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Upgrade: Taking Your Work and Life from Ordinary to Extraordinary

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The 7 Key Principles to achieving YOUR business and life goals What could a graffiti artist, eminent neurologist, star athlete, celebrity chef, fashion designer, rocket scientist, and Grammy Award-winning musician possibly have in common? In this groundbreaking new book, Rana Florida shares their formula, giving you the tools to achieve unimaginable success in work and life. The 7 Key Principles to achieving YOUR business and life goals What could a graffiti artist, eminent neurologist, star athlete, celebrity chef, fashion designer, rocket scientist, and Grammy Award-winning musician possibly have in common? In this groundbreaking new book, Rana Florida shares their formula, giving you the tools to achieve unimaginable success in work and life. Upgrade gathers the best practices, not just from CEOs and business executives but from entrepreneurs, innovative thinkers, and creative leaders. Upgrade includes interviews with Sir Ken Robinson, Dan Pink, Mark Cuban, Andre Agassi, Kenny Scharf, Zaha Hadid, Governor Martin O'Malley, Tory Burch, Tim Brown, and many other leading figures. Despite this cast's vastly different backgrounds and skills, Florida's research concludes that there are seven key principles to achieving your business and life goals: Envision the future Find your passion Get creative Design your time Collaborate Take risks Embrace failure Unfortunately, this is exactly what the majority of us don't do. Instead of developing a real strategy to upgrade and optimize our lives, too many of us just slog through life in a state of "managed dissatisfaction." But it's never too late to envision an entirely different future--or to actively upgrade your life. It's not about finding more time, money, or resources. Anyone can do it. This smart and entertaining guide delves deep into each principle, giving you the insights, tools, and inspiration to take your life from ordinary to extraordinary. Praise for Upgrade "Why ride in coach, when you can upgrade? A must-read for a better journey through life." Don Tapscott, bestselling author, Wikinomics and Grown Up Digital "Upgrade is an a-ha book that will change how you look at life's challenges and give you tools to upgrade your life." Tour�, cohost of MSNBC's The Cycle "Read Upgrade for its stories, examples, and strategies and get ready to live the life you always wanted." Frank Toskan, founder, M.A.C. Cosmetics "Creative and innovative strategies to upgrade your work and life, with seven simple principles." Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com, Inc., and New York Times bestselling author of Delivering Happiness "Rana's perspective on business and life is a fresh new take, breaking the traditional corporate mold. Upgrade is a must-read for anyone not buying into the conventional wisdom." Ali Velshi, CNN Chief Business Correspondent; anchor, CNN-I World Business Today; and host, CNN Your Money "Upgrade welcomes you to take a fresh approach to everything you do to get the most out of work and life." Nelly Furtado, Grammy Award-winning musician "If I'm going to listen to anyone's good advice about how to improve my approach to work and life, it's Rana's." Kate Betts, contributing editor, TIME, and columnist, The Daily Beast Rana's voice is refreshing--as real as a memoir and a great vessel for this self-help and business book wrapped up in one easily-digestible package. Paper Magazine A very interesting book. Business Learning Solutions


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The 7 Key Principles to achieving YOUR business and life goals What could a graffiti artist, eminent neurologist, star athlete, celebrity chef, fashion designer, rocket scientist, and Grammy Award-winning musician possibly have in common? In this groundbreaking new book, Rana Florida shares their formula, giving you the tools to achieve unimaginable success in work and life. The 7 Key Principles to achieving YOUR business and life goals What could a graffiti artist, eminent neurologist, star athlete, celebrity chef, fashion designer, rocket scientist, and Grammy Award-winning musician possibly have in common? In this groundbreaking new book, Rana Florida shares their formula, giving you the tools to achieve unimaginable success in work and life. Upgrade gathers the best practices, not just from CEOs and business executives but from entrepreneurs, innovative thinkers, and creative leaders. Upgrade includes interviews with Sir Ken Robinson, Dan Pink, Mark Cuban, Andre Agassi, Kenny Scharf, Zaha Hadid, Governor Martin O'Malley, Tory Burch, Tim Brown, and many other leading figures. Despite this cast's vastly different backgrounds and skills, Florida's research concludes that there are seven key principles to achieving your business and life goals: Envision the future Find your passion Get creative Design your time Collaborate Take risks Embrace failure Unfortunately, this is exactly what the majority of us don't do. Instead of developing a real strategy to upgrade and optimize our lives, too many of us just slog through life in a state of "managed dissatisfaction." But it's never too late to envision an entirely different future--or to actively upgrade your life. It's not about finding more time, money, or resources. Anyone can do it. This smart and entertaining guide delves deep into each principle, giving you the insights, tools, and inspiration to take your life from ordinary to extraordinary. Praise for Upgrade "Why ride in coach, when you can upgrade? A must-read for a better journey through life." Don Tapscott, bestselling author, Wikinomics and Grown Up Digital "Upgrade is an a-ha book that will change how you look at life's challenges and give you tools to upgrade your life." Tour�, cohost of MSNBC's The Cycle "Read Upgrade for its stories, examples, and strategies and get ready to live the life you always wanted." Frank Toskan, founder, M.A.C. Cosmetics "Creative and innovative strategies to upgrade your work and life, with seven simple principles." Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com, Inc., and New York Times bestselling author of Delivering Happiness "Rana's perspective on business and life is a fresh new take, breaking the traditional corporate mold. Upgrade is a must-read for anyone not buying into the conventional wisdom." Ali Velshi, CNN Chief Business Correspondent; anchor, CNN-I World Business Today; and host, CNN Your Money "Upgrade welcomes you to take a fresh approach to everything you do to get the most out of work and life." Nelly Furtado, Grammy Award-winning musician "If I'm going to listen to anyone's good advice about how to improve my approach to work and life, it's Rana's." Kate Betts, contributing editor, TIME, and columnist, The Daily Beast Rana's voice is refreshing--as real as a memoir and a great vessel for this self-help and business book wrapped up in one easily-digestible package. Paper Magazine A very interesting book. Business Learning Solutions

30 review for Upgrade: Taking Your Work and Life from Ordinary to Extraordinary

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Ashton

    I know that every year when September rolls around, I try to make improvements in my life--maybe it is the back-to-school mentality! The author of this book--Rana Florida believes this change can happen at any time of the year if you have a plan. Her plan to help you Upgrade your work and personal life are simple and easy to activate. The sections on creativity, collaboration and time management were inspiring and practical since they gave concrete examples on how-to create a better team and a m I know that every year when September rolls around, I try to make improvements in my life--maybe it is the back-to-school mentality! The author of this book--Rana Florida believes this change can happen at any time of the year if you have a plan. Her plan to help you Upgrade your work and personal life are simple and easy to activate. The sections on creativity, collaboration and time management were inspiring and practical since they gave concrete examples on how-to create a better team and a more efficient workplace from successful entrepreneurs such as Tony Hsieh, Zaha Hadid,and Tory Burch. I also think the Envision Your Future chapter which showed me how-to create a "vision statement" of my life will give me that September jump start for my life. I always tell myself I need to know the who, what, where, when and why--I just never do it for me! This will be a book that I need to revisit again and again as I try to reach my vision.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Leena

    This is a worthy read. Chalk full of great advice, part business, part self help. Easy to understand tips to get the most out of life. Lots of radical ideas that our society needs to embrace. Everything you think needs to happen, Rana writes about clearly and coherently, with the supporting research to back it up. Her experience in working with the world's top brands combined with her interviews with some of today's leading creative thinkers gives readers an inside look at the top insights to ac This is a worthy read. Chalk full of great advice, part business, part self help. Easy to understand tips to get the most out of life. Lots of radical ideas that our society needs to embrace. Everything you think needs to happen, Rana writes about clearly and coherently, with the supporting research to back it up. Her experience in working with the world's top brands combined with her interviews with some of today's leading creative thinkers gives readers an inside look at the top insights to achieve success.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Reham Alexander

    Great inspirational and motivational read for anyone looking to optimize their professional or personal life. Lots of great tips. Filled with fun stories and great lessons from CEO's, entrepreneurs, creative thinkers and innovative leaders. A must read! Great inspirational and motivational read for anyone looking to optimize their professional or personal life. Lots of great tips. Filled with fun stories and great lessons from CEO's, entrepreneurs, creative thinkers and innovative leaders. A must read!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    Are you slogging through life in what Rana Florida calls "a state of managed dissatisfaction?" If so, this easy, enjoyable read is just what you need to optimize your professional and personal read. Put this on the top of your reading list!! Are you slogging through life in what Rana Florida calls "a state of managed dissatisfaction?" If so, this easy, enjoyable read is just what you need to optimize your professional and personal read. Put this on the top of your reading list!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I read this book in a day. I couldn't put it down. Funny, smart and entertaining. Lots of great advice I could use. I read this book in a day. I couldn't put it down. Funny, smart and entertaining. Lots of great advice I could use.

  6. 5 out of 5

    MartyAnne

    TITLE: UPGRADE: Taking your work and life from ordinary to extraordinary AUTHOR: RANA FLORIDA GENRE/AUDIENCE: Self-help, for life and business, motivationa REVIEW: Upgrade your life and business. I love motivational books! Sadly, this one I found disappointing. The first third of this book is exciting and applies to anyone wanting to put their goals in life in perspective and challenge themselves to include more of the things that make them happy. I covered many pages of notes and personal replies t TITLE: UPGRADE: Taking your work and life from ordinary to extraordinary AUTHOR: RANA FLORIDA GENRE/AUDIENCE: Self-help, for life and business, motivationa REVIEW: Upgrade your life and business. I love motivational books! Sadly, this one I found disappointing. The first third of this book is exciting and applies to anyone wanting to put their goals in life in perspective and challenge themselves to include more of the things that make them happy. I covered many pages of notes and personal replies to the questions asked, felt great about this idea of upgrading my life. I thought, I am really loving this book. So you must know, it was a terrible turnaround by the time I slogged to the end. The interviews she conducts with famous rich people in all walks of life seem a little interesting at least, but they are put into small headings that are remarkably un-insightful, such as "No One Can Do It All" and leave me thinking that this book is not well-written. It doesn't help that she is admittedly re-using content that previously was used in other ways, such as spots on NPR. The 2nd third is increasingly irrelevant to all but the larger entrepreneurs. While it may be great that some major businesses have integrated green space, fun, and relaxation as part of the creative process, there's little for me to do with that information. On the scale of my entrepreneurial efforts (company size: ME) it means, take breaks and walks, doodle and have tea. The remainder is actually *cringe* boring. Slog, slog, slog. END: Did not come soon enough. TAGS: Business, Creativity, Creative Class, Upgrade, GOODREADS: READ-ALIKES: Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. PERMALINK: http://martysreads.blogspot.com/2013/...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dharan Prakash

    Great book; if you have inhibition about pursuing your life's passions this book is an intellectual guide for you. Great book; if you have inhibition about pursuing your life's passions this book is an intellectual guide for you.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Noelle Walsh

    An excellent food-for-thought book, perfect for CEO's and the average Joe to help them improve business and personal life. A definite must read! An excellent food-for-thought book, perfect for CEO's and the average Joe to help them improve business and personal life. A definite must read!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Stephens

    There is no shortage of authors lining up to tell you how to run your life and your business better. A glut of self-improvement books are on the market. Likewise, there are numerous titles covering business how-to and new books are released at a staggering pace. Rana Florida (wife of “creative class” expert Richard Florida) has opted to combine a self-help and business guide in one handy book which she has titled, Upgrade: Taking Your Work and Life from Ordinary to Extraordinary. Florida’s writin There is no shortage of authors lining up to tell you how to run your life and your business better. A glut of self-improvement books are on the market. Likewise, there are numerous titles covering business how-to and new books are released at a staggering pace. Rana Florida (wife of “creative class” expert Richard Florida) has opted to combine a self-help and business guide in one handy book which she has titled, Upgrade: Taking Your Work and Life from Ordinary to Extraordinary. Florida’s writing style is effective and conversational. She doesn’t cloud her text in obscure academic terms or complex business language. Readers will find her writing easygoing and direct. Her credentials in business include partnership in her husband’s successful consulting company, business school training, and years of corporate work as well as independent freelance jobs. In Upgrade, Florida lays down a blueprint for business and career success that emphasizes: 1. Boldness in thought and action; taking risks 2. Creativity and cultivating a creating environment 3. Collaboration on idea generation and solution execution 4. Failure is a necessary step along the path to success Her business advice here is spot on and I have found that a willingness to take bold risks has especially been a key factor in my career success. Along these lines, I add to the chorus of praise and recommendations for Florida’s business prescriptions. Florida doesn’t specify her qualifications for dispensing personal advice and it the self-help portions of her book that are troubling. She decries hedonistic materialism as shallow but equates happiness associated with experiences (such as travel or fine food) as somehow more deep and wholesome. Don’t get me wrong, I find travel, fine food, and other experiences to be fun, but I don’t pretend that self-pleasure from experiences is higher and holier than self-pleasure associated with owning or using material goods. After all, it’s typically the experience of using the material things we amass that bring pleasure, not just possessing a thing for its own end. An even greater problem than assessing her brand of hedonism as better than materialism is her overall focus on happiness and pleasure as the measure of a good life. She gives a quick nod to “giving back” but it’s clear from the percentage of page space she devotes to the happiness quest and the accomplishment quest (covered under the business advice section) that ordering one’s life around something other than one’s own pleasure and accomplishment is not her aim. Ecclesiastes 2 I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. 2 “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” 3 I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives. 4 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. 5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. 8 I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem[a] as well—the delights of a man’s heart. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. 10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. 11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun Not only does Florida champion pleasure and happiness as our personal life focus she also callously recommends we drop anyone and anything that get in the way of that happiness. Sit down, and try to stomach her advice on time management: “We complain that we don’t have enough time to get to the things on our happiness list or to execute our vision for the future and that life is already too busy. This exercise allows us to free up our time to put ourselves first. Make a list of the people you spend time with. Now make one of these three marks next to their names: a negative (-), a zero (0), or a positive (+). A negative person is someone who drains you of energy and adds no value to your life socially, professionally, or otherwise. You know exactly who and what I’m talking about. We all have them in our lives: they just take, take, take. A zero neither adds nor takes away value. These people always seem to be hanging around or texting: ‘Hey whatcha up to? I’m bored.’ They are always bored. They target you and make you spend your most precious resource-time-to entertain them. these are people I consider filler. A positive in contrast is someone who adds real value to your life. You are learning from this person, who is helping you move forward. Take a long hard look at your list. Put a plus, negative, or zero next to each name. Really think about that person. Don’t get caught up in emotions. What contributions, what value are these people really adding to or taking away from your life? When you’ve given everyone a score, it’s time to cross off all the names you’ve marked with negatives and zeros. If you’re serious about improving and upgrading your life, it’s time to banish these people from your life or minimize your interactions with them. With your new found time you can go back to your passion list and devote more time to the activities that make you happy.” That’s right. Your happiness must come first! Don’t ask what you can do for your friends, ask what they can do for you. And if the answer is nothing, then bye bye suckers. More on time management and doing things with our friends and loved ones: …”we could all relate, whether it’s wasting a precious Sunday afternoon at a baby shower……I’m not saying you should miss Nonna or Papu’s seventy-fifth birthday celebration and little Levi’s bar mitzvah, but we do need to train ourselves to stop and evaluate. Will this experience add value to my life or is it just taking time away from my mission statement and happiness list?….The next question is will it be more fun than staying at home in my pajamas, lounging around by the pool reading books, playing tennis, going for a walk, or anything else I added to my happiness list?” “Now when I want to see friends it’s at a restaurant, where I know I don’t have to invest the extra production hours and can leave without having to kick them off my sofa. This may sound terrible but I assure you I love my friends and family. Still, when you only have so many hours in the day, each one that is hogged up becomes a reason to stress.” Your baby shower? HOGGING UP MY ME TIME HOURS AND STANDING THE THE WAY OF MY FUN! Dinner party at my house? NO WAY, I AIN’T MAKING TIME TO PREPARE YOU A MEAL WITH LOVE AND KINDNESS, YOU TIME HOG YOU. Florida analyzes her decisions when it comes to friends, her happiness, and her time. And guess what, her happiness always gets top priority. She criticizes obligations and duties as time wasters and happiness interrupters. What a sad sad way to live your life Ms. Florida. Well, apparently not sad for you, but how sad for your friends. Obviously as a Christian (or actually, simply as a human being), I can’t recommend anyone take Florida’s advice on how to order your personal life and manage your time. Upgrade hits bookstores in the Autumn of 2013 and there are going to be a lot of people creating lists of names with little negatives and zeros beside them. God help you if any of your friends buy this book – you better hope they score you well enough to make the cut. Overall recommendation: See this book on the shelf, and keep right on walking past it. Yes, yes the business advice is good, but I’ve already summarized it for you above, so you’re good to go there.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Sure, there are quite a few gold nuggets of useful advice in this book... but you'll have to wade through a tonne of dropped names, several times. It's an interesting book, full of anecdotes and fun stories covering a lifetime of meeting the rich and famous people who have made successful lives working hard in their fields. But... It just felt a bit more like a memoir with some nuggets of advice, rather the other way round. Favourite Quotes: Seven key principles that enable successful and fulfille Sure, there are quite a few gold nuggets of useful advice in this book... but you'll have to wade through a tonne of dropped names, several times. It's an interesting book, full of anecdotes and fun stories covering a lifetime of meeting the rich and famous people who have made successful lives working hard in their fields. But... It just felt a bit more like a memoir with some nuggets of advice, rather the other way round. Favourite Quotes: Seven key principles that enable successful and fulfilled lives: 1) Envision your future. 2) Find your passion. 3) Get creative. 4) Protect your time. 5) Collaborate. 6) Take risks. 7) Embrace failure. "We make just enough money at each stage of life to make it harder to risk losing what we have already acquired." "[I]t's not about getting more time; it's about managing the time you have to knock out the time suckers and trade them for the things that bring simple buckets of happiness to your life." "It's important to find a playground for our bodies so that we can unleash our minds." "Sweat is like WD-40 for your mind... Exercise allows your conscious mind to access fresh ideas that are buried in the subconscious." ~ Chris Bergland "If you are not constantly growing, learning, and adapting, whether in business or in personal development, you too will become obsolete." "Getting your physical environment right is the foundation for everything."

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jaylan Howell

    Upgrade by Rana is a really good book that follows a simplistic yet changing formula to change and grow in the world as one. It gives inspiring little stories in between to further her explanation of what she wants to tell me and it has worked. This book has the tone of like a mother giving you advice of her life and what you should do to better yours and or "upgrade" your life experiences coming. Upgrade by Rana is a really good book that follows a simplistic yet changing formula to change and grow in the world as one. It gives inspiring little stories in between to further her explanation of what she wants to tell me and it has worked. This book has the tone of like a mother giving you advice of her life and what you should do to better yours and or "upgrade" your life experiences coming.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alana

    This book certainly provides some food for thought. The first and last parts of the book were really inspiring and have pushed me to re-evaluate a few things in my life and make one or two changes. A couple of the chapters in the middle, I feel, were geared more towards people who are out there working in an office environment, with more focus on those who are in leadership roles. Although I couldn't directly relate this to my own situation I still found it really interesting. Overall, this is an This book certainly provides some food for thought. The first and last parts of the book were really inspiring and have pushed me to re-evaluate a few things in my life and make one or two changes. A couple of the chapters in the middle, I feel, were geared more towards people who are out there working in an office environment, with more focus on those who are in leadership roles. Although I couldn't directly relate this to my own situation I still found it really interesting. Overall, this is an easy, interesting and enjoyable read, and may just help you change your life. I give Upgrade 4 out of 5 stars. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My Rating System: 1 star: I will never post a 1 star review because this means it was so bad I couldn't finish it, and I don't won't publicly rate a book I haven't read all the way through. 2 stars: I may have liked the story but it was badly written or it may have been a boring story well written. Something about it kept me reading but I didn't enjoy it. 3 stars: A good, enjoyable read. If the description appeals to you I'd recommend reading it. 4 stars: A really good book that I thoroughly enjoyed and may even read again. I will want to read other books by the same author. Highly recommend. 5 stars: Reserved for books that blew me away and whose characters I can't get out of my head. These are books that I will definitely read again, possibly several times. If I read an e-book version I may even have to go buy a hard copy for my shelves. Why are you still here? Go read this book right now.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Basma Aal

  14. 5 out of 5

    Yway Hlaing

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Pretoria

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tisha Hulburd

  17. 5 out of 5

    Thressa Dorsey

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Olexa

  19. 4 out of 5

    Markaudio

  20. 4 out of 5

    Luna

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sandeep

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Joyce Bryant

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rana Florida

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ramiz

  26. 4 out of 5

    Wen Xiang

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chathura

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shirley Lee

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

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