This debut memoir presents a modern-day, rags-to-riches story that articulates the concepts employed by the author to overcome his personal demons.
Bowers, “a boy born into blue-collar beginnings,” progressed “from a secondhand start” and a “lackluster adulthood” to being a millionaire by the age of 28. His early years were fraught with anxiety over his parents’ constant fights and poverty: “Our lives consisted of hand-me-downs, handouts, and empty pockets; we lived a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle.” In elementary school, as he saw how his friends’ families lived (he was raised in upscale communities), he began building “walls” to protect himself “from ridicule and embarrassment.” Adding to the family’s tribulations was his older brother, Billy, who was constantly in jail for a variety of crimes. High school provided the author with a period of stability: “I was one of the popular kids, liked by almost everyone.” He had a girlfriend, played on the school’s baseball team, and worked as a bus boy at night for some much-needed money. But with his friends off to college and no clear goals, Bowers crashed after high school. While working as a janitor in a motel, he met Yuka and fell in love. A curveball—an unexpected baby—became the motivation the 22-year-old needed to set himself on the road to success. While the author recalls that “nothing was ever given to me for free” and he remains critical of his mother and father (“My parents never knew how to budget money”), he seems to overlook the value of his childhood milieu, which raised his aspirations. Still, the captivating book’s simple, straightforward prose effectively communicates the turmoil of young Bowers’ life, the valuable steps he took to shed his glass-half-empty mindset, and the worthy lessons he learned along the way. Initially crafting this memoir to “vent” and “fan the flames of frustration” he felt toward his parents, the author skillfully expanded his mission: “Now I know I am writing it to release everything I’ve pent up within me, and to hopefully help others in the process.”
An intriguing account that shows readers how to use life’s difficulties to turn a negative self-image into a positive, goal-oriented one.