Wise Guy Summary

BookSummaryClub Blog Wise Guy Summary

The lowdown: In this Wise Guy summary based on Guy Kawasaki’s book, you’ll understand that anything is possible if you take all the opportunities you are given in life. This is a story that teaches you quitting isn’t the same thing as failing.

Since we were kids we are taught to be afraid to fail.

We see sometimes little things like a life-ending scenario we might never recover from; but that’s the thing about life, it will always prove us wrong.

Likewise, many people don’t like to hear warnings or advice from family or friends. Hell, I know I have been in that position before (sorry Mom and Dad); They would simply go for the ride without thinking about the consequences that decision would mean.

But there are those whose stubbornness doesn’t affect them in learning something from another person experience.

In Wise Guy, Guy Kawasaki tells us the history of his life not just to know his goals or the people he worked with, but to learn from every decision he ever took, whether it was good ones or bad ones.

This book has three key lessons I’d like to show you:

  1. Quitting isn’t failing
  2. Parenting teaches us the most invaluable lessons
  3. It’s never too late to learn something new
Wise Guy summary #books

Lesson One: Quitting isn’t failing

If you’re like most people, you’ve done something only to please a specific person; like a friend, sibling, boss or parent.

But what happens when that ‘thing’ they want you to achieve doesn’t fulfil what you want or bring you happiness?

Will you spend the rest of your life trying to please somebody else dream rather than yours?

That’s a decision Guy Kawasaki had to make in his youth.

Guy’s parents made an enormous effort to get him into college so he could become an excellent professional and have a better life than theirs.

The only problem was they wanted Guy to be a lawyer, dentist or doctor. The last two weren’t his favorites so he chose law school by default.

Guy Kawasaki dropped law school within the first week and the only fear he felt was what his parents would feel when they found out.

Kawasaki was shocked when they told him everything was fine only if he’d find something that could fill his heart – Which, is, to be honest, is pretty awesome parenting!

Later, in an MBA program in California, Guy met a jewellery trader and decided to spend his Fridays learning everything about her trade. During this time, Kawasaki learned the art of salesmanship.

And who knew, the decision of quitting a potential life-solving career and a great college like the University of California, would get him into a new tech company called Apple.

Lesson Two: Parenting teaches us the most invaluable lessons

An old friend gave a young Kawasaki the opportunity to work at Apple and he didn’t hesitate to take it.

First, he joined the Macintosh Division as a “software evangelist”. By name he feared he couldn’t do the job properly due to his poor résumé, only to learn that ‘evangelizing’ in company code was all about sales, the same thing he had decided to learn years ago from that jewellery trader.

Guy’s success was so high he was an essential piece during Apple’s dark times. After two excellent working periods in Apple, guy quit the company he helped to build so he could found his own.

However, despite his professional success, Guy learnt the most valuable things in his life by being a parent, not in business.

The most important lesson he would learn was going to come from his dyslexic son, Nate.

Learning about others’ struggles

Without the knowledge on Dyslexia, Guy’s grew frustrated with Nate’s poor progress in school, but that frustration ended very fast.

Guy and his wife were invited to an open evening by Nate’s teachers, where they simulated the experience of dyslexia with some exercises.

After failing in every test he took, Guy cried like a baby. For the first time, he saw the world just like his son did.

He learned children not only change their parents’ concept about others but also change how parents see themselves.

That was a painful lesson but an important one. After that, Guy learned not to judge anyone until you’ve walked in their shoes.

Lesson Three: It’s never too late to start something new

Another life lesson Guy would learn came through his daughter Nohemi when he tried to bond with her by surfing.

After struggling every attempt of catching a wave and realizing he wasn’t doing anything but entertaining all onlookers, a friend introduced him to a legendary surfer so he could teach Guy how to surf.

With time (and luck) he learned how to do it and then he learned that nobody is too old – he was 62 years old – to start something new.

My personal takeaway

I personally love this book.

It’s amazing how many people look at failure as a bad thing instead of looking at it as a life lesson. As Alfred told Bruce in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy “Why do we fall? So we might learn to pick ourselves up”

Did this summary excite you?

Book summaries are great, but I also really believe that you will not fully understand the book or the author without trying the real thing. Learn more about this subject by listening to the full book for free via Audible.

Put into action

Stop thinking that if you quit at some job you would fail at life. Maybe you haven’t found your ideal job or your ideal couple.

The only thing you can’t do is give up trying, always keep trying, no matter if it is something new, always keep trying.

You should consider this book if…

A lot of self-starters and entrepreneurial people will get a lot from Wise Guy.

Kawasaki’s story is one that many can resonate with, as he grew from nowhere to be one of the most influential businessmen this century.

Or, read our other business book summaries.

Hey, I’m Erik… a Swedish university student, marketing professional, and life-long learner. Here at BookSummaryClub I summarize my favorite non-fiction books into easily digested posts. Hope you like what you’re reading!

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