Friday, October 25, 2019

Book Review: 'Rule #1 Don't Be #2' by Daniel Milstein

Daniel Milstein is the Founder and CEO of the Gold Star Family of Companies, operating in over 40 offices worldwide, specializing in financial services, sports management, publishing and film production. Under Dan’s visionary leadership, Gold Star has been named among Inc. magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing Companies in America. Having read all four of David’s books – STREET SMART SELLING, 17 CENTS AND A DREAM, THE ABCs OF SALES: LESSONS FROM A SUPER STAR, and now RULE #1: DON’T BE #2 - he has become not only a mentor and inspiration but also a focused friend in making life and work and everything we touch a success. More of his personal history informs us well: he previously has shared his beginnings in the USSR, his love for his dentist grandfather, the closeness of his family living in very meager conditions in Kiev, the Chernobyl disaster and evacuation from contaminated Kiev only to return later to a brutal expression of anti-Semitism and the eventual decision for his family to secretly flee to America. But landing in America, in Michigan, opened the door to a strange new land of foreign language that challenged the 16-year old immigrant Daniel. Living in cramped quarters with not enough money to buy food save for food stamps, Daniel learned to resist bullies, overcome hunger and set his sights for learning English, attending school, becoming a mechanic, and providing for his beloved family. Through all these hard times he had to remind himself: `I had all the tools, all the things I needed to be somebody. I could fall back on excuses and say that it was too hard, that I wasn't good enough or smart enough. I could have said that everyone picked on me, or that no one thought I could do it. I could have thrown in the towel and apologized to my grandfather for failing. But America was not a place for excuses. It was not going to be a place for failure. It was going to be a place for opportunities.'

And that is precisely the reason why he draws us into this book RULE#1: DON’T BE #2. He warmly challenges us to follow our dreams – ‘That’s why I want to share what I’ve learned with you. I have a mentor’s heart, but I will never buy in to the excuses you may be using for giving up. I want to help you identify and address whatever is blocking your own success. Because I know you can ignite your dream and achieve your goals. Your challenges may be lesser or greater than those I’ve faced, but one thing is certain: you can learn from everything I have experienced and from everyone who has inspired me. Within these pages are the life- changing lessons and stories of people who have inspired me over the years: friends, mentors, and others I hold in high regard. They’ve overcome great odds and have become wildly successful.’ His book is filled with memorable quotations and inspiring one-liners that make this a book to keep close by for infusing the concept of reahing our dreams as well as practical instruction in the manner of a wise coach. Words such as – ‘Stop wasting time. Put down the remote and get off the couch. Stay productive.’ and ‘You’ve got to stay engaged and active; otherwise you can easily lose momentum in your daily routine.’ The book is full of such supportive encouragement. It is also an invitation from a very generous author to enjoy the adventure of following your passion.

And that sums up the direction of this inspirational book. Especially during this time of financial strain and pessimism this beautifully written memoir/coaching guide serves as food for the soul. Reading this book not only is an engrossing experience - it is an uplifting one. As Milstein would encourage us, believe, and struggle even, because anything is possible if we truly remember the American Dream. Grady Harp, July 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.