A Grain of Sand in the Universe

Without question, nature inspired me this weekend. The world is so much bigger than we are, so much older, so much wiser. To comprehend how instantaneous and fractional our lives are in the grand scope and age of our planet and the universe is very humbling. Problems with traffic, bills, chores, jobs, and other people seem so meaningless while lying under billions of stars at night. Quite an experience.

When struggling with personal woes, step back for a second and remember: you are not alone. You are part of something grand, something much larger than yourself. You play a role not only in humanity, but in the greater scheme of the universe. When small problems seem like a big deal, try to remember that there are stars collapsing and entire worlds ripping apart out there. Count your blessings. And remember this: we have it pretty good.

Love life, live in awe of the universe, and make it count.

Waking Up On the Wrong Side of the Bed

Day off to a rough start? Now more than ever, do something life-changing. Do that thing you’ve never done and were always curious to do. Shake your core. Pump the base. Immerse yourself in an amazing spectacle. Do it now; do not wait.

Waking up on the wrong side of the bed is the perfect excuse to live on the other side of the bed. Don’t be yourself. And love the change of pace.

The Snowball of Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is all about momentum. Hell, business is all about momentum. Ever roll a snowball to build a snowman? When starting a business, you need to push everything to a start, pack more snow on, recruit people to help you roll the ball as it gets bigger, and keep things going smoothly. If the ball stops, you will have to apply extra force to get it started again. Keep people excited, keep the idea alive, and keep people having fun. The energy alone will inspire your team, the caliber of work, and the vision at hand. Stop for no one.

Be careful and mind your surroundings. Some leaders get too excited about the work to notice the cliff ahead. One sharp rock could shatter your snowball. The trick with momentum? Stay fresh and always look forward. Avoid tunnel-vision at all costs so that you can chart the best course for your project. Listen to your team, your mentors, and the market around you. They may see something you don’t and could save the snowman’s life.

Mission Before Business, Horse Before Cart

People throw around the word “entrepreneur” like it’s a lifestyle trend. Many fancy themselves an “entrepreneur” with only the curiosity (or perhaps a lust) for building a business. Like movie or rock stars, many successful business leaders keep up a public image. Far too many people subscribe to entrepreneurship because it sounds and looks cool. Most fail to understand the real work involved.

Building a business is very hard. With very few resources at hand, you must pull everything together through favors and very long hours. If you do not truly believe in what you are building, then it will never work. You must have a mission or product you believe in first before chasing your lust for business. Not only that, but you must have a mission or product that can inspire other people to help you and customers to buy from you. That’s a tricky thing to find. Most wannabe entrepreneurs forget that the core mission or product is what it’s all about. And it must come first.

Everyone and his or her mother wants to start a business and be a boss. Nobody will care about you until you give him or her something to sink teeth into. If you cannot offer the world a product that changes lives, then you must start with a mission people can understand, sign on for, and follow to the end. You must get the team on board and excited. And to find success with your business, you must get customers on board and excited as well. As the character Proximo says in Gladiator, “Win the crowd, and you will win your freedom.”

Find your core idea, set your mission, build a product, and then build a business around it. You cannot have a business without something to be busy about.

Ride the Inspiration Wave

How often do you find inspiration? Once a day? Once a week? How often do you experience epiphanies, the moments in life when your heart swells and your mind races?

Inspiration is sacred and rare. Never let it go to waste. Act on it immediately. Do the work, get dirty. Procrastinate other things if you need to. Ride the wave until the wave breaks or until you are too tired to ride anymore. If you truly believe in what you discovered, other people will eventually understand.

A big wave is breaking in Santa Cruz, California.

Image via Wikipedia

Why Before the How

Contemporary business culture moves faster than light. Every day, we’re bombarded with tasks and decisions. We are often forced to dive into problems and projects without context. Managers ask us to do things without explaining why. To protect our job, we do not ask questions. But we really should.

If you believe in what you do, you will perform better. To believe in what you do, you need to understand what you are supposed to believe first. Arbitrary assignments without context make it near impossible to connect with the material. Leaders are responsible for setting the stage, helping you understand why, and inspiring you to deliver.

If your boss fails to inspire you, take a moment to reflect on the tasks you’ve been asked to do. Avoid complacency at all costs. Know the “why” before approaching the “how.” If you cannot figure it out, ask for an explanation. You will do yourself and your company a favor.

Out of Your Element

Want to see your world in a new light? Approach your issues from a fresh perspective? Then consider stepping outside your comfort zone. Travel to a place you’ve never been before. Do something you’ve never done before. Hike a glacier. Eat vegemite. Go camping. Do Yoga. Live life. Breaking from your element can reboot the system, teach you something about yourself, and contextualize your everyday concerns within the greater context of the world around you. Heightened perspective herein can unlock inspiration and passion you never knew existed. Stepping outside your element, if even for a moment, could change your life forever.

How to Conquer Writer’s Block

L.A. Times sportswriter Walter ‘Red’ Smith said, “There’s nothing more terrifying than a blank piece of paper.” If you set a goal to create, that blank piece of paper is your worst enemy. Starting is always the hardest part.

We stall ourselves with the question, “Where do I start?” It doesn’t matter. Just start. Put something on the page. Do not bother starting from the top, your introduction will come in time. Free yourself from linear thinking. Start at the core of what you want to say, the examples, the conclusion – whatever comes to you first. Free yourself from focused thinking – something irrelevant on the page is better than nothing at all. Who knows what arbitrary thoughts may inspire you?

I started this post with the words, “I don’t know what to write.” Thus, this post was born.

You have no excuses. Go write.