Friday, 1 January 2021

Smiling in Hardships: Lessons from our first failure by Efuet And. Atem


Smiling in Hardships: Lessons from our first failure by Efuet And. Atem
Self published in France on the 9th December 2020.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Through an entrepreneurial venture, And embarks on a perilous journey to help people choose happiness. He faces challenging vicissitudes when his own happiness is put to the test. He must now apply the same principles and beliefs he preaches to others unto himself. Can he practise what he preaches? Or will he give up in the face of extreme hardships, trials, and tribulations? 

Smiling in Hardships, Lessons from our first failure is a story of entrepreneurship, startup, disappointments, frustrations, distractions, pitfalls, friendships, racism, migration, patience, perseverance, family, fundraising, success, failures, business model, challenges, faith, forgiveness, freedom, inspiration, motivation, self-help and above all a great lesson of humility. 

As you read along, at times, you will identify with the author and his quest for happiness, at another instance, you find yourself crying and later on laughing as the author maintains constant humour as he narrates the difficult choices he has to make.

I was surprised by just how much I enjoyed reading Smiling In Hardships. I rarely choose to read business books and was primarily drawn to this one for my WorldReads project rather than for its topic. However, once I got into the book, I realised that it is much more than simply a business memoir. Atem uses the setback of his business start-up's temporary failure as a vehicle to discuss his philosophy of life, quoting a number of influential people and illustrating how he managed to keep himself smiling in trying circumstances. I thought the book had a wonderful sense of joy and hope which came through despite the challenges facing its author on both professional and personal levels. There was a lot of good advice that I could transfer into my own life to alter my own interactions with the people I meet.

Atem writes in a colloquial style so it was easy to envisage him speaking directly to me. At times his enthusiasm meant the prose bordered on stream of consciousness writing, but I always felt I could understand the points he was trying to put across and I loved the clarity of the car analogy. Of course, Atem's business idea, World like Home, is an ongoing proposition so there were moments when this memoir almost veered into an advertisement, but I think the project is a fascinating concept. I appreciated this opportunity to read Smiling In Hardships.


Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Efuet And. Atem / Biography and memoir / Books from Cameroon

6 comments:

  1. Thanks Jane.
    Wish the very with your projects ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love memoirs that can also be a self-help type of reads. Also, the ease with which the writer converse to their audience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also just read The Choice by Edith Eger which has a very different subject - Edith is a Holocaust survivor - but also had a strong self-help message and useful advice for readers

      Delete
  3. I too tend to stay away from business-type books but this sounds applicable to many areas of life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Smiling In Hardships has a nice crossover of business, memoir and good advice. I was pleasantly surprised at how accessible it is from a non-business perspective

      Delete