Tuesday, June 7, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: On the Edge: How My Crappy Job Changed My Life by Stuart Edge


“I think my video just went viral.”

Stuart Edge had a crappy run of things, including his parents’ divorce, anxiety, moving to Mexico and not speaking the language, and a job cleaning porta-potties. But instead of slowing him down, these struggles gave him the inspiration he needed to pursue his daydream—creating videos.

Now a YouTube sensation, Stuart shares his secrets to success and reveals his conversion from self-conscious to confident. For Stuart, being true to his beliefs has made all the difference.


I'd never heard of Stuart Edge before picking up this book.  But I'm really glad that I did.  In the name of research I checked out his YouTube channel.  I have to seriously recommend the Porta Potty prank episode which you can find here. I also thoroughly enjoyed the book as Stuart shares some of the key experiences in his life that led him to where he is now, both the good and sometimes bad.  He mentions discovering from a young age his enjoyment of entertaining people and the ways he developed his talents along the way.  It reminded me that whatever plans we make things don't always go the way we think they will.  I know I never really planned to end up where I am, nor did I anticipate the circular path I took to get here.  And yet, it feels so right for me to be where I'm at.  I'm glad I watched some of Stuart's videos because afterwards when I went back to the book, I had his voice in my head and somehow it made the words all the more sincere and funny.  Hmm.  I'm not sure how that works but that's what happened.

What I love about these memoir kinds of books is the glimpse into someone else's life.  In addition to sharing some of his life experience, Stuart includes what he calls 'sticky notes' that shares the lessons he learned from his different experiences.  Things like, "Don't ever underestimate the joy you can feel by spending quality time with your family" or You've got to find a purpose, but then you've got to make sure you have the discipline to stick with it."  I think what I enjoyed most about this book though, besides all the funny parts, was how honest Stuart is about his struggles.  If I'd worked as a porta potty cleaner I don't think I would talk about it at all, let alone turn it into a joke (see video mentioned above).  The other thing that shines through in the book is how easy it is to relate to the things that Stuart talks about.  All people have struggles and ups and downs, and I found it easy to empathize with and relate to the struggles that Stuart discusses.  I can highly recommend that you pick up a copy of this book and take a look at some of Stuart's videos, because I can guarantee that it will lighten your day and give you a reason to smile.

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