Book Review: No Fears, No Excuses – What You Need To Do To Have A Great Career

I got to read the book before watching the video of Larry Smith’s TEDx speech, and oh my, I would most certainly have rushed out to buy the book if I’d actually seen the video first. 🙂 On the TEDx stage, Larry gave a most entertaining speech. I love how dramatic his presentation was (reminded me a little of some Harry Potter movies because of the way he speaks) and how funny this guy is. The title of his speech (which has gotten over 2.9 million views on YouTube) is ‘Why You Will Fail To Have A Great Career’, one which will make many people sit up straight in their seats. Thankfully, he picked a more customer-friendly title for his book. It’s called ‘No Fears, No Excuses – What You Need to Do to Have a Great Career’. 😀

No Fears, No Excuses by Larry Smith

Here are some tips from the book to help you find a GREAT career – not a good one, but a great one! *wink*

“A career is great when it offers satisfying work, impact on the world, a dependable and adequate income, and personal freedom.” – Larry Smith

  1. Don’t become a commodity, or else it all boils down to PRICE. Don’t be a commodity employee.
  2. Know the difference between ‘getting work done’ and ‘producing exceptional results’.
  3. SAMPLE everything in order to find your passion. But remember that you are not trying to sell yourself something.
  4. Always be a student.
  5. Be a good communicator.
  6. Have an edge, i.e. what makes you better than the others. Even interns need to find ways to shine.
  7. Stand out. Do what no one else is doing.
  8. Don’t imitate. Innovate!
  9. Great family and a great career are not mutually exclusive endeavors.
  10. Remember, a great career means at the end of it and at the end of your life, you leave your mark behind. You leave your work behind to speak for you.
  11. Don’t enter a crowded field unless you’re prepared – really prepared – to minimize the competitive pressure in that field… it’s everyone’s strategy to try, and to work hard. The truth is, you need to do better than that.

I really like this book as it is full of real-life examples. You’ll read about students who offer up excuses as to why they couldn’t possibly make a career out of their passion, how they enter jobs that parents point them to or which money lures them towards instead of following their heart or talent, and what happens to employees who do not keep up with the rate of technological change, etc.

It’s one book that undergraduates should be reading more often than their textbooks. It’s one book that fresh graduates had better read before stepping into the workforce. And it’s one book that those who feel lost (mid-life crisis, anyone?) should definitely pick up and find some answers within.

Definitely get a copy of this book if you’re ever in need of some great career advice. 🙂