A young entrepreneur and sociologist shows readers how to reach personal fulfillment using the same strategies that power Silicon Valley's greatest startups.
As an entrepreneur, Anna Akbari learned that one of the best things about startups is their ability to “pivot” quickly—basically a euphemism for failing and starting over. And she quickly found that personal success is no different. It’s not just about developing and following the right process but also having a good idea. And that demands rigor and daily maintenance—far beyond a few positive affirmations. Like any Silicon Valley startup, the business of life is not as glamorous as its Instagram account would make it seem.
What do you do when planning is not an option? When control is out of your reach? You isolate the small stuff, experiment constantly, and use the results to lay a more sustainable foundation for the future. You validate your idealized vision by testing it out in bite-sized increments. You see what sticks, integrate, and move forward. And inevitably, you experience a series of failures along the way, but those failures are key to your next success.
Living a start up life is about maximizing flexibility and measuring on-going results, not avoiding failure or reaching one particular end goal. It's about embracing defeat, analyzing it, and failing up. In Startup Your Life, Akbari shows that after all, it's often the stumbles that pave the way for real happiness.
Extrapolating from her successful record of entrepreneurship, first-time author Akbari recounts her discovery that the same skills used in running a successful business could be applied to her personal life as well. In many varied areas of life including the search for love and an attempt to lose weight Akbari believes that an entrepreneurial approach can be all that's necessary to push one over the top. Using the Thomas Edison quote "I haven't failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work," as her benchmark, Akbari explains that behind any notable success stretches a long trail of trial and error. Illuminating stories about business giants such as Ralph Lauren, Instagram, Netflix, and Zappos illustrate the constructive tips covered in each chapter. As an added bonus, the author rounds out each chapter with usable snippets of wisdom. Though the book is expressly aimed at readers wishing to improve their personal lives, many of Akbari's ideas are business-specific. It's doubtful, for instance, that advice such as developing a website presence could be applied to someone struggling to build healthier eating habits. That said, budding entrepreneurs should benefit greatly from Akbari's sound guidance.