About the author: Ken Dunn is one of the leadership training world’s up and coming great speakers and trainers. An incredible hunger to learn and teach others has led Ken successfully through five different professional careers in the past 25 years.
Ken began a policing career at the age of 18. He was involved in the policing world’s most exhilarating and challenging disciplines, including undercover drug and surveillance work, S.W.A.T. teamwork, aggravated child abuse, frauds, aggravated assaults, illegal weapons smuggling and homicides.
Today, Ken regularly speaks to groups in the direct sales, mortgage, insurance and banking industries. He uses humor and his own experiences to inspire audiences around the world. Ken lives in Toronto, Canada, with his wife, Julie, and children Matthew and Laura.
About the book: Laura Dunagan, was born in the gold prospecting days of rustic Alaska in the early 1900’s. When Laura was 14 years old, her father was trapped under a mudslide while prospecting in a nearby river and died. Laura was forced to move to Chicago in the care of her rich Uncle Joe. Laura hated Uncle Joe because he forced her to leave the river, but also because he had left the family prospecting business to move to Chicago years before she was born.
Laura discovers that Uncle Joe made his fortune selling insurance and was the owner of the largest insurance company in Illinois. While wandering through the mansion one day, she found Uncle’s Joe personal den. In it, she discovered an entire new life that would lead her to heights that she would never had realized panning for gold in Alaska. Uncle Joe used the 6 gold prospecting rules for safety to prospect new clients for his insurance company and in doing so, discovered the secrets to wealth in selling.
Book review: What Dunn has done (ha) is to write a non-fiction book about creating success in business (and in life) by using a fictional narrative. If you want a cheat sheet or a “winning formula” that you can apply to reach said success, don’t even consider buying this book. It is meant as a source of reflection to make readers understand more profoundly how they can create success for themselves. It’s also a fun, light read for anyone just looking for a feel good story that will be easy to read if you gloss over some of the heavier parts of the book.
The narrative itself is a simple one, a straightforward plot in which a young girl learns how to create success for herself by applying life lessons an elder is teaching her. The Greatest Prospector in the World does come off a little heavy-handed at times, with some parts reading as lectures rather than a story. The parable was heavy-handed; it made for easy to glean lessons but for a less literary experience.
Then again, it works; all the “lectures” fit in the narrative quite well, and the writing is engaging enough that even these parts are easily readable by both those looking to delve into the lessons and those just wanting to read a story. The lessons in the book did lose some of their strength because Laura did have it easy in some ways (for example, the help of the family fortune.) But again, just like with the obvious approach Dunn chose to take, it helps to really focus on the lessons rather than to get lost in speculation. An engaging read, The Greatest Prospector in the World can be as light or heavy as its reader make it to be.