The Start-Up of You - Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha

The Start-Up of You - Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha

Discover how to adapt to the current creative disruption with the co-founder of LinkedIn and accelerate the pace of your career in today's competitive world.

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There is a very effective way to adapt and accelerate your career in today's competitive market: managing it as if it were a startup. This is the premise of "The Start-Up of You", written by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha.

Today, companies change all the time and very quickly. Companies are opened with the intention of selling a certain product or offering a new service, but, a few years later, its flagships are already different, different from the initial ones.

This is because when you open a company, you make decisions in a context of unstable data, scarce time, and limited resources. There are no guarantees, so you are at risk.

We can say the same about our careers, resources are not abundant, competition is high and the time you spend doing any activity is decreasing. This means that you need to adapt all the time.

Want to know more? So continue reading this PocketBook and learn how to prepare for this highly dynamic world!

About the book "The Start-Up of You"

Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha's book, "The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career", aims to make you run your career like a startup, accelerating your progress in today's competitive world.

Divided into 7 chapters, the content presented is a practical guide that enables you to develop a competitive advantage, network, and take smart risks.

About the authors Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

Reid Hoffman is an entrepreneur and investor, co-founder and CEO of LinkedIn. He was a vice president of PayPal and is a partner with Greylock, one of Silicon Valley's leading venture capital firms. In addition, it has invested in opening Facebook and more than 100 technology companies.

Ben Casnocha is a writer and entrepreneur, voted one of America's "greatest young entrepreneurs" by Business Week. He has written for Newsweek and had appearances on CNN, Early Show and CNBC.

To whom is this book indicated?

This book is suitable for those who need to rediscover their entrepreneurial instincts and start thinking of their career as a startup.

You will not find resume tricks or tips on how to prepare for a job interview, but strategies that will help you extend the reach of your network, gain a competitive advantage over the competition, and achieve better career opportunities.

Main ideas of the book "The Start-Up of You"

  • Thinking like a startup;
  • Development of competitive advantage;
  • Planning and adaptation;
  • Establishment of contact network;
  • Search for great opportunities;
  • Taking risks.

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[Book Summary] The Start-Up of You - Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha

Overview: All human beings are entrepreneurs

"All human beings are entrepreneurs. In that time we lived in the caves, we were all autonomous... Finding our food, feeding ourselves. That was when the history of humanity began. With the onset of civilization, we retracted. We became 'manpower' because they labeled us: 'You are manpower. ' We forget that we are entrepreneurs."

(Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and precursor of microfinance)

All human beings are born on the basis of entrepreneurship: creating. However, in the course of life, we forget about it and end up acting as if we were only labor.

Nowadays, if we are to adapt to the obstacles of working life, we must find ourselves as entrepreneurs to create new types of careers.

The new world of work

Over the past six decades or so, "the job market has worked like an escalator," say the authors Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha.

Once graduated you would go to the lower level of the ladder, there you would be prepared and, gaining experience, would "climb" new steps on the ladder, freeing the lower ones for beginners. After good performances, they would gradually raise the highest levels and, around the age of 66, leave the ladder for middle-level to occupy their position.

But now, the ladder levels are all packed with people. Many skilled young people are unable to enter the ladder and the most experienced remains in the job market.

Why start with you?

Change is often synonymous with new challenges and new opportunities, and having an entrepreneurial mindset is indispensable.

Entrepreneurs, finding uncertainty, change, and limitations, evaluate their resources, build a network of relationships, and are aggressive in seeking and generating great opportunities that involve calculated risks.

Authors Hoffman and Casnocha say in "The Start-Up of You" that:

"To be professionally successful in today's world, you need to adopt these same entrepreneurial strategies."

These strategies, no matter what stage your career is in, are important. So, you need to be always up to date and agile, like an eternal start-up.

Just as technology companies label the alpha of software that is still under development, we should consider our career as permanently alpha, as learning and growth are part of everyday life.

Overview: Develop a competitive advantage

As seen earlier, in today's world, there is competition for everything: getting into college, good job placement, golden tickets, and another huge amount of our desires. Thus, being better than the competition is essential to an entrepreneur's survival.

Casnocha and Hoffman present that when a very good job opportunity arises, many applicants with the same background and titles as you will be considered. To differentiate yourself from competitors, the first step is to be able to complete the sentence: "A company prefers to hire me over other professionals because...".

The three pieces of the puzzle

Three variable forces are responsible for shaping your competitive advantage: your resources, aspirations/values, and market realities. According to "The Start-Up of You" a good career path is a result of fitting all three pieces together.

Your resources

It is the gathering of all that you have at the moment. Subjective and material resources are the two types of career resources you cannot lose sight of.

Subjective resources are articles that do not trade directly for money: knowledge and information; professional contacts and the trust already gained; skills; strengths and personal reputation.

Material resources are what you would "include in a balance sheet list": money; stokes; laptop; desk and other tangible articles.

Your aspirations and your values

"The Start-Up of You" presents that your wishes, ideas, goals, and forward-thinking are your aspirations. This includes your values and everything that is important to your life, be it money, integrity, autonomy, among others.

In your career, it may be that not all of your wishes or values come true, but they will certainly be your guiding star.

The market realities

A product that the consumer does not want or does not need will not be accepted in the market, regardless of its format or usefulness. Analogous thinking can be done for your skills: no matter how extraordinary you think they are, if they do not meet the needs of the market, they will not bring you any advantage.

Overview: Plan to adapt

Deciding where you want to be 10 years from now and then structuring a plan to get there could work if our environments were constant. Hoffman and Casnocha present that conventional career planning can work under stable conditions, but in times of rapid change and uncertainty, it is extremely limiting. The world around you, your allies, your competitors and you will change.

Entrepreneurial people are constantly evolving, yet their choices are always disciplined, not random. Although there are no concrete plans, there is real planning in progress. This kind of disciplined and adaptive planning is called ABZ.

ABZ planning

According to the book, "The Start-Up of You", it is an adaptive approach that encourages trial and error, allowing you to aggressively pursue or gain and decrease as possible.

ABZ planning is not something you should do only at the beginning of your career, but at all ages or periods, always planning and adapting.

The plan You are making no time, a current application to your competitive advantage. Plan B is where you turn when you need to change, either because the plan is not working or because you have discovered a new opportunity better than who is doing it at the moment.

In both cases, there is no detailed plan B, as situations vary too quickly.

Finally, Plan Z is your "lifeboat". It is the right plan that allows you to take risks in your plans A and B.

Overview: A network is essential

Even if you develop a competitive advantage, adapt your career plans to unstable conditions, you can stay in "permanent beta", but do it yourself, it will fail. Renowned professionals build their relationship networks to help them win.

"The Start-Up of You" presents that collective work is always superior in the start-up world. No matter how exceptional your mind or strategy, if you are alone, you will lose to a team. Mark Zuckerberg says he spends half his time recruiting.

The people you live with are responsible for shaping who you are and who you will become. Behavior is easily imitated.

"The easiest way to change yourself is to live with people who are already the way you want to be."

Overview: Seek the great opportunities

Every success begins with opportunities. It is up to you, using the help of your network, to create professional opportunities for yourself.

Entrepreneurs direct their mental resources and skills to find great business opportunities. Just like them, you should focus on finding great opportunities to accomplish something meaningful in your career, thereby increasing your competitive advantage and accelerating your plan A or plan B.

Curiosity is a predisposition that must always be on the lookout for opportunities. She will be responsible for making you see solutions while most other people see problems.

Overview: Take smart risks

"Risk" is defined, in the context of a career, as the negative consequence of a particular action or decision and the chance that the worst really happens. However, the risk is not the enemy but a premise to seize the opportunities mentioned above.

What sets great entrepreneurs apart is their ability to prudently assess and manage risk. They aim to seek opportunities that present a chance to gain that justifies the possibility of loss.

Hoffman and Casnocha say that entrepreneurs evaluate risks every day and, although is difficult, it isn't impossible. You do not need to use a mathematical formula that enables you to learn the odds and variations of your career. Just like a start-up, your career is dynamic and you can't quantify the pros and cons of every opportunity.

Some principles to keep in mind to help you assess when an opportunity is really risky and how to manage the risk that really exists are:

  • In general, it is not as risky as you think;
  • Is the worst-case scenario tolerable or intolerable?
  • Could you reverse or change the decision midway? Is plan B viable?
  • You will never be absolutely sure. Do not confuse uncertainty with risk;
  • Take age and moment into account. What will the risks mean for you in a few years?

What do other authors say about it?

In the book "Dream Big", Cristiane Correa complements the idea of personal strategic planning and highlights the importance of maintaining a process of continuous improvement to achieve her goals. His ideas were inspired by the views of the wealthiest entrepreneurs in Brazil.

It is possible to extract excellent lessons to apply in your entrepreneurial journey and, thus, achieve surprising results. In addition, seek the longed-for financial independence.

In their research, the authors of the book "Built to Last", Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, found that most visionary companies did not start with a revolutionary idea that made them succeed early on. On the contrary, they got off to a slow start and, over time, managed to dominate their markets.

Finally, in "Good to Great" the author, Jim Collins, explains how applying the culture of discipline in a company can leverage the results, disseminating this practice to all employees, which are essential for the success of an organization.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

The book, "The Start-Up of You", teaches that it is possible to guide your career as if you were a living startup. For this, it is important that you adapt to the high dynamics of the current job market.

Always review your plans in order to put the pieces of the puzzle together and obtain competitive advantages. Establish healthy and deep connections that will bring great opportunities to you so that you can take advantage of them.

Did you like this summary of the book "The Start-Up of You"?

We hope you enjoyed our summary and are able to apply the advice of the authors, Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha, to your life. Leave your opinion in the comments, your feedback is very important to us!

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Book 'The Start-Up of You'