There’s tremendous power in knowing who you are, what you’re passionate about, and what talents and energy you can bring to your career and your life. It also helps to know what you lack — not as a deficiency, but as an awareness of who you can find to add depth and resilience to your team.
As part of my interview series on the five things you need to know to become a great author, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jonathan Littman and Susanna Camp.
Littman and Camp are the authors of The Entrepreneur’s Faces: How Makers, Visionaries and Outsiders Succeed. Littman collaborated with IDEO on the bestsellers The Art of Innovation and The Ten Faces of Innovation (more than 650,000 copies sold worldwide in 12 languages). The author of ten books, five of his works have been optioned for films. His award-winning journalism has appeared in Playboy, the LA Times and Forbes. Camp is the Editor-in-Chief of SmartUp.life. A journalist specializing in emerging technology, she was an early team leader at Wired magazine, and has also been on the staff of Macworld, PCWorld and Outside magazines.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?
Jon: I was 27 and had a great job with a very hot tech magazine. They paid me well and sent me all over the country to write fun, entertaining stories. I was comfortable. Then I stumbled onto a big story and developed great sources, and realized it could be my first book. I abruptly quit my job (without saying why) and the advance was so tiny that I lived on credit cards for about 9 months. But the book was a critical success and soon I was writing for the LA Times Magazine and Forbes and had two new major book contracts. If I hadn’t made that first leap I’m not sure I would have become an author.