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What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20: A Crash Course on Making Your Place in the World Hardcover – April 14, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 464 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Seelig, executive director of the entrepreneurship center at Stanford's School of Engineering, presents a thoughtful, concise set of observations for those making the unsteady transition to adulthood. While the majority of her advice is intended for would-be entrepreneurs, her accessible lessons should come in handy for those in any field, as well as those still trying to decide on a field. Culled from her personal experience as an entrepreneur and teacher, as well as the stories of entrepreneurs and students she knows, Seelig avoids (and at times dissects) cliché and provides informative discussion throughout, despite a narrower focus than readers might expect. A chapter on acknowledging, learning from, and even seeking out failure ("Fail fast and frequently") provides valuable advice and comfort for the fearful, including Seelig's own "failure resumé" (broken into professional, academic and personal failures). The chapter titled "Don't listen to career advice" helps readers avoid the pitfalls of oft-heard, wrong-headed maxims like "follow your passions" and "stick to the plan." Readers will either be relieved or frustrated that Seelig doesn't provide any numbered steps, bullet-pointed recaps or self-assessment quizzes, but she makes the most of her knowledge and authority with a friendly, efficient voice.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“This is a great guide to moving in more exciting, creative, and fulfilling directions, written by a person who is an expert at doing so. But if Tina Seelig had known any more when she was 20, the world probably could not now contain her. “ -- Jim Adams, Author, Conceptual Blockbusting

“It’s almost impossible to read the first line of Tina Seelig’s book and not grab pen and paper to jot down a river of pent-up ideas and possibilities . . . A galvanizing document, [it] gives us -- more than anything else -- permission to develop our dreams.” -- Santa Cruz Sentinel

“Forget 20--This is the kind of stuff I wish I knew now... Tina is doing us all a big favor by giving us a roadmap to life!” -- Guy Kawasaki, co-founder of Alltop and author of Reality Check

“Wise, witty and packed with stories of those who are making a difference and some who are making a fortune...The only trouble is that you will need two dozen copies to give to everyone.” -- Patricia Ryan Madson, author of Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare, Just Show Up

“Few people have done as much to champion innovative thinking as Tina Seelig. The principles in her book will surely spark new ideas. It is a must-read for the next generation of entrepreneurs and seasoned veterans alike.” -- David Kelley, Founder IDEO

“Tina is the most inspirational creativity voice I know. Her book is much better than a whack on the side of your head. It’s a whack on the side of your soul!” -- Geoffrey Moore, Author, Crossing the Chasm, Dealing with Darwin

“Seelig is a sharp observer and a gentle and thoughtful writer. Recollections of her own circuitous career path, along with observations of behavior of friends, family, students and colleagues are fertile ground for her. -- Miami Herald

“Tina Seelig is one of the most creative and inspiring teachers at Stanford. Her book ought to be required reading. I wish I had read it when I was 20... and again at 50.” -- Robert Sutton, Stanford University Professor and author The No-Asshole Rule

“Anybody who wants to live an entrepreneurial life filled with purpose and passion needs to read this book. It’s chockfull of practical tools and tips to bring out the best in each of us.” -- Steve Case, Chairman of Revolution and The Case Foundation, and co-founder of AOL

“True, it’s written by a woman (a Stanford University professor, no less), but this ‘crash course in making your way in the world’ is full of realistic tips that help put things into perspective.” -- Sacramento Bee

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Product details

  • Publisher : HarperOne; 0 edition (April 14, 2009)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 208 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0061735191
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0061735196
  • Item Weight : 10.9 ounces
  • Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.77 x 8.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 464 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
464 global ratings
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Top reviews from other countries

Michelle M.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 26, 2020
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Nicole
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I have ever had the opportunity to read at my age
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 4, 2015
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Andrew Kirkham
5.0 out of 5 stars Reboot your creative mind
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 14, 2012
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Zak
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 23, 2017
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Lara Flannery
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book, bought as a 20th birthday present
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 18, 2018
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