“I figured that if I kept trying and experimenting to find where I was great and where I sucked, if I kept believing that I could excel somewhere, somehow, eventually I’d find my own path to my own kind of greatness.”
This is in the introduction chapter of Extreme You by Sarah Robb O’Hagan, a book about how Sarah went from being fired from two jobs in her twenties to becoming the global president for two extremely well-known brands. Gatorade and Equinox… ya heard of them, maybe? Through her years reinventing herself and her career, Sarah developed her Extreme You approach, which has five essential qualities:
- Check Yourself Out – wherein you experiment with all sorts of hobbies, passions, and careers to find what truly lights you up
- Ignite Your Magic Drive – to “build the stamina and the confidence to power through any challenge that comes your way.”
- Get Out of Line – take chances with your career, using the skills you honed in Check Yourself Out and Ignite Your Magic Drive to give you the confidence to do so
- Get Over Yourself – to recognize your weaknesses and notice patterns in what mentors and other people are telling you about where you need to improve, and then work to improve those areas
- Pain Training – which is how you will live through your failures when they come (because they will come and you need to be prepared for handling them)
In the book, Sarah takes readers through every step of her process, using examples from her own life and from the lives of other “Extreme” people (like Olympic skier Bode Miller and ESPN anchor Sage Steele). It’s a truly inspiring account of how to truly kick ass and truly live out your passions.
But… and this was my main contention with the book… it was mainly about your career and how to continue to scale up the ladder. Which is fine. It’s a great book if you want to learn more about how to become a more badass career woman, but it’s just not something that lights me up. I’m never going to be the person whose highest aim is a corner office or to lead a team of people. That’s just not something I’m passionate about.
It’s also not in my personality. The people in nearly all of the examples in this book were very clearly outgoing extroverts who have no problem making their voices heard. That’s not who I am. I’m an introvert and I have social anxiety, which means speaking up in meetings and collaborative projects are difficult for me. (I’m very thankful that my current position caters to my shy, introverted needs!)
So, this book wasn’t exactly geared toward someone like me, but I did find lots of inspiration from Sarah. She was brutally honest about her failures and gave some really exceptional career advice. And her writing style was really easy to read and relatable and humorous at times. She’s definitely a unique person!
All in all, it’s perfect for people looking for career advice and a blueprint for moving through the ranks in a corporate environment, but if you’re thinking it’s going to be about how to be “Extreme” in your personal life, you’ll be disappointed.
As a child, Sarah Robb O’Hagan dreamed she could be a champion. Her early efforts failed to reveal a natural superstar, but she refused to settle for average. Through dramatic successes and epic fails, she studied how extraordinary people in sports, entertainment and business set and achieve extremely personal goals. Sarah became an executive at Virgin Atlantic and Nike, and despite being fired twice in her twenties, she went on to become the global president of Gatorade and of Equinox—as well as a wife, mother, and endurance athlete.
In every challenging situation, personal or professional, individuals face the pressure to play it safe and conform to the accepted norms. But doing so comes with heavy costs: passions stifled, talents ignored, and opportunities squelched. The bolder choice is to embrace what Sarah calls Extreme You: to confidently bring all that is distinctive and relevant about yourself to everything you do.
Inspiring, surprising, and practical, Extreme You is her training program for becoming the best version of yourself.
I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. All words and opinions, unless otherwise stated, are my own.
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