The book emphasizes heavily on life education, glorifying college dropouts and questions college education (except for specialized fields like law and medicine).
How to make your work meaningful and your meaning work
David Gilmour dropped out of Cambridge and being impoverished, ended up in hospital due to malnutrition before becoming famous drummer for Pink Floyd.
Anthony Sandberg dropped out of Dartmouth, tried several things and eventually became a successful sailing instructor (he borrowed boats from boat owners on weekdays to teach and hence, was able to start with zero initial capital).
Impact requires venturing into unknown (whose risk most people avoid) and leadership (which acts as multiplier of impact).
- Get financial stability – get rid of debts, have some savings.
- Create room for experimentation – Figure out a job schedule which allows for experimentation
- Begin experimentation use money from step 1 to experiment around (while keeping the source of money around)
- Strike out on your own – Either as a part of current organization or on your own, follow the direction set by a successful experiment from step 3
Entrepreneurship is like dating – failures are unavoidable and are a a part of learning. What matters most is resilience.
Mike Faith is an amazing salesman, he made his first million and then lost everything (in UK property market) in his mid-twenties. With his resilience, he moved to USA with $1000, eventually founding headsets.com.
If the pursuit of a risky dream imparts useful business skills along the journey, then even in worst case, the pursuer ends up learning useful skills.
How to find great mentors and teachers to connect with
Great networking is not about back-and-forth, its about giving with no expectation of anything in return.
Elliot Bisnow invited several CEOs on an all-expenses paid ski trip to Utah (to build connections with them), later, he called corporate sponsors to pay for the trip. Today he is one of the most well-connected twenty something and is pursuing the summit trips full time.
There are two basic ways to find great connections
- Find people with great future potential and help them in reaching their goal
- Add some value to life of someone who is already established (common areas being personal finance, relationships, health, hobbies and causes or a specialized skill which could be of use to receiver) or connect them to someone where connection could create a win-win potential for both parties
The general perception of marketing is that its sleazy and manipulative, the reality is that good marketing is making your potential customers know about you (or your company).
A lot of businesses fail because they are not able to reach out to right customers.
Recommended blogs: copyblogger.com, marieforleo.com, mattfurey.com, JohnathanFields.com and Seth Godin
People don’t talk about best-writing author, they talk about best-selling author.
One can get better at a particular craft but being able to sell oneself is equally important (successful people in a craft are not always the best individuals of that craft).
Success is a skill – it consists of skill of marketing, skill of sales and skill of leadership.
Sales is about knowing what customer needs and if you have a good solution/product, offering it.
Leadership is about being able to influence (not manipulate) people not control them.
Marijo Franklin – single mother of three, reached out to a charter bus company and became its first sales person, navigated several senior sales positions and eventually founded California Leadership center.
Investing for success
John Paul Dejoria – was single father and broke. He tried several jobs with little success. He learnt sales while doing door-to-door selling of encyclopedias (in pre-wikipedia era). Eventually, he bootstrapped hair care products with a friend Paul Mitchell.
Most people reinvest their earnings either into their business or learning new skills (as oppose to investing them in debts and equities).
Phillip Ruffin bootstrapped himself by doing small real estate business and keeping it growing, eventually he took a risk of buying Frontier hotel (which was having union problems, he settled with union first before buying the hotel). The later sale of hotel promoted him from multi-millionaire to billionaire status.
Matt Mullenwag – created WordPress, tried a few jobs and did not succeed much, eventually decided to focus full time on WordPress (most popular content management system in the world).
Learning as adult: Adults need a reason to learn something, they are involved in planning as well as evaluation, more interested in subjects having immediate relevance, more interest in problem-oriented (as oppose to content-oriented), and prefer more self-directed education (as oppose to taught).
Building the brand of you
Your brand is what people think about when they hear your name.
One should have a website under his/her name to establish the brand.
Robert Scoble started blogging when there were ~200 blogs in the world. Worked in NEC sales dept, eventually hired by Microsoft (when he suggested corporate blogging to Steve Ballmer, then CEO of Microsoft) and that did not go well. Currently, working as public face of Rackspace. His biggest credential being able to build his professional presence at right time.
Entrepreneurial vs Employee mind-set
We don’t choose what happen to us but we get to choose what it means.
|Entrepreneurial mind-set||employee mind-set|
|Focus on contribution||Focus on entitlement|
|Focus on outcome||Focus on output|
|Sort for what’s needed||Sort for what’s requested|
|Go towards big decisions (even without authority)||Turn away from even the small decisions you have authority to make|
|See your circumstances as illusory and temporary||See your circumstances as fixed and permanent|
Work yourself out of your job, so that, you can take even bigger role.
Caesar Ritz started as a waiter but he looked at himself in waiter role, as a transitional point, to hotel manager one day.
Entrepreneurial mind-set people carve out their own path (as oppose to working on path carved out by someone else).
Louis Marx faught hard with his employer (Ferdinand Strauss) to shut down the retail business and focus solely on toy manufacturing. He failed, so, he left and started his own company (Louis Marx and Company) which became largest toy manufacturer in 1920s.