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Born for This Summary

6 min read ⌚ 

Born for This SummaryHow to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do

Unsatisfying career, middle-level managers who torment you on a daily basis, low wages, 9-5 working hours, no prospects for a promotion – oh, no, you were not born for this! But, everybody’s like that! Could there actually be something more than this?

Chris Guillebeau says there is. And “Born for This” is his how-to manual.

Who Should Read “Born for This”? And Why?

If you hate your job – “Born for This” is one of the first books you should include on your reading list. However, since it goes over many strategies on how to find the work you were meant to do, the book may be even more interesting to those who have just entered the job market. Namely, recent graduates.

Finally, it should appeal to the more fortunate ones as well. Because it can teach them how they can start their own business, while not losing the comfort of having a job.

About Chris Guillebeau

Chris GuillebeauChris Guillebeau is an American blogger, motivational speaker, and nonfiction writer. He made his name as the author of “The Art of Non-Conformity” blog, now available at this address. Subsequently, he published a book with the same title in 2010, which was followed by the extremely popular “The $100 Startup” – which we had to include among our top entrepreneurship books.

Since then, he has published three more books: “The Happiness of Pursuit,” “Born for This,” and “Side Hustle.”

“Born for This Summary”

Lillian Moller Gilbreth is probably not a name you have heard too many times before – even if you have watched all “Cheaper by the Dozen” films!

If you have – it’s based on her life. Yes: that means that she had 12 children. But, she was also one of the first female engineers to earn a Ph.D. in human history!

No wonder they called her “a genius in the art of living”!

To say the least, Gilbreth was an expert in efficiency. And she earned her expertise by constantly experimenting with her family’s time management (in a good way, of course)!

And if she could do it – back when she had so many obstacles to confront – why shouldn’t you be able as well?

That’s what Chris Guillebeau tries to tell – and teach – you in his remarkably simple manual for efficiency “Born for This.”

Lesson number one: if you want to win the career lottery, start experimenting! Everything else you hear – is, more or less, a lie. There’s no clear-cut way to success – just as there’s no one sure-fire way to live your life!

You career shouldn’t be a warfare or a “Survivor” episode! In fact, you shouldn’t even fathom it as a career at all – if by “career” you mean “an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress”!

Oh, no!

You want to work in the circus now – please do! And six months later you want to train for a pilot – do that if you have the money. And regret nothing if three years later you realize that circus was where you were meant to be from the start!

Because that’s exactly why you started experimenting in the first place: finding your ideal job. And, as Guillebeau giftedly presented at “Talks at Google” there’s always more than one path to reach it.

Speaking of ideal jobs – no matter what they are, they seem to all share four traits.

First of all, you want to do them! Mark Twain supposedly said that if you find a job you enjoy doing, you will never have to work a day in your life. And he was right!

However, joy is only a part of the equation. And it tends to diminish if the money isn’t enough, or the work flow is all wrong. So, you need to earn as much as you deserve, and you need to feel that you’re fully immersed in your work and constantly improving.

The fourth ingredient is the atmosphere at work. Because there are many things that are wrong with current workplaces, and the frustrations may ultimately kill your enthusiasm, no matter how much you love your work or how much money you earn!

Now, searching for an ideal job starts with two lists!

One of them should include all of your strengths, and the other – all of your weaknesses. Don’t expect the latter to evolve – genius is non-transferrable – and focus on the former. Choose the ones you like the most.

And move on to the second exercise: find 100 people on your contact list and offer them 15-minute consultations in that area. This will both show you where you are at the moment – and help you improve your skills. Feedback is, after all, everything.

Next, it’s time to conquer your fear and get that ideal job of yours!

And there’s a threefold solution to this: 1) work on it while you work; 2) workshift, and 3) prepare if/then sketches to manage the risks!

In other words, this means: 1) not leaving your current job while preparing for a new career; 2) experimenting with different careers along the line of your ideal one on side; 3) and having an if/then plan for every problem which may arise in the meantime.

Key Lessons from “Born for This”

1.      Your Ideal Job Has Four Ingredients
2.      Find It with Two Lists and One Hundred People
3.      If You Can’t Find Your Ideal Job – Create It

Your Ideal Job Has Four Ingredients

If you’re working something which doesn’t feature these four ingredients – you are working the wrong thing!

Because, your ideal job will always give you some pleasure and as much enjoyment! Next, it will earn you as much money as you would need. Thirdly, it will never be boring and will make you immerse fully in it.

Finally, you will be able to do it in the perfect work environment.

Find It with Two Lists and One Hundred People

You can easily find your ideal job!

The best way to start is with two lists – one of your strengths and one of your weaknesses. Obviously enough, you’ll want to focus on the former; and ignore every job which asks the latter.

Now, that you know what you are able to work, choose what you want! And then, select 100 people from your contact list from which you can get some feedback concerning these particular strengths!

If most of them say something similar – such as “you’re always great at summarizing things” – there you have it – that’s your ideal job!

And yes – we’re talking from personal experience!

If You Can’t Find Your Ideal Job – Create It

Now, there’s always that option: nobody really offers what you want to do. In that case, create your ultimate job. One guy, for example – called Tony Bacigalupo – wanted to be a Mayor. And, he nominated himself to be the Mayor of New York Cities, his coworking space!

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“Born for This” Quotes

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. THE WINNING. Click To Tweet 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. Click To Tweet Remember, it’s not just a numbers game. It’s about managing your risk by picking the right numbers in the first place. Click To Tweet Select the job title you want, don’t choose from existing ones. Click To Tweet Winning a gazillion dollars in the lottery would be nice, but finding what you were meant to do is far more important. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Daniel H. Pink – the author of “Drive” and “To Sell Is Human” – didn’t hold back on the compliments when “Born for This” was first published.

He wrote that the book “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.” And he added afterwards: “If you’re looking for someone to help you find your footing on the new frontier of work, Chris Guillebeau is your man.”

We think pretty much the same. Because, as Susan Cain wrote at the time, Guillebeau really “makes getting your dream job to seem less of a dream and more of a reality.”

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