Born for This [Book Review]

Posted by in Books & Films

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I share many of the values that Chris Guillebeau writes about. It all started with reading The $100 startup, several years ago, continued with attending WDS for the past two years, and I’m now going down the list of his books with Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days first and now Born for This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do.

I initially bought the book as a gift for a friend who was going through a phase of questioning his purpose as he got laid off. It felt like the right moment to transform the negative into positive by opening up to new possibilities and to opportunities to better define what he was meant to do. Because both my friend and I believe that a good book shouldn’t live on a shelf, Born for This, came straight back to me once I confessed I actually never read it (that’s how confident I am in Chris’ message, I gift his books without even reading them…)

What is the work you are meant to do?

The book is built around two main parts:

In Terms of Engagement, the author explores and breaks all the psychological barriers that we have with finding a job that brings it all, or as he calls it, “find the winning ticket to your career lottery.” Whether you’re in between jobs, or already set in a somewhat comfortable position, why shouldn’t you aim for more? For something that will bring you closer to what the Japanese call Ikigaï: the one thing that will make you want to get up in the morning.

In Next Steps: A Menu of Options, Chris does what he’s best at: giving practical advice and actionable solutions to help his readers put ideas into actions. From starting a side hustle (a premise to his following book), to refusing to choose (and a reference at another rock star in my eyes: Emilie Wapnick) and changing posture to become a “self-employed employee”, the author explores numerous options, and illustrates them with real-life examples. And I can testify they’re real because I happen to have met some of the people he’s mentioning.

An easy read that answers a lot of questions someone who has the beginning of an idea of what they’re meant to do will find practical and useful. If you are part of the other group, someone who is just not 100% satisfied with their lives but doesn’t really know what else they could / want to do, then, I might recommend that you wait until you have a clearer view before jumping into Born for This.

I still have a few of Chris Guillebeau’s books on my to-read list (including his first opus: The Art of Non-Conformity) and I heard through the grapevine that another one is on its way. Lucky me! And… stay tuned!

Photo by Levi Saunders