Sheryle Sandberg was very impressive, passionate and well spoken. Although her speech is mainly to encourage young women to be ambitious, I find entire speech incredibly well thought out, inspiring for me as an entrepreneur, If I can relate it this much, I am sure many people would as well. Following are some of the quotes from her toward the later part of the speech.
0. It’s the ultimate luxury to combine passion and contribution, it’s also a very clear path to happiness
1. If you want to make a difference you better think big and dream big right from day 1. Start out by aiming high.
2. Fortune favors the bold.
3. What would u do if u were not afraid?
4. Go home and ask yourself: What would I do if I weren’t afraid, then go do it.
5. Make things more personal makes huge differences!
6. I promise: you will never know what you are capable of unless you try.
When I think about it, fitwow’s mission is ambitious: providing actionable tools for people with all health conditions to become active and connect with wellness/health/fitness/sports experts, FitWow provides a vital solution to health epidemic.
If you have not, please sign up to the right for our beta invite, together let’s change the world!
What is the difference between working on something you believe in, and for yourself, and working on something you don’t? Read the subject line.
I am now working 16 hours when needed and upbeat and happy to launch my startup. I could barely get up and drag my sorry ass to office and let alone staying there for 8 hours before when I worked for paycheck instead of making a difference in the world.
Don’t wait, people. Find out what you want, strike all out as early as possible. Time is at your side when you are young.
1. When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
2. I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
3. Death is the destination we all share, no one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be because death is very likely the single best invention of life.
4. 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 thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ 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.
5. Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
6. No one wants to die. Even people who wanna go to heaven don’t wanna die to get there.
7. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
8. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.
Having been out in the working world for the past 10 years, to this day that I have determined to focus 100% on my startup project, yes, I might be worried about the livelihood, but mentally I am much happier.
Looking at a few friends who struck all out, talking to professionals from all walks of life, I have come to a list of 10 signs for a born entrepreneur, here goes the list
1. You are a natural opportunity seeker, aka opportunist.
2. You do not necessarily fit into star employee, top performer profile, not even by NetFlix’s new golden standard, and more importantly, you don’t necessarily care to become gold out of sand, you care to create the difference, even it’s just molding average sand and stone into brilliant sculpture. Similar words would be Steve Job’s “It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy.” More steve job’s quote are here.
3. You are NOT a specialist. aka, you are jack of all trade: You might get envy reading high flying “director, VP”s linkedin profile and be impressed with their professional, academic accomplishment, but as a born entrepreneur, you will look pass them and make way bigger impact to the society.
4. You are extremely self goal driven, but flexible, and very curious. Your goal could be anything, it might even include evil ones. But I do only encourage and practice restriction and doing good.
5. You get creative to solve problems, be it finding resources, building product, making profit.
6. Because of 1, you have definitely thought about taking short cut, dishonest rout to reach the other side faster. But as a true entrepreneurial visionary (someone who believe in themselves to make greater impact to the world), you will take control of your evil self, and compete on the leveled ground.
7. You are persistent, but you can be vulnerable, but your bold movement (try to remember something in your childhood that you have done) will overcome your vulnerability and build up your confidence tremendously.
8. You are able to take measured risks, and move like a chess player when needed.
9. You have made abrupt decisions that might looked crazy at the time, but turned out great.
10. You kinda know how to sell yourself. One sign of such is you have an ok personal blog with decent traffic such as mine (guotime.com), rather than a great blog with no traffic such as http://busterbenson.com
Do you find any of these applicable to you? What else do you think the top characteristics for a born, natural entrepreneur, someone who refuse to give up, refuse to stick to external, forced discipline and value?
Yesterday I went to a meetup next to AT&T park organized by “hackers and founders” with no expectations but was prepared to meet likeminded founders, hackers, angels to bounce the ideas, get feedbacks and make friends.
The meetup was a great success, following is the highlights
1. The name of “hackers and founders” are HOT nowadays, and because of the name and the organizers’ reputation of getting people together, participants are of high quality bunch such as founders, hackers, product guys from top companies, angels, EIR from VC firms etc.
2. People coming to the event brought something to the table other than asking for engineers to help business guys build out the products.
3. Many are founders with product to show but the meetup does not “feature” any demo, making the environment much less intense, much more open.
4. People were very consciously providing the feedbacks for others, while getting feedbacks in return.
5. I would ask questions to other founders who already launched, such as “what would you do if you have your product 90% done?”.
6. Out of 100+ attendees, I spoke to 20+ of them, got their cards, and told them that I would send them a beta invite when we launch soon.
To an early startup founder like me, this likeminded people circle is a very nurturing environment. While I strived to become helpful to them, my goal is clear: to get early feedbacks from my potential audiences (anyone wanting to have an active, outdoorsy and healthy lifestyle is my potential audience), to build interest with them and angels. Put them on my beta launch list. If I can invite 20 people from every event I go, by the time I launch soon, I would have a couple hundred passionate, nurturing people who are open to embrace a new product. That is invaluable to me.
I talked to the Laura Nelson, one of the organizers about the long term goal of this “organization”, or “meetup”. Laura made it clear that organization serves very early startups/founders that are still too early for more established incubators funds such as ycombinator. The meetup serves as a “give-back” AND marketing channel to connect startups in need and build following, the real deal is the funding conference where selected early startups are brought to pitch connected angels.
While chatting, we all agreed the single most important criteria is the crowd. A wrong crowd would turn away the right one. Just like startups, having a clear audience is key to the success of a great meetup.
I want to thank following people I have met for sharing the ideas with me:
Laura Nelson, co founder, hackers and founders meetup
Jordan Kanarek: a rockstar like designer and story teller, from duckduckgo.com, one of kind, very successful search engine
Alessandro Santo: a VC from DPI Xel venture
Akshay Arabolu, founder, getcomparisons.com
JD Leonard, founder CEO, TextbookMadness.com
Laura Rodriguez, staffing consultant, meetup organizer
Andrew Zimmer, Mobile developer of an awesome iPhone app called dog whistle
Chris Mardelli: a law student in process to build his first web product
Suzanne Yada, a dynamic web producer
Bernie Yoo, co founder at Bombfell.com, he even took my measurement to get me join his “female-selected cloths for men, sent every month” startup
Doug Bend: startup attorney (thanks Doug for sharing stories)
Asi Behar from Pandora
Jackson G. from Pandora
Michael Seely, EIR at CMEA Captial
Many more: I hope to meet more of these passionate people to bounce ideas. Onward and upward!
I have a bad habit of checking profiles of successful startup founders, most of time it leaves me admire, wonder, and even feel inadequate in comparison. I see all these extremely smart people either have JD/MD/Master/PHD from top school at an early age, or quit the school all together to become one of their own kind. Lot of times, they are an expert in their chosen fields, a protege software developer, a gifted scientist etc.; If success is measured by how well one is doing what s/he is good at, it definitely seems far reaching to me.
I am not sure how many people are similar to me: have lot of different interests, an active mind but a bit of ADD, “know” many things well but not good enough to be an “expert”, by which standard it dictates the authority of giving speeches, lectures, writing books, publishing papers etc.
Just a few examples based on myself: I am good with mathematics, was fluent with C coding at one point, but nowhere near the level of mathematician/statistician/hackers. I like playing soccer, a lot, but not at varsity level, I don’t think I can coach a soccer camp for kids. I like playing guitar, can even sing along a bit, but not anywhere near to be able to perform. I am proficient with web analytics, but not at the level it needs to deep hacking or customizing it. I am a good analyst who can do a lot of things with spreadsheet, database that most of people can not, but comparing to best in the breed, I am probably not as proficient.
The problem is, I never feel the need to go deeper than I already went. On top of that, I just don’t feel I am smart enough to become a leading authority/force within a field especially in tech industry.
Are there a lot of people like me?
A TED talk by Brene Brown resonated with my inner vulnerability, because it celebrates ”willingness to let go who we thought we should be in order to be who we were”.
Society tells us “you need to be an expert on something to succeed in life”.
What if that is not what I want: to become an expert on something?
What if I deem my worthiness somewhere else? What if I am at my happiest only when I am feel my personal worthiness? Is it possible to still “succeed” at that moment, even when you are not being an expert?
I think to many entrepreneurs (to-be), the inner struggle is to break that curse: the curse of common sense of “expertise”, externally-enforced discipline, the strong desire to turn the table around and prove others are wrong about “me”.
I even begin to question myself, among most successful entrepreneurs, the most critical driving force might simply NOT be their superior IQs, pedigree, gifts. Instead, it may simply be the desire to embrace their inner worthiness and let it shine.
Watch Brene Brown’s talk here:
Employment based green card application is a very long and draining process that uncle sam put up for foreigners, especially eb2 status holders from China, India etc., people like me who graduated from a US school with advanced degrees.
If your company submitted your green card application (485) after Mar. 2007 (yes, 4+ years ago), it’s likely you are still in the pool waiting for your priority date become current, which is critical and most time consuming steps to get the green card.
US government does not tell you if the process is slowing down or speeding up, or simply staying stale. But it does publish green card visa status here http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_1770.html, with no analysis, no forecast.
So, let’s do the job for government: analyze their data, and “forecast” how much longer one has to wait for his/her green card.
I compiled the data available from visa bulletin board, and found the average months advanced as each month elapse is 1.1 in 2010, and 1.3 in 2011, and tend to speed up from May to July, then stall. For example, July 2011, priority date advanced from Oct. 15, 2006 to Mar. 8, 2007, 4.8 months – fastest months in 4 years. Plug your priority date in the green cell below, the red cell will show you the number of months you will have to wait before your priority date become current, by my “estimate”. For example, say you submitted green application on May 31, 2008, yes, you have waited for more than 3 years for this freaking green card, and you will most likely have to wait for another 11.5 months before proceeding with the final steps of getting the green card.
On the other hand, if you submitted application in June, 2007, good news, you just need to wait for about 2.9 months before getting your green card!
That is after average 4+ years of wait.
How much life could have changed in 4 years? How much world has changed in the past 4 years!
Time and time again, smart people get stuck in the middle in the corporate when their favorite part of job is solving problems instead of communicating solutions.
It’s a vicious cycle. Almost the only way to truly get recognized at workspace is to get your voice clearly heard, points crossed to stake holders when they come to you for answer. If said smart guy enjoys burying his head deep in the sand to solve the problem, his forgetting about communicating his findings will eventually get him, poor reviews, foul feelings between coworkers etc., he will not be a happy camper. In turn it will affect his problem solving ability, which is his core competence.
What to do? Time management, and strategizing.
Remember that magic number 1.618? Strategizing your time management using this golden ratio.
Imagine your are planning to spend X hours on solving a problem, and Y hours on communicating the solutions to stake holders (including coworkers and bosses).
X should be greater than Y. But Not by much.
In fact, follow the golden ratio: X + Y / X = X / Y = 1.618
That is: if you spend 1.618 hours on solving a business problem, give yourself 1 hour to conceive your communication and communicate to stake holders!
That is given you are already an experienced problem solvers.
How many times do those smart guy simply forget to communicate after they found the brilliant solutions? Too many.
If you consider yourself a smart guy/gal: use golden ratio.
Check out golden ratio on Wikipedia