Nordic Track Book Club Review: Career Renegade

I’ve been working out of my home office doing mostly freelance work for nearly 10 years, so I read books like Career Renegade: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love on occasion to help keep me on the path.  The book is authored by Jonathan Fields who has some good things to say as you’ll see in the excerpts.  The physical book has a cheap mass-market feel to it that took away from the experience, but still a book worth spending quality [NordicTrack] Ski Machine time with. 3-out-of-5 stars.


p.23 What activity would you do for free purely out of a sense of passion?

You just won the lottery.  One condition: You have to work the rest of your life. You can use the lottery winnings to live on, but not to fund any professional endeavor. Now what would you do?

p.26 A few of the elements that define the State of Flow. Working toward a clear goal with a well-defined process. Lack of a sense of self-consciousness. Altered sense of time.

p.29 The best part of being an entrepreneur is not the control you gain over wealth, but the chance to hand-pick the people you surround yourself with and create an organizational culture that is completely in sync with who you are.

p.44 She leveraged her unique knowledge to create a second business opportunity by providing information that taught others how to do what she’d done.  She’d exploited an education gap.

p.55 Even if you aren’t the source of information, there are still alternative ways to exploit gaps in the information that serves your passion.

p.56 As the pace of life and the volume of information grows, really good filtering and reporting becomes increasingly valuable.

p.67 Indirect monetization. One example would be to create a premium content area, charge a subscription and offer a higher level of content, interaction and direct access to your expertise through email, tele-seminars or webinars.

p.68 The List.  When it comes to blogging your list is comprised of your readers and subscribers. You grow that list by delivering valuable content. And each time you do that it serves a secondary marketing purpose. It grows your list and makes the people on it more receptive to recommendations.

p.94 You can often find gaps in demand for the gear, stuff or “schwag” that supports the main activities of a passionate subculture.

p.108 Creating, growing and leading a community requires a lot of work. Passion is what will keep you going, especially in the early days.  Plus, because people respond powerfully to energy and authenticity, possessing these qualities will be key to effectively rallying people to your shared cause.

p.110 Make it easy for people to do what you love. Are there any gaps in the way the service or product is being offered, sold or delivered? Are there people or places who would benefit from better or easier access to this or a similar service or product?

p.123 Find the major keywords that people use to search for more information about your interest, hobby or passion.

p.141 As an Adwords advertiser you get free access to their keyword search tools. Detailed information about search volume and suggested additional or alternative keywords, and competition for each keyword.

p.178 You may be able to aggregate the wisdom of others around a high-interest topic, throw in a bit of your own thoughts and ride the coattails of other peoples’ authority until you establish enough of your own.

p.215 They found information that claimed yoga helped you lose weight, but what was glaringly absent was actual research that proved the issue. I had found my opening. I needed to run the first-ever study on yoga and weight loss.  I approached the head of the Human Performance Lab at Adelphia University.

p.231 If you want to be fearful, go ahead, be afraid. But not of failure. Instead be afraid of never trying, because that is the closest thing you have to a guaranteed downhill slide for the rest of your working life.


Article written by

A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.