Cal Newport - So good they can’t ignore you

Notes on the Book So good they can’t ignore you by Cal Newport  

  • Rule 1: Don’t follow your passion

  • Rule 2: Be so good they can’t ignore you (Importance of Skill)

  • Rule 3: Turn down the Promotion (Importance of Control)

  • Rule 4: Think Small, Act Big (Importance of Mission)

Don’t follow your passion

Steve Jobs story did not start with computers, however over time he became passionate about it

  • Passion is Rare
  • Passion Takes Time
  • Passion is a Side Effect of Mastery

Be so good they can’t ignore you

(Importance of Skill)

Adopting the Craftsman Mindset

Tice is willing to grind out long hours with little recognition, but

That’s because it’s in service to

Something he’s obviously passionate about and

Has been for a long time. He’s found that one job

That’s right for him

The Power of Career Capital

If you want a great job, you have to build up rare and valuable skills - career capital

Passion mindset - what can the world offer me

Craftsman mindset - what can I offer the world

Traits that define good Work

  • Creativity
  • Impact
  • Control

Three disqualifiers for applying the craftsman mindset

  • The job presents few opportunities to distinguish yourself by developing relevant skills
  • The job focuses on something you think is useless or actively bad for the world
  • The job forces you to work with people you really dislike

Becoming a Craftsman

Deliberate Practice

If you just show up and work hard, you’ll soon hit a performance plateau beyond which you fail to get any better.

To successful adopt the craftsman mindset, we have to approach our jobs in the same way as Garry Kasparov his chess training - with a dedication to deliberate practice.

Five Habits of the Craftsman

  1. Decide in What kind of Capital Market you are in
  2. Identify your Capital Type
  3. Define “Good”
  4. Stretch and Destroy
  5. Be Patient

Turn down the Promotion

(Importance of Control)

Control without career capital is not sustainable.

The point at which you have acquired enough career capital to get meaningful control over your working life is exactly the point you’ve become valuable enough to your current employer will prevent you from making the change.

The Law of Financial Viability

When deciding whether to follow an appealing pursuit that will introduce more control to your work-life, seek evidence of whether people are willing to pay for it. If you find this evidence continues. If not, move on.

Think Small, Act Big

(Importance of Mission)

The Law of Remarkability

For a mission-driven project to succeed, it should be remarkable in two different ways. First, it must compel people who encounter it to remark about it to others. Second, it must be launched in a venue that supports such remarking.