Finding the work you were “born to do” isn’t just about discovering your passion. Doing what brings you joy is great, but if you aren’t earning a living, it’s a hobby, not a career.
Chris Guillebeau, the bestselling author of The $100 Startup, has created a practical guide for finding your perfect job—whether within a traditional company or business, or by striking out on your own.
You’ll learn how to:
• Hack the job of your dreams within a traditional organization by making it work for you
• Find not only your ideal work but also your ideal working conditions
• Create plans that will allow you to take smarter career risks and “beat the house” every time
• Start a profitable “side hustle” and earn extra cash on top of your primary stream of income
• Escape the prison of working for someone else and build a mini-empire as an entrepreneur
• Become a rock star at any creative endeavor by creating a loyal base of fans and followers
Takeaways From Born For This by Chris Guillebeau
Takeaway #1. Write your own career script.
Although some people know what they want to do with their lives, for most, it will take some time and effort. Experimenting is one way to discover your true calling. For example, you can try a few jobs in one industry. Let’s say that you’re considering employment with the circus and you try jobs cleaning up after the animals, box office sales, and working in the office. None of those jobs work for you, but soon you discover you like designing circus t-shirts. If you’re not sure about your career direction, note that you don’t have to subscribe to a set career path or follow the experience of others. Instead, write your own script and ditch tradition. Pass up job opportunities that don’t feel right.
Takeaway #2: The ideal job will provide you with joy, money, and a comfortable working environment.
If you could create your perfect job, what would it look like? Ideally, it would pay you to do what you love, give you a reasonable income and provide you with meaningful work that is not boring. Although everyone needs all three job ingredients, one thing might carry more weight than another. Things like employment hours and working conditions are also important. Think about whether you will be happy working a 9-to-5. What about your work environment? Do you want to work alone or with others? Will you be happy reporting to someone else or is self-employment right for you? After you’ve done self-examination and answered these questions, you’ll have a better idea of what job is best for you and you can move forward with finding it.
Takeaway #3: Conquer your fears, boost your confidence and take more risks.
Fear is a big hindrance to landing the right job. To get rid of your fears, you’ll need to look them square in the face. You might find that some are really harmless and others are far-fetched and not likely to happen. One common fear is that of missing out on something. Some people jump at a career opportunity afraid that another will not come along and they end up unhappy in their jobs. You can also gain control of your fears with preparation. Put together a career insurance plan that includes a safety net.
Takeaway #4: Identify both your skills and weaknesses.
Identify the skills that you’ve learned in school and outside of the classroom. Also, acknowledge your weaknesses because you don’t want to choose a career path in which you will struggle. Making a list of both will help you better set your career goals. Finally, you can implement the 100 People Project to start your job search or new business. How does it work? First, make a list of 100 people that you know. Then, put together a 15-minute presentation to tell them about you and what you offer. No matter your career choice, remember that it is always important to develop both your writing and speaking skills because you’ll need them no matter your career direction.
Takeaway #5: Keep your job while launching a new business.
If you’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur, it is possible to launch your business while keeping your day job. In fact, many successful businesses started as a “side hustle”. Keeping your job will allow you to continue to pay your bills. However, before you invest your time, you should develop a business plan and do your homework to determine whether your idea could be a viable business. Along with financial planning, marketing is a great place to start. One easy and affordable way to advertise is through social media. Once your business is more profitable, you can quit your job and commit to your business full time.
Takeaway #6: Create your own job.
Most people look for jobs in the same way. They create a LinkedIn profile and attend job fairs just to come up empty-handed. Creating your own job, however, is an exciting idea. Many have created their own jobs and even titles, such as Tony Bacigalupo who nominated himself to be the Mayor of New Work Cities, his coworking space. If you’re a writer, musician or an artist, you can hire an agent or represent yourself. Representing yourself gives you full control and you won’t have to share the profits. You can start by building a following of fans and friends through networking and social media.
Takeaway #7: Pursue multiple passions.
You don’t have to be tied down to a career your entire life. Throughout your career, you can pursue various passions. In different stages of your life, you might want to work full-time and at other times, you might prefer the freedom of a nomadic lifestyle. Afterall, freedom is all about having the ability to make choices. There are a couple of ways that you can make a transition work. Work shifting is one option. It involves switching back and forth between projects. For example, in the spring and summer, you might focus on landscaping, and in the winter months, you might focus on your writing. You might also work as a trainer in the afternoon and as a relationship coach at night.
Born to This Chapters
Chapter 1 Flip the Script
Objective: Choose the Winning Ticket to Your Career Lottery
Chapter 2 Your Money and Your Life
Objective: Have Both
Chapter 3 Always Bet on Yourself
Objective: Beat the House
Chapter 4 Prison Break 101
Objective: Master the Right Skills
Chapter 5 The Answer in Your Inbox
Objective: Find Your Thing
Chapter 6 Life Coaching from Jay-Z
Objective: Expand Your Options, Then Limit Them
Next Steps: A Menu of Options
Chapter 7 Side Hustle
Objective: Make More Money
Chapter 8 You, Inc.
Objective: Build a Small Empire
Chapter 9 How to Become a Firefighter (or Whatever You Want)
Objective: Play the Came That Will Increase Your Odds
Chapter 10 The Self-Employed Employee
Objective: Become Indispensable
Chapter 11 DIY Rock Star
Objective: Recruit a Small Army of Fans and Supporters
Chapter 12 How to do Everything You Want
Objective: Refuse to Choose
Chapter 13 Winners Give Up All the Time
Objective: Pursue the Right Opportunities (and Say Farewell to the Wrong Ones)
My Favorite Quotes from Born for This
"Being too busy may be the new social currency, but the real winners find time to do what matters to them"
“Finding the work you were meant to do is rarely a linear journey. It’s a process of exploring many little twists and turns that lead us to the place we ultimately belong.
“It’s less about how do I find time and more about why do I find time. You’ll always find time for things that have a strong enough why.
― Chris Guillebeau, Born for This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do
About The Author
Chris Guillebeau is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The $100 Startup and The Happiness of Pursuit, and is creator and host of the annual World Domination Summit, a gathering of cultural creatives that attracts such speakers as Susan Cain, Brené Brown, and Gretchen Rubin. He has been featured in a number of publications including Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fast Company. He has also been interviewed on CBS Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley as well as ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer.
About The Book
Genres: Business, Nonfiction, Psychology, Self Help
Synopsis Summary: This intersection of joy, money, and flow is what Guillebeau will help you find in this book. Through inspiring stories of those who have successfully landed their dream career, as well as actionable tools, exercises, and thought experiments, he’ll guide you through today’s vast menu of career options to discover the work perfectly suited to your unique interests, skills, and experiences.
Editorial Review: Born for This is chock-full of inspiring yet practical advice to develop new streams of business, build your fan base, and invent the job of your dreams. If you’re looking for someone to help you find your footing on the new frontier of work, Chris Guillebeau is your man.” (—Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell Is Human and Drive)
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Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating society to its abundance potential.