10 September 2019
"Steve Jobs is dead," I said.
So begins my new book, Falling Up: A Memoir of Second Chances, which drops today from Homebound Publications as part of their Little Bound Book Essay Series.
When I spoke those words, I was speaking to an audience at the SXSW Eco festival on the morning of 5 October 2011. Jobs had just died and many in the crowd had not heard the news. He was fifty six. (Readers of this blog may recall I wrote about it here and here and here back in 2011.)
"Fifty-six," I write in the book. "As I stood on the stage that October morning in 2011, a couple of years shy of fifty myself, I couldn't help thinking--as perhaps many in the room were thinking, too, in the wake of the example of Jobs--what have I done with my life?"
(You can read more from the opening of the book here.)
Falling Up, my most personal book to date, tells the story of several "second chances" I've had in my life, starting with a fall at Letchworth Gorge as a teenager in upstate New York through my most recent change of life, leaving EY after my job was eliminated despite the successful launch of a global technology-as-a-service solution that I led.
Along the way, I explore my original second chance in the wake of that fall in the gorge, my pursuit of art and writing throughout my life, learning to experience nature through the eyes of my children, as well as the story of several entrepreneurial endeavors--successes and failures--and, finally, how I found real and lasting love late in life and learned to embrace it.
Falling Up is about the struggle to become authentic, vulnerable, purpose-driven man in the 21st century and, ultimately, about making one's dream a reality.
Mark Tercek, the former CEO of The Nature Conservancy--an organization for which I worked over fifteen years and that serves as part of the backdrop for several stories in the memoir--called the book, "An inspiring read for anyone seeking meaning in their work or in their life."
I hope my little book--only 84 pages and around 10,000 words--lives up to the promise of that advance support and that it helps readers find a way to "fall up" in their own lives.
You can order the book directly from my publisher, Homebound Publications, or through Amazon, and wherever books are sold.
And if you do, please let me know what you think of Falling Up and share your own story of your second chances.