By Brendon Burchard
Book review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.
This is a book of 156 pages of text with 10 chapters. That means each chapter is approximately 15.6 pages in length in a 6-inch by 9-inch paperback. The book is not very big nor very long. So, does it accomplish what it sets out to do?
The first chapter describes in great detail the car crash that almost took Burchard’s life in the Dominican Republic —being in the Dominican Republic is a bit scary in and of itself, then put an automobile accident on top of that and you sense the anxiety. (We visited the Dominican Republic on one of our Caribbean cruises and, honestly, we never have to visit the island again. It is poor, has little for tourists, and is dirty.)
The story about Burchard’s car crash is well told, but it should be since it has been refined over many years of countless tellings. The point of the story is that it changed Burchard’s life—how he wanted to share his message with others. Tony Robbins was the one who changed his life.
Burchard wanted to "be that voice of inspiration and instruction for people" (p. 12).
I think Burchard can credit much of his success to becoming the best-selling author of Life’s Golden Ticket (HarperCollins, 2007). For me, it was a successful college textbook—Communicating Effectively 10e (McGraw-Hill, 2012). Much as many want to be successful, it is nice to have some kind of financial cushion to rest upon.
(To suggest that some people can become a David Bach, John Gray, Oprah Winfrey, Rachael Ray, Dr. Phil, Marianne Williamson, Bob Greene, Tim Gunn, Nate Berkus, or Dr. Mehmet Oz, is stretching to be certain, but it is great to have someone to emulate. Anyone who sets celebrities up to establish goals for readers, has to be a little bit warped. Who in their right mind would accept such false hope?)
Burchard cites the success stories of numerous non-celebrity individuals, but his main focus is on his readers, so he does not dwell on inspirational stories.
Burchard’s ideas are sound. The fundamentals for success are the same in every profession: 1) passion and knowledge, 2) relating and creating, 3) work anywhere and anytime—start now, 4) work with whom you want, 5) develop promotions, 6) pay equals value delivered, not the reason you work, 7) you do not need a large loan, 8) the tools for success are simple and cheap, and 8) same goes for financial income (pp. 24-38).
Please be aware that this book is for beginners. Anyone who has experienced any degree of success in his or her area of life is unlikely to find anything new or challenging in this book. It is about basics, laying out the essentials, and trying to establish a firm foundation.
The advice given in Chapter 5, "10 Steps to an Expert Empire," are essential and are no quick fix: 1) claim and master your topic, 2) pick your audience, 3) discover your audience’s problems, 4) define your story, 5) create a solution, 6) put up a website, 7) campaign your products and programs, 9) get promotional partners, 10) repeat and build the business based on distinction, excellence, and service. (There is no number 8 between pages 61 and 64. It was forgotten!)
One of the problems with this book is that Burchard explains what needs to be done, but he spends little time discussing how to do it. Someone just starting out needs to know how since much of the what is either obvious common sense or reading that is available on Google. I think this is an important omission.
There is nothing in this book that will astound you, and there is no magic formula—even a unique or unusual perspective. What you do come away with, however, is: if you want to become successful, it is very hard work! There is no such thing as a free ride.