There are currently over 46,700,000 results on Google for “advice on entrepreneurship.”
Yes, it seems as though the internet has a lot to say about what you should do with your business or how to make it grow, but how many of them actually own a business? How many have gone through the hardship of having something they put their blood, sweat, and tears into utterly fail? While the specific answer to that requires some digging, it’s safe to say that the accurate answer is “most, if not all.”
Don’t get me wrong, some of it might be pretty good wisdom, but it’s never going to hold a candle to what most entrepreneurs could relay to you. That's why I’ve compiled a few of my favorite TED Talks that have helped guide me. From dealing with failure to knowing how to price myself, I’ve found these gems worth a listen. Check them out below:
Embrace fear, embrace failure.
Chances are you’re probably familiar with how much entrepreneurs love failure stories. Of course, the value of these stories varies, from “My company failed, and I had to pick up some consulting work” to the more extreme case of, “I was practically homeless and couldn’t find anything remotely close to success time and time again.”
The latter represents a more extraordinary tale because it's one most couldn't come back from; yet the storyteller apparently did, leading to the awe-inspiring question: “How did he do it?”
A great example of this is Leonard Kim, a managing partner of InfluenceTree. In his late 20s, Kim was in a job he hated and living a life he hated, and was practically on the verge of homelessness. In his talk, Kim shared the lessons this state of desperation taught him about embracing fear, something any entrepreneur should try to become comfortable with.
Kim's basic formula worked like this: Recognize the fear, face what it represents and do something about it (or, as he calls it DSA). And if you’d like to learn more about overcoming fear, I’d highly suggest you give his TEDx talk a listen here.
Fall in love with what you do.
Most people want to quit their jobs. In fact, it’s been reported this includes roughly 80 percent of people surveyed, according to research by Deloitte.
A few years ago, Scott Dinsmore found himself in that boat. What started out with his believing he “needed to build his resume” turned into slaving away at a job he hated, and his prospects not growing any brighter. However, after hearing the famous Warren Buffett tip,“Taking jobs to build up your resume is the same as saving up sex for old age." Dinsmore decided to quit and go out on his own.
Doing what, you may ask? Helping people follow what they love too.
Dinsmore's talk then veered into an analysis of the steps needed to go out and take on the world yourself. He explained in detail the importance of finding your strength, making a hierarchy for your decision-making and analyzing your experiences as as the catapults needed to help you follow your passion.
In his talk, Dinsmore did an excellent job explaining why constantly proving yourself wrong is imperative; he also dwelled on the importance of surrounding yourself with passionate people, and letting go of what you can’t control. As someone who may be looking to start a business, you may find this advice imperative.
If you don’t know if your "heart’s in it," then you might need to reassess what does drive you and go from there. And, although unfortunately, Dinsmore has since passed away, his TED Talk remarks provide some incredible insights you should check out here.
Know your worth.
The value of the work that you produce is probably one of the most important lessons every entrepreneur should take on. Quite simply, too many people sell themselves short, which not only hurts their earnings but their peers as well, in setting a poor status quo across the board. It’s a problem a lot of entrepreneurs are scared to take on, but that’s exactly whom Casey Brown was trying to help in her TED talk.
Brown is a pricing consultant based out of Columbus, Ohio, which means she helps businesses set the price of their goods to maximize their revenues. Early on with her firm, Brown analyzed the value she was giving to customers, and calculated that she needed to literally double her price.
Granted, she found this a scary concept, but that fear taught her a valuable lesson: While doubts and fears are normal feelings that arise when we talk about money, they should never dictate our value. Brown went on to review how to communicate your value effectively, and why your message has to be driven from authenticity. Whether you’re a freelancer or owner of a small to mid-sized business, I highly recommend you check out her sage wisdom here.