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The Start-up of You

Cover of The Start-up of You

The Start-up of You

Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career
Borrow Borrow Borrow

A blueprint for thriving in your job and building a career by applying the lessons of Silicon Valley's most innovative entrepreneurs.

The career escalator is jammed at every level. Unemployment rates are sky-high. Creative disruption is shaking every industry. Global competition for jobs is fierce. The employer-employee pact is over and traditional job security is a thing of the past.

Here, LinkedIn cofounder and chairman Reid Hoffman and author Ben Casnocha show how to accelerate your career in today's competitive world. The key is to manage your career as if it were a start-up business: a living, breathing, growing start-up of you.

Why? Start-ups - and the entrepreneurs who run them - are nimble. They invest in themselves. They build their professional networks. They take intelligent risks. They make uncertainty and volatility work to their advantage.

These are the very same skills professionals need to get ahead today.

This book isn't about cover letters or resumes. Instead, you will learn the best practices of Silicon Valley start-ups, and how to apply these entrepreneurial strategies to your career. Whether you work for a giant multinational corporation, a small local business, or launching your own venture, you need to know how to:

  • Adapt your career plans as you change, the people around you change, and industries change.
  • Develop a competitive advantage to win the best jobs and opportunities.
  • Strengthen your professional network by building powerful alliances and maintaining a diverse mix of relationships.
  • Find the unique breakout opportunities that massively accelerate career growth.
  • Take proactive risks to become more resilient to industry tsunamis.
  • Tap your network for information and intelligence that help you make smarter decisions.

    A revolutionary new guide to thriving in today's fractured world of work, the strategies in this book will help you survive and thrive and achieve your boldest professional ambitions. The Start-Up of You empowers you to become the CEO of your career and take control of your future.
  • A blueprint for thriving in your job and building a career by applying the lessons of Silicon Valley's most innovative entrepreneurs.

    The career escalator is jammed at every level. Unemployment rates are sky-high. Creative disruption is shaking every industry. Global competition for jobs is fierce. The employer-employee pact is over and traditional job security is a thing of the past.

    Here, LinkedIn cofounder and chairman Reid Hoffman and author Ben Casnocha show how to accelerate your career in today's competitive world. The key is to manage your career as if it were a start-up business: a living, breathing, growing start-up of you.

    Why? Start-ups - and the entrepreneurs who run them - are nimble. They invest in themselves. They build their professional networks. They take intelligent risks. They make uncertainty and volatility work to their advantage.

    These are the very same skills professionals need to get ahead today.

    This book isn't about cover letters or resumes. Instead, you will learn the best practices of Silicon Valley start-ups, and how to apply these entrepreneurial strategies to your career. Whether you work for a giant multinational corporation, a small local business, or launching your own venture, you need to know how to:

  • Adapt your career plans as you change, the people around you change, and industries change.
  • Develop a competitive advantage to win the best jobs and opportunities.
  • Strengthen your professional network by building powerful alliances and maintaining a diverse mix of relationships.
  • Find the unique breakout opportunities that massively accelerate career growth.
  • Take proactive risks to become more resilient to industry tsunamis.
  • Tap your network for information and intelligence that help you make smarter decisions.

    A revolutionary new guide to thriving in today's fractured world of work, the strategies in this book will help you survive and thrive and achieve your boldest professional ambitions. The Start-Up of You empowers you to become the CEO of your career and take control of your future.
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    Excerpts-
    • Chapter One

      All Humans Are Entrepreneurs

      All human beings are entrepreneurs. When we were in the caves, we were all self-employed... finding our food, feeding ourselves. That's where human history began. As civilization came, we suppressed it. We became "labor" because they stamped us, "You are labor." We forgot that we are entrepreneurs.

      Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner and microfinance pioneer

      You were born an entrepreneur.

      This doesn't mean you were born to start companies. In fact, most people shouldn't start companies. The long odds of success, combined with the constant emotional whiplash, makes starting a business the right path for only a small group of people.

      All humans are entrepreneurs not because they should start companies but because the will to create is encoded in human DNA, and creation is the essence of entrepreneurship. As Yunus says, our ancestors in the caves had to feed themselves; they had to invent rules of living. They were founders of their own lives. In the centuries since then we forgot that we are entrepreneurs. We've been acting like labor.

      To adapt to the challenges of professional life today, we need to rediscover our entrepreneurial instincts and use them to forge new sorts of careers. Whether you're a lawyer or doctor or teacher or engineer or even a business owner, today you need to also think of yourself as an entrepreneur at the helm of at least one living, growing start-up venture: your career.

      This book is not a job-hunting manual. You won't find tips and tricks on how to format your résumé or how to prepare for a job interview. What you will find are the start-up mind-sets and skill sets you need to adapt to the future. You'll find strategies that will help you expand the reach of your network, gain a competitive edge, and land better professional opportunities.

      Your future success depends on understanding and developing these entrepreneurial strategies. More broadly, society flourishes when people think entrepreneurially. More world problems will be solved-and solved faster-if people practice the values laid out in the pages ahead. This is a book about you, and it's also about improving the society around you. That starts with each individual.

      THE NEW WORLD OF WORK

      Centuries of immigrants risked everything to come to America with the conviction that if they worked hard, they would enjoy a better life than their parents had.1 Since our country's birth, each generation of Americans has generally made more money, been better educated, and enjoyed a higher standard of living than the generation that came before it. An expectation of lockstep increases in prosperity became part of the American Dream.

      For the last sixty or so years, the job market for educated workers worked like an escalator.2 After graduating from college, you landed an entry-level job at the bottom of the escalator at an IBM or a GE or a Goldman Sachs. There you were groomed and mentored, receiving training and professional development from your employer. As you gained experience, you were whisked up the organizational hierarchy, clearing room for the ambitious young graduates who followed to fill the same entry-level positions. So long as you played nice and well, you moved steadily up the escalator, and each step brought with it more power, income, and job security. Eventually, around age sixty-five, you stepped off the escalator, allowing those middle-ranked employees to fill the same senior positions you just vacated. You, meanwhile, coasted into a comfortable retirement financed by a company pension and government-funded Social Security.

      People didn't assume all of this...

    About the Author-
    • REID HOFFMAN is a world-renowned entrepreneur and investor. He is cofounder and executive chairman of LinkedIn, the biggest professional network in the world with 100+ million members. Previously he was executive vice president and on the founding board of directors of PayPal. He is also a partner at Greylock, a leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm. He is an early investor in over 100 technology companies, including Facebook and Zynga.

      BEN CASNOCHA is an award-winning entrepreneur and author. He has written for Newsweek and appeared on CNN, the CBS Early Show, and Fox News. BusinessWeek named him one of "America's best young entrepreneurs." He has spoken to more than ten thousand students and businesspeople in countries around the world.

    Reviews-
    • Publisher's Weekly

      December 19, 2011
      LinkedIn cofounder and chairman Hoffman and entrepreneur Casnocha (My Start-Up Life) show how to adapt to the challenges of professional life and achieve career goals by behaving like an entrepreneur in this innovative approach to career management. Recognizing the similarities between business strategies employed by successful startups and career strategies used by top individuals, Hoffman began to ponder individuals as startup ventures and realized the importance of utilizing an entrepreneurial mindset to forge new careers. Given the new economic landscape, where young talent is stuck at the bottom of the employment ladder, retirement-age employees are staying on the job, and stalemated middle-aged workers are stalled in limbo, workers at all levels need to develop strategies to gain opportunities, improve their competitive edge, and expand their networks—in other words, obtain a startup mindset and skills. To do so, the authors show how to combine assets, aspirations, and market realities and adapt as needed, emphasizing the necessity of building real, lasting relationships and establishing a powerful professional network. With plenty of valuable guidance relevant to any career stage, this book will help readers not only survive professionally in times of uncertainty but stand out from the pack and flourish. Agent: Lisa DiMona, Lark Productions.

    • -Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg, L.P. and Mayor, New York City

      "Being an entrepreneur isn't really about starting a business. It's a way of looking at the world: seeing opportunity where others see obstacles, taking risks when others take refuge. Whatever career you're in ­ or want to be in ­ The Start-Up of You holds lessons for success."

    • -Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook "Everyone, women and men alike, needs to think big to succeed. This is a practical book that shows you how to take control and build a career that will enable you to have real impact."
    • -Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, co-founder of Square "Forging a fulfilling career is one of the most important--and often, most difficult--challenges in building a happy life. The Start-Up of You is crammed with insights and strategies to help each of us create the work life we want."-Gretchen Rubin, author of the #1 bestseller, The Happiness Project "The Startup of You" describes how to take the Silicon Valley approach to building a life: start with an idea, and work over your entire career to turn it something remarkable. In the world today, I think that the startup approach to life is necessary. This book distills the key techniques needed to succeed."
    • Penelope Trunk, author, Brazen Careerist "This great book shows that entrepreneurship is really about taking control of your life, and you don't need a big startup to be an entrepreneur -- you need personal responsibility and intellectual exploration."
    • -Marc Andreessen, co-founder Netscape; director at HP, Facebook, and eBay "Silicon Valley revolutionizes entire industries through the way we work. It is now time to export our playbook to the rest of the world. The Startup of You is that key playbook: it will help you revolutionize yourself and achieve your own career breakout."
    • -Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark "A profound book about self-determination and self-realization. By capturing and universalizing the wisdom of successful start-up businesses, the authors provide an exciting blueprint for building a fulfilling career. Invaluable for any person who wants to be a successful entrepreneur ­ not in a particular company ­ but in the most important enterprise of all: one's own life."
    • -Joi Ito, Director, MIT Media Lab ""The Internet has fundamentally changed the architecture of business and society. This terrific book shows you how to live, learn, and thrive in a networked world."
    • Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution. "If you are starting a career, it is an excellent book for thinking through the practical issues you will face in branding yourself in what is becoming a more volatile and very different labor market"
    • -Jeff Weiner, CEO, LinkedIn "The same extraordinary vision and timing that enabled Reid to found LinkedIn is once again on display with his book "the start-up of YOU." His central thesis, that every individual can benefit from acting as the entrepreneur of their own life and career, has never been more important than it is in today's increasingly globalized, competitive, and networked world."
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    Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career
    Reid Hoffman
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