Julien Smith is one of those guys that most people will never fully appreciate. I'm lucky that I've called him a friend for a number of years and in that time we've shared a wild ride of experiences. He's funny, smart, loyal and most of all challenging.
Some people don't want challenging people in their lives. They want friends who will always agree with them, never question any decision and will knod and grin at the appropriate times. I prefer to have friends who will always give me their honest opinion, shoot straight and push me to be a better person. Julien has always been this friend for me.
Now, he has taken his challenging nature to a whole new level with his first solo book The Flinch and you must stop reading immediately, click on that link and go get yourself a copy. By the way, it is free.
The Flinch pulls no punches. It has the same sharp tongue writing that Julien's blog In Over Your Head has highlighted for years. Reading it feels like you are sitting down over a vodka and soda with him as he looks you in the eye and rants straight from the heart.
"It is not a self-help book. I hate that stuff, and I dislike the way its authors treat their audiences with disrespect and condescension."
That is what Julien told me when I asked him about the book being grouped with other self help rags and he is correct. The Flinch is much more than that. It provides exercises for you to experience. They are not easy, but neither is leaning in to a punch and not flinching. He wants you to feel uncomfortable, but come out on the other side stronger for it.
It is a short read and that is good since you'll end up wanting to read it over and over. My only complaint about it being only available electronically is that I can't cover it in highlighter and sticky notes to quickly reference.
And if you are hoping for a Trust Agents 2, this is not the book for you. Any social media douchebags who want everything handed to them on a silver influencer outreach platter should read something else.
The Flinch is for people who want to do better in their lives and jobs. It is for the people who feel like they keep building up momentum, but never break through the wall. It is for everyone who doubts themselves, but knows they can do better. In my mind, this book is a must read book for everyone.
As a parent, I realized that this would be a dangerously awesome book for older children to read, but be warned that it may create a very strong will child. I asked Julien if he grew up with parents who taught him not to flinch and he responded:
"My parents taught me to work on the things that mattered to me. I couldn't think of something that mattered more than this. Even after writing it, this book still helps me. I hope it helps you too."
Julien, I'm damn proud to call you a friend and damn proud of you for writing The Flinch.