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Maximize Your Potential: Grow Your Expertise, Take Bold Risks & Build an Incredible Career
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Maximize Your Potential: Grow Your Expertise, Take Bold Risks & Build an Incredible Career (99u #2)

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,044 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
Success isn't about being the best. It's about always getting better.

Can you step outside your comfort zone? Bounce back from failure? Build new skills? Tapping into your true potential is no idle endeavor. It demands creativity, dedication, and a whole lot of hustle.

With wisdom from 21 leading creative minds, 99U's Maximize Your Potential will show you how to generate new
Paperback, 260 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Amazon Publishing (first published September 10th 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jonathan Phares
Jan 26, 2014 Jonathan Phares rated it it was ok
Maximize Your Potential is a shallow collection of short essays written by some experts and mostly psuedo-experts citing case studies and unsourced "studies show" to make a case for its many obvious claims. The book is dedicated to "those who strive". I'd argue those people, with whom I identify, are disappointed by the content in this book. With advice like be the better you and cultivate your luck quotient, how could we not be?

So as not to be completely derisive, I will point out a couple hig
Oct 21, 2013 Lindsay rated it liked it
While the tips in this book are new enough to the business world to avoid being cliche, there are still very few concrete and actionable tips for an ordinary individual to use. For instance, what does "accept uncertainty" mean in a person's career? How do you put that into practice. This book, like many other self-help books, fails in that regard. A few of the contributors did offer helpful and practical advice though, so the book wasn't a total bust.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this bo
Jul 09, 2016 Patrick rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
Overall, this 99U book is a good read. It is what I like to call a "cocktail" of modern career advice. If you aren't following a lot of the Tim Ferriss' of the personal development era, then these collections of essays will be very rewarding.

While each essay holds up well, if you are familiar with a lot of these writers, then you might not get as much excitement from the material. But that isn't to say it isn't worth the read. Given its length, it's still worth reading and having that informati
Yuko Shimizu
May 18, 2016 Yuko Shimizu rated it really liked it
Reading 99U books (there are 3 of them so far) is like going to a creative conference inside a book. There are carefully selected speakers with different background and expertise, talks are short and right to the point. There are talks that are relevant to you, and also there are ones that are not so. But overall, there are always things you can take away, you want to jot down to your notebook (or underline in the book).
And, just like 99U conference, talks are not superficial motivational BS. T
Zeh Fernando
Jul 06, 2015 Zeh Fernando rated it really liked it
If you can get past the terrible foreword (which makes it sound as if the book was written for entitled pricks), this is actually a great list of thoughts and action items on various important topics for someone's career.
Paul Deveaux
Decent book. This is a collection of essays on four major themes to maximize your potential. If you are at all following any online gurus on productivity, creativity, and the like, you will hear several familiar voices here. Lots of great insights but not necessarily a cohesive tome. There is not a through line or a thesis here that is easily apparent. This book is best read an essay at at time, leaving space for reflection and adjustment before moving on to the next. Not a bad book but easily n ...more
John Stepper
Dec 29, 2013 John Stepper rated it it was amazing
Extremely useful. This book, along with the first in the series - "Manage Your Day-to-Day" - is a well-selected set of short articles from a wide range of productive, creative people.

It's a short, engaging, interesting read that delivers very valuable, practical wisdom.
Dec 18, 2015 Lara rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
This is a series of essays by people who have been recognized for some effective aspect of their ability to be productive, change behavior, or generally be successful at moving towards goals. While the essays repeat material that is covered in other places, I found it a really nice reminder of points I had learned elsewhere. The essays are relatively short, so there is density of content. There is quite a lot of mention of the organization that pulled this together, but I didn't think it reduced ...more
Kelly Lynn Thomas
May 26, 2015 Kelly Lynn Thomas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, business
I love the 99U series, and I would recommend all three books to anyone in even a slightly creative profession--hell, I'd even say read them if you work in something number-oriented like accounting.

Each book is broken down into chapters, and there are a handful of short essays in each chapter. Each essay is short, to the point, and helpful. Usually the essays propose one thing to help you grow professionally or personally (sometimes both).

Each chapter ends with a "key takeaways" section that quic
Chris Theule-vandam
Mar 09, 2015 Chris Theule-vandam rated it really liked it
Change will lead to insight far more often than insight will lead to change.
Saikat Basu
Dec 26, 2014 Saikat Basu rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-improvement
A good read in short chunks. More for the guy, who is debating whether to take the next big step...or not.
Sergio Ramirez
May 11, 2015 Sergio Ramirez rated it it was amazing
There are very few books I feel everyone should read, but Maximize Your Potential is definitely one of them. I love the structure of this book - it makes the read easier and focused. Not to mention it limits the possibility of losing my interest or fascination. The material is great and applicable to everyone, regardless of their career path. There are plenty of great quotes in here that inspired me, and I have a feeling that I'm not the only one who was touched by this book.

On a different note
Dec 19, 2014 Sophie rated it it was amazing
Maximize Your Potential is possibly my favourite of the three books written by Jocelyn K. Glei and 99U; this book deals with cultivating creativity, building relationships, taking bold (yet calculated) risks, and reaching out for new opportunities. I don't know what it is about this series of books but, after reading them, I feel I can achieve anything. This series is optimistic, encouraging, and insightful; the creative advice is practical and easily incorporated into daily life.
Samantha Storey
Dec 30, 2015 Samantha Storey rated it really liked it
Maximize Your Potential is a great collection of essays aimed primarily at creative professionals. As with any book of this kind, the advice contained within is only as good as you want it to be. From the minds behind 99u - a fantastic creative resource - this collection is meant to highlight best practices and Glei has gathered a slew of creative forces to drop their insight on four key areas they believe will help with long-term success.

1) Identifying and creating new opportunities
2) Cultivati
Vladimir Kobetic
Mar 29, 2014 Vladimir Kobetic rated it liked it
Recommended to Vladimir by: Michal Pařízek
The first book of Maximize Your potential was more impressive for reading, however a lot of inspiration and bright ideas could be found in this book as well. I would imagine that in various stages of my live the book gives me different information and different insights of my life attitude.

Book highlights/extracts:
The possibilities are infinite. But so, too, are the responsibilities. Having that abilitiy brings the lead of your own development on to you, do not wait for the manager,that would gu
Scott Haraburda
Oct 14, 2013 Scott Haraburda rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Goodreads First Reads Giveaway Book.


For those wanting to develop their creative capabilities comes a new book from 99U. It’s recent 2013 book, Maximize Your Potential: Grow Your Expertise, Take Bold Risks & Build an Incredible Career is a collection of almost two dozen short essays written by successful innovative experts.

It’s edited by Jocelyn Glei, Director of the 99U, an organization that strives to help others make ideas happen. The name of this organ
Oct 07, 2013 Joakim rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: {entrepreneurs}
A little book of unconventional insights

I've won this book in Goodreads Giveaway and liked it enough to finish it within two to three days. The book contains insights from creative people who are well established in their respective fields, and there are people contributing from diverse fields tackling issues that are relevant to average Joes/Janes. I think people trying to break away from THE traditional world of work will benefit from this book...especially the people thinking of a start-up.

Jan 03, 2014 Thomas rated it liked it
There's some good nuggets in here, but mostly it's about what you might expect from reading the description. The book is composed of a set of "essays" and interviews across a range of people (most creative types, entrepreneurs, consultants, etc.). I've long since learned that these things can get repetitive and come off as collections of sound-bites and aphorisms, but the reality is that there's usually some truth buried in there. If you can extract it from this or if it simply motivates you to ...more
Aug 27, 2014 Shavior rated it liked it
This is a good enough book. I think the biggest benefit that the folks at 99u have to offer is their understanding of the appropriate format for this type of thing. The length (short) and organization (individual essays) allow you to get from it just what you need, when you need it, and quickly. If you're an entrepreneur, it's not going to leave you in awe, but it might help keep you moving forward and tweak a few things.
Nov 25, 2014 Suhrob rated it it was ok
A bunch of short essays of the "A study has shown XY so you should live your life/do your job like..."-kind.

The redeemable part is a few actually good quotes.

Using a Thiel-like 2 by 2 analysis, the book epitomizes the "indeterminate optimistic" approach to career management. You have no idea what you're going to do, but it will be awesome (presumably because you are awesome(?)).
Sep 30, 2015 Kees rated it liked it
This book was good enough. I enjoyed ploughing through it in an afternoon and it brought up some thought provoking things about my own work ethic. I think it's going to have the self-help caveat of "we are mostly telling you things you already know, but maybe if we tell you again it'll actually stick this time".
Kate Arms
Apr 14, 2014 Kate Arms rated it it was ok
If you have read much about managing a 21st century creative career, this will feel redundant. However, the essays are quick, easy reads, and serve as a fine introduction to topics that would be better served in greater depth. But, if you are new to entrepreneurship, this isn't a bad place to start.
Aug 19, 2015 Najela rated it really liked it
I finished listening to this in audio book. I liked this one a lot more because it seemed more practical. there are still some essays that stood out to me and the advice seemed more accessible and easy to incorporate into one's life without a completely overall.
Jan 21, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it
- Started a new job managing a small team of creatives.
- Struggled.
- Read this on recommendation, despite strong dislike of wishy washy self help.
- Fixed.

Strongly recommend to anyone new to a full-time creative job or leading a team of creatives. Some of it is a bit wah, for sure, but there are some diamond bits of writing in there from people who know where you are.
Nov 24, 2014 Jared rated it really liked it
It was an enjoyable read that was quick and to the point. I enjoy the perspectives of the various contributors. Overall it was a good reminder of some basic things and a nice perspective on your career.
Donna Alward
Feb 19, 2014 Donna Alward rated it really liked it
LOVED the opening and the "Free Radical" definition. Towards the end, the practical application fell off a bit for me, but definitely worth a read. Both 99U books I've read this mornth were worthwhile.
Daniel Wieser
Apr 21, 2016 Daniel Wieser rated it really liked it
The right book to get you going.
Includes many topics, e.g. "Collaboration", "Keeping a Journal", "Taking Risks" etc. Interesting to read and a nice book to read from time to time.
Abhi Yerra
Aug 05, 2014 Abhi Yerra rated it it was ok
I don't know why I read this book. Seems like there was some advice which seemed reasonable but overall it could be grabbed by reading Thinking Fast and Slow or 4 Hour Work Week.
Konstantin Antypenko
Sep 26, 2015 Konstantin Antypenko rated it really liked it
Interesting collection of advises from different authors that were involved with U99. Some of them are quite are quite good but most are OKish. Still it was interesting book to read. Maybe will try another books form that series.
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Goodreads Librari...: Request for New Book Addition/Merging? 3 18 Aug 08, 2013 10:04AM  
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As Editor-in-Chief and Director of 99U, Jocelyn K. Glei leads the 99U in its mission to provide the “missing curriculum” on making ideas happen. She oversees the Webby Award-winning website, curates the popular 99U Conference, and is the editor of two 99U books, Manage Your Day-to-Day and Maximize Your Potential.
More about Jocelyn K. Glei...

Other Books in the Series

99u (3 books)
  • Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind
  • Make Your Mark: The Creative’s Guide to Building a Business With Impact

Share This Book

“doing what you love is difficult but worthwhile.” 2 likes
“No man is an island.” While we may cherish the myth of the lonely creative genius, it is just that—a myth. In truth, no individual (or idea) can flourish in a vacuum. Relationships, camaraderie, and collaboration are the lifeblood of our personal well-being and our professional success.” 2 likes
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