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

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Portfolio/Penguin, 2014 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages
Blasting clichéd career advice, the contrarian pundit and creator of Dilbert recounts the humorous ups and downs of his career, revealing the outsized role of luck in our lives and how best to play the system.

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 game plan he's followed since he was a teen: invite failure in, embrace it, then pick its pocket.

No career guide can offer advice 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 how he turned one failure after another--including his corporate career, his inventions, his investments, and his two restaurants--into something good and lasting. There's a lot to learn from his personal story, and a lot of entertainment along the way. 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.

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."

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Daniel.Estes - LibraryThing

Adams' newest book is a gem IF you happen to prefer his purposefully tactless sense of humor. (I welcome it.) He is after all the creator of Dilbert so thumbs-up to a slightly outsized ego and don't ... Read full review

HOW TO FAIL AT ALMOST EVERYTHING AND STILL WIN BIG: Kind of the Story of My Life

User Review  - Kirkus

Failing and succeeding, the sarcastic comic-strip-artist way.Dilbert creator Adams has failed where others have succeeded, and he has a chapter to prove it: a 10-page list of mistakes, misfires and ... Read full review

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About the author (2014)

Scott Adams is the creator of Dilbert, one of the most popular comic strips of the past quarter century. He has been a full-time cartoonist since 1995, after 16 years as a technology worker for companies like Crocker National Bank and Pacific Bell. His many bestsellers include The Dilbert Principle and Dogbert's Top Secret Management Handbook. He lives outside of San Francisco.

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