The Download for May 17, 2016

The only way you are going to have success is to have lots of failures first.–Sergey Brin

Career Contessa: Write your own job description

This isn’t about getting promoted, it’s about tapping into the self-starter in you to pave the way for something different at your organization. It’s about channeling creativity in a workplace that may not allow for much of it, creating space for something new, something different, and something that challenges the status quo. Maybe your new job won’t be accepted, but it’s pretty much a guarantee that showing this level of commitment to the organization will be rewarded in some way.

Fast Company: 4 ways being doubtful can make you more successful

We get lots of messages that tell us to jump in with both feet, take a leap of faith, and “just do it.” But is this wise? Having doubts or sheer uncertainty can be paralyzing, and while some people might recommend that you do it anyway, doubt is a voice that deserves attention, says Rachel Jimenez, founder of the business strategy firm Talk Raw.

“Doubt, just like fear, is meant to protect us from getting hurt,” she says. “You don’t want your life led by doubt and fear, but you should listen to it, and consider if it’s accurate, or if it doesn’t have enough information to make the right decision.”

Marie Forleo: How to keep fear of criticism from crushing you

Seth Godin: The toddler strategy

It’s hardly productive to ruin your day and your work trying to teach these folks a lesson.

Better, I think, to treat them like a toddler. Buy them a lollipop, smile and walk away.

The Atlantic: Why luck matters more than you think

…According to the Pew Research Center, people in higher income brackets are much more likely than those with lower incomes to say that individuals get rich primarily because they work hard. Other surveys bear this out: Wealthy people overwhelmingly attribute their own success to hard work rather than to factors like luck or being in the right place at the right time.

That’s troubling, because a growing body of evidence suggests that seeing ourselves as self-made—rather than as talented, hardworking, and lucky—leads us to be less generous and public-spirited. It may even make the lucky less likely to support the conditions (such as high-quality public infrastructure and education) that made their own success possible.

Happily, though, when people are prompted to reflect on their good fortune, they become much more willing to contribute to the common good.

The How a 27-Year-old college dropout went from failed startup to $18.5 million in funding

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