- Hardcover: 160 pages
- Publisher: Bantam; 1 edition (August 21, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 034553025X
- ISBN-13: 978-0345530257
- Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.7 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5,578 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills Hardcover – August 21, 2012
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“The Little Book of Talent should be given to every graduate at commencement, every new parent in a delivery room, every executive on the first day of work. It is a guidebook—beautiful in its simplicity and backed by hard science—for nurturing excellence.”—Charles Duhigg, bestselling author of The Power of Habit
“It’s so juvenile to throw around hyperbolic terms such as ‘life-changing,’ but there’s no other way to describe The Little Book of Talent. I was avidly trying new things within the first half hour of reading it and haven’t stopped since. Brilliant. And yes: life-changing.”—Tom Peters, co-author of In Search of Excellence
About the Author
Daniel Coyle is the author of The Talent Code, as well as the New York Times bestseller Lance Armstrong’s War. He lives with his wife and four children in Homer, Alaska, and Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
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The author breaks it down in four steps D E A and L
D is for definition and is probably the only part of the book of any substance. If you’re under 23, naive, and never stand up for self you might get something out of it. It’s mostly work mindset a lot of people have developed over a year or so in the work world.
E is elimination which is his time management section. Honestly there is some good advice , however,there are way better books on the topic. He advocates the low information diet which basically being willfully ignorant.
A is for automation. In this section he advocates for first automating/ outsourcing as much in your life as you can to save time and money.
But the main focus is setting up a business online that sells things of little value very overpriced and attempting to automate that. Having worked in online marketing, I can tell you the information here is outdated, vague, and not very thorough. If you want to set up a business online I would recommend reading a different book. He also advocates calling yourself an expert and teaching courses on topics you have no authority in. Ultimately, this is where the book falls apart as this is his central way to live the four hour work week, which if you take a look at his own life he isn’t living that way.
For L is for liberation and I took his low information diet and stopped reading.
Conclusion: this book is for naive, weak, dummies who hate their jobs and will take any terrible advice to give them hope. Ultimately this book is like his own online business which sold a product of little value he wasn’t an expert in. Which is what this book is.
First of all, when I picked up the book, I didn't expect that he was literally working only four hours a week. I thought he was just talking about ways to spend less time working, but that "The 4-Hour" just sounded good (since he now has a whole line of books with titles that start that way). Nope. Turns out he really only worked four hours every week for a few years. I hate him. Now, with his series of books and everything, that's not true so much, so I hate him less. Now his job is much more similar to what I actually want to do.
As I said, Ferriss has some great ways of eliminating clutter and busywork, including things you don't even think of as busywork. I've already started implementing some of these tips at work, and they've come in pretty handy so far. I keep meaning to get rid of a bunch of my physical clutter, but my laziness keeps getting in the way of that. I'll get around to it in the next few weeks.
I also appreciated his philosophy of taking mini-retirements throughout life, rather than one long retirement at the end of life. I never did understand the point of retirement, so Ferriss's plan sounds much more appealing to me. As he put it, retirement should be nothing more than a fail-safe in case something happens and you are physically (or mentally) incapable of working. My thoughts exactly.
My main problem with his philosophy is that it really only works if you have a product that you are not actually making, but that you can sell. For example, even if I were to quit my day job and write all day every day, I would still be working a lot. Granted, that would make my job a whole lot more portable, but I could never get away with only working four hours per week (at least not until after I sell that bestselling novel, which is such a realistic plan!) In order to do it his way, I would need to have something that is already produced, or that someone else is making (clothes, dietary supplement, etc.) where all I have to do is collect the money that comes in from those sales.
Of course, that's a lot harder than it sounds. His ways of eliminating the useless from his life are really quite impressive, and not to be underestimated, but I still wonder if someone in their twenties, who is just starting out in life, can really make his plan work? Some of his success stories include people negotiating working remotely, because they have built up value in their company. Someone who has only been working at their current job for a year or two does not have the kind of leverage necessary to do that.
Additionally, he talks about the trick to getting out of your job so you can go have that great once-in-a-lifetime adventure. He mentions considering the worst-case scenario and the fact that worst-case is not necessarily all that bad. One of his points he brings up is that, if he loses his job, he can get another one fairly easily. Well, great for him, but the original book was written before the job market collapsed, followed by this lovely "jobless recovery". I was recently unemployed for eight months and it was not fun. I, too, thought I could get another job within a few months, but that did not turn out to be the case. So, if I go spend all my money on a mini-retirement now, and then come back only to find that I can't get a job for another year, I'll be screwed. Yes, even that worst-case scenario isn't that bad. I could always move back in with my parents, but I'd really rather not. I love them, but they have enough to deal with right now, and the last thing I want to do is burden the people around me because I decided to go globe-trotting for a few months. Timothy Ferriss told me it would be fine!
So, if you want guidelines for developing a talent, buy this one. If you want a good, informative read, but which will not be so actionable, buy The Talent Code.,