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9:00 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Author Offers Entrepreneurial Advice To Job Seekers

Accompanying the New Year are many resolutions with pledges to quit smoking, lose weight and exercise more. For those looking for a career boost, one self-help advocate has released a book with you in mind.

With a release date of New Year's Day, author Mark Hopkins has published "Shortcut to Prosperity: 10 Entrepreneurial Habits and a Roadmap for an Exceptional Career."

"The way you start the 'Prosperity Cycle' is make a decision to do something and with a New Year's resolution I can't think of a better place to start that works with my world," Hopkins told WBFO News.

"In my experience that decision to actually do something comes from one of two places: either a motivating personal hardship, somebody who has had some really bad stuff happen to them, and who hasn't, and is mad as heck and wants to do something about it; or somebody who has a personal vision that is so compelling they can't wait to make progress toward it. So I would say in the New Year make a decision to do something."

With two daughters on the verge of choosing career paths, Hopkins began to reflect on the lessons he has learned over a successful professional life.

"Originally I set out to do it (write the book) for somebody just starting out in their career, but turns out that people turn on and come to this point where they say 'Where am I going? What do I love to do?'"

According to his publicist, Hopkins built and sold a $75 million medical instruments company, started a private equity firm, and initiated a foundation that supports non-profits.

Engineering degrees from Cornell and Stanford also jump off his resume.

"College is a great foundation. I talk about it in the book that it's a wonderful place to start and you build from there," said Hopkins, but he's quick to point out that many of his professional lessons were "not something that I ever got in college and I don't expect people are getting it today."

"It's definitely the school of hard knocks."

Some may have the luxury to dream of alternative career paths, but it may be a workforce necessity for many. While the unemployment rate hovers at eight percent, the "UNDER-employment rate" rests at 16 percent, a bulging subset of Americans to whom Hopkins would love to offers his advice.

"Build creative tension. Creative tension is an extremely productive force created within anyone who takes the time to do an honest assessment of where they are now, what their current reality is, and compare it to their personal vision of the life of their dreams," Hopkins said.

"This creative tension works in the background. There's only two ways to relieve that tension: give up on your dreams or move toward them."

The book's title projects a quick-fix image:  "Shortcut to Prosperity: 10 Entrepreneurial Habits and a Roadmap for an Exceptional Career."

Hopkins, to his credit, acknowledges his shortcuts are anything but quick.

"I talk about natural curiosity and utilizing that to get really deep into something. I reference Malcolm Gladwell's "10,000 Hours" where once you've figured out what you're prosperous about, you're going to have to put in the hours to get down that learning curve, to get to the point where you have the insights that the world is crying out for. But once you get there, it's a really special place."

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