QUICK HIT: The Leap is a great book for you if you are looking at any sort of entrepreneurial or creative type job. The Leap is for the restless, the hungry, those big ideas and inclinations to change the world, those who want to be the big boss and leave a legacy.
2008 was a game-changer in the world of economics. A number of factors collided together and produced the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Millions lost their job and almost everyone was at least affected tangentially by the change. Now the economy is on the path to recovery, but it’s no longer the same beast it once was. Now, more than ever, a solitary career is becoming less and less common. More people are taking on second jobs or freelancing on the side just to make ends meet. Many more are unhappy in their 9-5s but fear taking The Leap, a move from security to freedom.
Into all of that comes Robert Dickie, CEO of Crown Financial and advocate of doing what you love. In The Leap he lays out a carefully crafted manifesto for preparing for the big jump. His first piece of advice? Make a plan. Get the knowledge you need for the career you want. And do it as cheaply and quickly as possible. I’m in my mid-20s and you would not believe (unless you are also in your mid-20s) how saddled by student loan debt virtually everyone I know is. Dickie encourages high-schoolers to not go for the big school with the big price tag. Instead, get the knowledge you need and get out with as little (or no) debt as possible. Go into college with a plan and come out ready to succeed.
Another thing he heavily advocates is what he calls a Freedom Fund. That’s one year’s worth of cash in the bank, easily made liquid and ready to use in emergencies. I agree with the concept, but I’m not sure I’d keep that much cash. I’d rather see my money working for me, or better yet, working for others. I do advocate having six months of expenses in an emergency fund, and, if you’re planning on making a career change, then start piling money away for that.
Second, Avoid Anchors. Anchors are anything that tells you that you can’t do it or hinders your process. Not sure if you’re going to stay at a job for long? Then don’t buy that house with the long mortgage. In this area, Dickie advocates getting out of any debt you may have accrued, living on less than you make, and destroying any barriers toward your leap.
Third, start developing your muscles. What skills does your desired career need? What connections do you need to make? What sort of money will it require? Dickie advocates that, especially if you’re already into a 9-5, seek out freelancing opportunities, learn to code, and do some jobs on the side with flexible hours to build your income and set you up for the future.
The last half of the book deals with building your brand: utilizing social media, expanding your network, dealing with the struggles of just starting, and so forth. What sets this book apart from others I’ve read is that Dickie continually offers practical advice (here’s a book to read, here’s a website to visit…) along with his inspirational urgings. A lot of times, I feel like stuck people just need options and ideas to get them going, and Dickie has these in abundance.
The Leap is a great book for you if you are looking at any sort of entrepreneurial or creative type job. If you want to go from an inside-the-cubicle job to another type of inside-the-cubicle job, this really isn’t for you. I mean, the general principles will work, but Dickie is advocating something a little more radical and, admittedly, it’s not for all people. The Leap is for the restless, the hungry, those big ideas and inclinations to change the world, those who want to be the big boss and leave a legacy.
I read it as a bi-vocational pastor/gymnastics instructor who runs a website and occasionally freelances on the side. I feel like I understand Dickie’s philosophy and I’m trying to live it out. I know it can be hard in this economy. It’d be much easier on me if I only had one job and those elusive things called benefits. But here I go. I’m in that building stage. I’m preparing for my leap. And watch out within the next few years. I’m preparing. I’m going to do it. And one of the many people I can now thank for my future success is Robert Dickie and The Leap.