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Power Your Happy: Work Hard, Play Nice & Build Your Dream Life

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Lisa Sugar has an amazing job. She spends her days creating content about pop culture, must-have handbags and makeup, healthy recipes, and Instagram-worthy sweets. She manages an enormously successful, growing company with employees who love what they do. And her life is just as great at home. She and her husband have three daughters and she's the number one soccer mom who Lisa Sugar has an amazing job. She spends her days creating content about pop culture, must-have handbags and makeup, healthy recipes, and Instagram-worthy sweets. She manages an enormously successful, growing company with employees who love what they do. And her life is just as great at home. She and her husband have three daughters and she's the number one soccer mom who loves reading bedtime stories every night. How did she do it? By figuring out what her dream job was, taking risks, and believing in herself. And now she wants to motivate others to do the same. She wants to show them how to live colorful, interesting lives where every second counts. She'll do so by sharing her personal and business story. Lisa knows that creating your dream job requires hard work, patience, and experience. She'll give advice, in big and small ways, about exactly how to do that, from starting a company to ditching a relationship that isn't working to becoming a fabulous boss. And with the great, accessible writing style that has made POPSUGAR such a hit, she'll make it fun!


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Lisa Sugar has an amazing job. She spends her days creating content about pop culture, must-have handbags and makeup, healthy recipes, and Instagram-worthy sweets. She manages an enormously successful, growing company with employees who love what they do. And her life is just as great at home. She and her husband have three daughters and she's the number one soccer mom who Lisa Sugar has an amazing job. She spends her days creating content about pop culture, must-have handbags and makeup, healthy recipes, and Instagram-worthy sweets. She manages an enormously successful, growing company with employees who love what they do. And her life is just as great at home. She and her husband have three daughters and she's the number one soccer mom who loves reading bedtime stories every night. How did she do it? By figuring out what her dream job was, taking risks, and believing in herself. And now she wants to motivate others to do the same. She wants to show them how to live colorful, interesting lives where every second counts. She'll do so by sharing her personal and business story. Lisa knows that creating your dream job requires hard work, patience, and experience. She'll give advice, in big and small ways, about exactly how to do that, from starting a company to ditching a relationship that isn't working to becoming a fabulous boss. And with the great, accessible writing style that has made POPSUGAR such a hit, she'll make it fun!

30 review for Power Your Happy: Work Hard, Play Nice & Build Your Dream Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Lisa Sugar's new business/self-improvement book brims with optimism and promotes the belief that working hard and playing nice is the key to a successful, happy life. Sugar preaches the modern "do what you love" and "find your passion" gospel that is ubiquitous today, while at the same time grounding her advice in the reality that finiding that passion means working really, REALLY hard, may involve many false stars, and most certainly will involve lots of time as an underling before you get to d Lisa Sugar's new business/self-improvement book brims with optimism and promotes the belief that working hard and playing nice is the key to a successful, happy life. Sugar preaches the modern "do what you love" and "find your passion" gospel that is ubiquitous today, while at the same time grounding her advice in the reality that finiding that passion means working really, REALLY hard, may involve many false stars, and most certainly will involve lots of time as an underling before you get to do what you actually want to be doing. This book is like one big pep talk to get people going on a career they've dreamed of, with helpful questionnaires at the end of each chapter to identify skills, passions, job requirements, and goals. The book had a friendly, easy-to-identify-with tone. Sugar founded and runs a successful celebrity and lifestyle news website. One of her rules from Day One was that they would not put anything on the website that they wouldn't say to a celebrity in front of his/her face -- and no body shaming (great advice). In that vein, I'll share some reasons why this book rated 3 stars with me instead of higher (which I would gladly share with Ms. Sugar in person). While the overall tone of the book is positive and inspirational, I had a hard time identifying exactly who the target audience would be. It seemed like overall it was speaking to someone just getting started in their career, but then would shift to specific concerns of working moms (who, generally speaking, are further along in their careers). More focus would have made this a better book. The book was also a bit repetitive and could have benefitted from better editing. Thank you to NetGalley and Dutton for a galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alli

    I received a copy of this book through Goodreads for an honest review. I read a lot of books like this one, business memoirs about women who are at the top of their game. The trouble I ran into with Lisa Sugar's is that I couldn't find anything particularly special about it. I was really looking forward to reading Power Your Happy too; unfortunately, I felt that the content was repetitive and not as inspiring as I expected. That being said, the points she made are good points - just not particul I received a copy of this book through Goodreads for an honest review. I read a lot of books like this one, business memoirs about women who are at the top of their game. The trouble I ran into with Lisa Sugar's is that I couldn't find anything particularly special about it. I was really looking forward to reading Power Your Happy too; unfortunately, I felt that the content was repetitive and not as inspiring as I expected. That being said, the points she made are good points - just not particularly original or exciting. My copy is also an advanced reader copy, so there may still be time to flesh out some ideas and make them stronger or more robust. She also speaks a lot about creating content without defining what content means to her, which I find frustrating. I am in a completely different field and I am not an avid Popsugar reader, so my idea of content could be much different than hers. I think this just adds to the fact that there could have been more depth added to her narration.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carol Stanley-Snow

    RECEIVED FREE THROUGH GOODREADS FIRST READS. Don't know what you wanna be when you grow up? Read this book. You will find the tools to figure it out - hopefully! No matter your age. I found my happiness, pet sitting! And I was in my 40's. I am now in my 60's and wonder what took me so long to fill my heart with joy! Happy reading...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sabs

    I'm biased. I

  5. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I got this in my POPSUGAR must have box. I think I'm too old. Might have enjoyed it more at 20?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    I received this book free in a PopSugar box. Although Lisa Sugar is likable, this book was repetitive, a bit jumbled, and did not provide any new insights into how to be a successful modern woman.

  7. 5 out of 5

    SerialReader

    If Popsugar is one of the first website you check every morning, then you have to read Power Your Happy. It's positive and inspirational, a must read for all those people who are not afraid to work hard. Read more on The Serial Reader Blog. *This book was kindly sent to me by Dutton, Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review* If Popsugar is one of the first website you check every morning, then you have to read Power Your Happy. It's positive and inspirational, a must read for all those people who are not afraid to work hard. Read more on The Serial Reader Blog. *This book was kindly sent to me by Dutton, Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review*

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Ashe

    I received this book in my popsugar box quite a bit ago and just got around to reading it. While it did contain some interesting, applicable, and "must have" information, I think it should be geared to a different demographic than me. It also seemed that the thoughts in this book were scattered. In the beginning of the book, she wants this to not be about her, lisa sugar, but 75% of the book is about her. This would be a phenomenal book for students just graduating college or even maybe a year o I received this book in my popsugar box quite a bit ago and just got around to reading it. While it did contain some interesting, applicable, and "must have" information, I think it should be geared to a different demographic than me. It also seemed that the thoughts in this book were scattered. In the beginning of the book, she wants this to not be about her, lisa sugar, but 75% of the book is about her. This would be a phenomenal book for students just graduating college or even maybe a year or two into their first professional career.

  9. 5 out of 5

    V

    This book was almost painful to listen to. It lacked all of the elements that make for an interesting narrative: obstacles to overcome, striving to be better, hard won victories... In her story, Lisa Sugar started a website that was immediately successful, despite having no former experience building or maintaining a website. Although she'd been tested for learning disabilities as a child, she was able to write well enough to garner a huge online following. She glosses over the contributions of This book was almost painful to listen to. It lacked all of the elements that make for an interesting narrative: obstacles to overcome, striving to be better, hard won victories... In her story, Lisa Sugar started a website that was immediately successful, despite having no former experience building or maintaining a website. Although she'd been tested for learning disabilities as a child, she was able to write well enough to garner a huge online following. She glosses over the contributions of others (including her internet entrepreneur husband and financial backing from a J.Crew founder) and plays up her own contributions. The book feels contrived and phony as Lisa waxes poetic for many hours about her perfect family, job and life.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    I took a lot of notes and a learned a few things; however, I feel like this book wasn't really geared towards me and where I am going in life. It went back and forth between bits I found useful and bits when I felt like I was wasting my time reading it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rita Arens

    Good for early career media types. A little repetitive. Friendly tone and some good advice on navigating the world of work.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alexa

    I purchased this book before our worldwide pandemic occurred and yet I started reading this during the week of our mandated quarantine. Eager to find some sort of distraction during these quiet days at home I decided to delve in. After all, I haven't had a chance to dedicate actual time to reading other than the spare 15 minutes before running off to work. At first, I thought the book was about finding happiness in your everyday life - "For people who want to live colorful, interesting lives an I purchased this book before our worldwide pandemic occurred and yet I started reading this during the week of our mandated quarantine. Eager to find some sort of distraction during these quiet days at home I decided to delve in. After all, I haven't had a chance to dedicate actual time to reading other than the spare 15 minutes before running off to work. At first, I thought the book was about finding happiness in your everyday life - "For people who want to live colorful, interesting lives and make every second count.". Now reading the first paragraph it sounds just like that! And Sugar does have some nice quotes and a few media references, that if you're a movie buff, will totally make you smile. She even shares a few nuggets of wisdom on self-reflection and listening to your inner voice! Unfortunately, and it pains me to say this, that's where the living your best life advice stops. Instead Sugar goes into a in-depth description of how her business got started, all while telling the audience that in order to get to the top you need to start at the very bottom of the totem pole. As if those of us who are of an "adult" age didn't already know that. She then taps back into inspirational topics like when to know it's time to move on or when you should just ask for more to do at work because you could just be bored - which is good advice! However that feel-good feeling is quickly swatted down as Sugar reminds us that "bosses" like herself don't award time spent/ or put in but instead how much blood, sweat and tears you're willing to put into someone else's endeavor. Not very inspirational. Moving on, Sugar attempts to address healthy eating habits but all the while mostly talks about her obsession with sugary snacks. At least her anecdote on exercising is more interesting as she shares actual things you can do to remain active and how its perfectly okay if you miss gym day. Kind of like its not about winning the sprint but winning the marathon mentality. Thankfully, Sugar ends on a nice note about having a support system which is vital for anyone if you're trying to succeed in life and how she believes you can build this team yourself. Overall, while I thought this book had some good insights, I can't help but wonder why Sugar didn't put this out as a autobiography instead of a self-help book as it surely fits better into one category more than the other. Again, while she does have some interesting questionnaires, don't be fooled into thinking this is a self-help book based on how to be happy. Instead think of it more as one woman's story as she rose to the top and her advice to you as to how you can (maybe) get there too. Overall rating: 3.5 Stars

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Rochester

    When I chose this book, I knew it was nonfiction and it was an autobiography but that's about it. The cover and the title both seemed like "happy" things so I grabbed it. These days, we need to get all of the happy we can. But once I started reading, I learned it was actually about the creator of a website that I used to be an avid fan of...I say used to only because I am not as into celebrities and all of that as I once was. I still admire what she does and if I were going to read a website abo When I chose this book, I knew it was nonfiction and it was an autobiography but that's about it. The cover and the title both seemed like "happy" things so I grabbed it. These days, we need to get all of the happy we can. But once I started reading, I learned it was actually about the creator of a website that I used to be an avid fan of...I say used to only because I am not as into celebrities and all of that as I once was. I still admire what she does and if I were going to read a website about celebs and gossip and beauty and all that good stuff, I would still choose this one. Learning about her allowed me into that world just a little bit. :) And I am guessing that we must be similar in age because we both grew up liking the same things and the same shows at the same time...This is a woman I can admire and look up to and I would personally love to have her as a boss. She just gets it...all of the qualities that a good manager/boss should have, she does. She sees that you should give people kudos just as much as complaints...if not more. She sees that sometimes people just need a day off in order to come back and be the best they can be...and she knows that in today's world, it really is possible to work from home most of the time. All in all, this was a great feel good nonfiction read. :)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Christi Winkelman

    This is a book that was depressing to me because the author is the same age, has the same philosophy towards work & family, and reminds me of my own personality before I had experienced several losses. Therefore I can't recommend it as a motivational book about how working hard and playing nice will make you successful. It's more about giving yourself permission to be yourself but probably aimed at an audience in younger than 30. Thankfully the author seems to have had the right kind of support This is a book that was depressing to me because the author is the same age, has the same philosophy towards work & family, and reminds me of my own personality before I had experienced several losses. Therefore I can't recommend it as a motivational book about how working hard and playing nice will make you successful. It's more about giving yourself permission to be yourself but probably aimed at an audience in younger than 30. Thankfully the author seems to have had the right kind of support and resources to be herself and succeed in a way that excites her. Unfortunately for all the authenticity she exudes the helpful advice is not very deep. It could be but the pace of the book, which is like an excited friend chit chatting over coffee that has to hurry before their next appointment is a little off putting. Pros: Easy to read, you will fly right through it. Good summary points that help you consider what should be a priority in your life. Also reading this will remind you that a healthy and upbeat work environment does exist. That there are employers and managers who do see their employees more as a family and not as another number. That working from home, doing something you love, is a viable way of doing business. Cons: The speed of the book will make you dizzy. You will get a quick introduction to key people in her life and you will see how lucky she is that everyone and everything works out.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kibkabe

    Because I still have this idea of starting a digital empire in my head, I chose to read "Power Your Happy" by Lisa Sugar, the founder of PopSugar, on the eve of a milestone birthday. But the tone came off as if it was speaking to the baby millennials (I'm on the older spectrum of millennialism), and I wish there was more business biography rather than personal biography. Sugar started PopSugar over a decade ago, and it's grown a lot. I've witnessed its growth as an early fan, so I hoped this boo Because I still have this idea of starting a digital empire in my head, I chose to read "Power Your Happy" by Lisa Sugar, the founder of PopSugar, on the eve of a milestone birthday. But the tone came off as if it was speaking to the baby millennials (I'm on the older spectrum of millennialism), and I wish there was more business biography rather than personal biography. Sugar started PopSugar over a decade ago, and it's grown a lot. I've witnessed its growth as an early fan, so I hoped this book really got into the details of that growth. For example, I used to blog about fashion with OnSugar, the failed microblogging site of PopSugar. I wanted to know more about seeing what worked for the company and what didn't, the decisions that went into building one part up and destroying another. She made everything sound rosy and didn't go into those details. Maybe because I don't have my own family I just wanted to read less about her daughters and husband she kept bragging about how she met him the first week of college. (Many female bloggers have a boyfriend/husband in the background who help them significantly, so that was a turnoff for me as a single woman who wants to follow in similar footsteps). The mother aspect was interesting, but the tone of the book was geared to the under 25 crowd with the third-grade level writing. We can keep it real with at least eighth-grade level writing, but I loathe when inspiring memoirs are written on such a low level but marketed to women of all ages ("Audition" by Barbara Walters is an example of this). Then at the end there were photographs from her early childhood to adulthood, so it came off as a misguided memoir with too much personal life when most readers like me want more of the professional life. And her life seemed so perfect from Day One (I know I'm hatin') that when she had to reference something bad like an eating disorder it would be happening to people she knew. Another example was trying to find a career and all the great jobs she had along the way to find her passion. With the recession bogging down my generation, she at least had a job amid passion hunting. And her curly hair gave her so much grief in younger days (eye roll...). She didn't have enough adversity to bring in the personal life; we just needed professional life and how to build that dream empire. Overall, the way the book was marketed I expected something better, but I still get my daily PopSugar emails, so I'm not that mad.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Simply Laura Lee

    So, I really liked this book. I picked it up last fall after hearing the author, Lisa Sugar speak on a podcast I listen to, Good Life Project. She was fun and positive and sounded like someone I would like to hang out with. The book hung out in my book basket for quite some time. I would pick it up read a little and then get distracted by something and forget about it, but I always came back to it. Lisa writes with a casual voice, sharing her life experiences while adding inspiration and suggest So, I really liked this book. I picked it up last fall after hearing the author, Lisa Sugar speak on a podcast I listen to, Good Life Project. She was fun and positive and sounded like someone I would like to hang out with. The book hung out in my book basket for quite some time. I would pick it up read a little and then get distracted by something and forget about it, but I always came back to it. Lisa writes with a casual voice, sharing her life experiences while adding inspiration and suggestions to finding your happy. Although I don't think it was necessarily written for the late forties looking to re-invent herself me, I did have some positive take-aways from Lisa's suggestions. I am going to tag this one as a perfect gift for my daughter when she graduates from college.

  17. 5 out of 5

    jasmin

    I couldn't wait to read this book because number one, I love a good book about working hard and building a kick ass life, and number two, it's a book by the one and only Lisa Sugar, so how could I not be excited to hear from the founder of one of my favorite websites ever?? The book is definitely inspiring and definitely kept me going no matter how tired I was, or how massive my headache was—Lisa's words of wisdom helped brighten my day. I would've loved to read more about her struggles, though, I couldn't wait to read this book because number one, I love a good book about working hard and building a kick ass life, and number two, it's a book by the one and only Lisa Sugar, so how could I not be excited to hear from the founder of one of my favorite websites ever?? The book is definitely inspiring and definitely kept me going no matter how tired I was, or how massive my headache was—Lisa's words of wisdom helped brighten my day. I would've loved to read more about her struggles, though, because I felt that she only scratched the surface when it came to that. She touched on how stressed she was at some parts of her life, and I would've loved to hear more about that.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Katrina

    After reading this book, I'd like to meet Lisa Sugar in person! This book is a great read in terms of her life but also in helping those seeking help with their career. She drops jewels from the employer's perspective you'd probably never find anywhere else. This book also teaches you about figuring out what it is you really want to do in life and going for it! If only all companies and agencies could be ran by Lisa Sugar!Power Your Happy: Work Hard, Play Nice & Build Your Dream Life After reading this book, I'd like to meet Lisa Sugar in person! This book is a great read in terms of her life but also in helping those seeking help with their career. She drops jewels from the employer's perspective you'd probably never find anywhere else. This book also teaches you about figuring out what it is you really want to do in life and going for it! If only all companies and agencies could be ran by Lisa Sugar!Power Your Happy: Work Hard, Play Nice & Build Your Dream Life

  19. 4 out of 5

    Allie

    Lisa seems like a wonderful person, and I think I could have benefitted greatly from this book a year or two ago more than now, but that doesn’t diminish the assistance this book might give someone trying to follow their passion & make a career. I do agree with other reviews that say there seems to be a discrepancy between target audience and material presented, but in a different vein, maybe it isn’t a cover-to-cover read. I adore books where I can prescribe myself a chapter, then come back to Lisa seems like a wonderful person, and I think I could have benefitted greatly from this book a year or two ago more than now, but that doesn’t diminish the assistance this book might give someone trying to follow their passion & make a career. I do agree with other reviews that say there seems to be a discrepancy between target audience and material presented, but in a different vein, maybe it isn’t a cover-to-cover read. I adore books where I can prescribe myself a chapter, then come back to the other parts when they are more relevant. Thanks, Lisa, for sharing your life with us all!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emma Bostian

    When I started this book I had high hopes this would be the motivational book I needed. But to be honest the book was all over the place. While Lisa’s writing style was very colloquial and easy to digest, I wasn’t sure whether this was a professional book or a personal one. The fact that she kept jumping around between describing how POPSUGAR came to be and advice was confusing. Likewise her advice wasn’t anything earth shattering. I didn’t see any new ideas in her book which really let me down.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chelsey Haughey

    I found this book very all over the place. I don’t quite know what it specifically targets. It’s not really a good about happiness. It’s more about juggling a life as a mom and business owner. If you are a college student who is looking to get into the workforce this is a great book for you. I feel like it’s more focused on what employers expect of you versus anything about happiness. She teaches you how to lead a team, create a great work environment, what employers expect in a resume, how you I found this book very all over the place. I don’t quite know what it specifically targets. It’s not really a good about happiness. It’s more about juggling a life as a mom and business owner. If you are a college student who is looking to get into the workforce this is a great book for you. I feel like it’s more focused on what employers expect of you versus anything about happiness. She teaches you how to lead a team, create a great work environment, what employers expect in a resume, how you should end every employment, and what bosses expect from you.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jaclyn

    Couldn't put this book down! Lisa Sugar is peppy, upbeat, and positive and really stresses a work-life balance. I enjoyed her anecdotes about starting PopSugar, as well as her family commitments. At times, the book was a little repetitive, but Sugar stays true to her message of finding your passion to do what you love. This book was highly motivating to me, even though the advice was geared mostly to those in the corporate world. #DuttonFreebies

  23. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    This is a quick read and the questions at the end of each chapter are great for reflection and something to revisit. It's definitely an inspiring book for those feeling like they're stuck or searching for the right job. There's also some great nuggets on women empowerment and Lisa's approach to everyone's favorite working mom dilemma - work/life balance. I am personally a fan of Popsugar so it was great to learn more about how the company and it's verticals came to be.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Liaken

    Picked this up from the new reads section at my library. A mistake, alas. This book can be summarized in one word: shallow. The summary cartoon at the beginning of the book was the high point. It was all downhill from there. (I just read my spouse a few random pages, and his response was "self-centered blather." Yup.)

  25. 4 out of 5

    Paige

    Such a successful woman. I really enjoyed the positive, conversational tone of the book! There was good advice but nothing too groundbreaking. I liked hearing her story but a part of me wishes there was more about the difficulties and difficult hustle versus just the fantastic and dreamy end goal she achieved.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sabrina

    Ehhhh - I got this free as part of a subscription box service. To be honest, I didn't finish it. I got a little tired of the everything is great if you just smile implication. It's definitely optimistic and upbeat, but definitely meant for a crowd of people who are just starting out after high school/college. I also have a little problem with the privilege that is inherent throughout...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Champagne

    My grandmother bought me this book as a Christmas present. At first I was excited because I personally admire the media empire Lisa Sugar has built with PopSugar. However I found the advice and stories in this book basic. Might make a good read for someone early on in college, however I also think that many of the takeaways could be found through online blogs for free.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Franco Colomba

    Books was excellent, but I feel like the books "power your happy" message is only good for the first 100 pages everything after that is more personal things and habits, tips about Lisa. Overall a great book but I feel slightly mislead thinking the entire book was going to be more of a traditional motivational advice from the author rather than her life story to success.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Hutchinson

    Not at all what I was expecting. It seemed to be geared more toward college students trying to find their way than entrepreneurs or creatives, which is what I was hoping for. couple of small takeaways though.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emily Kent

    I like this book but I don't love it. I found some helpful things in this book like working towards the job you want, finding your passion, and realizing you can't start at the top. But there was a lot in this book that just felt repetitive. Overall, it was a good read.

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