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

Buy this book if you are over 50

Would you listen to So Good They Can't Ignore You again? Why?

Yes. Good advice. Thought-provoking ideas.


What other book might you compare So Good They Can't Ignore You to and why?

Some of Peter Drucker's works on knowledge workers and second act careers.


Any additional comments?

Cal Newport's work is an important contribution to career-planning books. Unlike the reviewer who recommends not to buy the book if you are over 30, I would heartily recommend it for those new to the world of work as well as those who have many years under their belt. Cal's advice on mission plan and good use of career capital can be put to good use by someone who has been in the knowledge working world for a while. If there is a shortcoming, it might be that Cal's perspective is at times narrowed by his academic career. Some of his advice could use refining or evolution for those of us in business. But it is a very good start and, hopefully, not his last contribution to this important area.

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- Robert

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

Book Details

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