Entrepreneurial inspiration and information are everywhere. Here are a few—in no particular order—that I’ve collected this past week:

* Twitter, Twitter, Twitter. I have no idea why Twitter is so addictive, but it is. I’m new to Twitter world, but find myself checking in frequently since the folks I’m following leave such interesting tidbits.

Publicity Hound Joan Stewart had a story in her mailing last week about Rebecca Shapiro, an artist from Portland, OR, who got a regular gig on a local tv show thanks to Twitter. Want to know what all the fuss is about? Read Copyblogger’s How to Use Twitter to Grow Your Business.

You can find me on Twitter by clicking on this link. 

* Long before I moved to Las Vegas, I became fascinated by hotel impresario Steve Wynn. When his newest hotel opened recently, he pointed out that Encore is short on gimmicks and long on great service. As he told the press, his focus is on getting back to basics. Successful entrepreneurs seem to make that discovery over and over.

If you’re interested in knowing more about Wynn and the other entrepreneurial forces in my hometown, I recommend Winner Takes All by Christina Binkley. It’s one of my favorite books of the year. 

And if you want to focus on basics like goalsetting or building your expert status, join me for one–or several–of my upcoming teleclasses

* Nevada Public Radio just replayed their interview with Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class and Who’s Your City? Florida said something in that interview I’ve thought to myself, but never heard anyone verbalize before. In the Idea Age, says Florida, we need to rethink our notions about home ownership. After pointing out that home ownership came about as a result of the Industrial Age and led to our crazy love affair with consumerism, Florida said, “If you want people to be able to respond to creative opportunities, the worst thing you can do is trap them in a house.” 

* A tiny little book that made a huge impact on me was Phil Laut’s Money is My Friend. I now read his Emerging Entrepreneur mailings and was struck by what he had to say this week: “People are more powerful than money.  You are more powerful than money. Economics claims to be the study of money and tends to imply that money has a mind of its own, separate from human intervention.  Such an implication is very far from accurate.  If someone dumped a truckload of currency in your back yard today, it would stay there until a human came along and told the money what to do. The same is true for the money flowing through your personal economic system right now– in and out of your checking account, piggy bank or anywhere else you keep your money. You are the one telling it what to do. For this reason, the study and understanding of your own personal money psychology offers the greatest potential for rapid improvement in your financial situation.”

* An photo essay in the LA Times caught my eye. Recycled Living: A bohemian LA loft is decorated with flea market finds showcases the home of realtor Robert Heller and fashion designer Elizabeth Kramer. It looks like a place designed to inspire creative thought.

* The Work-At-Home Success Expo is up and running–and it’s only a mouse click away. Leslie Truex has assembled a month’s worth of resources, ideas and expert interviews. You’ll even find an interview with me. Check it out.

* Then there was this idea from Florida reader Elizabeth Bonet. “A couple of years ago I started doing goal setting every year on my birthday. I set one goal for every year I am (so 39 this year!). At first, it was hard to come up with so many. So it forced me to get creative and also learn how to break goals down more as well—into smaller steps to accomplish a bigger goal, each one counting for one goal. Since I have these set, I don’t feel any pressure to make New Year’s resolutions either.”

What moves those of genius, or rather what inspires their work, is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.–Eugene Delacroix

 

Like many people, I became a fan of Malcolm Gladwell after reading The Tipping Point. Not only did I find his ideas fascinating (and applicable to the Joyfully Jobless life), but his storytelling made the book fun to read. So when I saw an article in Time magazine about his new book, Outliers, I eagerly read it to learn about his latest exploration.

This new book looks at extraordinary success. Gladwell contends that talent and, even, genius aren’t enough. Instead, he cites what he calls the 10,000-Hour Rule which says that great achievement is most often the result of constant practice––about 20 hours/week for 10 years, to be exact.

Can you imagine devoting yourself to something that passionately? Would you do it for free? Many people won’t, of course, and consequently will never actualize their full potential. 

The ones who are willing to put in the practice often dazzle us once we learn about them. I was reminded of that when I read a recent edition of Valerie Young’s Changing Course e-zine. She had this little quote from Rachel Ray tucked away at the end of the mailing:  I did 30 Minute Meals for five years on local television, and I earned nothing the first two years. Then I earned $50 a segment. I spent more than that on gas and groceries, but I really enjoyed making the show and I loved going to a viewer’s house each week. I knew I enjoyed it, so I stuck with it even though it cost me.

When I first decided that I wanted public speaking to be part of my business, I made it my policy to accept every invitation that came my way–whether money was attached to it or not. I knew that the only way to polish my speaking skills was in front of other people. And if someone was giving me the opportunity to practice with a live audience, I was going to take it. I even found a volunteer gig as a backstage tour guide at the Guthrie Theater, which gave me additional speaking practice.

Eventually, I began to get calls where I was asked, “What is your speaking fee?” That’s when I turned pro. (That’s not quite accurate; in my own mind, I had turned pro right from the start. It just took a lot of free talks for it turn it into a reality.)

In Phil Laut’s nifty little book, Money is My Friend, he says, “An easy way to create an abundance of clients is to give away your service at the beginning until you have more clients than you can handle or until people force you to accept money. If you don’t like your business well enough to give away your services, this may be an indication that you are in the wrong business. When you have an abundance of clients, it is a good idea to continue to give away a portion of your services, even if you have to refuse the money.”

Think of it as an investment. Think of it as sweat equity. Think of it as the unsung road to success. By all means, think seriously about what you would do for free.

I think the best investment that you can make it to start a business that is so much fun that you don’t care if you go broke. With this approach, you can be certain of success. ~ Phil Laut