By Scott Adams, Penguin, October 22, 2013 1591846919
Scott Adamslikes to fail, or perhaps, accepts his failures with grace. Anybody who invested in WebVan must have been humbled. He also invested in restaurants, a burrito company, and velcro rosin bags. None of these were successful. He laughs about them and more. He offers some sage advice, too.
Scott’s book is an odd mixture of self-help, business, and memoir. He talks about losing his voice for a few years and being unable to draw, both of which hampered his career. He helped himself by finding cures for these maladies through optimism, force of will, and luck.
Luck doesn’t happen, it’s made. You create opportunities by trying lots of things, knowing when to quit, and having systems to deal with the eventual outcomes.
He is conflicted. Passion is for losers. Yet, he wanted to be a comic strip author since he was a young boy. He followed his passion by practicing maniacally. Eat right, exercise, and have a work-life balance. When he started Dilbert, he worked a full-time job at PacBell, and drew Dilbert through the night. He wasn’t exercising or eating right in those days. To me, his passion and overwork made Dilbert a success, not his diet and health club membership. He says goals are for losers, but he has had lots of goals in his life, which turned into systems over time.
Systems are for winners. Scott recommends plenty of them. He recommends adding as many skills as you can, learning accounting, learn to write, public speaking, etc. Good advice for everyone.
I listened to the audio book. I would have scanned the ebook faster, I’m sure. It was entertaining, but not as entertaining as you would expect from a comic book author. I’m not sure I walked away with anything new, however. If you haven’t read a lot of business/self-help books, How To Fail is certainly more enjoyable than most.