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I’ve dedicated more time than I care to admit searching for Self-Made Renegades – people who have succeeded off the beaten path. The examples below are in industries as varied as entertainment, retail, and tech. Yet they all share a secret that led to their stratospheric career success. Can you spot it?
Chase Jarvis Was a Photographer for Nike
Chase Jarvis is among the most highly paid photographers in the world. His clients include some of the biggest brands in the world, including Apple, Nike, and Volvo to name a few. The kicker? His Philosophy degree from a public university in San Diego.
So how did this liberal arts major manage to become one of the most sought after photographers in the world? Personal projects. From beautiful photos taken with an unusual device, to publishing his own book, Chase always has something in the works. This allowed him to prove his vision and get press, which ultimately led him to opportunities others did not get.
Ryan Holiday Did Marketing For American Apparel
Ryan Holiday has an incredibly varied career. He’s worked for best selling authors like Tucker Max, written a bestselling book, worked as the director of Marketing at American Apparel, and more. What was his secret? Helping entrepreneurs for free.
He was able to help Tucker Max with his marketing, Robert Greene with his research, and Dov Charney with his Wikipedia page, all of which ultimately led him to the dream job he has now.
Steven Spielberg Directs Hollywood Blockbusters
Steven Spielberg had a problem. He loved film, but couldn’t get in to film school. No-one would give him an internship without being a student, so he created his own internship. Every day, he would sneak past security at Universal studios, and work on whatever unpaid tasks he could get his hands on.
Today, he’s one of the most well-known directors in the world. But it all started with that first self-made internship.
Dan Savage Hosts an MTV Show
Dan Savage was a theatre and history major. Today, he writes a nationally syndicated column, and gets air play on national TV. How did he manage to make this transition? He offered to help a friend with their new publishing venture, suggesting an advice column.
When that friend decided to take him up on the column, who was the first person he thought of to run it? Dan of course. That fateful decision launched Dan’s career.
Neil Patel Did Search Engine Optimization for Tech Crunch
Neil Patel started off in high school as an entrepreneur, but quickly found that he didn’t have the industry knowledge needed to be successful. Now he runs three seven figure ventures, and is featured in national media. He made this transition with a simple strategy: freelance work.
By becoming a freelancer, Neil was able to rapidly make a name for himself, make connections, improve his skills, and learn the market. His choice to freelance has led to his stratospheric career success.
Jeff Atwood Founded One of Top 100 Sites on the Internet
Jeff Atwood was a programmer, but he had no way to prove it. Without showing that he was capable and competent, he had no chance of success. Yet he managed to land his dream job, and later founded an incredibly successful company. It all started when he made the decision to volunteer his time to open source projects. This allowed him to prove that he was worthy of hiring, without having to make the employer take a chance that he was incompetent.
The Secret They Share
We’ve covered a variety of different renegades from all different industries. Let’s take a look at the strategies they used to gain experience:
These are some of the techniques I teach people in my premium programs, but contrast them with the typical strategies you see for taking charge of your career: relying on a degree, expecting a company to hand your an internship, relying on a company to take a chance on you and pay for your training.
Instead of expecting the world to take care of them, these people proactively took charge of their own careers. And that’s why they get results that others did not. That’s why they landed their dream jobs.
How You Can Use This
Take an honest look at yourself, and: Are you relying on others for your career success? Are you only applying to jobs that are listed, or are you going out to create your own internships? Are you expecting to skate by on your degree, or are you volunteering?
This is not a shift in tactics, but a shift in mindset.This is the shift that will turn you into a Self-Made Renegade. This is the shift that will land your dream job.
P.S. Did you enjoy this post? I’d appreciate if you would share it on Facebook.
- Take a Look at the 6 Methods of Gaining Experience. Choose 1 That Could Work for You.
- Ask Yourself if You’re Being Proactive in Your Job Search. If Not, Brainstorm 1 Way You Could Be More Proactive.