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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

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (496 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ken Eagle Rock, CA, United States 07-18-14
    Ken Eagle Rock, CA, United States 07-18-14 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Ann E. Wendel Minnesota 05-24-14
    Ann E. Wendel Minnesota 05-24-14 Member Since 2011

    AnnE

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    "What a disappointment!"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone who needs unfounded advice for everything they do.


    Has How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I bought Scott Adams because I thought it would be funny. Instead, it's Scott Adams telling us how to do everything, such as thank people graciously and make conversation. I wasn't looking that kind of advice, and wouldn't seek if from a cartoonist. Succeeding in making a cartoon strip does not, in my opinion, qualify him to tell me how to make conversation.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Performance was fine.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointed in Scott Adams. His advice may be fine when he gives speeches for particular purposes to particular groups, but is a bunch of self-righteous drivel when bunched together in a book.


    Any additional comments?

    I stopped partway through. Don't want to hear this junk.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David J. Hudson Chicago 04-17-14
    David J. Hudson Chicago 04-17-14

    lyricsandbook

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    "Entertaining - but not too Coherent"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Scott Adams specializes in quick humor, basically 10-20 second bursts of funny in his wonderful Dilbert comic strip. This book is kind of like that, really more a collection of anecdotes. The opening chapter promises sort of a theme, but there isn't much of a thread tying everything together. The anecdotes are fun, but the title almost tells you as much as anything in the story. Basically, the message is: Don't be afraid to fail. That doesn't necessarily make up a whole book, but this is fun for what it is worth.


    Which character – as performed by Patrick Lawlor – was your favorite?

    Patrick Lawlor's rendition of this book was spot-on. No issues with the performance.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Saint Charles, MO, United States 04-16-14
    David Saint Charles, MO, United States 04-16-14 Member Since 2013

    Giving out fewer stars because I was inflating my start in a way that did not differentiate the mediocre and the fantastic.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not the Typical Success Book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to a friend, and suggest that they get the print version as well. I don't like these 'success' books in general because they simply tend not to offer me much more than I already knew, but I like Scott Adams' style so I picked this up on the daily deal. It has given me a great deal to think about, and I intend to put into practice much of what Scott wrote about.

    I am giving my daughter and son each a copy of the book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Scott Adams' view on goals as opposed to systems may be the one thing that helps me improve my life for the better.


    Which character – as performed by Patrick Lawlor – was your favorite?

    I don't know if this is intentional or not, but Mr. Lawlor spoke in a way that I could really imagine Mr. Adams would speak.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Again, the system vs. goal.


    Any additional comments?

    If you tend to be a goal oriented perfectionist that always feels you are behind the curve you should read this book.

    If you seldom enjoy reaching your goals because you know there is another one to shoot for you should read this book.

    If you laugh at the thought of stupid things like affirmations thinking only of Smiley from the SNL skits this book is for you.

    If you tend to be a pessimist, especially concerning your own self worth this book is for you.

    Will this book make your rich? No. Only you can do that by paying the price. But if you are looking for a knew way of viewing yourself within the world this is a great book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    coldwaraaron 08-31-14 Member Since 2010
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    "One of the best things I've ever experienced"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would absolutely recommend this book to a friend.

    I've read or listened to all the great "how to succeed" books, but few have offered as much great advice and living advice as this one. Scott did a great job of explaining his systems and thinking about work and life, and why they led him to success.

    I can say honestly that this book is life changing. It's one that I'll be re-listening to more than a few times.

    On top of being full of great advice and thinking strategies, it's really funny and honest. Scott Adams has written what might be the perfect book for anyone seeking a good life.

    Buy it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The author.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The chapter in which he explains how food affects energy, and why it's important to pay attention to how you feel after consuming different kinds of food. But the whole book is full of great stuff.


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

    Absolutely.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LeeMar 08-30-14
    LeeMar 08-30-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Saves you Money and Time"
    Any additional comments?

    If you've read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The Power of Habit, and Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People. You want to stay away. Seems like he read all these and Wrote about his experiences using the methods taught in each book. Even refers to all three in some point in the book. IF you haven't read those 3 books. I would definitely suggest you pick up this because it's like you're getting 3 for the price of one. Along with some additional humor added. For me this book was a nice reminder and what i was looking for at the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Ellis Greenville SC 08-28-14
    B. Ellis Greenville SC 08-28-14 Listener Since 2008
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    "Great stuff to think about"
    What made the experience of listening to How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big the most enjoyable?

    wasn't boring and had a lot of unique and interesting points of view.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    NA


    Which scene was your favorite?

    NA


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    parts of it made me laugh - it is written by a cartoonist, after all...


    Any additional comments?

    A lot of what he said took me by surprise, it was a real pleasure to listen to and I will probably listen to again and again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Svetlana PITTSBURGH, PA, United States 08-05-14
    Svetlana PITTSBURGH, PA, United States 08-05-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Brilliant Writer!"
    What did you love best about How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big?

    Scott Adams really knows how to communicate with his audience and he portrays serious topics alongside humor really well, without ever losing the message of the book in the details.


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

    Patrick Lawlor did a phenomenal reading, I truly perceived his voice as being the voice of Scott Adams, he embodied the work so beautifully, it was absolutely flawless.


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big?

    There was definitely plenty of advice that you could potentially follow, but above all else, I couldn't stop listening because afterwards I always felt happier and more inclined towards productivity. This audiobook has done for me what no amount of encouragement from anywhere else ever could. I applaud Scott Adams genius in writing and Patrick Lawlor's talent in making the words come alive.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea Murfreesboro, TN, United States 08-05-14
    Andrea Murfreesboro, TN, United States 08-05-14 Member Since 2013
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    "My Husband & I both LOVED this book!"
    What made the experience of listening to How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big the most enjoyable?

    It was relevant, true, and I could not stop listening or thinking about it.


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

    Lots of laugh out loud funny moments... but still informative.


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big?

    It was an attitude changer and a new way of looking at things.


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth the time and money.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LMcL SAN DIEGO, CA USA 07-18-14
    LMcL SAN DIEGO, CA USA 07-18-14 Member Since 2009

    Tiggi Lit Lee

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Perfect graduation present!"
    Where does How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the top 20%. It's a self-help book told by someone who learned it all the hard way. He tells the truth and sometimes it's pretty funny too. There are lots and lots of tips on how the world really works in here. Easy to read. Not guilt inducing. Gives you an edge up.


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

    Going to a job interview in casual clothes and without a coat.


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

    Emotion. Character.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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