Personal Growth

6 Inspiring TED Talks Every Entrepreneur Should Watch

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We all strive to be successful in the world. It is the goal that once we graduate, we will enter the workforce and BOOM it will all just fall into place. Trust me, as a recent graduate that is not the case. It is hard out here. Well, one definite avenue is to go into business for yourself. That’s right, become an entrepreneur. Don’t get me wrong that can be difficult as well, but the benefits are so much better! You set your own hours, how much you get paid, and you are your own boss! Sounds ideal, right? Well, it can still be tricky. So here are six inspiring TED Talks every entrepreneur should watch.

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    1. “5 Ways to Kill Your Dreams”

“When we think about the dreams we have, and the dent we want to leave in the universe, it is striking to see how big of an overlap there is between the dreams that we have, and projects that never happen.”

The first one up is by Bel Pesce, and I feel it’s a perfect starter to the TED Talks every entrepreneur should watch. You have this business idea in mind, and you’re excited. However, sometimes other people can shoot down that dream, or you can find ways to self-sabotage the idea. Pesce provides you with the tools to not shoot down your dreams and help bring them to fruition.

If you love her talk, Pesce is also a writer and has many books, such as A Menina do Vale,  on finding your success. The books, however, are in Portuguese. I still want to share a link to one of her books because her talk is so good! Plus, we may have some readers that speak/read Portuguese.

  1. “Success is a Continuous Journey”

    “We figure we’ve made it, we sit back in our comfort zone, and we actually stop doing everything that made us successful. And it doesn’t take long to go downhill. And I can tell you this happens because it happened to me.”

    While it is a rather short TED Talk, Richard St. John delivers a speech that every entrepreneur should watch. Many think that finding success is difficult. But St. John states the fact that people seem to think that success is only a one-way street. Once you’ve reached what you think is the success, you must continuously keep working to keep yourself there. He shares his personal account of reaching success but then failing. You should also check out his book The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common: 8 to Be Great for more ways to find your success.

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    1. “Want to Innovate? Become a ‘Now-ist’”

    “…even though the world is extremely complex, what you need to do is very simple. I think it’s about stopping this notion that you need to plan everything, you need to stock everything, and you need to be so prepared, and focus on being connected…”

    Joi Ito’s talk is just the motivation you need as an entrepreneur. When running your own business, you can sometimes get caught up in the “what ifs” and the fear of the future. Through telling his story, Ito challenges you to live in the moment and not become so entangled in the future fears. He actually goes into more detail about navigating this complex world and staying in the now in his books. One that really stood out is Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future which talks about the future already being here and why you need to live in the now.

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    1. “Women Entrepreneurs, Example Not Exception”

    “And for far too long, we have underestimated ourselves and been undervalued by others. It is time for us to aim higher when it comes to women, to invest more and to deploy our dollars to benefit women all around the world.”

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    Gayle Tzemach Lemmon’s talk is by far one of my favorites because not only is it hard to try and become an entrepreneur, but it is even harder for women. Women are already confronted with the glass ceiling in jobs where they work for a (typically) male boss. Imagine trying to become your own boss. Not many will invest in their ideas. Lemmon delivers a brilliant speech on how women should be the example and not the exception. She mentions multiple brilliant entrepreneurial women she has met and how they cannot be the only ones out there. We must put more investment in women and make them the example, not the exception.

    Lemmon also has a fabulous book, The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, based on some of the women she mentions in her talk!

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    1. “How to Find Work You Love”

    “I think it’s the only question that matters. And it’s what is the work you can’t not do? Discover that, live it, not just for you, but for everybody around you, because that is what starts to change the world.”

    The key to going into business for yourself is to find something you love, right? Scott Dinsmore helps you to find just that and why it is so important to love your work. He found himself in a situation where he hated his job and was absolutely miserable. But he now found work that he loves and is meaningful. This is a truly powerful TED Talk that any and all entrepreneurs should watch if they are looking for motivation.

    While Dinsmore did not write a book that relates to his talk, you should go check out his website Live Your Legend to see the amazing company he built.

    1. “What I Learned from 2,000 Obituaries”

    “So ask yourselves as you go back to your daily lives: How am I using my talents to help society? Because the most powerful lesson here is, if more people lived their lives trying to be famous in death, the world would be a much better place.”

    Yes, I know this seems really morbid, but bear with me here. Lux Narayan read over 2,000 obituaries and to see what they could teach us about the people before they passed. From it, he made a great discovery about those who lived great lives and how you can do extraordinary things, even if you are not famous. I think this is something entrepreneurs should watch because it shows you’re capable of greatness and you can be the average joe that does the unthinkable.

    So watch these TED Talks and check out those books. Furthering your knowledge on how to become a successful entrepreneur will only help you in the long run!


    The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common: 8 to Be Great

    Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future 

    The Dressmaker of Khair Khana

    Live Your Legend

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