Never Get a Real Job: Interview with author Scott Gerber

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Scott Gerber, twenty-six year old columnist for Entrepreneur and author of the new book Never Get a Real Job: How to dump your boss, build your business and not go broke, does not mince his words.

He believes that many of the entrepreneur evangelists out there are selling snake oil when they encourage people to “do what you love and let the business model follow.”

In our 30-minute conversation, we talk (and sometimes agree to disagree) about what every young person needs to be considering in the new world of work.

Listen here (link to recording is here if you cannot see this web player):

Scott is passionate for no-frills, practical nuts-and-bolts businesses which help young entrepreneurs develop the skills, experience and finances to take charge of their career. He does not think that corporate life is a viable alternative for many of our 20-somethings fresh out of college with bulging student loan debt and a poor chance of landing a job that will utilize their true talents.

I really enjoy his enthusiasm and conviction, and support his premise that Generation Y will be the driver of the entrepreneurial economy.

I will arm wrestle him about the importance of passion, but that is what makes for a healthy web of opinions. 🙂

I have always been an advocate of having young mentors, and Scott is too. He formed the Young Entrepreneur Council, comprised of 80 successful, and young, entrepreneurs. They share advice through a large number of media channels including and the Wall Street Journal.  Find out about the council at Scott’s website here.

We need to have more straight talk about the reality of today’s world of work, and I am very glad Scott is leading the charge for amplifying the voice of the next generation.

Bring it on!

Buy Scott’s book at all fine retailers, including or . If you happen to buy it today from Amazon, the fine folks at I Wear Your Shirt are giving away an iPad for a lucky winner — just send them a copy of your receipt. Details here.

He is @askgerber on Twitter. Tell him what you thought of the interview!

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10 Responses to “Never Get a Real Job: Interview with author Scott Gerber”

  1. Joel Libava says:

    The book looks great, thanks!

    Now, about this passion thing;

    One only needs to have passion in one thing;

    Being in control of their destiny. Everything else will usually follow.

    Ok. Here’s one more; Have a passion for commitment. For instance, I’m commited to never, ever, working for a bunch of idiots ever again.

    The Franchise King®

  2. Cee says:

    Um, this advice works for Gen X’ers too (30 somethings – 40 somethings), too. It’s not just the 20 somethings facing outrageous college debt, lower job possibilities and are just starting up. I think every young person listening to Scott should take his advice to heart.

    Following the traditional job route won’t necessarily help you to find happiness. You’ll earn a paycheck, but also cash in a little piece of your soul and freedom in the process, unless you love what you do, and are really good at office politics. And, even then, your bosses and the corporations won’t necessarily appreciate what you do, and instead lay you off, defer raises or just take your good ideas to enrich themselves.

    When I was younger, I wanted to start my own businesses, but didn’t have a clue where to start. I wish — that in my twenties — that I had the information about starting my own business and finding mentors. If was I young enough, I would even join Gerber’s council right now. But, I’ll have to settle on starting my own business and praying for the best.

    Gerber is right about another thing. I get really tired of the phrase: follow your passion and the money will follow). Oprah actually quoted that as the key to her success. But, it’s not completely true. She had to work hard, come up with innovative ideas like leveraging her own brand, starting a new magazine, etc; in order to succeed. Maybe following your passion will inspire you to work hard, but having that quality alone won’t help you achieve success unless you also combine it with the other skills to turn your passion into a business.

    • Beto says:

      You’re so right on that. I’m a Gen-X’er myself and while a part of me wishes I had realized at a younger age that being yourself the one in control of your life is the way to go, sometimes it just takes some time, experience and maturity to become yourself fully convinced of it – and work yourself towards that goal. I’m at a moment in my life where I’m conscious of passing through something like a planetary alignment – almost out of debt, no kids or wife yet, and saving up for a rainy day. If this isn’t the best time of my life to start pursuing my true calling, I don’t know when it will be then. Passion is important, but equally -perhaps more so- is having the will to work yourself to the bone to get where you want to be.

  3. Ashanti says:

    What an awesome interview!!! I can totally relate to this because I was one of those young adults that Scott is referencing… just a year ago, I was fresh out of school, on the job market, and unemployed with a very advanced graduate degree (doctorate in my field).

    I was one of the “lucky” ones to follow conventional wisdom to get all of your education while you’re still young…. yet no one predicted the bottom falling out of the economy, and the good Dr. being job-less and money-less. :-/

    Sometimes your options really are make your own way until it becomes “the” way. For a lot of young people (and a few of us in our late 20s who’ve been in school for the majority of your life), there really is no other option. And for me, it was tutoring college students in Statistics that helped me survive in the interim. (Those student loans and credit card statements still come in on the regular and “do what you gotta do” becomes the mantra).

    Eventually I did find a “real” job, but obviously, I’m here reading this site for a reason. I took what was available – first job offer that was available – and I’m still looking to “dump my boss and build my business.”

  4. Beto says:

    I’ve been reading excerpts from the book on Amazon after listening to this interview. Now I have one more reason to finally get myself a Kindle. Most books on entrepreneurship and career switch seem to come from another galaxy. Meanwhile, Scott’s talking about the very world I live in, where no one will spare words to tell you how much you suck and where no VC fairies or angel investors exist. And yet, there’s nothing to do but keep going – because in the end it’s all about walking the walk, not talking the talk. Thanks for putting Scott in my radar Pam.

  5. I hate air quotes. What possesses a man to put air quotes on the front of his book?

  6. Samuel says:

    Awesome interview Pam! Please can you transcript the interview? Thanks so much.

  7. Jason Sadler says:

    Love the interview questions and Scott’s passion. The truth in business can be a slap in the face huh?