Category Archives: Action

To Plan for Challenges is To Plan for Success

Deciding to take a plunge towards your dreams can be a scary and exciting event as an entrepreneur.  Of course with every great adventure comes unexpected obstacles and challenges.  That’s why preparing for success is critical.  Knowing that challenges will arise before you start on your entrepreneurial journey or adventure can be extremely advantageous.  Even more important however, is knowing how to detect what may not initially appear to be an obstacle.  It will also be helpful to ensure you are equipped with the appropriate tool or techniques to face these obstacles effectively.

Entrepreneur Planning

For those of you beginning on your new journey towards your the creation of the business of your dreams, know that obstacles come in all shapes and sizes.  Something as simple as an argument with a colleague, sibling, or spouse, a flat tire, a water pipe bursting in your backyard, or just about any random life event that has the potential to pull you away from doing what you initially set out to do can be seen as an obstacle.  In essence, life can and will distract you away from your need to kick-start your business idea, away from your needing to take the actions necessary to make your business a reality.

Being prepared for such random curve balls will make them easier to overcome.  More importantly though, is knowing how to mentally diffuse such occurrences.  The best method I’ve come across is a combination of two things, 1.) keeping a schedule no matter what, and 2.) keeping a journal.

By keeping a schedule that you commit to unwavering from, you set yourself up to get realigned with your priorities quickly in the event that some random life event attempts to derail you.  There is something very effective about making appointments with yourself to get things done.  If ever you get off schedule, you will feel a mental tug…which is hard to ignore and thus is essentially good.  It is good because it has the potential to get you back in the game, taking action on those tasks that will help you reach your goal.

The next method is keeping a journal.  Keeping a journal has done wonders for me in terms of keeping me on track.  Every morning I write about my goals, aspirations, and my progress in certain areas.  As such, committing to writing down your challenges daily can serve a as a terrific reminder, and troubleshooting tool to help you navigate around/through the goal-threatening obstacle that you inevitably face.

In summary, life will try to distract you.  If you wish to one day live out the vision that you set your heart upon, it will be important for you to be prepared for these potential life derailing events, know how to spot them, and finally, have some techniques up your sleeve by which you can ensure the successful overcoming of such obstacles.  To plan for challenges is to plan for success.  So go get your planning on.

 

10 TED Talks for Entrepreneurs

A fellow entrepreneur gave me a slight nudge recently that motivated me to post this blog.  I think you will certainly find value in it as it incorporates some of the best minds of the 21st century.

Remember…..    The secret to learning as an entrepreneur is to mix equal parts of inspiration and perspiration. Hard work without a vision is futile, while a great idea without execution is similarly worthless. In these TED talks, you’ll find the inspiration you need and the know-how to get it done.

  1. Seth Godin on Standing Out: What makes you so special? Seth Godin’s talk is all about why people just ignore the ordinary. In order to stand out, Godin says, you must be either bad or bizarre. Boring will not bring you success.
  2. Alex Tabarrok on How Ideas Trump Crises: Economist Alex Tabarrok’s talk celebrates the practice of idea sharing. He explains that through free trade and globalization, we are now sharing more than ever to create a community that’s more healthy and prosperous than before.
  3. Dean Kamen on Inventing and Giving: Get inspired by this master of invention with more than 150 patents under his belt. In this talk, Dean Kamen discusses the Segway, and takes a look at even more big ideas, including portable energy and water purification to be used in developing countries.
  4. Richard St. John’s 8 Secrets of Success: How does success happen, and why do people succeed? Richard St. John knows, and he’ll tell you in this talk. Watch the video to learn the lessons of success.
  5. Tony Robbins: As an entrepreneur, your choices make a difference. You can impact the future of your business, an industry, a community. In this talk, life coach Tony Robbins examines the invisible forces that motivate your actions.
  6. Derek Sivers: How to Start a Movement: Do you want to make an impact? Derek Sivers can show you how. Explore this talk, and you will see how movements really get started — with the power of two.
  7. Itay Talgam: Lead Like the Great Conductors: Entrepreneurs must exhibit excellent leadership and management skills. You work much like a conductor — orchestrating different parts to ensure that they all come together like they should. In this talk, Itay Talgam examines how orchestra conductors can provide entrepreneurs with crucial lessons in leadership.
  8. Gary Vaynerchuk: Do What You Love: Gary Vaynerchuk insists that there are no excuses for not doing what you love. If you’re a dreamer, but not quite yet a doer, Gary’s TED talk can give you the shot in the arm you need.
  9. Alexis Ohanian: How to Make a Splash in Social Media: Make social media work for your venture with the guidance of Alexis Ohanian. Using the example of a humpback whale’s Web stardom, you’ll learn how to master memes and marketing in social media.
  10. Richard Branson’s Life at 30,000 Feet: Find inspiration from Richard Branson, the entrepreneur who turned a record shop into the Virgin empire. This talk examines his career, near-death experiences, and some of his motivations.

I hope you enjoyed these 10 TED talks on Entrepreneurship.  If you have any others that you think should be added to the list please share by leaving a comment.

In conclusion, the Educated Entrepreneur is all about empowering entrepreneurs world wide; therefore if you found these videos inspiring, you could do us a favor towards empowering more future entrepreneurs, by spreading the word on the following product that teaches entrepreneurship to kids.  Thanks for visiting and thanks for your support.

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America is Easy for Entrepreneurs

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”  –  Thomas Jefferson

Yes things are tough right now….

I understand it’s hard at the moment for many to find a job.  I even understand that it is now a tad bit more difficult than usual  for many to become wildly successful.  But ……there’s nothing like a good challenge and a little bit of adversity to test the human spirit.  What I see is a great many that are still waiting for the bottom of this market or the bottom of that market before they make their move, I see many waiting for things to get better before they begin to move forward and make things better, and worse of all, I see a great many who are waiting for a type of permission to dream again.

So… I just have to say it….if this is you, and if this is how you are thinking….then I think you have the wrong plan, and here is why.  Because we are in America….and America is easy!  Yes we are still in the country known as the land of opportunity, and Yes, we are still in the only country in all of the world that has the words DREAM immediately after it.   I think it’s important that we not forget that there is no such thing as a Poland Dream, or an Irish Dream, or a Spanish Dream…..and how rare it is to find boats stowing away hundreds of people to get to any of these just mentioned countries.  No….there just aren’t that many countries with walls slowing others from making their way in, nor are there people risking their lives to cross rivers and desserts just to get in.   Yes…there is only one dream…and it  is the American Dream.

So currently 9.7% of the country is unemployed…  is this a bad thing?  I don’t know…it depends on your perspective.   I think that this can perhaps be seen as our time to shine… our time to overcome and grow.  We have after all grown in GDP and economic output as a country during this slight depression which everyone is experiencing and is so depressed about .  So why is every chum so glum?  Well I’ll tell you…what appears to be happening is this, our country is growing, but…our workforce is not.  We have 9.7% of of a country now without jobs because it doesn’t make financial sense to have them around.  Essentially there has been such an increase in technology that just about 10% of our country has been outpaced by it and can’t seem to keep up.  So as an economic entitiy we aren’t doing so bad…we are expanding, but as a populace we probably need to make some changes.

Now you can call me a glutton for pain but I think that on a much deeper level this can be seen as a test to each and every one of us who has found themselves out of work, or bereft of hope for the future.  This little test is going to see if we can be creative enough, persistent enough, and productive enough to find the opportunities and the ideas that are interwoven throughout this great country.  It’s a little test that if passed, will allow us to stand tall once again.  So what that we have an almost 10% unemployment rate and heaps of national debt among other financial woes…   It will behoove us to not forget that we are in a type of continual “Design Mode”…designing not just how bright our personal futures are going to be, but how bright our collective future is going to be as a country.  No it’s not going to be easy, No we can’t go on strike, nor can we get paid by demand…  we must earn it!  We must take off our pajamas, put down the remote, and get out there, give our best and hustle our faces off!!   So we put 10 resumes in today…now what?  Are we going to go home and eat Cheetos and ice cream until tomorrow comes around so we can do it all over again, or are we going to go above and beyond.. put in 15 more that are thoughtfully adapted?  Are we going stop there…or are we going to do more… and begin to THINK of, and then ACT on, the many hundreds of thousands of other ways that we can be of service to the community, the country, the world?  I’ sincerely feel…  that this is the only way that we can dig our way out, and be duly reimbursed, so we can begin living the way we wish, so we can begin living our little portion of what makes up this thing called the American Dream.

Consider this…. China is currently at 5% unemployment and Russia is at 8.5% unemployment….looks good right, but would you really want to live and work there?  Employment in one of these countries is hardly the ideal career plan…(at least as far as I can tell based off of what I learned in my college Geography courses).  The country of France is at 10%, and the last time I was there everyone seemed so defeated and somber I started to get a little depressed myself. (law of association I suppose)  They didn’t have the spark that we have, they didn’t have in their eyes the glimmer of a greater tomorrow….  I couldn’t sense that essense…that energy, of individual empire builders like I feel when I am here at home.  And Spain…one of my favorite countries in all the world is at 22% unemployment…..with their young workers ages 18 – 24 showing an astonishing unemployment rate of 54%!  And this is a developed nation!  So, what does all this mean?  Well, if you are an American, perhaps you will more clearly recognize how blessed you are, and how much more privlege and opportunity you have even in this day and age…as you are more priveleged than 95 % of the world (95.46% to be exact).  If you’ve read this and you are an American….It’s my hope that you will never again be able to say you didn’t know how much privlege and promise you had….because you are afterall in America….  and America is Easy!

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Young Smart and Global Entrepreneurs

Global Entrepreneurship

As a promoter of smart entrepreneurship as a primary vehicle to making a difference, I thought it absolutely necessary for me to mention a very fascinating movement that I came across recently, a movement which is gaining some serious momentum in Michigan.  It’s an association of entrepreneurs and innovators who are focused on building creative, enterprising communities, and is known as the YSG (Young, Smart, and Global) Organization.

I find it fitting to mention their efforts here regardless of where their primary activities take place (They are out in Michigan, far from where I currently reside…Arizona) because of what they stand for and more importantly because of the ever growing relevance that their message carries for our Nation in the not so distant future.

Essentially the YSG organization is a very forward thinking movement, one which is focused on revamping communities in the state of Michigan due to an outdated social an economic mindset that is pervading that region.  A mindset that stems from Michigan being at one time, an economic leader due to their Auto Industry, and being a hub of innovation and opportunity throughout America in the early 20th Century…but ultimately losing focus when times were good.  Innovation slid and communities became comfortable…whereby, most people in the community got in the habit of working for big organizations, becoming dependent, and thus their creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, and economic potential ceased.   So…It is YSG’s intention to act as a catalyst, inspiring creativity, risk taking, and taking action in entrepreneurial endeavors amongst their population once again.  One of their biggest aims is to ultimately ensure that the old ideas of entitlement and the prolonged lack of involvement within their local communities disappear.

From my point of view…it appears the YSG organization’s concerns are not just a local issue.  What seems at the moment a phenomena that is occurring exclusively throughout Michigan has the potential to appear as a much broader issue, especially when a little foresight is used with an increase of scale, meaning when we look into the future and substitute national trends for international trends.  This isn’t difficult to envision when future economic projections such as what I’ve listed below dominate the daily news:

* General Motors expecting to reduce its work force by 25 % in the next five years.

* AT&T will cut its payroll by 27,000.

* IBM will let go 10,000 workers.

* United Technologies will terminate 11,000 employees.

* Unisys (Burroughs /Sperry) will reduce its ranks by 10,000.

* IT outsourcing on the rise

And of course other statistics, like how in the 1980’s, twenty-five percent of middle management jobs were eliminated in the United States (Greenberg/Baron 582), or how in the 1990’s, one million managers of American corporations with salaries over $40,000 also lost their jobs (Greenberg/Baron 582), and how in total, Fortune 500 companies have eliminated 4.4 million positions since 1979 (Greenberg/Baron 627).

Global Entrepreneurship

So…It appears YSG is combating a microcosm of what has a significant chance of occurring nationwide at some point in the future due to the loss of not only manufacturing jobs to outsourcing, but also IT jobs to outsourcing, and more dramatically, job losses due to the advancement of technology.   YSG has it right…..in order to compete and flourish as we have in the past, we need to get innovative, entrepreneurial…but most importantly, we need to get smart and we need to get global.

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The LOSER’s LIMP

For the past couple of weeks I have been having my fair share of trials and tribulations. I’ve essentially been busy being busy and not fully executing on the tasks I’ve set for myself to reach specific goals that are important to my personal and professional life. Basically two weeks have passed since I made an agreement with myself on what needs to be done in order for me to get where I want to get, and I didn’t realize until recently what I was doing specifically and what was really going on internally that was keeping me in this mode for the past three weeks, until of course my Fiancé asked me, “So how are those plans coming along…you know, those plans you shared with me the other day and set for yourself?” and naturally, I answered hesitantly, “uuhhhmm,… well, I am doing good everything is coming along, EXCEPT, I can’t really move forward UNTIL I am absolutely sure this is the right approach, so I am going to WAIT till next week…just to be sure …” Well, I pulled the wool over her eyes and appeased her for the moment. However it was almost instantly after I did so, that I said to myself in this realization, “Wait a minute… this is a LOSER’S LIMP.” I was pretending I had a good reason for why I wasn’t doing the very things that I knew I could do, the things that I knew I should do. I read about this….this is what ole Zig Ziglar was talking about in his book See You at the Top.  I’ll actually quote him verbatim because it’s a superb anaology, one I didn’t think I could be guilty of, especially since I was aware of it….so here it is:

“Characteristically, when a person falls victim to Garbage Dump Thinking, he develops an assortment of “Loser’s Limps.” You know what the Loser’s Limp is if you’ve ever attended a football game or watched one on television. The offensive player slips behind the defensive player, reaches up, pulls in a pass and heads for the end zone. The defensive man quickly recovers and takes out in hot pursuit. When the offensive player gets about 20 yards from the end zone, the defensive player realizes he’s not going to catch the man with the ball. Everybody in the stands knows it too. So, the defensive player frequently pulls up limping and the people in the stands say, “Well, no wonder the poor guy couldn’t catch him. Look, he’s crippled.” Now that is his Loser’s Limp. What is yours?”

I figure we all have these Loser’s Limps, some are big ones, some are small ones. I obviously just realized I have some small ones of my own that I really need to take care of. So I am definitely going to make it a priority to work on them, because I don’t want to be “that person” who makes excuses or who others will make excuses for. So what I am planning on doing…actually, I should say, what I AM GOING TO DO to help me with this minor limp, is print out on a sheet of paper an exceptional quote that I captured three days ago from one of my favorite books, and proceed to hang that quote above my study room, so everyday I will be reminded that I have the choice to correct my Loser’s Limp. Curtains please…….

“If you neglect to make the start, or stop before you arrive, no one will be to blame but you. This responsibility is yours. No alibi will save you from accepting the responsibility if you now fail or refuse to DEMAND riches or success from life.” – N. Hill

So in my learning that we all have Loser’s Limps I don’t think I will ask you if you have one, but what I will ask is; What is yours…and will YOU do anything to correct it?

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