Secrets from Silicon Valley


Secrets from Silicon Valley


Lesson Info

Pamela Slim - How to Quickly Move from Idea to Action

The person I'd like to kick off today's ceremony with if you will or the presentation is someone who I massively admire because she has lived her life like she's about to teach it and it actually parallels my life I had to quit everything that other people wanted me to do to pursue my dream my dream career which is to become a photographer and I did that but it was really, really hard and if I had a had this person's advice I could have cut a lot I could have cut years off of that process she's a mixed martial artist and a mom that's how she I talked to really like a mixed martial martial artist and a mom she's an entrepreneur she quit kush career at barclays bank to become an entrepreneur she is the bestselling author of the book escape from cubicle nation please give a huge welcome to miss pam slim come on up here thank you state of yours enjoy well good morning I'm so s so totally decide excited to be here and also to be the one who really anchors this entire event so I feel kind of...

a responsibility but also a really excitement and I'm excited that all of you made time to be here is well I also want to say I've never met a canadian I don't like and I think that you're actually going to prove it to be right my dad is also yeah, hopefully by the end of by the end of my presentation, my dad's also photographer. So I grew up in a dark room, and I can really relate to that kind of business. So what I think is wonderful about starting with the concept about taking a random idea in your head and actually bringing it out into the world is in general, when we start to think about entrepreneurship, we look at amazing success stories, right? Chase. We were just in the green room, and he was saying, you know, it was crazy like me and my friend, we had this idea, we went to a white board and we kind of sketch stuff out and oh, my god, like, here we are with two studios and seventy five employees and it's amazing, right? We like. We get so excited about that, but in the meantime, it's, how you actually bridge having that random idea, writing that thing on the white board and actually taking a step to make it a reality that is really a huge deal. And so the best analogy I can think about it. Have you ever any of you ever seen the movie moonstruck, it's, an old movie? Okay, if you haven't seen it, you must see it it's a homework assignment and if you have seen it you don't like it I don't think we can be friends because it's one of the best movies ever share nicolas cage is great and there is a a character there the olivia to caucus character who's the matriarch of this italian family and she kind of has a sense that her husband may be running around on her so every man that she meets she asked him a question and she's like you know why do men chase women like I really want to understand what's the deal and men give her all these reasons you know biology reason she's like that's not it and she finally sits down with her daughter's fiance and she says, you know why the man chased women and he says, well, you know adam had is, you know, rib removed when eve came and he's always looking for a replacement and she's like that's not it and he said what I think men chase women because they fear death and she's like that's it that's it that's it they fear death and that actually I think is why people to stay stuck with ideas in their head and never bring them into reality is because they fear death death by launching a really crappy product and getting attacked by reddit people write death by taking a big risk and getting in front of an audience and making a fool of yourself death by having to tell your parents you know mom and dad I know you supported me to go to berkeley and I have an mba and I'm working for a really great investment bank I have benefits and everything and I'm quitting all of that to live a life of total uncertainty and I'm gonna start it start up in my garage mean that's um death there sometimes literally depending upon who your parents are right if there is a huge shift of identity there's a huge sense of risk and so for me what's been so wonderful in the last eight years I've been self employed for seventeen years now august fifteenth will be seventeen years in my last really job is chase was saying was that barclays global investors here in san francisco and you know remembering seeing that journey the last eight years I've been helping people just across the valley of death right it's just from having the idea being so scared and taking that very first step of like how can we just get you into doing something that first prototype that first area once people get moving then generally they start to calm down they get excited they start moving and then they'll grow their business into being really you know, huge successful business of everything works out the right way right that's what we intend so that's really what it is that I want to talk about is how do you begin to get that idea and the thing that's interesting about it? It's kind of surprising actually because I talked to a lot of people who were actually established entrepreneurs who have already done amazing things but if they're looking to make a change if they've been an entrepreneur and they want to write a book or they want to give it all up and travel with their family they experienced that same fear of crossing the valley of death so it really doesn't matter what kind of change you're making it's just that initial process we're going to work on so what I'm gonna be doing today is to talk about some of the core philosophies that are going to help you as you're thinking about the process the most super pragmatic, straightforward, common sense kind of framework you could imagine for how you can quick start any kind of an idea and then finally how you might think about the testing process so that it can be really effective. So the first thing is is to remember that when you get stuck in idea land where you are, you know, imagining things and you know you're sitting in your cubicle and you hate your co workers and you're imagining like being on that beach being tim ferris and like working for hours a day and having money porn in your bank account like that's really feeling good right and you can think about that and think about it and think about it for a really long time, but the reality is until you actually start doing something about it, nothing is really going to happen. So when I when my book came out in two thousand nine, I have a blogger also escape from cubicle nation, which I've been writing much before my book and so I had written this big piece right after the book came out of us feeling good I was getting all kinds of press I've just been in the new york times and I wrote this piece on pricing it was this big blogged post kind of analyzing how it is that you price your services and just kind of a zen aside as a last little piece I mentioned alan weiss don't have you know alan weiss, who is written million dollar consultant he's a really well known guy in the consulting field really bright has done tons of work about understanding how to create a value based consulting business but he's kind of a tough guy, right? He can be a little bit a little bit sharp and I have a lot of, you know, life coach people like me that are in my community and so I mentioned alan I said, you know, he's really grady is great information, but sometimes he can be a little bit crass and if there's any like english majors and here I was thinking craftsman like, maybe a little bit rough maybe have a little bit of an edge it's basically calling him like an uneducated loser is kind of what I called him right? So the next morning go to bed all happy with my big post and I wake up and here's alan weiss on my blog's saying a pam slim first of all, who are you and how dare you call me crafts so immediately looked it up in the dictionary and realized I had totally insulted him and apologized profusely. I called him I wrote him an email. I wrote a long block post apology I was mortified that I had done that and so I posted on my block and I have one of my blood readers mike that's in the uk and he said, you know pam, I know that sometimes choosing the wrong word can be really painful he said once I had a friend who was interviewing for a job in my company and my manager was interviewing her and she was asking about what's the work environment like and you know how long to people stay what's the turnover and he very proudly said, you know, actually it's a really good company people stay a long time we have an exceptionally low rate of nutrition and she she kind of looked at him and tried to like keep a straight face and he was so proud of it and then she you know she left and mike said you know how was the interview like we're going to take the job and she said well actually offered me the job but I couldn't take it cause I couldn't imagine looking at my boss and actually keeping a straight face when he told me that you have a low rate of nutrition you know, for people not leaving your company on dh mike said you know we actually were quite skinny at the time but you know it was like exactly what I needed to hear it kind of relieve this stress right the fear of death you know calling out somebody very respected and in important and insulting him on my blogged that's part of what led me through the valley of death is having somebody like mike so when I was writing my book mike was actually doing a masters in software development on the side of his day job and he had two little kids like I did my daughter was a little tiny baby thinks she was three months old when I started my book so you know it was crazy I was working full time the economy crashed you my husband's business was totally destroyed so mike and I would email back and forth and I'd be like mike what was I thinking like this is impossible I haven't slept in three days angela you know it is cranky and I can't do this and it's impossible and goes pam writers write and I was like writers write and I'd sit down you know, get off email and I would just start to write my book and plow through it and then I get an email from mike and he's like my kids hardly know me my wife's upset because I don't participate like there's no way I'm going to be finishing my master's thesis it's impossible and I'd say mike coders code and he'd be like ok, so we got through it it was really fun to have that parallel we because of our time zone difference you know we'd be supporting each other at different times of the day and night and thankfully I finished my book which ended up winning best small business book of two thousand nine mike finish his thesis graduated with honors and the lesson that we really had it from that experience is that no matter how crazy it feels no matter how scary and overwhelming and hard as long as you keep doing the thing that you want to do you're going to be okay so when you get stuck whatever it is photographers take pictures you know photographers photograph it doesn't really sound is good writers right? But you know get get stuck you know, tv personalities host host joe's right host host I like that host host especially canadian host host right so you know that that's what it is if nothing's happening make your own show you know what I mean like go to the bus stop and get somebody to have a you know, a camera and like host host no matter what you're doing host host that's actually how things happen so it's a really, really important first thing to remember when you get stuck whatever you're going to do it do it now a second thing that's really important is something that I learned from my dear friend we meet state t I don't if you know or meet who writes that I will teach you to be rich now for me and I are kind of probably personality why slightly opposite right? I'm like a life coach and I'm from marin county, california and courage people and meets like you're a loser you know if you don't follow my stuff, get out of here he's actually a very nice guy he's really a wonderful person but loves to have a little bit of edge and when he talks about so when I was interviewing him for my book we were talking about the early stage of integration of ideas and when he first started one of his first projects he and a partner were also in a white board seems to be kind of a common same right of like the white board ideas that about nine different ideas of what they were going to be testing so that nine different ideas that were doing tiny little tests and one of them ended up being a little personalized week. It's the end up calling it pb wiki was the first company you know where the first cos he founded so to do a test, they have this idea, they want to bring it out to the market. So they got a bunch of really smart software developers in a room with some cases of red bull and good music in about twenty four hours for a super happy death party. And the developers made the first prototype in twenty four hours. They e mailed their friends and family within forty eight hours. They had a thousand users that were signed up to use their first little tiny prototype of their idea. Hey, he said they had they created some gmail account, you know, that was like p b wiki support at gmail dot com and people would say, this is broken and they'd be like, ok, it's fixed. It was like real time technical support. They would be fixing it as they went along and from those early stages is what ended up then growing the company into being something that was huge and unemployed, a lot of people and ever meet ended up selling his share and moving on to do other things but what he was talking about is if you have that perspective that the very first time that you put out your website or that you're you know, doing a photo shoot or whatever your business is that it's going to be perfect and you're comparing yourself to people who have already done a few startups and have a whole team of people and graphic designers helping them do what they're going to do you're never ever going to do anything and that's what he means by perfectionist or losers it doesn't happen that way my dad who's a photographer you'll appreciate this for the photographers in the bunch my dad actually taught me about how perfect happens I grew up in a dark remember those days it's all up here too young most of you're too young to remember the days where we had dark rooms and there was these bags of chemicals and there was like a line with little you know, clips where we get photo paper and take a picture you know with the rial film and make it put it up there and I was you know, five, six seven years old and I thought my dad was wonderful I've always worship my dad and I imagine if you're a good photographer you like point your camera and you take great shots right that's what photographers do and what I saw being in the dark room with my dad is a concept of bracketing right in order sure if I was to do a group shot of you I would take maybe eighty, eighty five pictures in order to get the one shot where everybody was smiling the right way and some of these hair wasn't weird and you know, some his finger wasn't out there the ice closed in order to get the right kind of of image you need to bracket it by a whole bunch of kind of semi crappy ones and the thing is too about bracketing is you don't know you don't know if the first one's going to be great enough the last one's going to be great but you know it I always love to talk to my dad about that creative process because he's like I feel it and then I learned to see it I learned to look at he would you know show me a contact sheet remember contact sheets so fun being with photographers people of diverse but you know we look at the contact sheet and even as a little girl he would you know he would help me understand like what do you think is the one like what's that picture and after a while I begin to see it like that's it you can feel it you can feel when that one is the good one so if you want to be a professional speaker you need to bracket you need to do eighty five talks and then there's the one where you nail it people are weeping, they're standing up you know you're here the angels singing have a spiritual experience right? That is actually how work happens so this is really critical when you think about that from the perspective of the process that you're going through and the thoughts you have in your head as you're creating things is when you create something that's kind of crappy and people are going after you on reddit and you know whatever you're creating is not very good you can say a bracketing dude just like total bracket situation here so if I've done you know, seventy five mistakes pretty soon another good one is coming so it's really what you want to keep in mind so those are a couple things to keep in mind right? Writers write coders code host hosts and perfectionist or losers we used her meets term because it's a little bit more catchy to remember all right? So the process now that we're going to go through is just super pragmatic but is going to be true for just about any kind of thing it is that you want to create so the first thing is to really name what specifically is it that you want to create? So what is the first thing what is on the other side of the valley of death right? What are what are a couple ideas? Anybody here want to create some things you have a vision of creating something? We have a mike I think we can run it and also folks on the internet I would love to also hear maybe some examples about what do you want to create? Is that a book? Is it a software company and ap anybody have things that you want to create and if so what are they and can you please tell me yeah yes do we have a microphone? Okay, awesome. All right it's not actually a product it's a service that one psychiatric field but what we want to do is change the culture of now health so that's it a huge thing but it's definitely across the valley of death you know what? What is your name? Jimmy king cain. Jenny okay. Campaign ok, so has a really small, you know, small goal to, like, change the entire field of mental health, which is like that's what that's what happened to silicon valley? I'm not just going to do a little thing like I actually want to change the entire field. Oh, you're from texas, right? So even more because we know they do everything big in texas, right, right, right, okay perfect example so thank you for choosing that particular one. So yes and is there another one that we have a chat? Rooms are lighting way have folks that are saying let's say we have pascal wants to create an app for creative people in london jackie wants to create an e commerce company and kinjo paying wants to create a consulting business slash offline auctioneering surface wow. Ok, that is they say are coming in we have russia we have a fashion web site for stylists curated outfits based on occasion and mood style wow occasion like a mood ring maybe that helps that'll shopping with you it's a magic jane heller exactly. So there's all these amazing ideas that start with this kind of big, you know, big huge scope and so the thing is in order to begin to get some kind of a hold in terms of what you could begin to build is where you take that gigantic idea and generally based on the resource is you have the connections, the problem you see right in front of you where might you have a place where you can do a small thing that would be a tiny little microcosm of beginning to effect the problem, right? So in the case of wanting to change, you know everything about mental health and can you pass the microphone back? What what might be like a starting place well, on that same note, you know, kind of what we started. We have a little prototype. They were trying to bracket, which is we're putting partial hospitalizations in roll areas, and, using tell minute tells psychiatry to reach those people on dso. We've we've had our first location. We've been doing it for two years, and so it's taking that, and how do you, how do you know if it's working? If it's, not what should be better, what shouldn't be? Because there's nothing to compare it to there's, no services there, and they'll kind of accept whatever people give, which is my mental health sucks. Honestly, don't be sorry, yes, absolutely, and that's, where he will talk about that in a minute, but that's, where your passion for what you're doing really comes into play right in order to go through the experiment and do it and that is the coolest thing ever write for kind of having you know that service people who don't always have access to the service doing it in this way so that that's a great example of you know, a prototype an example that you can work with when you're looking at changing the field and building in you know that next stage of what you want to dio maybe that next stage for you is is connecting with people and building in some kind of a system where you can begin to look at what would be equivalent things that we can start to do to measure what might be a natural measurement process in place could we have people that are really focused on doing good evaluation who could look at what is really excellent practice that happens within person mental health service delivery and how might we look at some of those components and look at how we can translate them into what we're doing? How could we capture some of that feedback and began to understand you know, how are we actually doing so that you have some kind of proof of concept to measure what's happening so that you have a good way of making sure that you're really serving your customers which you want to do and then you also figure out maybe if you have a model that could be taken imported elsewhere which is begins to be right the seed begins to spread where you have one thing that's really working in one area and then you begin deported over somewhere else but in order to attract funding for that to get people excited about it usually people need some kind of metric or proof right? So that could be an example of that next stage of what you do is you know, setting that out now in the bigger stage you know, you could go nuts saying I'll do that and then we'll expand in all these cities and then we'll you know, invested more technology you can blow it out for the next ten years of how you would actually end up changing the entire face of mental health sometimes that can be effective and helpful with the way that things were so rapidly changing I recommend doing, you know, a six months to a year plan right and everything that you're doing always is about laying out what's in front of you right what's next what's the next step how do we resource it executed make it happen and then how do I evaluate what happened and then re scope and say what's next? Sometimes you do end up exactly with a vision that you intended when I asked chase that question this morning I said, you know, did you ever imagine you have all these people here and he's like well yeah, like I kind of did have that vision and it's pretty crazy that it's actually happened, so sometimes it works that way. Other times people end up creating a product for one thing and it ends up having a completely and totally different use, which is fine as well, but the key is that you're asking yourself the question and, you know, what's next, right? So what is that next stage for you to figure out? Either the work, life balance stuff or the, you know, business profitability things may be for you and your photography business it's looking at what are different ways that you can not on ly deliver photographs but have entire experiences around that are their products and their services you could do to deliver your photos to, you know, friends and relatives could you there's a whole bunch of different ideas? You could look at it maybe ways to increase the profitability of the basic kind of service that you have. But the key is is to make the step almost insultingly easy of like, but like, I want to change mental health, you know, like, what do you mean? I have to just, you know, like call some academic researcher and, you know, set up that next step that's exactly what you have to do that's exactly how things happen, a step by step. So the first thing is just what is next? What is that next step of what you want to create? Um and so with that, you know, when and when you name it and you get very specific about it is where all of a sudden then it becomes feasible and you have something that you can start to plan around very, very important. I had somebody who wrote me an email once he had originally contacted me about coaching for doing, I think, a software application, and he said, you know, I'm sorry we never end up working together, he said, but I have a new idea. I think he was in asia, and he said, I actually want to build robots that clean skyscrapers, and I think that was probably my most unique kind of business ideas, like, I haven't actually never work with people building robots tickling skyscrapers, but, you know, everything can start from a prototype, so in that case, he build a little robot, maybe get a short building, you know, see how it worked, begin to get bigger and bigger and who knows what he could be our next great entrepreneur in asia, so that's a first step, what do you actually want to create name it? Now the second thing is whom do you want to create it for? And this is something having been an entrepreneur coach for so long that's always really interesting to start to see how people approach this question when you think about it if you have no idea whom you're actually creating this for it becomes really, really difficult to design it because any great product, any great marketing campaign, any great pitch is very targeted to the people who you actually want to serve I've been lucky enough tio become friendly with guy kawasaki who's, another speaker in the series which I'm so excited about tomorrow I call him my link sugar daddy because thanks to him and posting about my bloggers when I got the first infusion of a lot of traffic to my block so I'm always thankful to him about that and he always tell stories when he's presenting about people who come and pitch to him where first of all everybody will say there's at least a fifty billion dollars market in this idea right at least fifty billion dollar idea and then you'll say ok, well who's the market and somebody will say, you know, I've really done analysis and I've thought about it and you try to figure out that narrowed it down and so it's actually for women you know which wow is is really not specific or and even favorite answer is you know what this would work for anybody like my product or my service, like anybody could actually use it. And as much as we like to believe that is much a certain things do become quite pervasive after a while when you start is impossible to build for everyone, right? Eh, you know, medicine person in the amazon and a housewife in iowa and very different situations. Very different, you know, access to technology, et cetera. And so you really want to be zeroing in on what are the specific characteristics of the kind of people that you want to work with? Are really thinking about whom is it that you actually I want to be building this for? So the more specific that you can get about this, the better. And I forget my canadian friend's name again. Is it, zane? Okay. Great name is kind of a tv name, but you knew that already. So your real name made for television. Ok, so let's, pass down the microphone here. Okay, so let's play. If you were saying a little bit before, right, you like toe host, you'd like to do television? Yes. Ok. So how, like for whom? Like what kind of shows would be totally ideal for you, I'll see that's tricky, because the stuff that I've done has been across the board, like when I was on an entertainment show, actually, you know what I know? Because while you were speaking, it kind of became clear to me, it's women who are probably between the age of twenty and forty talk wass hey, then when it goes to show how to look good naked, it was thirty to forty five maybe hey, and then when I hosted a morning show is kind of always the same thing, totally different stuff, but as you were speaking, I just thought, oh, that has been my audience and you like that audience now, everyone's going to like what I do know because everybody thought about that when you ask that question, I was doing the work, but now when it comes to the idea when you said host host, when we do whatever we do now in verb it's like, who are we doing it for the why? And I just never thought about that it's a really great thing to think about it changes everything changes everything because I think that we are each of us are really uniquely wired to serve a particular group, and when you're serving the right people, when you're either, you know, I have the right guest if you're a host or if you're serving the right audience it's electric it's wonderful, right? You're building a product for people who are so excited to use it and they just fall over there so excited about it, right? Something very, very special kind of verse lee people who are not ideal for you are total kryptonite to your super powers. You will go from feeling king host of the world to feeling like what in the world just happened when you get the totally wrong kind of guest on, did you see the russell brand interview fiasco the other day? I think we need you on that show. What is it? Morning joe or something? Obviously we need to replace, you know, joran host actually, no one was made, but okay, okay, it was very sad. Obviously they were not prepared. I know you would have been a lot more prepared for that interview, but, you know, as an example, that was a situation that just completely and totally fell apart, right? It was either, like the right guest, but the wrong kind of preparation. You know, something just didn't work at all for any party there whatsoever. So the key, when you really begin to describe who are your ideal client in business is such a gigantic help because if you think I would want to host anything in the entire world it's impossible to know where to start versus developing a very specific list of like I've actually thought about who I am I special ifs my interests what would be interviews that would be amazing to be preparing for who would be fun to hang out with and then when you're going for those limited opportunities, you're going to show up in a totally and completely different way than if you just say I'm a host will work right totally different you feel differently about it and also people feel differently when you're showing up so narrowing in and really focusing on who you're actually building something for who you're selling your services for makes a gigantic difference it's a really big part of what can totally shift an entire marketing marketing plan I'd like to get very specific the other thing that's true is there are many people who are connector so when you say this is the opportunity that I'm looking for and these were the particular people that I want to work with people who are connectors have you any of you read the tipping point by malcolm gladwell okay mavens, connectors and salesman mavens or people with deep subject matter expertise the people you call when you want to know what kind of camera to buy because they've researched everything online right salesmen or people who are we wonderful at inciting action, making sales at growing a business and connectors or people who have really broad networks of people and who like nothing more than to connect people to each other so when you have connectors I'm a huge connector I love to connect people it's the greatest thing I love to do in the world but the way you would help but connectors to say ok, pam, this is exactly the kind of show I'm looking for I really really want to work with this person, you know, like if you have a connection with matt lauer, that would be awesome because I would love to work with him and this way all of a sudden I'm going to be going in my internal role attacks and thinking that who I know who knows not lower you know, somebody was on the today show and all of a sudden that very like they dream out there working with somebody because becomes a reality because you're articulating specifically who it is that you're looking for in the work that you're trying to d'oh so it's another really, really critical thing. The same thing is true for those of you who might be designing products if you're trying to design it even if it's an app or a physical product imagining whom is actually using it is going to be hugely important right? And some people will love it in some people well, hate it and that's, ok, because you can't design for everybody, and any good business is going to really be owning a specific niche. Really? Well, that that's based around the person. So name that next step, right? Like, what are you actually looking to do, what's your goal? In some cases, that could be a gig. It could be a job. It could be a business. And then whom are you actually building it for? Who do you want to be working for? And now the next piece is one. I think we tend to skip over sometimes as entrepreneurs and just get really excited by what's the business model and what's the profitability. And how are you going to do it? And how are you going to fund it? And we forget to actually ask, why is it important to be doing this thing? What value is it creating in the world? What problem is it solving? Is it a problem worth solving? And how personally does it matter to you? I call it your route. That route of connection that absolutely allows you in the storms of entrepreneurship when your clients don't pay you for ninety days and you can't pay your mortgage and when you get hammered online and when you're late delivering what do you want to deliver to your clients and they're all upset at you your route of why you're doing it is what actually keeps you going it's your deep purpose before I did business coaching I was a consultant to corporations for ten years and I was inside hundreds of companies all throughout the u s and europe and I would have conversations I'd have a manager bring me in to do some work place you know development or an off site meeting and we do our thing and more times than I can count you know at the end of the day we kind of be quietly debriefing the meeting and you know, somewhere in an office and I had people that would kind of turn to me almost with tears in their eyes you know after we'd start tides that you know what's next for you what do you want to do and they either say you know I actually have no idea like I've been doing this for so long I don't even know what my passions are anymore or people that would say you know I feel totally and completely trapped like I feel like I'm gonna drown I don't have any time to see my kids I've had this big dream but it I have no idea how to do it it feels totally impossible and my inkling is I was having all these conversations that were very deep and like that was the highlight of my whole day is having these deep soul baring conversations with a man like this is a problem that is solvable there actually is a bridge over the valley of death it's like those movies you like an indiana jones we're like your chase to the edge and all of a sudden the bridge comes out you know, in order to cross that that's kind of how I like to think about you know about the early stage process is there is a way to do it right there's a way to get through the fear there's a way to scope things out in a small way so when you're when you're defining why something is important when I would get stuck or be frustrated I think about it you know, like I'm actually writing this block post for this person that I talk to I want to help them to get out of doing what they're doing. I was very proud to be donating today's stipend for speaking to student ventures, which is a nonprofit organization that was founded by hodge fleming and wayne sutton who noticed some of you might know them from the sold out o'brien siri's about blacks in silicon valley and if you haven't noticed there tends to be a dearth you know, of folks that kind of look the same, you know, often with in a lot of tech environments, we don't have a lot of people of color, we don't have a lot of women, we spent a lot of time talking about it, like, man, we should have more speakers of color, and we should have more women, you know, tech founders and what's the deal and basically went in high said, you know, that it's not acceptable because we have this huge, gigantic talent pool of all of these people who just simply don't have the access to mentors and resource is toe learn about how to do startups, so what they decided to do and a lot of was based on their own experience, so what they decided to do was to bring mentors into communities where they could be working with kids, and so they're going to detroit, and they're doing day long workshops where they have people of color who are the mentors, you know, because often, when you look at a situation like that, when people always see the same kind of person that's the expert on stage and they never see anybody who looks like them, they may be unintended messages, you know what that place is actually not for me. Versus if you see a whole bunch of people that are doing what you're doing, they come from a similar cultural background they understand your life they can relate to your family life that can really make a big difference and so by building those kinds of bridges all of a sudden they can be connecting to the broader entrepreneurial community and things can start to happen so that purpose is the thing that really keeps them going writes what got me excited I was totally on board I was as soon as I heard their story I was like, I'm in like, what can I do in order to support this? Because it's also a very personal value that I have so sometimes passion is looked upon with a little bit of, you know, it's naughtiness maybe you know it's like those air kind of life coach things and, you know, follow your passion and you know, it could be really horrible advice to say just follow your passion and make a business out of it passion does not make a business and hating your job intensely is not a business plan, right? You need to actually have a market who you're willing to serve, but I will argue very, very strongly that if you do not know the reason why you're doing what you're doing if it doesn't solve a real problem it's not worth doing why are you spending your effort and energy and why in the world with people spend money with you it has to mean something it has to mean something for you personally the more you know that and the more you express it the more than that you're able to express it to other people so that's where you really need t understand both why is it important to do it what's the real need in the market and why is it actually important to you now the next one is my favorite that favorite thing that I do with clients when they have a big idea and you know, we've been working on things and brainstorming or many people who eventually want to get out of the cubicle right like our host did she pulled me aside and said I escaped cubicle nation, right, which is wonderful you started and said the person who goes to berkeley mba corporate and your parents were like, awesome right? All of that time internet and money invested fantastic exactly you're taking to me yeah, yes and so you know, so when you start to ask the question of like, ok, you've been working on this thing you have a side hustle like when are we actually going to begin to, you know, work on it? What day do you want to give your notice if I'm talking on the phone with people here silence if I'm with skype then I will just see kind of their face become very ashen because all of a sudden it's like well, wait a minute here we were just kind of in that fun like tim ferriss situation of like being on the tropical island like you mean I actually have to quit my job and you know, make a plan until there is a date nothing's going to happen you can't do any kind of planning until you get some kind of a timeline for what it is that you want to do you know, all planning really comes from establishing a very specific date by which something needs to happen that's meaningful to you and that's meaningful to the market I was just interviewing scott belsky who's the founder of b hance and that ninety nine you really amazing creative guy and he really works with a lot of creative professionals and, you know, studies productivity and really helping people do things that they want to d'oh and I was interviewing him for my new book and I said, scott, you know of all the different advice that you've given all the people you talk to what is that one piece of advice that you think really ends up lighting a fire for people to take action? And he said, if actually when people commit to something in public like I'm pam now we've said it like on nash international internet right I will have the evaluation person in place by august first and you commit to it and it means something to you right or you commit to your board or you know you you commit to it then that's when everything starts to happen and you can actually begin to plan it doesn't mean that you can't adjust your plans as you go because you're the one who's driving your old bus right? I mean people get paranoid like but what if I'm not ready and you know what if it's not time and the customers aren't there that's totally fine you can adjust but you want to set something in place that's realistic enough for you to where you can actually plan and work backwards as soon as you have a date all right you're leaving your job on december thirty first that means let's back up what you have to have them by november what you have done by october and so forth that's really worth things start to happen so choosing a particular date having specific timelines, having public accountability for it is often something that's that's really great because when you say you know I'm going to be launching my product on the state and you let your friends and family know or you let your friends on twitter no people be like hey, you know what's happening I'm writing my book it's actually do in about oh, no eight days. So my editor is watching she's like, why are you in san francisco a creative live? You should be writing writers write, but I wouldn't I wouldn't do anything at all without a date like, no way just it wouldn't happen. That's what galvanizes all of your all of your attention and energy? And so when you do that, it also galvanizes the attention and energy of everybody else. I have a client that was a former animator at disney that went to a wedding in argentina for one of her friends, and she ended up meeting this dashing, wonderful argentinean, falling in love, moving argentina, getting married and pursuing her art because she was really a fine artist and she always was interested in doing something with art. And so, first she was looking to do graphic design, for she could do it from anywhere, you know, when she was living in argentina and she kind of paint on the side and do portrait pse and so we were, you know, coaching back and forth over skype and figuring out different business models and everything in one day, I can't remember exactly how it happened if she already had everything in place or not. But then all of a sudden one day she said you know what I want to do I need to do a kickstarter project I want to raise twenty five thousand dollars and I want to go to all twenty three provinces in argentina and I want to paint a portrait ce of the people they're kind of like the ted like the would be ted presenters from the area I want to paint a portrait of scientists and I want to do landscape and I want to capture this amazing beauty and diversity that exists within argentina she said, because somebody new to the country there's so many wonderful parts about it that I'd love to express through art and so I thought that's so cool I mean it's cool right traveling to all twenty three provinces and painting and kind of really good but the time she really didn't have a very big mailing list at all because she wasn't focused on thinking about building that business and any of you have ever done kickstarter projects before no it's not really like a walk in the park to raise twenty five thousand dollars out of the gate right um but she did it and I think like without even telling me she got the whole thing you know said where she toes the dollar amounts of the clock was ticking and all of a sudden you know she was off so I think it was about twelve days before the deadline, she had about eight thousand dollars raised of her twenty five thousand dollars, right? And she went through the whole like valley of death. Like, what was I thinking? You know, like it's. Impossible, it's never gonna happen, it's kind of embarrassing. And I said, well, wait a minute, you know, for the people who have already supported you, why don't you go to them and say, you know what? We're stalled a little bit. We have a really big goal, but, like, reach out for help and she's, like I can't do that, you know, I wouldn't. I don't want to burden them. I don't want to ask them that's my job. And so immediately the coach and me was like, you know, distracting thought not a good thought change the thought. And I said let's, let's, like, change this around a little bit. What if the people who already support is you and your project? I actually want to see it succeed. I was a supporter, I was onboard, man. I wanted to see her in argentina painting everywhere and if she would just ask especially that connectors right, she would just ask then we could know what to do. So I said, just send an email. She hadn't even sent one email to the people who had already supported the project so far. I said sentiment email, we'll get him excited tell him why you're doing it, why it's important and ask if they can help the very next day she had four thousand more dollars, so I call it the four thousand dollars thought changer thought get four thousand dollars at least, right? But the reason was, is it also was working in conjunction with time, right that there was a pressure and that's the beauty of our independent funding platforms like indy, gogo and kickstarter and so forth is that works with that element both for the person who's, the entrepreneur getting it off the ground, but also for everybody else. I get frenetic, I get so excited even if I even know the person the hub. Oakland just did a great kickstarter project. I used to live in oakland before I moved to arizona, and I didn't know anybody there, you know? I I wouldn't necessarily use it, you know, before, but they had such a great kick started project. I was on every social media platform telling everybody I knew to fund that project as it was awesome and like they were getting close to the deadline and they met one hundred thousand dollars goal, and then they put another twenty five thousand dollars on it, you know, knocked it out of the park. They ended up raising one hundred forty eight thousand dollars to get their space open and to actually have a mural painted on the front of it with the extra money, so deadlines matter, and as soon as you commit to it, then you know that you can actually build something. I'm very happy to say the twenty five thousand dollars was raised, and here is an trees would in argentina painting one of her pictures and she's still on the journey she just sent me as one of my kickstarter rewards, a painting that that she sent me so that's, how it happens that that's, really, how you begin to make things happen is by tying that the timing to it. Now, I think finally, and one of the things that's really important is thinking about the the structure of how how you're actually going to do it it really goes to the essence of what you're talking about in terms of the model right like what's the business model but what's the model that I can look at if something is truly disruptive and it's never done never been done before what's an equivalent kind of understanding of how things happen. I immediately go to think about development in africa because in many ways because of not having the infrastructure of regular, you know, telephone technology, most kinds of services now are really going, you know, directly to two cell phones, so so many things they're being delivered via cell phones and it's actually really, in many cases kind of ahead of where you see, you know, the western technology and delivery of services so you could find some interesting connections with people who are doing similar things in very different parts of the world but might be really creative and have some great insight into how it is that they're structuring things. I saw a thing that google is sending out and all the tech people in your plight away more about this than I do, but they're sending out balloons or they're a motorist areas of the world to bring internet access there, and I just thought that was such a phenomenal project to be working on yeah, just crazy cool exactly it's really crazy cool it so you can find examples and you confined models in a lot of different places and so that's really what you need it's often in silicon valley especially it's kind of like street cred if you can be I want to be disruptive and I want to do this new technology that's never been done that's great if you have like a really rich uncle or you're like a trust fund baby some really smart friends who trust you alive I would rather take a basic framework in a model that's worked really well and tweak it a little bit to make it great to make it different to make it you know really fantastic and interesting when I was I was picked up this morning graciously by a car service that was sent by my friends a creative live and it happened to be I didn't know when when he picked me up the gentleman's name was billy and he was driving me through the street we were chatting you know about what? You know what he did? Yes me when I was in town for andi I said, you know, I teach about entrepreneurship and he said, oh, you know, I'm actually I'd love some business advice you know I said great, you know, what do you want to create? And he said, well, actually I'm actually the owner of this company and so cool. Okay, so if you know what's the size of that kind of what's, the scope and he said, oh, you know, we have about, like, fifty five cars and cool, you know, we have, like san francisco in new york and it's like a ten million dollar business. Like billy driving me. You know, I had no idea I was like, billy, you need to be teaching me about entrepreneurship. And he told me the story. You came here at eight years old from vietnam. He was on a boat, he left his parents, his eyes and uncle took him. He traveled by boat. He, like, fell out in the water, like, twenty times on the journey. They didn't speak any english that came here to san francisco, right? It was an amazing story. And he started by a friend of his had a car, and he was kind of helping out. He'd go in front of the big hotels and offered it, you know, give people rides. He started to do it on notice that he could make a little bit of money, right? But then he noticed some of the special things about what could actually make his service different. He has beautiful well maintain cars is like a beautiful black bmw. They picked me up in today. He keeps him just for a couple of years and then he sells them so that everybody feels very pampered. He likes to deal with high end hotels and business clients, right? So he's looking at the transportation industry, you know, which has been around for a really long time, taxis and cars, and so forth, and really saying, what can I do to actually make it special says I pay really special attention to how people dress and how they are, and I was picked up at the airport by another driver. There was consistency and it really down to earth, nice person and beautifully maintained vehicle, right? That's, that's a model that when when executed effectively can give some really great results again, I was so impressed with billy, man, we need to get you a creative life need to be talking about, you know what I'm saying, but, you know, for him his valley of death, I was having a limited amount of time, he's, like I grow my business to the size that actually would love to grow it bigger, but I don't really know what I need to do in order to bridge that gaps of course being a coach I was like, well, here's my card and let me connect with some people and you know who knows maybe we could get him one hundred million right by getting the right kind of people to maybe expand his business knowing the kind of structure that you have in your business is going to allow you to know what it is that you're building and more importantly how it is that you're making money I heard so many times people get so excited you know I'm going to start a block and monetize my blogged awesome like how are you actually gonna make money? You know like what does that really mean to monetize your your block? I want passive revenue awesome! I told you don't believe in passive revenue it's great to have products to sell that you know are there in order to be sold but it's certainly not passive you have to do a lot of activity and marketing in order to get people to buy those things that you're selling right? So what's the actual model that you're looking at what's the business structure how you're going to make money how can you take something that's already been done and tweak it a little bit right? How can you take how somebody is is a host and give it a little twist and be different right? Be more zane like amp up dizziness with nobody can out in vain oh wait now get the girl right somebody get your all right now in vain insane dot com right is it taken okay we're going let's do a kickstarter project to buy it back because that's like yours that is totally meant of yours so crazier things have happened you know this would be the start of insane like internet sensation right host to the stars you know you never know I wouldn't be surprised so answering these basic questions are really what's going to allow you to just quickly create something and it can be where some of you turned together have actually started projects with people in a situation like this where we were attending a conference or an event we turn to talk to each other at the break what do you do what do you do what we should do this I call it let's put on a show let's put on a show like let's do a start up let's do a project and that's often how things happen if you have the checklist okay well like what should we start with and who's it for and you know why is it important like why do you want to do it and how we actually going to do it all of a sudden when you get those questions answered then you can begin to move and you actually have a plan of action the process often that work in the steps of creation are just you know, I call it the flash sketch bill test ship where you just kind of flash a bunch of ideas you think about you know what a couple models that you want to look at? How can you bring him out into the market? How can you build a basic prototype? Something that's really, really simple using just the fewest resources possible, right? Remember ra meets twenty four hour red bull fueled super happy dove party right what's a prototype you can get out there test it share asked for feedback right make changes and ship it you know, that's that's basically the kinds of steps that you want to go through and I just can't reinforce this enough often you want to make it seemingly like insultingly basic you can always scale up you can always really scale ahead, but what's going to give you mo mentum is starting with something that's very feasible that you can wrap your arms around and you could end up executing effectively so you can carry around. You know something like this this one page description right? Any time that you're you know you have an idea, make sure you can answer those kinds of things when you actually have to have to have it shipped answering these questions are really, really important part of the process it is not rocket science, but it's the funniest thing you know, it's sometimes the very basic things that we have a very basic structure of answering very basic questions is such common sense that everybody should do it. But it's rarely common practice. I mean, it's kept me in very good business for the last eight years, helping people with big ideas break it down into something that's super feasible, right? It's like, are you actually ek you getting this on a consistent manner? And I think, you know, the big thing in terms of mitigating risk is where you do begin to look at things like, you know, just what's the quickest and easiest way thatyou contested. If it starts to get really resource heavy renewed to hire a team of developers, how could you scale it back, right? How? Just for that initial test something happens psychologically, when you pass the valley of death, where all of a sudden you realize you're not actually dead so fantastic and it actually it's kind of exhilarating, right? Eso once you get past that point, then then things can be cool, so make it an easy step, right? Make that make that gap a small as you can in terms of planning, this is another one of just the easiest tools in the world to use I often do it with flip charts if I'm working with clients in person you can do it yourself at home you could do it on a white board but when you then get a sense of the scope of the project and you know what it is that you want to dio you can get a flip chart paper divided into four sections I'd like to work in quarters because it's like a month is too short you know three months is just about right and so you would within each quarter you know you could have, you know depending upon where we are in the year, right? Ok here's a place that I'm going to start for this quartering to build the business model than the next one all kind of worked on the prototype then I'll start to work you know, worry about marketing and writing it gives you these different buckets of places where you can put all of those things that are in your head and I remember when I first got my book deal with portfolio which is my publisher adrian zakheim is the head of portfolio and I always really admired him. I was so happy to be working with that publisher hey published he added a good to great by jim collins, which is one of my favorite all time books, so as a new like quaking author I was, you know, going toe got to talk to him, you know, for him to give me some advice and had all these ideas in my head of how it's going marketed on my block and this and that, and I was sharing all these ideas, and they said, you know, adrian, like, what advice would you give me? And he said, pam, write the damn book writers write, I mean, that it was so I can't tell you how helpful that wass I can't tell you how awful it was, because all of a sudden I went from being worried about everything I was going to do to sell the book to first, focusing on writing the book and making sure that it was good, and then once it was done, moving on to everything else. So when you get your own kind of plan and I love, I think there's something about the kinesthetic experience of getting posted notes and getting a flip chart and putting up that can feel really good. I love things technical, so you can probably an app for it, right? But sometimes it's fun to kind of have that scrappy, moving things around where you actually can start to move ideas, and what it means is you only have two carry a certain amount of ideas in your head at any one time when it comes to planning, right so you know, all I need to worry about is this quarter, right? What are you going to be focusing on this quarter is, you know, getting your first additional product that you can sell the all of your past photography customers or anybody knew that comes on this quarter is going to get this new special add on service, right? They're going to get a beautifully designed photo album of the different photos that you've taken right? You know, certain things like that and when you start to look at at models going back to hound like what's the business model that's where you can get inspired to be seeing like maybe what some other photographers air doing make it your own you never directly want a copy, but you can do something that you know is very feasible focus on that get everything set, figure out howto actually produce it how to sell it, how to price it, check it off, get it moving, then you can start to move into the next quarter. So doing this will allow you to not feel like you have all these ideas in your head the whole time it's like having this gigantic backpack all the time do you notice that like when you can't sleep and you're constantly thinking about it and you have all these ideas that drives you nuts and it totally slows down your productivity it's like it takes up your ram you know so you can't really your creativity is not really there so like throw it in another quarter another very, very pragmatic tip is from one of my dear friends charlie gilkey who writes at a site called project the flourishing and he does a lot of productivity for creative entrepreneurs and he gave a tip which is totally changed my life which is to when you have it to do list okay, so now you know what you're doing this quarter right? You've named that you know what you're doing when you're making your to do list for every month for every week for everyday use verbs start them with a verb so what do we generally do? We go down and we'd say business model home page pictures for web site and then you have twenty minutes in your day and you look down and you're like business model like what? Like what was actually supposed to do about a business model and you end up doing nothing or you end up if you're me going on facebook and hanging out for three hours and totally forgetting to do everything else so it's very different when you make it a verb so call abe tow ask about his business model right draft tax for home page making a choose five pictures for your website sign up for a mailing less provider not mailing list and all of a sudden, it turns into an action like, oh, I can do that you're training your brain to be taking actions to use the action oriented verbs when you're creating your to do list, and if it's not clear and specific enough to you to be able to do in a designated period of time, then that's where, you know, you have to make it smaller, always smaller, almost insultingly smaller, but not quite so that you start to get things done on drily, you know that the basic place I try to bring most clients as quickly as possible to get over the valley of death and to really I have a sense of accomplishment is just to ship something as soon as possible. Now, depending upon what the project is, you can't always ship the final product, but get the web page done, send a message out to your list right to your mailing list to announce that you're doing a service have some piece of something that you could be showing to the greater world so that you feel a sense of accomplishment. That's really, what keeps you going as you're as you're building these things that really build some momentum? Finally, I think on the testing side, just very helpful ways that you can think about the process is, too be a scientist, I'm a liberal arts major thank god my brother's a scientists so he told me it was a valid metaphor he's, a isotope geochemist at university of pittsburgh, but were I to I tend to go on hunches, and I tend to be very excited by things and get passionate about things. Uh, he loves to look at the world objectively and and basically everything in the world is a hypothesis, right? I think it is possible to earn a living by myself. So hypothesis, right? Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, I think I have a product that people are actually going to want to buy. I think maybe I can change mental health care, right? It's a hypothesis so as you go out and you begin to test things it's very important to maintain that framework of a curious scientist and the reason why it's so important is you can say things like, you know, I tried something, I went out and I tested something it didn't work, and if you're doing a passionate liberal arts major fueled by enthusiasm approach to life, you will say, either I am the bomb and I'm a success and I'm awesome or I'm a total and complete failure what was I thinking? I can't do it and I can't move forward you missed the actual data from the experiment so if it worked, why did it work? I thought I was pretty darn brilliant. I quit my job at barclays global investors in nineteen ninety six if you remember that time right here in the bay area, the economy was pretty darn good. I had a very marketable skill set doing management development and training and development, so, you know, I messed around for a while I thought I wanted a real job and then when I went teo work for somebody was my former boss, I just, like, fell right into work and it was actually very aligned with what I like to do and for ten years was like before the internet, almost right for about ten years, I just had lots of business because I'm a connector and I build relationships I could think that I was a brilliant business person, actually, okay, I had you know, some skills, but I really wasn't a brilliant business person. I had a very marketable skill set for a realistic business model during a time in the economy where there was money being thrown around like crazy software engineers right out of college, we're getting bmw z three convertibles as signing bonuses. I remember that for one of my clients crazy right kind of happening again, which is a little bit scary, but, you know, so even if you have a success with something, you really want to be diagnosing it and understanding it to say, what were the components that actually led to my success for the things that I did right? How can I make sure that I repeat those and for things that didn't go well? How can I learn from that experience? There's no there's like a real street cred? I think within silicon valley culture about failures probably different than most places in the world, like somebody could have three businesses and none of them failed, they kind of feel bad, like my failure story. You know, you have to have your story where you lost millions of dollars for investors in order to really have street cred, right? That's not really true, but, you know, sometimes people get that feeling we like to have that lower a failure, but actually it's a very devastating experience when you're going through it, especially if you're going through with other people's money or especially if you're going through and you have a family and you're you're experiencing that stress. So where you're able to look at things objectively and be a scientist about it, it really makes the process easier, and you could you could make a lot more objective decisions when you're doing the debrief, then that's, where you want to look at things like you know what was my goal and you know, what were the results? What could I do differently next time in order to have a better result like it a little bit of tweaks in the process what inside did I gain? What part of my plan do I need to update and the more that you ask that the more that you can really accelerate your results? It's really? I believe there's a lot of very, um ineffective education sometimes about entrepreneurship or like you have to have like you have the thing right? You got it or you don't that people always ask me when I'm interviewed for the press so describe you know, like what are the characteristics of a of an entrepreneur like is there a myers briggs doesn't designation would make somebody be no better than the other right? Introverts versus x stewart's, et cetera. To me it doesn't really have anything to do with that has to do with grit has to do is feeling connected with your purpose and your wife and it has to do with being extremely rigorous about making sure that you are always really testing and evaluating what it is that you're doing somebody who puts out a product for sale and they get to people who buy it the first time I have a gigantic celebration and often they're really devastated by like but I only sold to unlike do you realize that you sold two copies like two people as long as they were maybe like not your mom and your sister, which often they are, which is important, right? But it's like two people who don't know you bought your stuff that's totally awesome like that's a win something is working let's look at what that was and let's amplify it and grow it. Those kind of people who have that perspective tend to really grow and in their business over time and they're able to really scale I think billy is that kind of person right? Who is driving me? I think he does have the ability to bring his business to one hundred million dollars business easy. What was the third thing I said? Grit oh, the mike they'll give me time to remember you guys have to tell me I have no idea when I was in the zone I was in the zone, so I said you have to have grit, you have to know your purpose, right? Exactly connect with your purpose know why you're doing it and you have to be really dedicated to the scientific process of analyzing things right don't take it too personally you get hit every once in a while somebody says your product really socks it hurts it's painful you know alan weiss and bless his heart you know who was so gracious after I apologize, but if somebody you know comes out when you feel really terrible, like it's, okay to feel bad for a moment, but then you want to quickly zoom in and really look at the big picture. So, you know, I think it is overall as you look at, you know, what it is that you're trying to do is you're trying to bring things into the market, whether your brand new in business or if you are looking to really grow to the next scale, if you begin to really just focus on answering the basic questions right always ask yourself if you don't have the answers, then you can make sure that you really dig in and get them, then you will actually have created things. And one of the things that really drives me a lot in the work that I do isn't bringing out really things into the world, and you know that hopefully many, many years from now when you're on your deathbed and you're looking back over the course of your life, if you've always just had these dreams in those ideas about what it is that you want to do, all of those are literally going to die with you, right? Because nothing has actually been actualized out in the world that hasn't been created where you have created something even if it you know wasn't a total and complete success at that time that's where you begin to build some legacy that's where you begin to build impact it's getting the ideas across the valley of death and into the real world so I'm excited in that the rest of the two days are going to be we now that hopefully you're through it I brought you through the valley of death to the point of really knowing what to do to take action that's where you can get some of this very tactical and practical information so thank you so much for having me here and thanks chase for inviting me to creative life e a few folks who have questions here in the audience and I know I was watching internet stream I confessed to sneaking a peek over there it's going off like crazy sign of some folks in the whole wide world will ask some questions you want to start canada is in a good place to merely and then if you have a question in here maybe let's get the mike you might go to those folks yeah so all right fire off a couple questions for pam absolutely first of all thank you so much the internet is loving this already an internet rates a great start so a question that came through from red center and this was how would you break analysis? Paralysis how would you break analysis? Paralysis, right? You have so many ideas and you're kind of stuck that it actually goes to write to do one thing it's writers write coders code how can you for whatever you're trying to do if it's analysis paralysis in terms of knowing what business to start, then it would be create a small test, right? You don't have to stick with it if it doesn't work that's fine change your thinking about what it means, but create some concrete what that you can do in order to take action on it? I think that's the key thing and the other thing I'd say is call a friend friends can kind of talk you down from being stuck in your head and help you to look at it a different way, absolutely and you talked about the testing and a question had come in from lean tress ity which was what about the fear of being copied when testing that a lot of somebody's going to steal my idea they've got to get over you take it to him a few things to hear about that? Yeah it's a really common fear of like but what if I put my stuff out there and somebody steals it because it's the best greatest idea ever right and on the on ly one who can do it hardly ever is the case so the key is, is you're going to bring your unique skills, you're going to bring your unique perspective to things the way that you do online education is obviously totally different than somebody else may I like to know there's other folks in the market? I like it when other people will do what I'm doing to you know, how many people are doing escape from cubicle nations sort of related stuff I'm friends with all of them right there, piers their colleagues, we share information because I'm gonna be myself. I'm gonna have my approach to it, chris gila bo is going to be do his thing, we need other people in the market, it kind of proves the proof of concept, so I don't I don't worry about it. I second that if I could do and you can give people your idea, you could tell him how you're going to be a time when you're going to do it. And the fact of the matter is that their actual passion in the world, the thing that they want to change the world about is actually just lightly different than yours, and that little differentiation is enough that you can do your thing and they could do theirs, and nine times out of ten, I have found this with photography have been giving information with photography, since I can remember and I could tell people what camera where I go, how I shoot what the setting is what but because they can't be you and they can't bring that unique thing that you bring to what it is that you create and I heard a great thing from marc ecko who's that you may have seen he's got the rhino he was a street artist for a long time and he was giving a talk just like this is how many people in here are our founders certain people raise their hand how many people are entrepreneurs but she raised her hand how many people are artists no one really raise their hand and said you know what that's the problem because what you all are as you are creators you don't find the business aren't founded you don't walk in the woods and stumble on oh my gosh escape from kim condition I'm gonna pick it up and you know you have you have to create that stuff and when you're creating something you're creating it from you which is completely national and you have that more than anybody else so yeah I know we've got some other I could talk about that for a long time take me off stage about in the back room but another is a couple of the questions out there for pam who's got one back there you go um when you have this great idea that you want tio you know you kind of start your own little world, right? Yeah what's a good way to tap into networks to, you know, connect with the right people do not like the idea happened I love it, I love it I tend to think in ecosystems right where the there are whenever you're new especially if you've been employed full time and everybody you know, our employees and they're kind of used to being in that world you can feel like an absolute alien the first time you go out and feel very alone the fact is they're ecosystems of people that are already doing it now congratulations because you've just taken the first step by being in this room and the thing you don't want to do is to leave this room without talking to a least a couple people here having a great conversation at least getting their twitter handle on their business card where you can begin to connect in a really small way because you know if people are here in this creative live ecosystem right, they have good taste obviously right there probably, you know, creative they have some heart to them it's not just all about the money, right? And this is one way of kind of hanging out in the right pecos isms when I first started escape from cubicle nation if you've ever read the lion, the witch and the wardrobe the book about narnia so little girl goes into a wardrobe and she all of a sudden the back opens and there's this whole land of narnia that's what I felt like the first time I discovered like the internet in the online world like, oh my god, I had no idea that existed. There are people who want to weave baskets on tuesdays below the equator exactly, yeah, this there's all kinds of communities all over the place and not finding it and plugging yourself it actually, so find the ecosystems of people that share some of the same interests and values you can look and online communities. I like to look a watering hole, so watering hole is a place online or in person that has great amounts of people who are doing what it is that you want to dio a client was wanting to do a software app didn't really know what to do, and I was like goto business of software conference in boston like it's crawling with people who have done it who were the most successful. So what do they say? Like hang out in the barbershop long enough? Sooner or later you're going to get a haircut, say mister for the chat rooms here in creative live video on the internet looking at right now, there are probably a few thousand people in there who are tuned in to pam because their their like minded they're thinking about the same things you are and about the same thing the all u haul are here in the live studio audience. So like you said, I think exchanging business cards and becoming friends is a great first step second step for step was coming here second step is trying to co mingle exactly so I know there's a couple other questions can it do you want to go back to the internet for a few more? Absolutely so many questions coming in, pam simon says what strategy would work to sort out the reasons of failure if someone continuously fails multiple times? That's right good for some high council of jedi knight members and I that's what I call my like council of elders so you have your peer mentors who are people like you're talking about what's your name renato okay, that's first thing always say your name and like what your site is then we can I know I know you're not very good so you have your peer mentors people who are doing the same thing as you maybe a couple steps ahead so they push you a little bit right to be doing it really well then you have your technical mentors people who are very specific technical expertise in an area that you want to learn from who can help give you feedback to me the high council of jedi knight members are those who are excellent at what they do and have technical expertise who also share personal values similar to you they're the kind of human beings my criteria having two small children this is where you take your pen out thie criteria is is I would trust them to watch my children in addition to knowing that they give me the very, very best business advice because there's nothing I love more in the world than my children and my husband and so I want people who would take great care, which shows me they're the kind of person who I would really want to learn from so when you can surround yourself tim berry is I call him that will be one could well be a business planning he's the founder of hell about the software and he's an example of somebody who I often go to if I'm kind of stuck and say help me think about this right what's wrong in the business model be careful though, because sometimes we get blinded by experts and it's like, oh, you know guy kawasaki told me I should do this therefore I should maybe maybe not maybe it worked for guy maybe it won't work for you he's just not back in the building here we'll ask yeah oh yeah I like to do the point is a good point, though, it's, like you tend to know your soul and your the people that you want to talk to, ideally, you know them incredibly well and the sage advisers that you're talking about, what they tend to give in my experience is really sort of they tell you how to think about the problem instead of telling you the answer, the problem. So exactly, and there was another couple with and if you don't mind, I know we're on a roll, but again, the thousands of people that are tuning in from all over the world, they want to talk tio when I hear the case. So question from danny dubai, when should start ups think about we see about getting funded, getting funded, you know, it's kind of interesting been down that road a little bit, you know, I tend to think in the early stages, and we're picking on guy kawasaki probably cause I know he's here, but I know one of the things that I've always remembered for him and other vcs that talked to is you never want to go to a b c when you haven't actually built something and you want money in order to build it, you want to go to the sea where you say, I've created this thing. And I got one hundred thousand people that are like loving it do you want to support you want to get on the train and that's where they're going to get interested? I have this product it's selling super well in this market here is where I see the potential in canada I love canadians and let me get a little extra funding in order to make it happen so they're there to accelerate the results the tradeoffs that you get of course is creative control right? The other thing I think we have this obsession with scaling and I know about you but like I love the quality of my life I wanted by like I want my kids to know me I want to drop drop him off at school I don't want to travel too much so I could be all super you know, accelerated my career and create a gigantic company or big speaking career but I don't want tio because it's not what's really important to me so sometimes we think we should be scaling and therefore we need to be attracting funding to do it sometimes we actually really should and there's people like billy who like I think he could totally handle it and I would love to see him maybe get some extra help in some venture capital so it's really after you've having a pretty strong proof of concept is where you you generally want to talk to folks sometimes it happens at the early idea stage, but it's pretty rare and it's pretty brutal. Yeah, I know, but my two cents in on that. So one is a sort of a dovetail off of what you say, which is let's, go back to the the I have a special idea. I don't want to tell anybody if you don't tell people about your idea, it's not going to grow and if you didn't deem that what you've done, you followed pam's advice. You've built something when you go to a venture capital x, but you want to get them to sign in india or you think that they've never heard of your idea like they get pitched ten thousand deals a year, ten thousand and so it might not be your exact thing, but it's, some variation. So how do you get their attention? A. You do what you said, you build a product that actually works and then you differentiate yourself like you can't be the same thing. So what is it when you're talking to people? It's not just about knowing when to go it's like that you are. Organized when you walk in the door because you have to have your idea you have to have built something and you need to do it in a way that's different than everybody else because that's one of the things that gets them to participate in your idea as opposed to something else don't ever ask a venture capital person to sign in india it is a massive faux pas yeah for what it's worth massive massive foca yeah and I love what you like they could ease movie analogies now you know it's like it's kind of like rocky and like good will hunting it's like I would talk about business model and it's like it's like a lincoln saying with like some twitter sprinkled in and it's like I e that means people driven this's forehead I get it I get it you want to go you know she's well keep raising your hands another there is about about a minute left to go I know we had one more quick the speed question in the studio who had it okay speed questions so your name who you are I think she's smart I'm to the morning I run a digital design agent see, I teach my design I had the honor teaching with creative life a lot of my friends air creatives, designers, photographers and they're very gentle souls how do you protect that part of your song during the creative process I love it I love it that's right I know well they are like the creativity it is that very sacred place that you have and it's that part of the inspiration and so forth I think one of them is if you don't have that business armor this is where my mm aside will come out right is that I actually think I won't use it on you today thank you should do in july but you know part of how you want you want to think about being protected right? What what really allows a lot of creative people to fall down is because they don't have business structures in place they might be afraid of selling they might get overwhelmed by finances and so forth when you are not part of the cool thing is you don't have to do everything you just have to make sure it gets done so the way you can protect yourself and protect your creative muse it is by making sure that things are done so either you hire other people to do it you have good friends around you you know to protect you to do it aa lot of times I found people are still they think they're not good at something I think it's a horrible thing we do to ourselves is creative people to say like I'm not good with money like what do you mean like money is like the basic way we exchange you know, exchange goods and services and have since the beginning of time, right? Maybe you can change your thinking about that, but basically really make sure that if you can't do the things that are going to protect your creative time right, then get other people to do it in terms of the creative time, this whole work, life balance, overwhelm thing we talked about before is do less, do less don't try to do everything, make a much smaller, feasible chunk so that you can actually have the creative energy to do it. Well, I just want to let you know what folks are saying on for you, pam. We have mile high guy that says pamela slim is great. I'm buying the entire course based upon her introductory talk alot of the rest of speakers measure up to her great top. My our ally will be terrific on then joseph, from facebook said excellent advice from pam use your verbs and your to do list this makes my to do list a thousand times more achievable, and I love that as well and one more la la terra says she is a great speaker hearing her passion is getting my gears going, I feel electric and we have a lot more electricity your way. Have a lot more electricity. Thank you for the internet. Thank you in studio audience before we sign off. How can people following pay attention when it is that you're doing pam slim dot com? How did they track you down? So escape from cubicle nation is my sight at pam slim on twitter on twitter all the time. Facebook is facebook slash pam slim I'm there way too often, so if you see me there in the next eight days, tell me to get often, write my book, but that's really the best way to fantastic, huge around applause.

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Just as Hollywood implies celebrity, Silicon Valley is synonymous with innovation. Attracting the greatest business minds in the world, Silicon Valley is the world’s startup epicenter. Now, creativeLIVE offers you direct access to the pioneering minds behind this powerful community.

Whether your business employs one person or fifty, you’ll learn how to survive, grow, and thrive directly from entrepreneurs who have done just that. After two days of unprecedented access to the secrets of Silicon Valley, you will understand the strategies behind the greatest success stories of our time.