Take the “Leap” to a Richer, More Fulfilling Life and Career

Leap, business book by Rick SmithEvery now and then I’ll open my e-mail to find a personal note from an author who is a regular reader of one of my blogs or the book reviews I do here on Small Business Trends.

This is how I came across Leap: How 3 Simple Changes Can Propel Your Career From Good to Great.” Rick Smith, the author, contacted me.  He asked if I was interested in reviewing his book and sent me an autographed copy.

Rick Smith is the co-author of the Wall Street Journal and Business Week bestseller The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers, which has been sold into 13 languages. But before any of that, he was just an average, regular guy. And the book is his insight into how average, regular, relatively risk-averse people have found that magic spot that propelled their careers into the bliss many of us are seeking.

Leap is a fun read. I think it’s because Rick doesn’t write this book from some lofty “know-it-all” position of what it takes to be successful. He writes a little about his personal experience inasmuch as his own success shocked and surprised him.

There is something very endearing about that.  It makes you want to keep reading.

The Interactive Component of “Leap”

Books are becoming more and more interactive these days with their own websites and blogs.  Leap takes this idea one step further by having an entire web site dedicated to helping their readers uncover their own “Primary Color.” Primary Color is the concept Rick Smith uses to describe the unique blend of strengths, talents and interests that, when aligned, will propel your career success to new heights.

When you visit the Primary Color assessment site, you create an account (click the big green button).  Then you can take a series of assessments that will help you figure out how close you are to your ideal career. Then, every time you come back the site will show you your assessment results.

In addition to this, at the same site under “Resources” there is also a Leap Journal that you can download. In the book, it comes at the end of each chapter so you can answer the questions as you read.  The downloadable Leap Journal saves you from writing in your book in case you don’t want to.

Who Should Read This Book?

Just because “Leap” uses the word “career” in the title doesn’t mean that it’s just for job-seekers. Leap will give you lots of examples of how regular people reached career and entrepreneurial heights WITHOUT changing who they were and taking on undue risk. In fact, Rick has found that the happiest and most balanced people he profiled in the book became more fully themselves as a part of their career journey.

Entrepreneurs, business owners and employees at all levels will find this book a fulfilling read.

The book is really about self-discovery and determining your own strengths.  That is something anyone can benefit from.

What are the 3 Simple Changes That Propel Your Career from Good to Great?

The subtitle mentions “3 simple changes” but I couldn’t find it as a chapter or an obvious statement. So I e-mailed Rick and here are they are:

1. Find your way to a job that utilizes your strengths and passions every day.
2. Take that energy and apply it to an idea that’s Big, Selfless and Simple.
3. Move forward by mitigating risk, not adding more of it.

These aren’t really new ideas.  What makes them “changes” for most of us is actually making these three actions a priority in our lives. I’m going to end this review with the dedication from the book (spacing is just like in the book — as if it is prose):

“This book is dedicated to you, the reader.

It’s no accident that you are holding this book.
Your potential has been waiting for this day.
The time has come to explore an unexpected future,
to accomplish something beyond yourself,
to turn your career into a calling.

This is your invitation to stop working and start living.”

By the time you’re done with the book, you could be onto a whole new future.

What to Do Next?

Before you set out planning the next year or making resolutions you may or may not follow-through on, go get yourself a copy of “Leap.” It will entertain you and help you move your life and career to a place where you are engaged, excited and inspired.


Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."

3 Reactions
  1. Ivana,

    I will take the test.

    I wonder about:

    “2. Take that energy and apply it to an idea that’s Big, Selfless and Simple.”

    Why should an idea be “selfless”? Without a self, you will end up with nothing. For selfless ideas in action, look at the history. On November 9 it is 20 years since the fall of the Berlin wall.

  2. Hey Martin – I totally get what you are talking about when you say “selfless” vs “selfish.” The point that Rick is making, I think is around the concept of filling a need, putting the focus on providing value for others instead of having the focus being putting money in your pocket.

  3. Ivana,

    I understand what you are saying. The thing is that it shouldn’t be any contradiction between ourselves and the other parties in a business transaction. It is a matter of trading values for values. Both parties have to respect each other and the rights of the individual. The “money in the pocket” step is a signal that the voluntarily exchange has taken place in a correct manner.