Braithwaite, who describes himself as “a working-class guy who just wouldn’t give up on his dreams,” debuts with a neatly constructed miniguide touching on some of life’s larger issues.
With short chapters that incorporate salient quotes, anecdotes, and personal reflections, this handbook tackles such far-reaching topics as one’s own uniqueness, choosing to make change, the impact of luck, setting goals, and finding a mentor. None of the material is markedly different from the raft of other inspirational books; in fact, the author references some of these titles in his own book. Rather, this work is distinct because of Braithwaite’s down-to-earth, chatty style combined with his effervescent optimism. Perhaps it’s exaggeration to promise the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee is all that’s required to radically transform, but the author’s point is to quell any fears the reader may have about the scary subject of change. Braithwaite’s observations are smart and insightful, albeit often short on specifics. About originality, he writes, “The most artistic and open-minded people on the planet are our children before they start their formal education cycles. Once in school, our education systems strip away their differences and create a group of ‘normal’ children.” On self-worth: “Understand what your unique quality is and price yourself in the market based on the value that you believe your unique quality is worth.” The author outlines equally perceptive thoughts about resiliency, self-doubt, and one’s personal brand. Braithwaite’s counsel on mentoring is particularly poignant since he relates it to life rather than business. “If you’re missing reassurance and support,” writes the author, “find a mentor who will provide that.” He’s unapologetically bullish on grit and determination and has been inspired by people who faced challenges in their lives. His own life is a testament to overcoming such hardships as divorce, job loss, and homelessness.
Brief, blunt, and buoyant; offers a refreshing jolt of inspiration.