with diligence and confidence, optimistic and spirited, but honesty and good works never take a back seat to making a buck. As a foil to the hardworking Smalls, the authors created a fictional character, Frank Byggs, a man burdened by regret, self-doubt, defeatism, temptation and negativity. Sure, Frank is an obvious straw man, too easily confuted, but where his weaknesses lead him may be all too familiar to many readers.

Unadorned, but savvy, business acumen.

Pub Date: Feb. 14th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-595-41254-8
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online: