You know the The Try Guys as viral sensations for trying an incredibly wide berth of things–from enduring simulated labor pains to consuming one of every item on a Taco Bell menu. The group has accumulated over a billion views to date with millions of followers and subscribers around the globe. Now Zach, Eugene, Keith and Ned have completed a whole new challenge that we are particularly excited about–a book! The Hidden Power of F*cking Up (Dey St.) is a self-improvement guide that creatively illustrates how anyone can overcome their personal obstacles through the examples set by the Guys.
Each member of The Try Guys team tackles a variety of issues in the areas of mental, emotional and physical health. Each shares raw anecdotes with uplifting messages; Keith on his insecurity with body image and the journey to make healthier choices; Ned delves into his dependence on pain killers after a rough knee surgery and the importance of therapy; Eugene unpacks his anxiety about being emotionally open with friends and family; Zach discusses his childhood depression and how it affected him growing up, among many other topics. Does this yank at your heartstrings? Make you feel vulnerable, but also motivated? Good. The Try Guys have always tried to move people in their creative pursuits and this book is another excellent example.
The book is organized to tackle sections of Health, Style, Work, Love and Family, with icons for each guy to chime in the different parts for clear organization and characteristically humorous dialogue. While most self-help books aim to transform you to the ultimate version of yourself, this book is refreshingly content with the current version of you. Using their “failosophy” it’s more about mixing up the patterns you are currently in to embrace possible changes. As Keith says, “Even if you think that you may not be able to change a bad habit 100 percent, you can change a bad habit 10 percent and it’s still an awesome improvement!”
We chatted with some of the Try Guys about their new book and the aspects they are most excited to share with fans.
BookTrib: Your book is all about trying new things despite the challenges they present. You’re used to sharing your experiences in videos, how was it switching to a whole new medium?
Keith: One thing that was really exciting for us writing the book was to go deeper into the stuff we were trying. In videos we have to fight for strangers’ attention on the internet and tell a story in 12-15 minutes. The book really allowed us to be more thorough in portraying where we were coming from. The tries in the book were more long-standing and had great personal effect. It was a totally new way of trying for us. I went vegan for two months and had a workout routine that was consistent. I started working out two-three times per week that I still stick to that routine now.
It was a great opportunity to change ourselves for the better. We each took areas of our lives that we felt we could use improvement. For me it was being more health conscious, for Ned it was trying new fashion options, Eugene wanted to work on connecting with his family and Zach examined his romantic relationships.
Ned: We each tried to overcome our deepest insecurities, knowing we might fail or fuck up, no matter the outcome. That’s how you truly grow.
Zach: The format itself offers deeper exploration. For videos we have to streamline for the most watchable content. The book allowed us to go deeper into our lives.
You started out with very short clips working for Buzzfeed and were able to expand with your own company and brand. Now you are able to expand even more with your own book. What was it like transitioning from the goofy and often light-hearted videos to tackle heavy subjects with serious emotional and physical challenges, ultimately balancing them with advice and a positive message?
Zach: We’ve always been interested in addressing bigger topics. Since the beginning we’ve been looking for the best form to deliver it in. We joke that the favorite thing for us to do is surprise people with emotions. Our videos can start out very funny and then all of a sudden you could be crying. We’ve always wanted to move people. As we’ve grown more comfortable with understanding our audience, and understanding the opportunities of new mediums, it’s allowed us to push deeper.
The book emphasizes with personal anecdotes and insights that each of you has your own strengths and weaknesses, but you come together brilliantly as a team. What would you say most binds you together?
Keith: I would say it’s the passion to create content that connects people. All of our videos involve us dipping our toes into other people’s hobbies and interests. For example, ballet. To so many people, ballet is their world. It’s awesome to acknowledge something that’s so important to others, but we’re also trying to show everyone the importance of trying new things. You don’t have to know or like something to try and appreciate it. It’s important to highlight other people’s passions and show how valid and amazing they are.
Your book is punctuated with inspirational quotes from historical figures and moments of trying that led to famous success. Who do each of you look up to most as role models?
Ned: I’m always inspired by the Thomas Edison quote that “Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” Even if you have a great idea, it still takes a ton of work to make it a reality. I know it’s always inspired and driven me to keep going, even when something is difficult or not particularly glamorous anymore. It’s important to remember that there is a ton of work that goes into any big beautiful idea.
Keith: I’m inspired by teachers. Every teacher has to learn so many different things outside of what they teach to be a good teacher. We worked with lots of experts to create our videos and this book. Imparting education is so critical and teachers are never getting compensated enough. My mom is a teacher and so was my mother-in-law. It’s a community full of such inspiring people who are not being paid enough but still are encouraging kids to find their passions. Maybe some of the best triers out there are public school teachers and college professors who are helping the next generation to be curious in new things.
Would you ever try writing another book? What are you working on creatively right now?
Keith: We’re actually finishing up dress rehearsals for a 20-city nationwide tour for a variety show dressed up as a glam-rock show. We’re excited once again to break into a totally new medium of performance and art. The show also carries our messageof trying new things and learning from our own failures to ultimately grow for the best. We’d love to flex the book muscle more. We lead interesting lives and would be happy to share more. Zach, Eugene and Ned are all excellent creative writers and so they may be interested in something more novel-like.
Zach: Writing is always something I wish I got to do more of within the context of the Try Guys. Working on this project was such a wonderful creative outlet. It’s up to everyone out there to make this book do well so I could have this opportunity again in the future.
Ned: I personally would love to make a cookbook, maybe the Hidden Power of Eating.
Keith and Zach in unison: Wooow.
Keith: Ned has taken to a lot of cooking lately, and especially baking. Another example of a project that inspired real change in our lives was when we decided to make bread without a recipe. He’s taken a break now because of the tour, but he was making a loaf of bread every morning.
Any big takeaway message you hope readers glean from the book?
Ned: We’ve arranged the book in such a way that people can follow along with us and tackle each personal challenge alongside of us.
Keith: This book is all about where we came from and we hope the readers enjoy a fun new opportunity to learn more about us. You shouldn’t enter a change and expect to succeed. You have to fail. Failure is awesome and shows that you tried and have room for improvement. Failure is the first step in getting better.
The Hidden Power of F*cking Up is now available for purchase.
ABOUT THE TRY GUYS:
The Try Guys is an Internet comedy series made up of Ned Fulmer, Keith Habersberger, Zach Kornfeld, and Eugene Lee Yang, who all write, direct, produce, and shoot each of their episodes. Their viral videos have garnered over 1 billion views across social media platforms.