Book Summaries


As a financial consultant, Shawn Rochester helped his clients develop plans to dramatically increase their household cash flow, eliminate their debt, and set aside enough resources to maximize their income-generating assets during retirement. He also started Good Steward University, where he developed online courses to help Black Americans manage their resources based on a mindset and a set of actions focused on stewardship, ownership, and legacy. Within Good Steward University, Shawn developed a course called The Black Tax: The Incremental Cost of Being Black in America. The course was created based on reviewing 25 years of research on the cost of implicit bias on African-Americans.

This tax is insidious in many ways because it reduces Black Americans’ cash flow, thereby reducing our ability to leave a legacy for our children and their children.

In The Black Tax: The Cost of Being Black in America, founder of Good Steward LLC, Shawn Rochester, examines the various costs associated with being Black in America. He describes The Black Tax (which is the financial cost of conscious and unconscious anti-black discrimination), creates a massive financial burden on Black American households that dramatically reduces their ability to leave a substantial legacy for future generations. 

In Burn the Boats: Toss Plan B Overboard and Unleash Your Full Potential, American businessman Matt Higgins provides the blueprint he used to go from a desperate sixteen-year-old high school dropout caring for his sick mother in Queens, New York, to a shark on Shark Tank and the faculty of Harvard Business School.

Burn the Boats is about not becoming hesitant when your instincts don’t match what the world is telling you to do. The key to unlocking potential is to embrace your highest competitive advantage: you are the only one who has the full story of your life. YOU are the one subject about which there will never be a greater expert in the world.

In $100M Leads: How to Get Strangers To Want To Buy Your Stuff, the founder of shares the playbooks that changed his business and life forever. He chronicles the journey in lead generation and how he went from sleeping on my gym floor to owning a portfolio of companies that generate $200,000,000 per year in a decade. His first book, $100M Offers: How To Make Offers So Good People Feel Stupid Saying No, answers the question “What should I sell?” while $100M Leads is about getting strangers to show interest in the stuff you sell.

In Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory, American long-distance runner Deena Kastor takes the reader on a life journey in running. How having a positive mindset, discipline, and excellent work ethic brought her success in her running career. She also shared the rollercoaster of winning and losing, motherhood’s challenges, and her quest to balance life and running.

“I loved running right from the start. It was simple and fun. It lacked rules and structure. There was no equipment to fuss with, no technique to learn.”

Best of all, running didn’t make me feel foolish or ridiculous, like I’d done something wrong. The ease of it made me feel competent and free. Everything we were asked to do, I could do. I ran and counted my laps. I warmed up on the trails, happily shooting out the gate with my teammates to the wild open space, and ran among the rabbits and deer.

I remember thinking how lucky we runners were to be in constant motion. We were part of the action all the time. Running was also, to my surprise and delight, both solitary and social.

In Never Eat Alone And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time, American author and entrepreneur Keith Ferrazzi discusses the power of relationships and how networking is the key to thriving in the digital age. As Ferrazzi notes in the introduction of the book:

Your network is your destiny, a reality backed up by many studies in the newly emergent fields of social networking and social contagion theory. We are the people we interact with. Our paychecks, our moods, the health of our hearts, and the size of our bellies—all of these things are determined by whom we choose to interact with and how.

In $100M Offers: How To Make Offers So Good People Feel Stupid Saying No, entrepreneur Alex Hormozi shares strategies for crafting an irresistible profitable offer and how to turn advertising dollars into (enormous) profits using a combination of pricing, value, guarantees, and naming strategies. The Grand Slam Offer as Alex calls it, would make people feel stupid saying no.

401: The Man Who Ran 401 Marathons in 401 Days and Changed His Life Forever is the story of Ben Smith, a marathon runner who completed 401 marathons in 401 days in England between 2015 and 2016. Ben was bullied as a child and he attempted to commit suicide as a result of that experience. As an adult, he was dissatisfied with the way he was living until he discovered his passion for running. He decided to run 401 marathons in 401 days, raise money for charity, and find himself in the process.

By the end of the run, Ben raised £330,000 for two anti-bullying charities Kidscape and Stonewall, and ran over 10,000 miles which is the equivalent of running from Syndey, Australia to London, England. During his run, Ben met and ran with 13,000+ people across England. He also Helen Rollason Award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards in 2016, In the book, Ben shares his struggle with bullying, mental health, divorce, and navigating the vicissitudes of life.

Running is just putting one foot in front of the other – that’s the simple bit – the hard part is choosing to go running in the first place. But once you make that choice, you can start putting distance between your old life and closing in on a new one.

In Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity, Creativity, and Innovation Researcher Keith Sawyer identifies the eight stages of the creative process and contains over 100 techniques to enhance your personal creativity.

Neuroscience and psychology have proven that all human beings unless their brain has been seriously damaged, possess the same mental building blocks that inventive minds stack high to produce works of genius. That creative power you find so breathtaking when you see it tapped by others, lives just as surely within you. You only have to take out those blocks and start playing with them. 

In Clockwork, Revised and Expanded: Design Your Business to Run Itself, small business author Mike Michalowicz provides a step-by-step method for getting more done by doing less – making it easier than ever to have your business run itself. Mike suggests that the four-week vacation is the ultimate acid test for a business that runs itself.

There are three stages in a business’s life that every successful entrepreneur experiences. Stage one is when you are scratching your head thinking about starting a business, stage two is surviving the startup stage, and stage three is the growth stage.

In Lucky Me: A Memoir of Changing the Odds, American sports agent and founder of Klutch Sports Group Rich Paul shares the role luck played in him becoming one of the most successful sports agents, considering his background. He writes about his relationship with NBA superstar Lebron James and the lessons he has learned from being a student of life and the streets. Rich writes about his early upbringing, his mother’s drug addiction, lessons learned from his father, and the most important insights that he garnered from the streets.

Rich went from gambling to selling weed, drugs, and selling jerseys. He met Lebron James in 2001 at the airport, fascinated by the jersey Rich was putting on, Lebron asked “What kind of jersey is that?“. Rich was wearing a Warren Moon Houston Oilers throwback Jersey. The rest, they say, is history.

Luck is a complicated thing. We live surrounded by luck, if we know how to recognize it. Bad luck can seem good for a while; good luck might be hard to understand.

Book Title: Lucky Me

One of my all-time favourite Jay-Z songs is a deep cut called “Lucky Me.” Jay is talking about how success brings envy, jealousy, and danger and about how people think his life is perfect, but he’s dealing with more than they could ever know. It’s a powerful, mournful, and somewhat sarcastic song, with a hook that goes: You only know what you see / You don’t understand what it takes to be me.

“My first stroke of luck was being born into a life that forced me to be focused and prepared. Luck was learning how to recognize friendship, loyalty, love, and justice, and how to cultivate those values in life and business. Learning how to confront systems of power and not flinch, to walk on a razor’s edge and never fall. Most importantly, I was lucky to learn from real Gs how to have a purpose and mission that can make a difference in people’s lives, and that maybe, someday, can change the world.”

In We Got Fired!: . . . And It’s the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Us, author Harvey Mackay chronicles the story of some of the most successful people in the world and how they turned their firing into a better story for their career and life.

“Getting fired may eventually be the best thing to happen to you, but it’s no ticket to a smooth ride. What you get is the chance to play with a new set of more complex problems.”

In 12 Months to $1 Million: How to Pick a Winning Product, Build a Real Business, and Become a Seven-Figure Entrepreneur, Serial Entrepreneur and host of Ryan Daniel Moran describes a one-year plan through the three stages of entrepreneurship to making the first $1 million. Ryan is the founder of, which empowers entrepreneurs to create change through business. He also organizes an annual event, the Capitalism Conference, which brings together all the top entrepreneurs to tell their stories.

Being an entrepreneur means thinking in years rather than months. The worst thing you could do in any cycle is trade a long-term risk for a short-term win.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has constantly re-invented himself from being the world’s greatest bodybuilder, and highest-paid movie star and later becoming the thirty-eighth governor of California (the world’s sixth-largest economy.). Growing up in Austria, his father constantly encouraged him to be useful. In Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life, Arnold shares seven life principles that have helped him become one of the most recognizable faces in the world and the secret to his extraordinary achievement.

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