Nobodies to somebodies

Novelist Tom Clancy was an insurance agent well into his 40s. He sold his first novel for a pittance to a little-known publisher. Today he’s one of the world’s most popular authors.

Clancy and many other successful people were once just ordinary Nobodies with talent but little or no experience. They had career interests but few clear goals. They wanted to find work that would be financially rewarding and personally fulfilling — but didn’t know how. And they had to overcome all the uncertainty and obstacles of being Nobodies.

This summary explores how many successful people found their true callings in a wide range of fields, and went from Nobodies to Somebodies. Based on interviews with 100 highly accomplished leaders — actors, CEOs, senators, scientists and others — this summary describes the early paths they traveled, the hard choices they made, and the lessons they learned along the way. This summary is also filled with stories of seized opportunity and realized potential, surprising choices and staggering successes. Describing many extremely diverse career paths, it explores common themes and lessons that can help anyone eager to start a satisfying career.