The Definition of Success - What Living Homeless Can Teach You 

"It's critical that Christianity discovers ways to make the Gospel practical in a culture that changes so rapidly it's impossible to keep up. This book does just that, telling a story that is both inspiring yet relatable so that anyone--regardless of belief system--can say, 'wow, I'm not sure if I believe in Jesus, but there's something to this, and we need more of it."

—Richard Rohr, O.F.M.

The Definition of Success tells the unlikely story of a recent graduate from an elite college who abandons the upper-middle-class aspirations of his upbringing by ditching plans for grad school and voluntarily checking into a homeless shelter.

Funny, heartbreaking, and deeply challenging, through encounters with the homeless this story confronts the things society tells us to blindly accept. We join Derek as he asks questions about success, and we watch him grapple with his beliefs in a religiously hypocritical culture. What he learns among the homeless forces the reader to re-examine their way of living, and their definition of success.

By living homeless Derek experiences first-hand the many barriers that prevent his friends from breaking free of the homeless cycle. In response, Derek forms a socially-innovative employment agency that ultimately becomes a multi-million dollar organization. This book is for those who are looking for meaning in their life and purpose in their vocation, who question their society, or who are jaded towards America's version of Christianity.

 

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Meet The Author

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Derek Snook is an author and social entrepreneur based in Charleston/New York.

After graduating with a BA from an elite school in 2009, Snook chose to move into a homeless shelter in the hope of finding out what might be needed to live a life of purpose. Against the advice of concerned friends and family members, Snook remained there for a full year. Out of this experience he founded an employment agency offering real incentives and stability to homeless job-seekers-- Charleston-based IES Labor Services.

During his period of voluntary homelessness, Snook kept a journal to record the fascinating stories, conversations, and interactions that formed the core of his life in the shelter. After years of pouring over these notes and supplementing them with experience as a business leader, Snook published his first book, "The Definition of Success: What Living Homeless Can Teach You" in 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

Praise for The Definition of Success

Here's what Influencers are saying:

"We need more entrepreneurs engaging the most difficult challenges our society faces today with these kinds of innovative businesses and approaches."

—Brad D. Smith, Chairman and CEO, Intuit

It's critical that Christianity discovers ways to make the Gospel practical in a culture that changes so rapidly it's impossible to keep up. This book does just that, telling a story that is both inspiring yet relatable so that anyone—regardless of belief system—can say, 'wow, I'm not sure if I believe in Jesus, but there's something to this, and we need more of it."

—Richard Rohr, O.F.M.

"The Definition of Success thoughtfully examines areas of life that most of us leave unchallenged while pointing to a higher ideal that goes far beyond that of any political party. The truth of Jesus for Christians points to a way and a life, but this book helps give that message a universal meaning."

—Mike McCurry, Press Secretary for President Clinton

"This book says that our lives are about more than the way we conventionally define success or failure. When we look, we can find value in every story."

—Mark Sanford, U.S. Congressional Representative 

"When I dream, I wish for the world in which there are many Derek Snooks whose eyes see the possibilities for those in need and in doing so find great purpose. Let's join hands with Derek to further his vision."

—Mayor John Tecklenburg 

Here's what readers are saying: 

"It made me really uncomfortable at times, revealing my internal dialogue as judgmental and prejudiced. It made me laugh, a lot! It has changed the way I look at the world around me. It has already been an opening for some really transparent, and sometimes difficult, conversations with friends and family."

"The Definition of Success reenergized my commitment to purpose. Derek walks us through his own journey of how engaging with people experiencing homelessness changed him. His vulnerability creates permission for the reader to then also be changed - and I highly recommend you read it!"

"If I knew Christians thought this way I wouldn't have walked away from God for so long."