Book Review: The Experiment by R. Michael Anderson


I'm very, very honored to have R. Michael Anderson, CEO of Executive Joy, as my client. He is so much fun to work with, and he's teaching me many things. For example, I wanted to get a list going for him on some contacts, but he said: "Just go for it. Go ahead and contact them. Get into action." That was a great push for me and definitely something that made me step out of my norm. It was a pleasure reading his book, The Experiment, and I hope you enjoy the book review. His book released today, and you can purchase it here.

As a business owner, I’ve experienced the downfalls of success: long hours, missing family events, and exhaustion—when I should be happy for the success. I read The Experiment because I wanted a different approach to finding joy in my work life—and this book gave me exactly that.

Anderson delivered a different approach to a business book: The Experiment tells an actual story and reads much like a novel—but with sessions to keep you focused. Dennis, an overworked, unhappy CEO, feels like he’s hit rock-bottom. His marriage is falling apart, he drinks too much, and he works constantly. He meets Robert, a business coach, on a train ride, and after a talk or two, agrees to try an experiment.

Instead of overwhelming the reader with bulleted lists and boring statistics like many business-themed books do, Anderson weaves a relatable story to teach the readers how to solve everyday problems, live a happier life, and be more productive. I loved seeing the specific results that occurred after Dennis experimented each time.

Reading about Dennis’s struggles is something that every business owner can relate to. While many of us relate to his problems, it was refreshing to see real solutions to each problem. What I thought was great about this book was the originality. Robert instructs Dennis to try different experiments to help him lead a happier life, and they were all so simple. Many of them made me say, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

My only negative comment was the font used for his sessions. I loved the sessions because I felt like it made me stop and reflect on each new goal. But the font was kind of hard to read; it could’ve just been me, but I would’ve liked for it to be easier to read. They are downloadable, though, which is very convenient. Another thing to mention is it takes a few chapters to get to the meaty stuff, but it has a point in doing so. Just stay with it and keep reading—you’ll be so glad you did.

Bonus: One thing I didn’t even realize was that you can sign up for support after reading The Experiment. That was a fun bonus that I think more books should do.

After reading the book, I have new, specific goals for myself. This book taught me to try new things and—you guessed it—experiment. Whether you’re just starting out in the business-owner world or have been a CEO for twenty years, this book will give you a whole new perspective on achieving the most coveted thing in the workplace: happiness.