In his self-help book “Wake Up and Smell the Reality”, Brain Fox shares his philosophies on life and offers readers the chance to improve their lives by better accepting their reality.
Unfortunately, the book lacks structure and depth and doesn’t illustrate his philosophies well enough for the reader to gain as much from it as they would from other self-help books. Some readers may even find, as I did, his writing style a bit too flippant and the (mild) profanities gratuitous and off-putting.
With chapter titles such as “Acceptance”, “Opportunities”, and “Don’t be afraid of success or failure”, I was expecting similarly concise and unambiguous text. Instead, Fox’s writing is quite vague and unstructured, and as a result each chapter and the book as a whole lacks direction. His focus is on explaining why he has written each chapter, and defining the issues we may encounter in our lives that the chapter will help us to deal with. As a career-woman, a mother of two, and now an entrepreneur, most of the examples and issues rang true for me, and I was looking forward to the “meat” of the text, and tools for accepting or dealing with those issues, or even using them to develop myself or my business. Fox however never quite gets to that part – he over-defines the issues, briefly mentions a vague philosophy or tool, and then closes the chapter. In short, each chapter feels as though it is a prologue for a book he never had time to write. In all, the book succeeds not in helping the reader but in frustrating them further by being too vague.
Saying that, there are some very interesting and valuable points in Fox’s book which would be helpful to parents starting up a new business, taking a new direction in life, going back to work after maternity leave, or just trying to find the right work-life balance. Two of my favourite examples are below:
“Don’t blur your boundaries…” Fox warns that starting a business with friends or family, or borrowing money from them to fund your start-up, fundamentally changes the relationship from family to business associate, or family to lender, and this can create complications and animosity down the line. “There are times when changing the shape of relationships will work…but you have to think about what will happen if things don’t work out and consider if it is worth it.”
“Hope is not a strategy…. You need to re-assess what is important to you against what you spend your time doing and make sure that they are aligned with what you want to do and where you want to go. “
Overall, the book was very easy to read, and with short chapters it’s easy to dip in and out – perfect for bus / tube journeys if you spend a few minutes on a homemade book cover (the cover really is awful). You may well pick up some valuable words of wisdom, but saying that you would find them more clearly presented elsewhere. Until Fox gives it a good re-write and fleshes it out, I would not recommend this book and only give it a 2/5.
Wake Up and Smell the Reality costs around £7.99
This book was reviewed by Janis Curry of www.reallykidfriendly.com