Reid Hoffman, Founder of LinkedIn, has recently written an new book titled The Start-up of You. I suggest that you put this book on top of your must read list. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 5 that has a great message for job seekers:
Every good entrepreneur has to hustle and be resourceful in order to get their business off the ground. For example, Pandora’s founder, Tim Westergren, pitched the company to over 300 VCs before receiving any funding and did all sorts of things to keep the company afloat in the meantime. In The Start-Up of You, we argue that the entrepreneur hustle is something everyone can and must do in their career.
Consider Chris Sacca. Today he is an investor in tech start-ups like Twitter. Previously he worked at Google. But before that, he was an out-of-work attorney in desperate need of income to help him pay off his student loans from law school.
Sacca started sneaking in through the back door of networking and tech industry events, utilizing his Spanish-language skills to smooth-talk the workers in the kitchen to let him in. Once he was in the door, he realized that handing his new acquaintances a business card that listed only his name wasn’t impressing anyone. So he hatched a clever plan to boost his credibility at the events he attended: create a consulting firm and employ himself there. He made new business cards, hired a developer to build a website, and enlisted his fiancée to draw a corporate logo. Then he went to the same networking events with new business cards that read, “Chris Sacca, Principal, Salinger Group.” Suddenly, the people he met were interested in talking more. Through these connections he eventually landed an executive job at a wireless company, and his career took flight.
Unemployed but toting fancy business cards with a consulting firm logo at the top — awesome!
Take a tip from Chris Sacca. If you haven’t already, have some high quality business cards printed up tomorrow as part of your personal branding and job search strategy. It’s important.
Ken Lazar, Founder