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How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

Kind of the Story of My Life
Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (4,717 ratings)
Regular price: $20.99
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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.

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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.

20 of 22 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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    3 out of 5 stars

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."

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • VyTri
  • Surrey, BC, Canada
  • 12-22-13

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!

27 of 31 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

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

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This one succeeded!!!

If you could sum up How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big in three words, what would they be?

Systematic Motivational Smorgasbord

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

There were many many memorable moments for me personally; the idea that just by getting a new point of view can change a person immediately..how to motivate oneself to eat healthier by making it more convenient and making exercise enjoyable..the idea that the total sum of all skills is greater than each individual. But I think that the most memorable moment were the 8 steps to happiness...for me their are two important steps missing...but I must admit that Scott was very upfront about the fact that the ideas in his book are just a template that worked for him and that his goal was to get readers to find out for themselves what their personal steps are.

What about Patrick Lawlor’s performance did you like?

Excellent reading too. I have never heard Scott speak yet, but Patrick's voice was a perfect fit to the tone used in the book and although his style of reading sounds some what condescending (speaking from up there to us here below), still it was perfect for the somewhat sarcastic humorous tone that Scott uses throughout each chapter, which for me worked excellent and got my smiling and laughing out loud throughout the entire book.

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

Yes, absolutely!!!! This is one of those books that you wish would never end. Scott has a style of writing and speaking to the reader that grabs you, pulls you in and keeps you captive until the end. And even at the end when the prison doors are open, the time with Scott was so entertaining, motivational and above all educational..that instead of leaving you want to stay so that you can hear and learn more...

Any additional comments?

I am an audible member since 2006 and I own way over 600 audiobooks and more than a 1000 amazon books. Still, I am must confess that I am very disappointed with myself that this one is only the third book that I have ever reviewed (the two others are; one of the emyth books by micheal gerber and the practicing mind by thomas sterner). But the point I am trying to make is that there are very few books that I have considered so impact full that they got me to take out some time and write a review about them. This book by Scott Adams is among them. Very highly recommended.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Brock
  • Poulsbo, WA
  • 07-10-14

A very fun self-help book

Scott Adams' story is a great one, and the majority of his advice is very solid. I loved his advice on diet and exercise, and laughed out loud many times throughout the book. This book is far more interesting and enjoyable than most self-help books. The only reason I gave it four stars was that some of his ideas were a little too far out there in my opinion, especially about the power of affirmations to actually change the future, even where it wasn't related to his actions. Although, in his defense he admits it seems strange, he just tells how this concept played out in his life.

I think most people, like me, don't read self-help books with the intent of completely emulating everything the author says, but rather to find a few nuggets that can be implemented in our own lives. If you are looking for an entertaining book that can also give you ideas to improve your own life, I highly recommend listening to this book.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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    3 out of 5 stars

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.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ANDRÉ
  • ORLANDO, FL, United States
  • 05-09-14

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!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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What a practical great book!

Love the advice, love Scott's down to earth style and delivery. Would recommend to anyone at any stage of their life!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful