Breaking The Spell: Are You Under the Spell of Success?

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Breaking The SpellAre you a success junkie?  You may not think you are, but if you find yourself trolling through and buying get-rich, successful products and investing into coaching and business opportunities just so you can HAVE some illusive materialistic dream – and even if you’ve achieved that dream, still find yourself feeling empty and unfulfilled, then you’re going to want to get your hands on Debbie LaChusa’s new book entitled Breaking the Spell: The Truth About Money, Success and the Pursuit of Happiness.

I’ve been a fan and a follower of Debbie LaChusa for a few years.  As a fellow marketer, I’ve always respected her insights and point of view.  So when I received a review copy of her new book, I was eager to see what she saw as the truth behind money, success and the pursuit of happiness – especially since she’s been the authority on the subject for so many entrepreneurs.

I Wonder if the Get-Rick-Quick Gurus are Standing Outside Debbie’s Door

Breaking the Spell starts with Debbie’s tell-all story that should be familiar to many small business owners.  She’s very open about her career path, her successes and her self-proclaimed mis-steps on her journey toward real happiness; the kind that isn’t a function of having all the material bells and whistles.

“The overachiever in me set out to create a million-dollar leveraged business in which I made money while I slept and had total freedom and flexibility….I spent the next seven years and more than $200,000 in search of this new level of success.  In the process I started eight businesses…I sank $60,000 into an infomercial, I attended seminars.  I joined high-priced masterminds.  I hired coaches and mentors.  At one point, I had four coaches and wore it like a badge of honor…I implemented every “secret to success” and followed every “proven blueprint.” I was doing all the right things other people had done to create million-dollar businesses.  If it worked for them, it would work for me too, right?”

When I read this paragraph I thought, “Oh my goodness, Debbie!  All those gurus are going to be knocking at your door with pitchforks!”  Because, my dear readers, in this book, Debbie pulls back the curtain on not just the wizards of wisdom-for hire, but more frighteningly, she shows us how we’ve become entranced by success to the point of making poor decisions for our businesses as well as our lives.

The goal of Breaking the Spell is to provide thought-provoking information for you to consider including questions to ask yourself so that you can find out exactly where you fall on what LaChusa calls the “Spellbound Scale.”

Personal Stories of Current and Former Success Junkies

While a good portion of this book contains personal details about Debbie’s journey, there are many, many stories and interviews that she’s included of all kinds of people who have attained wealth, lost wealth and come out on the other side to experience true success – not just the financial kind.

Take the story of Kristy and James from Australia who had bought into the idea that to be happy, they had to be rich.  Then when they stopped and took a look around, they realized that they already had everything they needed and wanted.  They started questioning WHY they felt they needed to “get rich quick.”  After all, they had tried everything and just about went broke.

Even though Kristy says getting involved in personal development was a good experience overall, she’s grateful that she’s come out on the other side of the get-rich hype and is happier than ever when she focuses on her family, her health and making a difference.

There are many, many more stories included in this book.  In fact, this book almost reads like an infomercial in reverse.  Where infomercials use testimonials and personal stories to sell us on a product, LaChusa turns this medium around and uses these personal stories and testimonials as lessons for not just the consumers of self-improvement products, but for the self-proclaimed experts as well.

The Self-Improvement and Business Building Industry is Changing – Fast

LaChusa has taken her personal experiences and her professional talents in marketing to herald a new day in the information marketing industry.  It’s no secret that you can no longer go online with a web site and a promise and expect to make millions.  Those days are long gone.

Breaking the Spell is the warning sign to everyone who participates in the self-improvement products and services sectors to put their money where their mouth is and not just teach what they, themselves, have not had the ability to achieve.

Is Breaking the Spell for You?

If you’ve ever gone to a seminar to learn to start a business that promises millions, bought a success book or program or hired a coach to help you make more money — this book is for you.  It will be the sobering whack on the side of the head that you need to bring your priorities back in line.

While Breaking the Spell is NOT written to dissuade you from participating in self-improvement programs or buying these products, it IS written to help you become a better consumer of these products.

As a marketer who also provides advice on how to market your business better — I’d recommend this book foir anyone who sells advice or information products online.  Debbie LaChusa has saved you a ton of market research dollars and time if you dare to read what’s in here.  Any criticism of the self-improvement products industry is done from the perspective that the very thing they promise is lost and the difference so many of these gurus are trying to make fails because their customers have their focus on the wrong side of success.

I picked up and read Breaking the Spell over the course of a weekend.  It’s an easy and powerful read — for the info junkies who dare.

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Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."