So Good They Can't Ignore You
So Good They Can't Ignore You summary

So Good They Can't Ignore You

Rating: 8.5/10

Author: Cal Newport Read More on Amazon

High-Level Thoughts

The book was a relatively easy read, and the author does not waste any of your time. Newport debunks myths and makes bold claims such as how the statement of following your passion can end up leading you into a ditch. However, he has plenty of evidence and example to back up his claims. His arguments are also clear, concise, and to the point. If you feel lost in life or want direction I highly recommend this book.

So Good They Can't Ignore You Summary

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and one traveler chose the path to mastery while the other was called toward 'passions' glow."

The concept of following your passion is very flawed and can end up leading you to a life where you are miserable.

The three main takeways:

  • Don’t do what you love, but learn to love what you do.
  • Become a craftsman to collect the skills you need.
  • Say no to a raise to keep control of your work.

Career passions are rare, they take time and are a side effect of mastery.

The three factors described as "nutriments" required to feel intrinsically motivated:

  • Autonomy: the feeling that you have control over your day.
  • Competence: the feeling that you are good at what you do.
  • Relatedness: the feeling of connection to other people

The craftsman mindset focuses on what you can offer the world where as the passion mindset focuses on what the world can offer you.

The craftsmen's mindset will be the foundation on which you'll build a compelling career. What you produce is basically all that matters, nothing else.

In order to become a craftsman you need to approach your job with a dedication to deliberate practice.

  • This is often the opposite of enjoyable. It's an approach where you stretch your abilities beyond what you are usually comfortable with and then receive constant feedback on your performance. It also requires total concentration.

Disqualifiers for applying the craftsman mindset:

  • The job presents few opportunities to distinguish yourself by developing relevant skills that are rare and valuable.
  • The job focuses on something you think is useless or even bad for the world.
  • The job forces you to work with people you really dislike.

"You need to get good in order to get things working in your life"

"Without the patient willingness to reject shiny new pursuits, you'll derail your efforts before you acquire the capital you need"

Career Capital -> Rare and valuable skills you can offer.

You do not have control of your work, unless you have career capital. Asking your boss for a raise, the ability to work remotely, or more vacation time is something you only have control over when you have the career capital to back it up.

Make sure people are willing to pay for your skill or product before you decide to put effort into something.

"A good caeer mission is similar to a scientific breakthrough - it's an innovation waiting to be discovered in the adjacent possible of your field"

Advancing to the cutting edge in a field is an act of "small thinking", requiring you to focus on a narrow collection of subjects for a potentially long time.

  • But if it were easy everyone would do it don't you think?

Take little bets = Fail fast, and fail forward

To build a sustainable career, you have to produce purple cows (book by Seth Godin)

  • It should be remarkable in the literal sense of compelling people to talk about it -> The Law of Remarkability

Liked this post? Get articles, recommendations,
and insights straight to your inbox.