Here’s a non-exhaustive list of random things I have done during my life:
Take gymnastics classes
Play Australian rules football
High board diving
Build multiple cubby houses
Swim in the local river
Learn basic code on a 16kb ram TRS-80 computer in 1981.
Waste all my pocket money on video arcade games (think Galaga)
Mountain Bike racing
Had 9 broken arms (well the same 2 nine times)
Stand up comedy
Do Surf Life Saving (so I could get free beach accommodation)
Live on a farm
Live in 4 of Australia’s 7 capital cities
Collect first issues of magazines ( I have many, it was a weird long term investment strategy)
Start and sell a clothing company
Build a raft that sank on it’s first outing
Learn to speak Italian
Learn to speak Mandarin
Be a Sales Representative
Be a shelf stacker
A valet parking attendant (still my fav’ job ever… could write a movie about it)
Write a movie script (it’s waiting to be made)
Perfect break dancing (all the while wishing I lived in the Bronx)
Work in advertising
Lecture at University
Eat only frozen food for 6 months (don’t ask)
Your list is just as long as this list. Your list is probably more interesting than this list. This list that we all have tells us a great deal about our desires, our passions, our successes and our failures. It shows how much we know and what we are capable of. If we write it and study it closely it often gives us clues on the things that really mattered, and might just tell us what to do next.
It was a whirlwind event that seemed to start and finish within 24 hours. Though, upon deeper consideration the evidence of such an event was mounting. During the media frenzy last night I made a tweet which is full of relevance for this blog and every entrepreneur. I thought I’d share it below.
We are all born entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is inextricably linked to human behaviour. To explore, to understand, to invent and to embrace take risk. Risk which results in a better situation for us and our stakeholders. Knowing that we will fail, and even learning to endure, no less enjoy that as part of it. Civilisation and evolution of humans is due to our entrepreneurial nature. It’s why we live in houses, drive cars, have climate control and everything we enjoy today. It’s part of our genetic code. It’s what differentiates us from all other creatures.
The word Entrepreneur
Noun: A person who organises and manages any enterprises, esp a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.
The word origin is from 1875-80 coming from the French word ‘Entrepren’ – meaning to undertake. To do something. Also the word Enterprise. Is about entering and taking. Enter / prendere.
To be entrepreneurs is it about doing. Not over replanning or talking. It’s about action. Learning on the job. The most insightful ideas and poignant moments I have had in my life haven’t been while writing or typing, but when I’ve been acting.
Our code must be acted upon. Go act out your code.
This is the fourth of my crowd sourced blog entry ideas as suggested by Lani Pauli. Lani wanted to get my thoughts on the following: How to overcome the fear to take the leap and do your own thing.
I’ve written about this a few times. And I’ll start by pointing out previous entries on De-gearing, Quit your job and The number 1 reason being an employee sucks. But to make things contemporaneous here’s my thoughts on the topic today, off the top of my head.
Two important words come to mind when I think about the fear of pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors.
Having & Doing.
And as far as I can tell these two words are what we worry about when it comes to finance. We want to do cool stuff (like build a startup and pursue dreams), but in the short term it can have a big impact on our lifestyle and consumption patterns – the having part.
But most people don’t realize this important fact until after they have made the leap:
“The having is in the doing”
In my view we often replace our dreams and goals with consumption. And society promotes this ideal. We use money and steady income as a means of consumption based happiness. When in reality, we’d be much happier if we just did what we wanted to and had greater fulfillment in the hours of our days.
We have to make a decision on what’s more important to us; having lots of stuff and security, or doing cool things. I believe the latter creates a more enjoyable existence, and often leads to a virtuous circle where you realize how little we really need.
The real bonus is this: it’s easier to be successful when you are really into what you spend your time on. And when success comes to entrepreneurs we get the best of both worlds.
Startup blog says: Dream chase now!
Think back to grade 9 school. Specifically your science classes. In science we had a specific method of learning:
Aim / Objective
(back to start)
The thing that the science community do much better than the business world is that they know that the really powerful part of the system is the actual experiment. When scientists speak we hear them talking about the experiments, not aims and methods. The experiement is the focus – not the plans and paper work. This is something the business community must take heed from. It is beyond me why the business world obsess with the aim (forecasts) and the method (business plans). The truth is we’ll never know until the experiment is done.
As entrepreneurs it’s compounded again. We’ve got to experiment more than existing businesses with real revenue. We’ve got to do this because we have no results or conclusions which have formed a refined aim or hypothesis. So the more experiments we do, the more robust our hypothesis becomes. Until we experiment we wont really now what materials we need (which in the business world is referred to as resources). Constant planning refinement is as useless as constant refinement of an experiment method would be. Our focus instead must be repeated experimentation.
It’s only when we do this that our startup has a chance of graduating to become a bone fide business.
Tonight I went to see Christan Lander the super funny author of popular blog, now book ‘stuff white people like’ talk at local bookstore Readings in Melbourne. Firstly, he is a such a perceptive and funny guy, he deserves all the success his meteoric rise has given. Secondly, I was a little like a teenage school girl when I met him after the show (this will make sense when you watch the video below)
The power of doing
Tonight Christian spoke about how the whole thing happened. You may not know but the blog was launched in January 2008 and was a book only 6 months later, with a reported advance of $300,000 from publisher random house.
No – doing.
He had the idea, and didn’t stew on it, tell friends and think about it. He did. He wrote and couldn’t stop putting all his ideas down for days on end. He said he wrote 24 entries in the first sitting and published them straight away. No editing, no moderating. Just doing. After that he shared it with all his friends (granted this thing was bound to go viral because it was remarkably funny and observant). Christian’s success happened because he did it. He seized the opportunity to make it happen. He went beyond idea.
Now for the star struck teenager (aka Steve Sammartino)
After the official stuff I had a chat with Christian and was so excited didn’t really let him speak. Instead I just went about proving how white I was…. sorry, I was very star struck and was feeling some ‘Bromance’ for him (I wonder if that is a blog entry yet on Stuff white people like?)