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5 Entrepreneurs Talk About Their Greatest Lessons From Starting Up

5 Entrepreneurs Talk About Their Greatest Lessons From Starting Up

The life of an entrepreneur is not easy. The journey to the top is slow and requires persistent hard work day in and day out. Even then, success is not guaranteed and there is a very good chance for an entrepreneur to be left without a job or income after years of relentless effort. Given these hardships, what makes entrepreneurs stick to their passion?

I talked to over a hundred entrepreneurs for my book, “How We Did It : 100 entrepreneurs share the story of their struggles and life experiences” and got the opportunity to listen to these incredible people firsthand. A popular answer from all these entrepreneurs was that they simply didn’t know any better. However, these entrepreneurs had incredible stories and experiences to share from their startup journey. Here are a few of them.

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1. Sam Tarantino, the Founder & CEO of Grooveshark

“The single greatest lesson in life I’ve learned is that anything you have can be taken from you. Who you are and what you stand for cannot. That is eternal and the root of happiness. Money, fame, status, power, people, things, all can be lost. Purpose and happiness can’t. One thing I always look back on when we faced impossible odds was that I assumed every day that tomorrow I could lose everything. When you accept that anything can be taken from you at any second, constricting fear dissolves and you operate from a place of infinite potential and ability. You suddenly have superhuman strength.”

2. Chris Grant, the owner of Grant Family Farms

“Never make the mistake of thinking you know everything about anything. Do not think you are an expert in anything. Everyday in business is a giant learning process. Do not sell yourself short by thinking you know it all, and be open to new ideas. Be aware of your competition, but don’t lose sleep over them. Like in the third grade, you need to mind your own business.”

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3. Kyle James, owner of Rather-Be-Shopping.com

“Never let somebody tell you that you can’t do something. If I had listened I would have quit a long time ago or never started to begin with. Find a niche, create a website and content that is the best resource available, helps people solve problems, and the customers will follow.”

4. Zeb Couch, owner of OffMarketFormula

“The world belongs to the meat eaters. Those who see what they want, drool at the mouth at the thought of tasting it, and aren’t afraid to get battered and beaten in order to take a bite. Behind every IPO, every company like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Roc-A-Fella there’s a meat eater who’s scraped and clawed to win. Guaranteed. If that sounds too painful, too unappealing, this life just isn’t for you.”

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5. Mike Townsend, the founder of HomeHero

“An important lesson to remember is to constantly grow your skills don’t be intimidated by things you don’t know. If you don’t know how to code, design, or raise venture capital, just jump in and try. Have the mentality that you will solve any problem that comes your way and you will attract talented people looking for a leader.”

Featured photo credit: Escape Media via entrepreneurshipdaily.com

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Anand Srinivasan

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

Traditionally, when you have a lot of ideas in your mind, you would create a text document, or take a sheet of paper and start writing in a linear fashion like this:

  • Intro to Visual Facilitation
    • Problem, Consequences, Solution, Benefits, Examples, Call to action
  • Structure
    • Why, What, How to, What If
  • Do It Myself?
    • Audio, Images, time-consuming, less expensive
  • Specialize Offering?
    • Built to Sell (Standard Product Offering), Options (Solving problems, Online calls, Dev projects)

This type of document quickly becomes overwhelming. It obviously lacks in clarity. It also makes it hard for you to get a full picture at a glance and see what is missing.

You always have too much information to look at, and most often you only get a partial view of the information. It’s hard to zoom out, figuratively, and to see the whole hierarchy and how everything is connected.

To see a fuller picture, create a mind map.

What Is a Mind Map?

A mind map is a simple hierarchical radial diagram. In other words, you organize your thoughts around a central idea. This technique is especially useful whenever you need to “dump your brain”, or develop an idea, a project (for example, a new product or service), a problem, a solution, etc. By capturing what you have in your head, you make space for other thoughts.

In this article, we are focusing on the basics: mind mapping using pen and paper.

The objective of a mind map is to clearly visualize all your thoughts and ideas before your eyes. Don’t complicate a mind map with too many colors or distractions. Use different colors only when they serve a purpose. Always keep a mind map simple and easy to follow.

    Image Credit: English Central

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    By following the three next steps below, you will be able to create such mind maps easily and quickly.

    3 Simple Steps to Create a Mind Map

    The three steps are:

    1. Set a central topic
    2. Add branches of related ideas
    3. Add sub-branches for more relevant ideas

    Let’s take a look at an example Verbal To Visual illustrates on the benefits of mind mapping.[1]

    Step 1 : Set a Central Topic

    Take a blank sheet of paper, write down the topic you’ve been thinking about: a problem, a decision to make, an idea to develop, or a project to clarify.

    Word it in a clear and concise manner.

      What is the first idea that comes to mind when you think of the subject for your mind map? Draw a line (straight or curved) from the central topic, and write down that idea.

        Step 3 : Add Sub-Branches for More Relevant Ideas

        Then, what does that idea make you think of? What is related to it? List it out next to it in the same way, using your pen.

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          You can always add more to it later, but that’s good for now.

          In our example, we could detail the sub-branch “Benefits” by listing those benefits in sub-branches of the branch “Benefits”. Unfortunately, we already reached the side of the sheet, so we’re out of space to do so. You could always draw a line to a white space on the page and list them there, but it’s awkward.

          Since we created this mind map on a regular letter-format sheet of paper, the quantity of information that fits in there is very limited. That is one of the main reasons why I recommend that you use software rather than pen and paper for most of the mind mapping that you do.

          Repeat Step 2 and Step 3

          Repeat steps 2 and 3 as many times as you need to flush out all of your ideas around the topic that you chose.

            I added first-level (main) branches around the central topic mostly in a clockwise fashion, from top-right to top-left. That is how, by convention, a mind map is read.

            In the next section, we are covering the three strategies to building your maps.  

            Mind Map Examples to Illustrate Mind Mapping

            You can go about creating a mind map in various ways:

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            • Branch by Branch: Adding whole branches (with all of their sub-branches), one by one.
            • Level by Level: Adding elements to the map, one level at a time. That means that firstly, you add elements around the central topic (main branches). Then, you add sub-branches to those main branches. And so on.
            • Free-Flow: Adding elements to your mind map as they come to you, in no particular order.

            Branch by Branch

            Start with the central topic, add a first branch. Focus on that branch and detail it as much as you can by adding all the sub-branches that you can think of.

              Then develop ideas branch by branch.

                A branch after another, and the mind map is complete.

                  Level by Level

                  In this “Level by Level” strategy, you first add all the elements that you can think of around the central topic, one level deep only. So here you add elements on level 1:

                    Then, go over each branch and add the immediate sub-branches (one level only). This is level 2:

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                      Idem for the next level. This is level 3. You can have as many levels as you want in a mind map. In our example, we only have 3 levels. Now the map is complete:

                        Free-Flow

                        Basically, a free flow strategy of mind mapping is to add main branches and sub-topics freely. No rules to restrict how ideas should flow in the mind map. The only thing to pay attention to is that you need to be careful about the level of the ideas you’re adding to the mind map — is it a main topic, or is it a subtopic?

                          I recommend using a combination of the “Branch by Branch” and the “Free-Flow” strategies.

                          What I normally do is I add one branch at a time, and later on review the mind map and add elements in various places to finish it. I also sometimes build level 1 (the main branches) first, then use a “Branch by Branch” approach, and later finish the map in a “Free-Flow” manner.

                          Try each strategy and combinations of strategies, and see what works best for you.

                          The Bottom Line

                          When you’re feeling stuck or when you’re just starting to think about a particular idea or project, take out a paper and start to brain dump your ideas and create a mind map. Mind mapping has the magic to clear your head and have your thoughts organized.

                          If you can’t always have access to a paper and pen, don’t worry! Creating a mind map with software is very effective and you get none of the drawbacks of pen and paper. You can also apply the above steps and strategies just the same when using a mind mapping tool on the phone and computer.

                          More Tools to Help You Organize Thoughts

                          Featured photo credit: Alvaro Reyes via unsplash.com

                          Reference

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