In the MaRs Discovery District atrium, men and women of all ages are abuzz and conversing while they sip on wine and snack on things like ahi tuna on crackers.

People from all walks of life are gathered today to hear Ben Casnocha, one of “America’s best young entrepreneurs”, speak about his new book “The Start-Up of You.

Casnocha co-wrote this book with LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman after meeting him years ago and realizing that they had an immediate synergy of thoughts. The book has finally been published and has caught the attention of the media, as well as everyday people looking for that boost of confidence.

Resume Target had the honour of sponsoring the event with CGOV Asset Management and the Canadian Israel Chamber of Commerce. The organizers, the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, were also present and the event started off on a great note.

Brian Church, the Canadian Country Manager of LinkedIn, gave an introduction to a full house and cited a great quote once said by Einstein: “Anyone who has never made a mistake, has never tried.”

When Casnocha took to the stage, he was very confident and poised but modest. He told audiences that it began in high school in a tech class taught by the “Mac Doctor”, whom he also dedicates the book to. He was inspired by a poem that he had to recite as an exam.

It goes like this: “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

This was in fact, Apple Inc.’s “Think Different” ad that ran in 1997. That poem stuck with him, even when he was traveling the world and meeting people who had every day jobs but were very entrepreneurial, they were always thinking.

An individual’s career used to be viewed as an escalator. You would graduate and start an entry-level job and work your way up until you got to the top and retired. However, economic forces have disrupted that flow due to outsourcing, global competition, and other factors. That same escalator is now jammed at every level.

Entrepreneurship has always existed but has recently been playing a more prominent role in today’s day and age. Casnocha quoted Muhammed Yunus: “All humans were born entrepreneurs. In the caves, we were all self-employed. Finding food, feeding ourselves. That is how human history began. As civilization came, we suppressed it. We became “labor” because they stamped us “You are labor”.”

He stresses that everyone is capable of being an entrepreneur, people just have to realize their potential. The first step is what Casnocha calls “Investing in Yourself”.

Always give yourself a competitive advantage by thinking of your competition. That’s not to say you should put each other down but ask yourself: “How can I be faster, smarter, quicker, etc”.

Once you’ve got that figured out, think about who your allies and acquaintances are. Every person has about 5-8 people who’ve got their backs; these people are your allies. They think like you and have similar feelings towards certain things. Everyone else in your life is an acquaintance, a “loose tie”.

Although they aren’t in your inner circle, they are an important part of your life. Information to an entrepreneur is very important and those acquaintances in your network may know things that you don’t.

The last piece of advice Casnocha left audiences with was “Plan to Adapt”. Nothing ever stays in one place forever; people have to be able to move with the times.

The night ended, leaving audiences to ponder about their own lives and whether they are where they want to be. There’s a difference in living your life the way others want you to and living it the way you want to.

In the book, Casnocha and Reid wrote: "Pretending you can avoid risk causes you to miss opportunities that can change your life."

So stop being afraid and grab them while you still can; because once they're gone, they may be gone for good. To learn more, check out “The Start-Up of You”, the book that Casnocha co-wrote with Reid Hoffman.

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