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Victor Balasa

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Serial Entrepreneur, Business Consultant, Blogger. I founded and sold multiple companies, both online and offline, before turning 20.

Watch out, entrepreneurs! There’s a new incubator in town, and it’s based… behind bars! At San Quentin’s prison, the inmates are being encouraged to go into business by consultants who hark from the cream of the Internet crop: LinkedIn, Quora and other Internet giants. The Last Mile program was first introduced in 2011 and unrolled over a six-month period in the slammer – at the end of which, on “demo day,” the enrollees got to pitch their idea to the big-leaguers they’re hoping to one day become.

By all accounts, working towards setting up a start-up makes more sense than earning a degree or turning your hand at whatever menial jobs inmates can do day in, day out, in the hopes of using that skill once on the outside. That’s because pitching a start-up is all about the – ehem – killer idea, not the criminal record of the person behind it. In the age bursting at the seams with information, the Internet’s actually serving as a different kind of sponge too, the wiping-your-slate-clean kind!

Photo courtesy of ©  | Dreamstime Stock Photos

It’s in our nature to watch series, we all love a good story after all!, so why not watch something we can learn from? I’m not talking about stuff like Shark Tank or The Apprentice. Those are a given! You must watch them if you want to learn more about business and be inspired.

Yet, there are plenty more to watch, so here’s what I recommend for all you entrepreneurs out there, whether we talk about TV series or YouTube channels. You’ll find inspiration, motivation, great ideas and loads of information to put to good use:

Guy Kawasaki is not only one of Silicon Valley’s key figures – from working for Apple in the 80s to creating his own successful businesses -, but also a great speaker and Steve Jobs’ trainee at some point. And in the video above he gives an awesome talk about this point precisely: being able to learn from Steve Jobs himself.

So listen carefully to the 12 lessons that Kawasaki mentions in this video like:

This short video above is a sneak-peek into the mind of an Angel Investor. This guy talks about the qualities that a successful entrepreneur needs, qualities that will impress him and make him invest in whatever business idea the entrepreneur has.

Sometimes you need to let go, other times you need to fight for what you want. Sometimes you struggle to understand what you want to do with your life. Finding your purpose is life’s greatest challenge. So what do you do to overcome the challenge? The video below is a strong and empowering motivation to stand up and fight for your dream, whatever that may be, to be who you want to be, to find your true purpose:

This is one comprehensive video that any entrepreneur must watch! Steve Blank, founder of many successful ventures and a key thinker of the lean startup methodology, discusses dos and don’ts for any serious entrepreneur. Finding the right pattern, getting where your customers are, understanding and using resources in a smart way, thinking a successful business model – the video above gives insights into all of them and a lot more.

If you need some words of wisdom or thoughts to inspire you, here’s our pick for 2014! It’s the beginning of a new exciting adventure and our monthly motivational quotes will set your mind for success! Click on the gallery below for more:

experience teaches

There’s a big danger lurking around in the motivational/personal development industry. There’s a not-too-talked about disease which plagues entrepreneurs on their path to success. A monster which can eat up your potential, all the while falsely making you think you’re growing and achieving things. It’s called over motivation. It’s when you’re addicted to reading self-help books or blogs, addicted to watching motivational videos all day long, addicted to listening to your life coach. Five hours a day, several days in a row. The problem with this is that you feel like you’re growing. You’re duped into thinking you’re becoming a better person. You’re not. You’re probably wasting valuable time. Time which could be used to actually do things. Don’t get me wrong. A certain amount of daily motivation is very useful to get you pumped up for work. To start the engine. But don’t forget this very simple aspect:

Words Don’t Teach. Ever.

I truly believe words can’t teach you anything. Nada. Zero. Zip. Nunca. Ever. - you hopefully do see the paradox of this article, right?
Only life experience teaches. There isn’t a single book, video, audio seminar which can actually give you any information. You can only give information to yourself. Those mediums should only serve as a catalyst for your own inner dialogue.
You can obviously learn stuff from reading books or watching videos. But that works at a conscience level. You can rationally understand different things and learn from what others have lived. But that doesn’t mean you’ll apply what you’ve learned. In order to really learn something, you need to internalize it. Feel it. Bring that information at the intuition level. That’s when you’ll consistently apply that knowledge. And the best way to internalize new knowledge is to live it. Actually go through it. Immerse yourself in that experience.
Think about it. How did you learn to walk, write, read or talk? You emulated somebody else. You did what they did. You made it your own. That’s how you start owning a skill. That’s exactly why going to a personal development seminar will have a much stronger impact on you than simply watching a recording of it. I’ve read dozens of N.L.P. books, but until I actually started practicing it with my friends, I never realized just how little I knew about it. I’ve read hundreds of books on how to make decisions when running your own business. But still I made countless errors when faced with a real-world situations. Coincidentally, that’s why I think college is a waste of time.

I forgot almost every book I’ve read

And I’m not ashamed to say so. Granted, I do have a lousy memory. And I take no effort in the direction of trying to improve it. That’s because I know that all the information I ever came in contact with is buried somewhere in my mind. In the subconscious probably. That’s because I’ve lived almost all my knowledge. I’ve stopped myself from only doing the reading part. I’ve stopped only watching seminars. I’ve started acting on knowledge more.
Once you start doing more, you’ll feel less need for validation. Less need to read the next self-help book or the next biography of some successful CEO. You won’t need to. You’ll spend your time actually learning from your own mistakes and accomplishments. That means you get instant internalization and direct feedback from your environment. That’s why the habit of analyzing your day before sleep is super-important. Getting into the ritual of criticizing yourself, your actions, your day, etc. is crucial if you are to grow as a person. You need to be your own master. Educate yourself by analyzing yourself. Be self-sufficient.

I personally am crazy about learning from my own experiences. I need it. It’s a drug. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. All my experiences get recorded and stored in my subconscious. My divine subconscious then helps me make better decisions by gently talking to me, in my own voice. By being relaxed, trusting my gut and my intuition, I can then hear my own voice anytime I want. I love it.
The only way I’ll ever be great is by having a great mind. Without getting to religious, I believe the mind transcends space and time. It’s the safest place to store all my gold treasures.

Why would you want to store yours anywhere else?

The founder of Dropbox knows what he’s talking about! In the video above, Drew Houston gives his thoughts on the beginning of an entrepreneurial path and how it all works, from start-ups to coding to finding your authentic role. It’s at the same time a quest for knowledge as long as the video and even more and an inspirational case study on the birth of a successful business.

What if money was no object?, Alan Watts asks in the video above. What is your answer, I wonder…Is it a question of what you want to do versus what you should do or a question of what you need to do versus what you like to do? This great man replies:

It is absolutely stupid to do things you don’t like in order to go on spending things you don’t like…

After all, life is too short for that. Do you want to be an artist, a dreamer, a successful person, an entrepreneur? What’s holding you back? If you do what you really want to do, then money and success will follow. It’s the simple and basic rule of attraction. It’s the here and now of the real you, as well.

The power of “what if” is the power of visualizing yourself in the present and in a possible future. This power is a strong motivation to start building who you can become – the real you! It’s more than positive thinking, because it is as natural as breathing. We all do it, but some do it in the wrong ways, visualizing only failures and negative outcomes. So switch perspective and understand that you are already on the path to success. You just need to persevere.

Alan Watts explain this better in the following video:

All talk, no action? Don’t you just hate that? A life half-lived, a lot of promises, but never concrete results, a fear of change, a fear of fully living and so on – these are all symptoms of an illness of the mind and the spirit. An illness which can easily lead you to miss out on your own life. And you don’t want that, do you? 

How do you find a career that you will truly love?…

It’s a fit question for the third day of the New Year, right? Any 2014 resolutions yet? This one seems a good one: finding a career that you will truly love. But where can you start from? The video above presents a TED Talk by Larry Smith, super smart, super economics professor at the University of Waterloo (Canada), who gives you all the answers to what not to do.

If you’ve seen the video above, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, click now and start planning ahead!

Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties. (Hellen Keller, the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree)

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