June 2, 2017

‘Rich20Something’ inspiring, but worthy of caution


“Rich20Something: Ditch Your Average Job, Start an Epic Business, and Score the Life You Want” by Daniel DiPiazza, 2017, TarcherPerigee, $24, 281 pages.

Your paycheck was a lot smaller than you thought it would be.

How irritating: After taxes and other deductions, you’re making a pittance for your work. How unfair. This isn’t the way it was when your parents started out! But then again, as you’ll see in “Rich20Something” by Daniel DiPiazza, neither is business.

On a “nothing special” day, after he endured his daily on-the-job “nit-picking,” Daniel DiPiazza asked himself a question you may want to ask, too: “Why are you wasting your potential at this job that means nothing to you?”

Nobody wants an average job, so why stay at yours? Instead, begin by embracing his “Three New Truths”: dues are no longer required (with a laptop and internet connection, you can make money now); you can operate by your own rules in this business game (innovation and risk-taking are encouraged, college may be unnecessary) and “money is easy” (but making your ideas happen is not). Take these truths as inspiration and be willing to blaze a new path for yourself.

To do that, learn how to focus on what’s important. So many times, DiPiazza says, entrepreneurs think they’re accomplishing a lot, when they’re only wasting hours on tasks that they’re not ready to tackle or that aren’t yet necessary. Know how to prioritize “ruthlessly,” and ride your “motivation wave.”

Understand that there may never be a totally perfect time to go it on your own. In other words, don’t give up your day job too quickly. Freelancing is always a good way to make a secondary stream of income; it also helps determine the value of an idea. Don’t be afraid of competition. If somebody’s making money at something, there’s room for you to do it, too. Define your current job skills and “leverage” them. And finally, build a network wherever you go. Become the “hub” for your contacts, be interesting, and be interested. That’s irresistible.

There’s a lot to like inside “Rich20Something” — and a lot to beware.

For sure, readers can find motivation to get started on making money through freelancing or entrepreneurship. Author Daniel DiPiazza, founder and CEO of Rich20something.com, is nothing if not enthusiastic. His observations are filled with truth, nuggets to provoke, and inspirational tales from other self-starters.

The “beware” comes from a lack of caution here: DiPiazza treats freelancing as a panacea to being broke, barely mentioning that it can be a long row to hoe. And while his ideas for 24/7 internet businesses are valid, they’re not nearly as easy as this book makes them seem. There are a lot of lines to draw here, too, and a few gaps in help; the excitement and zeal that shine forth from this book could mitigate that absence for the right business-minded millennials, but it could be a prickly problem for others.

Not just for job newbies, this is a good book, but go into it with eyes and mind open. Some readers may be frustrated by it, while for others, “Rich20Something” will be better than you thought it would be.

Terri Schlichenmeyer reviews books about businesses and business practice.


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