It never fails. Every time you’re on social media, you’re bombarded with “The Top 10” list of this or that. It’s getting to the point where it’s almost as cliche as saying “the best for less,” an all too common phrase in my local markets television advertising. The “Top 10” list has lost it’s appeal.
As I’m sure you know, youtube is a great resource for online education on just about any subject imaginable. You can learn how to play an instrument, learn the latest tips and tricks for todays hottest smartphones, or get the latest in world news. But today, we’re not here to talk about the latest smartphone tips and tricks. We’re here to talk about business.
There are a ton of business videos online. Some great, some not so great. I wanted to share some business related videos that I truly believe will help inspire your business endeavors, both personally and professionally in 2015. I’ve also included some key points from each of the videos that I have written out in the form of quotations. These videos provide practical advice from some of the great minds of our time, and will help you open your mind and expand your horizons. Enjoy
“If you have a job where someone is telling you exactly what to do, they can find someone cheaper than you to do it.” "Gatekeepers have lost their power. You don’t have to wait to be picked. If you want to make a record, make a record. Put it on iTunes. If you want to write, start a blog. If you want to start a software company, you don’t need a permit, you don’t need anything, just start it.”
"The connection economy rewards little things, little connections, little followings. So that if a programmer has 2,000 people who read her blog and she’s good, she doesn’t need her company anymore. If she gets laid off, she’ll get 10 job offers by tomorrow. Because she is connected to people that trust her. So one by one as individuals build these webs, of connections and trust, the guys on top have way less power than they used to, and that’s going to force them to innovate."
"There’s a race to the bottom to make things cheaper…You can’t grab a huge amount of market share by being 10 cents cheaper, it’s just not worth it. So how am I going to grow? I’m going to be 10 cents more trusted, not 10 cents cheaper."
"The app mailbox got acquired by a company called dropbox, before they earned a dollar in revenue. What did they have? Anyone could have copied their design. What they had was the ability to bring something to the market that people would trust with their most precious digital information; their email. And wait in line for weeks to get their hands on it."
"You’re not looking for new customers for your products, you’re looking for new products for your customers, which is a big mind shift. If you end up having 80 angry litigators as clients, please expect that you’re life is going to be miserable. You’re business isn’t going to grow. On the other hand if you look at the Walt Disney Corporation, who are there customers? They picked them. If they are are frustrated that 4 year olds have short attention spans and throw tantrums, well that’s their fault, they picked 4 year olds. So you get to pick. You don’t say, I have this great product, who can I push it on. You say which group of people are open to being connected, open to being led, open to being being worked with to create art. Those people will be my customers. Now, let’s work together to make a business out of that."
“A Freelancer is someone who gets paid for working. That means the more you work, the more you get paid. An entrepreneur gets paid while they sleep. They build a business bigger than themselves. And they get paid even when they are not there. When freelancers act like entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs act like freelancers, it’s chaos, it’s not a good idea. And if you have a job with a “boss” you need to think about whether or not your boss is asking you to do a set of tasks. If you boss is, then they are going to find someone cheaper than you to do them, which is not good. Or is your boss asking you to solve interesting problems? And if that’s the case, now you have your work cut out for you."
“Once we got over that hump in the 1940’s, business’ worked, electricity worked, cars worked, the system worked. And then school got to work just brainwashing us to accept it all. Don’t ask questions, no usable service parts inside, you shouldn’t own a screwdriver anymore, don’t open this. So that thing compounded by big banks and big corporations and big government agencies saying, “Don’t ask, just listen.” So now we enter this revolutionary age where so many things are being rebuilt. And every once in a while a 20 year old comes along and builds a website that makes them a billion dollars. And the rest of us just say “Oh we never thought of that.” We’re just waiting for someone to tell us what to do."
“Right now it’s easier to start a business than any other time in history. The only person that’s stopping you from starting a business is you. Access to technology, access to capitol, access to information, access to markets. Never ever, been like this before. When I started early companies of mine, where I needed 70 people to start a company and raise millions of dollars. Now you can start with zero. It’s not hard anymore, accept the voice in your head, the resistance."
"No one gives you initiative, you have to take it"
"If you truly work in an organization, that won’t let you take even a little initiative, you outta try to get fired. Why are you wasting today, and tomorrow and the next month and the next sixth months doing that?"
“We all have so many more degrees of freedom than we give ourselves credit for. Even if you’re a waitress at Denny’s. You can figured out a way to be the waitress they will miss, when you are gone. Every once in a while you hear the case about someone who got a $10,000 tip, because some guy had come in so often and said Thank You. Now, she’s not doing it for the $10,000 tip, she’s doing it because discovering how to smile differently, or talk differently to make the patron have an engagement with you, that’s your real job. Your real job is not to bring the eggs from one place in the restaraunt to the other, they can do that themselves at a buffet. They are coming because you are a human being, and what human beings do is art, is new stuff, is connection and this humanity is what has been boiled out of us, and what we are seeing is it’s coming back in."
“Making something is my natural state, where I feel most like myself. So it brings me great joy and that’s one of the reasons that I chose to be an artist, and a creative for a living. There’s a certain bias that I have towards doing things that you love. And imagine if we were full of a world full of people where most of the people got to do what they wanted to do. I realize that can’t be true for everyone. But what if we could get close to that? What if you right now, left the crappy cube that you were in that you didn’t like, that you didn’t want to be in and went and pursued your passion. I think you would be a happier person, the world would likely be a better place because of it. Especially if that happened at scale."
"If you love it so much that you’d rather be doing that than anything else, that’s where the competition is going to fall away"
“You have to be good at your craft. To be able to get up and do something for work as opposed to pleasure, it’s like a professional golfer. You’re paid to hit it down the middle everyday. It doesn’t matter if there are 10 people watching or 10 million people watching, if it’s windy, rainy, all that doesn’t matter. If you’re a pro, you’ve gotta be able to hit it down the middle. And that’s what being professional photographer does. You’ve gotta be able to deliver over, and over and over. And it’s a subject matter that you don’t like, or the persons being a jerk, none of that matters and you know who cares? No one. The person who hires you cares, that they put the best work on their bosses desk. And that’s what gets you hired over and over.”
“A: You have to be great at your craft. B: You have to stand out in the market place."
Mike Rowe about college: “It’s not working. You’ve got a trillion dollars in debt on the student loan side. You’ve got a skills gap. Right now you have about 3 million jobs, transportation, commerce, trades that can’t be filled. Jobs that typically don’t sit down with their kids a say looks if all goes well, this is what you’re going to do."
“Opportunities. A good welder, right now, can pretty much write his or her own ticket. Companies like Catapillar, you can go down the list. They have had open shortages for years.
“The scholarship program, and the scholarship business, as I understand it, right now awards four basic things. Intelligence, so you have academic scholarships. Athleticism, if you can hit a three pointer, we’ve got money for you for days. Talent, we reward talent and of course need. Need based scholarships. Those are the categories that most scholarships address to some degree or another. Who’s addressing work ethic? Who’s affirmatively trying to reward the behavior we’re trying to encourage?"
Mike Rowe on his foundation: “the behavior that Mike Row Works wants to at least talk about, is two things. The willingness to learn a useful skill. And the willingness to work your ass off. Combined, we think that is something that outta be affirmatively rewarded."
"The question is, what is better? Is it better, right now today, to have $140,000 in debt, but have a degree from Georgetown in law? Or is it better to be that kid I described up in Butler? (Earlier he talks about a kid in Butler North Dakota, that works on heavy equipment making over $100/hour, working when he wants, paid for his house in cash, raising a family, no debt. People don’t tell his story. "
“If we’re lending money that extensively, we don’t have to kids who really have no hope of paying it back in order to train them for jobs that clearly don’t exist, I might suggest that we’ve gone around the bend a little bit."
“The cost of a degree has increased over 500 times the rate of inflation since the mid 80s. 500 times the rate of inflation. Nothing else comes close, not even healthcare. Healthcare is like, 250-260. The cost of this thing has increased so exponentially, I can’t believe it’s not daily headline news. Image any other commodity increasing at that rate. I get it, education is hugely important. If there’s only more thing that’s more important than education, maybe health and fitness. Right, cause what’s the point, if you’re not functioning."
“Fear. It’s gotta be very scary to not have a really specific answer to questions like: “What’s the best path dad?” And to have somebody tell you in a fairly convincing way that there is an answer to that question. That must be very comforting. And that must be very comforting to pass that certainly onto your kid too. "Here’s what you need to do, you need to work hard in school. You need to study"…..It’s not bad advice. It’s just that, like I’ve said before, it always goes too far. Because, rather than put a period after work hard and study hard. We put an ellipsis, and that’s followed by “or else, you’re gonna end up working down at the construction thing…er…eh"
“Whether you’re a tv interviewer, or an opera singer, or a writer, you’re gonna approach your craft like a tradesman. And by that I mean, like a freelancer. Instead of, “ok I need my job and my job will be 30 years, and it will come with benefits and it will be provided bla bla la . That’s not working anymore.”
“Les Swansin from Wisconsin cleans septic tanks. I asked him one day, we were literally standing literally up to our nipples in the most undescribable bouillon base on the planet, and I said Les, “what did you do before this?” It’s 110, the sweats running off his face and he looks at me and he says “I swear I was a guidance counselor.” He was a psychiatrist, a psyhologist. And I said, “Why’d you leave that? And without missing a beat he says, “I got tired of dealing with other peoples shit.” It was very funny, but it was also very instructive, because he always thought what he wanted to do was the thing that he was told he should do. He became passionate about something he really didn’t care for. When it came time for him to make the change, he just looked around to see where everybody was going, and he went the other way. Took him into a septic tank. Owned a business, couple of workers, very happy. So if you’re asking how do you know if you’re going in the right direction, how do you really foster a good work ethic, I think you have to identify the thing that most people don’t want to do, figure out a way to do it, and then figure out a way to love it"
Chase Jarvis - “It is a global economy right now. 10% of my work comes from Seattle. And I have called this place home for the duration of my professional career. So I think there is something to think about that goes beyond geography.”
Ramit Sethi - “It’s funny that sometime’s people believe they don’t have the time to learn the marketing part of it. So I knew this restaurant owner, and I wrote most of my book at his coffee shop, and one day I mentioned to him, “Hey what about marketing this and that” because I became friends with him. And he said, “yeah, yeah, I really should do that. I don’t have time to do that. And his restaurant shut down, not long after. So I agree that, if you’re the creative person, you need to take the time to articulate your vision. Otherwise it just looks like you’re delegating it off to someone else and you’re just a technician. That’s not a role you want to be in. A technician is a commodity, like salt. Do I care if I have one brand of salt or another brand? No. They’re the same to me. One dollar, I don’t care, they’re a commodity. Someone who has a vision, a narrative, a story, who can walk it and show me why it’s right for me, price out the door. And I want to work with you. You don’t want to be a commodity, you want to be a visionary.”