12 extra-ordinary Entrepreneurs on Goals, Motivation and Meaning

To me, getting stuff done is important. Moving things forward. Making a difference for somebody. It matters. I can some times get in the zone. I have some ideas on how I get there. I get stuff done. But there is definitely still room for improvement.

The bright-eyed people: What are their secrets? How do they do it?

You know them. I know them. We all know them. These bright-eyed people. They always know where they are going. What to do. Never seem to lose faith. Are passionate. Strong. Full of energy. Inspires others.

This year, as a hit-the-New-year-running gift to myself and you, I have decide to explore this further.

My personal dream team

To do this, I have selected my personal dream team of people I know. 12 highly motivated individuals who get exceptional stuff done.

I asked them: How do you envision, define and work with goals? What motivates you? And what gives meaning to your work?

I am so happy that these special people have decided to contribute to this piece. I sincerely hope that this post and the advises in it, will give you a great start to 2014.

Tobias Schelle, Founder of 24slides.com

How do you work with goals and how does it help your motivation?

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Goals can be dangerous and brilliant. They are dangereous if you have the expectation that your life will become better when you get there. It won’t. They are a brilliant tool to accomplish great things in life. They force you to think about the bigger picture and they can help you become your best self.

Goals work well for me because one of my core values are development. I’m motivated by progress. For the same reason, goals work really well for me because goals are all about progress

One of the ways that I take advantage of goals is through setting the bar really high. An example: I want to grow my company. As long as I see progress I’m pretty happy. But how would it change my thinking if I could double the revenue in 1 year? That gets me excited! So I might set a goal to double the revenue in 6 months. That completely changes my thinking into what I need to do NOW to make that happen. Even if I only grow 50%, it’s a much better result than what would have happened if the goal was just to ‘grow’. The point is that thoughts and actions are highly dependent on goals and dreams.

Goals, if used correctly, can help your motivation, self-improvement, and overrall happiness, in my opinion.

But it is though really important to accept that things and priorities will change. Be ready to make changes to your goals. And accept that 70% is as good as 100%. It’s about progress.

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Flow is the new black

On Thursday night last week in Stockholm I took part in a panel discussion about the concept of Flow; Finding flow, happiness and productivity at work. The event was hosted at Jumpstarters new HQ.

Flow is a term that I got familiar with some years ago. It made a lot of sense for me back then. It represents both the state of mind and state of work that I would like to be involved in. Work with something that you are genuinly interested in and at the same time challenged by.

Since then it has slightly dropped off my radar, as other topics became trendy. What a mistake.

As preparation for the panel discussion, that I was to take part of, I revisited the classic TED talk by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi called: Flow, the secret to happiness (You should watch it)

Csikszentmihalyi argues that the people are the happiest when they are in a state of flow. Situations where people are absolutely absord in what they do, nothing else matters and are utilizing all their skills to solve the task at hand.  Remember the last time you have felt like this?

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What I learned from Riding Horses in Spain

This summer I realised an old idea. I spent a week in Andalucía, Spain, learning to Ride and Train Horses.

As a whole, it was a great experience. But there are bits and pieces of it that I, for my own sake, would like to highlight and learn from.

So, bare with me, if the post becomes a bit inwards, though I think there are valuable notions below for many.

Cliché: Life begins at the end of the comfort zone

go beyond limits
I snatched this picture from a book based on the learnings at the OSHO Humaniversity

On the train from Malaga to Alora train station, where I would be picked up by Susan (the owner of Centro Cuestre La Luz). I got the old familiar feelings in my stomach of “I do not want to do this”, “This is a stupid idea”, “Why am I doing this? Etc.

This feeling I have experienced before.

Before exams. Before going on dates. Before meeting new people. And most of all, before all experiences that really makes me feel alive.

And so the pattern repeated. I did something that temporarily made me think, that I did not want to do it, but had a great time when I got on with it. Which yet again, for me, confirmed the cliché:

Life begins at the end of the comfort zone.

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The Future of Business is (Hopefully) Honesty

A guy who keeps impressing me is Marcus Sheridan. Whether on purpose or not, Marcus has found some truth about business, especially marketing and life in general.

If you are honest, hard working and answer the questions that your customers are asking, you will be succesfull in the end.

It was Marcus’s recent performance on stage at the TEDx Rock Creek Park event, in Washington DC., that inspired me to do this blog post. Though, he was actually introduced to me a while ago by another inspiring guy, Michael Aagaard, who you definitely also should check out.

The Honest Economy - Marcus Sheridan
Marcus Sheridan – TheSaleslion.com

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The Serendipity Machine – A Blue Ocean strategy for coworking and the raise of Social Capital

As so often said, one thing is theory another thing is practice. Many people have heard and read the Blue Ocean Strategy. As a concept it makes sense. Do what others are not doing, and you will gain a competitive edge. I got it, you got it. But this theory and strategy never deeply ingrained itself in me, before this week.

Welcome to the blue Ocean

In Utrecht, The Netherlands, I met Ronald van den Hoff who is (amongst others) the founder of Seats2meet.com. It is a very nicely looking coworking space that accomodates around 80 people on a daily basis. There is coffee, wifi and a small cafe where you can get lunch. On top of that, there is an online system in place that enables people to check in at the local Seats2meet location, while highlighting their skills and letting the others know what kind of skills their looking to interact with. Outside looking in, this is a very decent package for freelancers and small businesses.

What i did not expect, was for all this to be free. Free. The coffee, lunch, wifi and online system were all offered for free. No subscribtion, no pay as you go. Just free.

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Is life better with the Internet?

Sometimes in life you are exposed for a single idea for a short moment, and it changes your whole mood and way of thinking. This just happend to me now. I watched this cool video featuring the IT/Tech Journalist Paul Miller’s year without Internet:

It got me thinking, is the internet good for me? Is my life better with the Internet or am I better off without? I think it is time to confess.

Just like Paul Miller I sleep, eat, breath the Internet almost everyday.

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Can you outsource everything online?

Short answer: Yes.

A bit longer: Yes, you can outsource everything. Should you outsource everything? No.

Outsourcing can be a true blessing when it works. And a real nightmare when it does not.

In this blogpost I will try to share both my own experiences on outsourcing, but also draw upon the hundreds of people I’ve met, who are also believers in outsourcing.

Workers are pictured beneath clocks displaying time zones in various parts of the world at an outsourcing centre in Bangalore

Whereever I come, there are lots of questions about it.  And that is good. You can (and should) ask questions when thinking about outsourcing. But to simplify the decision making process for you, here are the 5 overall questions that you at least should ask yourself:

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Summer equals opportunity

For some, the winter seems a long time a way. For others it is just disappearing (Myself included). One thing that is for sure is that summer is approaching. For many small businesses summer normally equals a full stop of all activities. But there is something they do not realize. Smart businesses are stealing their customers. While you are on holiday, there is still work that can and should be done.

Summer equals opportunity

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James Joyce, The Dubliners and Tech-Startups – Lessons from: Dublin

Dublin has in recent time been hailed as one of the leading tech-hubs in Europe. The Irish people have a rumor for being something out of the ordinary. The country is caught in two-way challenge of both high unemployment (17%) and a skill shortage of especially tech-people. No wonder, that it was with great expectations that I boarded a plane last week, en-route to Dublin.

Guinness – More than a beer in Dublin

My preoccupied idea about the city was that it had to be at the ”Silicon Docks” that I were to find the cool and buzy startup scene, but I was wrong. Dublin were to uncover an unexpected area as the reblious startup buzzing area. The Digital Hub and the Old buildings of Guinness are were the cool new startup can be found in Dublin.

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Watches, Chocolate and Banking – Lessons from: Zürich

Having spent three days in Zürich, Switzerland, last week I have since my home coming been trying to figure out what was the characteristics of these special people, the Swiss. I bet you can find cultural analysis’s much more comprehensive and scientifically correct, but here is my take on what you should know if you want to deal with Swiss people and market your company there.

Respect the handcraft

As soon as you set foot on the ground in the airport in Zürich you are confronted with some of the prides of Switzerland; Watches, Chocolate, and Banking. At least the first 2 out the 3 (where the latter can be discussed) can be said to be industries coming out of a long handcraft tradition. Specializing in handcraft means a life dedicated to strive for perfection, through repeating the same process over and over again identifying and trying to do micro improvements along the way.

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