Whenever I talk so enthusiastically about entrepreneurship, a few people really feel the need to correct me. They say that positive thinking is naïve, oversimplified and at best just a placebo. The serious pessimists love to point out that nothing so simple as positive thinking can be true. My job is not to prove them wrong, because at a gut level, I just know that positive thinking works.
Over the last year I have been working on a project funded by the European Investment Bank to help young entrepreneurs in the occupied territories in Palestine. The project has been an amazing learning experience for me. Sometimes you have to move outside your comfort zone and beyond your normal pathways in order to discover new parts of the planet and new sides of yourself.
Whether you are standing onstage in an auditorium speaking to an audience of 1000 or meeting a new client for the very first time, you will not succeed in influencing others unless you are able to connect with them first. Connection is absolutely essential to communication, especially if the message is important to you and to your audience. Connection is absolutely essential if you are going to persuade and to influence others.
Whether you are creating a business or creating an amazing life, you can benefit from thinking like an entrepreneur and by taking leadership.
Unfortunately, some of the most fundamental assumptions that we make about leadership may be wrong or over-glorified. A leader is just a lonely nutcase without followers. The first followers, not the leader, are the ones who take the greatest risk yet get the least praise and recognition. The first followers are the ones that teach other followers how to follow. How often do discussions about leading fail to discuss how to follow?
An abnormally high percentage of entrepreneurs are dyslexics. Does the struggle that is required to overcome dyslexi prepare dyslexics to become great entrepreneurs? And if so, what are these traits?
Sometimes entrepreneurs have to kill their holy cow in order to succeed.
How important is diversity to an entrepreneur. Frederick Douglass, escaped slave and writer said that without struggle, there is no gain. What can this teach entrepreneurs?
Last week I was asked to join a group of coaches and investors to design and lead a program for Palestinian entrepreneurs from the West Bank. True entrepreneurship and true empowerment is believing that no matter what situation arises or whatever circumstances occur, that you will be able to find a way to turn it around, to create your own business, to survive and to thrive.
Be yourself. Sometimes we are so intent on pleasing the people we meet that we forget to be who we are. Good networking skills involve being very specific, clear and intentional in how you present yourself or your business, but mostly it involves being yourself.
As an Entrepreneur you must make many tough decisions and assumptions about your future. The problem is that you can only connect the dots looking backward, not looking forward. Steve Jobs gives valuable advice.