Review: Fan to Pro
Steven Savage is no stranger when it comes to turning his passions into viable career options. The creator of the awesome generator site Seventh Sanctum, which I've mentioned several times on the site here, Savage now coaches people on how their hobbies can push them forward in a business arena. His first book, Fan to Pro, is a wonderful how-to guide on how you can use your hobbies and fandoms to build or improve your careers. This book isn't like any other business or career guide. Savage focuses on the things what you do outside of the office and the cube farm and shows you how to turn those hidden talents and gems into new opportunities in career growth.
The basic idea is that we spent a lot of hours involved in our hobbies and passions. In some cases we learn new skills as a result of being involved with them. Savage believes that it is in this area where we can get futile markets for job/career opportunities. Sounds a bit unrealistic? Well, the site you're reading this review on is a real-life example of the principles of this book. Doug taught himself how to use the Adobe Creative Suite so he could save money by creating planner form refills. Then he decided to drop these forms online for others to share. Finally, after seeing how many people out there enjoyed the forms, he decided to create D*I*Y Planner as a destination on the web for paper and pen geeks to hang out and swap new ideas and tips. Without that passion, the D*I*Y Planner form kits would never have existed. And without those forms, then this site and all you passionate people about paper and pens would have to go elsewhere to find ways to connect and geek out on paper and pen products.
Fan to Pro's uses a step by step layout that builds off the following chapter. Savage starts out by discussing what fandom is and how you can uncover the things you are passionate about and which advantages they give you in this modern day world. In Chapter 3 he introduces a concept called PEAK (Passion, Experience, Access, and Knowledge) which helps you to identify and analyze aspects of career building through aspects of your fandom. This further helps to illustrate the various ways that you can turn the ideas in this book into realistic and achievable dream careers.
The rest of the book explores various areas that help you expand your knowledge, put those skills to good use, and display them on your resume or in your life. Savage helps you build a portfolio, and learn how to present yourself and your fandoms in various social settings. He also dives into how you can use the internet and do it yourself publishing markets to get your thoughts out to the masses. Each chapter contain lots of exercises for you to work through and examine your life with. When you have completed reading and working through this book, you'll know more about yourself, what parts of life you're truly passionate about and how to find the intersect between the two to create a life worth living. And at the end of each chapter, Savage ties the information back into the PEAK model to show you how it all interconnects.
The biggest issue I had with the book is the editing and print on demand quality. There are some awkward sentences that caused me to re-read them twice before getting the point. There are places in the book where it's hard to tell if the punctuation errors were due to either sloppy editing or print conversion between Savage and the printer. Sometimes it was easy to forgive but there were other times that the glaring errors drove my editor side batty. Other than the production issues, the ideas in this book are stunningly original and have value to a wide audience.
I think that anyone, especially everyone who visits D*I*Y Planner, can read Fan to Pro and come away with something useful in turning their passions into careers. Ready to learn how to take your hobbies and passions to the next level? Then order your copy of Fan to Pro and let Steven Savage help you chase the career of your dreams. You can also learn more about Savage and his fan to pro philosophy at the companion website, Fan to Pro.