3 traits of great work

  • Creativity
  • Impact
  • Control

To acquire jobs with the desirable traits, need career capital — rare and valuable skills you can offer

To develop these skills, adopt the craftsman mindset (what can I offer the world?) rather than the passion mindset (what can the world offer me?).

Become “so good they can’t ignore you”.

Maximise efficiency by doing ‘deliberate practice’ which involves stretching yourself above your comfort zone and getting immediate feedback.

Certain career paths have greater potential for using career capital. Three disqualifiers:

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

When gaining more control:

1st control trap — gaining more control when you don’t have the capital (e.g. quitting your job to blog)

2nd control trap — employers will fight to keep you as you’re more valuable

When experiencing resistance from others, it can be hard to distinguish these two traps.

If unsure, do what people are willing to pay for. Money acts as a neutral indicator of value.

Discovering a mission:

A new ‘mission’ is only discoverable from the ‘adjacent possible’. You need to be top of your field in order to understand potential ‘missions’.

Think small (focus patiently on a small area), act big (by taking big action once you realise the mission).

Use small and achievable project (‘little bets’) to explore different ideas. Some won’t amount to much but one may become your mission.

For projects to be a success, they must adhere to the law of remarkability:

  1. Must cause people to remark
  2. Must be in a venue conducive for such remarking

For a project, success requires the law of remarkability:

  1. Must cause people to remark
  2. Must be in venue conducive for such remarking