Today, I’m sharing with you another amazing article I read recently on the subject of “life”.
You might wonder why I’m writing (or covering) so much on the subject of “life” on a platform dedicated to entrepreneurship.
Well, that’s the entire point of becoming a “entrepreneur” – one who is not just successful in investing his financial capital, but also enriches his human capital.
Also, an avid reader of this blog recently wrote – “…your values play a much more vital role in shaping up how you live rather than what bank balance you have. And by live, I mean really live, not simply exist.”
Anyways, the article I’m sharing today was recently written by Clayton M. Christensen, a renowned Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School.
Christensen is also known for his study of innovation in commercial enterprises, as he articulated in his masterpiece book The Innovator’s Dilemma.
The article was titled “How Will You Measure Your Life?”, which tried to answer three key questions you must have in your life: Continue reading
I read somewhere that when Terry Semel was CEO of Yahoo! in the early 2000s, he had his emails printed out, wrote his responses longhand, and then had the secretary type them in.
He didn’t use the Internet.
Can you imagine Facebooks Mark Zuckerberg not using Facebook? Or the CEO of General Motors driving a Mercedes? Or the CEO of South West Airlines being afraid of flying?
Sure an overweight middle-aged white guy could probably do a great job as the CEO of a company that makes and sells beauty products for hip, young Latina women — But it sure is tough to have a high degree of credibility within your company, if you are that personally disconnected from what your company stands for, and what it does.
Good advice – BUT … when you hear that phrase, remember that it ONLY refers to things outside your knowledge and experience; NOT to everything you hear that sounds too good to be true.
Having spent over 20 years of my life “doing” business … not just writing about it … I can tell you things about how business is done that you would, without doubt, consider “too good to be true,” but those things are done, every day, in the “real” business world.
So, when something sounds too good to be true, to YOU … with neither knowledge nor experience in that particular field of endeavor … do yourself a favor and seek out someone who has had experience in that area and ask their advice – but – don’t ask for advice from someone who has the same limited knowledge and experience as yourself.
What “sounds too good to be true” to you, may be an everyday occurrence in the “real” business world.
“I need a cheap hobby!”
Ever heard someone say that before?
One thing I’ve learned about hobbies in 39 years is there’s no such thing as a cheap one. If you’re interested in something, then the more you get into it, the more it tends to cost to stay interested and keep progressing.
Of course, this doesn’t have to be true—some people are happy to get the basics down and never go beyond that. But for the rest of us, our human nature demands we keep progressing, getting better and better, and spending what it takes to do something we care about.
In every hobby where people like you are willing to spend money to get better at something, there are fun, little businesses that are more than willing to create and sell whatever it is you need to do that.
If you’ve put in the work to become good at something you enjoy, there’s probably a good chance you can turn that skill or knowledge into a business if you want to.
Many people think about this at some point , but few ever act on it even though it’s one of the easiest ways to start a business.
Some are scared they won’t have fun anymore if they try to make money. Others think their ideas are no good. And some, unfortunately, think of it as “selling out”—as if they’d be doing something wrong by trying to earn a living from something they love.
That’s the saddest one, in my opinion. Supporting yourself by doing something you care about is one of the greatest feelings.
If you’ve thought about trying to turn a hobby of yours into a legitimate micro-business, then my best recommendation is this: Continue reading
There exists in France a small company called Teddyfish that makes bags by hand.
Their philosophy of production and by extension entrepreneurship is beautiful:
“We believe in ‘petite-production’, which means the willingness to work on slower rhythm and scale. Through creating and hand-making by ourselves, we are aiming to flavor our products with the warmth of the craftsmen’s hands, instead of the gasoline from the machine.”
Imagine if our world of mass-production was turned into a world of petite-production. People would hand-make clothing bicycles furniture food.
We would produce less and consume less. Things would cost more but people would make more for their labor.
We would love our work more. Produce quality things that last. Love our lives more. Call it Anti-Walmartization.
Slow down. Make less. Do it better. Be happier.
If you’re stuck living a life you wouldn’t have consciously chosen if you had it to do all over again, what can you realistically do about it?
The Black Hole
By “stuck” I mean truly, deeply stuck. You’ve got the stable business/job, the family, and the mortgage. But even though your situation looks pretty good from an external standpoint, you’re not happy about it. It’s not fulfilling, and you know you should be doing something else, but at the same time, you know there are no guarantees, and you feel as if the only way out would be to destroy what you’ve got and rebuild from scratch. And that isn’t something you’re willing to do.
It’s not like you haven’t tried, but realistically you can’t see any viable, intelligent options to get things moving in a new direction. It’s like you’re in a black hole, a gravitational well that makes it impossible for you to ever reach escape velocity. It seems to take you a massive amount of effort just to move an inch, and if you let up for an instant, you’re sucked right back down again. You feel trapped, maybe even depressed, and perhaps you even wonder if you should just suck it up and take it. It’s not really that bad compared to most people, right?
On your best days, you’re consciously aware of your situation but still don’t see a way out. But on your worst days, you’re in denial about the whole thing and may succumb to escapist tendencies.
You might read books that even directly address your situation, but they don’t help you much. Their solutions don’t seem practical for you. Perhaps they rely too much on things like putting your faith in the universe and hoping things will work out, and that sounds risky and foolish to you.
What can you do in such a situation? Is there a way out? Continue reading