Saturday, August 8, 2009


You Don’t Have to Learn the Hard Way -
Making It in the Real World
by J. R. Parrish

Drawing from his own experiences as a husband, parent and entrepreneur who did learn the hard way, Parrish synthesizes a life’s worth of well- earned wisdom into a no-nonsense blueprint for personal and professional fulfillment. Writing with self-deprecating humor and grace, he offers a mentor’s advice on everything from how to nail the big job interview, avoid relationship mistakes and cultivate career alliances to managing your finances and circumventing the typical pitfalls of independence.

J.R. coaches readers on:

• Developing valuable people skills
• Avoiding romantic involvement that can derail your goals
• How to set priorities for life and career
• The long-term benefits of self-discipline
• How to recognize the consequences of your choices
• The rewarding payback for kindness and generosity
• Creating good habits that serve your dreams rather than being a victim of bad habits that destroy them
• The freedom achieved by sound saving and investing
Never preachy, You Don’t Have to Learn the Hard Way also features awakening self-discovery quizzes that guide readers to deeper self-understanding.


Warm and insightful, J.R. Parrish has spent his life redefining possibilities for himself and others. His childhood was as humble as it was challenging. At 2 years old, his mother abandoned him. Raised by his paternal grandmother until her death when he was 12, and then by his dad, a career military man, and step-mom, J.R. Parrish’s life could have turned out much differently. While many kids would have withered or rebelled under such circumstances, Parrish faced each new hurdle with dignity and aplomb, his spirit strengthened by what many others could not have endured.

By the time he was a young man, J.R. Parrish knew that he wanted to succeed, he just didn’t know how. Enter a man named Glenn Lay, a human relations specialist who would become his mentor and guide. Parrish went from a job as a milkman to becoming one of the top salesmen for a Fortune 500 Company and then Xerox Corporation, before founding his own commercial real estate firm in Silicon Valley.

For 25 years, Parrish built his company on the premise that honor, honesty and treating people with fairness were the bedrock of any thriving enterprise. As a result, J.R. Parrish Inc., grew to become one of the largest commercial real estate brokerages in all of Silicon Valley. In 1999, Parrish sold it, retired, bought a coffee plantation on The Big Island in Hawaii and moved there with his wife, Lisa.

With his newfound freedom from the daily grind of running a multimillion-dollar business, J.R. Parrish embraced his next ambition—making a difference in the lives of kids. To that end, he decided to consolidate the wisdom he had accumulated along the way into a book for teens and young adults, something he wished would have been available to him before starting out.

His first book, titled If I’d Known Then What I Know Now, was published in 2003. To date, it has sold thousands of copies and continues to impact the futures of its many readers. Since its release, Parrish has penned yet another book for adolescent audiences. You Don’t Have to Learn the Hard Way: Making It in the Real World, A Guide for Graduates, synthesizes a life’s worth of well-earned knowledge into one engaging volume, addressing everything from how to nail that first big job interview, avoid relationship mistakes and make sound financial decisions to how to be a good listener, learn the art of relating well with others and achieve personal and professional fulfillment.


QUIZ: How Big a Risk-Taker are You?
by J.R. Parrish, Author of You Don't Have to Learn the Hard Way: Making it in the Real World: A Guide for Graduates

1) If I had enough money to live on for a year, right now, I'd . . .
a. Quit my job and take off for a year because I may never get that chance again.
b. Keep working and spend the extra cash on fun stuff.
c. Try to save most of it.
2) I would change jobs if . . .
a.I thought the new job would be something I would like to do more and would be much better at.
b. The new job title would sound cool to my friends, even though the money is no better.
c. The new place offered me more money, even if I didn't really like the job.
3) I envy people who are richer than I am and I want to be one of them one day.
a. Strongly agree.
b. Not sure.
c. Disagree.
4) I planned a great vacation and then find out I lost my job. I . . .
a. Go anyway because I figure I'll feel more like looking for a new job after I've had some fun.
b. Go on a vacation that doesn't cost as much but still will be fun.
c. Cancel the vacation plans and start job-hunting.
5) Here's how I feel about debt:
a. All my friends have some, for college loans and stuff, so it doesn't bother me.
b. I don't want to have credit card debt but I realize that sometimes that's what happens in life.
c. I don't like the idea of owing anybody anything.
6) If I see something I like, I . . .
a. Try to talk myself out of it because I often regret buying stuff afterward.
b. Shop around to see if other stores have the same thing for less.
c. Buy it -- it's not worth the time to come back later and it might be gone by then.
7) When I am facing a big money decision, I . . .
a. Do some research on the Internet, call friends, and even see what my parents or some other expert-types have to say.
b. Call my friends to see what they would do.
c. Flip a coin -- these things even out.
SCORE: Count up your points
a. 3; b. 2; c. 1
2) a. 1; b. 2; c. 3
3) a. 3; b. 2; c. 1
4) a. 3; b. 2; c. 1
5) a. 3; b. 2; c. 1
6) a. 1; b. 2; c. 3
7) a. 1; b. 2; c. 3

What your score means:

If you scored between 19 and 21 points, you are willing to take a lot of risks. Sometimes risks pay off -- but if you don't also start trying to weigh your choices more carefully, you could find yourself in financial trouble.

If you scored between 11 and 18 points, you seem able to balance some risk with common sense. That's just what you'll need to succeed in your career.

If you scored between 7 and 10 points, you don't seem comfortable taking a lot of risks. While you don't want to play it completely safe all of your life, you're probably on the right path to financial security.

The above is an excerpt from the book You Don't Have to Learn the Hard Way: Making it in the Real World: A Guide for Graduates by J.R. Parrish. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Copyright © 2009 J.R. Parrish, author of You Don't Have to Learn the Hard Way: Making it in the Real World: A Guide for Graduates


Would you like to win a copy of J. R. Parrish's Book?

Thanks to Anna and FSB Associates,

I have 2 copies to give away!

Here is what you need to do!


U.S. Residents only

No P. O. Boxes, Please

Include your email address for contact


Be sure each ENTRY is a separate comment!

+1 ENTRY: Tell one reason you think this book could be of help to you

+1 MORE ENTRY: Blog or Tweet about this Giveaway and leave a link in your comment

All entries due by 6 PM, EST, August 17


rhapsodyinbooks said...

You don't have to enter me, but I think I will look for his 2003 book - sounds really interesting!

Beth said...

I always love a good self-improvement book!

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

Esme said...

I am in my first 18 months of my own law firm. Every day I learn something new about running a business and it is often times the hard way that I learn.

chocolateandcroissants at yahoo dot com

Jake Lsewhere said...

I have some really bad habits, maybe a book like this could be helpful. Please enter me into this drawing.

Thanks for hosting this giveaway.

Denny, Alaska said...

Self-improvement books bring excitement and anticipation for what the next day may bring!

Please enter me; thank!


Debbie said...

I am always looking to improve myself. This sounds like it would be helpful.

catss99 said...

i really like the part about avoiding romantic relationships that aren't good--impair career goals.


Jake Lsewhere said...

I've also blogged about this giveaway here.


Lisanne624 said...

Well, I am a former English major -- that should tell you why I think this book would be helpful to me! Also, the title promises that it will save me a lot of work, and I'm all for that!

lahlstedt (at) gmail (dot) com

Debbie F said...

I have a daughter in high school and this book would be wonderful for her! Thanks!
dcf_beth at verizon dot net

etirv said...

It would help the teen at home who will graduate soon!


Anonymous said...

One thing we need to do throughout life is to take a step back and look at ourselves objectively. Growth is really important. We need to continue growing and becoming. I think this book can help.


dag888888 said...

I want to share this with my nephew who is a senior!


MoziEsmé said...

I've learned too many things the hard way!

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Winning Readings said...

We've posted about this at Winning Readings:

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Beth said...

My daughter and son in law are wanting to save to buy a home and other things. This would help them in a lot of ways including careers.

sharon54220 said...

I am a Team Leader where I work and we are going through some trying times. I also love self-improvement books. I think that I can learn a lot from this book.

Thanks for the chance.