What is your network worth?
It’s an intriguing question, isn’t it? In the past few years, I’ve pondered it myself. I’ve had numerous conversations with friends about how they could “monetize” theirs. At speaking engagements and in the classroom, I talk about how one’s network becomes a valuable asset over time. It takes years to build, can produce tremendous value if leveraged well, and yet can disintegrate overnight with a single bad move.
So it’s one thing when you think about the question and talk about it. It’s entirely different when you do something about it. Read more
In yesterday’s New York Times, op-ed columnist Thomas Friedman had a piece entitled, “Need a Job? Invent It“. It was a spot-on assertion that in a world where virtually any fact or piece of information is available online, ”the capacity to innovate…and skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration are far more important than academic knowledge.” Read more
It’s easy to push it off. You can always do it tomorrow, next week, next year, next business.
You have more important things to do right now. Fires are burning, people are waiting for your response, the to-do list keeps growing.
Hey, there’s never a good time for it. But it’s what separates the best from the rest. And here’s why the best keep learning. Read more
One of the greatest models of anything I’ve seen in my life is that of the International Baccalaureate‘s (IB) “learner profile”.
For those who may not be education geeks, the IB is an organization that helps “develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.” It pursues this mission by partnering with schools around the world which deliver the IB’s challenging educational programs and curricula. Read more
To this day, I get impressed by the courage of young people who reach out to me blindly for help. It understandably happens at DePaul where, like on virtually any campus, it’s perfectly acceptable (and encouraged) for students to seek assistance from faculty and staff.
But this also happens with other young people, whether they’re students at different universities in Chicagoland or emerging college-grad entrepreneurs in their 20s. They do what I rarely had the courage or humility to be able to do at the same age: just ask. Read more
There are a lot of similarities between mentoring and coaching. When done well, both result in self-discovery and learning for not only the recipient but also the provider. Both are long-term in nature and development-oriented. In both cases, the parties involved have “gotta wanna”: the provider must want to coach or mentor, and the recipient must want to be coached or mentored.
But what are the differences? Read more
Second in a series of content that I find to be refreshing and thought-provoking from within Chicago’s startup community.
FRESH CONVOS, Vol. II
Mistakes Do Not Matter, by Scott Mandel of Snapclass. A wonderfully concise and transparent discussion of the ever-important need for entrepreneurs to move on, and quickly. “Just 36 hours after launching I realized a major mistake; our pricing model.”
Should Chicago Build Another 1871? Nope, by Jeff Carter of Hyde Park Angels. An argument for building breadth in Chicago’s startup community rather than depth. “Entrepreneurship is amoebic, networked and rapidly changing.”
The Third Industrial Revolution, by Zach Kaplan of Inventables. An amazingly detailed account of how manufacturing is going digital, with plenty of visual examples. “We believe killer applications will be in toys and in on demand custom products like jewerly.”
What Did Steve Jobs and Ferdinand Magellan Have in Common?, by Patrick J. Murphy of DePaul University. Leadership lessons for today’s entrepreneurs drawn from a contrast with seafaring expeditions from hundreds of years ago. “Leadership transforms member performance when it sets free the basic values or intrinsic motivations already existing in members.”
One experience I’ve had too much of is younger entrepreneurs being preyed upon. It’s a classic and all-too-often scenario I’ve seen played out over the years with student-entrepreneurs, but also three times in the past year with twentysomething college-grad founders. Read more
Last night, Erin Hopmann of Dabble spoke in my Lean Startup Lab class at DePaul. Dabble is a web site that connects adult learners with classes of all sorts (fencing, beer brewing, knitting, etc.), starting at only $20. It’s an attractive value proposition for anyone who has the desire to learn about new things and meet new people, and is obviously an attractive marketing tactic for many businesses. Read more
Last week, I met with one of our CEO mentors in The Junto Institute. As a former social worker, he inherently understands the process of discovery-based mentoring and has done a lot of it in his career. Read more