Charlie Gilkey’s Start Finishing: How to Go from Idea to Done is a valuable contribution to the literature of self-realization. This branch of non-fiction assumes multiple guises and Gilkey’s take deals with the subject of conceptualizing, putting a plan into action, and realizing your goals. The volume doesn’t weigh down its target audience with a plethora of jargon and terminology; instead, Gilkey speaks to readers on a comprehensible level, as a sort of every man, who nonetheless has gleaned some powerful insights in the course of his personal and professional life anyone can apply to their own..
That’s the book’s hallmark element, in my opinion – universal relevance. Gilkey’s book would possess a much more narrow range of focus if all it fixated on is the relationship of solid planning in realizing goals to the business world alone. Gilkey, instead, emphasizes at every turn how his design and advice for seeing projects through to their completion is, in some ways, part of life’s bedrock. It manifests itself in various ways and Gilkey explores the subject without ever belaboring his points. The book, as a whole, has an impressive ability to cover the subjects in depth while still delving into topics with an eye towards significant detail rather than extraneous details.
It benefits a great deal from Gilkey’s talent for structure. He assembles Start Finishing in such a way that his ideas are easy to follow and organized under self-explanatory headings and chapters with clear direction. Each of the book’s ten chapters make use, to a greater and lesser extent, of outside sources and the conclusions are brought to a close with summaries he labels as “takeaways”. These aren’t superfluous additions; they reinforce the idea that readers can dive into this text at any point and pick up reading from there while losing nothing from the work’s larger value.
There are questionnaires and steps laden throughout the book that help clarify Gilkey’s advice for readers without ever bogging the book down in details. These instructive moments in the text are never lengthy and interspersed with the larger sections of the book. They continue speaking to readers with the same direct quality defining the book’s prose as a whole and this consistency of tone spanning the length of Start Finishing is one of its strongest attributes. Charles Gilkey has built an impressive work that deals with practical advice rather than high-flown ideas beyond the realm of practice.
It makes this book a formidable accomplishment. Gilkey has composed a substantive look at how individuals can set about realizing their personal and professional ambitions in a systematic and steady fashion. Charlie Gilkey’s Start Finishing: How to Go from Idea to Done is a marvelous work that holds up under repeated reading and promises to offer something different with each new perusal of its pages. It is only Gilkey’s second book and his first in seven years, but it makes it clear that this author has a lot to offer and will bring more to bear with further books.