8 must-see TED talks for the aspiring entrepreneur

July 29, 2013

I love TED Talks. They’re inspiring and informative 18 minute presentations from interesting people doing amazing things. Presentations are given on a wide range of topics including business, technology, psychology, design, science, and global issues.

Here are 8 must-see TED talks for any aspiring entrepreneur.

John Wooden: The difference between winning and succeeding

It’s so easy to get impatient when starting a new creative project or business venture, you just want it to work already. In this video, John Wooden talks about how we can ultimately succeed if we don’t focus on succeeding. Rather, focus on doing our very best every single day.

Phil Hansen: Embrace the shake

In this video, Phil Hansen points out that when we embrace our limitations (limited abilities, resources, time, etc) we’ll not only get more, but also better ideas. A very important lesson for any budding entrepreneur.

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

Every aspiring entrepreneur needs a solid foundation for their venture. In this video Simon Sinek lays out the concept of starting with your “why.” He says all really successful businesses understand and do this. It is a vital part of success.

Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability

Brené Brown’s heartfelt talk explores vulnerability. She proves that people who are vulnerable feel more deserving of love and are simply happier people. Vulnerability is critical during the challenging times of starting your own project, when you need to be able to connect with and find encouragement from other people.

Seth Godin: How to get your ideas to spread

Don’t be like everyone else, be remarkable! In a world of too many choices and too little time, our obvious choice is just to not pay attention to the ordinary stuff. Marketing guru Seth Godin explains that when it comes to getting our attention, ideas that are different and unusual are more successful than ones that are boring.

Malcolm Gladwell: Choice, happiness and spaghetti sauce

Author Malcolm Gladwell talks about understanding what people really want. In this video he explores the food industry’s pursuit of the perfect spaghetti sauce. He helps us look at situations from a totally new angle, revealing opportunities in our current market.

Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work

In this fast-moving, entertaining talk, psychologist Shawn Achor says the lens through which we view the world shapes our reality. He says, “If we can change the lens, not only can we change our happiness, but we can change every single educational and business outcome at the same time.” This video is fascinating.

Julie Burstein: 4 lessons in creativity

Radio host and book author Julie Burstein shares four lessons on how to create in the face of challenge, self-doubt and loss. This is a vital skill for any entrepreneur. Julie says we get more creative when we pay attention to the world around us, learn from our struggles, and push against the limits of what we can do.

Photo Credit: TEDx Athens via Compfight cc

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  • Reply jodyberkey July 29, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    You guys are killing me. I’m already on the verge of a full-blown addiction to TED Talks. Fortunately, I’ve watched (and enjoyed) many of these already, so I’ll be able to catch up relatively easily. 🙂

    Coincidentally, I just read someone else’s blog post where he mentioned Shawn Achor’s talk. It’s now officially my favorite TED Talk. I just posted about it on the 90 Rev. page and my personal page before opening your email. I actually took notes as I watched it a second time. It’s so good, and his presentation style is amazing. Here’s one of the quotes I wrote down that especially struck me: “90% of your long-term happiness is predicted not by the external world, but by the way your brain process the world.”

    I’ve always said that some of the worst experience of my life (the cancer, miscarriages, now infertility) have also been some of the best things that have happened to me because they’ve forever changed my perspective on life. If at 34 year old, my lens allows me to be predisposed to happiness, intentional living, and forming strong relationships, then those hardships can be used for good not only for myself, but for those who I can now possibly help through personal friendships as well as business ventures.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply Michael Good July 30, 2013 at 8:28 am


      Shawn Achor’s talk is one of my favorites too! I love the style of his talk and the content is amazing. Others can tell you and Steve are chasing after life; something like that becomes evident in a person’s everyday interactions and demeanor. Way to let those tough experiences shape you for the better.

      Looking forward to the next time we get to see you guys again!

  • Reply Tom Dixon August 3, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    I discovered TED Talks not that long ago – and am hooked. Brene Brown has become a personal hero to me. I’m reading Daring Greatly and LOVE IT. I think it was written just for me 🙂

    • Reply Michael Good August 4, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      There are so many great Ted talks! I haven’t heard of Brene Brown’s book. I’ll have to check it out. The next Ted talk I plan to watch is Pico Iyer: Where is home? I’ve heard several people mention it now.

      Thought you may want to check it out as well: http://www.ted.com/talks/pico_iyer_where_is_home.html

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