I’m a big fan of TEDTalks – they’re full of insights on everything from human nature to scientific breakthroughs to trends in design. They’re inspirational, informative and eye-opening in ways that can help you become a better person and a better professional.
For the aspiring entrepreneur, they exist to help you challenge your assumptions, believe in yourself and push you to be the best leader you can possibly be.
Then again, wading through those thousands of talks for just the right lecture on business development can be intimidating, especially if you’re just in the mood for a quick talk on your lunch break. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of essential TEDTalks, which every entrepreneur should see:
1. Creative problem-solving in the face of extreme limits
This TEDTalk by Navi Radjou is all about minimalistic applications in the field of problem-solving. Problem-solving applies to everything, since it’s necessary for innovation, scientific discovery and even social constructs. Radjou introduces the demands and advantages of extreme limitation when it comes to problem-solving.
For the entrepreneur, this means working with limited capital, resources and time. The constraints are high, so it seems more difficult, but it actually drives greater degrees of innovation. This talk is perfect for when you feel like you’re up against the wall with almost nothing to work with.
2. How great leaders inspire action
This TEDTalk by Simon Sinek explores the idea of leadership and why some people are better at inspiring action than others.
Starting with examples from Martin Luther King’s leadership in the Civil Rights Movement to Apple’s leadership in the business world, Sinek examines certain patterns that seemingly predict the success rates of various leaders.
One line in the TEDTalk speaks particularly strongly to entrepreneurs: “People don’t buy what you do. People buy why you do it.” For entrepreneurs attempting to become industry leaders in their own right, fundamentally understanding this principle is a necessity. Watch Sinek’s TEDTalk for a more thorough exploration of this idea, with real examples.
Related: Host a TED Talk Viewing Party
3. The single biggest reason why start-ups succeed
Bill Gross attempts in this TEDTalk to quantify all the reasons why one start-up might be more successful than another.
As a serial entrepreneur and a mentor for other start-ups, Gross has had much experience in the business world. He’s seen great businesses fail and questionable businesses succeed, and this experience drove him to quantify exactly why these differences exist.
Gross measures each start-up in terms of the strength of the idea, the timing of the company launch, the team leading the business, access to capital and the overall business model.
What he found was that one factor led to success more than any other – and that’s timing. It’s a must watch for any business owner.
4. Do what you love (No excuses!)
Gary Vaynerchuk offers a relatively simple premise, given away by its title, in this TEDTalk. If you’re the type of person who likes to scan through articles for a single nugget or takeaway, there’s no need to watch the full TEDTalk – the title is pretty accurate.
The method Vaynerchuk uses to convince you that this is the case, however, is inspiring and worth a watch.
Entrepreneurs are often motivated in part by the potential for great revenue or are thrilled at the notion of owning their own businesses. But to be truly successful, you have to love what you’re doing.
You have to be in an industry that you truly care about and do the type of work you actually enjoy. Otherwise, you’ll never be satisfied.
Related: Midweek Blues? Get Fired Up Now!
5. How to manage for collective creativity
This TEDTalk by Linda Hill is perfect for entrepreneurs trying to maximise the creative potential of their top teams. Exploring different tactics as they are used by some of the world’s most respected and most created companies, Hill examines the root causes for creative greatness.
Ultimately, she comes up with a simple set of tools and strategies that any entrepreneur can use to fuel the generation of great new ideas from the entire team, and keep pressing the company to move forward.
Creative thinking and abstract problem-solving are some of the most important features of any company, and Hill explains the best way to incorporate these into your culture.
If you haven’t already seen these TEDTalks and you either are or plan on being an entrepreneur, add these to your queue right now. There’s no excuse not to – you can even download them as audio files so you can listen to them on the commute home.
The more open you are to new ideas and new experiences, the more likely it is that you’ll succeed in your entrepreneurial journey.
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This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
How You Can Make Failing Part Of Your Growth Strategy
Here’s how you can make failing forward part of your growth strategy.
The concept of ‘fail forward’ basically means that it’s okay to fail as long as you learn from your mistakes. Once you shift your mindset regarding failure, it becomes an asset to your growth. What’s not to like about learning?
Here’s how you can make failing forward part of your growth strategy.
1. Take risks
If it’s okay to fail as long as you learn from it, then it’s okay to embrace the idea of taking more risks. Try new things and see if they’ll work. If they don’t, then at least you’ve tried and learnt.
2. Learn constantly
Failing and learning shouldn’t be one-offs or isolated incidents. They should weave together in a constant stream of learning that builds and rewards as we move forward. That way, we can improve and eventually succeed more often than we fail.
3. Search and reapply
Learn from each other’s mistakes. Marketing is a spectator sport — you can learn from watching each other’s brand activities — both the wins and losses.
4. Accept failure
This one is the hardest step. It’s not easy to fail. It’s not something we’re taught to do. It distracts us from our mission and it takes time away from being successful. Or does it? If you start failing forward daily, not only for yourself, but for your teams as well, you will create an environment where failing forward is accepted and embraced as part of a learning culture that seeks continuous improvement. That improvement includes actively learning from your individual and collective mistakes.
Listening To These 8 Audiobooks On Success Is A Better Use Of Your Long Commute
Commuting is mostly just unpaid work, unless you make an effort to learn something along the way.
Commutes are getting longer, and in some cities they’re up to two hours each way. I have a friend in Los Angeles who does this. He passes the time with audiobooks. Now that’s still a lot of time to be stuck in transit, but he doesn’t view it that way. He says it allows him plenty of time to feed his personal and professional goals.
I’ve spent years listening to literature in the car while commuting, but somewhere along the line I switched over to books on business and personal improvement. I mostly gravitated toward amazing people who built their success from scratch and who experienced tremendous hardship. It stands to reason that if you’re dealing with hardships like a long commute, it’s important to hear motivational words that can help you transcend the difficulties.
Here are eight audiobooks that will help grow your success, both personal and professional, on your next commute:
3 Questions To Guide You To Success In 2018
Most of the goals we set have some external component to it. Some component that we cannot control. Yet, we act like we can.
Goal setting as a concept makes perfect sense. At the most basic level you decide on the destination and then plot the way to get there. But as with many things, we like to overcomplicate that which should be simple.
Before you know it, you end up with 2 big goals in 15 different areas of your life and 100 micro goals that will help you reach your 30 big goals.
Complicating something simple. Some of the biggest obstacles to people in reaching their goals are:
- The overestimate the effort it will take to achieve those goals
- They want to go from 0-100km/h in the blink of an eye
- Life is dynamic and static goals often do not make sense
- They get so entrenched in the day to day running of things that goals get pushed aside.
What if instead of goals, we just focused on giving our best every day?
Of course, you still want to have an indication of where you are going.
But, if you are giving your 100% every day then you can forego the micro goals for a better way of calibrating your compass… using questions.
Related: Goal Setting Guide
I suggest you ask yourself these three questions regularly:
1. What does better look like?
The question at the heart of development and incremental improvement. This question allows you some creative space in which you can imagine a better future.
- What does better health look like?
- What does a better business look like?
- What does better customer service look like?
- What does better leadership look like?
By reflecting on this question, you materialise the gap between where you are and where you could be. Now, the only thing that is left is to align your daily actions with the better future you imagined.
2. What can I control?
Borrowed from Stoicism this question highlights the power of decision in your life. Epictetus said we should always be asking ourselves: “Is this something that is, or is not, in my control?”
Once you ask this of yourself regularly you will feel more in control of your life and more in control of your business.
Because your focus is solely on the things that you can influence. It restores the belief that you can actually impact the world around you in a meaningful way.
3. Was I impeccable with my actions today?
One inherent flaw with goal setting is that the goal setter often feels judged. As if we need more of that. In addition to the constant negative self-talk we have to endure we now have an additional source of judgement – whether we reached our goals or not.
As we discovered in question #2 We cannot control everything. Most of the goals we set have some external component to it. Some component that we cannot control. Yet, we act like we can.
So, instead of judging yourself, commit to giving your best every single day.
What I love most about these questions is that they provide a built-in layer of accountability. Use them every day.
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