Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Start-up of You

I loved the title. Had to have it. Cause that’s how I feel. Like I’m a “start up.”
The book, The Start-up of You, is written by Reid Hoffman, one of the creators of LinkedIn. As you might expect he believes that in this turbulent world of layoffs, devastating “black swan” events, and new technology running roughshod over old technology, there is only one anchor:
Your network of trusted friends.
Besides your skills and your ambition, your network is all that’s left for you to rely on.
Actually, it’s how you leverage your skills and your ambition to become “entrepreneurial,” even if you’re not launching your own business.
As someone who has just left a long career in newspapering (speaking of old technology),  you might wonder why I found the book, though prescriptive, still intriguing.
It’s because my entrepreneurial side was limited by what I could accomplish within the boundaries of  my job.  Now, who knows? Any idea that pops in my head, I can act on – and tell others about, so I’m blogging, occasionally Twittering (@ideaDotty), Facebooking, and LinkingIn.
Here’s what Hoffman and coauthor Ben Casnocha say about discovering the entrepreneur in you:
Get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’. If you’re not growing, you’re contracting. If you’re not moving forward you’re moving backward.”
Figuring out your “Plan A” (based on your skills, your ambition and the market), your backup “Plan B” and your last resort if-all-fails “Plan Z, ” is “a process as important for someone in their forties or fifties as for a newly minted college grad. ...No matter how old you are or at what stage, you will always be planning and adapting.”
There’s lots of sound advice here (and a  website with more), but here's the nut:
"You won’t encounter accidental good fortune—you won’t stumble upon opportunities that rocket your career forward – if you’re lying in bed. When you do something, you stir the pot and introduce the possibility that seemingly random ideas, people and places will collide and form new combinations and opportunities.”
So here’s an idea to take you somewhere new: 
“Ask the most curious person you know out to lunch.”

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