In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, he references a study that followed a group of children with unusually high IQs through adulthood, measuring their steps toward what the researcher felt was certain success.
One may question the impartiality of a researcher who starts with the assumption he was following the future elite of the United States, but the results speak for themselves. As Gladwell says in his book
But few of his geniuses were nationally known figures. They tended to earn good incomes–but not that good. The majority had careers that could only be considered ordinary, and a surprising number ended up with careers that even Terman [the researcher] considered failures.
Sadly, even in a book by the unconventional Gladwell, you’re not deemed a success unless you’re a nationally recognized figure or making lots of money.
From an early age, these “shoulds” start to creep into our career planning. We have an idea of what careers are acceptable and which aren’t, and we form a picture of what successful people look like, or at least their cars, homes, bank statements, and vacation itineraries.
Which is why I so admire Brian Clark, the founder of Copyblogger Media and generally known in internet circles as a man with a Midas touch. While Brian enjoys all the measures of traditional success, this interview focuses on his struggle to break free of traditional career expectations to craft a life he now loves.
As Brian said, “This isn’t a rags to riches story. It’s a ‘guts to do what I wanted’ story.”
In this interview, Brian reveals
- Why his mother was sure he would be a failure
- How Seth Godin helped him discover his true passion after years of “flailing around”
- A better method for finding fulfillment than emergency brain surgery
- When to give up–without sacrificing your dreams
- How to eliminate the career “shoulds” and make a leap, even if you have a family