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Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
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Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  687 ratings  ·  68 reviews
“Gardner is encouraging us all to start where we are and dare to make our lives bigger and stronger, more satisfactory, and better. Chris Gardner is a knockout!”

—Maya Angelou


 Chris Gardner’s astonishing memoir—the phenomenal New York Times bestseller, The Pursuit of Happyness, which inspired the film of the same name starring Will Smith—served as a shining beacon of hope
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 12th 2009 by Amistad (first published September 1st 2008)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  687 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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Jul 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
If I were to write a book on "life lessons in getting from where you are to where you want to be", I think I would whittle it down to fewer than 44. That's right. There are 44 separate "lessons" in this book. Gardner's story (which he doesn't tell in depth here, but refers to often) is remarkable, but this book is repetitive and unfocused. The best lesson I learned was at the very beginning where he describes the "C-5 complex": clear, concise, compelling, committed, and consistent. I wish he had ...more
Mar 27, 2012 rated it liked it
This was assigned reading for a Senior Capstone course in college. There were some good tips, but I think Gardner's ego and tendency to name drop are a little off-putting. If you are looking for obtaining monetary success by way of the corporate world, this book will speak to you. If you don't necessarily define success in Gardner's terms, you may find other books more helpful.
Lamec Mariita
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Start Where You Are, authored by Chris Gardner and co-authored by Mim E. Rivas is an inspirational, exciting, uplifting road-map to get from the place in your life where you currently are, to becoming the person you always knew you could be! This book is a must read for anyone who is interested in pursuing their personal goals and simply making your dream a reality.
This book shares so many motivating stories of people who are in need of a lift in their life and through perseverance and hard wor
Kertu Rüütli
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When you've read this book and answered all the questions in the end, you really get to know your core and strengths inside of it.
Mehdi Souiyah
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
My last book of 2019 was full of advices and experiences. Keep dreaming and believe in yourself.
Rick Mccray
Dec 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. To me it is a "life resource" that I will go back to constantly to remind myself how my life experiences and current network can empower me to expand and grow in my journey. I don't think of this as some unrealistic, self-help book. Instead, Chris Gardner points out that you are where you are in life mostly due to the choices you have made up to this point. If you don't like the direction you are heading in, then change the direction you are going. He asks you to explore your ...more
May 06, 2017 rated it liked it
This book reminded me of why I stopped reading self-help books. I found this one particularly overwhelming. Filled with great inspirational advice I will just ignore because all I want to do is keep reading books...
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was like sitting with your favourite uncle and receiving life lessons.
Insightful and truly for that person who has the guts to grab hold of their dreams.
Jordan Mcculloch
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
Started off with a couple cool lessons. Turned into a bit of a mix of random thoughts and creative writing with good intentions. He often a references people who have written to him which I found to be something I didn’t enjoy. If I buy a book from an author then I want that to be the guiding material not joe from St Louis... sorry joe. All in all it is just ok in a category filled with options.
Nov 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Average. It felt like just another self-help book. If you have read self-help books before about "how to succeed", you won't find anything really new here. Each chapter has a summary at the end of it, plus another chapter by chapter summary at the end of the book. It could be shortened quite a bit.
Liz Stiverson
Feb 26, 2018 rated it liked it
A nice build on The Pursuit of Happyness - a detailed outline of steps to make dreams actionable, organized around 44 lessons supported with keywords and a lot of stories and analogies from Gardner's and others' lives; felt like it was trying to be a companion for the road more than a delivery mechanism for any individual aha.
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Good book. Very inspirational. I would probably not read this book if I had not watched the Will Smith movie. The pursuit of happyness, gives Chris Gardner a level of credibility. He is speaking out of experience and sharing tips that actually made a difference in his life. Highly recommend.
Carey Radican
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Awesome life lessons. down to earth, but very powerful. Really makes you think about what is holding you back from your dreams. He hit rock bottom but was able to work out of it, even with a strong head wind. He tells it like it is.
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
My buddy, Mim Eichler Rivas, co-authored this book and “The Pursuit of Happyness” with Chris Gardner (Will Smith played him in the movie). Chris’s rags-to-riches story is moving; and this book (overflowing with quotable wisdoms) is a nice complement to his story.
Karl Niebuhr
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'd say this is one of the best books of its category. When you don't know where the f* to start then read this book.
Absolute amazing read. So inspiring and informative filled with valuable tips and wisdom easily applied to your every day Life. Gardner is a true trail Blazer.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely LOVED this book, so much insight,
Oct 19, 2019 rated it liked it
good book.
Maher Xhoaib
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Its anamazing book.
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book with a lot of valuable lessons.
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The movie, The Pursuit of Happyness came out 10 years ago, but for some reason I had never seen it. I finally did and was blown away, what an amazing true life story.

I was so inspired that I decided to check out Chris Gardner's book that the movie was based on. While looking into that I stumbled upon this book.

This is literally THE best self-help/pursuing your dream career book I have ever read. Gardner is so inspirational and practical with his advice. I wrote down many quotes and plan to re-re
Juanita Pryor
May 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: personal-growth
This was a book I had to read for my senior capstone class. It is a collection of life lessons from Chris Gardner, most well known for his book "The Pursuit of Happyness" (which subsequently turned into a movie starring Will Smith). The book was definitely full of some good sound advice for achieving goals, and I respect the man for what he has come through and has been able to achieve. The only down-side for me was in the concluding chapters when Gardner started discussing spirituality.

Like ma
Apr 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Gardner's sequel to The Pursuit of Happyness is less biography and more a collection of top life lessons and best practices. They are all relevant and, to varying degrees, inspiring. Personally, I found it hard to take in so many concepts - 44 of them. It may read better as a daily motivational. Regardless, the lessons are useful, and I always respect a writer who has learned them directly rather than only sharing the life experience of others (even if one of my favorite concepts in the book is ...more
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just finished this book. It is incredible how far Chris Gardner has come from where he started. Learning from and using your past experience to see where you can go is a different thought process. I intend to utilize Chris's ideas and create my own Start Where You Are notebook to see where I have been and where I am going. I know this will allow me to move forward both in my personal and business lives. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to discover more about themselves and h ...more
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really love this book. First, I listened to it on audio. Then, I downloaded a copy. If you have ever worked in the corporate world, this book will definitely help you. Even if you are just starting out, this book is a gem. Why? Well, life is not all about work accomplishments. Mr. Gardner's advice definitely his advice can help you achieve your career goals. However, he also talks about balancing work, family, and interpersonal relationships. Does his name sound familiar??? Perhaps, you have s ...more
May 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: business
Pursuing you own happiness starts with you, no one else can create your level of happiness.

In this book, Chris Gardner, author of The Pursuit of Happyness, brings beneficial life lessons that motivate the reader to focus on goals and achieve success by starting from now. With all the zeal of a motivational speaker and the wisdom of a seasoned leader, Gardner unlocks the reality of starting your journey now, rather than later. With real world anecdotes and life lessons, the book paints a great p
Jan 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
One of the most influential men of our time, Chris Gardner provides readers with an infrastructure for success through real life issues. "Start Where You Are" aims to give readers the motivation and drive to not settle and move FORWARD.

No matter your life situation, this book encourages you to start with your present position in order to build a better future. A very well written book by a seasoned leader, motivational speaker and philanthropist, "Start Where You Are" is a must read.
Mar 01, 2010 rated it liked it
I really tried to like this book. But about halfway through I lost steam. Between the author constantly referring to his mother (which I know was a very important person in his life... but after a while my eyes glazed over), telling the reader that "everything you need is already in you" over and over again, I just lost interest and put it down. And every time I tried to start again, I kept losing interest.
Portia Taylor Daniels
Aug 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
If you loved Chris Gardner's autobiograpy, The Pursuit of Happyness, whether in book form or on the big screen; you will appreciate his candid report of some of the life lessons that he learned during his journey. His wit, commonsense, and heart-felt lessons made me laugh, think, and bring about resolve...a must read, or hear. I purchased the hardcopy and placed it on my self-help shelf for future well as using some of his quotes as my Facebook
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Christopher Gardner is the owner and CEO of Gardner Rich LLC with offices in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Conquering grave challenges to become a successful entrepreneur, Gardner is an avid motivational and aspirational speaker, addressing the keys to overcoming obstacles and breaking cycles. Gardner is also a passionate philanthropist whose work has been recognized by many esteemed organ ...more

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