Coach's Casebook

Book Review: Survive to Thrive by Dishman and Hoque

Book Review: Survive to Thrive by Dishman and Hoque

Book Review: Survive to Thrive by Dishman and Hoque


Despite being quite a short book, Hoque and Dishman have packed a great deal into Survive to Thrive: 27 Practices of Resilient Entrepreneurs, Innovators, and Leaders.

It is a book that explores some of the fundamental behaviours and principles that make an  entrepreneur successful and looks at a number of very dramatic stories of overcoming significant life challenges and how the subjects have bounced back before moving forward.


In what is a very engaging read, Hoque and Dishman deliver 9 case studies of people who have overcome adversity and become highly successful entrepreneurs in a variety of businesses.

Split into 3 sections, they map  3 essential principles of how to face, overcome and improve by looking adversity in the eye and acting.  These essential principles help you develop a mental state that enables you re-establish a connection with your passion and spirit.  They are presented here in the form of 3 affirmations or mantras, if you will forgive the slightly mystical term.

These affirmations are based around 3 flexible statements:

I am, I have and I can.

Examples of how these affirmations can be crafted include:


–          Responsible for my actions and the results they create.


–          The Knowledge, Skills and Passion to achieve my goals.


–          Seek out and persuade the most relevant people to help me.

The authors also offer their own affirmations / statements at the end of each chapter with examples of how they could be measured.

The authors offer that, in facing adversity, these types of statements can help us re-engage with the spirit that started us down our challenging and rewarding path.  For many of us that challenge is in building a business or some field of entrepreneurship. And many of the case studies here relate to that type of venture. But others are much more intimate in nature and demonstrate how understanding and applying these basic principles can help us overcome some very dramatic personal challenges.

The first section of the book is focused on the type of person you are and explores how reframing setbacks can help you learn and survive to thrive. It is focused on the ‘I AM’ element of the principles and helps you understand ‘who you are’, ‘what you want to be’ and ‘how you will fit into the world’.

The second section is focused on the ‘I HAVE’ element and helps the reader assess the resources they already have to apply to the obstacles they are facing. Being honest about your needs, goals and what you need to get there will help you plan the path to achieving those goals.  It will also help you define the criteria for when it may be better to just give up and focus on another goal.

The third section focuses on a realisation that you have the power to change things.  Perhaps the most motivating section of the book, it explores how, with choice and effort, the reader can say ‘I CAN’  to overcome the obstacle and so reset your personal inspiration level. It also highlights that it is not all about the achieving of goals but how you live your life in the pursuit of those goals.

With short takeaway summaries at the end of each chapter and tables to score your own performance, this book also offers a highly practical approach that is directly applicable to the reader.

Overall a short, but highly inspiring book where Hoque and Dishman offer some highly insightful views, inspirational stories and very practical techniques for helping you survive the adversities of life, give you the confidence to thrive and the tools to measure your resilience.

The book is also supported by a website and an app which you can find here.

Dare to Aspire


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