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Make It Happen: A Book Review

Book Review Make It Happen

For National Women in Small Business Month, we teamed up with women business owners and leaders to review books written by women, for women. Below, Sarah Din of Dinzign and Marji Stout, a licensed social worker, review Make It Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live on Purpose. by Lara Casey. These opinions are solely those of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect those of Kabbage. Check out the other book reviews we’ve posted, here.

Make It Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live on Purpose.


Reviewed by Sarah Din

I always have so many ideas, but often times, especially when it comes to business, something always holds me back from realizing those ideas into reality. Recently, I have been thinking a lot about my career, my life and what I really want to accomplish. I feel like it’s time for some sort of a change and I have been talking to a lot of people that have successfully made major leaps into the unknown, or are in the process of doing the same. The first thing that drew me to this book was the actual title. So many times I want to make things happen but I let my fear hold me back. With this book, I was hoping to find an inspirational and motivational story of someone that came to the conclusion that they wanted to make a change in their life and actually MADE IT HAPPEN.

The book started off well. Lara does a great job of connecting with the reader, mostly because of the conversational way she writes. The book is fairly easy to read, and what I liked the most was that it started off as a 2-way conversation, as she asks a lot of questions and forces you to pause and think. She also encourages her readers to journal as they read the book and answer questions like “What are my fears?”, “What really makes me happy in life”, “What do I consider success?”, etc. I think it’s a useful way to get the readers to pause and think about what is really important to them, and why they have had such a hard time moving forward with whatever it is they want to achieve in life.

The book is part memoir where she tells her story of her college days, her struggles with an eating disorder and moves into her struggles with multiple careers, failed marriage, family complications and so on. As someone who has gone through a pretty dramatic life myself, I really wanted to relate to her story but had a hard time doing so because as you read the book, the story progressively becomes more and more about Lara’s religious journey and less and less about practical applications of how she or you can “Make things happen”. Her story then also starts to lack depth and becomes more about bible verses.

As someone who is not religious at all, I started to lose my connection to her story and had a hard time reading through. The last chapter in particular just lost me, and in a lot of ways, I felt let down. I had hoped to get actual action items out of the book, or ideas on how to start surrendering my fears to make things happen as the title suggests, but that really was not the case.

The book would probably be great for someone religious who believes in “God has a plan for you and you must follow that to be successful.” I don’t really think the book is helpful for practical, real-life tips that you can take away for making a change in your own life.

In short, while interesting, her story is not relatable to everyone, and the book is more of a Christian-based self-help book that preaches Gospel rather than offering any actionable advice.


Sarah Din is currently the Director of Marketing at Placecast, a mobile ad tech platform, and the founder of Dinzign, a web design, and development agency. Over the course of her career, she has worked at several tech startups around the Bay Area, where she led all digital and product marketing initiatives.


Reviewed by Marji Stout

I chose to read Make it Happen, Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live on Purpose. by Lara Casey because the title spoke to me. I feel as though I live much of my life living on purpose by helping others – this is my drive, my passion and what gets me out of bed every morning.

I didn’t expect the book to make me reflect on the way that I do things on a daily basis, but it did. I didn’t expect to reflect on the journey I’ve taken, how unfulfilling my job was and how I never felt like I fit in.  This book spoke to me; this book took me on a journey and I thoroughly felt as though this is a book everybody could benefit from reading.

In the beginning I was just reading a book to read a book. Somewhere in between the first and last page it became about my journey, things I started to put off and things I haven’t dealt with because I wasn’t ready. This book caused me to reflect deeply, focus on the things that don’t really matter in my life and ways to take steps to eliminate things that are unnecessary and to look at the bigger picture.

I think the author’s main goal is to get you to reflect inward and answer the following questions: “Who am I? What is my purpose? What am I supposed to be going after in life? I want to make it happen, but what is it? Are you feeling restless right now? Do you feel there’s something bigger than the life you’re living?” Walking away from this book, I find myself pondering in the quiet hours “what do I have on my lists, where am I going from here and where do I even start?”

I think in this case it isn’t necessarily about how well-supported the author’s thoughts and opinions are because we come to a time in our life that we take a journey questioning the path we’re on in life. Sometimes we don’t think about these things until something happens in our life and it shakes us to the core. This journey is different for each of us and sometimes we can relate, but in the end, the journey is our own. We each go through a time where we have to weed out what’s truly not important and redefine what we truly want out of life.

This book was extremely easy to understand and is written in a way that the average person is able to relate to. The author made me feel as though she was at one time in a dead-end marriage or a dead-end job or maybe even both.


Who would benefit most from reading this book?

The person that would most benefit from reading this book is anyone that is struggling with feeling like they don’t fit in and they’re trying to find their purpose in life. This book helps point out the extremes we have a tendency to put ourselves through and how to weed the rhetoric out of your lives and set purposeful goals.

How does this book compare to other books written about women and leadership?

I think this is the first book I read and really thought about how my role as a woman has taken shape, and that I’m not alone in this journey.

Did any of my own opinions or feelings change because of this book?

If anything, I think that my journey has become clearer as a result of reading this book. I haven’t really reflected on the weeds in my life, how important faith really is or the importance of lists.

How useful is the information given in this book?

I’m not sure the word useful is appropriate in this context. This book is about self-actualization and the steps you’ve taken to get there. I think the entire book is a collective process or journey someone goes through in life, and one part doesn’t have more meaning than the other.


Marji Stout is a Licensed Master Social Worker and works as a HARP Care Manager. Marji has worked for a number of years as a Supervisor, family mentor, skill builder and Clinical Case Coordinator. Marji helps people get assistance with substance use and abuse and links them with local agencies for help. She is a confidant in their best of times and most desperate times, and provides support to help others get through whatever they are going through.


Kabbage Team

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