There are new rules for work, and what made you successful twenty years ago, won’t make you successful today. Keenan shares his new rules for work in the 21st century; things that aren’t being taught today.
“If you think that what it took to be successful in the agrarian age is what it took to be successful in the industrial age, you better be glad you weren’t there. You would have been toast.”
Top 3 Takeaways
Reach is the most important thing in today’s world. Do the right people know who you are, what your an expert at, and what value you provide? If you found yourself out of job or trying to start a business who would know about you, vouch for you, and support you? It is easier to do it now with powerful tools to make connections all over the world. Take advantage of it.
This book may make you uncomfortable. You are going to have to do things you’ve never done before. You’re going to have to put thoughts out there for the entire world to see. You may face rejection and criticism but the payoff is too high not to act right now.
As a society we have lost our ability to think and learn. In previous decades, a college education was enough. Now everyone has access to an education. We have more tools at our disposal than ever before so there is no excuse to not know.
We are living in the dawn of a new era, “the information age”. This new time had new requirements and expectations. Twenty years ago, the way to be successful at work was:
- Get a college degree
- Work long hours
- Don’t make too many waves at work
College diplomas were more valuable because not everyone had access to education. Now, almost everyone has access to education with many courses being free online from Universities, not to mention a plethora of private learning sites. Everyone is expected to learn today and have knowledge but more importantly, be able to put their knowledge to use.
We are also living in a time where hours and minutes don’t matter as much as results. We must have the ability to prove our results if we want to succeed in today’s world. He gives an example of what a time based resume looks like versus a results based resume:
Time Based Resume
- Focused on
- Liaison for
- Responsible for
Results Based Resume
Reach is one of the most valuable non monetary assets in the world. If you find yourself out of a job, who knows who you are and what you do? Your neighbors? Your friends? What if you had a network of thousands of people around the world advocating for you? You can easily know many new people through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. Reach is worth billions of dollars.
My favorite story from the book is a personal one from Keenan. He had a fast rise in his career in sales but after a merger, found himself out of a job. He thought that based on his past success he would easily find a new job. He was wrong. He was out of work over a year. That is when he decided to do something about it, bet on himself, and start a blog. He blogged every day for two year straight. Eventually people started asking him to do consulting work but he turned them down because he had a full time job again at that time. Then another merger found him unemployed… AGAIN! Now though, he had thousands of people to reach out to, that understood the value he provided and could take them up on their requests for him to help. The rest as they say, is history.
There is no excuse to not create content. Getting started is so easy and cheap that usually the only investment is your time. I have started a blog, podcast, and email newsletter for about a total of $80 because I choose to self host my site, otherwise it would have been free. I have been more active on LinkedIn and it is amazing how after just two months of posting everyday, how much more reach I have. That is key, being consistent. People won’t engage with someone who drops by every few months. Set a schedule and stick to it.
Here’s the thing; creating takes courage. If you decide to create, there will be people who don’t like it. You may get criticized. It will be uncomfortable at times. You may well have to do something you have never tried before. Like anything in life, there is no success without risk. So get comfortable being uncomfortable and play to win, not not to lose.
Stand Out and Provide Value
Even at a young age, we are told not to stand out. This is no longer an option. If we want to succeed in today’s world, we have to be noticed. Most people are boring and choose to blend in because it’s the safe path. When you choose boring you get to stay in your comfort zone and never expose yourself to criticism. However, if you’re anonymous; you’re screwed. If you know your shit, own it and talk about it. This world needs your expertise. If you’re an expert at anything, you need to be known online. I know, you may think making videos is just for loud talking marketers or salespeople like myself but I can guarantee you that no matter what you are an expert at, someone is searching about it right now. What will they find? Will they find you?
Keenan calls this “Building Brand You”. It involves knowing who you are, what you bring to the table, and what differentiates you. Every time you share your expertise to solve problems your are creating value. Make your value and expertise explicit. Understand who you want to reach with your message, who will gain the most value from it, and target your content for them. It will resonate.
Do You Think?
Over time, we have lost our ability to think. In the past, we did what was told and went home. This age needs thinkers. Business is getting more an more complex and we can no longer operate on autopilot because we have tough situations and new technologies that require solutions that have never been used before. He talks about how everyone needs to learn how to sell because selling is really just problem solving.
“If there’s no problem; there’s no sale.”
You may not be as good as you think you are. It’s called the Dunning–Kruger effect, and it is a cognitive bias in which people of low ability grossly overestimate their skill. So often times, the less you know about something, the more you THINK you know about it. Even if this is true for you, this is good news! If you realize it, you can do something about it. Take extra time to learn. This is something I have built in to my writing process. When I create a new blog now, I spend the majority of my time researching and trying to prove the point I am making to be wrong. I am constantly researching so that I am able to defend what I have written. I think it is leading to better content. As mentioned above, there is no reason not to know anymore. The barriers have been lifted. Now the only thing between you and more knowledge is your drive. The ability to learn new things is critical in this day and age. Again, this may lead you to getting out of your comfort zone and it may lead you to somewhere you’ve never been before.
Get The Book!
I hope you liked this review and I hoped it inspired you to get the book. I recommend that audiobook so you can get the full effect of Keenan. If you’ve read the book, I’d love to hear your thoughts as well. Either leave a comment or let’s connect on LinkedIn. Let’s get it.