July 2020 Book Club Discussion: Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You By Cal Newport

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I'm Jennifer Myers, Founder of Agent Grad School and host of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent, The Agent Grad School Podcast.  My goal for each episode is to give you actionable steps you can implement today to grow your real estate business.

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Hey there!

Welcome to the second of four book club discussions during the Agent Grad School Summer Book Club 2020 edition!

Just as a reminder or to catch up any newcomers…here at Agent Grad School, we have a summer book club (completely free to join) and you can find out all the details about how long it runs, what books we are reading this summer and how you can be a part of the discussions right here.

We also added a few extra books this summer, specifically to learn more about how our industry has been part of the systemic racism that continues to plaque our country. You can find more about those books here.

Now on to the book club discussion about our July book choice–So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love By Cal Newport.

This book is an EXCELLENT read not only for every real estate agent, but anyone who has a passion they want to turn into a career.

Why? Because it helps you continue to be great in your business even after the passion you had in the beginning runs out, which it WILL at some point if you are in any career for long enough.

Cal Newport says that the idea to “follow your passion” or “do what you love” is not only flawed, but tends to lead to disappointment and even changing careers unnecessarily.

Instead, Cal argues that we should focus on honing our skills and work we love will be created by being great at the career we’ve chosen.

So Good They Can’t Ignore You presents four “rules” for finding work you love, but before we dive into those, I think the story of how Cal Newport came up with the idea of writing this book is fascinating and shows that there are clues on the path to success everywhere.

He says that he was watching an episode of the Charlie Rose Show where Steve Martin was a being interviewed, here’s the clip of that interview that inspired this best-selling book and I hope inspires you too:

I love his advice Steve Martin gives whenever he’s asked how to be successful. He says, “you have to be undeniably good at something. You have to be so good they can’t ignore you.”

Which is how the title of this tremendous book came to be.

The Four Rules for Loving The Career You’ve Chosen:

  1. Don’t Follow Your Passion
  2. Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You
  3. Turn Down The Promotion
  4. Think Small, Act Big

Seems like counterintuitive advice, doesn’t it? But, it’s not.

Here’s why:

One of the concepts I love the most about this book is taking a “craftsman’s approach” to your work. Cal Newport recommends honing your skills and go into anything new knowing that you won’t be any good at it until you’ve spent 10,000 hours honing your skills.

He says once you do that, not only will you be a truly skilled craftsman at whatever career you’ve chosen, but that is when you will also fall in love with your chosen career.

Essentially, you have to get through 10,000 hours before you can even think about being good at your chosen career and only then can you expect to love your work!

He goes on to say that the natural byproduct of the 10,000 hours theory is that you build rare and valuable skills. Having rare and valuable skills makes you feel good about the work you are doing because you become an expert.

And, this is why if you take the craftsman’s mindset when building a career, you become so good they can’t ignore you and find yourself loving your work.

See how that all comes together full circle? πŸ˜‰

The cofounder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, calls this book, β€œAn important guide to starting a remarkable career.”

I agree, especially when it comes to a remarkable real estate career. If you haven’t already, definitely read it!

To your success,


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