So Good They Can't Ignore You

← Back to booksAmazonAudible

Follow your passion is bad advice. It presumes that people have a pre existing passion, ready to be discovered and matched to a viable job. Most people don’t. It leaves people confused and unhappy. Most jobs at the start of one’s career aren’t that amazing, making people wonder if they found their true calling and constantly hopping between jobs.

What makes great jobs great are traits like: creativity, impact, control. It’s not passion. If you become good at something and find a job that has these traits, passion follows. Not the other way around.

Creativity, impact, and control are rare and valuable traits. Most jobs don’t have them. Laws of supply and demand suggest that in order to obtain those traits, you must have something rare and valuable in return.

That’s where the craftsman mindset comes in – you have to get good at something before you can expect good work. You have to become so good they can’t ignore you.

Rare and valuable skills are the career capital you acquire as you get good at something. You can them cash in this capital to buy traits that define good work.

Deliberate practice. Most people reach a certain acceptable level of skill in their careers, but then kind of stop learning. Experience still makes you better as you do new things and solve different problems, but the mental strain of deliberate practice and learning usually stops. Athletes know better – they never stop deliberate practice. But knowledge workers who adopt deliberate practice into their lives can get ahead of their peers.

Finding a career mission is like a scientific or engineering breakthrough: you first need to get good and get to the cutting edge for you to see the adjacent possible. Breakthroughs rarely hop a few steps on the ladder, they almost always base on things just on the edge of what’s already possible. But you need to be near that edge to see them.

← Back to booksAmazonAudible