So Good They Can't Ignore You

  • by Cal Newport
  • Narrated by Dave Mallow
  • 6 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this eye-opening account, Cal Newport debunks the long-held belief that "follow your passion" is good advice.
Not only is the cliché flawed - pre-existing passions are rare and have little to do with how most people end up loving their work - but it can also be dangerous, leading to anxiety and chronic job hopping.
After making his case against passion, Newport sets out on a quest to discover the reality of how people end up loving what they do. Spending time with organic farmers, venture capitalists, screenwriters, freelance computer programmers, and others who admitted to deriving great satisfaction from their work, Newport uncovers the strategies they used and the pitfalls they avoided in developing their compelling careers.
Matching your job to a preexisting passion does not matter, he reveals. Passion comes after you put in the hard work to become excellent at something valuable, not before.
In other words, what you do for a living is much less important than how you do it.
With a title taken from the comedian Steve Martin, who once said his advice for aspiring entertainers was to "be so good they can't ignore you", Cal Newport's clearly written manifesto is mandatory listening for anyone fretting about what to do with their life, or frustrated by their current job situation and eager to find a fresh new way to take control of their livelihood. He provides an evidence-based blueprint for creating work you love.
So Good They Can't Ignore You will change the way we think about our careers, happiness, and the crafting of a remarkable life.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Do not buy this book if you are over 30

While it was refreshing to hear someone saying "follow your passion is too general", the 20 something author lacks life experience to back his claims. This book may be good for someone in high school or college, but if you plan to take charge of your life and choose rebirth in a new chosen field, do not get this book. It's a total let down. He tells you stories of successful people who worked at perfecting themselves since they were teenagers in their chosen line of work. He fails to do the same with the "failures". He mentions a woman who lost everything because she opened up a yoga studio. The woman ventured into a brand new path. Everyone is terrible when they first try something. After years of practice, of course, you become better. He failed to follow her for years and then document her subsequent success or failure. There are many people who reinvented themselves and became great in their chosen path. For example: Julia Child, Martha Stuart, Harrison Ford, Andrea Bocelli, etc.. This author still needs many years of practice and I must say that this book was a big disappointment. This is my summary of this book: read Malcolm Gladwell & Derek Sivers (since a lot of his research comes from them) & start something (anything) when you are a teenager, stick to it, and you will grow to love it. Everything else = failure. Also, take a shot for every time he says" in order words" and whatever you do, don't lose your career collateral!!!!!
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- Joanna "Traveler. Artist. Dreamer."

I Was Stuck For 10 Years, And This Book Saved Me!

This is exactly the book I needed to listen to. I've felt stuck for more than 10 years because I've been searching for my "calling" or my "life's work", and I've not invested myself into what I WAS doing with my life because I was waiting to discover the passion that lived inside of me before I chose a path in life.

This book explained that I was doing it all wrong and what to do instead. I now realize that diving fully into what I'm doing and becoming really good at it is what will lead to feeling passionate about my career... not waiting for some innate secret wellspring of inspiration to be discovered and then I'll finally "take off". This book really saved me from another 10 years of wasting my life. Highly recommended!

The audiobook was performed really well. I listen to mine at double speed using the Audible app, but I kept having to pause it because the lessons in this book were so incredible that I had to write them down for later. I enjoyed listening to it, and I intend to make this one of the books I listen to every year.
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- Jason From Boston "Avid Audiobook Listener."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-18-2012
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio