Monday, February 4, 2013

Make your own rules: A renegade guide to unconventional success

Make your own rules: A renegade guide to unconventional success
By Wayne Rogers with Josh Young

Book review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

Having written a number of "rules" books myself, this one immediately caught my attention and intrigued me; however, I was skeptical from the outset because of the words "renegade," and "unconventional" in the title and then the author, Wayne Rogers, Trapper John on the TV series M*A*S*H, made me suspicious as well. What was there not to be skeptical about?

Then you read the front flyleaf about Rogers’ background: "since graduating from Princeton University, has applied his own iconoclastic vision to a wide range of business including a vinyard, a famous bridal boutique, a chain of convenience stores, the worlds of banking and real estate, a restaurant, a film distribution company, and more" (front flyleaf), and your interest is likely to be piqued somewhat.

The writing was comfortable, easy, and accessible. The examples were numerous and well incorporated, and although there were no footnotes, bibliography, or references, the book is based on Rogers’ personal experience—there is a lot of that—his analogies combining the world of business with his own experiences were apt, interesting, and in many cases, simply delightful.

Admittedly, his suggestions, experiences, and advice will not be appropriate for everyone and certainly won’t apply to everyone, but I found his ideas productive, interesting, and useful. Much of it, of course, is common sense, being in the right place at the right time, luck, fortunate connectivity, and basic abilities—but that’s all right since a successful life depends on these factors anyway. And what this book does is provide support and encouragement; nothing wrong with that!

If you like basic business books, straightforward personal advice based on a wide variety of business ventures, and a good (interesting) read, this is a good choice. It is by no means a great choice, but it serves its purpose well.

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