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The Other Side of Success

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He chased the American Dream. Did his cutthroat journey break him...or see him reach his greatest achievement?

Northern California, 1978. Martin Sawa refused to let poverty define his future. After growing up the son of penniless Ukrainian immigrants, the almost-thirty-year-old impulsively quit his nine-to-five to become a real estate salesperson working solely on commission. Determined to prosper despite his bare trickle of income and deteriorating home life, he set out to mold himself into a major player in San Francisco's high-stakes commercial minefield.

As Sawa pushed his career forward--making bigger deals at each painstaking step up--he had one hand on the prize he'd dreamed of for years. But with stress driving him to alcoholism and poor choices, it took tragedy to force him to confront the true cost of his sacrifices.

Was the financial wealth worth the price of his soul?

Laid out in an intimate and passionate memoir, Sawa's honest appraisal of his wins and losses in a volatile time of technological, social, and political change reveals an intensely personal challenge. Serving as a reminder of what really matters in the single-minded grind for excellence, his struggles to be his best self help the rest of us understand that we're often exactly where we're meant to be.

The Other Side of Success: Money and Meaning in the Golden State is a raw, in-depth look into a man with something to prove. If you like insider insights into high-level business, overcoming racial boundaries, and the fragile balance between prosperity and ruin, then you'll love Martin Sawa's emotional rollercoaster.

360 pages, Paperback

First published September 1, 2020

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Martin Sawa

2 books13 followers

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Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 reviews
Profile Image for K-BRC.
967 reviews
March 14, 2021
This memoir was meaningful to me. The racial and cultural information with its encouragement of sensitivity was eye-opening. The inclusion of awareness of and treatment for alcoholism could serve to help many. I was introduced to the reality of the intense pressures of commercial real estate market and all that’s included in that lifestyle. A 5-star read!
36 reviews2 followers
March 11, 2021
Martin Sawa

I really never read nonfiction. I like action or twisty thrillers. A good friend recommended this memoir to widen my exposure to immigrants’ path. I never expected the level of poverty depicted or the drive the author had to rise up. It may be the very thing I needed to appreciate my family who chose service over real estate sales. I might better appreciate my life track.
Profile Image for Toni.
1,691 reviews20 followers
March 14, 2021
I read fiction almost exclusively. Usually nonfiction is reserved for work-related material. This autobiography tempted me with its descriptions of San Francisco. It may useful for those who choose real estate sales for their career path. Its lessons might help.
Profile Image for Carol.
1,636 reviews22 followers
November 1, 2020
I have a major confession! My eyesight is terrible so I actually put in a request to win this Advance Review Copy based on the fact that the print on the "look inside feature of Amazon's page on this book. The print was big enough for me to read and although I had doubts about the subject matter, I do like to read memoirs. I always shy away from book about sales people, esprcially people doing expensive reality deals.

I did find humor and I did laugh out loud several times, I enjoyed reading about his family's Ukrainian roots I loved his experiences of being a Fuller Brush man but whne he changed career paths, I did not feel comfortable with him loving the character in Grred and wanting to be like him so much. I got tired of hearing the call of money,money, money. I did not feel that he had great goals. The same with his long list of affairs, marriages that he broke and I could not get why he was so drawn to a woman who treated him like trash. I do not get it. Even I stuck with the story, I was not inspired and did not understand him.

I received an Advance Review Copy from the publisher because I won a FirstReads contest. My thoughts and feelings in this are entirely my own.
Profile Image for Janie Anderson.
395 reviews11 followers
November 23, 2020
This was a good read. I'm usually longer with reviews. But, it was hard for me to keep interested.The author seemed very knowledgeable.
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 reviews

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