Steve Jobs on Your Inner Voice

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Steve Jobs


So...what are you waiting for?

Are Beliefs Really Just Masquerading as Excuses?

We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are.

Anais Nin

In my work I spend a lot of time with entrepreneurs and wannapreneurs. Either one can fall victim to the problem of seeing the world from a particular lens. The ones that are successful are aware of their lens. They're careful to let go of perceptions that get in their way. The least successful ones can't see that there's a lens in front of their eyes.

Perception is Everything

There are plenty of things we see as truths that aren't. A truth is really just a belief. We just *think* it's the Truth with a capital T. But really, it's a belief. And that means it's changeable. Why is this important? Sometimes what you think is a truth is really just masquerading as an excuses. Here's the thing.

I'm tired. Really F*&%ng tired.

I'm tired of people (including moi) using the something masquerading as the truth as a shield for an excuse for not living up to themselves. All of that potential that we keep dammed back, held hostage by beliefs. Yes there are limitations but they're not nearly as restrictive as our beliefs would have them seem. There's a whole lot more space there.

Does this sound like you? Some of these sure have sounded like me on occasion.

I'm too old to start a business. To date. To start over in my career.

I'm too weak to complete a marathon. To end that toxic relationship. To be brave.

I don't have time to write that book. I don't have time to take care of myself.

I could never bring in enough money on my own. Ask for investment funding.

I don't have enough money to properly market my business. To take that international trip.

I can't market myself. I can't save money. I can't do what I love and make money.

Cut it out.

Just stop telling yourself, your spouse, your investors anyone these "truths."

They're just excuses.

That's all they are.

I know I'm not the first to say this. I'm just the one saying it to you now. The next time you think something is a truth check to see if it's really just an excuse in disguise.

Now go get cracking on living up to your potential.

You're welcome.

Creativity, Education & Entrepreneurship

"If you're not prepared to be wrong you'll never come up with something creative." Sir Ken Robinson

Although this quintessential Ted talk by Sir Ken Robinson is focused on education, it's also highly relevant to entrepreneurship. Being open to being wrong allows us to take chances, to fail, to learn. It also gives us the chance to find new and creative solutions to problems which is critical for entrepreneurship. Our education system encourages being right and learning facts rather than taking chances and following our natural instincts. It takes courage and a good bit of effort to go against this educational training.

If you're an entrepreneur or would like to unleash the one waiting inside of you this is a much watch.

Getting Paid As An Entrepreneur

Not getting paid for your work is a dirty little secret in the entrepreneurial world. One of the reasons it's not a popular topic is because as humans, it can feel embarrassing. It can feel like a failure. Like something we need to hide. As a long-time business owner over the years I lost money by clients who didn't pay. I've fallen into the trap of either not having a contract or more often--not being willing to enforce a contract. Once I learned how to make sure to always get paid for my work my business flourished. Now I have amazing clients who pay me.

I discovered a foul-mouthed but amazing video through Ash Ambirge's brilliant post. Although this talk given at Creative Mornings is aimed at graphic designers, it's still relevant for startups and small businesses. If you're like many entrepreneurs, you probably started your business because your were passionate about the work. Creating contracts and making sure you get paid isn't something you likely enjoy doing or do well. This equation of loving your work but not loving the business/financial side of things can be a dangerous combination. Hoping, praying and crossing your fingers isn't a strategy. It's certainly no way to run a business.

Here's a Strategy:

1. Create strong contracts 

2. Have the inner will/confidence/guts to make sure you get paid

Now go watch Mike Monteiro of Mule Design and his lawyer give you all the advice you need to make sure you get paid for all the good work you do.


2011/03 Mike Monteiro | F*ck You. Pay Me. from San Francisco Creative Mornings on Vimeo.