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Never Get a "Real" Job: How to Dump Your Boss, Build a Business and Not Go Broke Hardcover – December 7, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

A lot of business books hold your hand, make you feel good, and are set to convince you that your passion and "unique" business idea are enough to plow through your competition, garner new leads, and make millions just because you can write a business plan that says so.

This is not that kind of book.

A twenty-something hustler, rainmaker, and bootstrapper who has survived and thrived despite never having held the proverbial "real" job, Scott Gerber is the ultimate "Generation Y-er." He's a self-taught serial entrepreneur who built several successful businesses without storied business connections, a business school background, executive training—or investment dollars. And in Never Get a "Real" Job, he shows you how he succeeded so you can overcome today's chronic conditions of mass unemployment, underemployment, and dead-end 9-to-5s.

Gerber gives you the no-bull reality on turning your business idea into a viable enterprise capable of generating real income now—based on his hard-knocks lessons learned in the entrepreneurial trenches. From the perils of doing too much too fast, to bogging down a promising start-up with infrastructure long before it's needed, Gerber has experienced firsthand how you can sabotage your own business. Never Get a "Real" Job will help you avoid the costly mistakes that can take down your enterprise at any time, helping you to get off the ground, establish your business, and keep it successfully up and running.

But Gerber isn't just giving you a collection of war stories. He gives you insights from a fellow young entrepreneur on how to start from absolutely nothing—building a viable business model from the ground up. Along with straight-shooting advice on creating contacts and cultivating clients, he offers practical, affordable, step-by-step instructions on how to constantly analyze, refine, and target your business offerings—while minimizing wasted time and keeping you on track.

With vast resources like online tools, Web sites, checklists, and hard coaching, as well as thousands of dollars worth of connections to free and discounted small business services, Never Get a "Real" Job takes you off the unrewarding resume and cover letter cycle, while putting you on the road toward becoming a self-sufficient business owner, and creating a life that gives you a real shot at the success you deserve.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Never Get A "Real" Job

"Practical. Irreverent. Insightful. If you read just one book this year about becoming an entrepreneur, make sure it's Never Get a 'Real' Job."
—Anita Campbell, founder, Smallbiztrends.com

"With the economic spiral of 2009, our world of work was blown up, and with it, traditional frameworks for career success. Thank god we have Scott Gerber, a member of the next generation, telling the truth about what it takes to succeed in the coming decades. Gen Y, and parents of Gen Y, you will put your livelihoods at risk if you don't read this book. Buy it."
—Pamela Slim, author of Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur

"Economic turmoil has made it more difficult than ever for Gen Y to have a breakout entrepreneurial success story. However, thanks to Scott Gerber, there's hope. He breaks it down, tells it like it is, and kicks you in the pants with his no-nonsense guide to getting started and achieving real success—now."
—Jeff Sloan, cofounder, StartupNation.com

"Scott is the Simon Cowell of young entrepreneurship."
—Mike Michalowicz, author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur

"Wow! If all Gen Y-ers were like Scott, we'd never have to worry about our kids moving back into the basement after college. As filled with no-nonsense, practical, yet unpredictable advice as it is serious attitude, Never Get a 'Real' Job is a must-read for all aspiring entrepreneurs. No coddling here—just the straight-up truth from a very savvy guy who's been there and done that."
—Donna Fenn, author of Upstarts!: How GenY Entrepreneurs Are Rocking the World of Business and 8 Ways You Can Profit from Their Success

"Scott doesn't give the sugar-coated advice that wannabe entrepreneurs like to hear. He gives the blunt guidance that real entrepreneurs can actually put to use."
—Andrew Warner, founder, Mixergy

"Never Get a 'Real' Job will help any reader—even those without start-up finances or previous entrepreneurial experience—quit their quest for 9-to-5s and become self-sufficient small business owners."
—Steve Mariotti, founder, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)

"Never Get a 'Real' Job is a straightforward, funny, and insightful book for young entrepreneurs looking to make a name for themselves."
—Dan Schawbel, author of Me 2.0, and Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, LLC

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (December 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470643862
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470643860
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #813,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The title of the book is great. unfortunately, that's all it has going for it. The book is very negative, full of clichés, and doesn't delve meaningfully into the topics. It's more like sound-bites with a lot of ranting. I didn't walk away with any practical or actionable advice. It definitely doesn't deliver on the title, which I'd bet was just an afterthought they paid some clever marketer to come up with.

I'M CALLING SHENANIGANS!...

I thought to myself, How could such a terrible book be rated so highly?
So I read through all the positive reviews (and welcome you to do the same).
Funny thing, they all sounded the same! Very vague, slightly hyped, and in the same writing style. In fact, some of them are the same, just copy and paste jobs. Contrast that to the few negative reviews (I'm guessing not many people actually read this book) which sounded very genuine, like they had actually read the book.

Some better alternatives:

For a book that actually delivers on this books title, I would suggest 'The 4-hour workweek'(Timothy Ferris)

If you're seriously thinking about starting your own business, read 'The E-Myth Revisited' (Michael Gerber)

If you have a business and want to increase sales, read 'Instant Cashflow' (Bradley Sugars)

These books actually earned their ratings the old-fashioned way... by being great books (unique and insightful).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This wasn't worth the afternoon I wasted reading the entire thing. I kept going, hoping that the sinking feeling I had would go away, but it never really did.

Sure, I sort of bought into the first one or two chapters, as it reflected some of my own feelings and frustrations in my post-graduate life. But when he got into the actual nuts and bolts of his business approach, I found his attitude really off-putting, along with the constant references to MTV and other "culturally relevant" things that have apparently "warped" the thinking of my generation (seriously, even in the 90s MTV was hardly relevant anymore, dude).

I kept finding not only contradictions in his advice (you should be sincere and not put on airs, but you should also use "we" even if your enterprise is composed of entirely yourself, wha?), but also things that weren't that different from (and in many ways worse than) other entrepreneurial advice I've found on the internet (please check out some of the older entries in Lifehacker on the subject -- much more illuminating and less bitter and caustic). In addition, some of his approaches even made me feel really slimy or not at all useful for my own goals, and the book ends... with coupons. Yes, coupons, which he has so generously given to you, to "help" you toward your dreams! Keep it classy, Gerber :P.

Being a millenial, I was hoping he would have talked about more approaches specific to the internet, instead of the largely IRL stuff that has been covered better in other material. He seemed to only touch on the usual web services that can make cheapo-looking logos and websites that devalue the other hard-working professionals out there.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased this book on the recommendation of Peter Shankman via his Help a Reporter e-mail blast. I read the sample, read the reviews and thought that this would be one of those "must have" books for entrepreneurs.

I plowed through the first half but grew tired of Gerber's "get tough" attitude/lecturing. Gerber is not quite bloviating but his voice is pretty close. Luckily the second half of the book is much better. It's filled with useful lists of resources that you can probably find on Google using the right search terms* -- but it's nice to have them collected in one place.

This book is probably great for someone who just graduated from college and doesn't have a job. Although, if you've got a very limited budget, I might recommend The Zen of Social Media Marketing and -- perhaps -- Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Non-Boring, Fluff-Free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business (another Shankman recommendation) as better choices for your buck. I can't fully recommend the latter, however, until I have finished reading it, Keep your eyes posted for the review....

*I only added the remark about Google because Gerber always stresses that you shouldn't pay for something that you can find on Google for free.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"Never Get a Real Job: How to Dump Your Boss, Build a Business and Not Go Broke," is as childish and shallow as its title and cover suggest. For those of you new to the world of entrepreneurship: STAY AWAY FROM THIS. It will damage your mind and potentially break your business, make you broke, and force you to crawl back to your boss. For the developed entrepreneur, this will make you laugh and shiver in disgust.

1. "Don't Waste time on a Business Plan" - this is one of the author's biggest points, and yet one of the most inaccurate. It is true that business plans are often thought as the "holy grail" of starting a business. However, the value of a business plan IS NOT THE PLAN ITSELF (in many cases). The value of such a compilation is the PROCESS of it. It enforces the members to learn their field, industry, and landscape and critically analyze their situation. Having such knowledge allows for start-ups to make quicker and more accurate decisions.

And now for the grand slammer that shows the author has very little awareness of his own actions...In the book he touts that one should make your business plan no more than a paragraph. However, what Mr. Gerber overlooks is that all of the "time he wasted on making a business plan," provided him with the knowledge and edge to get his business off the ground. The only reason his "paragraph plan" worked for him, is because he had already created a full business plan and extracted the value of the process.

2. "Shoestrapping" - Mr. Gerber's take on outsourcing is useful...BUT, it's a straight up rip-off of "The 4-hour Work Week." These chapters seem like he just read "The 4-Hour Work Week" and re-typed it in his own words.

3.
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