Book Review: If You Can See It, You Can Be It: 12 Street-Smart Recipes For Success
Publication Date: Nov 04, 2013
List Price: $26.95
Format: Hardcover, 347 pages
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann
Book Reviewed by Kam Williams
“People want to know how a youngster from poverty, who failed his way
through public school, got caught up in the 80’s crack epidemic, got
indicted and sent to federal prison… wound up working for five-star hotels.
They want to know how he became the author of four books, a celebrity chef,
a top inspirational speaker, and finally a mentor-coach who travels the
world teaching and preaching about the power we have within us to transform
The answer is simple: I made a choice to change… I decided that I wanted more from my life, and I found the way to get it. Though I had wise and unexpected mentors along the way, I still had to find my own way. Here’s where you just got lucky… I’m here to show you how, right now.”
—Excerpted from Chapter One (pg. 5-6)
Jeff Henderson turned his life around behind bars while serving time for drug dealing. In the penitentiary, he developed a passion for cooking which, upon being paroled, he parlayed into a career as a celebrated chef and host of his own TV series on the Food Network.
Now, he’s published a collection of recipes not of his best dishes but of the secrets of his success. The dozen key ingredients include: self-discipline, delayed gratification, education, intuition, risk, persuasion, adaptation, collaboration, humility, selflessness, visionary leadership and getting the competitive edge.
Besides clarifying each of those concepts, the author augments his ideas with pearls of wisdom from fellow luminaries like Oprah Winfrey, who reveals, “The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.”
Rap star Jay-Z weighs in with, “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man,” while NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar suggests that, “The good and the great are only separated by the willingness to sacrifice.” Also quoted are ancient proverbs by such Eastern philosophers as Confucius (“Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues.”) and Lao Tzu (”He who does not trust enough will not be trusted.”)
Part pep talk/part workbook, this handy how-to also reserves some space
for audience participation via fill-in-the-blanks exercises. There, readers
are urged to record everything from their childhood dreams to long and short
term goals to action plans and character strengths.
A practical toolkit designed to turn any ambitious Chef Jeff protégé into one of those surefire overachievers he calls “hustlepreneurs.”