THE RIDE OF A LIFETIME By Paul Teutil, Sr with Mark Yost – Reviewed

If you’re coming to this book as a fan of the show, as I was, if you’re thinking this is a business book, as I was, and are looking for insights into running your own business, as I was, then you’re in the wrong place.

This is a very basic management book. It contains very few business tips, there are a few time-worn management skills, many of which are basic common sense, and most of which are fairly obvious. The depth of the book, at nearly a hundred and fifty pages, isn’t worth mentioning. Reading the chapter titles will give you a very good idea of what to expect as Paul gives us his own person take on management. He’s obviously a big man with a good strong head on those broad shoulders, who tries to surround himself with good people.

He also has some serious issues with his parents and his troubled childhood, and he’s rightly proud of doing so well considering his upbringing and dealing with his own demons, in the form or drugs and alcohol, which he was addicted to for twenty years.

What comes across more than anything is that this is a hard-working man. He doesn’t have any special secrets or any special talent, but he does have the drive to succeed and a passion to do his best.

As a fan of OCC and American Choppers I can’t help but think of this as a cash-in. Perhaps not by Paul, who seems to think his wisdom is worth sharing, but more by the publishers, who haven’t pushed Paul at all to reveal how he managed to be a functioning alcoholic, and build two successful businesses.

If you’re looking for business insight then you would be better served with another book. If you’re looking for an OCC book then look elsewhere too. This is not a bad management book, but it’s not a bible, and it’s only one man’s opinion. And it’s very basic, barely backed up by experience.

This book is for those really interested in OCC and how Paul got started, and his management style. Which I would imagine is really only a few people.

The book doesn’t fail because of the OCC tie-up, it’s the only thing it has going for it. I can’t help thinking that as the season of American Chopper ends, with the family going in their separate direction, the future of OCC is going to be very different. Apart from the unknown daughter, the sons don’t particularly come out too well in the book either. And despite appearing so important to Senior in the book, the arguments and the way two of his sons are treated in the series and described in the book, it seems that his children won’t stand in the way of his success either. It seems that it is the end of OCC as it was, and that Senior is powering on by himself, and with his management tenets behind him, you have to worry that the future may well not be as bright as he thinks it is.

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