Critical Mindset For Entrepreneurs

In entrepreneurship, it’s important to have the right mindset. There will be highs and lows in each journey. Sometimes the journey sucks where you’ll have to layoff employees because of lack of growth. Other times, it’s great with a new surge of customers. For these different experiences we need to be ready to cope with the highs and lows. How do we prepare ourselves you ask? It begins with our mindset. It plays a big role in how we view these situations.

There are two mindsets Growth vs FIxed that Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. talks about in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Individuals with a growth mindset, focuses on the journey to their goal. The characteristics of these individuals are positive attitude, not easily deterred, love challenges, and most importantly resilience. When these individuals realize their fighting an uphill battle, they look and find ways to continue forward. Even if they fail they find what they have learned and move forward.

On the other hand, fixed mindset focuses on the end result of their goal. The characteristics of these individuals are similar to the Growth mindset, expect their lack of resilience in times of trouble or failure. These individuals face failure with personal failure and crumbles. They do not gain anything from not reaching their goal and move on. There is nothing more this they can do to reach their original goal.

As entrepreneurs our journeys are unpredictable. We don’t know how our lives are going to change in a year, a month, a week from now. Our mind and body has to be ready for those volatile moments. So what can you do to get this growth mindset.

  1. Understand what type of mindset you currently have (If you’re a growth mindset, continue doing you and go to step 5)
  2. Write down accomplishments throughout your journey (This is like the highlight reel)
  3. Meditate on what you have gained, if you’re venture failed at this moment.
  4. Write down what you have learned from the experience
  5. At the end of your journey, cherish your experience and write up an another game plan to reach your goal(s).
The great news about our mindset is, it’s our mindset. We can change the way we think by practicing and catching ourselves when we slip. I know because I use to have a fixed mindset. It was all or nothing for me. I gained nothing if I lost. But rethinking about my past experiences, this couldn’t be further from the truth. I have met and gained a lot throughout my failed experiences. I hope you do too!
Think and Grow Entrepreneur
John  
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Track Your Great Ideas By Writing It Down

I challenge you to write down your ideas.

There are inspiration for great ideas in all aspects of our lives. The light bulb can turn on at any moment. This means it could happen on our way to work, talking with co-worker, or even during a heated argument. The biggest hurdle for many of us is our memory.

When the “ah ha” moment comes, we sadly forget it through out our busy days. The idea is lost. This sucks. I personally hate the feeling of not remembering that good idea, and I always regret not writing it down.
I want to challenge you to start writing down your ideas. It could on a notebook, memo, excel sheet, Evernote, or anything that you’re comfortable with. I’m not saying you have to take out a pen and paper in the middle of an argument and write it down. As long jot down your idea while it’s fresh in your mind.
The benefit of jotting it down is that you can now afford to forget it for a day, month, or a year. You can always go back to your list and read what you thought of 183 days ago. This provides an abundance of ideas, you believe have potential, when you are ready to start your business. 
I’ll share my list next month and see how many I have come up with.
Good luck!

I want to give credit to www.theartofthedeal.net  for the image

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Learning How Startups Leverage Technology (DC Tech Meetup #30)

I attended the DC Tech Meetup #30 where I got the opportunity to listen and watch many different startups pitch and demos. The coolest thing for me was to see how these startups were leveraging technology to bring value to this world. I’ll go through each startup and explain what they do and share my thoughts about them.

Demo 1: Aspire (Neil Shah & William Huster)  – I missed this presentation

Demo 2: ID.me New Product Launch! (Blake Hall)

Idea – Verify people’s identity (teacher, military, student, etc) virtually.
Tech – Seems like a difficult problem to solve. Need multiple layers of clearance from the companies side and other agencies. Depending who is requesting information about the individual, they unlock multi-layer security. If it’s a higher security, then the software needs to receive a higher clearance more data to verify the user.

Overall(1-5): This idea is a note worthy 5. The team has proven that a pain point exist by reaching out to *retailers and other agencies that require identification clearance. They have built relationships with multiple different industry to leverage their technology.

*Retailers currently don’t give out discounts online, due to higher fraudulent claims. This is solved by Id.Me

Demo 4: Framebridge (Julia Lovett – julia@framebridge.com) 

Idea – Create custom frames that you’ll love

Tech – Mobile App that allows users to pick out a custom picture frame (with various sizes, colors, and patterns) with a feature to test out how it would look on your wall. Not complicated program. Straight forward main platform an section to choose in-stock frames.

Overall(1-5): Not the next million dollar idea, but definitely have potential. It’s a solid 2. It’s working in a highly niche market so it’s easier to target, but I don’t see how they can grow beyond the niche market. 

Demo 5: Vouched (Keith Cooperman)

Idea – LinkedIn like feature where users rate each other’s characteristics to see if they would be a good fit for a company.
Tech – A connection to users linkedIn profile, then leverage their contacts to rate others character traits. Manage multiple database table to store each users ratings, their average, and their contacts. Lot of different database involved to organize users feeds, ratings and information employees finds useful.

Overall(1-5): I’m personally very skeptical about this idea, because I don’t see any added value. It’s going to be hard to convince people that they need to rate their “friends” or “sort of friends” personality. First off why would I waste my time doing this (when I don’t even recommend skills sets of others). Second what is the different between endorsement in LinkedIn and this product?

Demo 6: Openreporter (Misha Vinokur – misha@openreporter.org)

Idea – Allow regular joe’s to report any noteworthy news to certified reporters.
Tech – Two different home page for regular joe’s and reporters. Regular joe’s needs to be able to post the situation. Both users need to communicate via comments on reports the regular joe’s make. Each report is pinned on a google map.

Overall(1-5): Overall it’s a solid 2. It’s an interesting idea, and innovative. However, I’m not sure how many reporters would want to quote a random guy who claiming “Dude I just saw t-rex riding on a elephant with a cow boy hat. It was awesome!” It’ll be bad journalism if they simply believed what people are saying. I want (video) proof. Second I guess they’ll charge reporters for this service or ads? Don’t see reporters actually paying initially (chicken and egg problem).   

Demo 7: AgSquared (Jeff Gordon)

Idea – Organize data about individual farmers crop type, yield, harvest, etc to analyze farmers data over the years to help them make informed decisions in future harvest/investments. There are sensors in place within the farm that collects data as well.
Tech – Probably the second hardest to implement after Id.Me. They use tracking within the farm and display the data through a graph on the farmers dashboard. The software analyzes the data (in ways the founder didn’t go into) for farmers to use.

Overall(1-5): I give them a 3 for two main reasons. The idea is relatively innovative and very useful for farmers in the long run. The negative is it’s very time consuming for farmers to actually input all the necessary data to make this useful. This takes time to learn to use the technology and take time out of actually labor.

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