Posts Tagged ‘Book Reviews’


February 4, 2015

You can find out more about my #VitalVision process in my new book: ‘Woman Power: Strategies for Female Leaders’

WE40 Cover Woman Power - Strategies for Female Leaders

Over 30 years I have worked with thousands of entrepreneurs to help them holistically create the life and business of their dreams, the future they REALLY want, using tailormade packages from my specially developed programmes including creative holistic VitalVision Blueprint™ Visioning and Visualisation, VitalVision™Strategic  Brainstorming,   VV Strategic Right Action Planning™,  ‘Six Steps to Supercharged Success And Abundance’ and more recently my Destination Me Intensive™ – all supported by Coaching and Mentoring for practical implementation, accountability and successful outcomes.

I focus my help where it is most needed, where the entrepreneur (start up or established) is blocked in their ambition for BIG SUCCESS, or stuck on a Business Plateau they cannot quite get over, (for example stuck at a certain turnover level they would like to double or treble or more) or blocked in some other way, (confidence or other issues) with either not enough or too many choices and issues about which direction to take their life and business(es) in.

There is once core principle that I have found to be an individual’s KISSAA –  Key Indicator for Supercharged Success And Abundance – and this is it.

However BIG, ambitious and grand an entrepreneur’s #Vision, their #Values must be fully aligned to it.

I was recently asked about this relationship between our Values and our Vision following a statement I made:-

Success is achieved when your Vision aligns with your Values, so being clear on your Values is Vital”.

Because this IS so fundamental to success, I wanted to explain this in the simplest terms.

What are Values? However you describe them, Values are the inherent Code by which we live.  What we deeply believe in at a subconscious as well as conscious level

  • First, think about and list all of your Values
  • Then, order your Values into a hierarchy
  • Finally, do some reflection, think thoroughly about these Values and consider whether these are in the final places in the hierarchy you wish them to be. If not, reorder again
  • Remember that some Values can change in priority, come to the fore or draw back, as we live and our lives change. Rarely do our core Values completely change although they can be affected by traumatic incidents

Check your Values with your Vision for your life and business. Do they align, match, correlate?

Yes? Then you are Setting Yourself Up For Success

No? Then think carefully before you continue

Why is it vital to have your Values aligned with your ambitious Vision?

The two critical reasons fundamental to success are this:-


  1. Creating a Vision that conflicts with your Values, you are liable to self-sabotage your plans
  2. Working with people to achieve your Vision, but whose Values disagree with your own is setting yourself for conflict, disagreements and possible failure.

You will be able to think of many examples where these conflicts arise in your own life and circumstances.

  1. As a simple example:-

You are passionately committed to protecting resources and the natural environment and love nature.  How will you succeed in selling the idea of a product or service that requires excessive packaging, potential waste or extensive tree felling out of context. What effect does that have on you? Reflect and think of your own real-life examples where you have worked so hard and tried but failed to succeed in situations or endeavours.

  1. As a simple example

Honesty and truth are your core values and your work brings you into contact or requires co-operation with people you discover struggle with telling the truth or blatantly lie. What effect does that have on you? Reflect and think of your own real-life examples where you have worked so hard and tried but failed to succeed in relationship situations.

Think about your own circumstances and where you have struggled to achieve in some area, look to identify either of the areas of conflict above you will begin to see why some plans are already doomed at the outset, so need rethinking, and why some relationships will never work – and you may need to decide whether to continue to compromise your values, or to walk away and in the future be aware so that you find the situations and relationships that work better for you.





















Values: Be aware. Find The Perfect Values Match. What are yours? List and enlighten yourself!

Please feel free to share this article though I would appreciate your mention of the source which is my own work and copyright. You can find out more about my #VitalVision process in my new book: ‘Woman Power: Strategies for Female Leaders’

This book is also a useful resource for entrepreneurs (entrepreneurs are leaders too!) AND for men who wish to understand the thinking and leadership styles of women leaders.

I would love your constructive feedback. Please say if this is article is helpful and what other aspects of entrepreneurship and/or succeeding in creating the life and business you REALLY want you would like to read more ‘snippets’ or observations about

100 RULES FOR ENTREPRENEURS – Real-Life Business Lessons – Neil Lewis, reviewed by Valerie Dwyer – Serial Entrepreneur, Coach, Mentor, Inspirational Speaker, founder of My Wonderful Life Coach™, Everything is Possible™, and other enterprises

December 22, 2010
For this and reviews for entrepreneurs, coaching, business development, marketing, pr go to 
 100 Rules for Entrepreneurs – Real-Life Business Lessons focuses on core ‘first principles’ in business from which the rules then flow. Neil Lewis’s entrepreneurial pedigree cannot be denied. Here are lessons of incalculable value from an entrepreneur who built a $12 million business from a £2,000 back bedroom start-up, survived ten years with the last two years of decline delivering the most entrepreneurial lessons, then walked away with nothing. But then he picked himself up and started all over again!


    As a serial entrepreneur who has been head hunted to turn businesses around I would like to see this book as a reference in every business library. Wondering what you can learn and pitfalls to avoid? Better get your hands on a copy, read now and apply your rules!

    100 Rules kicks off with a version of Tennyson’s classic In Memoriam “It is better to have tried and failed than to have never tried’. The important thing is to learn from experience. These insights into what can go wrong when an entrepreneur’s first business booms then busts? Priceless! As is conviction, knowledge that it needn’t break anyone, true entrepreneurs just get over it! Start again! 

     ‘Just do it’ is Neil’s call to learn but importantly, to action. All journeys begin with the first step, you can think about things forever but it is action that makes things happen. Armed with these lessons affecting all areas of business you have sound advice on your side that will help you in many ways from cutting costs to employing right to improving profits and much more besides.

       ‘Boom times’ can be a load of ‘hot air’, a time to learn from your mistakes. ‘Bust times’ (recessions), (as I know from personal experience) can be times of greatest innovation and opportunity. Through it all though there’s an emphasis to know and take care of yourself. You’re the captain of your own ship and it’s sensible to think about alternative measures of success than purely money.  You’re encouraged to ‘Sharpen the Saw’ as in Stephen Covey’s ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’.

        Sound advice to know your strengths and weaknesses; have a boost every now and again; go on holiday, you’re NOT indispensible (or shouldn’t be). (I remember being told quite frankly that people were capable and everything was under control during my very first vacation when I rang the office to see how things were. Felt strange, but very satisfying, not to be needed in my own business)!

       I’d like to have seen more substance in Rule 64 about the power of Vision, especially Shared Vision with wider company input, ownership and delivery of the Values, Mission and Strategic Action Plans that flow from these. After all though, company failed, and lack of these may be one reason why?

      ‘To Stop’ list, great idea; win/win negotiation; power of 3 in KPI’s; Business Angels; Freelancers; Interim Senior Managers and, importantly, avoiding the ‘diversify’ trap; warning to not too speedily dilute your own holding in the business (those desperately seeking finance may) plus Business Exit Strategies. The latter doesn’t mean you’ll definitely action; advantage to think through even if the solution is a big money buyout!

       There’s fundamental truth in Neil’s quote ‘Business comes and business goes – but you’ll always be an entrepreneur (someone who starts businesses)!’ I’ve never met a true entrepreneur yet who either found satisfaction working for someone else, or who gave up completely after their first failure.

      His postscript expresses hope that 100 Rules for Entrepreneurs will add three years to learning and maturing process for every entrepreneur/would be entrepreneur reader. An additional resource, one outcome from all this learning, is the new MediaModo entrepreneurial accreditation scheme to revolutionise the way investors and entrepreneurs work together. Look out for it!

      Start up, student or seasoned entrepreneur, there’s valuable advice in 100 Rules for Entrepreneurs! Highly Recommended 

JUST GET ON WITH IT! A CARING, COMPASSIONATE KICK UP THE ASS! by Ali Campbell, Hay House, Reviewed by Valerie Dwyer – Serial Entrepreneur, Coach, Mentor, Inspirational Speaker, founder of My Wonderful Life Coach™, Everything is Possible™, and other enterprises

December 2, 2010

Just Get on with it

Just Get on with it


Just Get on With It! really is what it says on the cover – A Caring Compassionate Kick Up The Ass! No more procrastination or excuses. Want to turn your life around? Then begin!

Get my full review for this and other inspirational and motivational books at

Refreshingly, Ali Campbell, ‘Mr Fix It’ to celebrities, business leaders and even royalty, makes it clear that he does not provide within this book all the (coaching and other) answers that we seek in order to live a fulfilled life.  However, more importantly and with guidance, he shows us how to recognise, reconnect with, trust and harness a power that many have lost touch with, possibly the most valuable resource in the universe embedded deep within us, our gut feeling, intuition, call it what you will.  

          Ali is keen to point out that ‘this is not a fluffy or typically touchy-feely type of coaching book’ but a collection of lessons and learnings gathered together from clients, books, teachers, trainers, therapists and his own journey trying to stay ‘positive’ growing up in one of the most cynical (yet wonderfully caring) places on earth.   Despite this, or perhaps even because of it, Ali brings alive the idea of ‘effortless effort’.  Although the material is not entirely new, the approach is!  Well worth the read, highly recommended


Launch-Wannabe a Writer We’ve Heard Of?Jane Wenham-Jones 22 Oct 10

October 14, 2010

Amazing author Jane Wenham-Jones imminent launch of Wannabe A Writer We’ve Heard Of? 5.30pm, 22nd October 2010 Guildford Book Festival. Bonus first hand opportunity ask  Jane advice.

Jane Wenham-Jones, Wannabe a Writer We've Heard Of?
Jane Wenham-Jones, Wannabe a Writer We’ve Heard Of?

Both as a fan of Jane’s brilliantly humorous writing and, this time, also a contributor, I’ve a particular interest in getting my hands on a copy!!

Are you an author? Do you dream of being one? Or just wonder what they get up to when chasing the limelight? Self-confessed media tart Jane takes us on an uproarious ride along the publicity trail with anecdotes from her own numerous media exploits and those from the many famous contributors to her new book – Wannabe a Writer We’ve Heard Of? – who have been there, and done that.

For details go to  or call 01483 444789

Wannabe a Writer? by Jane Wenham-Jones is published by Accent Press.

Don’t Feed the Ducks! – In Your Business or in Your Life – Liam O’Connell

October 5, 2010

Don't Feed The Ducks Liam o Connell

Don't Feed The Ducks Liam o Connell

He’s back and he’s done it again! Liam O’Connell, author of “My Fire’s Gone Out”, the inspirational story of three little devils managing change that I named ‘Best Little Book of 2010’ at time of reading, is back with Don’t Feed the Ducks! – less metaphor, more hands-on cultural change programme.  Read my full review at   Opening with the words – “Let me paint you a picture. Imagine for a moment…” you get the feeling that Liam is something of a visionary; combine this with one outstanding phrase from the author’s own journey, “It’s a long ride, it’s a fast ride and if you fall out it’s your last ride”, and you’re spot on. The way this change programme is conveyed is just what’s needed for seekers of practical methodologies to bring about real and lasting improvement. This is reading with a capital ACTION!

“Happy, focused people = happy customers”. Too obvious you say? But I would posit regrettably a still all-too-novel approach for some and don’t we know it! We know (hopefully) how it feels to walk into a business where the atmosphere buzzes, there’s passion and enthusiasm, positive vibes in an upward spiral – doesn’t seem like work at all! And we’ve experienced the opposite. No guesses where the saboteurs skulk, but Liam outs them, no padding, straight to the issues, even the ones some of us would perhaps rather ignore at their peril, but not those who still want to be in business in the upturn!

With chapter titles like “Smell the Culture”; “Shock the System”; “Can’t be Arsed Ltd”; “Let Me Entertain You”; “Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll” it’s clear that this is certainly not a run-of-the-mill self-help book – you’re in for an interesting ride and a worthwhile read.  You’ll meet the very ducks you shouldn’t feed at any cost, amongst them the ‘Mood Hoover’. I’ll leave you to explore why “Hoovers Really Suck!” and we’re not talking vacuum cleaners. See who these little quackers remind you of, find out their effect!  Passion, belief and attitude are …go read my review..


Psychological Testing – The essential guide to using & surviving the most popular recruitment and career development tests – Stephanie Jones, Reviewed by Valerie Dwyer – Serial Entrepreneur, Coach, Mentor, Inspirational Speaker, founder of My Wonderful Life Coach™, Everything is Possible™, and other enterprises.

August 31, 2010



Psychological Testing Stephanie Jones

Psychological Testing Stephanie Jones

So, if there were tests to significantly improve your chances of being right you’d want to know all about them – wouldn’t you? Get all the help you can to substantially improve your own prospects and to find the right people!  Don’t leave it to chance!

Read my full review here Want help to avoid ‘round pegs into square holes?’ Whether you want to match, or be matched, to specific jobs and career/development opportunities the ‘know thyself’ mantra could not be more appropriate in today’s competitive arenas. Be at least well-informed, read the book and make up your own mind.

Psychological Testing is exactly what it says on the cover. It delivers an invaluable working understanding for Boards, ‘HR’, management, leaders, team builders, students, career developers and much more…to achieve the best fit and maximise potential. Whether you’re keen to get to the top yourself or want to find the right people for your business, neither of which is especially easy, you will benefit from reading!

So popular, this second updated and enhanced edition from an exceptionally qualified and experienced author comes 17 years after the first, which is still in daily use!  Stephanie shares her personal experience and wealth of knowledge about off and online testing, a selection of the most commonly used tests with categories that focus especially on intelligence and personality assessments. In non-technical language she explains what each test involves; when to use and how to combine with other tests to reveal a rounded picture of someone’s strengths and weaknesses. Importantly, you’ll get a real flavour of what it is like to do the test yourself, in the words of someone who has been there, and done that.

You may be familiar with some of the most established and respected tests, including Watson Glaser Critical Thinking; Raven’s Progressive Matrices; Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Belbin’s Team Role  Model Test – all are still widely used. You are taken through 14 of the most popular which are analysed and reported in detail.  Fascinating, but understandable, to see the DMT described as ‘mind-blowing’ of all the tests in this book – but when you read the specific details – it is clear to see why…Most helpfully, words with specific meanings within the psychological testing discipline are highlighted the first time they appear, and explained in the glossary.

Importantly, the format for each test section is comprehensive. This includes:-

START-UP SMART–How to start and build a successful business on a budget – Robin Bennett – Reviewed by Valerie Dwyer – Serial Entrepreneur, Coach, Mentor, Inspirational Speaker, founder of My Wonderful Life Coach™, Everything is Possible™,

August 23, 2010




“Entrepreneurship is, for the most part, a thoroughly enjoyable activity….you can have as many separate businesses as you like….read the book for the rest of this quote, but as a confirmed ‘serial entrepreneur’  that I have to say I’m delighted! AT LAST! Someone is saying to start-ups that it’s OK to begin more than one business, that it has fun moments and Robin is also showing how it can be done on a low budget. People know that I’ve been saying it for years but in print it’s still a breakthrough!     The brief background on Robin’s entrepreneurial career (many similarities to mine, including we both have over 20 years entrepreneurial experience and shadowed millionaire entrepreneurs in the early days, which provided exceptional learning opportunities for us!) makes a fascinating read before pitching straight into the logical process peppered with useful streetwise advice – and keep reading because there are more pleasant surprises to come – if you’re serious about having a go at business for yourself.

Robin’s aim is to keep you on the right path (legally and otherwise), so the humorous angle running through is appreciated. Serious and sometimes tough topics include negotiating….

YOUR COMPANY ON A PLATE! The great ending to START-UP SMART is Robin’s basic outline example of a model start up company to earn you £50,000 year 1 and £100,000 year 2, complete with cashflow and balance sheet forecasts plus blank Business Plan pages to write your own. You can adapt these in any way you desire. If Robin can do the serial entrepreneur bit, so can you. What’s more he wants to help you to and has set up The Start-Up Smart Competition for under £5,000 business start-up ideas from 18-30 year olds in the UK. Winners announced November 2010. More at

  So what’s stopping you? If you’ve read the book – go there right now! If not, buy START-UP SMART now!  Added value insight to the serial entrepreneur mind & how you too can do it! Highly Recommended

WORKING 5 TO 9 by founder Emma Jones reviewed by Valerie Dwyer – book delivers!

June 17, 2010

We’re talking SERIOUS BUSINESS here! A great book to recommend to anyone who is interested in starting or making more of their spare time – in business.  Don’t ever let anyone tell you that spare time (or home based for that matter) business isn’t serious! (for serious read IMPORTANT, VITAL for you, your family, community and UK plc)! DECLARE an interest? You bet! As a reviewer of Spare Room Start Up, the ‘thriller’ first enterprise book from Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones, I anticipated ‘Working 5 to 9’ being an inspiring, invaluable and practical guide to starting and growing a successful spare time business with the potential to take over your life! It lives up to expectations.  

Working 5 to 9 How to start a successful business in your spare time

Working 5 to 9 How to start a successful business in your spare time

  Yes, learn from the wealth of experience and resources packed into 250 pages, go into ACTION, you’ll jump start your new venture. Those of us who’ve been there can still learn a thing or three!

    In a job but not sure for how much longer? Want to pursue a passion, hobby or skill for light relief and extra income? Dream of becoming your own boss but not quite sure where to start. Or already out there operating your business for a while? Want spare time to be full time? Then read on! As a serial entrepreneur whose first spare time businesses successfully fledged, I can confirm that with enough determination and the know-how and know-who then “Everything is Possible™”

    Packed with 50 or so real-life case studies of 5 to 9ers, of all ages, with start up funding in many cases of less than £500 which was quickly recouped from sales income, Working 5 to 9 blows the myth out of the water that every new business needs £thousands to get off the ground. We are still talking SERIOUS BUSINESSES here! Big Oak Trees from Little Acorns Grow with a little help from their friends! Read my full review at

MILLIONAIRE MUMPRENEURS – How Successful Mums Made a Million Online and How You Can Do it Too! Mel McGee Rocks!

May 21, 2010

Supermummy(tm) Mel McGee, also author of The Ultimate Mumpreneur’s Guide to Online Business Success – has done it again!  

Supermummy Mel McGee

Supermummy Mel McGee

This ‘How I Made a Million Online’ exposé from the horses mouth, so to speak, is another riveting read. What’s more it is written in a way that you can learn to do it too! So you’ve no excuse!With the right attitude, Millionaire Mumpreneurs is life-changing stuff.  ‘Having it all’ and ‘being it all’ by ‘not doing it all’ is Mel’s especially good advice! How very true!! What’s the point of building a booming business to not have a life – whether that’s family or not? We need to work smarter, not harder, a lesson I’ve certainly learned from the days when, running several enterprises, I once flew in from Germany at 3.00am, went to bed until 5.00am and set off again for an important meeting to clinch a deal at 7.00am! Crazy or what? With the development of the internet and our online world, there’s no reason to punish ourselves this way any more. Read my full review, find link with chance to  WIN a copy 

Mel is donating 10% of the royalties from her book to charities supporting mothers and children.

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