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What I’m Reading: The Start-up of You

I started reading the Start-Up of You today by Reid Hoffman (cofounder and chairman of Linkedin) and Ben Casnocha. I’ve had it sitting on my shelf for 6 months now and I finally got around to picking it up. At first, I was honestly wondering if this book was going to give me anything new that I hadn’t already heard from interviews on podcasts with Hoffman and big quotes I’ve heard in talks over the past year. But then they start to dig in to real stuff.

Basically the book is about the fact that we’re all entrepreneurs. Not that we should all be starting companies or anything but that at our core, we all have a heart for entrepreneurship. We can use the skills of entrepreneurs and successful start-ups to develop ourselves and be successful as individuals. Because the world of wake up at the same job every year and “ride the escalator to the top” for the next 50 years doesn’t exist anymore (at least for the majority). The Start-Up of You means that you have to take on responsibility of making your career successful by thinking like an entrepreneur.

Thinking like an Entrepreneur: Building a network, developing a competitive advantage, aggressively seeking break-out opportunities, taking intelligent risks. These are the things Hoffman and Casnocha have offered up to help “Move the jammed escalator” that is the traditional career path.

One thing I really like about this book is that it’s honest. It’s not selling a twelve-step program that guarantees success (or your money back!). It’s not a self help book. It’s a self-teach book. It’s a self-grow book.

They talk briefly in the opening chapter about “Living in Personal Beta.” Which basically means a live-long commitment to personal growth. It means that you’re constantly growing and evolving.

“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.”


I’ll update you guys on what comes next in this book. I think I’ll start doing this more just as kind of a review of the books I read to help with my own retention and to share what I learned.

Live in personal-beta. Good stuff.

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