Last Lecture

For your last journal entry, take the time to write your own “Last Lecture.” What would be your last lecture to someone beginning the entrepreneur journey? What words of advice, direction, or caution would you give him or her? Write about your experiences and things you learned in this class.

I can’t believe that this is the end of the course already. I learned many valuable things that I feel I will take with me in not only the workforce, but also in life. I learned a lot about different business and entrepreneurship opportunities such as social, acquisition, and franchising entrepreneurship. However, for my last lecture for someone starting their entrepreneurial journey, I would focus on a different subject. What I have learned most from this class is that what life and business are all about is relationships. The two most fundamental questions we should ask ourselves at the end of our lives according to Jim Ritchie is who did I love and who loved me? All of the wealth, fame, and status cannot compensate for the failure to answer these two questions. Relationships are vital to your entrepreneurial journey. They are also vital to someone else’s. You also need to develop relationships with your customers, clients, employees, and coworkers. You can be a great asset and influence to them and them to you. If your entrepreneurial journey is solely focused on money, you will be greatly disappointed in the end. Even if you obtain the wealth you seek, you will not be wealthy in the things that matter most and those are relationships and your integrity. Even though I haven’t begun my own journey into my career, I know this to be true because of this class and other entrepreneurs experiences. We must remember that money is not evil, but the love of money is. If our all our desire is to acquire as much money to buy material things to make us happy, we have failed to understand what happiness is. Another thing I would include in my last lecture is work is not always fun even if you are in your dream career. I feel I have grown up with a “blue collar” mentality, meaning I have learned how to work. Work is not always fun and I understand this, but I feel I’m more than willing to accept this and not get discouraged or work less just because something is boring or not enjoyable. We must not be afraid of boring or mundane tasks, but understand they are part of every career.  We must learn to work and if there is a job worth doing it is worth doing well.

True Wealth

“It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.” —George Lorimer

A common misconception about money is that it is evil. Money is not evil, but the love of money is. If our all our desire is to acquire as much money to buy material things to make us happy, we have failed to understand what happiness is. If the amount of money made us happy then why are there so many celebrities who have so many problems and don’t really seem to have true happiness. I feel that those who have a lot of money are most happy when they use it for good purposes. Having a lot of money can be used to do a lot of good and make a difference. Stephen W. Gibson highlights how money should be used and how important it is in our lives. He says:

“Money has great power. It is the power to feed ourselves and our families, power to purchase or rent shelter and to buy transportation. It is the power to purchase medicine for our sick children
and power to go on missions when we are young and power to go on missions when we are old. The power to purchase clothes to keep us warm when the Rexburg winds blow and chill you to
the bone.Realize this million dollar bill can give the possessor of this bill the power to buy a million hamburgers for hungry children or buy a million bullets to kill the innocent. It can buy a million pills to treat the sick or a million cigarettes to make people sick. It isn’t the million dollars that is bad or evil but how it is used.
The possession of excess Money often reveals or exposes what kind of a person the individual is.”

I believe the possession of excess money does reveal our character. Will we use it for selfish or selfless reasons? The choice between the two can determine our happiness and if we are truly wealthy or not.

The Opportunity To Begin Again

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed”

-Michael Jordan

Too often in our world, we think that if we fail at a task it is a negative thing. Although failure can be a setback, it is also only temporary if we respond in the correct way. We must have the attitude of looking at failure as an opportunity to be learned from than we will be successful. An icon I have looked up to since I was little, is Michael Jordan. When I was in elementary school I would read as many Michael Jordan biography s as I could. From all of the books I read about him, one thing stood out, and that is Michael was a perfect example of learning from failure and bouncing back from it. When he was a sophomore in high school he was cut from his high school varsity basketball team. Early in his NBA career, he led the league in scoring, but was eliminated early in the playoffs and could never get past the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons. People said Jordan would never win a championship. The “Bad Boy” Pistons teams beat Jordan’s Bulls team 3 years in a row. Not only did they beat Jordan’s Bulls teams each year, they lived up to their “Bad Boy” reputation by keying on Jordan and fouling him hard. They would intentionally beat him up each game. Jordan could have complained about the hard fouls and beating the Pistons would do to him. He could have made a big scene to the media and also gotten discouraged by losing to them three years in a row. What Jordan did instead was he decided he was not physically capable of taking such a beating by the Pistons. Even though he was already the leagues best scorer and physically gifted, he went into the weight room in the off-season and gained twenty pounds of muscle to prepare for the Pistons the following year so he would be more physically ready. He met them again in the playoffs for the fourth year in a row, his Bulls team swept the Pistons 4 games to 0 and went on to win his first championship, and two more in a row after that. Failure is all about how we respond to it. It’s about be resilient even when we are uncertain we can bounce back. We can sit back and complain or we can respond with action. Every successful person never became successful by not first failing.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“There is no real excellence in all this world which can be separated
from right living.” — David Starr Jordan

This week we learned about the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey. He is the  is co-founder and co-chairman of FranklinCovey Company, the world’s largest
management and leadership development company. We all want to be successful and effective. These habits narrow down how to do that and what we need to focus on to achieve our goals. I wanted to summarize each of the habits in my own words and what I think they mean. They are as follows:

Habit 1: Be Proactive

Focus on what you can change. Be a doer, not a whiner. It’s easy to talk about problems, but hard to come up and carry out solutions. Stay active!

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

Envision what success will feel like and be. You have to know what you’re working towards and focus on. There needs to be a destination in the journey.

Habit 3: Put First Things First

Manage your life. Prioritize and figure out what’s essential and what is not.

Habit 4: Think Win‐Win

It’s not about what I want, but what everyone wants. In a world that teaches you about being competitive, it’s hard to have a cooperative mentality. It is also ok to agree to disagree if a win/win cannot be accomplished. You have to seek agreemants and relationships that are equally beneficial to both parties.
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

Empathetic listening and active listening are key here. It’s not enough just to shake your head while someones talking, you really have to understand where they are coming from before your want to be understood.

Habit 6: Synergize “Two heads are better than one.”

“Teamwork makes the dream work.” Synergy cannot happen without the above habits.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

You need to rejuvinate and regroup yourself. Always keep learning. Learn to work smarter instead of just harder. Focus on areas of physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual goals and take time to develop each area.

The Great Need for Mentors

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” -John C. Crosby

Relationships are some of the keys to our existence here in this lifetime. Developing and fostering relationships is a basic human need. It is also needed in business and a career. I have always been afraid to approach potential mentors for help in my future career because I know that people’s time is valuable to them and I don’t want to be a burden to them. However, what I have found is that there are a lot of people more than happy to be apart of your life journey and help point you in the right direction. There are some key points that really stood out to me in the book, The Ministry of Business, that I want to apply in my life:

Tips In Finding and Adopting Good Mentors

Consider your goals, strengths, and weaknesses. Think about what type of person can help you overcome your challenges and reach your goals.

The potential mentor should raise you to higher ground. Run from a mentor who doesn’t allow you to see yourself in a greater light. Even if a mentor is hard on you, the feeling you should get from working with a mentor should never be demeaning, but always uplifting.

A great mentor will take an interest in you personally, and will be ready adopt you for life.

Mentors should be willing to share their wisdom and knowledge out of a sincere and selfless desire for your betterment rather than for personal financial gain.

A good mentor student relationship should be meaningful to both parties

Mentors by definition of being successful professionals, are generally very busy individuals. Yet good mentors should never make you feel like the time they give you is a burden to them.

When approaching potential mentors, be bold enough to directly ask for some of their time. When they agree, set an appointment and share your goals, ideas, questions, and concerns with them. Find out if they are able and willing to help you achieve these goals. If a potential mentor denies your request than so be it. Move on to someone who is willing to take a sincere interest in you and your goals.

Always be communicative, clear, and direct when approaching and speaking to potential mentors. Only though straightforward communication will you find the right person to become your mentor.

Overall, these tips will lead to lasting relationships, which is what life is about. These are tips that I hope to apply in my own journey and I am excited for the day when I will be the one who is a mentor to someone else.

Skill, Character, Or Luck?

“Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.” -John Wooden

This week what really stood out to me was the difference between skill, character, or luck that lead to success. From an outside perspective people will usually see a successful person and think that they are just lucky. They happened to be at the right place at the right time, or just were blessed to have a cool idea pop into their head. However, what the outsiders don’t see is the risk, blood, sweat and tears that went into their success. They don’t see the years of hard work and prior rejection that this person faced. They only see the success. Though luck can play a role in success, but “Luck is the difference between making a million dollars and ten million or a hundred million. It’s not the difference between success and failure.” Luck doesn’t just happen, and if it does and that is the only thing the person has relied on it will never last. The second factor that a lot of people look at for success is skill or talent. You do need some skill to have success. You can’t be successful at something you are not at least capable or decent at doing. Talent can be a tremendous blessing, but can only get you so far and as talked about in the readings,“Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods were born with extraordinary talent. But without thousands of practice free throws and countless hours on the practice tee, neither would have become champions. Mastering a skill requires dedication, so character has to come before talent.” Character comes down to persistence and perseverance. When I played high school football we had some great talent, however, we were also always the smallest team whoever we played against. We had some offensive/defensive lineman who were only 150 pounds. However, our head coach used to always say “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” That is something our team had more than most any other team and it lead us to get third at state and also teaching me this valuable lesson. In the end it’s our commitment to developing character through persistence and dedication that will lead to success.

You’ll Be Better At What You Love

“Do what you love, you’ll be better at it.”- Francis Ford Copolla

My dad has been very influential in helping me determine what I should do for a career. He has always told me to do something I love. He has led by example, but not in the way you would think. When he got home from his mission when he was twenty three he got married within six months. He had no idea what he wanted to do. He decided to major in history and minor in political science, but didn’t have a specific goal of what he really wanted to do with his major. He thought of possibly being a lawyer, but him and my mom had me pretty quick and my little brother a year and a half later. To be able to provide for his family, he worked in pharmaceutical sales to provide for his growing family. It took him eight years to graduate with his bachelors degree. I even remember his graduation day when I was six years old. Even though he graduated, he stuck with sales, and though he was good at it, he doesn’t enjoy it and it has caused him a lot of stress and job dissatisfaction. He works hard and provided for his family, but taught me a valuable lesson that you should have specific goals to achieving a career in what you love to do. That is why I am going to work in sports and specifically the Boise State Athletic Department. The readings this week have really helped me evaluate my fears and plan on how I will overcome them. I fear that I won’t be able to reach my goals and, like my dad, get stuck having a career I don’t enjoy. I learned to deconstruct this fear by having a backup plan. There are many things I do enjoy and if somehow I don’t achieve my specific dream, it will all work out the way it should. I can still work in sports, but maybe its for a company or department I wouldn’t normally expect. It could possibly be for the better anyway and I believe that as long as I’m working as hard as I can to achieve my specific goal things will work out the way they should. Another thing that I have learned this week is the power of “I am” and “I will” statements. I’m starting to change my vocabulary from “I want” or “I hope to” statement to “I am” or “I will”. In my advanced sports psychology class, we learned the value of self talk and its impact on achieving success. With what I have learned I am going to work in college athletics and I will achieve the necessary steps to reach my goals and doing what I love. I will be better at it anyway.