The book emphasizes heavily life education, glorifies 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 a hospital due to malnutrition before becoming the 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 the unknown (whose risk most people avoid) and leadership (which acts as a multiplier of impact).
- Get financial stability – get rid of debts, and have some savings.
- Create room for experimentation – Figure out a job schedule that 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 the 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 part of learning. What matters most is resilience.
Mike Faith is an amazing salesman, he made his first million and then lost everything (in the UK property market) in his mid-twenties. With his resilience, he moved to the USA with $1000, eventually founding headsets.com.
If the pursuit of a risky dream imparts useful business skills along the journey, then even in the worst case, the pursuer ends up learning useful skills.
How to find great mentors and teachers to connect with
Great networking is not about the back-and-forth, it’s 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 the life of someone who is already established (common areas being personal finance, relationships, health, hobbies, and causes or a specialized skill that could be of use to the receiver) or connect them to someone where a connection could create a win-win potential for both parties
The general perception of marketing is that it’s 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 the right customers.
Recommended blogs: copyblogger.com, marieforleo.com, mattfurey.com, jonathanfields.com, and Seth Godin
People don’t talk about the best-writing author; they talk about the 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 in that craft.
Success is a skill – it consists of the skill of marketing, the skill of sales, and the skill of leadership.
Sales are 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 – a single mother of three, reached out to a charter bus company and became its first salesperson, navigated several senior sales positions, and eventually founded the California Leadership center.
Investing for success
John Paul Dejoria – was a single father and broke. He tried several jobs with little success. He learned sales while doing the door-to-door selling of encyclopedias (in the pre-Wikipedia era). Eventually, he bootstrapped hair care products with a friend Paul Mitchell.
Most people reinvest their earnings either into their business or learn new skills (as opposed to investing them in debts and equities).
Phillip Ruffin bootstrapped himself by doing a small real estate business and keeping it growing. Eventually, he took the risk of buying Frontier hotel (which was having union problems, he settled with the union first before buying the hotel). The later sale of the hotel promoted him from multi-millionaire to billionaire status.
Matt Mullenweg – created WordPress, tried a few jobs and did not succeed much, eventually decided to focus full time on WordPress (the most popular content management system in the world).
Learning as an 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 interested in problem-oriented (as opposed to content-oriented), and prefer more self-directed education (as opposed 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 the public face of Rackspace. His biggest credential is being able to build his professional presence at the right time.
Entrepreneurial vs. Employee mindset
We don’t choose what happens to us, but we get to choose what it means.
|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 the 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 an even bigger role.
Caesar Ritz started as a waiter, but he looked at himself in a waiter role, as a transitional point, to hotel manager one day.
Entrepreneurial mindset people carve out their path as opposed to working on the path carved out by someone else.
Louis Marx fought 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 the largest toy manufacturer in the 1920s.