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Publisher's Summary

Leslie Odom Jr. burst on the scene in 2015, originating the role of Aaron Burr in the Broadway musical phenomenon Hamilton. Since then he has performed for sold-out audiences, sung for the Obamas at the White House, and won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. But before he landed the role of a lifetime in one of the biggest musicals of all time, Odom put in years of hard work as a singer and an actor.

With personal stories from his life, Odom asks the questions that will help you unlock your true potential and achieve your goals even when they seem impossible. What work did you put in today that will help you improve tomorrow? How do you surround yourself with people who will care about your dreams as much as you do? How do you know when to play it safe and when to risk it all for something bigger and better?

These stories will inspire you, motivate you, and empower you for the greatness that lies ahead, whether you're graduating from college, starting a new job, or just looking to live each day to the fullest.

Cover photo by Christopher Boudewyns

©2018 Leslie Odom Jr. (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Listening to Leslie Odom, Jr., it's clear that he approached the narration of his audiobook with the same attention to craft, preparation, and openness that he strives to bring to all of his projects.... Listeners will be glad to spend time in his company." (AudioFile)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the most profound reads I've heard yet!

At one of my lost/ lows at the time I've heard this reading, it was profound to me on account of losing my job, at home (my brother's home) on the couch, "waiting on calls" for job offers, feeling worried, and sorry for myself, this book couldn't have come at a better time! This book read out a loud that I can "try harder ", more proactively to help myself out of my situation! Thank you Leslie Odom Jr. for a book with real depth of self excellence !

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

When you take one step, the universe takes two

My only wish is that there was more. I really enjoyed this and found it inspirational. Fail up. Don’t be afraid to fail. TRY. Take the risk and jump. Fly.

22 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Inspirational

Good story. Could have been shorter. Got repetitive. But a good story nonetheless. Epilogue was poignant!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Just what I needed to hear

Any additional comments?

As a working actor, who continuously goes through the feast and famine that this industry offers, the internal and emotional struggles that is inevitable to go through during this perpetual hustle, Leslie Odom Jr.'s book really hits home and speaks to my inner self and has helped center me, inspire me, allow me to accept the decisions I've made or am making and pushed me to keep learning, to say No when needed without remorse and never to be afraid to fail. Well done and thank you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book!

What did you love best about Failing Up?

I loved his message and energy - he gives a real view into his experiences leading into Hamilton and afterwards.

What other book might you compare Failing Up to and why?

I would compare it to Michael Strahan's autobiography. If you like his book, you will like this one.

What about Leslie Odom Jr.’s performance did you like?

Very clear, very well paced.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The Leslie Odom story - how to become the actor you want to be.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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mesmerizing and intuitive

There's no lack of positive words I could use to describe this audio book, performed with an appealing candor it was an easy listen that I had to continually repeat because of getting lost in the story I wasn't absorbing the life lessons, phenomenal I would reccomend this to anyone.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I Loved This Book

I’ve personally known Leslie for a long time. I’ve seen his unique and meteoric star rise and I understand exactly why and how he’s sculpted this life for himself and his family. It wasn’t luck. It was him. His diligence, self-belief, strong work ethic, proactiveness, good vibes, and willingness to fail of course. Getting to know him on another level through this book was truly special. It doesn’t happen often. Read this book. Listen to this book. You’ll be glad you did.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

I wish this would have been a biography instead

A straight autobiography would have been more impactful. Leslie recounts specific events in his life to demonstrate certain values, and unfortunately it comes off preachy.
His personal stories are told too briefly and incredibly flatly- it would go from "I married my best friend, love of my life" to "my life wasn't great and I was depressed" in the same paragraph with little transition and little detail to gain meaning.
His successes are so extraordinary that when he tries to impress a life lesson, it's cheapened by the lack of narrative around his struggles. Instead, "fail spectacularly" was repeated again and again, with little substance to inspire.
Most of the stories in this book is easily found elsewhere, so I would pass on this if you're looking for more insight into Leslie's life. I would also pass if you're looking for life lessons.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Trust the closed door!!

I thought this was profound. TRUST THE CLOSED DOOR. I love that!!!! Great voice! Nice to hear his story. Calm and easy to listen to book. I had no idea who this guy was but sounds like he is up and coming! Keep up the good work.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

READ THIS BOOK AND CHANGE FOREVER!!

Of course you are waiting for him to sing, his smooth voice leads you into a time vacuum of which you are challenged and humbled by. This man is a legend, this book is your key to the ground floor. Lastly there is a message in his deep smokie voice..." move towards the thing that makes you feel alive"...Selah!!!

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  • KHenderson
  • 04-11-18

Adored this

I am now an even bigger fan of Leslie Odom Jr. what a brilliant man! Very honest and open book!
Just wish it would have been longer!!! Wanted more!!