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Book Review: "Luck by Design: Certain Success in an Uncertain World" by Richard Goldman

by Ruby Bayan - 06/19/09

Richard Goldman is recognized as the marketing mastermind behind the emergence of Men’s Warehouse from one small store to a chain of 680 outlets across the United States and Canada. In “Luck by Design: Certain Success in an Uncertain World”, Goldman relates how he made this happen, emphasizing that it was hardly sheer luck.

The book, however, is not just a story about Goldman and Men’s Warehouse—it’s also a blueprint for success in almost any endeavor, in business in particular, and in life as a whole. Goldman delves into managing not just employees and customers, but also our own personal matters of consequence like time, introspection, perspective, and integrity.

While Goldman shares his missteps and lessons learned, he hints at what he could have done better, urging the reader to reflect on the insights he picked up along the way. In most of the chapters, Goldman bullets concepts and suggestions such as how to recognize and overcome fear, how to anticipate and deal with change, and how to manage yourself to become a better person, manager, and leader. He presents his principles and arguments in straightforward street-smart terms—no sugarcoating, no beating around the bush.

The book is structured so that readers are first given tools and directions on how to improve themselves and, in the end, encouraged to layout their own Life Design templates. Goldman stresses that our achievements and successes are all under our personal control. In “Luck by Design”, he tells us exactly how it works, and how, by creating our own luck, we can make life precisely what we want it to be.

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