Book Review: Launch Your Dream

Launch Your Dream:  A 30-Day Plan For Turning Your Passion Into Your Profession, by Dale Partridge

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/Thomas Nelson Publishing.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

It should go without saying that this author is not writing anything that is particularly inventive or creative in seeking to present a model for contemporary entrepreneurship that is lightly, if at all, baptized in any kind of Christian faith [1].  Admittedly, I expected there to be at least some focus on the relationship between our passions, our profession, and the truths of scripture, but although the author has a fair bit to say about business strategy and the entrepreneurial mindset as well as aspects of social justice, the author has shockingly little to say about the influence of our faith on our business practices.  I expected there to be at least some commentary on the relevance of biblical law to our business practices, at least some tying of the Sabbath rest to our need to recharge and prevent overwork, but there was nothing of the kind.  This is the kind of book that could be read by a potential or present person in business without prompting any sort of reflection or thought about the relevance of God’s ways to that large aspect of our lives, and that sort of lacuna is inexcusable in a work published by a Christian publisher.

Each of the short chapters (helpfully noted by how long the chapters will likely to take to read) in this roughly 200 page book are written with the goal of motivating the author to strike out on their own business venture.  These secular self-employment devotionals are divided into several sections:  encouraging preparation, dreaming well, using psychology to develop an emotional connection with customers, winning their hearts, mastering graphics, ensuring legal compliance and economic viability, making a big launch, selling the story, using hacks to increase in size, keeping people captivated, and beating the barriers to success.  As is unfortunately all too often in this genre of literature, the author adopts a tone of “tough love” throughout, appealing to the superficiality of people and focusing on image and exterior as a way of building success.  This is not a book that questions what is corrupt about contemporary business culture, but rather presents it as an inescapable reality that must be catered to and exploited for personal gain.  It is remarkably difficult to find anything that is worthwhile about this book in a moral sense.

A great deal of the failings of this book spring to the author and to the way he handles his material.  Books like this can win grudging respect for the strength of their insights even with less than palatable delivery, and any enjoyment a godly reader will take from this book is in its unsentimental treatment of the ways of business in this present evil world.  The author comes off as a jerk, though, in his well-meaning advice, and comes off as a braggart when he talks about the books he as written and how successful he is as a businessman and what a wonderful wife he married.  Given that this book is written as as appeal, even as an altar call, that clearly was written to drive up business for the author’s own consulting business, I can tell you that this book failed in the author’s essential goal of winning me over.  For an author who spends a remarkable amount of time talking about the importance of developing a brand through positive experience, he has remarkably little interest in giving the reader a positive experience in reading this book through his insufferably smug and arrogant attitude.

One more aspect about this book requires some extended commentary.  This book was published by a Christian publishing house that needs to pay some attention to its own branding as well.  This book is one of a series of related books I have seen as of late that have sought to present the publisher as a voice in providing Christian business consulting materials.  Yet all too often these books fail to provide biblically based advice at all, and many of the books, like this one, at best provide occasional references to God.  This book almost made me wish for more original material by John Maxwell [2], and any writer who is unappealing enough for me to wish that I was rather reading John Maxwell is doing a bad job.  Not only does the author have problems with his brand, but by publishing books like this, the publisher is sending a signal to readers that they view mammon as being far more important than God, and that is a bad message to send for a Christian book publisher.  Books like this should be sent to a publishing imprint that makes no pretensions to Christianity, where reading it does not remind the reader that the word of God and its influence are painfully absent in the life and behavior of the author.

[1] See, for example:

[2] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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