Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Your Strongest Life?

Dear Marcus Buckingham,

This letter is really overdue, and I apologize.  I received a free copy of your book Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently as part of a blogger review project.  I was supposed to read it, blog about it, and tell your PR rep.  Then maybe my words would encourage some of my massive readership to purchase your book.

Problem is, I can't finish your book.  I've tried, but I just can't do it.

How come?  I mean, I know you want to help women, and I sort of wanted to be helped at the time, so I thought it would be fitting.  However, the whole "Strong Life Test" you advocate using just didn't work for me.

Why?  Well, first of all, this test online only.  I was reading the book in bed, and when I got to the test portion, I couldn't read any further.  Unless I got up and turned on my computer to take said test, I wouldn't know what type I was.  Ultimately, it was easier to put the book down and not pick it back up again.  Because basically?  The message I got was to take a few minutes and think about what you really like doing, why you like it, and try to make your life fit into the things that turn you on.  I didn't really need to read another hundred pages or so to supposedly flesh that out more for me.

As part of the book launch, I sat through one of your webinars.   I finished up the call by asking why you put the test online.  You said it was because of the social media factor and that today, everybody loves sharing everything.  OK, that's a legitimate point.  However (since I really didn't feel like getting into it on the call, I didn't keep pressing the issue), if I had actually purchased this book, I'd be really upset that the big test you talk about isn't included in it.

Let's talk about this test for a moment.  It's 23 questions long.  In just 23 questions, you're able to suss out which one of nine "Lead Roles" I had, plus give me a "Supporting Role."  In 23 questions!   I don't know how you do it, but I can tell you that I don't buy it.  Maybe it's because I had problems picking answers to the questions, because although there are aspects of "Motivator" and "Advisor" in me, I'm more of a Creator--and none of the questions in the test really seemed to fit around your description of a "Creator."  Perhaps I'm missing something--if so, my "Supporting Role" should be "Moron."

To be sure, you do say on p.101:
Of course, your test results will not define you completely--there's a good deal more fine-tuning you'll want to do on  your own to add detail and specificity.  But what the test will do is show you where to start your search for a strong life.
Really?   Well, give me another reason to put the book down!

I don't know, Marcus.  You're a New York Times best-selling author.  You've got yourself a successful career with a book deal, which is more than I can say (though I am pretty successful).  I'm just not sure that this particular book is anything to crow about--the book didn't do anything for me, and I don't think it'll do anything more for anyone else that a Cosmo quiz can't do (well, a Cosmo quiz will help you find your strongest sex life, but I'm talking about those magazine quizzes in general).  And Cosmo costs way less!

As your book jacket proclaims, "It's time for you to live a stronger life.  Your best life.  The life you deserve."  Well, the life I deserve is filled with books--but definitely not this one.

Maybe one day our paths will cross, and we'll be able to happily blab about our strong lives and put this nasty book experience behind us.  That might be more fun--you were pretty damn charming on the phone.

Your pal,

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