Expert Entrepreneur Advice Via The World Wide Web
Entrepreneurs are a special breed. They have to be. Day in and day out, they pursue opportunity with unyielding energy, unwavering enthusiasm and an uncommon determination. And often they do this with total disregard for the naysayers or the faint of heart, folks who possess neither their vision nor their gumption.
Yet in many ways, we all possess that entrepreneurial spirit. Each morning we venture into the business world betting on ourselves, wagering that despite the obstacles and challenges we will finish the day as winners.
Sometimes this entrepreneurial adventure can seem not only a bit daunting but a bit bewildering. Thanks to a fascinating new Web site, it no longer has to be. In almost 100 years of operation, Harvard Business School has helped develop and nurture this entrepreneurial spirit. Now the school’s Entrepreneurial Management’s unit captures and shares the wisdom of 27 of some of the world’s most successful gamblers in a far-reaching and highly readable site.
The School’s HBS Entrepreneurs page showcases both inspiring and reassuring interviews. You’ll find a host of interesting business leaders, including Thomas Stemberg of Staples, John Whitehead of Goldman Sachs and renowned venture capitalist Arthur Rock. Each video interview lasts about an hour and is divided into key topics, including finding opportunities, teaching entrepreneurship and giving back to society. A text version of all interviews also is available.
Learn by example
The interviews are as personal as they are uplifting, proving to be as much about life as they are about business.
Consider this from Steve Belkin, founder of Trans National Group, a direct marketing company: “Part of my philosophy is that everything in life is either a positive event that you celebrate or it’s a negative, painful event and you learn and grow from it. There is nothing bad.”
Belkin maintains the biggest challenge we face in business is self-confidence.
“To be successful, you have to conceive it, believe it and achieve it. Most people think that conceiving it is the most important thing, but the most important part of being successful is to believe it because you’re going to run into so many obstacles, you have to have faith in yourself. You have to believe you’re going to be successful even if you have to constantly keep coming up with creative (ways) to figure out how to get there.”
Also, there’s T.J. Dermot Dunphy, the son of Irish immigrants who rose to business heights running Sealed Air, the company that invented the now-popular plastic bubble wrap that redefined the packaging industry: “There are lots of stereotypes and lots of words written about being an entrepreneur. I don’t think an entrepreneur has to be the one great person who strikes out and does everything by himself. To me, an entrepreneur is a person who does new things with limited resources and limited direction. If you can do that, you’re an entrepreneur.”
Dunphy suggests that we “be determined, patient and persistent.” More than anything, he encourages people to “Aim for the top, because you may surprise yourself and actually hit it.”
Paul Kennedy is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including USA TODAY.
| Keep Your Wireless Number Private |
|Most building service contractors use wireless phones in the workplace to communicate to employees on the road or away at a job site. Many may appreciate that the unlisted number keeps them safe from non-business-related calls. |
In an effort to keep it this way, legislators are working to protect consumer’s privacy against a wireless white pages that would allow these numbers to go public.
The Wireless 411 Consumer Privacy Act was recently introduced in both the House and the Senate. The bill would require existing customers who want to be listed in a national database of numbers to "opt in," or choose to be listed. New wireless subscribers would have to "opt out," or specify they do not want to be listed, according to a New York Times article.
The proposed legislation also insists that, unlike land-line users, wireless consumers not be charged for keeping their phone numbers private.
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