The book exploits the techniques of its genre to draw a firm distinction between status-driven “market success” and a more enduring, humane, and sustainable idea of what it means to make it in a capitalist society. “Market success has led to millions of deaths around the world,” Neumann argues, pointing to climate change and cancer caused by pursuit of profits with little care for side effects, and wars fought over oil. Elsewhere, he insists that “What market success does to you is to commit perspectivecide,” meaning that it limits a person’s understanding of what truly matters. However, his book is no screed of denunciation. As he links titans of industry to his factors for true success, readers may wish for an acknowledgment of the seeming contradiction that those titans’ profits depended on the consumerism Neumann calls a “behavioral addiction.”
Neumann advocates for four qualitative factors of true success: compassionate service to others, a life fully lived, a commitment to achieving a vision, and a feeling of eternal joy. He encourages readers to apply familiar business success techniques (perseverance, making opportunity out of obstacles) towards a goal grander than the acquisition of wealth or status: the rewiring of ideas of what a successful life looks like. There’s much here that will intrigue readers who want to attain personal success without undue costs to those around them.
Takeaway: Readers looking to thread the needle of material success without exploitation will find this self-help book a useful guide.
Great for fans of Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Og Mandino.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A-