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Book review: Overcoming poverty

Title: You Are Too Gifted to be Poor

Author: Hilton Etakoh

Publisher: Toesth Global Services

Year: 2016

Pages: 210

Reviewer:  Henry Akubuiro

Hilton Etakoh’s You Are Too Gifted to be Poor prides itself as “the ultimate guide to discovering and maximising your infinite gift”. If you are the type easily put off by how-to-become-rich offerings, don’t sound dismissive yet. The author tells us his book is different. Is it really? Let’s take a jolly ride.

Introducing the book, Etakoh informs us that it was inspired by the high level of poverty, unemployment and mediocrity in our society. Hence, his gravitation to write a book that will provoke and stir the reader up into taking deliberate action that will move him in the direction of his dream.

Part 1 of the book, entitled “Road to Discovery”, begins with a chapter on gift. Despite having so much greatness in us, the author laments that many of us still wallow in mediocrity. He writes: “… we were endowed at birth with priceless gifts, talents, and special abilities, yet we cry daily of poverty and joblessness. Riches which we never imagined are right within out grasp, yet they seem so far…” (p.30). He restates that every individual born into the world has gifts, waiting to be explored.

The power of a man’s gift, writes the author in the second chapter, holds the key to his future. Through Etakoh, we learn that gifts are specifically given to us to enable us fulfill our purpose, for a man’s gift makes room for him. Among others, a man’s gift is capable of creating work for you and making him rich and famous. How does one discover his talent? Etakoh’s book deals with this in the third chapter.

In the second part of the book entitled “Mindshift: A New Perspective”, the author cautions against resorting to what he terms the six common excuses of poor people: circumstance of birth, lack of formal education, environmental limitation, disability, opposition from external forces, and lack of capital.

However, Etakoh is categorical that nobody is responsible for anybody’s inability to get ahead in life, advising all to take responsibility for whatever they become in life: “It is not what befalls a man that determines his eventual end, but how he chooses to react to what has befallen him. Your choice of response (reaction) makes all the difference,” he writes (p.89).

The fifth chapter opens our eyes to the seven actual reasons people are poor. These include not creating and adding value, ignorance of what they have, inability to appreciate the importance of skill-set development, and ignorance of how to access information and partners. Others have to do with lack of courage to risk their money and lack of wisdom.

You Are Too Gifted to be Poor makes also to realise that your gift is never enough. Some gifted people are more successful than others, writes the author, “not necessarily because they are more gifted but because there are certain principles/factors they observe that their less successful peers do” (p.138).

One thing you will take away from this chapter is that is not so much difficult to break into the limelight –talent can put you in the spotlight –but character determines how long you stay there. Hence, he declares: “Talent without character doesn’t go far.” The core values of a man, we are told, determines how he lives. These principles are discussed on the subsequent pages.

The concluding part of the book, “Now or Never”, contains three chapters.  The first of the chapters is meant to rouse us from lethargic contentment. The point of emphasis here is: It’s never too late to start. You have to reset your life, writes Etakoh, and think big.

We have to also take cognisance of the fact that we have to start now or die waiting. The latter option is what nobody would wish for his enemy. The author echoes: “Life is too short to waste it sitting around and waiting for something to happen before you act. Time’s not on your side, in fact, you are daily running out of time, so you must hurry” (p.173).

In his note to parents in chapter 9, Etakoh makes them realise that they have a big role to play in helping their kids discover and develop their potentials, for childhood years are the formative years of a person’s life. He writes: “Encourage them to try things out. Don’t be one of those parents who shield their children from taking risks because they fear they might suffer certain consequences if things don’t go as expected” (p.185).

In the concluding chapter, Etakoh reminds the reader of the cardinal message of the book: making enduring impact on your world. This is the only way you can be remembered. It encourages us to set goals and develop goals chart.

Special features of the book include Action Points at the end of each chapter (a set of questions drawn from the chapter), SWOT analysis exercise, complacency text, etcetera. If you are in doubt as to what your gift is, try You Are Too Gifted to be Poor.

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