Four TED Talks to inspire your entrepreneurial spirit

This month of Weekly Happiness Challenges is for entrepreneurs — or more likely those of us with an entrepreneurial spirit. We’re already diving into personal branding, then next week we’ll go onto building your startup future, and then we’ll close out the month talking about going from “I” to “us” as you go from a self-representing solopreneur to a team.

So what better way to be get into that entrepreneurial mindset than by listening to savvy and inspiring TED Talks?

Jeff Smith: Lessons in business … from prison

Jeff Smith found that his fellow inmates were some of the most creative, innovative and entrepreneurial people he’d ever met — 95 percent drug dealers, often running side hustles on the inside that teaches them “how to make do with less.” But then they have so much difficulty to find a job when they get out. How can we leverage these innate traits when they’re out?

So, what can we learn from prisoners that we can apply to our businesses?

Dan Ariely: What makes us feel good about work?

Why do we torture ourselves by climbing mountains, suffering frostbite? Dan Ariely suggests that we care about the fight, the challenge, and reaching goals. But what gives us this motivation? And what destroys it? This talk also presents research that reminds us how to increase value for work and how to really crush our spirits and demotivate us.

Dan likes to experiment with this stuff and share it with us in this video. Because he’s realized that it takes very little to increase motivation, but that, by small mistakes we make, we can eliminate motivation even more easily.

Martin Reeves: How to build a business that lasts 100 years

Martin Reeves learns how to run a business from the human immune system — it plans for failure and thrives on diversity. And it’s completely adaptive. Oh and works completely embedded in a much larger system.

But then, it overreacts and is siloed. Totally inefficient. Is it the example of a successful business model or an utter failure?

Forget the five-year plan, Martin’s talk asks what do we have to do to make a company last 100 years — when the average company only lasts 30 years. Definitely worth a listen!

Astro Teller: The unexpected benefit of celebrating failure

Astro Teller kicks off his TED talk referencing one of the biggest bets (or boasts) of all time — President Kennedy’s moonshot, saying the U.S. wasn’t only going to be the first on the moon, but within a decade. (Echoed now by outgoing Vice President Joe Biden calling on us to cure cancer.)

If you set high goals and then focus on weeding out where you are most wrong first — focusing on failure first — is that the best way to find success? It is a time-consuming way but maybe the right way to scale an awesome business? You decide!

Also Read (And listen to!) these Happy Melly home-grown TED Talk Lists:

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This article is written by Jennifer Riggins on January 11th 2017.

You can connect with Jennifer Riggins in Google+.