Tag Archives: Entrepreneur

Intent of the Day: Focus on the Task At Hand

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With the holidays upon us, you might be feeling a lot like us… SUPER DISTRACTED. Unmotivated? Unfocused? Unable to get going? We get it. With all the we have on our plates and everything we’re looking forward to, it can be extra difficult making it through our final obligations. So today our intent is to focus on the task at hand.

You too? We get it. We’ll keep it quick: Continue reading

Scribbles

Wind blown.

Economic growth is important for the well being of families, communities, and cultures. Economic growth cannot occur without a certain degree of inspiration that leads to innovation. The myth that only certain people are inspired needs to be dispelled, and what needs to be realized is that anyone, regardless of their current state in life can be inspired, express their creativity, and be innovative enough to start something that can blossom and flourish into an entrepreneurial enterprise that not only enhances themselves, rather also it enhances everyone impacted by it. Continue reading

What to Do When Nature Calls

Surprised businesswoman with CoffeeMy last blog was about finding purpose, “5 Essential Questions to Lead You to Your Calling.” In this blog I want to address another calling — nature’s calling. And there is only one answer to that calling: When nature calls, we must honor it.

I was recently at a meeting with a young girlfriend. She’s a passionate entrepreneur, and I was introducing her to some investors for her new venture. The meeting lasted about an hour and a half, and it went very well. As we were leaving and going down the elevator to exit, my friend grabbed my arm, crossed her legs and in a panic said, “We have to find a bathroom right away because I am dying to pee.” I looked at her in amazement and asked her, “Why didn’t you go to the bathroom while we were in the meeting?” She responded, “Oh no, I wouldn’t do that. I didn’t want to interrupt the meeting.” We ran to find her a restroom at a restaurant next door and when she came out I said to her, “Here’s a piece of advice. Honor your bladder first, and if you do, you are going to be much more present in everything you do. It doesn’t matter where you are, what you are doing, how important the meeting is, who you are with. First and foremost you must honor nature’s calling.”

After speaking at an event recently, I had a similar experience. I was signing books and kept wanting to go to the bathroom, but there was a long line. So I kept going, and an hour later I turned to a girl who was helping me and said, “I MUST go to the bathroom,” and she said, “just go,” as if I needed permission for somebody to tell me it was okay to go. I ran to the bathroom, came back and everyone was of course still in line waiting for me. Since then I have spoken to many friends and they have all shared with me that they often too delay going to the bathroom not to interrupt whatever they are involved in. So it got me thinking: What is the issue?

If we do not listen to our basic needs, eat when we are hungry, sleep when we are tired, stretch when our body is tense, or drink water when we are thirsty, what other signals are we ignoring? What else in ourselves are we neglecting? Why do you think we do that? Could it be that we don’t want to appear normal, vulnerable, or human or that it may cause the wrong impression? Or do we think our meetings are more important than our physical well-being?

Our basic needs to go to the bathroom, to eat and to sleep are completely natural urges, and if we suppress them for the sake of what we consider social correctness, we are paying a price.

It is interesting that Michael Bloomberg, during his radio show this week, stated as one of the keys to success, “Take the fewest vacations and the least time away from the desk to go to the bathroom or have lunch.” I say the opposite. Take as many bathroom breaks as you need, recharge in every way you can and return to work renewed and full of energy instead of dragging yourself, and I promise you you are going to be way more productive and, yes, even more successful. Dear Mr. Mayor: When it comes to the question to pee or not to pee, there is no question. Make the time. Interrupt the meeting. Excuse yourself. Visit the closest bathroom.

Do women do this more often than men and why? You must all have a story or two. Would you share it with us?

For more by Agapi Stassinopoulos, click here.

Silicon Valley Sex Workers Cater to “Geek” Audience

Retro Night Dorky Glasses GirlThe United States largely has Northern California’s Silicon Valley to thank for satisfying and propelling our appetite for technology. With the job rate increasing at nearly dot com levels, Silicon Valley is becoming a highly sought after region, especially for talented young adults eager to enter the tech world. You might expect from all of this a flourishing of cultural niches, a boom in real estate, a swell in diversity. Well it turns out there’s another industry capitalizing on the tech world’s success.

CNN recently reported on the effect Silicon Valley’s tech growth has had on the sex work industry. Some sex workers in the area are able to charge up to $500/hour, and now many take payments by credit cards using the “Square”. Several of the women interviewed also discussed marketing their brands specifically to a “geek” audience, donning t-shirts that say “Geeks Make Better Lovers,” or hosting podcasts. Take a look at the full report:

Technology and social media are nothing new in the sex work industry. A growing number of sex workers have developed online presences, proudly harnessing the entrepreneurial nature of the Internet as any other independent businessperson might. The difference, of course, is that prostitution is illegal in most of the United States, and sex workers take a big risk by marketing their services online (where, it seems, nothing is private.)

What do you think? Should sex workers take advantage of social media and Silicon Valley’s tech boom to promote the industry?

There Is No Plan B: Interview With Women’s Business Mentor Ali Brown

Are you a woman who owns a business, or who wants to? Hang on to your latte. This statistic may infuriate you.

A Nasty Small Business Truth

Women own about 40 percent of all businesses in the U.S.. We receive only 2.3 percent of the available equity capital needed for growth. Male-owned companies receive the other 97.7 percent. I’m on a mission to change that statistic. I hope you’ll join me. Women’s business mentor, Ali Brown overcame those odds and is teaching other women to do the same.

In my last column I gave women tools to begin to solve one of the major stumbling blocks to making more money. This week I wanted to inspire you to put that information into action. Ali Brown’s success has made her the woman who is called "The Entrepreneurial Guru for Women" by Business News Daily.

$18.56 And No Plan B
In 1998 Ali quit her job. Without a mentor or coach to guide her, Ali dove in books on marketing and success. Like so many women she funded her business on credit cards. "I remember one night going to the ATM," Ali said. "I was meeting some friends for drinks, and I couldn’t even take out a $20 bill. My balance was $18.56. I will never forget that number. I had to call them and cancel and go home. I had maxed out my credit cards. I had been putting all I had into my little start-up business."

Since Ali had no Plan B, she had to forge on. She developed her internet marketing business and was a self-made millionaire by the age of 35. Ali now mentors 50,000 women in business. She is deeply committed to her philanthropic efforts. She gave away $100,000 on the 2011 ABC prime time show, Secret Millionaire. It is no wonder that she inspires so many women to shine.

Ali’s beautiful personality and wisdom sure shone through in a personal interview I recently got to enjoy with her. I would like to share some of the insights I gained from this special lady:

You look like you have everything together. Some women may look at you and think that they can never do what you do. Are you ever scared?

There’s never a day that I’m not scared. There’s never a day that I feel deep down that I don’t have all the pieces lined up or I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know what I’ll be doing next year. People are always asking, "Do you have a 5 year plan?" I don’t have a 3 year plan. Sometimes, I don’t have the 6 month plan. That may shock people in business, but I navigate with my intuition and my heart.

I also navigate by listening to my clients and my customers. I respond to what they want. I see this as a beautiful ride that we’re all on together. That is not taught in any business school and it’s something that’s hard to teach. It’s more a way of being than a prescription of doing.

It sounds like you are comfortable with uncertainty. Do you have a Plan B?

I’ve kind of always done my business this way, and this isn’t for everyone. It sure as hell works. I don’t have a plan B. I put myself in situations where I have to do things that make me step up. I do things that I know I want to do. It may be very uncomfortable. Once you start doing what you know is the right path and you realize that you’re safe.

I got to a point that I couldn’t stand being there and it was more painful to stay where I was than to move forward. Sometimes not having a Plan B is a better motivator. I’m not saying, "Ali told me to quit my job and have no money!" [Laughter]. But not having a plan B is actually a really great motivator. I had no choice. I had to get out there.

I see that when a woman goes after a goal she comes up against her own issues. What do you see in mentoring women business owners?

Whether you’re starting a business or you want to be a superstar in business, you’ve got to be prepared for all kinds of your personal issues to surface. You need to be ready to move through things that you may not have been prepared to move through before. Self-esteem issues, confidence issues, self-image issues, all this stuff will bubble up to the surface to be dealt with whenever you’re ready to move up to the next level. I’m sure anyone reading this will know what I’m talking about. When you’re moving into the next level, typical stuff has to be dealt with. Maybe it’s a boyfriend that’s ready to get the boot [Laughter] or it could be something personal with you that you need to address and you need to get better habits or become more self-disciplined.

That is so important for women to understand. Success requires both inner and outer work and decisive action. I find that some women sit on the side lines and ponder their future instead of implementing what they know they need to do. How do you find your next steps?

For me throughout my career "next steps" has only appeared through space and silence. You will not get the next big idea sitting at your desk surrounded by a bunch of papers and projects. You’re going to get your best ideas when you’re walking on the beach, when you’re taking a vacation, when you’re in the park, where you’re actually getting enough sleep everyday, and this is something that I have to get really good at. In fact, I have two full weekdays every week of unscheduled time, which is typically unheard of.

Two focus days a week – I call those focus days because they’re good days to focus on particular projects or maybe challenges. I’m not a sit still meditator or that’s not when I do prayer. It’s usually when I’m walking on the beach that is when I’m talking to God. That’s what I do and that’s when I’m asking for help. I’m saying here’s what I’m dealing with and can you show me the clue, give me a clue, and show me next steps. Create that space. It is so helpful to your business. You have to have the faith. Growing your business, this is where faith comes into play. That’s probably a whole other conversation. But you have to be comfortable with the unknown to let things happen.

It is terrific for women to hear how much space you give yourself. How do you overcome your own obstacles?

If you want to be a business owner, you will come up against some stuff you don’t like. You have to be ready to put on your big girl panties and deal with it. Not all women are. It’s okay but you need to be aware of that. And like you said that’s another call. Stand up tall. Go put on those Big Girl Panties and go rock it!

Originally posted on Huffington Post

To get your hands on business advice from Ali Brown go to her website at www.alibrown.com.

You can receive an email notice when Eli’s blogs are published by clicking "Fan" at the top of this page. Ask Eli a question at info@elidavidson.com. Go to www.elidavidson.com. Get your free report, How To Get Where You Want To Go Faster.

Eli Davidson is a nationally recognized motivational speaker and executive coach. Her book, "Funky to Fabulous: Surefire Success Stories for the Savvy, Sassy and Swamped" (Oak Grove Publishing) has won three national book awards. Check out her blog at funkytofabulous.blogspot.com.

Every Entrepreneur Needs a “Local”

I got a lot of St. Patrick’s Day greetings from my pals in Dublin.  Many of them spent part of the day at their “local.”  In Ireland, that’s your favorite nearby pub where you call round for a drink and meet friends.  Of course, being back in the (more work, less play) USA, my “local” is now a cafe where I drink coffee, not Guinness.  Whenever I need to meet someone, I suggest an 8AM breakfast at:

Via Lago, at 1845 Mass Avenue in Lexington.

It’s a far cry from pounding back a pint, but I still feel very attached to the place.  I’m always confident booking a meeting there:  it always has free tables for breakfast, it’s a family business, and the street parking is plentiful in the morning.  Just today, as I chatted with a first-timer customer at the next table, and gave him the Via Lago drill (you order at the counter, they bring your food to the table, the grilled muffins and breakfast roll ups are great, Dan behind the counter is very nice, etc.), I thought of the three years of odd, exciting, and important conversations I’ve had in this place.   Via Lago has become part of the “set” for Daily Grommet, for all the time I have spent there.

Here are a few of the experiences I’ve had at the place:

  • Three years ago, I met with Steve Woit, Publisher of Xconomy to ask him which startup I should pursue–mine (Daily Grommet) or helping another CEO I really liked.  Very Confucius-like, he told me to do both until I could figure it out.  I did that for three months while I raised our first capital.
  • I’ve pitched the business there many times.  One of my current investors is a very sweet, smart, and totally guileless man who says whatever is on his mind and never, ever intentionally offends.  But within about 20 minutes of first meeting, he said, “Is it OK if I tell you that you are very attractive?”  I already had a good “read” on this man (and his charming innocence) so I just laughed.  Far better to hear that than be compared to a dog’s dinner.
  • I used to regularly meet another fellow startup CEO there for breakfast until we somehow used up all of each other’s advice and wisdom.  So we just stopped meeting, by unspoken mutual agreement.
  • A respected local venture capitalist sat at the corner table and told me, “If I were an entrepreneur I would never raise venture capital.  I would not want to deal with the likes of me.  Far better to bootstrap your business, sell for $10-20M and retire in peace.”
  • My worst experience was once meeting an employee there to talk about their need to exit the business (gracefully) and having that person quit on the spot (not at all gracefully).  It was like watching a car crash.
  • I was there today with WaySavvy CEO Michael Raybman, for a regular mentoring session.  I’m going to remember the early days of his business in association with Via Lago too.

 

Me, with Michael Raybman CEO WaySavvy

I live in the same town as Via Lago and I see lots of local people meeting casually:  cops, moms, retirees.  I might look casual to them too, in my coffee sessions, but the time spent there has been anything but.  It feels like living history every time I open the door.  It doesn’t hurt that the front door also opens onto the Lexington Battle Green…birthplace of the American Revolution.

Finally, I’d love to hear about other people’s “locals.”  Just throw a comment up with the name and place, and maybe a reason why it works for you.

 

BP Oil Spill and the Future of the Gulf

I had dinner the other night with a man who stepped into the role as CEO for a new software company and then drove it from zero to five billion in 18 months.

The company’s venture capitalists wanted to grow it to $15 billion. The CEO ignored their advice and sold it for five. A few months later, the stock market took a nose-dive and the company dropped with it. How did he know it was time to sell? As he put it, "My business school professor once told me that the job of the CEO is to grow a company and then know when to sell it.

That was 10 years ago. President Obama should heed this advice. As Commander-in-Chief of a vast war industry and U.S. military troops, he should confirm that our $1 trillion wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will end by July 2011.

His decision has just been made easier by Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s announcement that Japan — not the U.S. – will gain access to mining his country’s vast mineral deposits. Things will only get uglier in Afghanistan, as greed moves out in the open, to the frontlines.

Back home in the U.S., it’s time to begin the conversion of war industries to peacetime industries. Mississippi Republican governor Haley Barbour is short-sighted, when he laments that the temporary moratorium on offshore oil drilling in the Gulf "is worse" than the British Petroleum oil spill.

What if, instead of offshore oil rigs, the Gulf of Mexico becomes home to a network of off shore WIND energy turbines and ocean-wave technology? Gulf Coast workers who have lost jobs due to the BP oil spill could then don hazardous materials suits and install this green, futuristic technology instead.

Emerging ocean wave technology that generates electricity from the constant rise and fall of waves, along with wind turbines and towers, could provide electricity 24/7 and endless clean tech jobs for workers in the cities and states that ring the Gulf.

One person who sees a future beyond petroleum is Sandy Butterfield, who formerly headed up wind energy technologies at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Sandy, who has just launched a cutting edge wind technology company called Boulder Wind Power, was also at last week’s dinner party.

As he and his wife Anne said good night, he offered a parting shot to the CEO. "I’m
going to grow my company to $5 billion in only 15 months."

Hearing this, the CEO shook his fist in the air, as if to punch a hole in the sky. "How dare you break my record," he shouted, then broke out in a big laugh.

Could laughter and friendly competition provide the seedbed for the next generation of entrepreneurs?

The idea of setting up new businesses in an atmosphere of friendly competition…at desks that face each other, is the inspiration of Thomas Frey, Senior Futurist at the DaVinci Institute. Frey is also Google’s top rated futurist speaker. In a future column, I’ll describe the daily life of these young "hatchlings" who are each growing small businesses in The Vault, a building that once housed a now defunct BIG bank.

Parkinomics is an Amazon business and motivational bestseller. It has been called a ‘Job Hunter’s Boot Camp in a Book’ and focuses on careers in the New Economy. Parkinomics includes ideas and links to resources. You can share your own success story here or email me at: AlexiaParks.com

 

The Future of the Gulf of Mexico After Oil

I had dinner the other night with a man who stepped into the role as CEO for a new software company and then drove it from zero to $5 billion in 18 months.

The company’s venture capitalists wanted to grow it to $15 billion. The CEO ignored their advice and sold it for five. A few months later, the stock market took a nose-dive and the company dropped with it. How did he know it was time to sell? As he put it, "My business school professor once told me that the job of the CEO is to grow a company and then know when to sell it.

That was 10 years ago. President Obama should heed this advice. As Commander-in-Chief of a vast war industry and U.S. military troops, he should confirm that our $1 trillion wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will end by July 2011.

His decision has just been made easier by Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s announcement that Japan — not the U.S. – will gain access to mining his country’s vast mineral deposits. Things will only get uglier in Afghanistan, as greed moves out in the open, to the frontlines.

Back home in the U.S., it’s time to begin the conversion of war industries to peacetime industries. Mississippi Republican governor Haley Barbour is short-sighted, when he laments that the temporary moratorium on offshore oil drilling in the Gulf "is worse" than the British Petroleum oil spill.

What if, instead of offshore oil rigs, the Gulf of Mexico becomes home to a network of off shore WIND energy turbines and ocean-wave technology? Gulf Coast workers who have lost jobs due to the BP oil spill could then don hazardous materials suits and install this green, futuristic technology instead.

Emerging ocean wave technology that generates electricity from the constant rise and fall of waves, along with wind turbines and towers, could provide electricity 24/7 and endless clean tech jobs for workers in the cities and states that ring the Gulf.

One person who sees a future beyond petroleum is Sandy Butterfield, who formerly headed up wind energy technologies at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Sandy, who has just launched a cutting edge wind technology company called Boulder Wind Power, was also at last week’s dinner party.

As he and his wife Anne said good night, he offered a parting shot to the CEO. "I’m
going to grow my company to $5 billion in only 15 months."

Hearing this, the CEO shook his fist in the air, as if to punch a hole in the sky. "How dare you break my record," he shouted, then broke out in a big laugh.

Could laughter and friendly competition provide the seedbed for the next generation of entrepreneurs?

The idea of setting up new businesses in an atmosphere of friendly competition…at desks that face each other, is the inspiration of Thomas Frey, Senior Futurist at the DaVinci Institute. Frey is also Google’s top rated futurist speaker. In a future column, I’ll describe the daily life of these young "hatchlings" who are each growing small businesses in The Vault, a building that once housed a now defunct BIG bank.#

In the meantime, my new book, Parkinomics is now an Amazon business and motivational bestseller. It has been called a ‘Job Hunter’s Boot Camp in a Book’ and focuses on careers in the New Economy. Parkinomics includes ideas and links to resources. If you’ve had a success story, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at alexiaparks.com

Parkinomics: 8 Great Ways to Thrive in the New Economy












The transition to the New Economy begins at home, right in our own communities. To find out where you fit in, check out: style="float: left; margin:10px" <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Parkinomics-Ways-Thrive-New-Economy/dp/1452823669/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275065055&sr=1-1" target="_hplink">Parkinomics</a>. It includes ideas and links to resources.

 

<img alt="2010-05-28-Book4Signature.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2010-05-28-Book4Signature.jpg" width="160" height="255" />

 

Alexia Parks offers online tele-seminars for people in transition to jobs in the New Economy. With 61% of people wanting to be their own boss, she shows how to tap into your skills and passion to create a DREAM job that offers you a life of meaning, prosperity and purpose.

 

Live Your Dream JOB












In 2010, Time magazine popularized the term “the Dropout Economy.” In Megatrends 2010 author Patricia Aburdene pointed to: “the Transformed Individual.” Put the two together and you’ve got the rise of the self-reliant entrepreneur who wants to live a life of meaning, prosperity and purpose.

Statistics show that 61% of all Americans want to start their own business. With Father’s Day approaching, my guess is that nearly ALL Fathers (and Mothers too) want to be their own boss. I described this entrepreneurial surge in my new book, Parkinomics, 8 Great Ways to Thrive in the New Economy.  In it, I created 8 profiles of this new entrepreneur and said: “Meet your new boss, YOU!”

In 2010, this entrepreneurial spirit is spreading worldwide. Some might call it a Global Warming of the Heart.


Today, with the breakdown of “business-as-usual,” with students studying for jobs that may not exist by the time they graduate from school, with job seekers standing in long lines that lead nowhere, or offer no luck in finding employment, it’s time for breakthrough thinking.

 

What is emerging is an economic trend, where a person is able to free him or herself from "planned obsolescence" and expand in the direction of their own skills, talents, and passions. Call it “Living your Life Purpose.”

 

Live your DREAM life? Living your Life Purpose is the movement of society, and socialmedia, away from an emphasis on corporate power, the billionaires, the millionaire managers, and the Twitter-mania of celebrities. It is a move toward the creative expression of the self-made entrepreneur. A transformed individual? Yes. A Dropout? Not necessarily.

Here, the focus is on the emerging entrepreneur in society. In future blogs, I’ll describe these 8 profiles. For now, if you can catch the spirit of the times, and are open to change, then you can learn how to take advantage of these changing times, and THRIVE in the New Economy.

 

As you connect to what is working in your life, you are living at the edge, like a pioneer. In the process, you are creating a path for society to follow.

 

Each forward step you take will connect you to new ideas, activities, and resources. Each step toward your vision helps you change how you live in the world. And, each shows you how to redefine your relationship to money and in the process, to connect to a successful future.

 

With the right attitude, and free of fear, you can create your dream job in the New Economy.

 

For links to more ideas and resources, check out my new book PARKINOMICS, 8 Great Ways to Thrive in the New Economy at AlexiaParks.com

 

 

 

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