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Two Books Guaranteed to Change Your Life

21 May 2018

By: Brendan Epps

Reading isn’t just fundamental, it’s your key to success. One of my favorite places to go is the library, where I can read…for free!  I’m about saving money, which is one reason we have a Greater Dayton YMCA membership.  But often times the books I read help me to either make more money or make myself more marketable, which in turn can lead to more money and increased opportunities.

Bhakti Mary is a local author of Cherry: A Personal Growth Compass, a book that focuses on self-health and how to improve our workplace environment. She has dedicated her life to service, to her country (Air Force Officer & civil service), women’s empowerment, and inclusion.

LaTanya White is an inspirational speaker, business coach, and author of Becoming FEARLESS a narrative of encouragement and instruction to becoming fearless in your entrepreneurial endeavors.  She’s a professor at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, owner of Forbes-recognized business 71 Proof and founder of The Entrepreneurs Top 5 Facebook mentoring group.  She wasn’t satisfied with owning a successful premier bartending business,  she needed to help others achieve their goals as well which led to Becoming FEARLESS.


Cherry is a collection of inspirational blog posts compiled as a series of encouragement for those who are interested in thriving in environments of hardship.  No topic is taboo with Bhakti as she discusses how to thrive in periods of loneliness, vulnerability, love, failure, disappointment, and success.

Bhakti writes, "In daily moments of gratitude, we pause to witness infinite levels of success in ourselves and others." Cherry is filled with ideas and actionable steps to be at peace with yourself. She also discusses how to tackle personal shortfalls and try new things to propel you into areas where you feel stronger, more confident and more capable than you ever realized possible.  As you read the book, you will find yourself becoming more positive, resilient and compassionate in all environments. Who can’t use this?

Classmates at the Air Force Academy, I have known Bhakti more than 15 years and some of her stories were directly relatable for me.  Bhakti is an Air Force Academy graduate and combat veteran currently serving as an intelligence officer in the United States Air Force Reserves.  She’s also a senior-level Program Manager in the Air Force Civil Service and second level supervisor (she supervises supervisors).  In addition to her leadership responsibilities in the workplace, Bhakti works with Lean In Women of Color and local Lean In circles to encourage women to be empowered.  She is also an active mentor in the Montgomery County College Promise Program and mother of two.

Learn more about Cherry and author Bhakti Mary at


In Becoming FEARLESS, LaTanya unpacks the necessity of visibility in a couple of ways: awareness, letting people know your business is there, and credibility, in that your visibility shows how you’re taking chances on yourself, encouraging them to take a chance on you.

LaTanya begins with the fearlessness in her life positioning readers to appreciate that she’s already taken her own medicine.  She was able to tell her story, not just because of her own fearlessness, but due in part to the fearlessness of others who took notice of her efforts and invested in her along the way, like the landlord who had no reason to believe she was “good for it” when he trusted her to repay the deposition and first month's’ rent. 

In addition to being an excellent standalone resource for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs like me, LaTanya has used the business development process she reveals in Becoming FEARLESS with more than 500 emerging leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs over the past three years using the Pivot workbook that lays out specific exercises in order for one to become fearless.

LaTanya, too, embodies her advice.  She lived and refined the premise of Becoming FEARLESS to effectively share it with us.  She writes, “Do the work, but more importantly, believe that you CAN do the work.”  She and I are classmates in a Leadership and Change PhD program and getting to know her, I’m so excited to know that her words are authentic to who she is as a person.

Learn more about Becoming FEARLESS and author/coach LaTanya White at


Bhakti and LaTanya have been advocates of women’s empowerment for years.  Bhakti formed both the first Lean In Circle in the Dayton area at Wright Patterson Air Force Base and is an active mentor.  LaTanya focuses on developing and coaching minority women entrepreneurs to success as a mentor, professor, and of course business coach.
Both share the real emotion of juggling motherhood, womanhood, business/work.  You can find a part of yourself in each story they share of perseverance and success.  Both Cherry and Becoming FEARLESS come at a time when gender-equality in business is a hot issue, and rightly so.  Cherry gives you the tools you need to develop personally and then takes you into discussions about the overlap of personal and professional development.
To paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi, Bhakti and LaTanya are both being the changes they want to see in this world and through Cherry and Becoming FEARLESS, they’re both helping us to do the same.