Friday, May 16, 2008


I just finished reading Kickstart: How Successful Canadians Got Started. It was written by three young recent university grads who weren't exactly sure what to do with their lives. They decided to contact dozens of prominent Canadians in a wide variety of fields and ask them how they reached their status of significance. It's a very worthwhile, quick, and rich read. T|hey also have a companion website you might want to check out.
Interesting reflections from the book:
-Diversity: The figures in Kickstart don't only represent fields as varied as politics, business, athletics, academia, and the arts; they also have taken widely different paths to their achievements. There is no one way to success.
-Mentors: Almost all of the profiles included recognition of someone (often generally anonymous) who was admired by the subject and who at a key point offered them the encouragement and/or challenge that inspired them.
-Childhood: Almost without exception the people profiled in Kickstart are able to link their ultimate prominence to interests, experiences, and patterns from their childhood years. We are wise to refer to that in our own lives when seeking direction.
-Boldness: Not only are the subjects people of nerve; but the authors took the risk of essentially cold-calling these influential figures and asking for interviews. To their surprise, most of the people they called were please to do so and some went far beyond that in response.

It has been my experience that even prominent people will often make time for someone who approaches them for interaction if the approach is clear, well prepared, and specific in nature.

Kudos to Alexander, Paul, and Andrew for this book and the ancillary projects and events that are springing from it.

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