Matt W. Kane

Born For This

Born for This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do by Chris Guillebeau


  • Umbrella profession
  • If you’ve read this far (ASB)

1: Flip the Script

2: Your Money and Your Life

  • Action
    • Rank these statements on a scale of I to 5, with 1 being “not important or relevant” and 5 being “very important.” For best results, make sure your answers vary, and be sure to have at least one I and one 5.
      • 1. Enjoying my work is very important to me.
      • 2. I want to know that I do my work well.
      • 3- I’m in a difficult financial situation or otherwise need to save a large amount of money.
      • 4. My lifestyle matters more than money right now.
      • 5- Other people depend on me, and it’s important that I provide for them.
      • 6. I want to be able to do something that challenges me, especially if it’s new and different.
      • 7- I’m willing to work hard at something I don’t enjoy in exchange for a big financial payoff.
      • 8. I’m happiest when working at something I love, even if it doesn’t pay very well.
      • 9. I prefer to work on tasks that I’m exceptionally good at. These things cause other people a lot of frustration, but they feel easy to me.
    • Results and Interpretation
      • Add up the scores for questions 1, 4, and 8, then 3, 5, and 7, and finally 2, 6, and 9. Select the highest cumulative score from these three groups.
      • If your cumulative score is highest for questions 1, 4, and 8, joys most important to you at this stage of life. More than anything. You want to enjoy your work and do something you care about.
      • • If your cumulative score is highest for questions 3, 5; and 7, money is very important at this time. You need to make some cash, preferably right away.
      • If your cumulative score is highest for questions 2, 6, and 9, flow is particularly important now. You want to make sure you do work that you’re good at.
    • Remember, all three components are important in our life, but their relative importance might change at different points in your life. Therefore, you may want to repeat this brief analysis on a regular basis, perhaps a couple of times a year
  • “I had all of these aspirations and interests, but I didn’t have any tangible proof of what I could do

3: Always Bet on Yourself

  • Calm, happy music plays in elevators going up, and a slightly different playlist—fast, high-energy beats designed to pump you up for a night of gambling—plays on the way down.

4: Prison Break 101

  • To improve your Writing, remember that all writing is essentially persuasive. Make sure your writing contains a call to action. Ask yourself, “What do I want people to do after reading this?”
  • Improve your ability to follow through and follow up.
    • Successful people, no matter their field, are good at following through and following up. If you’ve ever been to a meeting where a lot of good ideas were discussed but then nothing happened later, you’ve spotted a great opportunity to put these skills to use. It’s easy to come up with ideas. Making ideas come to life is where the real value is.
  • The guy who checked into a cheap motel for nine days, refusing to leave until he finished a business plan for his new project

5: The Answer in Your Inbox

  • One tip: when meeting important people, no matter the field, be sure you’re prepared with specific questions. Many of them will be happy to help, but you don’t want to waste their time.
  • Here’s the core principle: when you’re not sure what your “thing” is—when you don’t know quite where to look to find that job or career that brings you joy, flow, and a good income—the people you talk to every day can help you find it.
  • The key is looking to the questions they ask you, the favors they request of you, and maybe even the books or articles they send you simply because they think you’d be interested. When someone says, “Hey, can I ask you for a favor?” and you already know what that person is going to ask, you have your answer.
  • The more we focus on solving other people’s problems, the more successful we will be.
  • If you can help your boss and colleagues feel better about their work, your reputation will soar.

6: Life Coaching from Jay-Z

7: Side Hustle

  • A lot of people get stuck in the search for a “big idea.” But as you saw in Chapter 5, you don’t necessarily need a big idea to make big profits. You need a helpful idea. Consider the guy who invented the cup-holder. Granted, it’s not as sexy as making the latest smartphone model. But if you’re driving along with a beverage, that cup-holder sure comes in handy.
  • These qualities are good signs of a potential gold rush:
    • A big, untapped market
    • A new technology or advancement that a lot of people don’t know how to use or participate in
    • Confusion or uncertainty over how to participate in the new thing
    • Something people want but can’t get (“illegal” groceries from across the border)
    • Something that is perceived as scarce or involves FOMO (the fear of missing out)
    • Day 1: First things first! Decide what hour side hustle will be. What skills will you utilize? What passion will you tap into? What problem will you solve?
    • Day 2: What’s the deliverable? Make a decision: will this be a product, a service, or some kind of hybrid? How will you make money off your side hustle?
    • Day 3: Think about the ideal customers or clients for this idea. Who are they and what are their struggles? If you had five customers or clients, what would they all have in common?
    • Day 4: Set a budget. Determine all costs necessary, and keep them as low as possible.
    • Day 5: Write down three key benefits for your new side hustle. This is particularly important, because the benefits you offer matter much more than any other details or features.
    • Day 6: Decide how much you’ll charge for your offer.
    • Day 7: Set up a simple, one-page website. No need to make it complicated or fancy; for a quick guide on how to get a website in less than an hour, visit
    • Day 8: Write a simple sales page for your website. Again, it doesn’t need to be complicated; just think about what you’re offering and how it will help people. Oh, and tell them what they need to do to purchase or sign up.
    • Day 9: Write the “Frequently Asked Questions” section for your website. Think about what questions you’d have upon encountering your offer for the first time. What would you want to know?
    • Day 10: Add a PayPal button (or other checkout process) to your one-page website. Remember, if you don’t have a way to get paid, it’s called a hobby, not a business.
    • Day 11: Alternatively, offer to invoice clients for your service. If you choose this option, make sure there’s a clear way for them to commit to payment before you do a bunch of work for them.
    • Day 12: Show your draft project to three people and ask for feedback. For best results, don’t just ask friends; ask people who fit the background or profile you identified on day 3. Ask for their unfiltered opinion and make sure they tell you about anything that isn’t immediately clear to them.
    • Day 13: Launch! Publish your offer or simple website. Congratulations—but don’t celebrate too much, because there’s more to be done.
    • Day 14: Tell your friends. Let them know what you’re working on and how they can help spread the word.
    • Day 15: Tell other people you know—friends of friends, colleagues, former classmates. Don’t try to sell them directly; just ask them to refer your project on if they know anyone who might be a good fit for it.
    • Day 16: Mention your offering on social media. Again, don’t try too hard to sell, but do show people what you’ve made.
    • Day 17: Ask your first customer or client to share his or her honest opinion. What did that person like, and how could you improve?
    • Day 18: Launch again! Take what you’ve learned thus far and identify a few specific tweaks. Does information on the sales page? Relaunch with your new offer.
    • Day 19: Just as retail stores frame the first dollar they receive, find a way to celebrate the beginning of your side hustle by commemorating the first
    • Check your cash, the email notification of your first customer, or something else. The point is to take joy in your success and, better yet, in knowing that the best is yet to come!
    • Nathan decided to create the complete product, a “10 Days to Better Design” guide, in just 24 hours. He conducted the experiment in public, video-blogging updates every hour or so throughout the day. In the first couple of hours, he outlined the guide and brainstormed ideas for names with an eager audience of followers. By the time he went to bed, he had much of the guide written. The next day he was up at 5:15 a.m. and working hard on a basic website. As promised, Nathan debuted the guide at the 24-hour mark. He didn’t quite finish everything, but he was close. More than go people bought the guide immediately, for a total profit of just over $1,000.
  • Sell your unused stuff.
  • Audit your credit or debit card statements.
  • Cancel your unused services.

8: You. Inc.

9: How to Become a Firefighter

  • Create an artist’s statement that describes your future self. Stronger artists’ statements get to the point quickly and leave little room for confusion:
    • My watercolor paintings are about nostalgia and sentimentality.
    • I create sculptures and other physical installations to show the evolution of humankind and its impact on the environment.
  • The key is to focus half on your past accomplishments and half on what you hope to achieve in the future. Short is good, but it’s not a race to find the fewest possible words.
  • Use “demonstrated interest” as a strategy for life, not just college applications.
  • Here are a few questions to ask (in your own words):
    • What’s the greatest problem your team is currently experiencing?
    • What’s the most valuable contribution I could bring to this role?
    • Can you describe a general “day in the life” of this role? How would a successful person divide his time or organize his responsibilities to do it well?
    • How will my performance be measured? How will I know if I’m doing a good job, as well as how I can improve?
    • If I wanted to work on additional areas of responsibility outside the official role, perhaps for 15 percent of the time, how would you feel about that?

10: The Self-Evolved Employee

11: DIY Rock Star

  • The musicians, artists, and writers who thrive today understand that their success is due not only “to the fans,” which is something that artists have always said. The difference is that now success is due to the relationship the artist has with the fans.
  • Almost without exception, those who succeed in the new economy share four specific characteristics: a body of work (product). A group of fans (audience), a means of sharing the body of work (platform), and a way of getting paid for their work (money).

12: How to Do Everything You Want

  • “It’s less about how do I find time and more about why do I find time. You’ll always find time for things that have a strong enough why.”