Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Well-Spoken Wednesday--Something Inside of Me by Chitoka Webb Book Review and Giveaway (Ends 10/31) 10 winners! WW (Closed)

 Summary from goodreads:  The inspiring story of how one woman's journey through poverty and debilitating illness catapulted her to the halls of power as a successful businesswoman.

Long before selling secondhand belongings on Ebay and Craigslist was the rage, a preteen Chitoka Webb sold what others saw as junk to the residents of her neighborhood and made a profit. At the age of thirteen, she talked her way into a job as the youngest checker at a local grocery store. Without a college degree, through tenacity, grit, and a healthy dose of faith in herself, Chitoka became the owner of several businesses before the age of thirty.

In Something Inside of Me, Chitoka Webb shares her poignant, funny, and inspiring life story, from her humble beginnings in the Nashville housing projects to her rise as the CEO of several companies. Through stories of the many struggles she faced, from poverty to racism to the loss of her vision, Chitoka demonstrates the amazing human ability to triumph over extreme adversity through willpower, faith, and a constant love for oneself.

Chitoka will inspire you to find the something inside that provides the hope to discover what is most important to you and the courage to attain it for yourself.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was initially drawn to this book by the title alone.  I had seen a review for it, and I thought I would check it out.  Lately, my family has been going through a lot of garbage, and I have felt sometimes that I was in the pit of hell.  Yes, even as a committed Christian, you can have a very rough road.  In fact, probably the more committed you are, the more the enemy attacks!

I began reading this book, and I was instantly drawn to Chitoka's easy-to-read style.  In this book, she shared many personal stories that stretched all the way back into her childhood through the present day.  She talked about her schooling, her aspirations, her dreams, and her visions.  If there ever was a type A personality, I think Chitoka embodies it!  And if there ever was a woman who refused to give up, it was Chitoka!

When she shared about her childhood stories of how she never seemed to fit in (she was a black who didn't talk and act like her other black friends), I could relate.  Yes, I am a white woman, but when I was growing up, I never fit in.  I was often a loner.  I think because like Chitoka, I too knew I wanted to do great things.  I was amazed at how she overcame her early schooling issues.  I never had to overcome that.  Instead, I had to overcome the strange feelings I had a couple years ago when I (the straight A student) had to sub for a guy who graduated from high school the same year I did (and he was just an average student).  Talk about feeling strange.  I think Chitoka proves in her book that grades are not everything.

As I read about the businesses she began, I was absolutely enthralled!  I couldn't get over the ambition this young woman had.  If someone said she couldn't do it, she did it.  (Okay, that describes me pretty well too, but I was never as ambitious as Chitoka.)  She had a setback, and she never viewed it that way.  She kept going and going.  Her drive really impressed me.

The way she viewed the tragedies in her life (including her eye trouble--I won't go into detail, you have to read it) continued to amaze me.  I thought of what I had said in recent times to my friend who is doing nothing but complain about the situations here at home (he is involved in them too).  I said that what God had asked me to go through was really pretty easy compared to what some have to endure.  And I now know that is true.  What Chitoka has endured goes far beyond what I could imagine.  

But here is the thing that absolutely amazes me.  She is never mean-spirited.  She could go back and blame all sorts of people and circumstances for what happened to her.  She could have become bitter.  She even asked God why she had to go through all this suffering.  Well, after all, haven't we all asked that?  Isn't that a typical reason people give for not believing in God?  

Chitoka's response is very different.  Why do bad things happen to good people? Because we are humans.  We are flawed humans, and not everything is going to work out right every time.  Bad things are going to happen.  Things are going to happen that we cannot control.  But it is our response that is key.  Chitoka never gave up even when the whole world was against her.  Many people would have just curled up in a fetal position and given up.  But she didn't do that.  And as a result, she  had continued to move on with her life.

I was greatly intrigued with the little things that gave her hope.  Even an old ugly clock gave her hope.  You have to read that to know what I mean!  Her relationship with God continued to grow stronger as the years went on.  She has a unique relationship with Him, but it is genuine.  I believe that God is the reason that Chitoka has been so successful.  

Don't worry, though. Even those who are not religious will glean a lot from this book.  Chitoka not only has God, but she has determination to accomplish her goals. She is a shining example that shows everyone that anyone can accomplish anything they want to in spite of circumstances.

Two warnings I will give you in relation to this book.  While I love the way in which Chitoka writes, she does use some "adult" words.  I would not call them profanity, but they are adult words, and they are used appropriately. Secondly, once you start reading, be prepared to set everything aside. Once you begin this book,  you will not want to put it down.  

I want to thank the author for giving me a free copy of this book so that I may review it.  All of the opinions expressed are 100 percent mine.

About the Author

Chitoka Webb is a successful business owner, motivational speaker and author who lives in Hendersonville, TN.
Raised by her single mother, Webb grew up in the Preston Taylor housing projects, landed her first job in a grocery store at only 13 years old. When a senior in High School, she was told by school authorities she couldn't graduate with her class just a week before the ceremony due to being one point short in her chemistry class. Now, in her mid-30s, Webb owns several businesses—that she founded.
She began her self employed career at 23. In 1999 Webb left Nashville and moved to Atlanta, where she nurtured numerous relationships with professional athletes and successful business leaders. Working as the only female barber alongside 14 other male barbers. Her highlight moment came during Super Bowl XXXIV when she was invited by her client Anthony Dorsett (Son of football great Tony Dorsett) to attend the event as their barber. After much success and accomplishing set goals she returned to Nashville in pursuit of a dream to own her own barbershop, which she opened in October 2001. She worked three full time jobs for three months to make this dream a reality.
Her life and business motto is "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" pulling herself up by the bootstraps these humble beginnings brought more success. After developing two health care agencies and a new state-of-the-art barbershop Webb developed Chitoka L.Webb Holdings, Inc. which oversees her professional ventures, and the early development stages of a Foundation which supports her community service projects
Through her impressive business growth, Webb suffered blindness for six months as a result of Behcet's disease. High doses of Steroidal eye injections and medications corrected her failed eye sight. The Behcet's diagnosis led Webb to write her memoir, Something Inside of Me (Greenleaf Book Group, July 1, 2011).
Some of Webb's successes include being appointed by the governor of Tennessee as a board of trustee to a state appointed board, a mentor for the Nashville Juvenile Justice Center, president of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce Business Council and being elected to the prestigious Entrepreneurs Organization. Webb currently volunteers as an auditor for the Nashville United Way and serves as a board member for the Middle Tennessee YMCA.

Now, if you noticed, this is also a giveaway.  And it says that there will be 10 winners.  And you did not read it wrong.  I contacted Chitoka, and she was so excited about my response to the book that she offered to give 10 books away!  She is giving away 5 hard copies and 5 e-books.  I was absolutely blown away!  I never dreamed she would be willing to give away that many books. 
This giveaway is open worldwide.  If an international follower wins, he/she will automatically win an e-book.  If the winner lives in the U.S., he/she will be able to choose a hard copy or e-book.  I realize possible issues may arise when we run out of the e-books or hard copies, but I will deal with each issue as it comes up.  For now, know that the giveaway is open worldwide, and it will end October 31 at 9 P.M. Pacific Time.  There are only two entries, and if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me or leave a comment.  


  1. Greetings:
    Tried to entered Chitoka interesting sounding book.
    but got Could not retrieve id for the specified page. Please verify correct href was passed in.
    your att. to this matter is appreciated.
    cheers Dayle
    re: facebook entry
    dayle b at telus dot net

  2. i now i would take the book to other place anad blog on it

  3. Thanks for the giveaway, Ruth!


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