Born for This: Summary Review & Takeaways

This is a summary review of Born for This containing key details about the book.

What is Born for This About?

Born for This aims to help us find the intersection of joy, money, and flow. Through inspiring stories of those who have successfully landed their dream career, as well as actionable tools, exercises, and thought experiments, the author guides us through today’s vast menu of career options to discover the work perfectly suited to our unique interests, skills, and experiences. The book intends to show us how to find that one job or career that feels super right.

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Who is the Author of Born for This?

Chris Guillebeau is the New York Times bestselling author of The $100 Startup, The Happiness of Pursuit, and other books. Chris travels the world and writes for a small army of remarkable people at

What are key takeaways from Born For This?

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.

Book details

  • Print length: 396 Pages
  • Audiobook: 7 hrs and 7 mins
  • Genre: Business, Self Help, Management, Leadership

What are the chapters in Born For This?

Chapter 1 Flip the Script
Objective: Choose the Winning Ticket to Your Career Lottery

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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

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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)

What are some of the main summary points from the book?

Here are some key summary points from the book:

  • Self-reflection: The book likely emphasizes the importance of self-reflection to understand your passions, strengths, and values. By gaining clarity about yourself, you can align your career choices with what truly matters to you.
  • Experimentation: Trying out different career paths and opportunities is encouraged. This can involve side projects, internships, or volunteering. Through experimentation, you can gain insights into what energizes you and what doesn't.
  • Niche exploration: The book might highlight the significance of identifying a specific niche or area where your skills, interests, and market demand intersect. Specializing in a particular area can help you stand out and excel.
  • Networking and mentorship: Building relationships with like-minded individuals and seeking guidance from mentors can provide valuable insights, support, and opportunities in your career journey.
  • Embracing uncertainty: The book may emphasize the idea that finding the perfect career is a dynamic process, and it's normal to experience uncertainty and change along the way. Embracing uncertainty and being open to new possibilities can lead to unexpected opportunities.
  • Persistence and resilience: Pursuing your ideal career can be challenging, and setbacks are inevitable. The book may stress the importance of persistence, adaptability, and resilience in overcoming obstacles and staying committed to your goals.

What are good 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.

"If you want an outcome different from the one your current path is leading to, somehow you'll have to find the time. Being too busy may be the new social currency, but the real winners find time to do what matters to them.” (Meaning)

― Chris Guillebeau, Born for This Quotes

What do critics say?

Here's what one of the prominent reviewers had to say about the book: “Intensely practical and packed with real-life examples, Born for This is the essential guide for a career that will bring you not just a paycheck but true happiness.” — Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before

* The summary points above have been concluded from the book and other public sources. The editor of this summary review made every effort to maintain information accuracy, including any published quotes, chapters, or takeaways

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Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. 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 journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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