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Winging it by Emma Isaacs


I picked up this book to read solely based on the title ‘Winging It’. It appeals to me as my working life is often spent winging it, and plans are always going out the window, but I feared I might be alone in my approach. It turns out that many of us are ‘winging it’ after reading this book!


I hadn’t heard of Emma Isaacs before picking up this book, but she is a business entrepreneur (CEO of Business Chicks) and she is also a wife and mother of five children. So this book is very much based on her own personal experience of juggling work and family life. She doesn’t believe in work/life balance and believes in her own life with so many children that is impossible. She doesn’t have a five-year-plan. Instead she urges people to take action, do what feels right and figure out the rest as you go.


The chapters are divided in to the following sections:

Just start. Winging it means saying yes and working it out later. It means getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. It is the act of believing in yourself to give your dreams a go.

You can’t control anything outside yourself. She talks about how successful people don’t worry about what other people are doing, they are too busy following their dream.

Getting ahead. She believes too many people are not willing to put in the extra effort these days, and the down side of the work-life balance conversation is a sense of entitlement.

Running a business. Loads and loads of tips here for people in business. A lot of her suggestions put kindness at the centre of things – I like that a lot!

Don’t call me superwoman. She keeps it real and doesn’t try to ‘instagram’ the chaos.

Money is not a dirty word. Emma believes it is not what you earn that is important, but what you do with the money that matters.

The people equation. She is big on supporting others, and not walking over people to get ahead.

Over to you. She urges people to just get on with it!


Emma has people like Sir Richard Branson and Bill Gates in the book, but I think it’s her own experiences that are the most powerful, and I like the honesty of the book. For example, she talks about taking her five children out for dinner when her husband was away, and how she could have got that perfect photo of them all to post on social media, but the reality was that everything quickly went pear-shaped. She talks about her many successes, but she also talks about the mistakes and failures – and that is part of the brief. But if you fail, fail fast and get out of it.


This is an easy-to-read book with great energy and loads of practical advice. And I love that she shows how ‘winging it’ is a valid way to operate in life. Great stuff.


Reviewer: Karen McMillan

Macmillan, RRP $39.99


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