The Secret – Book Review

The SecretWell, this one is sure to result in a few emails flying my way. Let me start off by saying that I realize that this book was an extremely successful endeavor for Ms. Rhonda Byrne and a lot of people literally swear and live by it. My review here is based on it’s application to us salespeople and that’s all the farther I’ll go with it.

I’ve read reviews and blogs and listened to Podcasts heralding The Secret as the best book for a salesperson to read. Just read and believe and the sales will come marching in. I resisted reading it, but finally caved in to see what all the fuss was about.

I’m here to say that The Secret is a dangerous book for salespeople to believe in. Hold on; let me explain. The central core message of the book is that you posses seismic magnetism that has the ability to attract anything that you desire to you (The Law of Attraction). All you have to do is focus on what you want and you’ll get it. No need to even consider how you’ll get there – concentrate on the what not the how.

So as salespeople, we are to believe for example “this year I’ll earn $1,000,000” and poof it will happen. You are instructed not to even think about how you’ll get to that $1M, just simply believe that you’ll get it and you will. You can even download a blank check from her Website to fill in for yourself.

What??? If any of my guys ever came to me with that plan, they’d be out on their ears. I can just imaging this conversation:

“So, Sam what are your sales revenue goals for next year?”
“Well boss, I’m going to make a cool $2.5M.”
“That’s very aggressive, what is your plan?”

“Oh, I don’t need a plan. I just really believe that I’ll hit that number.”

Yeah, right.

Now, I’m all for visualizing a successful sales call before you make it. I’ve read, and frankly believe, the studies where Olympic archers practice without a bow and arrow to help them visualize success – but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t there shooting for real ten hours a day too.

So my bottom message is that it’s ok and healthy to visualize having successful calls, but please don’t rely on that visualization to make up for product and customer knowledge. In the real world, you need a plan and you need to practice.

Oh, and I’m happy to accept your comments and emails saying that I’m crazy – that’s what makes this country so great!

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#1 Darrin Mourer on 07.01.08 at 6:48 pm

Have no fear; I couldn’t agree with you more. Someone recommended the book to me a while back and I read it without knowing what it was. After the first chapter I was definitely skeptical but kept reading. It was written well enough that I’m sure it could have many folks convinced. SEs, usually having a very healthy skepticism, are probably less taken in.

As you mentioned, I’m all for visualization and positive thinking, and those that combine this with proper planning and execution will see more than share of good luck.

#2 Eric on 07.01.08 at 8:08 pm


Thanks for the feedback – seems that we’re on the same page. I hope someone that believes in The Secret also leaves some thoughts.

I also found that all you needed to do was read the first chapter and the remainder of the book was just a rehash.

#3 CharlieHipHop on 10.08.08 at 4:12 pm

Dumbest book ever. I reviewed it too. It’s true that having a positive outlook will help bring about results, but those results ultimately come through action.

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