Reviews – Succeed for yourself

Succeed for yourself by Richard Denny

It is interesting that the cover of this book features a quote describing the author as ‘The millionaire maker’ because in his introduction Richard Denny expresses his sadness at how the ‘vision of success has been adulterated by the media’. He goes on to bemoan the fact we have been conditioned to believe success is related to money. Splendid bit of irony there.

What success should mean is left for the reader to define; Denny’s guidance on this is clear and sensible. ‘Success for the vast majority of us is to achieve our goals, live in a state of happiness, and have respect from those around you. So you must be the judge and jury of what success means to you.’

Succeed for Yourself is a well-organised, well-signposted book. The 18 chapters have unambiguous titles that make it clear exactly what you’ll get if you read them. It’s a book you can dip into with ease, choosing sections that relate to your needs from the contents page. The text is organised into short sections, often interspersed with diagrams and exercises. The tone is conversational and encouraging. At the end of each chapter, a boxed section called Pocket Reminders provides a summary of what’s gone before, encouraging focus and action. This is followed by Wise Words – an apt quote or quotes that round things off nicely.

The author manages to sound authoritative and friendly at the same time which can be very reassuring if you’re feeling wobbly about certain aspects of your life or work. Denny is good at creating the impression that there’s a relatively easy, common sense solution to whatever your problem is. And you don’t have to take just his word for it, examples of people who took the course of action he’s recommending add interest and credibility to the advice. The admonition that persistence will master virtually any rejection, for example, is substantiated by reference to Edison’s struggle with the lightbulb and Fleming’s discovery of penicillin. More chillingly, the author notes that fatalities in a stormy Fastnet yacht race were higher among those who took to lifeboats early than those who stayed with their yachts.

There’s nothing new or earth shattering here, you will have heard much of it before, probably from your parents or older, wiser relatives and friends. It’s a bit like having that sort of guiding voice to turn on and off as you need it.

Irene Krechowieka is a career coach and journalist


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"The author manages to sound authoritative and friendly at the same time which can be very reassuring if you’re feeling wobbly about certain aspects of your life or work"