Self-Help Review: Why Good Girls Don’t Get Ahead but Gutsy Girls Do

Why Good Girls Don‘t Get Ahead but Gutsy Girls Do by Kate White is probably the best self-help book I have ever read. And re-read. And studied. Analyzed. Used to get a raise.

It’s an older title–1996. Someone in my local RWA chapter gave a presentation on the book, and I was fascinated. At the time, I was still working in local TV and still on my Big Business Career Track. The book is full of sound advice. Years later, I still offer its wisdom to my husband when he’s perplexed by something at his Day Job.

My copy of the book is dog-eared and bulging with sticky notes. The pages are a rainbow of colored highlights because something new struck me each time I read it.

Yes, the book is geared toward “executive” women, so there’s a lot of “delegate it downward”attitude, but there is also a lot about how to hoist yourself out of the crap pile.

I loved this book so much, I bought the author’s next self-help book and was disappointed. It seemed more about how wonderful she is. When she spoke at an RWA PAN session, I purchased the recording, and while I’ve listened to her speech innumerable times, again I was struck by her almost smug attitude. She should have quit while she was ahead.

Still, the nine “secrets” revealed in the Good Girls book are solid advice. Skimming the pages as I write this inspires me to read the book again: “The secret is to stop trying to do everything and start concentrating only on the essential steps that will allow you to achieve your goal. Anything more is a waste of valuable time and energy.”

Amen.