The Start-up of You

Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career

by Reid Hoffman , Ben Casnocha

Number of pages: 272

Publisher: Crown Business

BBB Library: Personal Success

ISBN: 9780307888907

About the Authors

Reid Hoffman : Hoffman is an American entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and author. He's best


Ben Casnocha : Casnocha is an American writer and entrepreneur. He's the founder of


Editorial Review

To adapt to the challenges of professional life today, we need to rediscover our entrepreneurial instincts and use them to forge new sorts of careers. Whether you’re a lawyer or doctor or teacher or engineer or even a business owner, today you need to think of yourself as an entrepreneur at the helm of at least one living, growing start-up venture: Your career.

Book Reviews

"In today’s hyperconnected world, more and more companies cannot and will not hire people who don’t fulfill those criteria...This is precisely why LinkedIn’s founder, Reid Garrett Hoffman, one of the premier starter-uppers in Silicon Valley — besides co-founding LinkedIn, he is on the board of Zynga, was an early investor in Facebook and sits on the board of Mozilla — has a book coming out after New Year called “The Start-Up of You,” co-authored with Ben Casnocha. Its subtitle could easily be: 'Hey, recent graduates! Hey, 35-year-old midcareer professional! Here’s how you build your career today.'" The New York Times

"The Start-Up Of YOU is a recently released book co-written by LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman. It’s well worth reading, not only because it presents an interesting perspective based on the entrepreneurial experiences of the authors, but is also includes a number of practical exercises (called “Invest in Yourself”) which can help you improve your networking and self-improvement skills." Forbes

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Wisdom to Share

All humans are entrepreneurs not because they should start companies but because the will to create is encoded in human DNA, and creation is the essence of entrepreneurship.

To adapt to the challenges of professional life today, we need to rediscover our entrepreneurial instincts and use them to forge new sorts of careers.

You can no longer count on employer-sponsored training to enhance your communication skills or expand your technical know-how. It’s now your job to train and invest in yourself.

If technology doesn’t eliminate or change the skills you need in many industries, it at least enables more people from around the world to compete for your job by allowing companies to offshore work more easily – knocking down your salary in the process.

Searching for a job only when you’re unemployed or unhappy at work has been replaced by the mandate to always be generating opportunities.

A billboard that sat along one highway put it bluntly: “1,000,000 people overseas can do your job. What makes you so special?”

Being better than the competition is basic to an entrepreneur’s survival.

Your competitive advantage is formed by the interplay of three different, ever-changing forces: Your assets, your aspirations/values, and the market realities.

You may not be able to achieve all your aspirations or build a life that incorporates all your values. And they will certainly change over time. But you should at least orient yourself in the direction of a pole star, even if it changes.

Your skills, experience, and other soft assets – no matter how special you think they are – won’t give you an edge unless they meet the needs of a paying market.

What you’re doing now doesn’t have to be failing for it to make sense to shift. If you find that the grass is greener somewhere else, go there!

Just as entrepreneurs are always recruiting and building a team of stunning people, you want to always be in-vesting in your professional network to grow the start-up that is your career.

Relationships matter to your career no matter the organization or level of seniority because every job boils down to interacting with people.

When it comes to getting promoted in your job, strong relationships and being on good terms with your boss can matter more than competence.

A slightly less competent person who gets along with others and contributes on a team can be better for the company than somebody who’s 100 percent competent but isn’t a team player.

Behavior and beliefs are contagious: the fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.

Our professional lives are not a sequence of equally important jobs. There are always breakout projects, connections, specific experiences, and yes, strokes of luck – that lead to unusually rapid career growth.

Reject the misconception that if you’re less powerful, less wealthy, or less experienced, you have nothing to offer someone else. Everyone is capable of offering helpful support or constructive feedback.

Don’t overestimate risk. Remind yourself that the downside of a given situation is probably not as bad, or as likely, as it seems.