The Other Side of Success

On Sale Now

He chased the American Dream. Did his cutthroat journey break him…or see him reach his greatest achievement?

About the Book

Northern California, 1978. Martin Sawa refused to let poverty define his future. After growing up the son of penniless Ukrainian immigrants, the almost-thirty-year-old impulsively quit his nine-to-five to become a real estate salesperson working solely on commission. Determined to prosper despite his bare trickle of income and deteriorating home life, he set out to mold himself into a major player in San Francisco’s high-stakes commercial minefield.

As Sawa pushed his career forward—making bigger deals at each painstaking step up—he had one hand on the prize he’d dreamed of for years. But with stress driving him to alcoholism and poor choices, it took tragedy to force him to confront the true cost of his sacrifices.

Was the financial wealth worth the price of his soul?

Laid out in an intimate and passionate memoir, Sawa’s honest appraisal of his wins and losses in a volatile time of technological, social, and political change reveals an intensely personal challenge. Serving as a reminder of what really matters in the single-minded grind for excellence, his struggles to be his best self help the rest of us understand that we’re often exactly where we’re meant to be.

The Other Side of Success: Money and Meaning in the Golden State is a raw, in-depth look into a man with something to prove. If you like insider insights into high-level business, overcoming racial boundaries, and the fragile balance between prosperity and ruin, then you’ll love Martin Sawa’s emotional rollercoaster.

Buy The Other Side of Success to experience the good, the bad, and the impossible today!


‘The Other Side of Success’

“An often insightful look back on one man’s pursuit of the American dream…throughout his memoir, Sawa paints a vivid portrait of a diverse and vibrant California.”

“I will tell you, because I’ve read the book cover to cover, one of the most honest, most direct, most gut-wrenching and highly rewarding books I’ve ever read.”
Dr. Paul Reeves, Impact Radio USA

“America’s melting pot melds cultures and characters before your eyes in this wild ride of real estate developer Martin Sawa’s life. This saga of sales, seances, and successes shows the magic of self-invention in America.  It’s a page-turner, and while clinging to the sides of the real estate roller-coaster, reveals core values of goodness that make it all worthwhile.”
Philip K. Howard, award-winning author, attorney and founder of Common Good

“You won’t read many memoirs like this one…a financially successful son of immigrant parents who crosses racial boundaries in search of love creating a fulfilling life.”
Cheryl Y. Judice, author, sociologist and researcher on race, class and gender

About the Author

Martin Sawa

Photo by Jeannie O’Connor

Martin Sawa’s career has spanned over 30 years as a commercial real estate entrepreneur, including developer, operator/investor and broker. He has negotiated numerous high-profile transactions in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and has managed a $400 million development project.

The Other Side of Success: Money and Meaning in the Golden State is Martin’s raw and truthful accounting not only of the real estate business, but of his personal life as well.


Send a Message to Martin