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The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-to-5 Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The End of Jobs presents an even more compelling argument on how the traditional education, career and asset accumulation script is failing. Not just failing a generation of Millennials who can't get professional jobs after 4 years and tens or hundreds of thousands of college debt, but all workers. Pearson presents the historical contexts of work throughout history, showing how these paradigms each crumbled as a result of power shifts from Monarchies to Banks to Corporations. Today, the power shift has moved from the Corporation to the Individual, and as such, a "job" in the traditional sense is doomed.
After laying the groundwork for this theory, Pearson then presents actionable steps to hedge these risks and attain freedom. Like The Four Hour Work Week, there are also specific strategies and tactics. With the rate at which digital innovation moves, it's difficult to keep these tactics timeless. But the concepts of the "Stair Step Method" and Apprenticeships will hold any fledgling entrepreneur in good stead for years to come. I for one will use it and the accompanying bonus material as a knowledgebase in my own business and personal processes.
There is a somewhat derogatory term, the Wantrepreneur: a person who gorges on entrepreneurial philosophy and strategies but is yet to pull the trigger and go out on a limb themselves. Wantrepreneurship is a necessary stage in the journey - you must first decide that being an Entrepreneur is something worth caring about. The End of Jobs provides the mission as well as the toolkit to take those first steps.
To be clear, this is not just a tactics-based "how to start a business" handbook for newbies. Nor is it insiders-only philosophical read for established business owners. It's the necessary balance of age-old philosophical theories, real-world examples of successful entrepreneurs, and nitty-gritty strategies and tactics that can create a catalyst for change: not only the WHY, but the HOW and WHEN (i.e. right now)!
This is the same story Tim Ferriss told us back in 2007 with The Four Hour Workweek. It’s the same story I tell in The Connection Algorithm. And now, it’s the same story Taylor Pearson is telling us in The End of Jobs.
When I saw the title and the subtitle, I thought to myself, “Another entrepreneurship book? Really?” I was nervous to release my own book (which has a similar theme) because I wanted to avoid that exact response, and yet here I was, having the same knee-jerk reaction to a Taylor's title. Despite my reaction, Taylor’s book sales are through the roof. People are buying it in droves. It’s an instant bestseller. While the narrative sounds painfully overplayed, it somehow feels fundamentally different. The shoppers here on Amazon are telling us this with their wallets.
So, what is happening here? What makes The Four Hour Workweek more relevant today than it has ever been? And what is causing so many people to buy Taylor’s book?
On the edges of society, there’s a shift happening. People in cubicles across America can feel it. They’re curious about it, but it’s difficult to understand. The End of Jobs makes it crystal clear, which is also precisely why it’s selling so well. It explains why, contrary to popular belief, investing in entrepreneurship is a smart and safe bet to make at this particular time in our nation’s history.
Taylor describes how civilization has taken us through various phases of power and control — from the church, to monarchs, to banks, to corporations. In each phase, the dominant institution is overtaken by a group of people holding a new resource in high demand. This resource, often initially seen as risky or unstable, slowly morphs into the dominant form of power and profit, until it reaches peak saturation and effectiveness, at which point the cycle repeats.
Taylor explains how America, and much of the world at large, is currently experiencing another peak, namely — peak jobs. To borrow from Taylor’s rhetoric, a “job” in this case is defined as working for someone else and performing tasks that aren’t driving your own knowledge and interests forward. You can think of it as a worker on an assembly line. This person is simply performing a task and getting a paycheck. He isn’t gaining anything for himself in terms of knowledge capital. He’s just performing his duty.
As we transitioned from the Industrial Age into the Information Age, these “assembly-line jobs” declined. Machines took over most of the rote tasks, forcing us humans to use our brains and become more than just a finger pushing a button. This departure from mindless tasks, along with the proliferation of technology, created a new landscape of jobs. More specifically, in the Information Age, demand shifted from menial labor to knowledge-based labor.
When knowledge became the valuable resource, credentials became the most popular measure of that resource. Young people started attending college and graduate school to obtain their diploma — their ticket to stability and success. Unfortunately, over the last twenty five years, as more and more people have flooded into universities despite increased costs, the value of a degree has drastically declined. It has become a saturated asset. The valuable resource has once again changed — and it now lies in entrepreneurship.
The traditional path of the past century is rapidly becoming less stable, less effective, and therefore less appealing. A college degree is no longer a badge that grants you access to the workforce. It’s now an expected commodity, and doesn’t guarantee much of anything. Because jobs as we currently understand them are increasingly being taken over by machines or processed overseas, companies are downsizing their staffs, leaving only the members who make the organization run — the knowledge workers. But even if you’re among these knowledge workers, the heightened competition for such roles means employers are more likely to drop you for someone more qualified, or less expensive. There is no security and no stability. Your job could be stolen from you at any moment.
Working for a corporation is becoming risky. So here we are, at The End of Jobs. Taylor Pearson describes the situation in simple terms:
"What was once safe is now risky. What was once risky is now safe."
Power is shifting away from corporations, and toward the individual. As entrepreneurs, we can now skip the middlemen and rely on ourselves — with unprecedented stability. The same technologies that are derailing security in the corporate world are bringing limitless opportunity to the world of the entrepreneur. The knowledge-focused market that was once owned by CEOs is now accessible to everyone. The internet has created an open, meritocratic platform, enabling transactions between anyone in the world. Creatives are starting to realize this. Designers, musicians, writers, engineers, and inventors are all now able to profit from their unique skills, without being tied to an institution. The whole process can be done independently. We can now learn how to do something valuable (from the internet), and effortlessly offer that value to customers with the click of a button (through the internet).
So, if the Information Age has forced us to become knowledge workers, and the nature of this environment eradicates job security within corporations, and we now have a free platform for easily sharing our knowledge for profit, why wouldn’t we just become the operator of our own knowledge and control our own destiny? Why tie ourselves to a third-party system (the corporate world) that’s arguably now less stable than investing in ourselves and building our own personal equity (which can never be taken away from us)?
One of the problems of the past was capital. But that problem has been solved, too. Technology, crowdfunding platforms, the sharing economy, and accelerator programs are enabling entrepreneurship like never before — and this trend will only continue to build momentum. Ten years ago, I couldn’t make money from renting out my apartment on Airbnb, or teaching an online course on Udemy, or driving people around in my car with Uber. Today, I can. Ten years ago, I couldn’t pitch my product to the entire world on Kickstarter or Indiegogo. And I couldn’t join accelerator programs like Techstars or 500 Startups to launch my company without any Angel money or institutional backing. Today I can. Funding projects and making money on the side has never been easier. The infrastructure is already solid, but these types of services are sprouting up every day, enabling more and more people to hit the eject button on the corporate world and spend time on their own entrepreneurial endeavors.
In my book, The Connection Algorithm, I describe a state-of-being called ZombieLand. ZombieLand is where you feel uninterested in what you’re doing — it’s the land of jobs. Most of us have fallen into this culture. We’ve been trudging up the Status-Quo Mountain for the past century, and we’re now at the peak. In my book, I didn’t spend enough time explaining why it’s time to take the leap out of the traditional workforce and into the entrepreneurial arena. Thankfully, Taylor Pearson has filled the gap. Simply put, The End of Jobs is a masterpiece. Taylor goes into far greater detail than I have here, building an almost infallible argument. And he does so with engaging prose, compelling evidence, and poignant examples. I fully expect it to become one of the top-selling and most influential business/lifestyle books of the next decade and beyond.
One of the points I make in my book is that the extractable value of a trend is disproportionately weighted to when it first appears. In other words, it’s insanely valuable to “get in early.” Well, we’re now standing at the precipice of a massive trend: An exodus from jobs as we know it, and a growing army of entrepreneurs who will redefine our concept of work as we approach the second half of the 21st century. I hope you will join Taylor and me, along with countless others around the world who understand the benefit of getting in early. The opportunity won’t last forever.
When I first saw Taylor’s book, which launched only a month after mine, my heart jumped with excitement. Without ever speaking to each other, we had both uncovered the same secret, at nearly the same time. This isn’t some miraculous miracle. It isn’t fate, or luck, or chance. It’s a sign. It’s a sign that we are, as Taylor so eloquently explains, at The End of Jobs. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Taylor’s book right now. It will change the way you see the world, and equip you with the necessary mindset to succeed in this unique, transitional period of our history.
Final Note: I should mention, as Taylor does, that investing in entrepreneurship does not preclude you from being an employee. You can work at a company and still be investing in entrepreneurship by using the Stair Step method (explained in the book). Or, you can be an apprentice to another entrepreneur. On the flip side, you can also be a startup cofounder who just takes orders from your partners, in which case you’re not investing in entrepreneurship.
The core of entrepreneurship lies in independent action, knowledge-building, and problem-solving: Starting something from nothing. Creating. Whether this is being done within an institution, or not, is irrelevant. But, I will say this: the further you decouple yourself from the corporate world as we know it, and the further you venture into the world of entrepreneurship, the higher you can go.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
2. Some urban legends (such as Rothschild)
3. Some old common sense that no longer applies (such as the Long Tail theory)
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