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Everything I Know summary

Paul Jarvis

The basics of creating a learning and problem-solving culture

4.3 (41 ratings)
24 mins

Brief summary

'Everything I Know' by Paul Jarvis is a practical guide to entrepreneurship where he shares his experience on how to build a business while maintaining your sanity. Offers insights on marketing, pricing and avoiding burnout.

Table of Contents

    Everything I Know
    Summary of 10 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 10

    It is scary but rewarding to choose your own adventure.

    If you were a schoolkid in the 1980s or 1990s, you may remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books, a series of adventure stories that allowed you to decide what the main character did or didn’t do. For instance, if you chose to go through the scary forest, you’d turn to a certain page; if you chose to go around the forest, however, you’d turn to another.

    When the author, Paul Jarvis, was a young boy, he loved these books, and as an adult he continued to choose his own adventure by deciding to be his own boss rather than working for someone else.

    After quitting college, Jarvis did work for someone else, as an employee at a web design company in Toronto, and he didn’t like it one bit. However, this experience taught him the ins and outs of running a web-based business – things he knew he wouldn’t learn in school.

    Sure, when you work for someone else, you’re not risking much and you may feel a sense of security, but it’s not very rewarding in the long run. In order to get the big reward you have to take the big risk and embark on your own adventure, which means doing something no one else is doing – something that speaks to who you are as an individual.

    As a web designer, Jarvis has met clients who point to someone else’s website and say, “I want the same site they have.” But what they don’t understand is that following someone else’s lead is just going to make them boring and forgettable.

    Following someone else’s path may seem like an appealingly safe way to go, but imagine following someone else’s treasure map. It may lead you to where the gold was, but that gold will be gone by the time you get there. So why settle for the leftover scraps that come with copying someone else when you can do your own thing and uncover your very own treasure?

    The universe rewards those who do their own thing in an authentic way while managing to help others. It’s true that corporations and schools often tell people to fall in line and be like everyone else, rather than promoting individualism and uniqueness. But the fact is that we’re all unique and, as we’ll see in the next blink, it pays to embrace our weirdness.

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    What is Everything I Know about?

    As the title suggests, Everything I Know (2013) is a collection of what author Paul Jarvis knows, after having worked as an in-demand web designer for over 20 years. This is a compendium of insight on how to be a successful, self-employed entrepreneur with a rewarding and lasting business.

    Everything I Know Review

    Everything I Know (2018) by Paul Jarvis offers a refreshingly honest perspective on working and living in the digital age. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With practical advice based on real-life experience, it equips readers with strategies to navigate the modern world and thrive in their personal and professional lives.
    • The book challenges conventional thinking and encourages readers to question societal norms, fostering a mindset of innovation and creativity.
    • By sharing personal stories and insights, Jarvis creates a relatable and engaging narrative that captivates readers, making the book compelling and far from boring.

    Best quote from Everything I Know

    My best advice? Fuck advice and listen to yourself. Trust in your journey and learn as much as possible through first-hand experiments.

    —Paul Jarvis
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    Who should read Everything I Know?

    • Freelancers and self-employed workers
    • Artists, writers and creative types
    • Anyone who wants to turn an idea into a business

    About the Author

    Paul Jarvis is a sought-after web designer who has worked with Fortune 500 companies and top brands such as Microsoft, Yahoo! and Mercedes-Benz. As well as having founded multiple start-ups, he continues to work as a touring musician with the band Mojave. As a writer, his work has appeared in publications such as GOOD and Fast Company. His self-published books include Write & Sell Your Damn Book and Be Awesome at Online Business.

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    Everything I Know FAQs 

    What is the main message of Everything I Know?

    The main message of Everything I Know is to question conventional wisdom and think for yourself.

    How long does it take to read Everything I Know?

    The reading time for Everything I Know varies, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just a few minutes.

    Is Everything I Know a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Everything I Know is worth reading for its fresh perspective and practical advice on entrepreneurship.

    Who is the author of Everything I Know?

    The author of Everything I Know is Paul Jarvis.