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October 16, 2021

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Icon book review: Nailing It

Review by Robert McCool 

In Robert Dilenschneider's December of 2021 release of “Nailing It-How History's Awesome Twentysomethings Got It Together” (Citadel Press, $16.95. ISBN: 978-0-8065-4175-4 PB), we see the future through the past, be it by circumstance or choice. The future we create by our own desires. In our twenties these choices determine our path forward to our later life. It can be a calling from our hearts or minds to follow what life has presented to us. What we choose when we're young enough to dream--and old enough to strike out on our own and fight for our beliefs.

Robert Dilenschneider singles out twenty-five young achievers who took control of their lives, sometimes during deep peril, sometimes as an unidentifiable force drove them. That force is ambition and opportunity together.

He speaks with a gentle voice that is easy to follow, and with much experience gained by the sixteen books he has published so far. He informs us as much as he inspires us, chronicling the past achievements of well known figures that defined who they were. From Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to Steve Jobs, Mary Shelley to Maya Angelou, Albert Einstein to Helen Keller, all were ground breakers who challenged the social norms that would have denied them their achievements. He gives us encouragement while shining an incandescent light on their failures. And achievements, mostly due to the power of belief.

Women in particular were held down, held back, by parental controls. That is, if they even had a family. Society did the same. Some rose above their circumstances powered by ambition alone. Some had greatness thrust upon them in their twenties as they personified beauty regardless of the tragedy in their lives. That ambition will take us towards our dreams and inspire us to be the best at what we do, regardless of pain or privation. 

I gained a lot of knowledge with this book. Some of which is about my personal heroes.

Dilenschneider writes clearly from his vast experience in communication. His ideas are clear and forthright, his presentation is flawless and concise, but more importantly, he is a true inspiration and encouragement for those starting their adult years, or thinking of changing careers. His previous books all center on being a better, more informed person in business and in life in general. Insightful and creative, personable and clear, this book should be on the reading list of every twenty-something who has an idea of where they want their lives to go. And how to get there.