In the past few months, I have read three excellent books written for women and almost exclusively by women. Those books have been favorably reviewed in this newsletter. All three are well researched and practical in their application. The books are: How Women Rise by Marshall Goldsmith and Sally Helgeson; The Confidence Code by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay; and The New Rules of the Game by Susan Packard. I enjoyed reading them and took note of several things that were universal in their application. I use them in my work with women executives as they are extremely useful, and strongly suggest that my male clients also read them. I fully expected “Queen” to be the same but was sorely disappointed.
I am pretty obviously not the target demographic for this book. I am pretty obviously not a woman, but that isn’t the reason. The reason is that I am a thinking, rational creature that responds to a well-researched and cogent discussion, and not the ministrations of a genuine huckster. Gina DeVee, the self-styled “Queen” and success coach, is the founder of Divine Living, a multimillion-dollar lifestyle brand and women’s empowerment company, according to her press. Apparently, all you have to do is be like her and you, too can live the life of a queen.
She is part of the dream machine that takes a lot of money out of the pockets of her “subjects” and deposits it in the hero’s bank account. It is an old story that goes something like this. “I had $20 to my name, depressed, working in a dead-end job that had no purpose. I went to college, got the degree and the job, but it all left me unfulfilled and miserable. I had no man and no life.” The story always ends the same way: ”I found a way to turn rags to riches, make millions, and live the life I was always supposed to live. And you can too, just pay me $10,000 for my 9-step program for success!!!!!”. (Exclamation points added for effect.)
The author and success coach spends the first several pages talking about how crappy every women’s life is, and how that particular subset of humanity is put upon and downtrodden. Then she talks about the miraculous transformation you can have if you have the audacity (!) to be queen! She has done it! She is sought after by throngs of people that just can’t get enough of her uplifting message! You can do it too! Really! She means it! Just look at her! This is just another iteration of Rhonda Byrnes book “The Secret”, which spun the same kind of story with different words. Just write a check to the universe, and it will come back to you ten-fold! Rhonda made a lot of money from her book, and apparently Gina is doing the same.
I suppose there is a market for this kind of book, and as I stated at the beginning of this review, I am obviously not the target demographic.