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

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

44 1/2 steps to lasting underachievement
2nd Edition

Steve McDermott

Jun 2007, Paperback, 208 pages
ISBN13: 9780273706076
ISBN10: 0273706071
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How to be a Complete and Utter Failure turns the concept of self-improvement on its head. It brings together 43 and a half leading ideas in personal and business development, and offers a total antedote 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 and has been tested with thousands of real people.

How to be a Complete and Utter Failure comes with a warning - that 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 humour, though, is good advice and a serious message. And whether you choose to heed the warning or not, it's an extremely entertaining read.

Preface to the second edition

How to get the most from this guide


Step one Don’t decide what you want. If you do decide what you want, don’t think about why you want it. And if you do decide why you want it, commit to believing you can’t have it.

Step two Don’t do things on purpose

Step three Don’t stop working for a living

Step four Don’t know what you value in life (and if you do, lose sight of it)

Step five Don’t spend any of your time in the future

Step six Don’t have any goals

Step seven If you do have goals, don’t put them in writing, and if you do, don’t think too big

Step eight Don’t plan your priorities

Step nine Don’t involve other people

Step ten Don’t have a mentor or be a mentor

Step eleven Don’t get advice from people you’ve never met or who are dead

Step twelve Don’t take action right now

Step thirteen Don’t get feedback on your actions

Step fourteen Don’t adjust

Step fifteen Don’t get even more feedback, don’t be flexible…(you get the idea)

Step sixteen Don’t practise continuous improvement

Step seventeen Don’t wear a parachute

Step eighteen Don’t change your beliefs

Step nineteen Don’t stop having a deep fear of failure and of making a fool of yourself

Step twenty Don’t take personal responsibility for your life and results

Step twenty-one Don’t stop believing in luck

Step twenty-two Don’t expand your comfort zone

Step twenty-three Don’t use inside-out thinking

Step twenty-four Don’t put things in before you try to take things out

Step twenty-five Don’t control your moods

Step twenty-six Don’t transform your language

Step twenty-seven Don’t think about the first four minutes

Step twenty-eight Don’t talk and think about what you want

Step twenty-nine Don’t go to the movies

Step thirty Don’t stop being an unthinking dog

Step thirty-one Don’t ask ‘How do you do that?’ Don’t act ‘as if’. And don’t be naïve.

Step thirty-two Don’t change the meaning of things

Step thirty-three Don’t stop thinking only about money, money, money

Step thirty-four Don’t have a good laugh

Step thirty-five Don’t be creative or innovative

Step thirty-six Don’t think of your own idea to go here

Step thirty-seven Don’t stop always taking ‘no’ for an answer

Step thirty-eight Don’t be grateful

Step thirty-nine Don’t commit to lifelong learning

Step forty Don’t be a leader

Step forty-one Don’t learn to communicate

Step forty-two Don’t understand the secrets of great teams and great customer service

Step forty-three Don’t develop winners and winning relationships

Step forty-four Don’t step up. Don’t do extraordinary things

Step forty-four-and-a-half Don’t stop doing everything by halves, that’s if you do anything at all.

  • At last... a simple easy-read book of self-development and success that tackles the subject with a sense of humour.
  • This book is simple, direct, amusing, and it works.
  • Steve McDermott's is established as one of the top UK motivational speakers.
  • It brings together a whole range of key ideas in one small book.
  • Every idea, strategy, suggestion and story in the book has been tested with thousands of real people via the author's own work as a speaker, trainer, coach and consultant.

Steve McDermott has been established as one of the UK's top motivational speakers and his personal brand is growing.

His work includes being a motivational speaker, coach, trainer and consultant.