Get Your Free Audiobook

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 48 mins
5 out of 5 stars (38 ratings)

Non-member price: $34.13

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

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."

©2013 Scott Adams (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Adams has a funny, refreshingly considered set of ideas about how to find success - and what that success will look like when one gets there." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Scott Adams has drawn nearly 9,000 Dilbert cartoons since the strip began, in 1989, and his cynical take on management ideas, the effectiveness of bosses, and cubicle life has affected the worldview of millions. But he built his successful career mainly through trial and error - a whole lot of error, to be exact." (Harvard Business Review)

What listeners say about How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    32
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    27
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    29
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Must Read For Everyone!

If you're considering reading this book - DO IT!
Scott Adams is my favourite thinker in that he calms me down, cheers me up and challenges to me think differently.
My only complaint is that Scott doesn't read this book himself. The reader does a pretty good job, but Scott is a professional public speaker and explains things brilliantly himself - please re-record this book yourself Scott!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Van
  • 02-04-2020

Great little story.

He doesn't claim to be an expert it's a really light and funny story with some simple messages about success.

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

good

exceptionally narrated . self help books sprinkled with good humour . some good concepts and ideas

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Teancum144
  • Teancum144
  • 22-02-2020

Best Audiobook I've Ever Read

Entertaining, funny, and profoundly insightful!! Superb narration! I wish I'd read this 20 years ago because I'd likely be more successful. First audiobook I'll read over and over again -- it's that good!! Highly recommend!!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Andy P.
  • Andy P.
  • 13-02-2020

A personal testimony of the value of striving

After enjoying LoserThink, I thought I'd read this earlier book, and my biggest disappointment is that Adams didn't narrate it himself. Adams can't help but write in a highly personal way, so when it's someone else's voice, it's a jarring experience.

What you have to love about Adams, even when you might now agree with him, is his honesty. The book is essentially a biography. He's like an old relative telling you about his life, and it's been an interesting life from which we can take two main points. Persistence make it easier for luck to find you. Generalization makes it easier to exploit your opportunities when you get them. Of course, like any old relative, there are the quirks and the obsessions, which while probably not good advice, reflects the reality that successful folks have their own flaws, just like you do.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 11-02-2020

Obvious until you hear it

The book was easy to listen to, was funny, and informative. A lot of the concepts are practical and it makes sense that they propel success once you hear it. Great life advice.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Brandon Parker
  • Brandon Parker
  • 02-12-2019

Crunchy Tips You Can Use Today

I love books that suggest specific tips and tactics. this book changed my routine. I'm closer to certified gangster after reading it.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Edward
  • Edward
  • 08-08-2020

Scott Adams’ best book

If your looking for a book that will improve your life overall, THIS IS IT. Scott Adams manages to simplify techniques that will make life easier and guide you towards success in everything you puede. Truly a must read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Adam Diaz
  • Adam Diaz
  • 23-07-2020

best book I've read all year.

Scott. thank you.. never read a Dilbert comic in my life. ran across your name from tools of Titans and thought you had a wise and fantastic view point. in fact, the part on multiple skills increasing success was the first thing I read to my wife out of your book (and I only read her they very best parts). I had to get your book! and after listening to it at 2.25x (this guy reads sooo sloooow) I loved it! I actually want to outline your book! I was thinking of dozens of ideas to spin of much off what you were saying. thank you for taking the time to share your world view with the world. I think you have made the planet a better place because of it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 22-07-2020

Win big ya all

One of the best self help books i have ever read. Thanks Scott. Love from Pakistan.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Cody
  • Cody
  • 21-07-2020

Good but hard to listen through

There were a lot of genuine points in this book. However it was hard to listen to it and my mind not think of other things because I was bored.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for xmasshopper
  • xmasshopper
  • 09-07-2020

Extraordinarily good advice from a professional cartoonist!

Scott Adams touches on a lot of things in this book which can be a bit overwhelming. However, there are a few key concepts that are driven home repeatedly. For me, those concepts are very enlightening.

Any book which provides advice should be taken with a grain of salt and Scott Adams encourages that thinking when reading this book.

I don’t want to spoil the book or trivialize the key concepts with a summary. I just highly
recommend you read it and take out of it what makes sense for you.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-06-2020

Simply worth your time

Another thought provoking, entertaining , uplifting story told from the eyes of a funny guy.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for ModernEfficientDesign
  • ModernEfficientDesign
  • 09-07-2020

A blend of funny and self-help

Having read pretty much every pop psychology and self help book out there, I enjoyed this one a lot. It feels to me like a blend between a synopsis of Steven Covey’s “7 Habits” and James Altucher’s “Choose Yourself”. Adams is similar to Altucher in his self-deprecating tone. Most of the book is focussed on describing his own ineptitude in life, career and business adventures, yet pointing out that overall it all still worked out for him. The writing is gently amusing and mostly anecdotal yet provides some very easy to follow advice on many aspects of life.
My takeaway from this book is that happiness can be defined as: being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want. The what and the when are equally important.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 25-04-2020

Recommended!

I really liked it, many good ideas and ovelall approach. Only surprisingly a lot of coffee advertising, and coffee I think is the last thing on earth that needs extra marketing

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Joz
  • Joz
  • 23-03-2020

great read

Enjoyed this book and will be putting some new systems in place going forward. highly recommend.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for DarkKnight
  • DarkKnight
  • 20-01-2020

Excellent

A brilliant book that is well written, practical and engaging. Well worth the listen, even more than once.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 15-05-2020

Outstanding

I came across the Title of this Book awhile ago but only recently had a chance to sit down and take it in. This is a Brilliant and 'must listen to' for ANYONE that seeks to get the most out of themselves.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-02-2020

Refreshing and powerful

Masterfully executed and brilliantly articulated. I realise how little I understand elements of life which I can't explain simply. Scott Adams keeps it simple.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Peter ayeni
  • Peter ayeni
  • 09-01-2020

Definitely worth listening to/reading

Brilliantly written, isn’t pretentious and offers a simplified perspective on life.
Increase your odds of winning by listening/reading this book.