How to be a Complete & Utter Failure
in Life, Work & Everything

39 Steps to Lasting Underachievement

By Steve McDermott
Pearson Education Limited / Prentice Hall
December 2002
ISBN: 0-273-66166-3
160 Pages, Illustrated, 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
$32.50 paper original


This book turns the concept of self-improvement on its head. It brings together 39 and a half leading ideas in personal and business development, and offers a total antidote to the motivational, gung-ho, over-enthused tone of all the usual self-improvement guides. Delivered in fast, easily digestible chunks, in a style that makes you laugh while you learn, this book offers tongue-in-cheek advice about what not to do to ensure certain failure in every aspect of your life. From not having any goals, to not getting advice from people you've never met or who are dead, to not taking personal responsibility for your life and results, every idea, strategy, suggestion and story is guaranteed to propel you into the slow lane of total inadequacy.

How to be a Complete and Utter Failure comes with a warning - which you don't think about taking the direct opposite steps to those outlined in the guide, as this could seriously damage your chances of becoming a failure. Behind the humor, though, is good advice and a serious message. And whether you choose to heed the warning or not, it's an extremely entertaining read. The key difference from all other self-development books are: brevity WITH intelligence and humor, bringing together of a whole range of key ideas in one small book, the use of suggestion (and the 'don't do this' approach) to powerfully fix the ideas in the reader's mind while making the reading entertaining. This "un-improvement" guide offers 39 and a half steps to being a failure. The text is delivered in a "how not to" way using the power of reverse psychology to make its point.

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