Chris Guillebeau | Born for This (Episode 501)

Chris Guillebeau | Born for This (Episode 501)

Chris Guillebeau | Born for This (Episode 501)

Chris Guillebeau (@chrisguillebeau) is a bestselling author and host of the annual World Domination Summit. He’s here to tell us how his new book Born for This will help you find the work you were meant to do.

The Cheat Sheet:

  • Why don’t more people pursue a life of freedom/independence?
  • The actual lottery isn’t hackable, but the career lottery is.
  • A side hustle isn’t just “nice,” it’s a necessity.
  • Learn the difference between hard and soft skills (and which are more valuable in the long run).
  • Don’t think like a CEO — think like a janitor.
  • And so much more…


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Working conditions are just as important as which career you choose. When deciding “what to be when you grow up” or “what to major in at college” or “how to change careers,” people tend to think only about the profession and not about the working conditions. Things like how you spend your time and who you work with are at least as important as what you actually do.

In episode 501 of The Art of Charm, author and World Domination Summit host Chris Guillebeau shares lessons he learned while researching his new book Born for This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do that will help you whether you want to start a full-time business or just be more secure in your job.

More About This Show

While younger people who are new to the job market tend to still believe in the bright future of their chosen profession, Chris Guillebeau, author of Born for This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do, concedes there’s no target demographic for job dissatisfaction. No matter our age, most of us could benefit from examining our livelihoods and determining if we’re simply working toward a paycheck or if we’re actually doing something that fulfills us in a more meaningful way.

“I don’t actually think that everybody is supposed to know what they’re born to do, or supposed to know their life purpose when they’re 20 or 25 or even when they’re 40,” says Chris. “I do think, though, when you look at people who are really successful — and by successful, I don’t just mean rich or famous or high status, but people who are living this purposeful life — we can look at them from the outside and we’re like, ‘Yeah, not only are they happy, but they actually kind of found this thing that’s really using their unique skills.’ I think we can say, ‘Okay, they are actually doing something that they were born to do.’ And I’m not really interested in the semantics of ‘Is it destiny?’ Or ‘Is it fate?’

“I think we can identify this thing where people come alive. That’s what it’s about for me — it’s helping people find that sweet spot.”

The Trifecta: Joy, Money, and Flow

So how do we help ourselves find this sweet spot? Chris says there are three needs we have to meet:

If we’re not sure our current work sparks joy, it probably doesn’t.

It’s hard to be truly happy if we don’t enjoy how we spend the majority of our time. Keep in mind there are always going to be unpleasant elements to any job (like paperwork or taking out the garbage), but ideally those elements will only occupy a minimal percentage of the day.

Work has to sustain us. This is the most obvious one (and the reason most people settle for jobs that don’t fulfill the other two needs).

Most of us are good at something. And if you’ve ever gotten lost in the thrill of doing that something to the best of your ability, then you’ve experienced flow. Ideally, our work should maximize the use of skills that get us into this state. One way to tell if you’re in flow: when people are amazed at how effortlessly you seem to achieve great results. By continually optimizing our work life to spend less time in tedium, we can ensure more time is spent in flow.

Chris says that all big career decisions should get us closer to this trifecta. “When we take joy in [work], we also take pride in it. We’re going to do a better job. We’re going to be more successful at it. We’re probably going to end up making more money whether we’re working for somebody else or working on our own. You might have to settle; you might have to compromise — but that’s not really the goal. The goal is three out of three, not just two [or, in many cases, one] out of three.”

Listen to this episode of The Art of Charm to learn more about how keeping an eye on the benefits of joy, money, and flow help us get through the practice that gets us closer to perfection, how giving up is a viable strategy that is too often ignored (and how “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” is a great quote until you realize you don’t get unlimited shots), the two questions to ask yourself when you’re deciding whether to give up on the work you’re doing or keep at it, why you should consider having a side business as more of a necessity than a nicety, the difference between soft and hard skills (and which will serve you better in the long run), why a backup plan will better set you up for success (and allow you to take more risks) instead of being a prediction for failure, and lots more.


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