I’m entirely too vain to contemplate killing myself. No matter how crappy I feel, no matter how much of a loser – the idea of ending it all just seems entirely too messy and dramatic to me.
But have I ever done anything so risky, put myself and my family and everything else out there, on the line? Umm, don’t think so. Not like Dan Waldschmidt (@DanWaldo) does in his book Edgy Conversations: How Ordinary People Can Achieve Outrageous Success.
Nothing Like Staring at the Barrel of a Gun to Put Things Into Perspective
So Waldschmidt got my attention. Not so much with the his barrel of a gun dramatic start to the book, but with his writing style. Artistic and yes, edgy. There’s something so magnetic about Edgy Conversations that you just have to keep reading.
Yes – it’s Another Success Book, and No it’s Not
He says it’s “not another success book”, but I’m not so sure about that. Success books are mostly the same. They scream, “Hey look at all of these amazing people who failed spectacularly, are you going to sit there and wallow because you think you’re a loser?”
I think what sets it apart from others isn’t the message, so much as the out and out honest and open style with which it’s written.
It’s got all the pre-requisite stories about people who were in the depths of their own crap and then came out of it by BEING rather than DOING. (If you haven’t been paying attention – this whole BEING trend is very hot right now – trust me, I’m doing it too). Waldschmidt takes it to another level, however.
He takes every single one of the 178 GORGEOUS pages of Edgy Conversations to shake you out of your mundane way of thinking and throws some ice cold water on your pity party. (And don’t say you don’t feel sorry for yourself, because if you’re really running a business – you know that you rise and fall hundreds of times during any given day.)
Stop Whining About Wanting It and DO What It Takes to Get It
Chapter after chapter (which have no numbers, by the way) Waldschmitdt brings home the same point; saying you want to be successful, whining about it, dreaming about it, and complaining about it isn’t what gets you there.
Being successful is a function of deciding that you’re going to become more than you ever thought you could and then doing everything it takes to get there. There are more than 1,000 examples of “ordinary people doing extraordinary things” to move you along and keep you motivated. Along the way he gives tips, pointers, advice and to-dos to help you get there.
All in all, I would say that he tells it like it is – even though most of us don’t want to hear it.
Here’s a snippet from the chapter entitled “The Discipline of Denying:”
“The addiction to immediate gratification is killing your dream. Addiction is not a good model for inspired living. In fact, it’s unbelievably damaging.
Discussions about addiction usually focus on personal faces like gambling or alcohol, drugs or pornography. Addictions that are socially unacceptable. Addictions that have obvious, dramatic and negative effects.
But no one discusses the subtle, seemingly and not U with addictions that rob us of our true potential. We are not good at admitting the ugly side of under-performance:
We are addicted to fear. We are addicted to making excuses. We’re addicted to passive aggression. We’re addicted to selfishness. We’re addicted to listening to the crowd. We are addicted to vegging in front of the TV. We’re addicted to the safety of a paycheck. We’re addicted to comfort. We’re addicted to taking the easy way out. These are socially acceptable addictions.”
There’s More to This Book Than the Pages it’s Written On
I received a review “package” not just a book. Edgy Conversations showed up in a box that contained a brochure, a miniature workbook and a note pad to help me get and stay EDGY.
From the moment I cracked the book open, I knew it would be different. The page normally reserved for quotes from famous people simply said:
“This is where you would normally find opinions and quotes from a bunch of people who say they read the book and liked it. But really, the only opinion that matters is yours. So read the book and see what you think.”
Who is This Edgy Guy Anyway?
At this stage of the review, you’re probably wondering who Dan Waldschmidt is and how he got into this barrel of a gun moment, how he got out of it and how he’s able to inspire so many. I’m going to tell you.
He claims he’s not that special or unique, and yet he’s done all the things that successful entrepreneurs do. He started a lawn mowing business at 12, he ran track and pushed himself to break the school’s mile record, he got an entry level job out of college, changed the sales process, added millions in sales and became CEO at 25.
These days he’s a world leading business turn-around strategist, a popular speaker and has what the Wall Street Journal calls one of the top business blogs anywhere on the Internet. There’s more, but you get the picture.
Dan practices what he preaches in Edgy Conversations. He’s unabashedly honest about what’s so and while he says anyone can be successful, I would have to disagree. Not everyone has the guts, tenacity, and discipline that he writes about in Edgy Conversations. But if you’re willing to take on having Edgy Conversations you just might become everything you dare to dream.