Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tolerance for Ambiguity

Some days I walk out of class and the ringing message in my ears is "so you think you want to be an entrepreneur? Prove it." And at times my gut response is "Yeah! Lets do this!" and then, sometimes I just close my eyes and have to fight really hard to see myself in that future. But the biggest thing that I learned from this week, is that by having specific expectations for how things should work I could set myself up for failure. 

In everything there is a certain level of ambiguity, and the sooner I learn to accept that the better for my business. I'v had a couple really major transitional moments in my life, I served a mission for my church (pretty life changing!), I moved off to college, started to live on my own (and loving it) and though each of these steps were crucial to helping me become who I am today, I found that all of my set expectations were always blown to bits. 

The sooner I learned to get rid of my set expectations the sooner I was able to settle in and get things together. It's an easy lesson, and I find that I'm learning it over and over again in all new situations. But as I keep looking for ways to think outside of the box, I see fewer giant walls and I find a lot more doors. It's not the easiest thing, but the results in the end are always worth it. 

So when things happen and we didn't see them coming, we shouldn't panic, because there is always a way around it. It may be a little unorthodox, and perhaps a tiny bit nontraditional, but as long as we aren't breaking any moral or ethical boundaries we all have the potential to become the next Thomas Edison (who, may I remind you, didn't make the light-bulb in his 1st, 100th or 1000th try). 


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

7 Habits of Highly Effective Entrepreneurs

This week was so much fun! I must admit that I'm one of those people who loves self-help books, and even more I love lists of things to do. Whether I'm ever any good at doing those things remains to be seen, it's a work in progress. :)

So we've all heard of the "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Steven Covey, but my professor introduced me to a new version of these habits; specifically for those of us aspiring to be entrepreneurs.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Entrepreneurs
  1. They believe they determine their own destiny.
  2. They deny themselves early gratification.
  3. Embrace change! Be adaptable and flexible in ambiguity.
  4. Build teams.
  5. Focus on costumers.
  6. They are excellent goal setters.
  7. They act with a sense of urgency.   

So compare these with the seven habits from Steven Covey:

  1. Be proactive.
  2. Begin with the end in mind.
  3. First things first. 
  4. Think win-win.
  5. Seek to understand before being understood.
  6. Create synergy.
  7. Sharpen the saw.
What kind of correlations do you see between the two? Do you think that you could have a full understanding of one set of the habits without the other? 

There are some definite correlations: like between the "they determine their own destiny" point from the entrepreneurs to the "be proactive" from the effective people. 

Keep looking through them and see what you can find. I'd hazard a guess that they connect in more ways than one. 


Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Before this class when I'd think of mentors this is what I'd think of:

Star Wars. I am the product of a geek family (on my dad's side, mom's side provided the love for movies like "Arsenic and Old Lace") and so whenever I think of classic mentor/leader positions Qui-gon Jinn and Obi-wan generally come to mind...oh and Yoda. But that goes without saying. 

So this week in our class we talked about them importance of having mentors: friends in high (well higher) places who can help you, given you and idea of how to get where you're going, how to overcome the struggles that are coming. As part of this, each student was challenged to find 3 mentors who would help us on our entrepreneurial journey. 

I like people, but not when I have to stick myself out there. So this was challenging for me, but I did it! Lesson one from finding a mentor: it's easier done than said. When looking for a mentor it's okay to pray for one, to find someone who will be supportive and helpful. Like my professor said, if you have lousy mentors it's your fault for picking them, not theirs. So take a little time to find them. 

Once you've found them, think about the questions you want to ask. I suggest that you take into account a couple things: the personality of your mentor, the strengths that you've seen in them, and of course what type of business they run. Then (again prayerfully) sit down and have a good talk with them. It's good to come prepared with questions, but if your inner journalist gets a lead, don't be afraid to follow it!

After the interview make sure you say thank you, than write them a thank-you letter. I'm not kidding. It doesn't have to be long, and should not be contrived. Just share with them that you're thankful for their time and their guidance. Short, sweet and to the point. Sincerity will always go farther than a lot of flashy words. 

So go get 'em! Look for those people in your life who are on your side, and who you need. Then always be forever grateful to them for what they do for you. 


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

One of Those Weeks

Hey All!

Well, you know those weeks when you feel like this:

And you expect yourself to go around like this?

Well needless to say, it's been one of those weeks. So the theme of this week had been very timely as we've been talking about your character, who you are and who you want to be. 

One of the things that stuck out to me from class was the importance of being resilient. Recently I served a mission for the LDS church and something my mission president taught us about was being resilient. "Life can bend you out of shape, pull you thin or squish you flat, but what matters is your ability to come back to form." 

I think that one of the key things is to remember that there's nothing wrong about being bent out of shape. About life trying to blow you over. What does matter is if you let yourself get stuck in that place where life puts you. 

Either you can be someone that life controls, or you can control life. Granted you can't see the future, and some events are out of your hands, but who it makes you is your decision. 

I've heard it said that your past defines you...perhaps, but allow me to argue that you decide what it is your past defines. You set the tone, the shading, the theme music, all of it. That's your decision. So don't give up your ability to act. Fate? Fate is what you make of it. 

So when those out of whack days come, decide the soundtrack, pick the setting, then dive in. Life can only do so much. :)