Sunday, April 26, 2015

Matzo Ball Soup For the Entrepreneurial Soul

It has arrived ladies and gentleman..your life-changing guide to finding personal fulfillment, the career of your dreams, your soul-mate of many-lifetimes, great financial wealth, the fountain of youth, boundless energy, lifelong health, and the path to achieving all of your childhood dreams overnight.                                                                                                                                       .....Or alternately, it's just my list of things that I am finding particularly inspiring right now. ;)


1) Pando Monthly Fireside Chats: These are 2-hour long talks with some of the top CEOs and thought-leaders in the Tech world. All hosted by the hilarious and wildly entertaining Sarah Lacy. Here are 3 of my favs so far:


2) The James Altucher show: James Altucher is one of my all-time favorite interviewers because his curiosity is so authentic. He has some great guests - ranging from Seth Goden to Tony Robbins, to Twisted Sister and Scott Adams. Here are a few of my favorite episodes:
  • AJ Jacobs - A.J. is a journalist, lecturer, human guinea pig and author of four New York Times bestsellers.
  • Maria Popova a Bulgarian writer, blogger, and critic living in Brooklyn, New York. She is known for her blog, which features her writing on culture, books, and eclectic subjects off and on the Internet.
  • Biz Markie Biz is bet known for the one-hit wonder "Just a Friend" and in this episode, James Altucher reflects on his worst interview of all time. It's hilarious!
And here is an inspiring talk by the man himself. He has had quite a ride throughout his life, but he's managed to use his experience to help and inspire a huge number of people -- myself (clearly!) included. I love him!


3) Stanford's Entrepreuneurial Thought Leaders Podcast: Weekly lectures given by thought-leaders to Stanford students. I've just recently started to get into these but I find them incredibly inspiring so far. I love the fact that uber successful leaders still take the time out to share their wisdom, their hard-earned lessons learned and their time with young people. The fact that the public has access to these gems is just mind-boggling.
  • Shah Selbe -a National Geographic Explorer, spacecraft propulsion engineer, ocean conservation technologist and the Southern California region representative of Engineers Without Borders. He's doing some radical things in the area of protecting our waters from over-fishing using drone technology and other amazing things you or I will probably never do in our lifetime ;) 
  • Ron Gutman - CEO and Founder of the Interactive Health company HealthTap. I love his talk because he really emphasizes the importance of establishing organizational values and making sure that those values stay vital over time within an organization. He's also just a gentle and lovely soul!


4) I could list more podcasts, but I know not everyone is so keen on long-form interviews and lectures, so I'll list a few other big sources of inspiration.
  • Quora  -A question-and-answer site where questions are created, answered, edited and organized by it's community of users. What differentiates Quora from other (crappy) sites like Yahoo!Answers, etc is it's quality users. The community is home to some brilliant people (including well-known public figures) and the answers tend to be creative, well-thought out, and fact-driven. The content is top-notch and you can really dive deep to find some cool information. I lose hours on this site and always walk away feeling better (and smarter!) for it.
  • SkillFeed - There are lots of online learning courses and I think the most well-known sites (Khan Academy, Coursera, Lynda) are all fabulous. We are so fortunate to have access to free (or very low- cost) education right at our fingertips - and available anywhere in the world. I just came across SkillFeed recently and I like its focus on technical courses. It's only $19 a month for unlimited access to their 77,000 courses. 
  • General Assembly - If I had money to be an Angel Investor, I would throw some serious cash at GA. From what I can see, they are definitely on their way to being the next big thing. They've essentially created a modern-day, hip approach to vocational training for the tech generation. They offer both online and offline classes and they are centered in some of the major tech-city hubs (SF LA, NY, Austin, Hong Kong, London etc). My local GA is super active in the community - offering workshops, fire-side chats, panels, happy hour events, and more. They also just created an App (GA Hub) which alerts you of all local happenings.
  • Inc Magazine  - a little old-school, but I get the paper subscription because I have a very specific Inc. reading practice. I like to dog-ear all of the articles I find inspiring and write down things or people I want to reach out to or research  further. Sometimes the greatest inspiration comes from a small ad or a little fact blip on one of the pages. However you read it, there is sure to be interesting profiles of people doing revolutionary things in tech and in business. I love learning about the frontiers that are being explored and the brave figures behind them.
AND YOU? What's your recipe for inspiration? Do share!

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