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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best self-help books I've read
I found Trevor Blake through an article on Inc.com on why complainers are bad for your brain. Something about his voice compelled me to look up his new book, and a few minutes later, I had it downloaded to my Kindle. The mixture of riveting personal history and unconventional self-help advice got me finishing the book in two sittings.

Even without the self-help...
Published 20 months ago by Ali Binazir

versus
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe not so simple
The title of this book intrigued me. But the book falls short of what it promises. It's still worth reading, and for some people it could be life-changing. Mostly, those would be people whose days are consumed by fighting one problem after another. If you're such a person, get this book.

For everyone else, this book is probably not going to be very helpful...
Published 17 months ago by M. L Lamendola


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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best self-help books I've read, October 25, 2012
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I found Trevor Blake through an article on Inc.com on why complainers are bad for your brain. Something about his voice compelled me to look up his new book, and a few minutes later, I had it downloaded to my Kindle. The mixture of riveting personal history and unconventional self-help advice got me finishing the book in two sittings.

Even without the self-help component, the book makes for a fascinating read: Trevor's impoverished childhood in England, with the bullying he endured; his quest to enter England's top military school against all odds; anecdotes from his time as a soldier; his romance with an equally determined young woman; his unlikely early business success; the dream of moving to America; and his subsequent entrepreneurial ventures. Most poignant are the accounts of his mother Audrey, which are alone inspiring enough to be worth the book's purchase price.

However, it is as a work of self-help that I'm recommending this book. First of all, I like its simplicity. The three steps are, in fact, simple. Basically:

1. Think in terms of what you want, not what you don't. Corollary: avoid negative people and media.
2. Take at least 20 min a day of quiet time. This is a daily meditative practice to clear your mind and focus on the void, because the void is the wellspring of all creation.
3. Formulate what you want in life in terms of intentions, not goals: "An intention is a goal but with all doubt about its attainment removed." In other words, assume the feeling of your goal already attained.

This stuff is simple but far from simplistic. In fact, each of the three practices has precedents in ancient wisdom, from Taoism to Buddhism to American Transcendentalism. Although Trevor doesn't reference those traditions, this is stuff that's been around for thousands of years. He does reference contemporary science to back up many of his recommendations, especially on avoiding negativity, which I appreciate.

Second, Trevor has demonstrated real, reproducible business success with his techniques. He makes a salient point that most self-help authors dispensing advice on success weren't successful businessmen themselves (Napoleon Hill being a glaring case in point). There's a certain amount of credibility that comes with being a serial entrepreneur with consistently respectable results, and Trevor has that.

Third, the book just has the ring of truth to it -- a certain mystical, alchemical quality which is hard to define. It just seems to resonate with the structure of experience: 'Y'know, come to think of it, the times when I've been successful, that was what I did.' Thus far, you had been doing it unconsciously and accidentally. I'm grateful to Trevor for making that structure explicit so we can follow it deliberately. I just finished re-reading the book, and I'm looking forward to reporting back on the fruits the implementation of its ideas will bear.

-- Ali Binazir MD, author of The Tao of Dating: The Smart Woman's Guide to Being Absolutely Irresistible, the highest-rated dating self-help book on Amazon
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Publishers Weekly gave TSS a Great Review, October 10, 2012
First-time author Blake boasts an impressive set of accomplishments: overcoming a dirt poor, hardscrabble existence in Wales to be selected for the Royal Navy, and jettisoning a corporate career to bootstrap a business which he eventually sold for more than $100 million--during a recession, no less. Unlike many entrepreneurs or masters of the universe, Blake maintains that his success was not merely the result of intelligence, hard work, or even being in the right place at the right time; rather, he attributes his successes to three basic ideas which he identified and incorporated into his life after studying the biographies of self-made millionaires and other inspiring people. Blake expounds on these three characteristics: changing or reclaiming your mentality, creating moments of insight, and turning ideas into new experiences through intention... this is an inspirational and thought-provoking read about how control over your mind and thoughts can yield a more fulfilling life.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Changing, December 14, 2012
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I reading this book for the third time. I seldom read books more than once.
Simple changes in habits lead to big changes in life. I'm finding that to be true in wonderful ways. Worth the read and re-read
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read for anyone looking to "jump start" their lives., October 1, 2012
I own a small business, and I read this book upon recommendation from one of our clients (who is a business success in his own right!). I'm so glad I took him up on it, as it was a great read! Filled with personal stories from the author, scientific studies, and simple (but not necessarily easy!) steps to help focus your mind on what you really want to achieve. I'd recommend this book to anyone who feels a bit stuck, and is open to making an effort to make small adjustments in their lives for big impact.

The only reason I'm giving 4 stars instead of 5 is that the personal stories -- while relevant to the three steps he talks about -- were a bit long. Mostly I just had a hard time going back through the book a second time (had to "work around" the peronal stories) in order to find the things I wanted to make note of and bookmark!

The three steps themselves are relatively common sense (especially if you're already a reader of books about success, leadership, business, etc. ... I suspect you've come across these concepts in the past.) But for me, I thought these concepts were spelled out in a way that pulled all the things I have already read and learned together in an easy-to-understand and easy-to-implement way.

This book was WELL WORTH what I paid (I read the Kindle edition), and I'm even considering purchasing a few printed versions to give to a few people!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Simple Steps - an outstanding book, July 23, 2013
Three Simple Steps by Trevor Blake -Review by Daniel R. MurphyThree Simple Steps: A Map to Success in Business and Life

Synopsis of Content:

This is a somewhat different kind of book on how to succeed written by a very unique businessman, and that is actually his point, we are all unique, we should embrace and use our individuality and avoid conformity. Although the author is a businessman he has spent a substantial amount of time as a "serial entrepreneur" and has on numerous occasions gone against the advice of others. He marches to his own drum.

Although he groups his success principles under three broad categories: Reclaiming Your Mentality, Creating Winning Ideas, and Transforming Ideas into Achievements; each main grouping contains a number of subcategories.

The gist of his thesis is that first we must assume full control of our own mental state. Having done this we act intentionally and thoughtfully, not automatically. Here he uses a Situation - Thought - Reaction paradigm which is very similar to ones discussed by Jack Canfield, Stephen R. Covey and others. This idea that we can and should choose our own reaction to outside stimuli is an old one. However Blake gives us a different perspective on this. As with much of his thinking here he is influenced by his extensive study of physics and other branches of science. He explains how science has given us modern insight into how we think and react that is missing from other writings on this subject.

Next the author uses teachings on the power of the mind and the law of attraction that go back at least to the teaching of William James, Prentice Mulford, and James Allen. Again however his understanding and application of the law of attraction is different from what has been written before - he gives us a new way of looking at these things. He then teaches how these principles can be used to become more creative and successful.

In fact Blake provides a fresh look at ideas that have been around a very long time. He also presents new ideas to replace the old. He says that a positive mental attitude alone is not enough to be successful. Real accomplishment in the US has been by individuals who worked very hard and paved their own path.

Best of all this book makes you think. He forces us to take a critical look at a lot of success literature and reexamine it in light of both what science has discovered and what his own experience has taught him. He gives you some simple tools, like practicing quiet time, a form of meditation, which is very useful. This is not a book to read through quickly and put away; this is a book to study carefully and return to.

Blake is a fresh voice on success. His work can be appealing to the conservative businessperson as well as the new age reader. His writing is insightful and forces the reader to think in new ways about some very old ideas. He has used these techniques to achieve success.

Blake is also bold. He does not pull punches. He criticizes those things he finds unworthy of belief or unproven. There is a refreshing genuineness to his writing.

The author is donating the profits from the book to cancer research. He says he is not a "success guru" but a successful businessman who has discovered what works in the pursuit of personal and financial success and wants to tell the world about it.

Usefulness:

This book is very useful to anyone who wants to expand their ability to think for themselves and to increase their effectiveness. It will be useful to anyone seeking genuine success.

Readability/Writing Quality:

The book is well written. He uses stories to illustrate his ideas. He draws heavily on his own experiences and that of his family but also on science and the experience of others. The book is well organized and easy to read.

Notes on Author:

Trevor Blake is a serial entrepreneur and businessman. He has excelled in sales and in building businesses. He has developed new business models. He has demonstrated the courage and fortitude to go his own way despite heavy criticism. He was born in the UK but has since relocated to the US. He describes himself as not being a "self-help guru" but a pragmatic businessman.

Related Website:

[...]

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

1. Pause before you speak. Give yourself time to really think about your response rather than just responding with a gut response. Choose your reactions carefully. Be self-aware.

2. Create intentions rather than goals. An intention should be in the positive, what you want to come about, but phrased in the present tense, as though it has already happened.

3. Take quiet time each day to mediate for about 20 minutes and then to reflect on and repeat your intentions.

I highly recommend this book.

Publication Information:
Title and Author: Three Simple Steps by Trevor Blake
Copyright holder: 2012 by Trevor Blake
Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe not so simple, February 11, 2013
By 
The title of this book intrigued me. But the book falls short of what it promises. It's still worth reading, and for some people it could be life-changing. Mostly, those would be people whose days are consumed by fighting one problem after another. If you're such a person, get this book.

For everyone else, this book is probably not going to be very helpful. Though I had originally expected it to be a source of great insight, it wasn't. Perhaps my expectations were unduly raised when I read the well-written introduction. Speaking of which, I found it odd that the author stated later in the book that people generally don't read introductions and then went on to reiterate some points from the introduction. If he really felt this way, he should have made those points in the text and not in the introduction.

Where I found the value in this book was in Part One of the three parts. The other two parts didn't seem grounded in reality, nor did they provide anything that struck me as substantive.

A key concept Mr. Blake makes clear is that you need to adjust your thinking such that you are for something rather than against something. One of his examples is "weight loss," by which most users of the term actually mean "fat loss." This is no minor difference. People who focus on weight necessarily do not focus on body composition. So they follow Covey's example of doing the wrong things.

But why focus on loss at all? Focusing on "losing" the fat puts you in a mindset of restricting your diet rather than optimizing it. During the winter, my body fat is usually around 6%. In summer, it's at 5%. This isn't because I "lose fat" but because I make positive optimization decisions that result in a slightly higher ratio of lean mass to fat. For someone with a bothersomely big belly, I suggest you stop thinking about "losing the gut" and start thinking about chiseling those abs.

This same mental alignment works for any endeavor I can think of, yet I find that people tend to prefer fighting something than building something. Do you want to "quit smoking" or do you want nice skin, pleasant breath, and good stamina? Which way is more motivating?

So getting the reader to understand the power of that alignment and providing some insight on how to make it standard operating procedure is what I see as the thrust of Part One. I like the way Mr. Blake gets this across.

It's different from the mindless "think positive" advice that has you writing affirmations (lies) on little slips of paper or lying to yourself in the mirror at the start of every day. Self-deception can make you feel better, but it brings you no closer to solution. The caveat to that is if you're in a negative state such as depression, then this gambit can help you proceed more confidently. However, Mr. Blake's approach strikes me as really the one to use. It's the approach I typically use. After reading the first three chapters, I decided to use this approach consistently.

I also like his tips on keeping your mind from being sabotaged by others. In particular, he was spot on regarding watching the news. I don't do the news, period. The content is typically wrong, nearly always negative, and seldom relevant to the life of the viewer, listener, or reader. By not exposing your mind to this pollution, you are already a leg up.

Finished with Part One, I turned to Part Two. This is where the disappointment began. The premise here is you need to have a daily period set aside for what amounts to tapping into "the force." Mr. Blake wrongly ties this into Einstein's formula for mass and energy, a mistake that simple calculations will show to be a mistake. But even without the calculations, the causation he assumes just does not arise from this equation.

He also goes on the redefine terms used in completely different contexts. For example, he says the Cohen brothers have it backwards in their portrayal of the matrix. In saying such a thing, Mr. Blake completely misses the point of the movie and completely misses the underlying problem with the Great Lies we are told by those in power.

If Mr. Blake wants to say he's tapping into the matrix of nature or the universe or whatever, that's fine. But just because the word matrix is used in other contexts does not mean it's used incorrectly or that everyone is talking about the same thing. Mr. Blake's matrix and the one in the Matrix movies can co-exist without any conflict. Simply choose a different word to describe one or the other.

When I finished Part Two, the author had not convinced me that I need to set aside 20 minutes a day to zone out, chill out, connect with nature, etc. Mr. Blake provided no evidence for the effectiveness of this, other than anecdote and a reliance on the idea that correlation equals causation. So it was with "you let this reader down" that I embarked upon Part Three.

The title of Part Three is "Transforming Ideas into Achievements." I finished Part III not having found this subject addressed in any meaningful way. The basic concept is "wish for it, and it will come." So much serendipity here, and yet again a reliance on idea that correlation equals causation.

Upon finishing the book, I went back to the cover. What immediately struck me was the subtitle is not accurate. Pick up any map, and what do you see? Detail! This book, as its title states, is about three steps. It is not about the entire journey. The gap between thinking of an idea and making it happen is often filled with thousands of steps. Those are not discussed in the book. In no way is this a map to anything.

I don't think Mr. Blake provided three simple steps. I think he provided one not so simple step, and that is the step of getting your head on straight. Does anybody not struggle with this, other than those who simply don't do it? Getting this right on a consistent basis is surely beneficial. But look at all of the famous and successful people who are nowhere close to this. If you think a little, you can probably work up a list of people who have this down pat but are struggling financially. I think it is one tool in a larger toolbox.

Part One was about getting the correct mentality. Maybe the other two parts were about keeping that mentality in place. If you have a ritual for that purpose, whether it be spitting over your shoulder or communing with nature for 20 minutes a day, there's what I got out of part Two. In Part Three, the anecdotes seemed to point all toward recognizing opportunity when it comes a knockin'.

This book runs 239 pages, including the introduction and the conclusion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening and affective, June 9, 2013
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I've read this book 6 times in the last 3 months. It's filled with incredible wisdom. I can't put it down.
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18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, August 11, 2012
By 
Probably all that needs to be said about this book is contained in the quote on the back cover, by Drew A. Graham, Managing Partner of Ballast Point Ventures: "Finally, a book about how to succeed by an author who has actually achieved something before writing about it! Aspiring entrepreneurs would all benefit from reading and learning to live Three Simple Steps."

Well, perhaps that's not all that needs to be said, because I don't consider this a book just for entrepreneurs in particular or business people in general. It articulates, as the title says, three simple steps that will profoundly change your life. It certainly has had that effect on my life since I received it a few weeks ago.

No, I didn't buy this book (and likely would not have done had I come across it online or in the bookstores. Note to publisher, BenBella Books: The simplicity of the cover didn't do it for me, sorry!), but I received it from a PR friend who wanted to know if I would review it for my Thought Readership series on Activegarage.com. More as a favor to her than anything, I dropped in and found that I wasn't immediately tuning out as is often the case with so many books I read in this genre.

Not only was author Trevor Blake a fellow Brit, but he had accomplished things that I knew -- from living most of my life in the UK -- were considered to be nigh-on impossible. He had started out a poor, working-class lad used only to village life and had broken through the barriers of education and class to be accepted into the Royal Naval College. He then went on to achieve high honor as an officer in Her Majesty's Royal Navy before leaving to work in pharmaceutical sales and then, following that, to make a personal fortune from establishing and selling four companies by dint of his expertise, courage, and faith in these three simple steps.

Blake has also accomplished what I know, as someone who has been intimately connected with book publishing for the past 25 years, to be incredibly challenging -- to write, as a first-time author, a business book that's more a memoir and actually make me care about his story.

The book is in three parts, mirroring the three steps Blake outlines in the book:

Step One: Reclaiming Your Mentality.
Step Two: Creating Winning Ideas.
Step Three: Transforming Ideas into Achievements.

These three simple steps are all we need to know. Yet think about how often they are choked in so much blather by self-help authors whose only claim to success is their ability to part a lot of gullible people from their money by selling them a "program" or "model" that's based on nothing more than showing readers how to part other gullible people from their money!

Blake writes with the authority (although, thankfully, not in the archaic manner) of many early 20th century New Thought writers of success principles. The ones who had something meaningful to say before the snake oil salesmen cottoned onto them.

As for more details about what's in the book -- go buy it for yourself. What I am prepared to reveal, however, is not just that I found it to be an enjoyable, engaging read. Nor that -- a rare thing, given how many books I read professionally -- I sit with this book every morning after "quiet time" (details in the book), drawing inspiration from its pages. But that life has changed for me as a consequence of following the disciplined, yet simple, process that Blake outlines.

Not least, I feel more trusting of life and happier because I now hold what I stand for and what I want in my mind at all times (controlling my thoughts so mental projections of what I don't want stand no chance), having made "quiet time" the priority before anything else takes hold of my day, and knowing that my dreams also want me -- I just have to get out of my own way and allow, as Blake points out, "life to fill in the details."

This isn't one of those over-inflated books by a Johnny-Come-Lately, so if you're looking for something that suggests you're going to get super rich, quickly and easily, this might not be the book for you. But I consider it to be a wonderful blueprint for living a truly wealthy life -- one that is contented, happy, fulfilled and full of adventure. I love this book and strongly recommend it.

Liz Alexander, Ph.D.
Co-author of the forthcoming #Thought Leadership Tweet: 140 Prompts for Designing and Executing an Effective Thought Leadership Campaign (HappyAbout Books, October 2012).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best thus far on this subject, July 4, 2013
The first reading took me 2 days. Started using the principles and techniques right away and saw some very positive results . I have found similar principles in other programs . The way they are laid out here , articulated in a workable system or program is particularly simple and manageable . This system fully respects the individuality of the person , a definite plus . Anecdotal evidence presented is convincing .

The book strongly contrasts with cookie cutter approaches found else where which have left me feeling unconvinced over the years .

Caveat : a) perhaps some paragraphs could be re-written for clarity ; b) the reference to scientific evidence or laws of nature , although appealing , lacks in "substance" - Some of the statements appear almost like axioms . I would rather see the term "empirical evidence" used ; c) the relationship of causality established between thought and matter need to be strengthened .

Conclusion : 1) a must read + a must use for those of us who still suffer . 2) very useful forum at : [...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book, February 19, 2013
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I am grateful that Trevor has provided tips on how to achieve what I am looking for in my life. Many books and guides suggest "what" we can do, and Trevor tells us the 'what' and the "how", in practical terms. I definitely feel like I am changing my life with these tools. One of the most important messages is to practice the steps. I look forward to creating my life every day.
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