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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captain Kirk vs Harold Steptoe
I almost didn't buy this book, but I'm glad I did.

Like so many life-improvement books, the premise is a blatantly obvious one. If you can combine your hobby (what you do in your play-time) and your work, then you are more likely to be happy. But of course, that's only the headline.

Any of us could quit our job today and start doing what we *really*...
Published on 11 Sep 2011 by AlanMusicMan

versus
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Read it with post-it tabs to hand!
Before going any further, if you decide to buy this book, please consider buying a new copy. It's not at all obvious throughout the book but right at the back there is a section that pledges to donate part of the proceeds for the book to the charity Warchild.

The basic premise behind the book is that everyone should be able to earn money from doing things they...
Published on 23 Sep 2011 by Open Ears


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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captain Kirk vs Harold Steptoe, 11 Sep 2011
By 
AlanMusicMan (North Cornwall) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Screw Work, Let's Play: How to Do What You Love and Get Paid for it (Paperback)
I almost didn't buy this book, but I'm glad I did.

Like so many life-improvement books, the premise is a blatantly obvious one. If you can combine your hobby (what you do in your play-time) and your work, then you are more likely to be happy. But of course, that's only the headline.

Any of us could quit our job today and start doing what we *really* want to do, but chances are that without looking more deeply into the subject we would be broke within a couple of months, our savings gone, our mortgage or rent in deep arrears. Of course, it is the fear of those outcomes that is the main reason why most of us never decouple from the secure but boring teat of a regular pay cheque.

Is it really true that if you love what you do, you will be happy? Well, look around, the world is replete with examples! We can see that it worked for Captain Kirk, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Whoopie Goldberg, Mother Theresa and many others, fictional and otherwise. Conversely we've all met Harold Steptoes (the fictional junk dealer who is locked into a job he hates, just to support his manipulative elderly father). People who are made unhappy by their jobs are, unfortunately, not hard to find. So, there does seem to be some truth to the basic premise of this book.

This book says that the real trick is thinking deeply in order to be able to pinpoint what your passions really are: Okay, you may love sports, but do you love the playing, the camaraderie, the equipment, the competitive element? - you need to know where the epicentre of your passion lies and work out from there.

The book gives you lots of help in analysing this area, tips and tricks to allow you to be brutally honest with yourself. Self-honesty is essential if you want to avoid making a very bad decision. Don't expect this first step to be a fast one, Mr Williams advises that you take the time to get this step right, because if you get it wrong, nothing good will follow on. Brutal and perhaps bruising self-honesty is the essential ingredient.

Once you have pinpointed your passion, the next thing is to look around at how you might get paid for applying your enthusiasm and energy. The book is brimful of ideas and useful tips in this area and also gives you some tools so that you can see how to get beyond the obvious applications for your enthusiasm and see ways of applying yourself that might not at first occur to you. Like Sherlock Holmes you may find yourself inventing a new profession for yourself rather than merely aspiring to change to an already existing one. As the book repeatedly illustrates, thanks to modern communications, Internet and technology it's easier now than it has ever been to innovate new kinds of products and services and the supporting professions that deliver them.

Then, the book gives you a lot of sound advice about how to make your switch from wage-slave to passion driven entrepreneur in a way that carries the lowest possible risk. It demolishes the things that you may believe hold you back as myths: For example "Nobody's ever going to pay me to play".

At every stage, the text contains lots of tools and advice. It quotes some detailed examples from people who have already done this kind of thing. They talk about what worked and what didn't work when they merged their play and their work. Finally, the text guides you through the rapids of getting going and staying focussed without losing the plot.

It may be that having read through this very useful book, you decide that there is simply no way that your particular interest area (whether it's watching daytime TV or doing Patagonian basket-weaving) could ever be translated into a job that could earn you money. The book makes clear that might be a possible outcome, however it also shows how some people have parleyed incredibly unlikely interests into fruitful careers so, whatever your starting point, I would advise that the book offers a journey worth taking.

In summary, yes, the premise of this book is a totally obvious one. However, the deep treatment of the subject, coupled with the clear and concise writing style, a text mostly devoid of phsyco-babble and the range of methods and tools it provides to help you through, make it a very worthwhile read.

If you are unhappy with your work life and want more, this is highly recommended.

Alan T
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Actually very helpful!, 9 Jan 2011
By 
J. Read (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Screw Work, Let's Play: How to Do What You Love and Get Paid for it (Paperback)
I bought two books in this subject area, this one and "Making the big Leap". This is by far the better. Screw work lets play actually gives a lot of very helpful, practical tips. Its aimed at people who already have skills or passions and helps them to use and improve those skills step by step eventually ending up with a new self made career. The best part is it isn't a self help book, its a how too book. There is no confidence building rubbish, no hand holding or ego massaging. It simply shows new doors and ways to achieve your dream job. Filled with interesting examples and great little tips I found the whole book a great help.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Read it with post-it tabs to hand!, 23 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Screw Work, Let's Play: How to Do What You Love and Get Paid for it (Paperback)
Before going any further, if you decide to buy this book, please consider buying a new copy. It's not at all obvious throughout the book but right at the back there is a section that pledges to donate part of the proceeds for the book to the charity Warchild.

The basic premise behind the book is that everyone should be able to earn money from doing things they love. It sounds ideal but also completely impractical, cynics may say impossible. Indeed there are times when the book just feels a bit too relentlessly positive, and I'm still not convinced that this is a possibility for everybody. I feel that there are a limited number of case studies in the book and that this is perhaps reflective of a lack of really good examples - I would definitely have liked more and have been frustrated trying to find the additional information on the linked website.

However, there is a lot of practical advice in the book and a clear acknowledgement that no job or lifestyle is without some less interesting or fun parts, merely that if these are supporting something that fires a person's enthusiasm, they are just a necessary but bearable evil. In particular, Williams is very clear on the massive opportunities offered by the internet and I felt that this was the book's main strength. There was so much useful information on this it's definitely helped me to learn some new tools and given me some good ideas. I really feel it could do with being re-read several times and my top tip would be to read it with a pile of post-it tabs to hand as you'll probably want to refer back to some sections many times.

I can't say that I followed all of the suggestions and activities - to me that seemed to be the antithesis of playing! However, I have noticed a change in my outlook and perspective and have started to think of ways that some of the things I enjoy could be developed into something bigger that may lead to at least a sideline earner. My main problem is that, while Williams recommends starting out around your existing work, mine is so all-consuming that I have very little time or energy to "play" at the end of the day and am sure I won't be alone in this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed with ideas and gets you off your seat, 12 Sep 2013
By 
Y. Bakunina (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Screw Work, Let's Play: How to Do What You Love and Get Paid for it (Paperback)
I've read a few books on career change in the last 12 months and this is by far my favourite. I wish I read this book first as it contains brilliant ideas imitated later by other authors. Williams is straight to the point, he does not promise you to get rich quickly, in fact, he is very upfront about success taking time and involving persistence and hard work. It's rare to hear such honest feedback. I recommend it without hesitation.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, 14 April 2011
This review is from: Screw Work, Let's Play: How to Do What You Love and Get Paid for it (Paperback)
I found the book inspiring and encouraging. I have started out on my own play project. Picking and choosing the ideas from the book which fit best for me. I'm on my second or third reading of some chapters as there is so much to take in. Not just a re-hash of old ideas, lots of new stuff and very well presented.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars screw work, lets play, 31 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Screw Work, Let's Play: How to Do What You Love and Get Paid for it (Paperback)
the information in this book is rich and worth sharing in order to motivate each other with such good material
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25 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful advice for these times, 23 Sep 2010
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This review is from: Screw Work, Let's Play: How to Do What You Love and Get Paid for it (Paperback)
Having read many books on the same subject,I was doubtful about the chances of the author bringing anything new to the table.However,the checklist of 21 myths is very helpful as it provides a psychological and pragmatic structure to his ideas.He writes with both conviction and enthusiasm and obviously walks his talk.The resources on his website add to the tools suggested,although paying $100 for a Wealth test as recommended by him,seems overpriced.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Play at work, 4 Oct 2013
By 
Stephen Green (Uttoxeter, Staffs. UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Screw Work, Let's Play: How to Do What You Love and Get Paid for it (Paperback)
This is a book which at he time I am writing has had 47 reviews, so I am afraid that some of this review will necessarily cover some of the same ground as others and some will have summarized the book more skilfully than I can. However, I think I can bridge a number of different viewpoints.

There have been a number of people criticizing the "wealth test" which does seem to be expensive and pointless. If you pass the wealth test will you become wealthy? If you fail it does that stop you from succeeding? Who makes the rules on that one? So for those who feel that the wealth test is the Achilles heel of the book then can I recommend Strengthsfinder 2.0: A New and Upgraded Edition of the Online Test from Gallup's Now Discover Your Strengths where the purchase of this book (new obviously) provides you with a code to take a test and work out your strengths. This book is based upon a massive amount of research by the gallup organisation and is based upon characteristics of many successful individuals. Interestingly successful people in a chosen field are not all clones of one another and succeed with differing ranges of talents, so it is more about acquiring self-knowledge. I barely noticed the wealth test and found much of the book stimulating and thought provoking. Despite being repeatedly mentioned in other reviews, it is not in my view a dominant aspect of the book.

Again, I can understand that some will be disappointed with the results they achieve from the book. The premise that you can turn your hobby or interests into a living is flawed although often repeated in books of this kind, using often fairly unique individuals to prove the point. In fairness the author gets you to really dig deep into the supposedly desired lifestyle to find what element appeals to you and more importantly what doesn't. So many people who enjoy pubs, restaurants and guesthouses as consumers imagine that they understand how to do it better and think that they will enjoy life on the business side of the counter. The harsh reality is told in the sad stories of business failure for the majority but of course fulfilment and prosperity for those who get everything right very quickly. Very few people make a living by watching telly on a couch whilst eating and drinking but there will be a few that manage this. The book doesn't promise you will get rich by doing what you love, only that you will get paid for it. Whilst I agree that many studied in the book are not necessarily making a great living, what price a fulfilled lifestyle? I certainly was convinced that the author walks the talk.

With realistic expectations, this is a great book for somebody looking to take control of their future rather than trusting it to others or the economy or fate. The book is well written and doesn't run out of steam, get repetitive, get complicated or lose its way. The backbone of the book is the 21 myths that it analyses. Self -employment is more secure than employment even if because you should be first to know what is hitting the fan. I have endured concerns myself about how everybody is going to get paid and I know that the belief that the pay cheques will keep coming is or can be misplaced. (myth no 20 by the way that employment is safer than self-employment)The book mentions two authors, Mike Southon and Daniel Wagner whose work I would highly recommend. I won't put the links on but you can see my other reviews if self development or self exploration is what you are seeking at this time.
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55 of 74 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wants you to pay $100 for a wealth dynamics test!, 19 Oct 2010
This review is from: Screw Work, Let's Play: How to Do What You Love and Get Paid for it (Paperback)
Another get rich quick book written by another unknown author who doesn't seem to be rich.
Many of the real-life examples that were given weren't very inspiring. They seemed to be of people who were barely scratching a living.
The bits of the book that were helpful all seemed to be quotes from other people.

The one truly original thing that was in the book was the chapter on wealth dynamics. It seemed very odd and there doesn't seem to any evidence or research to back it up.
Incredibly the test costs $100!

I think that books on starting a business, being a consultant or on marketing would be much more useful.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This really works!, 14 April 2011
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This review is from: Screw Work, Let's Play: How to Do What You Love and Get Paid for it (Paperback)
I bought this book after some resistance less than a month ago. I also bought some of those little sticky tabs as I had a suspicion there would be things I'd like to return to. I bought a "play journal" for me to write notes in and complete the exercises and from the very first exercise realised that the things I love doing have very little to do with how I'm earning a living.

John warns against people throwing their jobs in until such a time as they have new income streams in place. The book is structured in such a way that you only need to do about 10-20 minutes a day on your play project to elicit a big change in your life.

The more I read the more sense it all made. When you're doing something you love doing it's not work, it's play! Imagine spending every day playing and being paid for it. I'm not talking about spending your life in the pub drinking G&T, I'm talking about all those hobbies or projects you've had mulling around in your mind.

It made so much sense to me that I signed up for the "Screw Work, Let's Play 30 Day Challenge". We are about half way through and I have a workshop booked and a provisional booking for teaching in a local school. My fun bones have been well and truly tickled and I can't wait for each new day.

There are no guarantees in life. I vote for playing.
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