Cal Newport has a summary of an interview with Pam Slim about entrepreneurship and the role of passion. It is an interesting post, and makes me want to read her book. I particularly like this advice:
"Take one idea. Find a simple business model. Then test it using the fewest resources possible (time, energy, money), but in a way that gives you a good sense of whether the idea is viable. This is especially important if you are testing an idea while still holding a traditional job."
I also rather like this article about the dearth of women entrepreneurs, and how trying to plan everything out might not be the best approach. Here's the quote I love from this one:
One of the biggest mistakes we make as women is trying to make plans for how things will fit in our lives. We plan marriages, babies, and even our careers. Coincidentally entrepreneurship is one of those things you can’t really plan. Literally anything can happen on any given day. Last year I wrote on Women 2.0 about organized chaos. It’s how I balance my life as an entrepreneur and single mom who also happens to have some pretty ambitious goals.
Incidentally, the post linked to in that quote is pretty good, too.
And here is another good post from a woman entrepreneur, this one about how no one is likely to be a born entrepreneur, and you need to practice those skills to get better. Here's a good quote from this one:
After starting a number of companies of my own, and meeting with entrepreneurs at all stages of the startup journey, I’ve come to believe that the ability to differentiate good ideas from bad ones and massage bad ideas into profitable companies is like being physically fit. The vast majority of us aren’t born fit. We have to train, practice, and push ourselves to get good at it.
Next, the funniest link in this post: the seven habits of highly effective mediocre people. I'm not going to try to summarize it. But here is a good quote from it:
We can’t all be grand visionaries. We can’t all be Picassos. We want to make our business, make our art, sell it, make some money, raise a family, and try to be happy.
I really like this. I think we get caught up in feeling like we need to be amazingly awesome or we can't do something. But the truth is, we just need to be good enough. I played viola all through school, even through graduate school, and then I played Irish fiddle for several more years. I was never going to be a professional musician, but I played well enough to enjoy it and to produce some enjoyment for the people who listened. I think we should approach our work more like that. If we wait until we're unbelievably awesome at things before we'll try them, we will miss out on a lot of cool experiences, and the world may be missing out on some cool things.
So it was in that spirit that I decided to go ahead and try to publish The Zebra Said Shhh. I think it is a pretty good story, but I have no illusions about it being the next Knuffle Bunny. I had lunch with a friend today, and he'd noticed that someone had posted a review on The Zebra Said Shhh Amazon page. He wondered if I minded that the review was a three star review, and he was sort of taken aback by my answer: "Hell no, I don't mind. I think it is AWESOME." First of all, I'm told that even a one star review is better than no review in terms of sales. Second, it is only one review and maybe the next reviewer will like it even more. Third, writing a solid three star book on my first try? Hey, I can live with that. In fact, I will CELEBRATE that.
This is not to say that I don't take the book seriously. Far from it. I worked on the book and made it the best I could. I am fully committed to doing any marketing activities my publisher suggests. I just don't think it fair to expect myself to be perfect, especially not on my first attempt. I'll read the reviews, and learn from them. And my next book (and yes, I've got a next book in the works!) will be even better.
OK, back to the links. The link above about how entrepreneurship takes practice came from a Forbes article by the same author, about how a lot of start ups should focus less on investors and more on customers. There are business ideas outside of Silicon Valley.
Along those lines, I found this piece about running a business that makes products for people who make less than $2 per a day really interesting.
Since I was talking about the book and reviews, here are the posts about the book that I've seen so far:
- Alyssa at Apple Pie and the Universe has a review that includes a link to my answers to some interview questions.
- Anandi at House of Peanut has a review that includes a little small world back story.
- Ella Johnson at Mymcbooks has a review with a giveaway, open until March 22.
- Tamia Sheldon (the illustrator) has a short post up about the book.
- Xist Publishing is on Pintrest, and here is the page for the book. The quote on this page makes me smile!