Book Review: One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way

Book: One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way Author: Robert Maurer Format: eBook Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟(5 Stars) O...

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Exclusive Blog Tour and Guest Post: The Other Thief by Frank McKinney

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Today, Frank McKinney's book, The Other Thief, was released on Amazon and in bookstores. So, this blog post is in perfect timing for you to purchase the book and cozy up with it this weekend. The Other Thief can be considered a spiritually daring romance. I am excited about reading my copy and cannot wait to share the book review with you. Frank McKinney even provided a guest post about his book, The Other Thief.


Guest Post by Frank McKinney

On the first night when I arrived in Florida from Indiana as an 18-year-old without the hope of education beyond graduating high school with a 1.8 GPA, I slept under a pier because I didn’t have a place to stay. I chose the soft sand under the pier over the hard concrete of sleeping under a bridge.
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The next day I began work as a golf course maintenance worker, waking at 4am to take a taxi from the pier to meet my coworkers. I was scared to death, and when I arrived, I realized I was the only white person who would be working on that Deerfield Beach golf course. I worked amongst Haitians and quickly earned the nickname “the white Haitian” because of my strong work ethic. I may believe in the welfare system, but I don’t believe in an entitlement mentality. I’ve never been afraid to work hard. 
Fast forward to today, where, through our Caring House Project Foundation (CHPF.org), we’ve built 28 self-sufficient villages in 25 Haitian cities over the last 16 years. We’ve provided a self-sustaining existence to 12,000+ children and their families who were living in mud or tin shacks covered in palm fronds for a roof with rodents the size of cats running across their dirt floors. 
Our Haiti villages contain 40-50 brightly pastel colored concrete homes for families of eight, a community center that houses a school, church and clinic, clean drinking water, renewable food and some form of free enterprise so the village can be self-reliant. In addition, we provide meals in our schools and orphanages (2 part protein, 1 part carbohydrate).
Knowing that for each copy of The Other Thief we sell we’ll be able to provide nearly 200 meals to the hungry children in our Haiti villages and orphanages made me anticipate the 70,000 words I would write with joy and purpose. As I was writing, I often thought back to my Haitian coworkers on that golf course, and the deep love I still have for them and the place they came from. 

About the Book

Quote from The Other Thief
Francis Rose, a lead singer for a meteorically popular Christian rock band, has it all—fame, fortune, family, and deep faith. With the support of his loving wife, young daughter, and Down-syndrome blessed son, he’s gone from performing for an audience of 20 at his tiny Lutheran church in Keeler, Indiana to selling out 20,000-seat arenas. His impact is global, soulful, and seemingly unstoppable. 

The seven deadly sins don’t stand a chance against a man of Francis’ character, morality, and faith. Or do they? Their alluring assault is relentless as Francis encounters each of them along with his ascending path to superstardom.

Check out the official book trailer. 

About the Author

Frank McKinney is a true Renaissance man: a five-time bestselling author (in 4 genres), real estate “artist” (creates multi-million dollar oceanfront homes on speculation on the sun-drenched canvas of the Atlantic), actor, ultramarathoner, aspirational speaker. 

The mediagenic author has been featured in countless TV & print articles, including Oprah (twice), 20/20, and the cover of USA Today. Frank’s other books include: The Tap, Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle, Burst This! Frank McKinney’s Bubble-Proof Real Estate Strategies, Frank McKinney’s Maverick Approach to Real Estate and Make it Big! 49 Secrets for Building a Life of Extreme Success.

A “philanthro-capitalist,” Frank has made an enormous humanitarian impact in Haiti through his Caring House Project, where he has created 27 self-sufficient villages in 24 cities in the last 16 years, impacting the lives of 11,000+ children and their families. Frank, his wife, Nilsa, and their daughter, Laura make their home in Delray Beach, Florida, where Frank wrote The Other Thief in his oceanfront treehouse office.


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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Book Review: The Strong Mind by Ryuho Okawa

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Author: Ryuho Okawa
Format: eBook
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


Since September is Self-Improvement Month, I am sharing a review of The Strong Mind. This book is ideal for people who are dealing with challenges in life and would like to identify some strategies based on another person's personal opinion. This book is not based on research, so readers, like myself, who enjoy research-based approaches, may not enjoy this book as much.

The author, Ryuho Okawa, is the founder of Happy Science Group. Through this endeavor, he trains people on how to continue living despite being in a bottomless pit of sorrow.

Okawa appeals to the reader by using anecdotes and his life to illustrate how to maneuver through life's challenges. Regardless of the crisis, Okawa believes that you can transform your life by maintaining your mental strength.  The stories that Okawa share are very personal, but he does an ideal job of tying the lessons that should be learned from the stories to his recommended strategies. I wouldn't say that this book is a self-help book, but I would share that it's very inspirational and motivational.


Monday, September 10, 2018

Exclusive Blog Tour: Excess Baggage by Tracey Carisch

Excess Baggage by Tracey Carish is quite an interesting book. Since September is Self-Improvement Month. I wanted to share this book with my readers. Tracey and I share similarities. I love traveling with my family, and she loves traveling with her family. I am a former K-12 special education teacher and a professor/researcher. Tracey has a background in the facilitation of K-12 strategies. 

This book is ideal for people who are interested in experiencing the world with their family.  I have listened to numerous podcasts, which involved the speaker explaining how they participate in extended travel with their children.  My international travel has been limited. I have only been to Canada. However, my children and I have traveled extensively throughout the United States. My goal is to visit all of the states during my lifetime. 

The numerous life lessons that Tracey shares can be used in so many ways. I have included a sample excerpt from the book for your reading pleasure. 

Excess Baggage Excerpt 

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A highlight of our time in Norway was our trek up to Preikestolen, a flat, pillared cliff rising almost half a mile above the waters of the magnificent Lysefjord canyon. The three-hour hike up to the top was a testament to our girls’ physical endurance as well as Brian’s paternal motivational skills, which basically involved ignoring all the whining and walking thirty yards ahead of the rest of us. Despite the arduous morning required to reach it, our time on Preikestolen proved to be a breathtaking experience. Of course, for me, this was due to both the gorgeous view and the fact that air was forcefully ripped from my lungs each time one of the girls made what I considered to be a careless move that could result in her fall to a watery death. Such moves included: Running, hopping, walking, reaching for a sandwich, and turning one’s head quickly. 

Somewhere around my tenth dramatic gasp, it finally occurred to me that my children aren’t lemmings and actually do possess a self-preservation instinct. I was able to put the 2000-foot sheer drop out of my mind (sort of) and enjoy the calm beauty of the experience. A warm breeze floated up the cliff’s face as I stood looking out over the deep gorge cutting through to the ocean. The sky and the water mirrored the same shade of brilliant topaz blue, and between them ran the rich, warm marbled browns of the canyon walls. I tried to imagine what the land looked like millions of years ago, before a sheet of slow-moving ice irreversibly transformed the landscape, turning it from a gentle green slope into a majestic sculpture of stone and water. Slight changes, imperceptible from one day to the next, had accumulated over time to create something extraordinary. 

I took a deep breath of fresh, clean air and felt a wish form inside me—the wish that this journey would be the colossal force changing our family forever. 

My shocking discovery in the first weeks of this trip (besides the $17 chicken breast at a Norwegian grocery store) was the realization that our family didn’t get along very well. At all. Our new mode of 24-7 togetherness revealed how little of it we’d had back home, where most of our waking hours had been spent separated from one another at work, school, or one of those many kid activities we rushed around to. For the first time, the girls weren’t spending their days in their own classrooms, and Brian and I weren’t heading off to our respective offices. There were no playdates or sports practices or parties with friends. It was just the five of us. Together. All. The. Time. As a result, we were getting precipitously close to strangling one another…



Carisch Family after 18 Months of Travel 

About the Book

Excess Baggage: One Family's Around the World Search for Balance


Tracey Carisch thought she had it all. As a wife, mother, and successful executive, she seemed to be living the modern American dream. But one night, a panic attack sent her tumbling into a midlife crisis and questioning everything. That’s when she and her husband made a decision that shocked their family and friends: they sold everything they owned, pulled their three young daughters out of school, and became a family of wandering globetrotters.


Loaded with hilarious mishaps as well as deeply meaningful revelations, Excess Baggagechronicles the Carisch family’s extraordinary eighteen-month adventure across six continents, bringing to mind the spiritual journey of EatPray Love and the comical mishaps ofNational Lampoon’s Vacation.


Through Tracey’s insightful, funny, and poignant narrative, the reader will discover the life lessons of an around-the-world journey without leaving home.

About the Author

Tracey Carisch is a leadership consultant, professional speaker, and author of the book Excess Baggage: One Family’s Around the World Search for Balance. In 2014, her travel blog, www.100WaysToChangeTheWorld.com, chronicled her family’s around-the-world, nomadic journey and gained wide international following. Since returning to the United States, Tracey has given talks across the country about the lessons her family gained through their adventure. Drawing on her career in organizational effectiveness and leadership development, she speaks on a wide variety of topics, ranging from work culture to family dynamics.

Tracey graduated from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and began her career as a consultant with an international consulting firm, where she advanced to a leadership position within the organization’s professional education team. She received her MBA from the University of Utah in 2002 and soon began her own independent consulting business, specializing in organizational effectiveness and project management.

Her facilitation work with business-education partnerships led to a prominent position in the STEM education initiative. Tracey served as the Managing Director of the STEM Innovation Hub, collaborating with stakeholders from school systems, nonprofits, businesses, universities and government agencies to pioneer ground-breaking workforce development programs. This role engaged Tracey in the areas of education research and early learning neurology as she worked alongside pedagogical and andragogical experts to develop successful K-12 teaching strategies and adult learning initiatives.

In 2014, Tracey took a dramatic leap into the unknown when she temporarily left her career and embarked on a trip around the world with her husband and their three young daughters. The family traveled through 24 countries on 6 continents over the course of 18 months. Her blog chronicled their adventures and highlighted the lessons learned through international travel.

Since returning to the United States, Tracey has expanded her leadership development career to include motivational speaking. Her presentations blend the breathtaking imagery of travel photography with important themes for parents, children, educators, and business leaders. By incorporating leadership best practices and conflict management concepts, Tracey’s talks inspire audiences while also leaving them equipped with successful practices for setting intentions and improving relationships.