I've been on a traveling spree lately and, while it hasn't provided me with much time to post here, it has given me the chance to catch up on some of my reading. One of the books that I read is Christine Comaford-Lynch's "Rules for Renegades: How to Make More Money, Rock Your Career, and Revel in Your Individuality." I was familiar with Christine from back in the late 20th century when she was a columnist for computer magazines (that's my industry). I've always thought she was very smart.
I bought the book because I wanted to find out how Christine --who never finished high school-- became a major "name" in the software industry and fostered multiple successful business ventures and made some high-powered friends along the way. I found an enjoyable read, with some fun stories and some good, reusable tips.
In some ways, this book reminds me (at least a bit) of Tim Ferriss's "Four-Hour Workweek" because Christine takes some of the same approaches for gaining advantages by understanding the loopholes and technicalities that let you "put one over on the system." By doing this, she was able to be a player in the early days of Microsoft, get job interviews (and get hired) for jobs she probably wouldn't have otherwise even gotten invited to interview for, and many other impressive things.
In this book, you're taken through a journey of discovery which led Christine to 10 Rules for renegades. My favorites:
Rule 1: Everything's an Illusion, So Pick One That's Empowering
This is a variation on "fake it 'til you make it" or, as I always say: "take responsibility for your own well-being." Essentially, this is a primer about how to anchor your focus and beliefs in a way that always helps you move toward something better. Christine shares a quick & dirty technique for setting, focusing on (then adjusting and resetting) compelling goals in key areas of your life.
Rule 6: Learn to Love Networking
OK, so some people love to network. Some don't. I am not a natural networker and couldn't learn to love it until I wrapped it up in a set of tricks and techniques to make it more fun. IIn this Rule, I found some great tips in "Essentials for Networking," and these didn't feel like they required superhuman stamina like Keith Ferrazzi's in "Never Eat Alone." Christine's tips sound more like "Networking for Mere Mortals," which is what I need.
Rule 9: Resign as General Manager of the Universe
The subtitle of this Rule is "The Control Freak 12-Step Program" and it is about how to keep from burning yourself out, driving yourself crazy obsession about things beyond your control, and generally throwing your priorities out of whack. The best part of this Rule is the "The Semi-Annual Assessment" - it's a reminder to step away from the hole, stop digging, and figure out if you're getting where you really want to go.
There's something to learn in each of the 10 Rules in this book, and Christine's colorful stories make this an easy read. This book has elements of "woman triumphs over old boys' club," but if you view it only through that lens you are missing a lot - anybody who wants to consciously exert more control over their future will enjoy this book.