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Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneur in training’

Sunday Serial: Seven Links for the Entrepreneur in Training

orange garfield cat stretching out on a newspaper

It’s Sunday and you know what that means — it’s time for your weekly reading list curated by me! Woo!

The Sunday Serial is a list of the best articles I encountered and read during the previous week. Sometimes they have a theme, but most times they do not. This week, it’s all about startups, becoming an entrepreneur and one thing that we all need, a little humor. Enjoy! And since the world revolves around reciprocation, leave me a link to the best thing you read last week down in the comments. Seriously :)

Links for the Entrepreneur in Training

Considering a Start-Up? Think Again. by Oliver Segovia on Harvard Business Review

Read this because: You’re attracted to startups, addicted to the culture of innovation, and addicted to doing something that no one has done before. And while you help build out other people’s ideas, you’re waiting on the sidelines, anxiously, for your own idea. Or you’re startup-curious and can’t wait to trade that 9-to-5 lifestyle of clocking in and checking out for something that will be much more exciting, you’re sure of it.

But are you? This is a great article with questions to ask yourself when it comes to figuring out if the startup lifestyle is really for you.

3 Reasons Why Every Smart Startup Is A Digital Media Company by Brian Clark on Forbes

Read this because: The word “startup” gets thrown around so much these days and I’m kind of confused – are all “new” businesses considered startups or do they have to have some “tech” element? And if they have to have a “tech” element, does an ecommerce site count?

Brian Clark, who’s most famously known for his Copyblogger empire, does not answer that question, but he does explore an opportunity that all entrepreneurs can take advantage of no matter what their product is, and that’s becoming a content producer.

Content drives everything. It’s marketing, a channel to your audience (customers), and gives you an unfair advantage over your competitors if you do it right and keep your audience first. This article is pure gold and worth reading.

How to Become an Overnight Success by Lisbeth Darsh on CrossFit Lisbeth

Read this because: Lessons that we learn in sports can be applied to business, and this is a good one.

Disillusionment of an Entrepreneur by Prerna Gupta TechCrunch

Read this because: First-time entrepreneurs believe that as they start to build their first startup and work towards making it real, someday they will sell it for millions of dollars and then get to retire. But as Prerna Gupta describes, as soon as she reached what she thought was her end goal, she came up with another one and kept working.

I don’t have my own business yet, but I’ve helped build three businesses and I’m on my fourth. Working every day with entrepreneurs is exciting, and knowing that what I’m working on will directly impact the business makes the long hours and the ambitious goals worth it. But at the end of the day, there’s always more to do. Good to know that I’m not alone in feeling like I’m never satisfied or “done” when it comes to work.

Three Years of Kickstarter Projects as an infographic on The New York Times

Read this because: Crowdsourcing has become a viable way for entrepreneurs to fund their projects thanks to websites like Kickstarter. It’s been three years and almost 50,000 projects since the site launched on April 28, 2009 and The New York Times put together this great visual about which categories of projects were funded and how much has been raised. It’s a fascinating diagram to study if you’re considering running a campaign on Kickstarter.

Bonus reading material:

Links for the Entrepreneur Who Needs a Break

I apologize, but the following two links have everything to do with being human and nothing to do with entrepreneurship.

#WelcomeToSeattle

Read this because: I love Tumblr, and every week I find a new meme that rocks my world. This week I discovered #WelcomeToSeattle. It reminds me of #WhatShouldWeCallMe, but appeals to my Seattleite sensibilities.

24 Life Lessons, Courtesy Of My Cat by Georgia Perry on Thought Catalog

Read this because: You have a cat or know someone who does. And yes, this was definitely written by a cat owner.

What’s the best thing you read this week? Leave me a link in the comments.

Photo Credit: cobra libre

Sunday Serial: Defending Disney Princesses, Flipping Community & Not Quitting Your Day Job

man reading the paper smacks another man in the face

There are some weeks when you cruise the Internet and find nothing of value. Nothing that tells you to think about something you never thought you’d think about, nothing that tells you how to turn your perspective and gaze into the eyes of the same thought for a new time.

This wasn’t one of those weeks. This past week, three gems floated across my radar that flipped three usual thoughts on their heads: we should never have admired Disney Princesses; the customer is always right; and why you will quit your day job to live your passions.

Plus, two bonus articles that will make you a grammar and email snob. Enjoy!

How to Defend Princesses, Give the Finger to Your Community, and Why You Won’t Quit Your Day Job

Day 125: In defense of Disney – At our house, princesses love yoga and disco. by Harmony Hasbrook on 100 Days or More

Read this because: You loved Disney princesses when you were little and have spent every day of your life since you were eight years old learning how these fairy tales that Walt Disney Studios capitalized on were bad for you. They set you up to believe that you would grow up like a dainty little flower and were nothing until Prince Charming came to rescue you.

They were wrong. To most little girls, we did not see them the way that we’re told to see them as an adult. They represent something more than that; they are something that only the world of child’s imagination can create.

Bonus reading material: I shared a link to Harmony’s post on Facebook this week, here were the responses:

Discussion about Disney Princesses on lamiki FacebookDisney princesses shared on Facebook

Listen to Your Community, But Don’t Let Them Tell You What to Do by Jeff Atwood on Coding Horror

Read this because: As a community manager, one of the most awkward things you can do is ask my community what they think about a product or what features they can see. But what makes it awkward is asking that question if you know that there’s no way in hell that your development team will implement any feature request that comes from that community. So don’t ask the damn question.

This is a great blog post that shows a different side of community management. It’s a great read, for community managers and non-community managers alike.

Why You Won’t Quit Your Job by Daniel Gulati on Harvard Business Review Blog

Read this because: You hate your day job, or perhaps “hate” is too strong of a word. You’re not happy with this life, whatever this life is. And you know exactly what you want to be doing instead. You don’t want to work for them anymore. You want to work for yourself and do what you’ve always dreamed of doing. You want to set your passion free and chase it to wherever it’s going to take you.

Well, I’m sorry to say that if you were going to do that, you would have by now.

In this article, Gulati has revealed why most people described above will not make the leap that they really, really want to do. Since I heard the first person say to me – Quit your day job! Follow your passion! Live the life you want! – I’ve been skeptical as to why the majority of those people who cry and tell others to do it, haven’t even done it for themselves.

How to Become a Grammar and Email Snob

And we’ll cap of this week’s edition of Sunday Serial by linking to two articles with healthy tips on how to be a better you, through writing:

  1. 20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes by Jon Gingerich on LitReactor
  2. Want People to Return Your Emails? Avoid These Words by Sarah Kessler on Mashable

What did you read this week?

Photo Credit: Al-khairi

Sunday Serial: Books, Blogging, Innovation & Reading

Untitled, Hamed Saber

In the spirit of all things Sunday, here’s a list of some of the best I read this past week. Enjoy!

The Bookstore’s Last Stand: Barnes & Noble, Taking on Amazon in the Fight of Its Life by Julie Bosman in The New York Times

Read this because: If you’re an indie lover like me, you never thought that you’d vote for the “big box” bookstore, ever. Except for the very brutal fact that these big box stores determine things like the very existence of printed books, as we know it. Indies rock, have way better service than the larger guys, but all the indies combined don’t have the buying power of Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and the distant memory that was once Borders.

This is not the time or place to go into an endless saga about the world that could be if we only had one channel to receive our books from, but let’s imagine that, for a split second. What if one company was in charge of telling publishers which authors needed publishing and which didn’t? What if there was one retailer who said – um, yeah, I don’t think we’ll be selling that one?

9 Ways that You Can Build a Blog that Matters by Benny Hsu on Get Busy Living

Read this because: You’re a blogger, a blogger-in-training, or just curious. Benny does a wonderful job of sharing what he learned building Get Busy Living in a way that anyone can adapt to their own blogging venture.

Bonus reading material: Matt Cheuvront over at Life Without Pants wrote a response to Benny’s post on his blog (with additional tips, too!): The Friday Response: How to Build a Badass Blog.

Innovating the Library Way by Grant McCracken on Harvard Business Review Blog Network

Read this because: Libraries have been around since the fourth century BC, and therefore, librarians can teach us businesses people a thing or two about acquiring new customers because, let’s face it, they’ve lasted the test of time.

This article is a great case study about how one library looked beyond the usual promise of adventure within its products (books), and found a way to renew the value proposition of what is and what could be found within a library.

Read it. And let me know this library’s marketing campaign would have worked on you.

Why Some Startups Succeed And Others Fail: 10 Fascinating Harvard Findings by Alyson Sontell on Business Insider

Read this because: It has a damn good title, and you’re as curious as I am about finding out the scientific, secret sauce between success and failure.

Best Business Books of 2011: For every entrepreneur and intra-praneur by Sarah Peck on It Starts With

Read this because: You’re an entrepreneur-in-training like me. Or you’re not, and you’re just looking for the next book to add to your nightstand. The best part is Sarah breaks up her recommendations in categories like: Marketing & Advertising, Design, Business & Entrepreneurship, organization, and psychology. It’s like your own bookshelf, curated by Sarah.

What did you read this week?

Photo Credit: Hamad Saber

The Side Project: All You Need is One

what you really look like when you multitask by ryan ritchie

In college, my screenwriting professor said that down in LA, every other person has a screen play in their back pocket. In these days of the hipster generation, I’d say that every other person has a startup, a side-project, or even a business that they’re working on in their spare time. And in tech communities like Seattle, I’d say that’s every person.

Ideas are everywhere. And the Internet makes it so easy to turn a ‘hobby’ into a business.

Are you a habitual side project starter?

You are full of ideas. You look at the world and problems that need fixing. And you know exactly how to do it.

You think up new projects and jump on them.  When you start, it’s like you’ve caught a fever — you brainstorm, purchase the domain name, snag the Twitter handle, and tell everyone you know about what you’re working on. You can’t be stopped.

But then it happens again. You get a new idea and it’s better than the one before.  You place your current project on hold or abandon it entirely.

The cycle repeats itself.

Question, are you jumping from project to project, because:

  1. You haven’t found that ‘one’ project that you really, really, really want to focus on?
  2. You believe that you can work on every single project at the same time (or switch as you follow your folly)?
  3. You don’t have the confidence that any of your ideas are ‘good enough’ to succeed?

Stop juggling side projects. Commit.

Projects, like goals, are most successful when you focus on one or two at a time. That way you can make an honest, full-blown effort at seeing one of those ideas through before choosing to go all the way or jump ship.

You need to specialize and focus on one project at a time. It’s why top companies focus their entire business on one thing, either having the best price, the best quality product, or the best service than anyone else in their industry. It’s why Zappos is known for great customer service, Southwest Airlines for price, and Apple for product (though the fan boys do help).

If you juggle too many projects at one time, you’re bound to drop one or keep them in the air at half mast. And multitasking may be bad for your brain.

If you’re constantly starting new projects, stop. Pick one and start working on it. Follow your curiosity and see where it goes. It might be everything you hoped it would be or it might be an utter failure. If it’s the latter, then scrap it and move on to the next one.

You may be surprised by what happens when you focus.

Photo credit: ryantron.

Sunday Serial: Facebook, Millennials, Failing, and Whining

sunday paper - business section

Hi, my name is Laura and I have not blogged in three four days. And last night I composed this blog while sitting next to my mom – who doesn’t read my blog and completely missed NaBloPoMo this year – on the couch at my sister’s house in New Jersey, and there’s a baby coo-ing, laughing, and desperately needs his awesome auntie to play with him. Today, Sunday, is my nephew’s first birthday. Last year I spent the last half of NaBloPoMo writing blog posts on my sister’s couch while we waited for my nephew to arrive, and it’s kind of surreal that now, a year later, we’re here and our family has this amazing, gorgeous baby boy in our life. Wow.

So before I get back to some much needed and awesome family time, here are some informative and fun stuff that’s been floating around the Internet this week.

Four Blog posts about Facebook Trends, Millennials, Failing, and Whining

Some Observations About 2011′s Most Shared Articles On Facebook by Tac Anderson on NewCommBiz

Read this because: You’re dying to know which celebrity or famous cat dominated conversations on Facebook this past year.

Spoiler Alert: It’s neither, but you’ll feel better about visiting this website every single day.

Understanding What It Means to Be a Millennial by Mike Krass

Read this because: You can’t get enough of the conversation about how the millennials are all hipsters who dream of entrepreneurship. Mike does a great job of taking the conversation one-step further and throwing the responsibility back on us – now that we want to be entrepreneurial, what steps are we doing to make that happen?

When Death Feels Like A Good Option by Ben Huh

Read this because: The best way to learn about success is through failure, and, as Ben Huh, the founder and CEO of Cheezburger Network, says, “Failure is an option, and a real risk. Failure and risk something entrepreneurs understand well, and learn to manage. However, death isn’t an option, it’s an inevitability. And before I die, I want to take as many swings at the fence as I can.”

Great advice for entrepreneurs, pre-entrepreneurs, and anyone.

Startups Are Hard. So Work More, Cry Less, And Quit All The Whining by Michael Arrington on Uncrunched

Read this because: We all like to whine and be that person at the party who stayed up until dawn working on a great project, hasn’t taken a vacation in three years, and is working too much – but all while doing something we’re passionate about, something that’s great. Whining is a ‘badge of honor’ in some circles and we need to get over ourselves and just stop.

Bonus: This reality check may make you shut up and become a better person.

And Two More for Fun

Clothes for your nerd boyfriend – Because you want the man in your life to look like the men who shaped modern hipsterism – like Jim Henson, Gene Kelly, the crew from Spinal Tap, Frasier Crane, Bob Marley, and Mathew Broderick.

The 25 Funniest Autocorrects OF DYAC’s First Year – In case you haven’t seen this already.

Just shared this with my parents. My dad said, “I’m so glad I don’t have an iPhone.” And my mom said, “That’s good. Will you send that to me?”

Consider these two things my gift to you.

Photo Credit: jencu

P.S. The cute kid reading the paper isn’t my nephew.