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On February 27, 2014 (my birthday) I splurged and bought a book for 3 bucks called The Art of Being Unmistakable: A Collection of Essays About Making a Dent in The Universe [Kindle Edition] By: Srinivas Rao
I heard about this book on the Glenn Beck talk radio show. I’m not a regular to talk radio listener so it was just by chance that I heard the host talk about this book. I decided to investigate and then I bought the book.
I have read it several times since. It is a short book, but packed with insights and perspective that made a significant impact upon me. This book helped me see that I was going down the wrong path in my life and in my career.
This book was acted as a catalyst in the back of my mind to help me find the path to overcome some of my failures that were keeping me from what I love to do. When I did an honest assessment of what I’m good at, it became clear to me that while I was somewhat successful at work, because of some of my skills, I was not using all of skills and I was robbing myself of joy and a sense of purpose. I discover that I should do what I’m good at and capitalize on my full skill set. So I started writing again.
My new book, The Value of Failure, was conceived by aspiring to make what I’m trying to say unmistakable. In fact many of the choices I made were informed by the wisdom from Rao’s book.
Here are some parallels:
The Art of Being Unmistakable was in many ways is a book about failure and what Rao learned from those failures. His experience in the corporate world paralleled many of my experiences. It was that message that helped me look at all of my failures, all of my strengths and I deicide to make a change. In that realm, my previous failed writing attempts became my truth in understanding my failures and informed me on my new path.
I struggled many times wondering if I should turn my book into a more formal self-help format. I wanted my message to flow organically like Rao’s book. The idea of me preaching what I know didn’t seem authentic. I’m more unaccomplished that accomplished at this stage in my life. I’m really at the start of my journey.
And despite the reality that I have no legitimate right to declare that I have learned from my failures and assume that others want me to share that experience, I decided to be bold and just go for it.
I also took a risk in including my writing outtakes section in my book, which is basically a peak behind the curtain of writing. This was bold and it was yet another way to be different from other self-help books. Despite the flippant dialogue throughout my book this writing is from the heart and for me this level of exposure is uncharted territory.
I went through many many iterations around the title. I expose this chaotic process in part two of my book. Finally the title came as a direct result of looking at Rao’s title and trying to clearly articulate what I was trying to say.
I think the greatest complement for my book would be to hear from someone that beheld the message and they were intrigued and inspired. And so I’m here to report that The Art of Being Unmistakable helped me to believe that my message could be unmistakable. I believe that successful people have innate learning strategies that help them learn from their failures.
Most people wouldn’t use the term learning strategies, but that is in really what they are. Successful people create systems or frameworks to understand and learn from their failures. These systems and frameworks can be learned by others. My path is to explore, investigate, and share what I learn about this theory.
Unmistakable or forgettable?
Because a lot of my inspiration came from Rao’s book if it fails, I guess I can blame him?
Although he did say,
“Nobody is successful because they took somebody else’s roadmap and copied it.”
So I guess I’m on my own.
Rao has a sequel and I predict success and I also predict that reading that book will help me go even further in my journey.
Shane Lester is the Author of the new book: The Value of Failure
“This book will change everything you thought you knew about failure.”
Find me on Facebook @hackingfailure