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Finnegan's Way: The Secret Power of Doing Things Badly [Kindle Edition]

Charles Kelly , Patrick Millikin , Kee Rash
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

We’ve all met people who made a difference for us, who stepped up at just the right time with advice and wisdom. Finnegan, a mysterious, congenial man who may or may not be British, is just such a person. He’s the focus of this life-changing fable: Finnegan’s Way: The Secret Power of Doing Things Badly. Finnegan is not dispensing advice on how to grind the last bit of work out of underpaid employees. Instead, he has a life-affirming message for everyone: the manager, the employee, the lonely man seeking a relationship, the stressed-out woman seeking to lose a few pounds, the dispirited person trying to get going again. Finnegan forgives. He understands human failings. He doesn’t chide us for complaining that someone moved our cheese. Instead, he shows us a way to use our mistakes to get us where we want to go. Once you meet Finnegan, your life will never be the same again.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Charles Kelly, formerly a reporter for The Arizona Republic, was co-winner of the Arizona Journalist of the Year Award in 1992. During his career as a journalist, he investigated the 1976 contract murder of Republic reporter Don Bolles, located several missing heirs, and helped a wrongly convicted American tugboat captain get out of a Mexican prison. He is the author of the novel Pay Here, issued in 2007 by Point Blank Press, the story “The Eighth Deadly Sin,” published in the collection Phoenix Noir, issued in 2009 by Akashic Books, and the self-help book Finnegan’s Way: The Secret Power of Doing Things Badly. His biography of an amnesiac hard-boiled novelist, Gunshots in Another Room: The Forgotten Life of Dan J. Marlowe, was published in 2012. Kelly lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Product Details

  • File Size: 285 KB
  • Print Length: 90 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Charles Kelly (July 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0059HC228
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #827,614 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breath of fresh air July 3, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Don't let the subtitle fool you: the secret power of doing things badly isn't for slackers. It's about giving yourself, and those around you, the freedom to release the potential we all seem to repress one way or another. This is especially true in relationships with other people. For example, are you getting the best results that your employees or subordinates are capable of producing? What can be said regarding /your/ efforts? How about your personal relationships? Are you happy? And equally important, are other people happy to be around you? If you're the least bit curious, pick up this book. There is, of course, no ultimate roadmap to success and happiness, but there's nothing like an insightful, modern-day fable to help nudge you in the right direction. What I found almost immediately, while reading the introduction, was a pleasantly infectious voice that carried over to the main text and continued to hold my interest to the last page. I couldn't read it fast enough, anxious to see how the story would end, and I wasn't disappointed. I can't imagine anyone finishing "Finnegan's Way" without a smile on their face.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice way to see things differently.... September 4, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I recieved a free copy of this book to review and to be honest, I wasn't too excited from the title, but I thought I wouldn't judge a book by it's title and dug in. This is a short little book that basically gives you a different way to look at things thru the eyes or teachings of a fictional man named Finnigan. I won't give another synopsis since others have done that, but Finnigan's ideas were quite clever and give you a different perspective on how to let go of the perfection that everyone persues in jobs, and personal lives. I personally realize that I strive for perfection so much and worry about it a lot that I don't get to be in the moment or relax. This is a great little story that shows you how to perhaps let go of that and maybe actually do things a bit better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life changing book for me April 4, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I know every book out there has that one guy that says this book changed my life and made my dreams come true, but that is exactly how I feel.

I was in a job I hated, working for a boss I was just not working well with, who had to have everything perfect. I read this book and the gulf between my boss and I grew. My attitude changed however and I worked each day doing my best but not sweating perfection. In the end I was laid off.

Sounds bad I know, but someone was watching from afar. A client and president of a large multinational offered me a position on his executive team. I got a large raise, increased responsibility. And now that I am completely swamped with demands and projects, the approach in this book has allowed me to handle the stress of it all very well indeed.

I am meeting all deadlines, and am constantly being complimented. The work I do is having a large impact and is very team driven. The onus on me to get it perfect was lifted, and I became an efficiency machine kick butts and taking names.

I cannot recommend this book enough. Embrace it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finnegan's Unconventional Way August 26, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a witty, entertaining and deceptively smart book. From a corner table in Starbucks, the mysterious Finnegan dispenses advice about life, love and work. The narrator, who owns a small publishing company, is troubled on nearly every front. In particular, he's unable to motivate his employees and thus his business is in jeopardy of failing.

One morning, he overhears Finnegan dispensing his wisdom to a troubled woman, but immediately dismisses Finnegan as a crackpot when he hears Finnegan tell the woman to follow his advice "in the worst possible way." A week later, though, the narrator accepts an invitation to join Finnegan and thus begins the tutelage that will turn his life around.

Finnegan's basic advice is to do things badly, the premise being that people become so caught up in the determination to do things perfectly that they become paralyzed and accomplish little or nothing. By freeing themselves to act without fear of the consequences, they are liberated and in the end may perform quite well.

Over the space of a few weeks, Finnegan tutors the narrator, offering lessons that might well benefit a large number of people beyond the troubled publisher. Charles Kelly has a very charming and engaging voice, and he has written a book that in the end seems way too short. Finnegan's Way should appeal to a large number of readers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Kelly's Way July 31, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lives there the man or woman who has never forsaken a task or path for fear of failing? Well, yes, there lives such. But for the rest of us, we procrastinate or, worse, never act. This large group, of which, as noted, I am some times a member, is the target for Charles Kelly's sensible book.

An accomplished journalist based in Arizona, Charles Kelly has created an impish, fictional alter ego named Finnegan who, while holding court in a Scottsdale Starbucks, dispenses wisdom to those in need of a psychic tune-up--and who among us, on some days, isn't? I found the book easy-to-read, enjoyable and worthwhile.

As the great Dr. Johnson wrote, people more frequently require to be reminded than informed. This Charles Kelly has done, with practical and at times seemingly counter-intuitive advice. We'll all profit from sharing a cup of coffee, so to speak, with Finnegan, but only if we're open to, and then act on, his wise words.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Makes a good point
Charles Kelly makes a good point and the book is readable.
Published 9 months ago by Deon Joubert
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, well written!
I really enjoyed reading this book. Reminds me of the One Minute Manager, inserting principles into everyday stories. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Lampa
5.0 out of 5 stars Good recommendation!
This book is different but inspiring, witty, clever, and brilliant. I like how it starts and ends. It's a quick enjoyable read.
Published 14 months ago by Lena M Phangvilay
4.0 out of 5 stars gets you thinking
Clever story. Really got me thinking. Such a simple idea. Great easy read was perfect for a plane ride. I would read it again.
Published 14 months ago by john n
4.0 out of 5 stars Short, Sweet, and a Side of Humor
Nicely written. I probably like this because I mostly agree with it.

It's better to do than not do. You can't make big improvements without trying something new. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Ratbert the Optimist
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
Enjoyable read with some half hidden nuggets of common knowledge scattered throughout.

The only question in the entire book, that is addressed to the reader, is on the... Read more
Published 20 months ago by LeeStewart
5.0 out of 5 stars finnegans way...loved it!
This was a great book. I would love to meet someone like Finnegan. He was interesting as well as wise. Charles Kelly has an amazing way of telling a story. Read more
Published on February 11, 2013 by C. Thornton
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing knowledge(If your life is near stand still pls read this)
Wow ! what an amazing way of doing things,I am touched by the way the book has opened new perspective of dealing with people and situations at both work and personal life. Read more
Published on January 31, 2013 by dave
2.0 out of 5 stars It would be good if not for 'badly'.
Just when you think it's starting to make sense the word 'badly' is used and everything is confusing again. Read more
Published on January 23, 2013 by rerire33
5.0 out of 5 stars Finnegan's Way
I like it! The book is short, but to the point. The "philosophy" includes a lot of common sense and the author provides specific examples, some of which are pointed, some of which... Read more
Published on August 20, 2012 by DanaRae
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More About the Author

Charles Kelly formerly was a reporter for The Arizona Republic. During his reporting career, he found missing heirs, investigated the 1976 bomb murder of Republic reporter Don Bolles, and helped a wrongly convicted tugboat captain get out of a Mexican prison. Kelly is the author of the biography Gunshots in Another Room: The Forgotten Life of Dan J. Marlowe. He also wrote Pay Here, a novel published by Point Blank Press, and the short story "The Eighth Deadly Sin," published in the collection Phoenix Noir, issued by Akashic Books. His novel, Grace Humiston and the Vanishing, was a finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. When Kelly's self-help book, Finnegan's Way: The Secret Power of Doing Things Badly, was first offered free for two days, it was downloaded by 8,000 readers.

Kelly's website is and his e-mail address is


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