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Ben Franklin is just one of many commenting on the connection between learning and entrepreneurship. What are you favorites?

The best entrepreneurship is a dynamic merging of risk-taking, creativity, collaboration, imagination, and curiosity. To manage and elevate these characteristics, entrepreneurs need to constantly, steadily, and voraciously learn. The higher entrepreneurs build stock in these qualities, the higher their companies and fortunes can rise. There is a wealth of philosophy about education and entrepreneurship, and a goldmine of rich language describing it. These quotes are for, about, and inspiring to entrepreneurs with a boundless appetite for knowledge:     

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”—Benjamin Franklin

“Education is not the piling on of learning, information, data, facts, skills, or abilities — that’s training or instruction — but is rather making visible what is hidden as a seed.”—Thomas Moore

“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.”—William Pollard

“For the sole true end of education is simply this: to teach men how to learn for themselves; and whatever instruction fails to do this is effort spent in vain.”—Dorothy L. Sayers

“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”—Jim Rohn

“As an entrepreneur, you never stop learning.”—Daymond John

“Failure is a great teacher, and I think when you make mistakes and you recover from them and you treat them as valuable learning experiences, then you’ve got something to share.”—Steve Harvey

“All children start their school careers with sparkling imaginations, fertile minds, and a willingness to take risks with what they think.”—Sir Ken Robinson

“Growing up in a group home, and with an undiagnosed learning disability to boot, the odds of success were not on my side. But when I joined the high school football team, I learned the value of discipline, focus, persistence, and teamwork — all skills that have proven vital to my career as a C.E.O. and social entrepreneur.”—Darell Hammond

“One of the reasons people stop learning is that they become less and less willing to risk failure.”—John W. Gardner

“It is a truism that is nonetheless rarely acknowledged in formal education that failure is a necessary step on the road to success and innovation.”—Laura Fleming

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”—Steve Jobs

“It’s not about money or connections. It’s the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone when it comes to your business. And if it fails, you learn from what happened and do a better job next time.”—Mark Cuban

“Since we live in an age of innovation, a practical education must prepare a man for work that does not yet exist and cannot yet be clearly defined.”—Peter F. Drucker

“The essence of teaching is to make learning contagious, to have one idea spark another.” —Marva Collins

These are, of course, only some of the quotes concerning learning and entrepreneurship. What do you see as the connection between a thirst for knowledge and a hunger to innovate? Is this inspiring? Do you have any favorites you would like to add to the list? We would love to hear from you. Leave your comments below.

 

Travelling quickly through a city.

Every entrepreneur strives for speed and effectiveness. With the right tools, every entrepreneur can increase their speed and effectiveness. In the modern day, the number of tools available is so plentiful that no one knows which are significant enough to use. Here are a few of the tools that have been tested by us and found to speed up some of our processes.

Faster Processes:

Video Speed Controller – How often do you watch videos for research? This extension allows HTML5 videos (including Udemy and YouTube) to have a viewing speed of your choice between 0.07 and 64.0 times the normal viewing speed of a video. Watching videos at x2 speed, or up to x4 may be reasonable depending on the speaker. It is possible to complete several hours’ worth of research at a fraction of the time. If you are a fast reader you may be able to turn on captions and watch a video at speeds faster than the speaker can articulate.

Feedly – If your work requires research from a lot of different sources, why not collect them and have them displayed to you every morning? Feedly allows you to follow multiple sources and have them displayed every day by category. This app can inform a viewer of all the industry-specific news they need in record time. Feedly can be remarkably useful for getting information quickly in the morning.

Evernote – This is a note-taking tool that can be accessed quickly that can synchronize with communication apps like Slack or CRMs like SalesForce. Evernote can also allow you to quickly scan and share documents or clips of articles from the web. With this sharing feature, Evernote can effectively help teams sync up bursts of inspiration.

Faster Commands:

Quicksilver – Set up quick “verbs” to use different programs with quick speed. With Quicksilver a user can type “Call Dad” and have the computer look into the contact information and dial the number for you. This tool is Mac only. The most popular Windows equivalent is probably Launchy.

AutoHotKey – You can define specific mouse movements, button presses, or gestures for specific processes on your computer using AutoHotKey. For example, you can click and move your mouse in a “G” motion to open google. If you can think of a gesture or button combination then AutoHotKey can train your computer to immediately perform that action and speed up your workflow. If there is any other keyboard or mouse press that a user wants to use for a specific purpose they can dedicate their computer to that purpose.

Texter – Texter may be one of the fastest ways to type text if you have something that you write constantly. For those moments when you need to type, you can set up shortcuts with these programs. You can use this program for common long form responses; for example, you can set “MyContact” to automatically insert your contact info:

My Name

MyEmail@gmail.com

(555)555-5555

My Address

Do you have something that you write all the time that could be auto-completed like this?

Automation:

IFTTT – This device does nothing more than let other programs talk to one another. Seemingly this is not very powerful, but it becomes much better when you realize you can ask for an email weather forecast every morning and can post some aspects of social media simultaneously. For those interested in even more time-saving functions, rival company Zapier markets itself as a more business-friendly alternative and Huginn is an open-source version of IFTTT that you can program yourself.

Doodle – Doodle is a planning tool that allows people to automatically sync their schedules together. This can save a lot of hassle over having two people constantly readjusting their time. It is also possible to put your own schedule in the program and ask others to plan around it. The program syncs up with Google Calendar, which makes it easy to get reminders for your plan.

LastPass – LastPass collects all your passwords in a vault and asks to fill its vault with all the passwords that you use while using this feature. Anytime you revisit the site, LastPass will provide a button to immediately repopulate the password area. LastPass requires a master password to get into the vault and look at your saved passwords. By adopting this app into your life you can have a wide variety of passwords without having to worry about your memory, and you can save time that you would have otherwise used to fill out the password field.

Email Productivity:

Unroll.me – This program can allow users to see a dashboard of all their subscriptions and newsletters every morning. The program also helps de-clutter e-mail and helps the user unenroll from any subscription service they are participating in.

SaneBox – This program looks at your e-mail and determines which e-mails you probably haven’t been looking at and puts all of those in its own file for you to reference later.

Productivity Chrome Extensions:

Toby – Toby is an alternative bookmark generator that allows you to attach pages that you are not using to the “New tab” section of your computer in a customized filing system for later. By using Toby it is easy to separate pages that you’ll need for yourself and pages that you need in case someone requires them later.

Pocket – There are times at work when an article immediately catches my attention, but I don’t have time to read it. Pocket solves this problem by storing articles you might want to read later. This extension also connects between devices to enable reading articles in another location providing the Gmail accounts are linked. Pocket has successfully stopped me from indulging in too much research that might be useful at work and allows me to focus on whatever is necessary for that day. In this way, Pocket increases productivity at work.

Time Management:

RescueTime – Would you like to keep a detailed analysis of where you spend your time and have a report sent back to you in email form? If so then a report by RescueTime may be a good way to find out exactly how much time you spend on each website or tool while using your computer. If you decide that any of the sites you visit are bad habits, you may be able to gain a little more time in your life by using the next app.

StayFocused – This program can restrict access to sites of your choice for a set amount of time. This can be used for your own personal development in order to reclaim focus. If you use this with RescueTime you may be able to pinpoint the sites that do the most harm to your productivity.

 

We hope that these tools help you as much as they have helped us. Do you use any other tools or techniques for your own productivity? Please share in the comment section below!

Accepting, being ready for the bolt out of the blue is the path to a better life, according to Dan Millman in “Way of the Peaceful Warrior.”

“There are no ordinary moments,” says Dan Millman in “Way of the Peaceful Warrior.”

According to Millman, when moments are layered with meaning, infused with life, they cannot be ordinary. They are only tired and mundane if you see them that way. If you live them that way. Every day, you have challenges. You have stuff thrown at you. You are working diligently toward one thing but, hey, here comes something completely out of the blue.

Here Comes That Bolt

The phrase “out of the blue” comes from an old English poem, in which a bolt of lightning strikes from out of a clear blue sky.

In an ordinary life, in an ordinary moment, you don’t accept things out of the blue. You resist, and get angry and frustrated. You have your plans and this out of the blue thing, whatever it is, doesn’t fit in. But if you treat every moment as extraordinary, then you know things are coming out of the blue. Acceptance. Not lamenting, not inviting. Lightening just is. You just are.

And, since you are no longer resisting, you are aware as the bolt is coming toward you. You better understand its power and presence. And the more you do this, the more you can see other things coming at you, too, no matter what color the sky is. It can come out of the yellow, red, purple, or chartreuse. It doesn’t matter!

“Better to Make a Mistake with Your Full Force…”

In “Way of the Peaceful Warrior,” Millman also says: “It’s better to make a mistake with the full force of your being than to timidly avoid mistakes with a trembling spirit. Responsibility means recognizing both pleasure and price, action and consequence, then making a choice.”

Millman has been around a long time. In fact, he is still doing handstands when he feels like it. Just because it feels good. He is over 70.

This is the spirit to bring to your life. Whether you are at work, exercising, recreating, or just being with your family. You should be all in. All the time.

And this is the spirit to foster in all your efforts. Ask everyone to join you on this journey. You are here to help people, to spiritually enrich the lives of those you serve and those around you. To substantively make lives better. And don’t be misled, this is no walk in the park. The reason people shy away from lightning strikes is that they can be scary, demanding, and uncomfortable. But you can’t do anything hidden away, as Millman says, “trembling” and “timid.”

So ask yourself, and everyone gathered around you, to be in each moment with the “full force of their being.” To be a peaceful warrior. To be aware and alive.

Even when lightning strikes.

Because, in life and business, that tremendous eruption of electricity is where all the good stuff is: the best ideas, the greatest strategies, all of the raw, unharnessed energy.

It’s exactly where you need to be.

Radical Vulnerability: Small surfer on a giant wave

What is vulnerability? Though it can mean different things to different people, it essentially comes down to being brave enough to be yourself. And that means being your whole self, including weaknesses and strengths. All the energy you spend projecting an image of strength and invulnerability becomes a mask that insulates you from the real world.

If you are an entrepreneur, you don’t want anything getting between you and the real world. That’s where all the solutions are.

The Emotional Impact of Being Authentic

Being authentic is what helps you connect emotionally with your team. Truth and authenticity are at the foundation of vulnerability. If you show your team your humanity, your genuine heart, they will know that you trust yourself and that they can trust the organization.  

One way to do this is to illuminate your flaws rather than try to hide them away. Be willing to admit mistakes. Understand your strengths and weaknesses and be willing to get support where you need it. This means, instead of projecting confidence, being confident enough to be uncomfortable.

It also means having the ability to be self-aware. Often, the people and situations that bother you the most, the ones that really electrify the negative feedback loop in your brain with repetitive thinking, are places you need the most work. For example, maybe you label someone as a bullshitter. That person really bugs you, and you hate doing business with him. If you look inside, maybe you will see there is a part of yourself that is willing to be less than honest in certain high pressure situations. Maybe you’re the bullshitter! If you take steps to deal with that then you won’t have to plug in and give energy to every dishonest person you run into.

Shame Is an Organizational Virus

When you are willing to look at your own flaws, your team can admit their own mistakes. Everyone makes errors. Why not let them live in the open where they can be learned from? Shame is a terrible organizational virus that mutes voices, making team members less bold and less able to suggest big ideas.

Of course, you work in a demanding environment, and being vulnerable and willing to accept who you truly are does not mean you are willing to accept mediocrity. In fact, it’s the opposite. When you challenge yourself and your team to be fully vulnerable and driven while building solutions for clients, you build an organization that has the best chance of dynamically moving forward. Being a radically vulnerable leader is the optimal strategy to becoming a successful business leader.

Four photos show a woman reading, a mother hugging her child, a successful business meeting and a man working out. These are all ways to connect the dots.

Fortune magazine released their 40 Under 40 list recently with a diverse list ranging in race, gender, nationality, and industry. Notable influencers that were given the honor include filmmakers like Jordan Peele, who was the first black screenwriter to win an Oscar in the screenplay category in 2018, and Executives like Dhivya Suryadevara, 39, who was the first female Chief Financial Officer of GM. What makes these visionaries amazing isn’t their skin color or gender. Instead, they are being celebrated for the obstacles they have had to overcome. Below is wisdom from another thought leader, who has empowered over 50 million people from 100 countries through his work. Tony Robbins has a roadmap to almost every subject area relevant to CEOs, artists, executives, and more. Below are pieces of advice from Tony that could help inspire you to become as influential as Jordan Peele or Dhivya Suryadevara in your circles.

Take Care of Your Body and Mind

Tony recommends reading 30 minutes a day to boost mental growth. But he doesn’t suggest reading only your favorite graphic novel or romantic fiction. Instead, he wants you to read something that will make you think critically. In his own words, “Scrolling through social media doesn’t count.”

Don’t just exercise your brain. Get your heart pumping, too! He suggests, at a minimum, exercising 5 days a week with your heart racing for 10 minutes. What you do to get your body moving is up to you, and be sure to consult with a doctor if you have any health concerns. Combining physical and mental exercise will go hand in hand in your personal development.

Expand Your Sphere

You may find yourself tempted to lower your self-worth by associating with people you think are at your level or lower because they are comfortable to you. But this won’t help you grow. Find people who have what you want, and associate with them. It’s up to you whether this means a casual “hello” and slowly building up to more small talk, or straight up asking them for their advice on your mutual fields. As Tony says, “if you play someone at your level or below, you never stretch yourself. No stretch, no improvement….Yes, staying in an environment where you feel like you’re not good enough can be tough, but hold on – it’ll pay off in the long run.”

In Giving We Receive

Try to help someone every week for 2–3 minutes, or break it into 10 minutes per month. It’s that simple. Tony recommends providing food, conversation, or your problem-solving skills. You could also try to be kind when you’re stuck in traffic. For example, let cars into your lane when they need to change lanes. Or return the grocery cart for the elderly person who cannot return it. Tony’s “secret to living is giving. It’s truly the secret for how to feel happy.”

The power of now when overwhelmed in business and life

At some point or another, most people have felt completely overwhelmed in their business and personal lives. It is completely normal and human to feel disoriented and completely alone in the face of a setback, yet it remains uniquely devastating for each individual who faces failure and loss. Even though you know everyone goes through similar challenges, for you it is happening on a grand stage and is monumental in scope and duration.

It will not take much imagination to think back to a time you felt this way. For most people, it is something that can be recalled in vivid detail, as if a camera has recorded every nuance of light and language. Though it can’t possibly be true, it seems like it often happens on a dark, rainy day. Or maybe that’s just how the soul feels.

Taking Personal Inventory

There are, of course, dozens of ways to respond to business and personal destruction and trauma. One imperative step to take is to take a personal inventory. Where has your energy been leading up to the failure? Have you been grasping at things you can’t change such as rethinking the past or putting all your energy into some future hope or goal? Maybe you are not being present enough in your business efforts or your personal relationships? Maybe both.

Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” talks about committing to the present moment, to spend less time looking back and projecting forward. The author urges you to commit to the moment that is in front of you.

For those in business, there are opportunities lost by not being present. Every time you are lost in a past conversation or challenge other than the one that is right in front of you, there is a possibility you are going to miss something important. You need to have keen, piercing vision, and every single piece of missed information, or dropped data, is going to weaken your vision. Anything that goes unseen might just make it impossible to succeed.

Getting punched in the face is part of what happens when you take on big challenges, but you would never walk into a boxing ring thinking about your last failure. You have to be totally present and alive to see the punches coming in order to know when to defend and when to strike.

What Does It Mean To Be a Human Being?

Think about what it means to be a human being. You come into this world naked with nothing, and you leave it the same way. Tolle says the secret of life is to “die before you die.” 

It is imperative to become aware of who you are in any given moment. You have to awaken to your subconscious responses to any given situation, and then to let go of them. When you become aware of your emotional responses, you acknowledge them without letting them make decisions for you. You miss critical things when you don’t.

“Be at least as interested in what goes on inside you as what happens outside. If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place,” says Tolle. Even if it is raining outside, it doesn’t have to cloud your mind, your soul and your decisions.

The way to be a true entrepreneur is to be open, honest, and vulnerable in the moment right in front of you. Energized, aware, and alive, you live in the moment, in the now. Then, all of your personal and business growth can happen organically, steadily and slowly from that place.

So be humble and open to learning every day. Surround yourself with people willing to be challenged, who are authentic and open and alive. And build ways to make the lives of your clients, employees, friends, and family better. Step into the now.

Sleep is good for everyone, CEO and baby too

Brandon Frere famously made himself a promise that when he ran his own business he would never set an alarm clock. How did he know that getting enough sleep was a wholly rational decision that was both good for him, and—because he is responsible for hundreds of employees and thousands of clients—good for those around him?

Feeling Lonely and Isolated? Take a Nap

Recent research from UC Berkeley shows that sleep deprived people feel lonelier and less inclined to social engagement. Unrested people live with the same sort of isolation as those with social anxiety. Even worse, well-rested people feel lonely after a brief encounter with a sleep deprived person. This creates a sort of social isolating virus that infects wider and wider circles.

Another study by the Rand Corporation quantified the loss to the American economy due to sleep deprivation at $411 billion per year. This is counted in terms of 1.23 million lost working days. Only Japan has worse per capita numbers. Even more serious, those who slept less than six hours per night were 10 percent more likely to die than those who slept between seven and nine hours.

There are many reasons why some people sleep less than others:

  • Age: Brain function responsible for regulating sleep begins to decline as early as 35 years of age
  • Genetics: A gene called “CRY1” regulates circadian rhythms. One variation of it causes longer circadian cycles, leading to less sleep
  • Career: Night and swing shifts are extremely harmful to healthy rest
  • Weekends: Sleeping late on the weekend can cause disrupted sleeping the rest of the week.
  • Relationships: Those in committed relationships are 20 percent more likely than single people to sleep seven hours or more per night.
  • Education: The higher level of educational attainment, the more you sleep. Over 70 percent of those with a college degree or higher sleep at least seven hours per night.

Why We Sleep

In Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams, neuroscientist Matt Walker argues that lack of sleep takes a toll on everyone, from military fighters and first responders to airline pilots and truckers. It is also associated with increased risk of Alzheimer’s, depression, anxiety, obesity, stroke, chronic pain, diabetes, heart attacks and more.

As a sleep consultant to the NFL, NBA, and numerous Fortune 500 enterprises, Walker is certain of the links between a good night’s sleep and optimal performance, on the playing field and in the conference room.

All of these studies seem to point to something that Frere knows intuitively: that allowing the body to get the sleep it needs is essential to how we operate and interact in the world, that a good night of sleep is one of the healthiest therapies we can give ourselves.

Sleeping until your body says it’s time to wake up is good for the body and good for business. It also saves you all that time hitting the snooze button.

Adult and five year old together happy

I’m not the five year old kid I used to be.  

Still, my inner five year old shows up and wants attention. He wants to join the party, in fact, he wants the party to be about him. And he’s going to be pretty unhappy when he finds out it isn’t. 

But I’m an adult. I have a family and they need me to be present and aware. My clients and employees also require my absolute focus so that I can see where we need to go and the paths we need to take to get there.

And that inner five year old continues to get in the way. Or does he?

Dealing With the Painbody

Eckhart Tolle talks about the painbody. He says that there are old emotional pains living inside us, an accumulation of painful life experiences. These experiences were not fully accepted when they happened.

Often, the experiences were just too much to deal with. You were just to young to understand what was happening and didn’t have the power to deal with it, so the experiences overwhelmed you.

Maybe you were five years old. Or four. Or three. Maybe you’ve experienced painbodies your whole life.

These experiences leave behind energy in the form of emotional pain.

So now you’re an adult and something triggers you. It’s happened to everyone.  Somebody cuts you off in traffic or someone says the wrong thing at the wrong time and the painbody takes over, shading interpretations of everything that comes next with stored up emotion. 

Everything becomes distorted and and warped by this painbody. And you react with emotional outbursts, acting out, and bad decisions. Until the energy runs its course and you suddenly come out on the other side and wonder what the hell happened.

Not Five Anymore

So here is the problem. I’m like you. I’m not five anymore. I have family, clients, and employees that need me to have clarity. You have responsibilities, too.  

So, what’s an adult to do?

Drowning out the painbody doesn’t work. There’s too much stored up energy. It will always comes back. Plus, who really wants to drown a five year old? Especially when the five year old is your inner self.

Be Present

The option is to be present. Try to realize and understand the five year old wants a say. Hear him out, give him some space. Become comfortable with this part of you. And learn to realize when someone you are with is in their painbody.

The more comfortable you become, the clearer you can be. Then you can see where the pieces fit, how to grow and where you need to go.  

Wherever I am, I have my five year old with me.

If I am present and aware, that inner five year old feels cared for, and I can bring my full vision and energy to my family, clients, and employees where it is needed most.

There are a few influential books that have persuaded me as powerfully as the books below.

The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman

I try to reflect what I learned from this book in aspects of myself. In the text, Dan becomes a disciple of a modern, ninja, Socrates and confronts death and the meaninglessness of existence to become present, aware, open, and vulnerable. These qualities lead Dan to find, and marry, the girl, and concept, named Joy and realize his full capabilities as a human being. I believe the ideas that Dan expresses about how to find joy in life can help people become the best version of themselves that they can imagine.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

This book teaches a person to pay attention to emotional responses, acknowledge them, and how to prevent them from representing your logical side. The book teaches that if some pain has already happened to you then do not let dwelling on it or future implications ruin the current moment. Lastly, try to find patterns in your brain by asking “what will my next thought be.” This will show your thought habits. Break those habits and focus on paying attention to the immediate moment, instead of being caught in a self-fulfilling loop.

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

Tony Hsieh’s story at Zappo’s is amazing by itself, but his employee-first attitude and focus on company culture and vision is particularly inspiring. Hsieh’s belief that company culture is the greatest predictor of success was an enlightening revelation. His decision that Zappos must be the best at one element of the business, then choosing customer service and dedicating themselves to that focus to the point where the company center to their Las Vegas customer service center shows how vision can be used to make bold decisions.

Delivering Happiness promotes having a company’s vision and culture drive everything. Hsieh shows how to focus on one aspect of your company, how to never outsource the best quality of your workplace, and how to remove one aspect of the budget (in Hsieh’s case, marketing) to re-invest it into a company’s primary focus. Most importantly Hsieh teaches how to make the company’s greatest strength be the greatest measure of their success.

The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump

The Art of the Deal is treasured among my influential books since it’s the one that taught me how to be scrappy. The guidelines of this influential book teach me how to fight like an underdog at the negotiation table.

  1. Think big.
  2. Anticipate the worst.
  3. Don’t get too attached to a deal, and start making lots of deals.
  4. Know the market.
  5. Never be desperate to make a deal work.
  6. If your situation isn’t the best, figure out a way to make your deal the best.
  7. Be sensational and get your name out.
  8. If someone tries to take advantage of you, fight back.
  9. Deliver what you promise.
  10. Never spend more than you have to.
  11. Be in a business you enjoy being a part of.

More

Below are a few authors who make nothing but influential books. I recommend reading every work they create or help create:

  • Tony Robbins
  • Marc Benioff
  • Zig Ziglar
  • Jim Rohn
  • Warren Buffett
  • Bill Gates