Reviewed by John David Mann

Jeffery Combs clearly has plenty of talent. His presentations are wildly popular; he is gifted with words and has a solid feeling for the English language (you have to love a writer who on page one says that he thinks of procrastination as “unwarranted perfectionism”!); and he possesses that encyclopedic raconteur’s mind (the kind that latches onto, categorizes, memorizes and files away hundreds of bits and pieces of stories, vignettes, philosophies and insights for integrated retrieval to illustrate whatever points he’s making) that is the hallmark of great trainers and presenters.

All these talents and more certainly conspire to make More Heart Than Talent an entertaining, inspiring and instructive book. Still, true to the book’s title, those talents are not ultimately the point: the man does indeed have heart, and it shows.

Combs makes his central thesis clear in his opening chapter, “Why Heart Beats Talent Every Time.” In fact, he makes it in his first sentence: “It is my firm conviction that talent is one of the most overrated attributes in determining what is required to be successful.” The two sentences that follow are so powerful, they deserve to be quoted in full, too: “Although talent is very important when it comes to performing, it most often has little to do with the path to success or with who becomes successful. The world is filled with talented people—yet why is it that so few people live and achieve their dreams?”

You already know the answer, and Combs spends the next 166 pages detailing and illustrating what he means by having “heart.”

The book is likely to leave the reader a little breathless: it reads a bit like a direct-to-paper transcription of an entire weekend seminar, and absorbing the sheer volume of insights feels a bit like drinking from a fire hose. The scope and depth of the material makes it well worth the effort.

By the time you finish the book you’ll also have gotten to know a bit about the author’s personal history—and given the book’s central message, what could be more appropriate? Jeffery presents snips of history (multiple addiction-related arrests and a former gallon-a-day vodka habit are among the items on his résumé) that make the man behind the page as real as can be.

More Heart Than Talent echoes the central theme of this issue’s NT Interview, in which Tony Jeary (“Mr. Presentation”) talks about the central importance of authenticity. It’s all about keeping it real, says Jeary, and Combs agrees. For the aspiring network marketer, there could scarcely be a more pertinent teaching.

Paperback, 166 pages, $14.95; Golden Mastermind Seminars, Inc.