A Series of Stresses or A Series of Adventures

entrepreneurship zen

Although I love what I do, one of the more frustrating aspects of running a business is that YOU are always the bottleneck for everything. The reason we don’t produce sites faster is because I, personally, have to review them. The reason sales are at X but not Y is because I personally have not yet hired the right salesperson and because I personally am too busy to proactively follow up with every single lead. The reason we haven’t developed our new products faster is because I personally have to do some user interface designs but have been busy with other things.



general zen

Whew, it’s been a long time since I’ve written on this blog. Nearly 4 months!

I feel like I have so many things I’d like to write about, but one thing in particular seems to keep popping up these days: the idea of being honest with people.

Maybe it’s my nature, maybe it’s my upbringing, but I just really feel uncomfortable when I’m not being forthright with someone. If I feel like I’m withholding something or not disclosing something it makes me feel manipulative and uneasy. I feel like I have to just come out with the truth, all of it.


Connecting with Your True Purpose

general zen

Okay, so watch this video for just a little bit before you continue reading:

One of the things I really love about music is that when we hear great music performed, we aren’t just hearing great music, we’re also hearing an individual who has risen to his or her full potential.

The guy in the video is of course Bono, U2’s lead singer. The song is “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” As you watch Bono singing to thousands of people, you can just tell that Bono has 150% embraced his role. You don’t get the feeling that he’s thinking “Gosh, am I enjoying singing this song? Is this really what I want to be doing with myself?” You can just tell that he is totally congruent with what he’s doing, and is expressing himself to his full potential. Sure enough, thousands of people came out to hear it.


Using Your Computer for Actual Work


Paul Graham is one of my favorite essayists. He is incredibly smart, but all his essays are written in a totally straightforward style. My latest favorite is about how society is always scheming to help us procrastinate by giving us distractions, and that while we might feel bad spending 2 hours watching soap operas in front of the TV, somehow we don’t feel quite so bad wasting that same time browsing around on the Internet.

I’ve been guilty of this, and it’s something I’m actively working to change.

Read the article for yourself!

Are Great Businesspeople Also “Clever”?


When I was younger, I thought being a mega-successful entrepreneur like Richard Branson or Michael Dell was a matter of cleverness. If you were just clever enough to figure out the right market opportunity, then you could make millions.

How wrong I was.

Take Richard Branson. For his very first entrepreneurial undertaking — when he was still just a teenager — he purchased young Chrismas Trees, planted them during the spring, and then resold them at a profit during Christmas time in the winter. I actually do think that’s pretty clever, especially for a kid. But really that’s as far as “clever” alone will take you.


Are You Ambitious or Grandiose?


One of the things I really love about my life is I’ve met more entrepreneurs than I can count. One of the coolest things about entrepreneurs is that they seem to have zero demographics in common. In other words, I’ve met entrepreneurs…

  • From both wealthy homes and poor homes
  • Of pretty much all ethnic backgrounds
  • From pretty much all educational backgrounds
  • Of pretty much all ages
  • In equal proportion from both sexes
  • Of course, as with any group, there are things in common. I guess “traits of an entrepreneur” is destined for another posting.

This post is about a very important difference I’ve seen in all entrepreneurs, and here’s what it comes down to:


Why Do Entrepreneurs Become Entrepreneurs?


I recently stumbled upon RockStartup.com. It’s basically a documentary, split up into several episodes, that covers the birth of the website PayPerPost.com by following around the CEO/Founder, Ted, and the PR person, Britt.

PayPerPost (”PPP”) is a weird concept — PPP pays bloggers to write content and sources content from Publishers, and then earns money by charging advertisers to put ads on PPP-sponsored blog sites. It’s been controversial because blogging’s rise to fame is due to its unbiased nature, and paying someone to blog, well, I guess it’s hard for them not to be biased.

But the success of PPP is another discussion. I’m more interested in the man behind PPP, Ted. Based on 10 minutes of watching RockStartup, I defnitely saw some “patterns” I’ve seen in other entrepreneurs.

When I was at Wharton as an undergrad, in my Senior year I took an Entrepreneurship course where you had to build some unique software, come up with a business plan, and then pitch it all to VC’s.

Our idea was terrible. We were going to build a system for people running political campaigns to help them get a sense of how people were planning on voting. We had a barcode-scanner-pen that scanned in a person’s survey responses, and then aggregated all the information so that a campaign director could see how people felt about a variety of issues.


Sometimes, Actually Pursuing a Goal is the Worst Way to Achieve It

general zen

There’s a strange phenomenon I’ve discovered in business and in life: I call them “Counter-Goals”.

So what’s a Counter-Goal? Well, it’s a goal which is achieved best by not pursuing it in the first place. Huh?

Okay, an example. When I was in my first year at Wharton Undergrad, I took a class called Management 100. The concept of the course was (and probably still is) quite novel. I was a member of a group of 12 other freshmen, and as a group we were tasked with completing some kind of major project. One group had to build a playground. Another group had to hold a major fundraising event. Our goal happened to be teaching the basics of economics to sixth graders.


Strange Lessons in Learning How to Sell Well


I’ve never really thought of myself as a salesperson.

I remember when I was younger I interned for GE and they had some career fair at the end of the summer where you met people in all the different “early talent identification” programs. When I got to the sales people, they all just seemed so smooth. I didn’t trust them, and I certainly didn’t want to buy anything from them. I just couldn’t picture myself joining that table over some of the others.

Well, fast forward a few years after I started Omedix and reality struck – I had inadvertently positioned myself as the sole salesperson for our company. Either I sold our product or we didn’t do business; it was that simple. And so I had to start learning how to sell.