Negotiating Your Own Path to Success

Ed Brodow

The Author In Successful Incarnations

Beating the Success Trap advocates that changing careers is good for you. "There is no good reason to chain yourself to one career," says author Ed Brodow. "Most people don't want that, and they certainly don't need it." Unfortunately, many people are threatened by change and can't switch that easily. "We can't simply break away from a job where we've been sleepwalking for ten years to one that lights a fire inside us." Offering his own experience as a guide, however, Brodow urges readers to follow their bliss and keep on searching for their true calling. Brodow has changed careers several times, as illustrated by these photos taken at different stages of his life. Each photo is accompanied by a relevant excerpt from Beating the Success Trap.

As a Kid in Brooklyn

My family subscribed without reservation to the classic definition of success. Even though they weren’t rich or famous, they unloaded that expectation onto me. As an only child, I found the pressure to achieve and succeed overwhelming. I always had the sense that the affection coming my way was strictly contingent on performance.

Ed Brodow as a kid in Brooklyn
Ed Brodow as a Marine officer

Marine Officer: Dressed to Kill

The rules I wanted to live by allowed for more free, open, and creative time. I had served in the Marine Corps and knew all about days that were so structured it felt like I had a steel rod up my backside. I could not see conducting the rest of my life that way.

Corporate Sales Executive:
Dressed for Success

From the depths of my mind there arose a defining question: “What if your doctor told you that you have only six months to live? How would you want to spend that time?” I had opened the door of opportunity, and loosened my consciousness to embrace a more expansive view of life.

Corporate sales executive Ed Brodow
Movie actor Ed Brodow

Movie Actor:
Between Takes at Universal Studios

Try to imagine the peculiar position I was in. My evolving career as a corporate executive brought with it coveted social and economic status. To suddenly give it all up to become an actor? My family and friends were dumbfounded. But it was what I had to do.

Motivational Speaker

Many, many people today do not fall into the right career until they are in their forties or fifties. It takes a lot of living and a lot of mistakes to finally get it right. Although this may seem fruitless and even painful while we are still wandering in the desert feeling lost, it is actually a healthy process.

Motivational speaker Ed Brodow
Ed Brodow farting around on the Monterey Peninsula

Farting Around on the Monterey Peninsula

People burden themselves with a 60-hour-a-week job and a mortgage that keeps them awake at night. If they do think about "farting around," they have to pencil it in on their calendar between 10:15 and 10:30 on Saturday morning.

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