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Smiling in Hardships

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A "how to" guide for anyone thinking of starting a business and a road map of the hurdles and a philosophical way to remain optimistic

Author and entrepreneur, Efut And. Atem, describes his travels from his home country of Cameroon to France in his book Smiling in Hardship. As anyone who has experienced the difficulties of moving from one country to another will tell you, it can be a frightening and unpleasant experience. Atem wanted to spare others the pitfalls and pain that he felt. His answer was to form a company called, ‚ÄúWorld Like Home‚ÄĚ. His vision was to have newcomers matched with volunteers who would make meet them upon arrival and guide each new person past all the hurdles they could encounter. In essence, making the world like home ‚Äď familiar, friendly.


Though his intentions are noble, Atem finds himself traveling down dead ends and being stopped by legalities and rules he was unaware of. But he is a committed optimist and in his book describes how friends came to his rescue. He elaborates on the lessons he learned along the way. In fact, he attributes some of his successes to the failures he faced. He quotes inspirational sentiments of many famous people. He also tells stories of people who overcame immense hardships to find personal success and to help others.


This book is part business strategy, part motivational manual and part autobiography. The reader will be able to acquire an understanding that a good idea is not enough to guarantee success. Regardless of how innovative an idea is there are many challenges in starting up a company. As Atem found out some challenges are anticipated and  others that blindside you. With his reliance on friends who provided ideas, loans and a place to sleep, with the help of professional organizations that guided him through the jungle of bureaucracy he managed to stay the course. He details the importance of learning to deal with staff and customers, while simultaneously making immediate plans and trying to project future strategies. It is a constant juggling act that requires he remain optimistic and open to learning from his mistakes.


For anyone thinking of starting a company this is book will provide you an insight into what you can expect.




Reviewed by

Book reviewer for the Lawrence Technological University library. Wayne State University 2009 HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) scholar concentrating on digital storytelling WWII oral historian for the Yankee Air Museum. Tour director and public speaker,

Let us journey together

About the author

Born in the small village of Owe Muyuka in Cameroon, central Africa, I am an engineer, CEO and Founder of World like Home. Am now based in France. view profile

Published on December 14, 2020

50000 words

Genre: Self-Help & Self-Improvement

Reviewed by