Unscripted: Summary & Review

unscripted book cover

Unscripted is MD DeMarco’s blueprint to freedom, abundance, and happiness through red-pill awakening and choosing entrepreneurship over employment.

Thanks to ApeRunner from TheFastLane forum

Exec Summary

  1. Open your eyes to the possibility of a dream life: The lie of either “employment and saving” or “employment and debt consumption” (scripted) is holding you to a far better life (unscripted)
  2. Become an entrepreneur: To live the unscripted life, free and happy, you need to become an entrepreneur, and to become a successful entrepreneur you need to…
  3. Internalize positive mindsets and execute: including a meaning and purpose to succeed and stay on it, plus the stamina to work long hours, and the resilience to stay on it until successful
  4. Provide a value-adding product to the world: Focus not on making money, but on providing value, and money will come (far more easily and reliably. Or, at least, far more honestly)

FULL SUMMARY

About the Author: MJ DeMarco is a semi-retired entrepreneur, investor, author, and creator of the popular forum on entrepreneurship “The Fastlane Forum“.
He is also the author of “The Millionaire Fastlane“, a book that we reviewed here on TPM, highly appreciated, and recommend.

The Pre-Planned Life Into The System Is A Sucker’s Trade

scripted operating system from Unscripted by MJ DeMarco

Your life was sold into a Machiavellian system where your lifetime role was already SCRIPTED for an uninspiring performance. You’ve been unwittingly cast to play a rigged carnival game masquerading as life, which few win and many lose…

Unscripted, says the author, unveils that sucker’s trade of a scripted life, and helps you live the life of your dreams.

The Scripted Men

Scripted men are “M.O.D.E.L.” citizens, such as:

M.O.D.E.L. CITIZENSHIP:

  • (M)ediocre
  • (O)bedient
  • (D)dependent
  • (E)ntertained
  • (L)ifeless

Model citizens also become “seeders”, such as, they promote the scripted, obedient, and lifeless life.

There are two types of people who fail to reach the unscripted life:

Sidewalkers (the hoppers)

Sidewalks live a modest life with little saving, and finance their consumption on debt.

From a mindset point of view, they focus on others, rather than on their on themselves, their goals, and their own empowerment.

I can’t avoid but copying this because this description is a true masterpiece:

Temporal prostitution is a way of life. Always needing to work and always loathing the obligation, Sidewalkers routinely waste time in superfluous hyperrealistic proxies: sports, television dramas, Internet comment wars. You see, the Sidewalker doesn’t play the game of life; he spectates. He comments. He opines. He heckles the million-dollar athlete from the cheap seats. Culturally plugged in, Sidewalkers can shoot the shit by the water cooler for hours, dispensing a wide variety of opinions: who the Dallas Cowboys should have drafted; how George R.R. Martin should have written Game of Thrones; and how dare Showtime cancel Dexter? Instead of being the best he can be, the Sidewalker aspires to be the best copy of someone else: an athlete, a famous person, a fictional character, or some other person not annexed by the SCRIPT.

BOOM, couldn’t have put it any better.
For an antitodote, also read “making of the ubermesch“:

Slow Laners (the ants)

If sidewalkers are lazy and/or are kept in the scripted life by their over-spending the slow laners do the opposite:

Slow laners consume little and save and invest in the hope of future freedom.

I quote DeMarco here:

At the heart of the Slowlane is a reasonable idea: stop consuming.
However, applied within the SCRIPTED OS, stop consuming means stop living. Specifically, start depriving yourself. Settle for less. Lower your expectations. Defer spending, defer experiencing—vacations, restaurants, movies—and defer life until retirement.
While the Sidewalker is leashed and collared by consumption and debt, the Slowlaner is leashed and collared by deprivation and hope. (…)
Sadly, changing paths does nothing but change your corporate master. Whereas a Sidewalker is broadly owned horizontally through a variety of corporations (banks, media, consumer products), the Slowlaner is vertically owned by just one corporate master. Your new corporate owner? Wall Street.
You see, whenever you put your financial future into Wall Street’s hands, you’re essentially saying, “Hope and time is my plan for financial freedom.”

Almost all the popular personal finance books such as “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” or Tony Robbins’ “MONEY Master The Game” sell -or trick you into- the slow lane.

DeMarco describes it with brilliant humor:

Of course, these books don’t overtly say, “Be cheap,” but hide behind slippery phrases like “the simple life” or “frugal living.” Some bloggers make a living on the entire concept, as if dumpster-diving for expired meat behind the Safeway is so brilliant. Regardless of the words beating you stupid, the concept is ridiculous and oxymoronic.
Scarcity does not create abundance.

The problem with that approach is not just the wait, but it’s also the hope component.
Hope you’ll live long enough, hope the stockmarket keeps going up, hope you won’t get sacked, etc. etc.

What “Unscripted” Looks Like

Early in the introduction MJ DeMarco outlines how the unscripted life feels like:

Life. Liberty. And the pursuit of entrepreneurship. It’s awaking in the morning and pinching yourself black-and-blue—that OMG, this is my life, and it’s freaking awesome. You live in your dream house, but there’s no mortgage. No alarm clock, no boss, no bills. No claims on the day’s time other than what you choose. It’s making more money before breakfast than you made for an entire week at your last job. It’s a crazy expensive car parked in your garage, a victorious symbol that your dreams no longer sleep in fantasies, but are awake with reality.

The author says that life exists because he’s been living it for nearly 20 years.
And so have many of the people who learned from him, and… It could be you as well.

Unscripted meaning being your own boss, living the good life the way you want to live it.

How Unscripted Feels Like

The author says he can’t describe the dream unscripted life because that depends on you.

It also depends on you how much you need to make it happen.

But he can describe how it feels like with a list of “fuck you” that reject the scripted life, and push you towards unscripted life:

Being charged an arm and leg for a mortgage? Fuck you. I’ll pay cash.

Need to work next weekend and miss the kid’s playoff game? Fuck you. I quit.

Stock market sinking and threatening retirement? Fuck you. The stock market doesn’t fund my retirement.

Can’t go on vacation until someone gives permission? Fuck you. I leave tomorrow.

Can’t wear that cool outfit on casual Fridays? Fuck you. I’m wearing only underwear all day.

Don’t like your annual 2 percent pay raise? Fuck you. I’ll make 200 percent more next year.

As “fuck you” implies, UNSCRIPTED is about pure, unadulterated life and liberty. Life means owning your time and thoughts while curating your existence.

The unscripted life is based on freedom, personal power, and personal choice.
DeMarco says it’s based on 5 freedoms:

  1. Freedom from work
  2. Freedom from scarcity and fiscal constraint the “freedom to walk into a Starbucks and order what you want”, jokes the author while poking fun at the personal finance “gurus”
  3. Freedom from hyperrealistic influence: “The very definition of UNSCRIPTED means not being influenced by SCRIPTED trivialities. Pop culture, celebrity worship, and pro athletes are “no contest” to the life I’m leading.
  4. Freedom from hope and dependence: the slow lane hopes and depends on the stock market, the housing market, and the job market
  5. Freedom from ordinary and routine: do, wear, buy, live, and pursue whatever you want

If You’re “Interested” In Entrepreneurship, But Don’t Go For It, You Don’t Want It Badly Enough

Or, as DeMarco puts it:

“It doesn’t hurt bad enough”.

What can help you push over the edge are what the author call “Fuck This Events” (FTE).
However, there are major threats to reaching the “FTE event” that’ll push you into entrepreneurship, and they are:

Threat #1: Mediocre comfort

Give a man an OK job that pays just enough to provide mediocre comfort and I’ll show you a man that will keep his job indefinitely.

The author says that the “just enough” is by design and part of the systemic-level and and business-level manipulation.
He says that Henry Ford only gave his workers Saturday free so that they could consume more, and he could profit more.
Says the author:

The five-day, forty-hour workweek is a SCRIPTED tool for obedience, keeping you occupied, clothed, and fed, and it’s just enough to keep weekends earmarked as a leisurely celebration officiated by consumption.

DeMarco says he witnesses countless people on his forum who have “fake FTE” moments.
They announce they’re starting, they’r becoming entrepreneur, they’re ready to take off… And then they disappear, back to their “just comfortable enough life”.

Finally, making the jump to entrepreneruship will likely require some initial hard work and sacrifice.
And that’s too much for the people who are “just barely comfortable enough” with their 2 days free per week.

Threat #2: Your guarded pride and ego

The author says that if you can’t get a minimum-wage job, you can’t be an entrepreneur.

Entreprenerus can go for long stretches of time without much money.

My Note: I only partially agree
Most entrepreneurs think it’s cool to “hustle”, and a poor entrepreneur is a very different feel from a poor minimum-wage worker.
There is an ego threat, but it’s slightly different. It’s the threat of those who have been well-off all their life, and can’t take a lifestyle “cut”.

Threat #3: Responsibility

This is for those who are too tied up and “held hostage” within the scripted system of debts and obligations, that they can’t unscript.

Says the author in one of the many hilarious passages:

For example, every so often during an interview, I’m asked if I have any advice for someone with four ex-wives, seventeen kids from six different women, nine credit cards, two new cars, and a bad job. Really? Not sure I have any advice, at least the type of advice you’d want to hear. How about keep your damn pants zipped? Quit buying shit with money you don’t have? Make better choices? With such a robust personal resume, this person doesn’t have a money problem—he has a decision-making problem. And until that changes, nothing will change, no matter what my advice is.

Threat #4: Fear

Of course, you may have seen this coming.
However, a “real FTE” sees no fear. In my opinion, a born entrepreneur sees no fear because he sees no alternatives.
Or, alternatively, the worst case alternative scenario of being poor and struggling all his life is better than being scripted.

Pursuing The Dream IS The Dream

The cynics say of guys like DeMarco that “he’s selling a dream”.
But, DeMarco says, those cynics don’t have proxy to anything but their own mediocrity.

But, even more important, it’s not necessarily succeeding that is the dream.
The dream is in the pursuit:

What these fools can’t see is that pursuing the dream is the dream itself. It’s the process. The failures, trials, and tribulations. It’s the self-growth, the self-awareness, and the self-discovery that occur during a dream pursuit. To sell the dream is to awaken the dream—and once it’s alive, you become alive.

The Unscripted Entrepreneurial Framework (TUNEF)

The “escape” from scripted life is built around 5 ingredients:

  1. Beliefs, including biases to overcome
  2. Meaning and purpose, to keep you driven, hungry, and focused on the goal until you win
  3. Value-delivering product (fastlane entrepreneurship)
  4. Execution
  5. Discipline and staying power

Note: the author uses different names, but I find it simpler to call them in most standardized format as above.

An infographic overview of the whole “Unscripted Framework”:

Thanks to ApeRunner from TheFastLane forum

You can’t succeed buying the “how-to” for the latest fad.

Says DeMarco:

“how-to” books are ineffective and largely a waste of time—the macro-processes mutate so fast that by the time they get into a book or an Internet marketer’s latest scam program selling at $997, they’re outdated and ineffective.

I largely agree with that… Unless you get in early.
I’ve personally met successful Amazon FBA -or doing something through Amazon anyway that everyone else tried to do- and they were making really good money in total freedom.

The types of failed entrepreneurs who lack one ingredient

  1. Competent self-destructor (lacks belief), has no confidence to pitch with power and rally people behind his goal
  2. Wanderer (lacks meaning), he doesn’t have enough motivation and staying power
  3. Pay the bill entrepreneur (lacks product) scale and acceleration never happens because the product has no real pull
  4. Idea entrepreneur (lacks execution): the idea guys think that ideas make the difference, they guard and defend their genius idea, they talk and discuss too much, they seek someone to pay them for their idea… And then someone else makes millions when they execute on that idea
  5. Gambling rockstar fallen from grace (lacks discipline) poor decision maker with reckless behavior and reckless spending. They sometimes seek unethical shortcuts because they’re more interested in the lifestyle and the bling bling

Think of Money As Value Vouchers

As a producer, start thinking of “money” as value-vouchers—a store of perceived value produced, communicated, and delivered to the world.
If your goal is ten million dollars, the new goal is ten million value-vouchers. And acquiring those ten million value-vouchers requires facing money’s true nature. Be valuable. Wanted. Demanded.

There are 2 ways to attract those vouchers, the “dishonorable” way, which is to trick and deliver perceived value, but little or no real value, or to actually deliver real value.

To HONORABLY attract value-vouchers, money bridges must be constructed with these four building blocks:

  1. Value (product/service creation)
  2. Perceived value communicated to another party (marketing and messaging)
  3. A mutual agreement, an equilibrium with that party (closing)
  4. Actual value delivered (execution)

Capitalism, says DeMarco, allows us the (selfish, I’d add) entrepreneur to get rich by helping other selfish buyers:

And therein lies our polarizing principle that reverses the poverty scam: the fiduciary principle—a resolution that as UNSCRIPTED entrepreneurs we will serve selflessly to serve the selfish.

However, the entrepreneur must be somewhat less selfish, because he needs to understand what others want.

Find A Great Why

To succeed as an entrepreneur you’ll need a great “why” to stay at it.

Whatever your WHYs, they must be strong enough to incite action that borders on the obsessive. What “whys” will compel you to work on a Saturday night while your bros are partying?
What “whys” will compel you to drive the 160,000-mile Honda when your wingman drives a new Camaro? And are these “whys” hot enough to steam water when things go cold?
Fiery WHYs overpower expiring willpower and fizzling passion. Lukewarm WHYs translate into neither meaning nor purpose, but action-faking. Without solid WHYs, effort sinks in the first storm.

… But Don’t Necessarily “Follow Your Passion: It’s About Feedback Loops, Not Passion

“Follow your passion” has become a mantra.

But there’s an important caveat:

Your passion must provide value.
Otherwise, nobody cares if you’re doing what you’re passionate about.
And the most popular “passion-based” businesses such as travel and food blogs are hyper-crowded.

In any case, that shouldn’t be an issue.
The pleasure is not in “doing what you’re passionate about”.

The real love doesn’t come from “doing” but from having your creative contribution validated, from your self-growth, and from worldly verified accomplishments.
If Steve Jobs had been a failure and didn’t connect his feedback loop, he’d not be talking about following your passion.
Steve Jobs loved not the particular job he was doing, he loved the positive results of his work.

Same for sports fans: they’re not too happy when their favorite team loses, are they?
They’re all happy when it wins. Because of positive feedback loops.

Of course, if you can find a combination of what you’re initially passionate or interested in plus a market niche, go for it.
Just don’t “follow your passion” blindly and believe it will get you results.

Persist Through Failures Till You Find Success

 Entrepreneurship is a number’s game.

The author says it’s like baseball, where the best hitters miss most of the times:

They say (not sure who “they” are) that 90 percent of new businesses fail within the first five years. Whatever the percentage, it doesn’t matter. You will contribute to the statistic at some point.
The question is, will your updated resume be the death certificate of your entrepreneurial dreams? Or will you continue swinging?

Develop Pull Products (& Mindsets), And You Won’t Ever Have To “Push”

We talked here about “push & pull” in terms of power and persuasion.

And the same is true for entrepreneurship:

  • Push products are commodities or products with low added value. And they need a lot of advertising
  • Pull products sell themselves through word-of-mouth marketing.

The author even recommends being suspicious of too heavily advertised products:

I am suspicious of any company that advertises heavily because it suggests a product that can’t pull.
For example, I avoid both Geico and Progressive Insurance (…) despite the advertising, I’ve never been recommended either.
The same suspicions flow locally.
Ever get one of those thick envelopes filled with coupons mailed to you? The one stuffed with advertisements from nearby home remodelers, pizza joints, and carpet cleaners? Again, the businesses that advertise every week are foisting the red flag of product mediocrity. I simply don’t trust them, and I’d rather go online and post a query to the neighborhood Facebook group.

Once you have a product that pulls, you develop what MJ calls a “productrocacy”:

Whereas a meritocracy pulls power to the skilled, a productocracy pulls money to the value creators, businesses who grow organically through peer recommendations and repeat customers, compelled by a distinguished product/service not readily offered elsewhere.

Push entrepreneurs: the bad mindsets of manipulative marketing

Some “entrepreneurs” just don’t have the pull mentality of delivering real value.

They focus instead on perceived value, and chase money rather than chasing “value vouchers”.

Says MJ:

“push entrepreneurs” reveal their push mentality by asking such questions as:
I’d like to write an eBook; what topics make the most money?
I’d like to start selling on Amazon; what’s a good product?
What companies drop-ship, so I can start my eCommerce empire?
A productocracy is an afterthought. Products that put smiles on customers and solve problems, a non-sequitur. Instead, the product is a mere spoke in the wheel, inconsequential

Develop your products for

A productocracy has five core Commandments called CENTS.
They are:

  1. Control: own what you build. Your entire operations must be within your sphere of influence, or diversified from influence. It allows you to sleep well at night because no single individual can take down your whole operation and you can withstand shocks or black swans
  2. Entry: the easier a market to enter, the smaller the opportunity. Conversely, the harder something is to solve, the greater the opportunity
  3. Need: it’s the most important of them all. If you own a controlled and high entry-barrier business that provides value, satisfied needs or wants, you will win growth, profits, and possibly, passive income for life.
  4. Time:
    1. Physical independence, with your value being delivered independently of you doing it, selling it, or teaching it
    2. Time independence (detachment): while in the beginning you’r on your business 24/7, indepently you want to detach and be free and independent from your own creation
  5. Scale: legacy value systems must be replicated through mass or magnitude while making a profitable impact. if you can impact just one person and your system is replicable, you already have a scalable business.

Don’t Waste: Spend For What Grows The Bottom Line Only

I’ve personally many “entrepreneurs” make this mistake:

To spend money on logos, cool offices, branded shirts and mouse pads, PR… And take time and resources away from what actually grows revenues or improves product.

Says the author:

Cash is king when it comes to propagation. Every dollar should go toward that effort. If it cannot grow the bottom line, it shouldn’t be done. uxiliary expenditures, such as marble floors, custom-branded mousepads, and that cool neon light of your logo, can wait. Preservation of cash and its ultimate redirection into growth is the only thing that matters.

And if you can avoid funding, avoid it

Why? Because funding typically shifts stakeholder priority from the customer to the investors. If you can finance growth while maintaining 100 percent control over your business, do it.

Commit: Be Business-M/onogamous (at least until successful)

Lanching a business is a full-time endeavor, there’s no time for anything else.

As much as you can hardly expect a great relationship if you’re sharing with 6 other people, you can’t expect a great business if you’re being pulled left and right by other competing demands.
Says MJ:

Whenever I hear a young entrepreneur say, “I have six businesses,” it’s both sad and amusing. This is code for, “I have six businesses that suck.”

AFTER you’ve been successful you can juggle, have fun, invest, and explore.

BUT in business monogamy must precede polygamy.

Be “Imbalanced” And All-In In The Beginning

Work-life balance is for scripted folks.

Entrepreneurs must embrace periods in life where they go all-in, no distractions and nothing outside of work.

Great results come from great imbalances. The incredible life I live today is not because of balance; it’s because I meandered into the world of the obsessed.
Periodic, huge life imbalances often precede success.

Yep, the same was true for me.
Today I may have a balanced life -albeit I still work every single day- or choose to have a more balanced period, or a slower period.
But in the beginning, it was work, work, work… And almost nothing else.

Says the author with his usual biting style:

If I want to launch another multimillion-dollar company, I implicitly know balance will be forsaken. Decide what’s more important to you: permanent balanced mediocrity or temporary unbalanced exceptionalism?

Also read the “monk mode” article:

unscripted book cover

MORE WISDOM

Some more golden nuggets from “Unscripted”:

Approach people with a giver mentality

As a general rule, the more successful one is, the harder it is to get in touch with him.

And the more you make it about yourself rather than about them, the less likely it is they will reply -or even like you, for that matter-.
Says the author:

I, I, I, me, me, me. No one cares. Well, I do, but I don’t.
I get it—all of us are selfish. Unfortunately, your selfishness keeps you from success. If your opening email contains more than two Is and MEs, there’s no chance. This simple concept of pushing aside selfishness and GIVING first, while TAKING later, is why networks don’t expand, let alone why value-vouchers remain elusive.

Also read the “givers and takers” and “social exchange dynamics“:

Compound interest won’t make you rich…

… Or, at least, not as it’s peddled.

Not by saving a few bucks and investing, then hoping and trusting.
Instead, compound interest only works to produce a sizable income if you can earn a big chunk of money upfront:

You can activate compound interest’s praised power only if you can earn and save millions fast, not when you use it to turn nickels into dimes as the compound-interest scam implores. Explode wealth by leveraging producerism through the UNSCRIPTED framework—then compound interest can pay you residually for the rest of your life.

Gurus like Tony Robbins who sell you the “compound interest” path to riches are manipulating you

On Tony Robbins:

Tony seemingly morphed from an awesome motivational guy to just another Wall Street shill. Anyone with a scant of intelligence knows Mr. Robbins amassed a fortune selling books and high-priced seminars, not mutual funds. Could it be that the book is really a “trip wire”? A tool stumbling starry-eyed idolaters into a back-end sales funnel, which makes millions on management fees, referrals, seminars, or whatever else carries a big price tag? The duplicity cost Tony a fan

Money does buy happiness

Let’s talk about my favorite BS SCRIPTSpeak: “Money doesn’t buy happiness.”
Whenever someone shoves this turd in your face, get ready for some real laughs. I’ve been broke and rich, and let me tell you, the comparison is like canned Spam to five-star steakhouse Kobe. No matter what study or academic research concludes, there’s no truth to “money doesn’t buy happiness” because the studies never account for how the money is used. Is it used to consume? Or is it used to maximize freedom within our free-range cage? (…)

Money does buy happiness when you let it buy your freedom

Personal empowerment comes from being your own judge

Social media and modern society are built to make people feel inadequate.

And to make them spend money.

In my ten-minute pass of the $12,000 dresses and $42,000 chandeliers, the messaging of this “lifestyle” magazine was clear: you are inadequate and your inadequacy can be solved by spending everything you earn on outclassing the other guy.
It made me think.
With comparative immunity, you’re free from comparison propaganda. You know you are adequate. You know your self-esteem and self-worth are not defined by a $1,000 pair of shoes made in an Indonesian sweatshop.
Let the fools fooled by the inadequacy messages succumb: debt, uncertain future, and work until death. Don’t waste life’s precious time adorning your coffin with diamonds.

QUOTES

On people without experiencing teaching others how to do what they haven’t done:

Another financial article authored by a non-millionaire telling me how to become a millionaire.

And on “gurus” manipulating others by teaching how to get rich with some sucky system that they did NOT use to get rich:

It’s another financial guru dispensing another fiscal hypocrisy of “do what I say, not what I do.” I chuckle. I shake my head. And then my humanity hits me with sadness—people buy the lies and pay for it with their lives.

On the compound interest myth:

News flash! Compound interest is a scam. The stock market isn’t going to make you rich. And neither will that ETF, that mutual fund, or that 401(k). That is, unless you plan on managing that ETF, that mutual fund, or that 401(k).
(…)
The compound-interest scam is this serendipitous orthodoxy that the stock market will someday make you, the common man, uncommonly rich.

On “gurus’ books”:

A member of my forum once complained in a thread, “All guru books are a road to nowhere.” Of course I interjected and responded, “I disagree.” All guru books are a road into their sales funnel.

On the sucker’s trade that are MLM and networking businesses:

Some long-lost friend you haven’t heard from since Chumbawamba wants you to go to some ambiguous meeting at some ambiguous hotel so you can hear from some ambiguous speaker. And then you’re told how you can make millions selling some overpriced product if you just sell it to your friends and family, and they sell it to theirs, and so forth. If you ever get fooled into a meeting, take a look around. The room is full of guppies. The sharks? They own the company or are chilling in the founders’ circle.

On “passive income” boys:

I call them “drive-bys”—people who love this radical idea of “passive income” but don’t care about value, contribution, or entrepreneurship. Time and time again, one phrase I hear echoed by drive-bys is “passive income.”
What’s the best way to earn passive income?
Can I make passive income publishing crappy 300-word books on Kindle?
If I YouTube myself picking my nose while eating a cheeseburger, can I make passive income?

On the freeing power of money:

Compound interest doesn’t take the stage until we’ve earned and saved a large enough amount to make it famously impactful. Every dollar saved NOW is a soldier fighting the fight of “fuck you” LATER, giving you the increasing probability that work remains optional and life is lived on your terms.

On Steve Jobs and imitators who fall for the “personality cult”:

I have tremendous respect for Steve Jobs’s entrepreneurial accomplishments, and yet by many accounts, the guy was a first-class douchebag: parking his Mercedes in handicapped spots, humiliating employees, and throwing tantrums when he didn’t get his way.
Shall we presume any of these negative traits accounted for Jobs’s iconic success? And if so, shall we now aspire for douchebaggery, considering it might be responsible for a legendary company like Apple? I hope not.
We’re all perfectly imperfect. Including our heroes. While doing X, Y, and Z might have worked for Jobs, it might not work for YOU. Every one of us needs to stop hero-worshiping mortal beings and be our own heroes.
Stop trying to write your story with someone else’s pen and, instead, start using your own.

On “passion” not paying the bills:

If your passion doesn’t solve people’s problems, passion doesn’t pay bills.
Does a market even exist for what you love? Do other people need what you love, and if so, are you exceptional at it while communicating a unique value proposition? If you aren’t, be prepared to prostitute your love in the name of paying bills.
Markets flooded with “do what you lovers” are extremely crowded and rip-your-hair-out competitive.

CONS

Less random railing might gain larger appeal (and authority)

Let’s be clear:

This con is also the book’s main draw.
It’s DeMarco’s opinions and attitudes that make Unscripted unique -and fun-.

Some of his descriptions are almost artworks of biting humor and scathing -but on-point- sociological analysis.

But it sometimes can feel a bit too much or even “populist”.

For example:

  • “The script” teaches that the road to “coolness” is buying goods. Feels a bit simplistic to me. I don’t think consumption is all “society-driven” (and most certainly not the main reason Elliot Rogers went on a killing spree-. Consumption is driven partly by advertising, but partly also by human nature
  • University snowflakes who “shit their pampers” when anything threatens their lexicon or diverging opinions. He’s right and it’s amusing to read, but almost every generation rebels against something, that’s not unique or special and might have been left out
  • “Washington”, the politicians, and the government that “used to be for the people”, while now it’s “by the few, for the few”. Few things feel populist like finger pointing to the politicians as the roots of all evil. Plus, this feels like the “back then was better” fallacy

That, and a few more, can make the book come across as opinion-based as well as overly opinionated and argumentative.
In that sense, it reminded me a bit of another favorite author of mine: Nassim Nicholas Taleb. An opinionated genius who might have gained some more authority without the more populist digressions.

PROS

It should suffice to say that this is one of our favorite entrepreneurship book or resources.

But if we had to list one, it’s probably the completeness mixed with quality that makes it stand out:

  • Great mix of mindsets, self-empowerment, mindsets, and strategies

This isn’t just a book on entrepreneurship, it’s a great guide on empowered thinking through entrepreneurship.

REVIEW

One of the best entrepreneurship books available, mixing mindsets, hard truths, common pitfalls, as well as some of the best high-level strategies.

As a matter of fact, it might be the best book on entrepreneurship.

Not so many concrete “how-to steps” because, as the author clearly states and as we agree, there are no timeless “simple steps” to execute and succeed as an entrepreneur.

After “The Millionaire Fastlane” DeMarco confirms himself as one of our favorite authors when it comes to anything entrepreneurship-related and, in many ways, also close to TPM.
For example, we both call out the manipulations and conflicts of interests, and we both tend to be quite opinionated and direct.
And, we like to think, we also both offer top-notch content :).

So we can highly recommend “unscripted”.
Also see:

Or check the best books collection or get Unscripted on Amazon

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