Seven TED Talks Every Entrepreneur Needs to Watch

TED Talks aim to share ideas worth spreading. We’ve done the legwork and compiled the seven best TED Talks for entrepreneurs of all ages.

It’s tough to run into an entrepreneur who hasn’t heard of TED Talks, whether they attended one in person or viewed a talk via YouTube. If you don’t know what a TED Talk is, here’s the brief lowdown on the series. TED Talks (the acronym stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design) are conferences held worldwide where influential speakers are given about 18 minutes to present a message in an innovative way, or as the TED tagline proclaims, create a message filled with “ideas worth spreading.”

While sharing ideas worth spreading might sound difficult to do on the surface, TED seems to have it down to a science with a TED Talk available on just about every subject you can think of. If you’re on the go and not sure you have the time to view each and every conference possible, we’ve done the legwork for you and compiled the seven best TED Talks for entrepreneurs of all ages.

Amy Cuddy – “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are”
In this talk, Harvard Business School Researcher and Professor, Amy Cuddy, speaks about the effect body language has on our daily lives. Most people have the capability to consider how their own body language can come off to other people, but one of the biggest points Cuddy also touches on how our body language can affect how we feel about ourselves. As entrepreneurs, not only do we need to be aware of what vibes we’re giving off to our employees and partners, but we also need to be aware of how our posture is affecting how we are consider ourselves.

Seth Godin – “How to Get Your Ideas to Spread”
Author and marketing specialist Seth Godin speaks on the pivotal moment of going from extraordinary idea to an idea that everyone knows about and is on board with. Godin urges his audience to strive for original unique ideas over safe, conventional ones with humor and insight. This talk serves as a good reminder to any entrepreneur to constantly be thinking outside the box rather than staying in it because the outside is where astonishing things happen.

Tom Wujec – “Build A Tower, Build A Team”
A Fellow at Autodesk, Tom Wujec focuses on the power and importance of building a solid team from the ground up. He touches on what makes up the perfect team and how to achieve and explore that potential. Creating a good team is a huge part of running your own business – without a team, there’s not much else there.

Tim Harford – “Trial, Error, and the God Complex”
An economics writer for the Financial Times, Tim Harford looks at the successful tool of trial and error as it applies to design and business. In the talk, he speaks about some of the largest brand designs that are still relevant today, and how many of them were formed simply through trial and error techniques. This video serves as a great reminder to entrepreneurs that sometimes you just have to go for it in a big way and see if anything sticks!

Itay Talgum – “Lead Like the Great Conductors”
For a lot of entrepreneurs, owning a business is their first, or at least their largest, experience in leading a group of people. In this talk, Israeli conductor and business consultant Talgum goes over the best way to lead a cohesive group of people as compared to the great musical conductors of the 20th century.

Nigel Marsh – “How to Make Work-Life Balance Work” 
Author of “Fat, Forty and Fired” Nigel Marsh tackles the constant entrepreneurial struggle of achieving the perfect balance of work and life. Marsh found that as his business life succeeded, he felt unfulfilled in his personal life until he found the secret to perfectly harmonizing the two worlds. If you find yourself coming home from work too exhausted to play a round of Uno with the kids, or heading into the office Monday morning barely able to keep your eyes open from a crazy nonstop weekend, this is the video for you.

Jason Fried – “Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work”
Jason Fried, co-founder and president of 37signals, goes over why the office can be poisonous for ideas and productivity. If you feel like your office is a place where good ideas go to die, Fried offers business owners three ways to make the workplace go from poisonous to profitable.

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.

Keeping Your Chin Up for Your Startup

When it comes to running a startup, it’s important to maintain an optimistic attitude for a variety of reasons. Here’s how to keep your chin up when starting your own business, brought to you by Deborah Sweeney of MyCorporation.

This post is brought to you by Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.com.

When it comes to running a startup, the reality of the business more often than not outweighs the expectations. Conventional wisdom is that entrepreneurs shouldn’t expect to immediately pull the same salary running a business that they did while working for another company. During your first, and probably your second, year of business, most of what you earn is going to be invested right back into the company. On a financial level, that can be really disappointing, especially if you left a particularly well-compensated position to run your own business. But if you let pessimism take hold, it can have a very real, and very dire, impact on your startup – an impact that can easily be avoided if you think positively.

Optimists Make Better Leaders

To lead, you need to be enthusiastic. To be enthusiastic, you need to be optimistic. No one wants to work for the sad sack that spends the day mired in pessimism and regret. Your employees are going to mirror your energy, and if you aren’t optimistic about your company, they won’t be either. In fact, they may feel like it isn’t really worth working at all since the business is doomed anyway, creating a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Even if your startup salary is a bit lower than you’d like, you should still stay confident and happy – you are running your own company and get to be your own boss! Enjoy yourself, and look for the light even when it gets dark.

Optimists Cope with Pressure

Running a business involves solving a lot of problems. How are you going to turn a profit? How are you going to find new customers? What parts of your business should you invest in? Pay close attention and put in some thought when it comes to answering these questions. If you take a misstep, even once, your brief stumble could become a full-on free fall off the face of a cliff. That puts a lot of pressure on you, but if you remain optimistic, you can adapt and adjust to any situation because you earnestly believe things will turn out okay. Perseverance is one of the very best ways to handle the stress of running your own business. Meet your problems head on, persevere through the rocky patches, and savor the good times when you can.

Optimists See Opportunity

You started your business because you saw an opportunity. Many of you reading may have, in fact, started your business in the middle of a recession, something most people wouldn’t try. Success as an entrepreneur is dependent on the ability to see the broader picture, and pick up on subtle cues and hints as to where a market is headed. If doom and gloom cloud your sight, you’ll convince yourself that your vision is faulty and thus never see any opportunity.

Now don’t get me wrong – irrational optimism is as useless as irrational pessimism. But running a successful startup requires you to believe in the sustainability of your company. The mere act of leaving a salaried job to chase a dream requires an optimistic outlook, so it is up to you to cling to it and continue to let it guide you. Remember to have faith in yourself, and in your business – if you don’t, no one else will either.

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.