September ’16 – Getting There: A Book of Mentors (Gillian Zoe Segal)

Book of the Month - Getting There - Surround yourself with people who are better than you are. High-grade people. You will end up behaving like them.In a book as light as a good conversation, and inspiring as a masterpiece, Gillian Zoe Segal guides the reader through the stories of thirty diverse and wonderful human beings, proving that success is not a matter of luck – but a choice.

Within this “potpourri” of stories, Gillian Zoe Segal finds the critical aspects that led to the achievement of success in the lives of those interviewed. From Warren Buffett (the billionaire investor) to Laird Hamilton (professional big wave surfer) to Frank Gehry (dubbed the ‘most important architect of our age’ by Architectural Digest), Segal gives a precise intonation to every story, majestically transmitting the personality and charisma of each character to the reader.

The readers may recognize themselves between the lines – whether in the doubts and fears or in the courageous decisions and the passion of these unique individuals. The magic of this book lies in the way that Segal allows the readers to sit at the same table as personalities such as Michael Bloomberg (billionaire businessman and former Mayor of New York City), Jillian Michaels (fitness expert and public figure) and Craig Venter (biotechnological scientist) by allowing them to identify their own anecdotes in the lives of the characters, consequently leading to an understanding that they can also ‘get there’ and reach success. Segal, through this book demonstrates to the reader that, in Tom Scott’s words, these successful men and women, “are ordinary people, building extraordinary stories.”

The readers may recognise themselves between the lines – whether in the doubts and fears or in the courageous decisions and the passion of these unique individuals.

Getting there does not reveal a recipe for achievement; each page is written to describe the process of success through a variety of textures and shades, showing that many different avenues exist for the attainment of goals. Every character does, however, reveal the pearls of wisdom which led them to become the person they are today; with themes like passion, perseverance and innovation present in one way or another in all of the stories – that is, passion to maintain motivation in the face of adversity, perseverance to become resistant to rejection and criticism, and innovation to turn visions into realities.

There is no better author for this book than Segal, who has achieved success in her own right throughout her career. Her own story is an example of determination and a tireless work ethic to discover herself and pave her own way in the editorial world.  Segal’s pearl of wisdom? Do not wait for opportunities, create them.

Getting there is written to be devoured in the first reading, internalized in the second and consulted for the rest of the reader’s life.

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