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Never Get a “Real” Job

How to Dump Your Boss, Build a Business and Not Go Broke

By Scott Gerber
13-minute read
Audio available
Never Get a “Real” Job: How to Dump Your Boss, Build a Business and Not Go Broke by Scott Gerber

Never Get a “Real” Job (2011) encourages young entrepreneurs to swear off “real” jobs, foregoing the nine-to-five life in favor of taking control of their own lives. Based on real-world experience and observation, it provides a nuts-and-bolts guide to getting it together and starting up.

  • Young entrepreneurs looking to launch a start-up
  • People wondering what to do with a great idea
  • Longtime employees looking for something new

Scott Gerber is a sought-after speaker and CEO. He’s also the cofounder of the Community Company, an organization that nurtures professional membership communities for global brands. He is also a self-made, expert bootstrapper, hustler and author. His most recent book is 2018’s Superconnector: Stop Networking and Start Building Business Relationships that Matter.

© Scott Gerber: Never Get a “Real” Job copyright 2010, John Wiley & Sons Inc. Used by permission of John Wiley & Sons Inc. and shall not be made available to any unauthorized third parties.

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Never Get a “Real” Job

How to Dump Your Boss, Build a Business and Not Go Broke

By Scott Gerber
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
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Never Get a “Real” Job: How to Dump Your Boss, Build a Business and Not Go Broke by Scott Gerber
Synopsis

Never Get a “Real” Job (2011) encourages young entrepreneurs to swear off “real” jobs, foregoing the nine-to-five life in favor of taking control of their own lives. Based on real-world experience and observation, it provides a nuts-and-bolts guide to getting it together and starting up.

Key idea 1 of 8

Entrepreneurship isn’t easy, so it’s best to start out by preparing for the worst.

So you’ve got an idea for a successful business, one that you really believe in. Congratulations!

But no matter how good your idea is, the numbers aren’t great; as the U.S. Small Business Association notes, a third of small businesses fail by their second year, and less than half last four years.

Clearly, you can’t count on success, no matter how good your idea is. In fact, when it comes to starting a business, there’s only one thing you can be certain of – that it won’t be easy. So it’s best to accept that fact and check your expectations before you begin.

First of all, you should accept that you’re guaranteed to fail along the way. But despite what most people think, this isn’t always bad. Analyzing failures teaches you valuable lessons that help you avoid failure in the future.

Also, expect that things will never go according to plan. Successful entrepreneurs know that things change every day, so it’s impossible to predict the future. That’s why they don’t hang their hopes on everything going right according to some “perfect plan.”

Instead, they plan for rock bottom. That means looking at any scenario and imagining its worst possible outcome in order to be prepared for it. To do that, there are four steps that you should take before making any business decision.

Step one is looking at pros and cons in order to assess the risks. Is the best possible outcome so good that it outweighs the risks of the worst? Or are the two more evenly balanced, making the action riskier?

Next, figure out what the consequences will be if things don’t work out. For example, if your business’s financial health could potentially be wiped out in your rock-bottom outcome, you need to realize that ahead of time.

The third step is figuring out whether the thing that you’re considering doing would seem like a good idea at any point in time. If not – if you can imagine yourself regretfully looking back at it as having seemed like a good idea “at the time” – you should definitely think twice before proceeding.

Finally, examine your alternatives. If your number one plan doesn’t work out, what’s next? Could, in fact, plan number two be a better option in the first place?

It may not be as fun as imagining a scenario where everything works out perfectly, but being prepared for every eventuality makes you a more resilient entrepreneur in the long run.

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