“Prosper” is a combination of a practical, self-help motivational guide to pursuing your passions and a valuable productivity guide when it comes to thinking about finances and achieving what you want from a business/professional perspective. It doesn’t sell its points of success through gimmicks or tricks for being successful, but rather aims to transform the reader’s perception of prosperity by tackling the thoughts and virtues that a person has to drive that individual to pursue what they love in a path to success. Ethan Willis and Randy Garn employ six, straightforward principles that will promote one to lead a prosperous life:
1. Locate Your Polaris Point: basically finding your foundation – what you want to do, and establishing what you want to contribute in your passions.
2. Live in Your Prosperity Zone: finding a living balance, between your finances and the vision you have with respect to your “polaris point.”
3. Earn from Your Core: tackles looking at one’s on unique talents and contributions to building prosperity, and how to make note of them to use for one’s overall goals
4. Start with What You Already Have: searches for hidden abilities that may be productive to one’s pursuit of prosperity.
5. Commit to Your Prosperity Path: making the plan to execute plans toward the polaris point.
6. Take Profound Action: presenting and pursuing the path in action.
Each of these principles are examined in close detail, with several examples and interactive points where readers can make their own assessments, through the brief chapters highlighted in the book. It presents a clear cut, forward thinking, encouraging guide towards building success based on a person’s passions, interests, and larger goals in their envisioned, ideal life. If the latter part of Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote establishes that people can make themselves “healthy, wealthy, and wise” – the authors of Prosper certainly had a similar vision in mind when establishing their definition of what prosperity entails, only they establish it under the terms of establishing the term with money (the means of supporting one’s prosperity), happiness (the personal investment in pursuing one’s goals), and sustainability (being able to maintain/manage the measure of prosperity over time).
I found “Prosper” easy to read through and I actively followed along the guide to craft and reinforce ideas in my own respective goals in life. I think this is a guide that can benefit a lot of people who want to get back to basics and combine their personal investments and passions into their professional aspirations. I think if at any point a reader wants to return to the book to reassess a part of their “polaris point,” the book makes it easy to do so with its straightforward, punctuated advice. And what’s more, the authors actually take the time to examine their own paths to their “polaris points” – which make it resonate on a personal level and an inspirational read. The guide also includes cases of success and concrete inventories that assess the various aspects covered in “Prosper.”
A word of warning though – I think the keyword that one could think about in this guide to prosperity is “flexibility”, meaning it’s a guide that allows a bit more of a freerange DIY approach. In other words, if you are a reader who wants a specific step-by-step formula with specific feedback on a particular aspect like managing finances in specific methodologies – this isn’t the type of guide that I would readily recommend. Rather, those who want a less rigid, but still structured and inspiring read towards their productivity goals would get a lot more out of this book. Willis and Garn do an excellent job with explaining how to balance each of these components without overwhelming the reader on just one aspect, rather finding a way to structure and flow with these aspects in a profile that readers can return to for many times to come.
Overall score: 4/5
Note: I received this as an ARC from Netgalley under the publisher Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.