The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career – Reid Hoffman & Ben Casnocha


Are you ready for the future? Do you have a game plan for the next step in your journey?

I am constantly reminded of the Chinese proverb: "the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." The sentiment of this quote seems even more prescient in our current times when it seems like there is more uncertainty than ever before. I have come to see that planting seeds is key to preparing ourselves for the future to create new opportunities for ourselves and future generations. Today's book recommendation is all about planting seeds in your career so that you stay relevant and ahead of the curve. The book may be dated, but you could say that this was a seed planted a long time ago, but the advice is ripe and ready to consume today.

Let's start planting some seeds!

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The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career – Reid Hoffman & Ben Casnocha

"All humans are entrepreneurs not because they should start companies but because the will to create is encoded in human DNA."

startup-of-youI remember reading this book when it first came out in 2012, and I was completely blown away. I think I recommended it to pretty much everyone I knew at the time. The Start-Up of You is a blueprint for thriving in your job and building a career by applying the lessons of Silicon Valley's most innovative entrepreneurs and the authors, LinkedIn co-founder, and chairman Reid Hoffman and author Ben Casnocha are the perfect guides. The key is to manage your career as if it were a start-up business: a living, breathing, growing start-up of you. Why? Start-ups, and the entrepreneurs who run them, are nimble. They invest in themselves. They build their professional networks. They take intelligent risks. They make uncertainty and volatility work to their advantage. These are the very same skills professionals need to get ahead today.

Here are some of the key insights:

  • All Humans Are Entrepreneurs: To adapt to the challenges of professional life today, we need to rediscover our entrepreneurial instincts and use them to forge new careers.
  • Develop a Competitive Advantage: Differentiate or die. To beat the competition, companies develop clear reasons why a customer should pick them over other alternatives.
  • Plan to Adapt: Entrepreneurial career planning and adapting are about being flexibly persistent: always ready to adapt and persistent in driving towards set goals.
  • It Takes A Network: Relationships matter to your career no matter the organization or your level of seniority because, ultimately, every job boils down to interacting with people.
  • Pursue Breakout Opportunities: The trajectories of remarkable careers are not slow and steady up and to the right. Rather, they are marked by breakout opportunities career experiences that lead to unusually rapid gains.
  • Take Intelligent Risks: Risk isn't the enemy; it's a permanent part of life. In fact, being proactively intelligent about risk is a prerequisite for seizing those breakout opportunities. Overall, it's probably not as risky as you think. We're wired for evolutionary reasons to overestimate risk. If you can tolerate the worst-case outcome, be open to it.
  • Who You Know Is What You Know: The most meaningful way to differentiate your company from your competition, the best way to put distance between you and the crowd, is to do an outstanding job with information. How you gather, manage, and use information will determine whether you win or lose.

Start tapping into your network. Start investing in skills. Start taking intelligent risks. Start pursuing breakout opportunities. But most of all, start forging your own path by adapting these rules to your own life. Life is in permanent beta; the trick is to never stop starting.

Check out the Book Here



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