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Career Book Notes

So Good They Can't Ignore You

So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport

RATING: 10/10…READ: September 11, 2012

This book ditches conventional career advice of “follow your passion / dreams / calling,” in favor of working right, building up career capital (skills), and cashing them in for greater opportunities. In other words, passion comes as a result of a strong work ethic.

Turning Pro

Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield

RATING: 10/10…READ: June 8, 2012

The Follow up to the War of Art. Turning Pro rips into your soul and forces you to confront all the bullshit excuses inside of you for not practicing your full potential–whether it be your career, love, being a mother, &c. “The amateur fears that if he turns pro and lives out his calling, he will have to live up to who he really is and what he is truly capable of.” A quick and powerful read.

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams

RATING: 10/10…READ: October 30, 2013

Unconventional strategies from the creator of Dilbert for success in life from career, relationships, diet, fitness, and more. The big idea, ditch goals, embrace systems.

Personal MBA

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

RATING: 9/10…READ: January 28, 2015

One of the best books on time-management / clarifying life choices. Essentialism keeps illustrating the value of focus and cutting out all distractions.

Refuse to Choose

Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher

RATING: 9/10…ADDED: AUGUST 30, 2014

Strategies for people who can’t seem to choose a career / create balance between jobs that provide the money and hobbies.

Small Giants

Small Giants: Companies that Choose to Be Great Instead of Big by Bo Burlingham

RATING: 8/10…READ: April 24, 2012

A Book that profiles companies that choose to remain small, despite the external pressures to become big. I found this book most useful for an alternate angle on what it means to be an entrepreneur and how you can create happiness for yourself & the world through entrepreneurship without losing your mojo.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich

I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

RATING: 7/10…ADDED: AUGUST 29, 2014

A great primer on personal finance, getting on debt, investing, and automating your finances by Ramit.

Mastery

Mastery by Robert Greene

RATING: 7/10…READ: December 10, 2012

Mastery breaks down the “Experts” in history’s paths to achieving amazing success from Mozart, Darwin, to Paul Graham with numerous strategies from discovering your calling, skill acquisition, apprenticeship, creativity, and much more. This book takes a shotgun approach and packs so many principles in one book that it left my head spinning. I found So Good They Can’t Ignore You much more helpful.

Icarus Deception

The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin

RATING: 7/10…READ: November 25, 2012

Another Classic by Seth Godin. This book as a linchpin vibe in describing the current situation of the working world, and why you desperately need to forge your own path and do what’s not been done before by creating “art.” This reminds you to forget the books that promise an easy path full of strategies and tactics, but rather start creating and connecting by doing something original.

Full Engagement

The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

RATING: 5/10…READ: October 13, 2011

A book on how to manage your energy, not time. Focus on short term sprints followed by time of recovery; not marathons. Features many case studies that seemed dull and repetitive after a while. It’s a quick read, but I felt the book could have been drastically reduced further.