Foreword Reviews

Rule #1 Don't Be #2

You Get What You Work For, Not What You Wish For

Clarion Rating: 3 out of 5

Success stories throughout provide good reason for audiences to feel inspired, shake off self-doubt, and reach for the stars.

Rule #1 Don’t Be #2 by Daniel Milstein is an inspirational book filled with familiar thoughts about achieving success.

Being successful is a perennial subject for business books, and Milstein, a highly accomplished self-made businessman, repackages standard motivational advice in his twenty-five “rules of business success.”

If the ideas aren’t unique to this work, the packaging itself exhibits a great deal of flair. The book is small and compact, smartly uses lots of large type and a second color for emphasis, and employs a graphically engaging format that makes skimming a snap. Give Rule #1 Don’t Be #2 an A-plus for style.

As for substance, each of the rules is highlighted with a catchy phrase and its own divider page, followed by text that briefly explains the rule. Rule #11, for example, is “Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do.” In discussing this rule, the author cites his own experience and refers to four other individuals who turned their dreams into reality.

These snippets are short but noteworthy; Starbucks founder Howard Schultz, writes Milstein, “was told repeatedly this was an unrealistic concept. More than 240 banks turned down his request for financing. If Schultz had listened to and believed the critics, we wouldn’t have Starbucks on nearly every corner.”

Many of the rules, such as “Do It Now,” “Chart Your Course,” and “Failure is the Best Teacher,” are likely to be found in most any book about success, though the nuggets sprinkled throughout about people who succeeded, usually against huge odds, provide the necessary context to turn what’s familiar into compelling reading.

Milstein is an adept storyteller who encapsulates success in concise statements. His style is breezy and informal. Some of the book’s motivational phrases are memorable, such as “It’s not about being the best. It’s about being better than you were yesterday.” Still, there is a general reliance on commonplace phrases.

The final section of the book, “Turn Your Ideas Into Action,” nicely pulls together the rules and the vignettes delivered throughout the book into a tidy mini-plan for achieving personal success. Milstein closes the book with several more examples of individuals who faced incredible challenges but overcame them to achieve success.

The many brief success stories found in Rule #1 Don’t Be #2 provide good reason for audiences to feel inspired, shake off self-doubt, and reach for the stars.

Reviewed by Barry Silverstein

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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