TED Talks

5 TED Talks That Will Inspire You to Start a Business

Starting a business can be exciting and terrifying all at once. You’ve found something you’re passionate about and you want to live and breathe it every day. You want to be your own boss. But equally, taking that first crucial step can feel overwhelming and intimidating. You likely have a million unanswered questions: What if you mess up? What if expectation doesn’t match up to reality? What if you find being a CEO isolating and stressful, rather than rewarding?

There will always be a thousand reasons not to start, but nobody ever became successful by playing it safe. If you believe you have it in you to start a business and make it thrive, this is certainly an avenue worth exploring. As the CEO and founder of my own startup, I can confirm that watching your business evolve is one of the most satisfying experiences you’ll ever have.

To help inspire and motivate you to take the plunge, we have collated five TED Talks that all aspiring business owners should watch and learn from.

  1. Do What You Love (No Excuses!) by Gary Vaynerchuk

The number one rule when it comes to starting a business? You must be passionate about your business. You need to do what you love. This is the only way you’ll care enough, and be dedicated enough, to sacrifice the hours required to make your business successful.

In “Do What You Love,” Gary discusses the importance of finding an industry you have a genuine interest in. Otherwise, no matter how much money you make or how many branches you open, you’ll never be entirely satisfied.


Related: Seth Godin Talks the Importance of Seeking the Smallest Viable Market

  1. Why the Best Hire Might Not Have the Perfect Resume by Regina Hartley

Recruitment is never easy. It’s expensive, it’s time consuming and it’s exhausting. This is especially true if your business’ success is at stake. You want to make sure you fill the ranks with top performers and engaged employees who get to work every day determined to make your company stronger. But finding these top performers is not always clear-cut. Sometimes, you need to sift through the flawless, pristine resumes to find the candidates who are best suited to your business and your values.

In “Why the Best Hire Might Not Have the Perfect Resume,” Regina gives a unique perspective on recruiting that will get you excited to begin the hiring process.

Watch it here:

  1. How to Run a Company with (Almost) No Rules by Ricardo Semler

Modern businesses are fluid, agile and forward-thinking in nature. This is why so many companies are introducing flexible working options and why more still are abandoning traditional performance management methods in favor of approaches such as continuous performance management. The concept of a 9 to 5 office-based working day is falling by the wayside.

This is something Ricardo explores in his talk, “How to Run a Company with (Almost) No Rules.” This talk is an exciting one for founders who want to take a less hands-on approach with their employees so that they can develop and flourish in a culture of autonomy.

Watch it here:

  1. Two Reasons Companies Fail – And How to Avoid Them by Knut Haanaes

As a businessperson aspiring to start a brand new company, you’ll be all too aware of the statistics regarding failing businesses. If stats like these are holding you back, don’t let them.

Instead, watch a Talk like “Two Reasons Companies Fail and get forearmed. This will encourage you to constantly evolve as a business, rather than stagnate and, ultimately, fail.

Watch it here:

  1. The Single Biggest Reason Why Startups Succeed by Bill Gross

On the other side of the coin, we have “The Single Biggest Reason Why Startups Succeed by Bill Gross. In this Talk, Bill covers the many reasons why one startup might succeed and thrive where another might fail. As a serial entrepreneur with many years of experience under his belt, Bill has pinpointed the biggest success factor of all — timing. This is a compelling and inspirational watch for any startup business owner.

Watch it here:


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After listening to the TED Talks above, one thing becomes clear: founders and business leaders must be passionate about their work. They need to care about their employees and be dedicated to constantly evolving and advancing. Once you are clear on what you want to do and how you want to do it, you can begin to attract, engage and motivate a group of employees who will become as aligned with your startup’s vision as you are.

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