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The Art of Being Unmistakable

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We live in such a hyper-connected society today flooded with so much talent and so much noise. Talent alone won’t cut it. Whether you’re an artist, musician, writer or creator of sorts, to stand out in the world you must be unmistakable. It’s the only option. To create unmistakable work, you must take risks. You must cross lines, personal and professional. You must go to t We live in such a hyper-connected society today flooded with so much talent and so much noise. Talent alone won’t cut it. Whether you’re an artist, musician, writer or creator of sorts, to stand out in the world you must be unmistakable. It’s the only option. To create unmistakable work, you must take risks. You must cross lines, personal and professional. You must go to the point of a no return. On my 34th birthday, I asked myself a question. "If this had been the last year of my life, would I have been ok with how I'd lived?" When my answer was a resounding NO, I knew that something had to change. So I started to write in a way that was more honest, more transparent and more vulnerable than I ever had. I committed career suicide, one Facebook status update at a time. And in that process I found my voice. This collection of essays is about that journey. I hope it inspires you to find that unmistakable artist in yourself.


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We live in such a hyper-connected society today flooded with so much talent and so much noise. Talent alone won’t cut it. Whether you’re an artist, musician, writer or creator of sorts, to stand out in the world you must be unmistakable. It’s the only option. To create unmistakable work, you must take risks. You must cross lines, personal and professional. You must go to t We live in such a hyper-connected society today flooded with so much talent and so much noise. Talent alone won’t cut it. Whether you’re an artist, musician, writer or creator of sorts, to stand out in the world you must be unmistakable. It’s the only option. To create unmistakable work, you must take risks. You must cross lines, personal and professional. You must go to the point of a no return. On my 34th birthday, I asked myself a question. "If this had been the last year of my life, would I have been ok with how I'd lived?" When my answer was a resounding NO, I knew that something had to change. So I started to write in a way that was more honest, more transparent and more vulnerable than I ever had. I committed career suicide, one Facebook status update at a time. And in that process I found my voice. This collection of essays is about that journey. I hope it inspires you to find that unmistakable artist in yourself.

30 review for The Art of Being Unmistakable

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emma Sea

    Rao exhorts us to "choose ourselves," and to "make a dent in the universe." It will be a challenge to achieve something so important, so goddamn real - he knows this. Why, Rao himself, when fired, was forced to move back home with his parents and live off his allowance (p. 37). Solidarity, dude. The struggle is real. His survival strategies for being unemployed in LA were: 1) take flasks to bars so he'd never have to buy drinks 2) email promoters and offer to work the door so he could get in for f Rao exhorts us to "choose ourselves," and to "make a dent in the universe." It will be a challenge to achieve something so important, so goddamn real - he knows this. Why, Rao himself, when fired, was forced to move back home with his parents and live off his allowance (p. 37). Solidarity, dude. The struggle is real. His survival strategies for being unemployed in LA were: 1) take flasks to bars so he'd never have to buy drinks 2) email promoters and offer to work the door so he could get in for free 3) eat a lot of PB&Js. That poor, poor man. There is good stuff in here. But this is a blog post, expanded to a book, by using huge line breaks, double-spacing, filler, and a circle-jerk references to other self-help authors *cough* James Altucher *cough*. *** *looks at book, looks at 5-star reviews, looks at book again* um . . . review to come, I guess

  2. 4 out of 5

    Norbert

    If you're reading to learn, you often end up highlighting passages. The problem with that is that, when it comes to really good books, you want to highlight most of them. This is one of those. Here's the deal: this book is written by someone in the trenches, someone going through the excitement of building a business and life. That means that there's a lot of "here's what I'm doing now," with no indication as to its eventual outcome. Those were the parts that turned me off. But the lessons are c If you're reading to learn, you often end up highlighting passages. The problem with that is that, when it comes to really good books, you want to highlight most of them. This is one of those. Here's the deal: this book is written by someone in the trenches, someone going through the excitement of building a business and life. That means that there's a lot of "here's what I'm doing now," with no indication as to its eventual outcome. Those were the parts that turned me off. But the lessons are concise, to the point, even if they seem trite at times. At worst they're reminders of what you already know. At best they're revelations about what you hadn't yet thought about. In either case, you'll get something out of this book, especially if you go into it knowing what direction you want to move in. The book is actually every blogger's dream: a bunch of posts collected into one book then sold. But it worked in this case. It's a very easy read, so I would recommend it because of it's time invested to value ratio.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Arnold Osborn

    This book is a MUST READ for anyone who has a desire to move forward in life. A simple book, well written with a Great Deal of Insight. A common sense approach to growth and tomorrow. I will read it again, before the end of the year.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Gordon

    A short and cheap book that is really easy to read. It's all about being true to yourself, finding who you really are and letting that out. Rao shares some compelling personal stories. It's a light and short read, I'd highly recommend reading it, it gives you a real lift. A short and cheap book that is really easy to read. It's all about being true to yourself, finding who you really are and letting that out. Rao shares some compelling personal stories. It's a light and short read, I'd highly recommend reading it, it gives you a real lift.

  5. 5 out of 5

    B.K. Birch

    This is similar material found in other "self help" books, but the author makes it pop with real-life examples of both successes and failures. Bottom line, be your true self and to hell with what anyone else thinks. We all need to be reminded of this sometimes. Great, easy read. This is similar material found in other "self help" books, but the author makes it pop with real-life examples of both successes and failures. Bottom line, be your true self and to hell with what anyone else thinks. We all need to be reminded of this sometimes. Great, easy read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Giles Tucker

    An Inspiring, quick, pick me up read Rao's collection of essays are candid, honest, and taunting to the perpetually self deceptive. This was my first exposure to Rao, I look forward to checking out the rest of his material. An Inspiring, quick, pick me up read Rao's collection of essays are candid, honest, and taunting to the perpetually self deceptive. This was my first exposure to Rao, I look forward to checking out the rest of his material.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Laura Jones

    Rao finds dozens of ways to say "to thine own self be true ". His examples struck a chord with me at the beginning of the book, making the remaining pages monotonous. You may find your inspiration near the end of the book or need more convincing. In that case, consider this a five-star review. Rao finds dozens of ways to say "to thine own self be true ". His examples struck a chord with me at the beginning of the book, making the remaining pages monotonous. You may find your inspiration near the end of the book or need more convincing. In that case, consider this a five-star review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mark Brewer

    Lots of good thoughts and ideas. Short.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jaime Senior

    Good read Roa's short story was enthralling. An easy read that is straight to the point. Useful information presented in a light-hearted fashion. Good read Roa's short story was enthralling. An easy read that is straight to the point. Useful information presented in a light-hearted fashion.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tim Smith

    Fun short little book, which will leave you with some deeper thoughts to think about.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Lots of common sense stuff. Decent book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Annie Oortman

    I wish I'd have read this 10 years ago. It would have saved me a lot tears and heartache. I wish I'd have read this 10 years ago. It would have saved me a lot tears and heartache.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Saman

    I rarely give 5 stars to a book. This book really deserves it. Let me start with the style of writing. It was outstanding, honestly. It’s one of those books that makes you stick to it until you finish it. You just can’t put this book down. It does not write, it speaks with you. (I’m not paid to write this review I swear, lol) About the content and information shared in the book: it’s fantastic. The knowledge in this book is communicated so smooth, you really get everything it has to say. And you don’t I rarely give 5 stars to a book. This book really deserves it. Let me start with the style of writing. It was outstanding, honestly. It’s one of those books that makes you stick to it until you finish it. You just can’t put this book down. It does not write, it speaks with you. (I’m not paid to write this review I swear, lol) About the content and information shared in the book: it’s fantastic. The knowledge in this book is communicated so smooth, you really get everything it has to say. And you don’t find a lot of books where the author shares pure value in 90 pages. To conclude, just read this book. It’s a fast read, but I promise you’ll never think the same after reading this book. To make your reading session even more enjoyable, just imagine you’re sitting down with Srinivas, and listening to his words for an hour. Definitely recommend it to anyone reading this review. Peace.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Robins Varghese

    A lot of good insights, elaborated on with simple everyday life analogies. Some of the quotes and concepts is quite straight forward and Srinivas does a good stuff is throwing it out in the open and asking us to challenge the status quo.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Beth Meyers

    Definitely written by a millennial, but it still has relevance to all age groups as it speaks to listening to and following your authentic self.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shaheen Naikpay

    Great Book Overall, Recommend it to everyone. One of the best quotes I liked a lot in this book. "My greatest sin was to waste my life believing that I wasn’t capable of something more." Great Book Overall, Recommend it to everyone. One of the best quotes I liked a lot in this book. "My greatest sin was to waste my life believing that I wasn’t capable of something more."

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    This is a little book that encourages me to become 0.1% better every day.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lance

    In my search for positive influences, I learned about this book and decided to order a copy. I read it the same day I received it. It's a quick read and very power packed with so many thoughts that I either had myself or now realize I was in the process of developing. Rao hits it out of the park at the start. "There are plenty of things I had thought would have already happened by this point in my life. If I had told the 20-year old ego-driven version of myself how things got derailed, he might t In my search for positive influences, I learned about this book and decided to order a copy. I read it the same day I received it. It's a quick read and very power packed with so many thoughts that I either had myself or now realize I was in the process of developing. Rao hits it out of the park at the start. "There are plenty of things I had thought would have already happened by this point in my life. If I had told the 20-year old ego-driven version of myself how things got derailed, he might think I'd lost my mind. . . . But it's only through experience that you gain wisdom and knowledge. These are just some of my observations of a life that hasn't gone according to plan." And those observations key into a lot of wisdom about living a life that you choose to live. I love Rao's idea of resisting the plan that society or your culture or whoever or whatever places upon you and living according to the plan you choose. If you want to follow the herd, that's fine with me as long as you do so consciously. Too many of us are simply dumb sheep, dumb to any different way of thinking and therefore any different way of being. And make no mistake. Rao knows about being unmistakable. Rao and I share some views on being unmistakable. I don't think that unmistakable means you are one of the greatest, most legendary people to walk the planet. I think unmistakable means you are making your contribution to the world (whatever that is) and you are comfortable with that. You don't care what other people think about you or your choices. Rao definitely is right in line with that thinking. But we don't agree completely. Rao simply expresses his thinking in a very undressed fashion. He is very loose in his language. To me, being unmistakable doesn't mean living without conscience or a commitment to a moral or ethical standard. It means becoming the real you within that moral or ethical space. I applaud Rao's focus on providing authentic content --- ideas and thoughts that represent who he really is and the contribution he wants to make to the world. The substance of those ideas and thoughts inspire me. At the same time I don't agree that presentation should be sacrificed at the altar of authenticity or that we should completely ignore how we say what we say. Rao doesn't seem to have given much attention to that, given not only his comfort with profanity but also the occasional grammatical, punctuation, and other editorial errors that appear in his book. For example, Rao could have used the word authentic instead of saying no-bull&$%@. But no, he chooses to use no-bull&$%@ over and over and over again. Authentic means the same thing but provides a much better presentation. I know that some people will resist me here. They will say that Rao's language is the language of the real world and that, given the whole point behind his ideas is the need for all of us to be real, therefore Rao's language is actually appropriate. If that is the type of world you most aspire to live in, that is your choice and you can justify living in it however you want. I want to live in a better world, one that empowers and liberates me. Debasing, profane expressions that reference excrement do nothing to empower or liberate me. Our bodies produce excrement, and what do they do with it? Absorb it back into the system? No, they work every day to get rid of it and with good reason: It doesn't belong inside of us. The ideas that Rao presents are truly ennobling and liberating. Again, I find them inspiring. His diction, on the other hand, leaves much to be desired. The language he chooses to express ideas of empowerment and liberation should be just as empowering and liberating. Alignment between content and presentation maximizes the power and influence of the entire package. Power and influence decrease in proportion to any misalignment. Furthermore, being unmistakable should never be an excuse to ignore a devotion to craft. When you write you are practicing a craft. It's not just speech in print. I agree with Rao that we need to forget the gatekeepers, and the rise of electronic publishing is a great example of putting that idea into practice. Unfortunately, many indie authors rush to publication without giving due attention to some of the services provided by the gatekeepers in the traditional publishing world (editorial services being one of the most obvious). So many do this that the whole alternative system gains a reputation for delivering very poor quality work. If this book is representative of his work as an author, Rao seems to be a part of that crowd. Again, if that is the world you want to live in, that is your choice. I choose to aspire to a better one. I would love to give 5 stars to Rao's book, but given the reasons I just elaborated I can't do that in good conscience. Rao's ideas are truly inspiring. I just wish that the packaging was as inspiring as the content.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mick Wright

    Exploring the things that make us special and unique, even our failures and inadequacies, and being genuine and true to ourselves as we work, develop and create - these are key to finding true success and happiness. Srinivas Rao wrote The Art of Being Unmistakable through a series of Facebook status updates after coming to the point where he just wanted to be honest, even if it meant committing career suicide. The path of success he had been following wasn't working. Rao was uninterested in the jo Exploring the things that make us special and unique, even our failures and inadequacies, and being genuine and true to ourselves as we work, develop and create - these are key to finding true success and happiness. Srinivas Rao wrote The Art of Being Unmistakable through a series of Facebook status updates after coming to the point where he just wanted to be honest, even if it meant committing career suicide. The path of success he had been following wasn't working. Rao was uninterested in the jobs he had trained for and had no passion for the offices and board rooms. The life society had prepared for him was empty and void of meaning. He wasn't measuring up to the supposed ideal. He longed to spend more time engaged in the one activity that made him happy, surfing. Rao discovered being honest with and about ourselves, and ignoring the external definition of success, makes us authentic and leads us to do the very things that make us come alive, and paradoxically, tend to bring success our way. We have it backwards. Furthermore, as the revolution of information and technology progresses, being our authentic selves is the best way to build job security. When we provide value by delivering the experiences that only we can, it's harder for us to be undercut by cheap labor or replaced by robots and machinery. The gatekeepers are going extinct, and it's never been easier in the history of civilization to choose for ourselves and to make a unique impact on the world. We need to shift our focus, Rao says, from being wildly successful according to the standards of others to being "unmistakable." We should put down the map and pick up a compass. If I have any criticism of Rao's essay, it would be simply to amend the following passage from the perspective of a Christian who believes I am not the final authority but instead answer to the first Creator, who formed my creative spirit and fills my life with meaning and purpose: "You are the final authority on it all. Your sign-off is the one that matters above all. You get to say whether you live a life filled with meaning and purpose." The Art of Being Unmistakable is a fast-paced pep talk for creative people. Rao encourages readers to set big goals that inspire them, to follow their passions, and to blaze a new path. Study what you want to learn, not the subjects that seem important. Focus on being different instead of being better. And don't sacrifice the things that make you stand out for the sake of conformity.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Doran Barton

    I took my daughter to the hospital today so she could get an medicine infusion that she needs every eight weeks because of a chronic condition. These infusion sessions usually last about three hours of so, so I decided to read something while I waited. Looking the "recommended titles" the Kindle Store provided, I came across this book by Srinivas Rao. I had heard a little about it from the ravings of Glenn Beck on his radio show. Apparently, Glenn was so impressed with Rao's book (which Glenn ju I took my daughter to the hospital today so she could get an medicine infusion that she needs every eight weeks because of a chronic condition. These infusion sessions usually last about three hours of so, so I decided to read something while I waited. Looking the "recommended titles" the Kindle Store provided, I came across this book by Srinivas Rao. I had heard a little about it from the ravings of Glenn Beck on his radio show. Apparently, Glenn was so impressed with Rao's book (which Glenn just accidentally stumbled upon) he had him on his TV show. I'm sure Rao is enjoying lots of success as a result of this entirely unexpected publicity. I found Rao's book to be insightful and inspiring. I hope his next book takes the concepts established in this small piece and explores them further so that it can be a more substantial piece. I read "The Art of Being Unmistakable" in less than two hours, so it's definitely a quick read. Why not give a five star review? Because I'm stingy with my five-star accolades. And I felt Rao's book suffered from one flaw: He's single and, as far as I can tell, childless. I think his perspective on life would change somewhat if he was married and had spent some time in the role of a parent. There's a lot more pressure upon you when you're supporting a family to get into a position of relative success and then take what life gives you. I think Rao's suggestions are still entirely relevant for those of us who live the family life. For reasons that should be obvious, I can't decide I dislike my job and go spend all my time fishing while I ponder what I really want to do with my life. While that's an overgeneralization of Rao's prescription, I think it just requires some tweaks to stay true to your responsibilities while still growing into a person that Rao would call "being unmistakable."

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alex Taylor

    If I want to do interesting work, take risks, and see what I am really made of, I have to be willing to use a compass instead of a map. The day I ditched the map for the compass is the day I walked off the edge of the Earth, and my work became an experience that only I can create for people. Every time I have been given a map, I have gotten lost. The map was based on where somebody else wanted me to end up. By following the map, at best I will become a pale imitation of the person who drew the m If I want to do interesting work, take risks, and see what I am really made of, I have to be willing to use a compass instead of a map. The day I ditched the map for the compass is the day I walked off the edge of the Earth, and my work became an experience that only I can create for people. Every time I have been given a map, I have gotten lost. The map was based on where somebody else wanted me to end up. By following the map, at best I will become a pale imitation of the person who drew the map. - Srinivas Rao

  22. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Davis

    "This is the opportunity to tattoo your soul print across the hearts and minds of humanity. It's the opportunity for a performance where you leave your heart on the stage." I read this book in two short settings. Spanning only 130 double spaced pages, it's not tough to finish. Rao puts together a great collection of thought provoking essays to challenge the creative in you to put aside all of your ego driven ideas and just create. The only reason I gave it four stars is because he used the "BS" p "This is the opportunity to tattoo your soul print across the hearts and minds of humanity. It's the opportunity for a performance where you leave your heart on the stage." I read this book in two short settings. Spanning only 130 double spaced pages, it's not tough to finish. Rao puts together a great collection of thought provoking essays to challenge the creative in you to put aside all of your ego driven ideas and just create. The only reason I gave it four stars is because he used the "BS" phrase too much. It wasn't really that necessary.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Laura J Tong

    Definitely a good read Srinivas has done a great job of putting his view across and managed to entertain and keep me turning the pages too. I couldn't agree more with his underlying idea. He definitely delivered on all that he promised the book would be. Only left off one star due to there being some statements that weren't backed up and therefore left me doubting or less than convinced. Overall a really good read that prompted lots of enjoyable discussion with my hubby - both recommend this as Definitely a good read Srinivas has done a great job of putting his view across and managed to entertain and keep me turning the pages too. I couldn't agree more with his underlying idea. He definitely delivered on all that he promised the book would be. Only left off one star due to there being some statements that weren't backed up and therefore left me doubting or less than convinced. Overall a really good read that prompted lots of enjoyable discussion with my hubby - both recommend this as eminently read-worthy.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Adil Najmuddin

    Although this book is overwhelming with quotes, largely from the same people, and is extremely short, it isn't /entirely/ 'bad' or poorly written. But it is largely the same advice you'd get from a other 'be true to yourself', lifestyle design books, a common trend since 4HWW, except isn't nearly as good. Read if you want, but for better alternatives, you may want to try authors like James Altucher, Seth Godin, or Chris Guillebeau. Although this book is overwhelming with quotes, largely from the same people, and is extremely short, it isn't /entirely/ 'bad' or poorly written. But it is largely the same advice you'd get from a other 'be true to yourself', lifestyle design books, a common trend since 4HWW, except isn't nearly as good. Read if you want, but for better alternatives, you may want to try authors like James Altucher, Seth Godin, or Chris Guillebeau.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    This book is nothing but a bunch of blog posts. There is no progression from one point to another; he just repeats himself over and over and adds quotes, mostly by people I've never heard of. I think they must be friends of his; he quotes the same three people over and over. I did pick up one good idea from him: Make a dent in the universe. I've been pondering it ever since. But I'm not sure its worth the price I paid for the whole book. This book is nothing but a bunch of blog posts. There is no progression from one point to another; he just repeats himself over and over and adds quotes, mostly by people I've never heard of. I think they must be friends of his; he quotes the same three people over and over. I did pick up one good idea from him: Make a dent in the universe. I've been pondering it ever since. But I'm not sure its worth the price I paid for the whole book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mighty Rasing

    It's a good book that shows us that one's career or calling isn't about having a road map, it's about having a compass to guide your exploration in this vast unexplored life. It certainly pushed ba k against my practice (& yes I do recommend it to people) of having 5-year plans. It's insightful and uplifting. It's a good book that shows us that one's career or calling isn't about having a road map, it's about having a compass to guide your exploration in this vast unexplored life. It certainly pushed ba k against my practice (& yes I do recommend it to people) of having 5-year plans. It's insightful and uplifting.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sridhar

    This book lives up to the title. In our life we always make choices and decisions based on what the society expects out of us and seldom what we really want to do. Srinivas shares his own life experiences with honesty which I am sure will help readers to redefine the metrics by which we define success.

  28. 4 out of 5

    bryan s arnold

    Always Gives Something Valuable I always get something to take away apply to my life every time I read something from Srinivas Rao. And this book is no exception. Quick read with plenty of substance. I recommend it highly.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Olga Kark

    There are ideas definitely worth sharing, but it's not a sterling book. It's more like notes with potential. It obvious that author loves his life, enjoys it and doesn't want to spent time on polishing what is already written. There are ideas definitely worth sharing, but it's not a sterling book. It's more like notes with potential. It obvious that author loves his life, enjoys it and doesn't want to spent time on polishing what is already written.

  30. 5 out of 5

    JASON L CASEY

    Interesting thoughts. More of a millennial type reading. Hints for life that i feel are common sense, you shouldn't have to be told to think of this stuff. It should be second nature by the time you're in your 20's Still pretty decent reading. Interesting thoughts. More of a millennial type reading. Hints for life that i feel are common sense, you shouldn't have to be told to think of this stuff. It should be second nature by the time you're in your 20's Still pretty decent reading.

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