Book Review: No One Succeeds Alone

Since I’m always the one recommending books, I was surprised when one of my clients recommended a book to me. And what a great recommendation it was! Today, I’ll be sharing some of the insights that I gained from No One Succeeds Alone: Learn Everything you can from Everyone you can, by Robert Reffkin.

What’s this book about?

This book feels like a hybrid between a memoir and a motivational book on entrepreneurism

I’m easily drawn into a book written by someone that looks like me and, like me, Reffkin is the child of a white mother and a Black father. Additionally, I found myself resonating with his experiences of racism and colorism, both within his family and outside of it.

So as not to spoil too much, here are a few of the challenges he faced:

  • Racist family members who disowned him (and his mother) for his biracial existence.
  • Abandoned by father (drug addiction) and raised by a single mother.
  • Feeling the need to code-switch due to being both biracial and Jewish.
  • Police harassment and racial profiling.
  • People writing him off because he was a C student… Spoiler: he proves them all wrong!

While Reffkin definitely defies the odds throughout his story, I love that he doesn’t attribute it to mere grit or resilience; rather, he emphasizes the recurrent theme that no one succeeds alone. Behind each great person, there’s a village of mentors, family, peers, and teachers that played a role.

How does it relate to mental health?

Though the book doesn’t focus too much on mental health, there were a couple of times in Reffkin’s story where therapy services were utilized.

  • His wife attended therapy after their second child was born due to postpartum depression. She gained so much from that experience that she went on to start a life coaching business.
  • In 2000, Reffkin lost almost a million dollars in the stock market. Feeling blindsided and overwhelmed, a relative set up an appointment for him to see a therapist and he was later prescribed medication to help him cope through that period of his life.

Noteworthy Quotes

[Regarding romantic relationships] “If a person has 80% of what you’re looking for, don’t worry about the other 20%.”

“Believing in people changes their lives.”

“Move fast because you need to learn fast. The greatest advantage you have in life is the speed at which you learn, so you have to learn fast. Moving fast is about going from not knowing to knowing as quickly as possible.”

“There are often more people who want to help you than you have time to accept help from.”

Conclusion

I loved No One Succeeds Alone so much that I listened to it twice back-to-back on Audible (paid links) and I’ve already been recommending it to my clients.

Any books that you’d recommend? Share with me in a reply.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: No One Succeeds Alone”

  1. “Believing in people changes their lives.” – Such a great quote!

    1. I want a bumper sticker of that quote. The world needs more of that energy. Thanks for reading!

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