Book Review: “Nine Things Successful People do Differently” by Heidi Grant Halvorson

By Ben Randle

Halvorson successfully synthesizes different behavioral research studies to offer tips on exactly what her title describes: things successful people do differently. If you’re an avid business reader looking for new, groundbreaking research or life tips, look elsewhere. Nine Things iterates and reiterates the fact that achievers are made-not born-and offers evidence-backed suggestions on how the average person can set and reach their goals in life. No limitations are placed on the scope of this book’s application. Use “the Nine” where you will and get ready for your goal-setting abilities to improve.

Ironically, despite walking away not really feeling like this book taught me anything new, I loved it. By being concise, Nine Things manages to offer self-help-like suggestions without smothering the reader with compliments or over- complicated analogies and examples. Halvorson tells it like it is, often focusing on what WON’T work for setting successful goals and debunking myths with careful research such as, “telling yourself you will achieve your goals makes you more likely to achieve them.” She speaks with authority, using no more words than she needs to get her points across. Whether you’ve heard these suggestions before or not, you’ll enjoy the way Halvorson presents them.

Amateur goal-setters will get the most out of this 112-page book. However, I would also recommend it over any other to someone looking to get back on track with their goals, no matter their experience or level of prior knowledge. The old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” describes this book’s advice well. By presenting familiar information in a fact-based way, Halvorson gives a refreshing take on classic goal-setting tactics that really do work. Sit down for an hour and read this book; you’ll be happy you did.

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