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The Accidental Millionaire: How to Succeed in Life Without Really Trying

Book Description

The Accidental Millionaire is the memoir of Gary Fong, would-be slacker who revolutionized wedding photography, inventor of popular photography aids, entrepreneur, contrarian, bon vivant and a man who really, really didn’t want to become a doctor. A first-generation Chinese-American, Gary was raised in one of Los Angeles’ least-desirable neighborhoods and was forced to deal—in his own quirky and often very funny way—with the burdens of poverty, crime and his parents’ relentless aspirations. These issues almost overwhelmed him until he had a dramatic epiphany. Spotting a bumper sticker that read “Since I gave up hope, I feel much better,” Gary promptly did just that. He stopped trying and started succeeding. At turns hilarious, insightful and instructive, The Accidental Millionaire is Horatio Alger-meets-David Sedaris. Turning the traditional self-help principles upside down, The Accidental Millionaire disdains the goal-oriented approaches of traditional self-help philosophies. Sometimes not knowing where you are going is the best possible way to get there.

Table of Contents

  1. Praise
  2. Title Page
  3. the plan
  4. chapter one
    1. My Mom, the Guinea Pig
    2. What’s Behind the Mysterious Window?
    3. Hairspray
    4. Declaration of Independence
    5. Zen and Karate
    6. Manny’s Mudsuckers
    7. A Night Under the Stairs
    8. Swap Meets and Filet Mignon
    9. From $75 a Month to $75 an Hour
    10. Nothing Changes
    11. Surviving in Compton
    12. Premeditated
    13. How Not to Run a Business
  5. chapter two
    1. I Start a Career in Pictures
    2. Cracking Down
    3. UCLA Can Be Deadly
    4. One-Hour Photo Snapshot #1: Thumbs Down
    5. One-Hour Photo Snapshot #2: Barbra Streisand Didn’t Get It
    6. One-Hour Photo Snapshot #3: Oxy/Moron
    7. One-Hour Photo Snapshot #4: Chill, Dude
    8. Santa Barbara Bound
    9. Two Jeffs
    10. One-Hour Photo Snapshot #5: Firing Myself
    11. End-of-the-Year Photo Night
    12. Life Magazine Changes My Life
    13. Rocky Gunn
    14. Not in Kansas Anymore
  6. chapter three
    1. A Rocky Start
    2. Hooked
    3. Rocky Horror Picture Show, Snapshot #1
    4. Rocky Horror Picture Show, Snapshot #2
    5. Rocky Horror Picture Show, Snapshot #3
    6. The Coin Toss of Destiny
    7. I Take the Plunge
    8. Getting College Out of the Way
    9. Once Upon a Time (The Storybook Opens)
    10. Charlie’s Angels
    11. My Son, the Wedding Photographer
    12. Rocky Dies
    13. On Parole
    14. My First Wedding Photography Assignment: Earn More Than a Doctor
    15. Bill and Julie, My First Wedding
    16. The Pay-Off
  7. chapter four
    1. Seeking Closure
    2. The Nightgown
    3. The Original Bridezilla
    4. Great Expectations
  8. chapter five
    1. Storybook Takes Off
    2. Flying Solo
    3. My First Presentation
    4. Fly With Me Instead
    5. Flying Tethered
    6. Stuck With Each Other
    7. The Wrong Fong
    8. Never to Be Forgiven
  9. chapter six
    1. The Nights Under the Desk
    2. A Real Studio
    3. The Money Machine
    4. My First Mercedes
    5. HE HAS A GUN!
    6. Targeted at Target
    7. Antoine
    8. The Stranger in My Bed
    9. The Stranger in My Bed, Part II
    10. Giving Up Hope
  10. chapter seven
    1. The Intruder in the Spider Outfit
    2. What Inspired Me to Become an Inventor
    3. So I Invented Montage
    4. I Become a Software Guy
    5. Pitching Montage
    6. Montage Wraps
    7. My Lecture Career Resuscitated
    8. The Virtual Masquerade Party
    9. Alex Really Is a Girl
    10. A Real Conversation
    11. Cohabitation
    12. Mom Dies
    13. The Stranger at the Altar
  11. chapter eight
    1. Two Wedding Photographers in a Federal Jury Trial
    2. Caught Red-Handed
    3. The Jury Is Staring
    4. Busted
    5. A $240,000 Paperweight?
    6. Pictage
    7. The World Explodes
    8. The 9/11 Town Hall Tours
    9. Burned Out
  12. chapter nine
    1. Remembering and Forgetting
    2. The Art of Retirement
    3. Why Canon Dumped Me
    4. Digital Intensive
    5. Destiny Seems Familiar
  13. chapter ten
    1. Pre-Visualization
    2. The Lake House
    3. Border Blues
    4. How I Accidentally Created a Multimillion-Dollar Plastics Enterprise
    5. The Rotation
    6. Something About New York City
    7. Big White Ski Resort Village
    8. Abandoning Ship
  14. chapter eleven
    1. Never Say Never
    2. My Last Lap Around the Globe
    3. An Unexpectedly Wonderful Life
    4. My Approach
    5. The Law of Repulsion
  15. about the author
  16. Acknowledgements
  17. Copyright Page