The Bankruptcy Alternative By Bruce Bowler – A Book Review

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Business Management Tips, Tools, and Principles

“The Bankruptcy Alternative” is Bruce Bowler’s unique and unusual story of his 50-year career, in fields of mortgage banking, manufacturing, and as a champion nitro-burning dragster driver.

Fast moving chapters describe an almost unbelievable account of a passion for drag racing, the security of working for Dad in the family business; winning after losing, the importance of decisive action, and the sense of accomplishment of a job well done.

The book reads like a novel, told from the protagonist’s point of view. Bowler is reliving his business journey. Bruce relates the setbacks and the progression of rebuilding, to another level of success. He carefully describes the “S Curve of Business” beginning with the self-determined forces and the external forces.

In an emotionally charged narrative, Bruce tells of the enthusiasm and expectations of starting a new company, moving from a dream to reality, a slow upward trend, becoming somewhat stable and the twilight of decline. The economic crash of 2009 led to the decision of closing Phoenix Custom Apparel.

Step by step Bruce describes his experience of recognizing “when to pull the plug,” selling assets, paying off debts, adapting the “Company Story Board Concept”, the decision to self-manage liquidation, and the steps that followed in closing the company.

“The Bankruptcy Alternative” is written to encourage readers in the midst of similar situations with “a message of “hope and resilience…and the challenge to never give up.”

A complimentary review copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Bowler Enterprises, Inc., 2175 South Jasmine Street, #105, Denver, Colorado 80222-5700, 978-0998632810, 2017, 156 pages






Top of the Hill – Learning To Think and Grow Rich at Napoleon High School By Jim Stovall – A Book Review

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake,

Introducing Napoleon Hill’s Personal Analysis System to a New Generation of World Changers

“Top of the Hill – Learning to Think and Grow Rich at Napoleon High School” is the second book in Jim Stovall’s Homecoming Historical Series. “Top of the Hill” is an amazing story of what can happen when a mastermind group or dream team discover and put into practice the Napoleon Hill’s 17 success principles.


Philip Madison, a former student and High School English teacher at Napoleon Hill High School, in Wise, Virginia is currently the principal of the school.  Madison is recognized for his community service and is considered the anchor of Napoleon Hill High School (NHHS).


Philip was greatly disturbed by a letter, from Ronald Slade, chairman of the state school board, announcing the closing of the NHHS, at the end of the present school year. The closing was due to a drop in enrollment and the loss in tax revenues from the distressing economic conditions; the result of the closing of the local mine.


When Philip arrived at his school office, greeted Amanda Cornett, a senior, possibly the best all-around student ever enrolled at the high school, was already at work as an office assistant.  Amanda already completed all her required courses and is working as a volunteer in the principal’s office to develop business skills. She is also taking college courses at the local university.


Amanda’s tears betrayed the fact that she had read the letter from Ronald Slade, still in her hand. Ronald Slade. Principal Madison attempted to console Amanda. Amanda took note of a poster on the wall containing a list of Napoleon Hill’s 17 Success Principles. Principal Madison was reminded of Hill’s philosophy that “Opportunity often comes, disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.” Philip went on to show Amanda how setting a goal is the first step toward solving a problem and of the importance of putting together a mastermind group to help solve the problem at hand.


Amanda immediately set about recruiting a “Master Mind Group” or dream team from the class of seniors NHHS to commit themselves to keep their school from being closed.  The group included a unique group of talented high school seniors.

The maintenance engineer of the school, Philip and his wife Helen, who worked as an officer at the local bank, and Robert Campbell, an attorney rounded out the team.


One by one each of the dream team members contributed their talent as they discovered a challenge from Napoleon Hill’s Personal Analysis. The elements of celebration, disappointment, and intrigue add to the suspense of a well-structured plot, the growth of individual characters, and an unexpected surprise ending.


Stovall has created a fast-moving, plot, driven by an unforgettable cast of characters. Stovall uses a combination of fact, fiction, and core beliefs. Each of the chapters of the book builds on the theme of one of the principles included in Hill’s Personal Analysis System.


Stovall writes with an upbeat attitude, often using “tongue in cheek” humor. His writing awakens all five senses with vivid metaphors which describe sights, sounds and smells. Other mental images are formed through his picturesque expressive phrases. These ingenious word pictures create vibrant images which stimulate the reader to move from personal application to positive dynamic action.


“The Top of the Hill” is written to encourage anyone going through a period of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, or overwhelming adversity. High School seniors, college students, or young entrepreneurs, will benefit from this introduction to Napoleon Hill’s writing.

Sound Wisdom, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 9781937879914, $ 14.95, 2017, 192 pages



The Compass Solution – A Guide to Winning Your Career By Tim Cole – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Lessons for Developing a Sustainable and Successful Career

“The Compass Solution – Guide to Your Career” is designed as a career survival guide to a winning career; time-tested techniques, proven principles, and personal stories navigate the reader through four basic cardinal points and three keys that can accelerate the climb to success.

The book is well formatted, made up of profound principles, presented in practical terms for understanding, application, and execution.  Each chapter includes an important “straight talk summary” to optimize the course of your career. Cole offers the reader keys to analysis, insight gathering, and definitive action that produce the determination and commitment for developing your plans for the future.

Author, Tim Cole’s successful career in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry includes dozens of restructures and five mergers. Tim is now focusing on sharing the secrets and lessons he learned in the corporate world to help others realize success and fulfillment in their careers.

Brilliant articulate writing, timely up-to-date application of proven principles, add to the value and motivation for the reader. “The Compass Solution – A Guide to Winning Your Career” is written for college students contemplating a career, service personal reentering civilian life, and anyone looking for a career change.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

The Compass Alliance, LLC, 11820 Dan Maples Drive, Charlotte, North Carolina 28277, 978-0999057100, $17.99, 2017, 264 pages




Leadership from the Mission Control Room to the Boardroom – A Guide to Unleashing Team Performance, By Paul Sean Hill – A Book Review

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Learning from the Legacy of Mission Control Management Team

In his book “Leadership from the Mission Control Room to the Boardroom – A Guide to Unleashing Team Performance,” executive consultant and former director of Missions Operations with NASA, introduces Missions Control Department (MOD) leadership values and roles that can be adapted to any setting.

The book is made up of four integral parts. Part one deals with the elements of trust, technical truth, integrity, and courage in all decision making. Part two looks at key points on how management can lose the core purpose and values of the key to performance success. Part three addresses the transformation and empowerment of the management team in all facets of management and critical decision-making. Part four sums up some of the tips and challenges to success as an individual and a team with some final thoughts from the author.

Hill’s writing is engaging, forthright, and intense; written with the candor and passion of an evangelist. I was inspired by the story of his personal journey to success, and the importance of understanding the specific challenge, common cause, and mission of team building while accepting a high level of individual responsibility for its success.

“Leadership from the Mission Control Room to the Boardroom – A Guide to Unleashing Team Performance” is essential reading for business executives, leaders and managers, and should be a readily accessible resource guide for ready reference.

Atlast Press, 978-0998634319, $16.99, 2017, 342 pages


Napoleon Hill’s Success Principles Rediscovered

By: Napoleon Hill

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake


Timeless Success Principles for the 21st Century, Adopt a positive Attitude, Determine Your Dream, Follow Your Heart, and Take the First Step to Achievement

Jeffrey Gitomer, American author, professional speaker, and business trainer, collaborated with Judy Williamson, Director of the Napoleon Hill Learning Center at Purdue University to create the e-zine “Napoleon Hill Yesterday and Today.” Judy has complied fifty two writings from Hill’s success principles, added comments and challenges for application in the 21st Century in the book Napoleon Hill’s Success Principles Rediscovered.

Each chapter open with an inspirational motivational quote, principle, word of wisdom, or a pithy statement by Napoleon Hill or leaders involved in the work of the Napoleon Hill World Learning Centers.

Judy demonstrates a keen gift for understanding, interpreting, and teaching the reader how to apply and master Hill’s success principles. Each of the 52 lessons contains a principle of attitude, success and life, with the challenge to take action, achieve results, adapt a positive attitude in your professional and family life, and to share Napoleon Hill’s success secrets with others.

Examples from the lives of Henry Ford, the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, Luther Burbank, Alexander Graham and Andrew Carnegie demonstrate purpose, dedication, determination, and dreams of achievement.

Napoleon Hill’s timeless principles have become the standard for personal development Coaches, Career Counselors, and well known Motivational authors and speakers internationally.

I have been personally challenged to read Napoleon Hill’s Success Principles Rediscovered, one more for understanding, again for implementation, and repeated times for meditation and optimum application – always with pen in hand.

A complimentary review copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

The Napoleon Hill Foundation,Sound Wisdom, P.  O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-1937879747, $ 15.99, 2017, 184 Pages

The Art of Presentation – Your Competive Edge by Ray Hull, PhD and Jim Stovall

The Art of Presentation – Your Competitive Edge

By: Ray H. Hull, PhD and Jim Stovall

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Look at the Elements Involved in Effective Presentations

Ray H. Hull, PhD and Jim Stovall collaborate in “The Art of Presentation – Your Competitive Edge” to provide the reader with a distinctive balance of step by step instruction and compelling illustrative stories that reinforce the essentials involved in effective presentations.

The authors help the reader learn and develop skills of communication that will result in a freshness and individuality to the manner and style of the readers presentations, will hone their effectiveness, and encourage them to become more accomplished platform speakers.

Other tips the authors suggest include: practice your skills by placing yourself in situations that provide opportunities to improve your effectiveness, discover your strengths, determine your brand, and filter your media presentation for” accuracy, bias, and perspective.”

Stovall uses the examples of Paul Harvey, Zig Ziegler, Will James, and others with inimitable presentation skills to demonstrate the art of crafting visual images as powerful “as great movies. The perfecting of this capability, the use of humor, and well placed emotional stories will insure powerful, memorable presentations.

“The Art of Presentation – Your Competitive Edge” will resonate with anyone concerned about their building self- confidence while improving their delivery and enhancing their stage presence.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Sound Wisdom Books, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-193787987, $ 21.95, 2017, 192 Pages


Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill – A Book Review

Think and Grow Rich

By Napoleon Hill

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake,

Thirteen Principles of Success –A Classic Model on Individual Achievement

“Think and Grow Rich,” written by Napoleon Hill is your passport to financial independence, personal growth, and peace of mind. Napoleon Hill’s thirteen principles of success are the result of 20 years of research. This edition is a reproduction of the unedited text of Hill’s 1937 original work.

These principles contain important philosophies that you will want to study, digest, meditate on, and absorb as you make them your own. Hill includes stories to illustrate his philosophy of the “Law of Success.” These stories include men like Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and other leaders in industry.

The foundational principles of Hill’s “Law of Success” are the basic premise or substance of many success oriented authors, writing in the genre of visualization, positive thinking, and self-realization.

Personal treasures I gleaned from my reading include the wisdom found in these principles:

  • Faith, a burning desire, and persistence combined with a plan of action will produce miraculous results.
  • Every adversity brings with it the seed of an equivalent advantage – handicaps can be converted into stepping stones.

Readers willing to commit themselves to Napoleon Hill’s thirteen steps to riches as found in his book, “Think and Grow Rich” can expect to find “abundant riches” in finances, business associations, family relationships, peace of mind, and a changed life.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Sound Wisdom, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-1937879488, $ 27.95, 2017, 382 pages

Organize Your Business – Organize Your Life By: Rachael Doyle, A Book Review

Organize Your Business – Organize Your Life

By: Rachael Doyle


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Time Saving Tips, Tested Techniques, and Money Saving Systems that Work

Author Rachel Doyle draws from a wide-range of business experience and from her extensive personal wall-to-wall library jam-packed with motivational and success titles, a result of her fervent passion for lifelong learning. In her book “Organize Your Business – Organize Your Life.”

Doyle offers the reader compelling evidence that prioritizing and adopting simple organizational systems will result in important time management skills and monetary savings in all facets of personal, family and business life.

Tight writing and fast moving mini chapters provide action plans, suggested resources, tips, and techniques for getting organized and staying organized; with the result of more effectiveness on the job, personal achievement, and a balanced family life. Invaluable resources are included within each chapter. Online tools, websites, blogs, and bestselling books, all add value to the comprehensive material found in the text.

Chapter titles clearly express the content to be covered within each chapter. This enables the reader to preview, read, prioritize action steps, and read again later.  The format is reader friendly for ease in reading and assimilation.

“Organize Your Business – Organize Your Life” is written for readers frazzled, fatigued, and frustrated as a result of being unorganized. The fifteen short chapters suggest ten overriding principles, which if consistently followed insure success in business and a happier fulfilled life.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Sound Wisdom, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257

978-0768411379, $ 15.99, 2017, 174 Pages

The Success Model – Five Steps to Revolutionize Your Life, by Sam Silverstein, A Book Review

The Success Model – Five Steps to Revolutionize Your Life

By: Sam Silverstein

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake,

Turning Your Latent Ability to Realization While Revolutionizing Your Life

In his book “The Success Model – Five Steps to Revolutionize Your Life” Sam Silverstein presents the basis of the success model, a five step system that will encourage the reader to determine what it is they want in life, recognize  their passion  and establish their purpose.  Sam has incredible insight into achievement, the importance of accomplishment, and the reward of personal satisfaction.

The book is made up of short, fast paced chapters that help the reader understand the five key words to success: desire, change, plan, implementation, and success. It is important that you, as the reader, get a thorough understanding of the five step success model before moving on to consider the remaining key words. When these are internalized and implements you will achieve and realize success.

Sam Silverstein is known for his strong stance on prioritizing accountability, growth, and development within the leadership team of a company’s organizational structure. The “Success Model” develops this principle for adaptation on a personal level, making accountability a priority on self-motivation by the individual.

My biggest regret is that I did not discover Silverstein’s writing earlier in my career. Highly recommended.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Sound Wisdom, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768411836, $ 15.99, 2017, 224 pages

Stop Chasing Influencers – The True Path to Building Your Business and Living Your Dream by Kimanzi Constable and Jared Easley – A Book Review

Stop Chasing Influencers – The True Path to Building Your Business and Living Your Dream,

By: Kimanzi Constable and Jared Easley

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Proven Steps to Making Your Dream Become a Reality

Kimanzi Constable and Jared Easley take the mystery out of “building your business and building your dream by adapting the concepts presented in their book “Stop Chasing Influencers” In twenty-two short, fast moving, chapters the authors provide the reader with the reason for pursuing personal dreams, with strategies and ideas that will produce the results to make your dream become a reality.

Constable and Easley use examples from their own experiences to illustrate how these principles can and do work in areas of social media, public speaking, writing, professional and personal life coaching, mentoring, and marketing, and in business and economics.

I was reminded of the importance of focus, using time wisely, and having a right mind set as I learned valuable ideas for innovation and implementation. I received fresh insight into becoming an influencer by expanding my vision, and by exploring my personal assets to successfully develop and accomplish the opportunities available to me for successfully accomplishing my goals.

Whatever your dream, “Stop Chasing Influencers” will give you the tools, creative concepts, proven strategies, tips, ideas, technology, and techniques to enable you to fulfill your dream, to find balance, and to enjoy your family to the fullest.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Sound Wisdom, Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257, 978-0768408935, $ 14.99, 2015, 192 Pages