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How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life | [Scott Adams]

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

Scott Adams has likely failed at more things than anyone you’ve ever met or anyone you’ve even heard of. So how did he go from hapless office worker and serial failure to the creator of Dilbert, one of the world’s most famous syndicated comic strips, in just a few years? In How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, Adams shares the strategy he has used since he was a teen to invite failure in, to embrace it, then pick its pocket.
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Publisher's Summary

Scott Adams has likely failed at more things than anyone you’ve ever met or anyone you’ve even heard of. So how did he go from hapless office worker and serial failure to the creator of Dilbert, one of the world’s most famous syndicated comic strips, in just a few years? In How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, Adams shares the strategy he has used since he was a teen to invite failure in, to embrace it, then pick its pocket.

No career guide can offer advice for success that works for everyone. As Adams explains, your best bet is to study the ways of others who made it big and try to glean some tricks and strategies that make sense for you. Adams pulls back the covers on his own unusual life and shares what he learned for turning one failure after another into something good and lasting. Adams reveals that he failed at just about everything he’s tried, including his corporate career, his inventions, his investments, and his two restaurants. But there’s a lot to learn from his personal story, and a lot of humor along the way. While it’s hard for anyone to recover from a personal or professional failure, Adams discovered some unlikely truths that helped to propel him forward. For instance:

  • Goals are for losers. Systems are for winners
  • "Passion" is bull. What you need is personal energy
  • A combination of mediocre skills can make you surprisingly valuable
  • You can manage your odds in a way that makes you look lucky to others.

You won’t find a road map to success in this audiobook. But Adams hopes you can laugh at his failures while discovering some unique and helpful ideas on your own path to personal victory. As he writes: "This is a story of one person’s unlikely success within the context of scores of embarrassing failures. Was my eventual success primarily a result of talent, luck, hard work, or an accidental just-right balance of each? All I know for sure is that I pursued a conscious strategy of managing my opportunities in a way that would make it easier for luck to find me."

©2013 Scott Adams (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

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  •  
    VyTri Surrey, BC, Canada 12-22-13
    VyTri Surrey, BC, Canada 12-22-13 Member Since 2007

    I love books on personal development and entrepreneurship. For entertainment, I prefer the military sci-fi genre.

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    "Sucess advice from a cartoonist!"

    Okay, first, great book. Scott tells us his life story with career advice and life advice sprinkled in. So it's both a help book and an autobiography. Very cool. If you are shy, you need to read this book. It has some great advice: Success builds confidence and confidence suppresses shyness. Scott talks a lot about being able to re-program your brain, which is another way of putting mind over matter. You too can like country music if you put your mind to it. :) I will say that I didn't like the last few chapters on nutrition. I don't have a problem with my weight and I'm not a vegetarian, so while I can see it's value, it felt like a drag on an otherwise fantastic book. It will not dissuade me from buying the hard cover though!

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott 03-05-14
    Scott 03-05-14
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    "See It Through To Get The Value"

    I am part of the generation who worshiped Dilbert. Being an office dweller, I can fondly recall seeing Dilbert cartoons posted on the door's of office colleagues, and sometimes having my own favorite Dilbert cartoons that speak directly to the idiocy of the situation I find myself in.

    Thus I am already predisposed to like a serious business book written by the author of Dilbert.

    That being said, the book starts off with many many example of where the author has failed in life. The ideas he had before Dilbert that didn't work, the investments he's made in businesses after Dilbert became a success that failed, his personal medical problems that left him unable to speak in public for a long period of time. None of which are particularly funny, but serve the purpose of how he failed much more times than he has succeeded. Yet he's done very well.

    The latter half of the book is where the real meat of it is. Concrete advice on how to arrange your life. What subjects to study, where to invest your time, and little tips on how to increase your communication skills, speak in public, topics of small-talk conversations, and the like.

    It's not the perfect book. It's not something I recommend in lieu of the classics in the field of business or self-improvement. But it's worth your Audible credit and worth a listen. You'll be thinking of this book for days after you've finished reading it.

    20 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Duane Barker sacramento, CA 02-10-14
    Duane Barker sacramento, CA 02-10-14 Member Since 2010

    pleadesman

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    "AMAZING BOOK"
    Where does How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best books I have ever read. True, its no Huckleberry Finn. But the humorous practical advice is priceless, with a droll description of how we do things correctly, and how we do them wrongly.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There are no characters, Dilbert IS the character.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    How he doesnt believe in affimations although they always work when he uses them.


    What did you learn from How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big that you would use in your daily life?

    How to be successful,a nd how to avoid failures,a nd how to persevere, in real life.


    Any additional comments?

    This guy is smarter than he looks. WEll, I've never seen him, but he says his mirror does not give a favorable report. He is funny and savvy.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gerardo Austin, TX, United States 05-10-14
    Gerardo Austin, TX, United States 05-10-14 Member Since 2011

    Businessman, Technologist, Marketer. Loves to learn and enjoys books. Mostly nonfiction plus historic novels.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful Life Advice in a Fun Book"

    Would you take life advice from a comedian?

    Well, you should. I really enjoyed this audio book. It is one of those you don't want to end. It is enjoyable and funny. More importantly, it tells a rich story with tons of practical advice for your life, no matter your profession or life stage.

    Like me, you probably won't agree with everything. But even on those few points I did not agree with, I enjoyed listening to the story and it made me think. Not bad for a comedian. I have a lot more respect for Scott Adams and might buy more of his books.

    This could be a great gift book too. Recommended

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    André ORLANDO, FL, United States 05-09-14
    André ORLANDO, FL, United States 05-09-14 Member Since 2011

    I love AUDIBLE! I never get mad at traffic jams and can listen to many different books, despite of my short time.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertained me"

    Good book, worth listening to. I really liked Scott Adams, he seems to be a nice guy. And his stories amused me. He gives tips to how to succeed, that I think don't fit to everyone, but worked for him.
    Overall the book is a fast listening and lifts moods.
    Go for it!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ishwar Long Beach, CA, United States 03-31-14
    Ishwar Long Beach, CA, United States 03-31-14 Member Since 2003
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    "Cartoonists have special insight !"
    If you could sum up How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big in three words, what would they be?

    In the old days courts used to have a jester who was allowed to make fun of everyone including the royals and nobles.
    Scott Adams does make fun of a lot of things and his keen insight and advice is very good. For e.g the idea of putting on gym clothes even if you feel too tired to exercise. It really works. It is simple but certainly effective. Read or listen to this and I hope you find it as useful as I did.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big?

    When I heard the advice to put on gym clothes even if I was too tired to go.


    What about Patrick Lawlor’s performance did you like?

    Voice and variety


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nurlip 05-07-14
    Nurlip 05-07-14 Member Since 2012

    futurist

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    "Not a failure"

    I found this book both insightful and engaging. As other reviewers have stated, it is as much of an autobiography as it is a self help book so make of that what you want. I found the 'reasons' behind Adams' logic to be helpful in providing supporting evidence of their possible success. The book has a couple 'filler' chapters that easily could have and should have been left out (the chapter about his wife's 'planning' routines and dinner with their friends) as well as a couple at the end that were about nothing at all. However the first 2/3 of the book is excellent and very interesting as it gives a background on Dilbert and Scott Adams' other careers/business ventures.

    I am considering buying the kindle book just to have the text to look back on as there are some very good points made throughout that i would like to be able to refer back to often. I will almost definitely listen to (*most of) this book again. I would summarize this book as "Not a recipe for success but it can't hurt to try."

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    4th River 11-17-13
    4th River 11-17-13
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    "Great book."
    What was one of the most memorable moments of How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big?

    Very open about his life, luck, motivation.


    What does Patrick Lawlor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Patrick was a little dry.


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    Adams' use and recommendation of affirmations.


    Any additional comments?

    Not a terribly funny book, but good motivation and still humorous.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick 08-18-14
    Patrick 08-18-14

    The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

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    "A Mix of Memoir and Advice"

    There are some core aspects in our lives that Adams lays out that need attention in order for us to find our success. Adams believes that you need to tend to the groundwork for success by tending to your mind and body so as to allow yourself and your own set of talents and strengths to surface and flourish. Success is not easy but it's achievable...for anyone.

    Adams provides a set of skills and areas of knowledge towards which he thinks we should all vow a lifetime commitment to honing, learning, and mastering. These make up a manageable and sensible list that will help in dealing with life and other people.

    Overall the book is a bit of pleasant New Year's Resolution-type reading; nothing new but not the worst of it's genre either. I think there are some better books like this out there, so keep looking before you settle on this one.

    The narration was decent, but nothing to brag about.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Eagle Rock, CA, United States 07-18-14
    Ken Eagle Rock, CA, United States 07-18-14 Member Since 2003
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    "What happened to funny"

    I wanted to like this book. I enjoy the Dilbert cartoons and this seemed to be a chance to become familiar with the man behind the comic strip. And perhaps that's the problem. Written like a self-help book based on the author's travails, it comes across as egotistical, dry and preachy. The narrator's monotone voice with its sarcastic inflections would have been perfect for reading the comic strip but it is too much for a full book.

    Couldn't finish the book and gave-up halfway through it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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