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The Upside of Fear

One man's journey from rags to riches

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The Upside of Fear does a fine job of showing how anyone can change their life

  • Nov 13, 2009
  • by

This is the true story of one man’s journey from rags to riches.

The author was a twenty-something alcoholic high school dropout; overall, a pretty dislikable person. One night, driving around in his pickup, he picks up a hitchhiker. Fueled by large amounts of beer and cocaine, they rob a couple of businessmen coming out of a Colorado restaurant. They are arrested later that night, which begins a decade-long journey through the criminal justice system.

After several years in prison, he is sent to a halfway house. While living with his son and second wife, he commits several armed robberies. In prison for the second time, the author begins to realize that his life does not have to be a downward spiral. He reads every book he can find on success, from authors like Napoleon Hill, Wayne Dyer and Stephen Covey, and begins to take it to heart. While out for the second time, he gets involved in shady telemarketing, and finds that he is really good at it. For a time, he runs his own "boiler room," until the authorities catch up with him. A central part of his new philosophy is to take responsibility for his actions, which means a third trip to prison on federal fraud charges.

The biggest reason for wanting to change his life is to not be an emotionally distant father to his son, like his father was to him. In prison, he gets his GED, a Bachelor’s degree in Law, and then an MBA. To show how much he has changed, he saves a guard’s life (not a path to popularity in prison). Out of prison again, he gets a sales job for a heating company, and is really good at it. After a couple of layoffs, perhaps for being "too good" or "too ambitious," he and Wife #3 start their own heating company, which becomes very successful.

Long does a fine job of showing how anyone can change their life. No one is beyond help. The first steps are to want to change, and then to visualize yourself as a changed person.

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Quick Tip by . November 13, 2009
The Upside of Fear, by Weldon Long, does a fine job of showing how anyone can change their life. Recommended.
About the reviewer
Paul Lappen ()
Ranked #67
I am in my early 50s, single and live in Connecticut. I am a lifelong very, very avid reader and am a freelance book reviewer with my ownblog (http://www.deadtreesreview.blogspot.com). Please visit. It … more
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About this book



ISBN-10: 1608320006
ISBN-13: 9781608320004
Author: Weldon Long
Genre: Self-Help
Publisher: Greenleaf BookGroup Press
Date Published: 2009
Format: trade paperback
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