The Quarter-Life Breakthrough

A handbook for 20- (and 30-) somethings.
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Adam Smiley Poswolsky
3,002 Facebook Friends
Writing
San Francisco, California
United States
4 Team Members

Thank you for your incredible support, you have made this dream (and this book) a reality. The Indiegogo campaign is over, but the journey to find meaningful work is just beginning. 


Buy The Quarter-Life Breakthrough on Amazon
Join the community! thequarterlifebreakthrough.com

As seen in:As seen in Fast Company

The Quarter-Life Breakthrough featured in GOOD

***

My story

Hi, I'm Smiley. I’m a writer and a lover of life. A year ago, the voice inside my head telling me to listen to my heart and take a leap, finally got loud enough that I couldn’t ignore it. So I quit my comfortable, government job in D.C. and moved to San Francisco with nothing but two suitcases, my newfound optimism, and a lot of energy. This book is about that journey. 

I’m sharing my story about coming alive and learning how to make a lasting impact in others’ lives at the age of 30—for you, because no one can have a quarter-life breakthrough alone. By contributing to this project, you’ll not only get a beautiful book that will help you figure out your next steps, but most importantly: you’ll become part of a community of like-minded people that will help support you in achieving your own breakthroughs.

Why write this book?

For starters, it’s not easy to find a job. In 2011, according to The New York Times, over 25% of Americans aged 25-34 were not working. But this doesn’t mean Millennials are lazy—quite the opposite, actually. We want to work, but we want work that is connected to our values. Some of us care so deeply about aligning our jobs with ourselves that we are willing to change careers multiple times, take pay cuts, take unpaid internships, even move back home with our parents, all while we figure out our next step. 

But figuring out that next step can be really hard. After I started writing about my breakthrough on my blog, I realized readers were struggling with the same things I was. I knew I had to develop my ideas into an actual book. 

So I’m writing a book about what has worked in my own search for meaningful work. It’s a book about finding a way to make a living, working hard, doing something you love. I believe it’s unacceptable that half of Americans are unsatisfied with their jobs, and this book is for everyone who feels the same way.  

This book is for everyone who believes the quarter-life crisis shouldn’t be a crisis, but a breakthrough, a moment of empowerment and opportunity.

How is this book unique?

The book will feature beautiful illustrations, goal-mapping worksheets, career transition resources, and writing prompts, all designed so you can have your own breakthrough.

More than just a book, The Quarter-Life Breakthrough is about creating a community of people who refuse to settle for mediocrity.

This book is the companion I wish I had during my own quarter-life breakthrough.

It’s approachable and easy-to-read, featuring personal stories from an actual twentysomething (okay, okay, thirtysomething as of June 29). This is not a 300-page self-help book written by some grey-haired Ph.D from Harvard studying twentysomethings like lab rats.

What will I learn? 

  • How to embrace the journey to find meaning
  • When it’s time to quit a mediocre job that no longer inspires you
  • What questions to ask yourself to figure out what you really want to be doing, and what type of impact you want to make. And how to get paid for what you really want to be doing.
  • How to rewrite your bio to land your dream job
  • How to ensure FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and FOBO (Fear of Better Options) don’t destroy you
  • How to turn your intimidating 6-month life plan into fun, simple, and doable weekly and daily goals
  • Several questions to ask yourself if you’re thinking about applying to law school
  • When to move back in with your parents. And when to move as far away from your parents as possible.
  • If you're currently not working, how to strike a healthy balance between funemployment and figuring out your next move. 
  • When part-time gigs or unpaid internships make sense. And when to tell an employer to (politely) fuck off if they ask you to work for free.
  • How to have breakthroughs in other aspects of your life, not related to "what you do"
  • When to take a dancing timeout and blast Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” (ie, right now)
  • And so much more...

Pre-order the e-Book or paperback copy today. Please note: this is a draft cover design, final design may be different.

Pre-order the e-Book or paperback copy today. Please note: design in-progress, actual cover may look different.

Why are you the right person to write this book?

In the eight years since college, I’ve lived in five different cities on two continents, had seven different jobs, moved back home with my parents twice, and started down three different “career paths,” so I know a thing or two about making life transitions (and freaking out).
 
Leaving my job at the Peace Corps in Washington, D.C. (an incredible organization made up of people who are changing the world), was the scariest thing I ever did—but embarking on a career that makes my heart sing has changed my life and made me come alive as a person and a writer. I started my own blog, got published in ForbesThe Huffington PostThe Hairpin, and Thought Catalog, among others.
 
As academy director of The Bold Academy, I facilitate transformative experiences to empower young professionals to have quarter-life breakthroughs and realize their full potential. In my free time, I surround myself with communities of people who believe in the beauty of their dreams. I’m a mentor for the StartingBloc Institute for Social Innovation and the Dell Social Innovation Lab, which means I’ve had the opportunity to learn from numerous young entrepreneurs who are making an impact by pursuing meaningful work.
 
I went to Wesleyan University—and despite the fact that I majored in film and don’t work in the film industry, and that I spent an estimated $10,254 on an Intro to Dance class senior year—I still maintain that a liberal arts degree was worth it (although I wish it had been cheaper).

Why do you need $9,000?

While writing a book is free, actually publishing a book is rather expensive. I'm paying artists and experts at professional rates to make sure this book is the best it can be, and to ensure as many people as possible end up reading it. Contributing to this project goes directly towards my estimated production costs including: developmental editing and copy editing ($2500), cover art, book design, photography, and illustrations ($2000), book marketing and publicity ($2500), campaign video and promotion ($1000), campaign shipping and fulfillment ($500), and printing costs for the first run of the book ($500).  

Check out the great perks for contributors including the e-Book and signed paperback copies of the book, a hand-designed letterpress poster, virtual pep talks, and in-person coaching.

Why do you have a stretch goal of $12,000?

Thanks to your overwhelming support, we sold over 300 books and hit our $9,000 goal in 2 weeks! Help us sell 500 books, and receive amazing perks available exclusively to Indiegogo contributors.
Your contributions will go towards:

1) The cost of printing more books

2) A marketing campaign so the book reaches a wider audience 

3) Building an engaged community of The Quarter-Life Breakthrough readers who refuse to settle for mediocrity. An online platform so readers can connect and share their stories; what's worked for them in their search for meaningful work, and what their needs are—as well as a book tour which will feature in-person readings and discussion groups throughout the U.S.

Can you really have a "quarter-life" breakthrough at the age of 30?

Yes. I believe it’s never too late to make a change if you need to make one. I may not live to 120, but I've had breakthroughs at the age of 25, 28, and 30—and I hope to continue to have breakthroughs for the rest of my life. I don't know the exact age that the "quarter-life" breakthrough becomes the "mid-life" breakthrough, but I'll let you know when I find out—that will be part of the sequel.  

When will I get the book?

I’ve made great progress on The Quarter-Life Breakthrough so far; I have a working first draft, and recently started the second draft. The writing process, not to mention the publishing process, moves slowly, and can sometimes take just as long as finding a new job. Having said that, my goal is to be finished with the book and have it shipped to you by Christmas 2013. This date may be pushed back due to the nature of the publishing process, but my promise is that I will update contributors on my progress and the anticipated ship date.

Gratitude

I cannot express how grateful I am to you for reading these words and becoming part of this community, and to my family and friends, throughout the country and around the world, who have made this project possible through their love and support over the past 30 years—thank you for everything.

I would also like to acknowledge the incredibly talented artists and changemakers who have worked hard to make this project come to life. These people include: Caroline Kessler (editor), Kara Brodgesell (video and cover photography), Bernat Fortet (cover designer), Nick Baranowski (letterpress art and prints), Guy Fox (music), as well as Sydney Malawer (chief crowdfunding advisor), Sonia Chokshi (social media specialist), Nate Bagley (project advisor), Ben Tseitlin (project advisor), Jeremy Kauffman (project assistant) and Becca Poswolsky (my sister and life coach).

Please share this campaign on Email, Facebook, and Twitter.

Thank you for being here! 

Find This Campaign On
$12,790USD
raised by 518 people in 1 month
142% funded
0 time left
$9,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on July 27, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $10USD
    THE e-BOOK

    The Quarter-Life Breakthrough is easy-to-read, and will look great on e-Book. Available for major e-Book platforms, including Kindle, iPad, Nook, Kobo, or pdf download. Now you can plan your next career move or job transition and have a breakthrough, all while you’re traveling or on the go.

    190 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2013
  • $20USD
    THE BOOK

    Still prefer holding an actual book and flipping through the crisp pages in your hands? Me too. A beautiful paperback copy of The Quarter-Life Breakthrough, signed by the author, and shipped right to your front door. The perfect companion for your upcoming career move or job transition, or the perfect gift for your friend, co-worker, or family member, who is figuring out their next step. (Note: U.S. shipping included. Add $10 for international shipping.)

    239 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2013
  • $35USD
    THE LETTERPRESS

    1 paperback copy of the book, signed by the author, plus a beautiful limited edition Quarter-Life Breakthrough letterpress poster, carved in linoleum blocks and hand-printed on quality cardstock by Bay Area printer Nick Baranowski of Kolokol Press in Berkeley, California. (Note: U.S. shipping included. Add $15 for international shipping.)

    34 out of 150 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2013
  • $50USD
    THE DOUBLE BREAKTHROUGH

    2 paperback copies of the book, signed by the author, plus the limited edition Quarter-Life Breakthrough letterpress poster. The only thing better than buying a book for yourself is giving one to a friend. Plus, free admission for you and a guest to the book launch party in San Francisco (transportation not included). (Note: U.S. shipping included. Add $15 for international shipping.)

    35 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2013
  • $100USD
    THE HANGOUT

    All of "THE DOUBLE BREAKTHROUGH" perks, plus a 30-minute video hangout with me, where I give you a personalized pep talk based on your needs and we discuss your own quarter-life breakthrough. Available to people of all ages—you don’t have to be a twentysomething or thirtysomething to have a breakthrough! (Note: U.S. shipping included. Add $15 for international shipping.)

    3 out of 50 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2013
  • $125USD
    THE MARINE BIOLOGIST

    All of "THE DOUBLE BREAKTHROUGH" perks, plus I will re-enact an entire Seinfeld scene of your choice via video hangout. (Note: U.S. shipping included. Add $15 for international shipping.)

    4 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2013
  • $300USD
    THE LIFE COACH

    All of "THE DOUBLE BREAKTHROUGH" perks, plus a life coaching session with me. Life coaching includes a questionnaire to determine your needs and what success looks like for you, a 60-minute video hangout and follow-up worksheets after 1 week, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks, to make sure you are making progress on your goals (coaching will be via video chat, or in-person for contributors in the Bay Area—transportation not included). (Note: U.S. shipping included. Add $15 for international shipping.)

    2 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2013
  • $500USD
    THE SAN FRANCISCO

    All of "THE DOUBLE BREAKTHROUGH" perks, plus the 30-minute video hangout, plus I will organize a personalized Breakthrough Lunch in San Francisco for you with inspiring mentors, entrepreneurs, artists, changemakers, and connectors (Details: 4-5 mentors selected based on your needs and interests, subject to mentor availability). (Note: Available in San Francisco only, your transportation not included. U.S. shipping included)

    1 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $800USD
    THE SMILEY

    All of "THE DOUBLE BREAKTHROUGH" perks, plus the 30-minute video hangout, plus I will fly to your city of residence for 4 hours of in-person coaching, and organize a personalized Breakthrough Coffee for you with inspiring mentors, entrepreneurs, artists, changemakers, and connectors. (Details: 4-5 mentors, selected based on your needs and interests, subject to mentor availability, and proximity to your city of residence). (Note: Available in the U.S. only. U.S. shipping included.)

    0 out of 3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $1,000USD
    THE MILLENNIAL BREAKTHROUGH

    All of "THE SMILEY" perks, plus following your in-person coaching, I will continue to connect you monthly with mentors, entrepreneurs, artists, changemakers, and connectors. (Details: 2 mentor connections made each month via email, for a period of up to 4 months. Mentors selected based on your needs, mentors agree to a 30-minute phone call with you, subject to mentor availability). (Note: Available in the U.S. only. U.S. shipping included.)

    0 out of 3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2014
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