MJ DeMarco is both blunt and authentic in his book “Unscripted: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship.” According to MJ DeMarco, “debt, despair, and dependence” are created by a ‘scripted’ system. In that system, people “have been culturally engineered for servitude, … where illusionary rules go unchallenged, sanctified traditions go unquestioned, and lifelong dreams go unfulfilled.”
He likens such system to a new form of “slavery” that is “hijacking” and “marginalizing” our life every day. One, he claims, can repossess their life and liberty only when they start ditching the script and rewriting a new script through “the pursuit of entrepreneurship” (he warns entrepreneurship is not easy, but anyone can do it; he did it).
There is a lot of content in the book. But here are my few top takeaways.
“Everything in life can be analyzed by the event/process model.” But the Script system tends to “encourage” and “promotes” success as an event, not as a partnership, or as a cause and effect principle. In that sense, the success of Harry Potter author, J. K. Rowling, could be depicted as an event. The process in which a dozen publishers turned her down goes unmentioned. The script fails to accept that successful individuals spent thousands of hours practicing and sharpening their skills and/or embarrassing countless rejections before they could see success.
A fixed mindset is dangerous. Saying, for example, “I was not born with that kind of talent” or “I am great; I don’t need to improve” encourages people to avoid the “grind of improvement,” or “risks or challenges.” They would try to “play it safe in the future and limit the growth of talent.” It is destroying their ability to cope. So the message is to try to improve yourself; ask how you can do anything better, and promote growth rather than a fixed mindset. MJ DeMarco suggests that people should never praise talent or ability, either for themselve or for a child. They should, instead, praise the process-principle. “Praise improvements, habits, growth, and efforts. Praise how far they’ve come.”
If you are interested in learning about how not to be trapped in the system of “nine-to-five, Monday-through-Friday, pay bills and then die” and get ahead in life, you should give this book a try. It contains some interesting insights, useful advice, and proven tools and strategies that may help you to change your mindset and take actions to fulfill your life goals. The author sounds a bit too blunt and negative about the current school, government, and financial systems. However, he does explain his points with passion, commitment, and unique authenticity. I find this book engaging.