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change to the various Succeeding editions

The following is list of improvements in third edition of the book Succeeding compared to the second edition. Farther down the page is a comparison of the 1st and second editions.

2nd edition

3rd edition

324 pages

320 pages

50 chapters

44 chapters

New chapters are:
7 “Trust the Force, Luke”
13 Be yourself
29 Change over time (your need to deal with internal changes in your body, mind, and family status and external changes in the world around you over the course of your life)

Eliminated chapters:
2 The Price of Success
5 ‘Little Old You-ism’ consolidated with “Little Old Me-ism” chapter to reduce blank space
17 Values consolidated with Reputation chapter to reduce blank space
28 Finding information consolidated with Educating yourself chapter to reduce blank space
29 Copyrights and patents
30 Taking a company public
31 Market size
32 Agility rewritten from scratch with a different perspective in the new Change over time chapter


In the future, refer to the online errata page for this book to see updates, improvements, additional information, and corrections to the 3rd edition

written 20008

written 2011


greatly expanded number of bold-type succeeding rules


detailed discussion of the FHA Home Equity Conversion Mortgage which has surprisingly excellent characteristics for protecting you from probably hyperinflation or a possible depression. This used to be called a reverse annuity mortgage. It is a long-term asset that pays you not in cash, which may lose purchasing power, but in the right to occupy your home rent and mortgage payment free for as long as you can live there. This is in the Die Broke chapter.


The Educating yourself chapter takes increasing note of the skyrocketing cost of formal education programs like college, and the declining payback from college degrees. It discusses what parts of your education really matter in your career, like personal finance and writing skills, and the parts that are a waste of your time like foreign languages (unless you will move to the country in question), being politically indoctrinated by leftist college professors, and finding the symbolism in literature. It also discusses the infinitely greater cost-effectiveness of gaining the real knowledge you need by reading or attending specific valuable courses outside of formal university degree-granting programs.

I have become, somewhat to my surprise, an expert in six fields: real estate investment, football coaching, baseball coaching, self-publishing, succeeding, and protecting yourself from monetary instability. Educating yourself explains the three steps to becoming an expert. Everyone needs to become an expert in their career field. Your expertise in your field is the main source of your success and competitiveness.


Change will happen in your life. Expect and it plan for it. If you fail to do that, you may succeed, but not for long. The new Change over time chapter discusses in detail both the internal (inside your body, mind, and family) and external (like technology, laws, fashion) change you will experience and have to adjust to over the course of your life. Some change you know is going to happen and the new edition tells you how to think about it and prepare for it. Other change is unexpected. That is discussed in both the “Change over time” and “Risk” chapters.

Some things you could do physically when you were young you cannot do when you get older, although most young people would do a poor job of drawing up a list and schedule of those things. Older people can do more physically than most people think but to be sure they cannot do everything. Your mind also changes as you get older, not in the sense of diseases like Alzheimer's but more in terms of graduating from worrying about things like proving your a man or overvaluing wealth and fame. If a young person embeds the immaturities of the young mind too deeply into his career plan, he will find he has gone up a dead end road as much as a great gymnast who never expects to stop making the Olympic team no matter how old he gets or a young person who has great need to prove his worth as a person to himself and others and fails to recognize that such needs to prove oneself are merely transitory parts of youth, not long-term career activities.

People underestimate the power of fashion. Many an otherwise sound career plan has come to ruin because the industry in question simply fell out of fashion without warning—like fedora hats in 1961 or being a folk singer in the 1970s or being a personal sports coach to children which is currently going strong, but was almost non-existent years ago and probably will fall out of fashion in the future.

Below is a list of changes between the 1st and the 2nd editions of Succeeding.

The new chapters I added include:

  • Investment
  • Risk

If you have been hurt by the recent financial meltdown, or are worried about it, you will welcome the new chapters on investment and risk. If you had the book before, and followed its advice, you would now be better off or at least less worried. Better late than never.

First edition

Second edition

205 pages

320 pages

47 chapters

50 chapters
New chapters are:
8 What you can change and not charge
24 Investment
25 Risk
48 Health
49 Appearance


In the future, refer to the online errata page for this book to see updates, improvements, additional information, and corrections to the 2nd edition

written 2003

written 2008


insight from the 2008 book The Logic of Life by Tim Harford


two new pages of discussion about when changing geographic locations is advisable and when not—young people tend to be too quick to assume geography is the source of their unhappiness


expanded discussion of the role masochism plays in many so-called “elite” organizations


new 16-page chapter on What you can change and not change—prevents you from wasting time trying to change things about yourself like your personality, speed, body type, leadership ability, talent, and so forth—tells you instead to change your career or spouse to match better with the unchangeable things about you—take time to make sure you possess or do not possess various unchangeable characteristics—public speaking—long list of thing you can and should change including some surprises—aging correctly—what you cannot postpone—friends and associates—changing your knowledge, some parts of your appearance, strength, some parts of health, safety habits, tools of your job, marriage, new goals—changing your life


additional insights on matching yourself to a career from the Canadian book Unique Ability including gradations of good a poor matches—discussion of my co-coach who was selected by a Communist government for his athletic ability and assigned to the best match sport and drafted into a sports academy as a child—new discussion of the value of shadowing as a way to learn about a career—another five-year point in my table of the various part-time jobs I combine for a full-time career and income


spouse choice—discussion of the fact that breaking up and getting engaged are arguably equivalent albeit in opposite directions in that both decisions are supposedly permanent and improved ways to handle dialing down a relationship and reconnecting


wealth—discussion of the need for a liquidation schedule, that is, spending the wealth you achieved rather than mindlessly accumulating more money that you need or ever spend


Investment—need for automatic savings plan—specific, sound investment advice—best practices for investment—asset allocation—the only correct bonds to buy—best stock strategy—index funds—stock picking—foreign stocks—REITs—your time horizon—tax avoidance—back testing—rebalancing—things not to do—inflation protection


Risk—luck versus skill situations—protection from bad luck—“heads you win tails the other guy loses” structures—earned versus unearned bonuses—true calculated risks—expected value—risk is not necessary—discrete nature of risks—iteration diversity—the unknowable—non-financial risk


The importance and value of self-distribution of your products, if possible, when you are self-employed


Working for other people—the propensity of bosses to see any difference between the way you behave and the way they do as a reproach—the importance of getting into a position where your performance is clearly measurable, like commissions or piece rates if you have to be in a large organization


Making an honest living—details of the “counseling session” where your first boss tries to convince you—maybe on your first day or during your first week or month of your career—to “play the game” and compromise your integrity because “that’s the way it is”—the proper response to that counseling session—earmarks of dishonest industries to avoid


Health—being a health millionaire—sources of good health—diet—body mass index—muscle definition—obesity—waist-to-hip ratio—body fat percentage—dietary supplements—weight-loss tips


Appearance—height——hair—what the opposite sex really values—glasses—teeth—plastic surgery—working out—exercise tricks—clothes—skin—confidence