THE PAINFUL PROLOGUE
his is not a book about me. But since this is a book about ego, I’m going to address a question that I’d be a hypocrite not to have thought about.
Who the hell am I to write it?
My story is not particularly important for the lessons that follow, but I want to tell it briefly here at the beginning in order to provide some context. For I have experienced ego at each of its stages in my short life: Aspiration. Success. Failure. And back again and back again. When I was nineteen years old, sensing some astounding and lifechanging opportunities, I dropped out of college. Mentors vied for my attention, groomed me as their protégé. Seen as going places, I was the kid. Success came quickly. After I became the youngest executive at a Beverly Hills talent
management agency, I helped sign and work with a number of huge rock bands. I advised on books that went on to sell millions of copies and invent their own literary genres. Around the time I turned twenty-one, I came on as
a strategist for American Apparel, then one of the hottest fashion brands in the world. Soon, I was the director of marketing.