If you are in a bind and need a quick gift for someone in the late teens to 30s, I recommend the book BALLSY: 99 Ways to Grow a Bigger Pair and Score Extreme Business Success by Karen Salmansoh.
It is in-your-face, real world advice and inspiration for your career, whatever field you’re in. It’s the opposite of academic, and gives the advice a wise old CEO would give after a few gin and tonics. It’s not a long book, it only has a few sentences on each page with pictures, but it focuses on the importance of marketing yourself and your talents, dealing with people, and getting yourself into positions that will eventually lead to more opportunity and “luck”. I’ve found a lot of it to be true after being in the workforce for 20 years, and would have benefited from this type of advice early in my career.
Here’s a some of my favorite samples:
Tip #1&2 / More important than talent, have balls.
Sure, talent matters, but if you don’t have balls, your talent won’t matter – because nobody will ever find out about all your swell stuff.
Fact: If you’re seeking extreme success, you cannot be afraid to go against the crown, make mistakes, look dumb.
If you want ot reach extreme heights in your career, get over your fear of fail. You must become confident in your abilities to deal with any crisis or obstacle if you plan to pursue your passions with cockiness, vigor and sense of playful adventure need to snag ’em.
Tip #3 / There are no wishy-washy rock stars, no wishy-washy astronauts, no wishy-washy CEOs, no wishy-washy nobel price winners.
Be like a cockroach, survive everything nature and man can throw at you for millions of years. If you get sprayed with a lethal dose of negativity, you must quickly wipe off your antennae, find your bearings and keep going for all those goodies! Indeed, you must use each spray as a spirit strengthener to build up a strong tolerance for dealing with future sprays of negativity…and thrive against all odds.
Tip #4 / Mom was wrong, it is okay to talk to strangers
- Start friendly conversations often. Schmooze. Network. Join organizations. Go to parties. Go to galas. Go to soup kitchens. Never have cold feet about cold calling anyone you want to meet. Depend on the kindness of strangers.
- Every person you talk to = 3 degrees of separation from someone you might want to talk to. The more people you know, the luckier you’ll be.
Tip #39 / Whenever possible, play with people who are better than you.
TIp #73 / Learn Under a Substitute Teacher
- When faced with a problem, substitute someone you trust and respect as being in your place – and imagine what they would do.
Tip #90 / It’s better to communicate difficult stuff sooner than to try to fix a really difficult problem later.
Always squoosh a work problem when it’s a mini. The longer you wait, the bigger and scarier problems get.