More reactions to RPGrad

I have to write a quick post on this, because it’s awesome.

Seth Godin unexpectedly wrote about my e-book today, and the response has been amazing. First, it became today’s most talked about Slideshare e-book on Twitter, and the second most talked about e-book on Facebook (next to a slideshow put out by

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

UPDATE #1: I have beaten Obama!

Normally, I keep any emails I get private, but I received a few that are just great and I wanted to share them:

“Hi Charlie, Read your ebook today (via Seth Godin’s blog). It makes awesome sense and I am going to forward to our interns here at Google Zürich.” – Jos V.

“Charlie: One week from today I turn 60 years old.  Your ebook on recession-proofing ourselves makes the most sense of anything I have read or done since Zig Ziglar’s early days.  Bless you for your great gift of hope to many.” – Jon S.

“I read your e-book via Seth Godin today and I have to say thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing it.  I am no where near being a college grad (twenty years older than that!) BUT I do work with career transitioners and job seekers and I’ve been saying for years (even pre-recession) that the OLD ways DO NOT work. To hear it from a cutting edge youngie just makes this middle-agie feel even more powered- up to spread the ‘gospel’. Well done!” – Laura F.

But my favorite email, by far, came from Kim B.:

“Charlie, I just got your link of Seth’s email blog and I cannot tell you how impressed I am with the book you’ve created and your approach to life.  It is in fact, exactly how I made it starting fifteen years ago. In 1994, I moved to LA without a job, a portfolio of my paintings and an absurd obsession with the computer.  I offered to make a free website for a magazine and another for a company owned by the son of Walt Disney.  I had no skill set, I had no contacts, just some books, free time, and a refusal to work a job I didn’t love for an hourly fee.  (I had unfortunately been doing that for a several years after college).  On a meager living I went into only slight debt to do this.  I learned.  I was one of the first.  My next client was Apple.  I went from making $20/hour in September to $100K in May working as the creative director of a major company. A year later I left to start my own company called Lightray Productions.  My first client was NASA, then Intel, then AOL and for the last fifteen years I’ve made my own destiny.  I employ artists an engineers— all over the world.  It’s awesome.  Whenever we want to get into a new industry, [we] will offer to redo someone’s website probono.  We put our link on the bottom and the calls start coming in.  I’m living proof that what you say in your book is right on.  Congratulations!”

I love it.  This is EXACTLY the kind of story I want for the next version of the book.  If you have one you’d like to share, shoot me an email.

13 comments on “More reactions to RPGrad

  1. i had the pleasure of reading the e-book myself and the advice you give is spot on. more importantly, i applaud the tone. i consider myself an expert at running internship programs (actually present real work vs the mundane crap that gets shoveled down unknowing interns) and i believe you hit the nail on the head with “free work”.

    best of luck, keep doing what you are doing!

  2. Congrats on all the buzz! From what I’ve heard around the blogosphere, I took a very similar approach to get my job out of college and then to get clients when I left that job.

    Downloading a copy as I type this and it sounds like it will be great. Keep up the good work!

  3. Hi Charlie, I read your ebook today and was absolutely fascinated by it.

    It was concise, very well designed, to the point and effective. Reminds me of something I read… “if you can make a point in 30 pages do not write 200”. I think you made your point wonderfully well in 32 pages.

  4. Hi Charlie,

    I just wanted to thank you for your incredibly insightful and inspiring ebook. I recently graduated university here in Australia and your advice is invaluable. I found it heartening that rejecting the traditional career path has been so successful for you. Keep up the good work!


  5. Whoa… your book was exactly (almost word for word) what I had been considering for the past month and a half. After reading Seth Godin’s advice for a while about being remarkable combined with Chris Anderson’s FREE (and even some Steve Pavlina), I started considering how powerful an offer like free work could be.

    But I was too unsure/scared to try it full time. Until last night.

    Last night, I finally worked up the courage to begin my plan. For the first step, I contacted one of my professors about giving a free guest lecture to some of his intro students.

    After I sent the email, I started thinking about the ridiculousness of my plan. It sounded good to me, but somehow I didn’t think it could actually succeed.

    Having read your book a few minutes ago, I’m fired up again.

    For now, I’m still a follower (I needed you to lead me). But thanks in part to you, I will soon be a follower and a leader. You created a small but massive tipping point for me.



  6. Hi Charlie,

    Great ebook effort and am happy to see that it resonates with many people online. I have to say that your ebook echos much of my own career path, when i got out of college i did anything I could and no job was too small, too hard or too free.

    One thing I like to caution you though is your ebook makes one assumption that could be a mighty flaw. Not many companies give out free work. Or least any free work that is worth its salt.

    You mentioned that free work means no commitments/money/etc. but the flip side is also true, free work is work that has no delivery expectations, its stuff not important enough to be in the priority list, its the fun stuff, or simply the menial low menial stuff.

    The trick is be recession proof AND get paid right away. The trick is doing the value add work, not just any work for free.

    Good luck and great effort again.

  7. Great work on the book Charlie, but don’t forget to link to a download of the book in posts that are referencing RPGrad. The link that takes to me to Godin’s website is good, but I would have rather downloaded it quick and easy from your site.

  8. Congrats on this ebook. It is a really profound!

    Here’s my question, and something you bring up in the ebook, but don’t go into major detail: suppose you start working for free, and you’re advocating that at some point you expect to either get significant projects or to get paid for the work. But how do you deal with those companies that take you for a ride and just want to use you while they can?

    Is there any way to anticipate whether your work will not go in vain? I know that individuals are very happy to receive something for free, but instantly balk when you ask them to pay for something, even if that something took a lot of time to accomplish/write/complete…I think this mindset is less prevalent in corporations, but ultimately we’re going to be dealing with individuals who make the final decision, right?

  9. I’m glad I checked out your blog! I’ll definitely be reading your e-book since graduation is a mere 92 days away, not that I’m counting.

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