"We have sown and we have harvested, but without rainfall in the spring, there was not much to reap this year," lamented Noah as he sat down in front of the fire. Sarah stared at her husband, but did not say anything. It was not the best moment to tell Noah that she was expecting a baby, their first.
"Come and sit down by me, Sarah," went on Noah in a grave voice. "There is something I want to tell you." Sarah did what her husband asked from her and looked at him, trying not to show her alarm. During their years together, they had often gone through difficult times, but she had never heard Noah sound so desperate, so defeated.
Noah reflected for a long moment and then he shook his head. His words came out slowly, reluctantly. "I've had a vision, Sarah. God has talked to me." Sarah bit her lip and waited, since she knew what was coming. She did not believe in God herself, but she had always respected Noah's strong religiosity.
"Friends and neighbours are already going hungry," continued Noah, "and after paying taxes, we will have nothing left ourselves. If we just wait and hope, we might not make it through the winter." Sarah turned her eyes to the fire, searching her mind for words of encouragement to say to her husband, but she found none.
Suddenly, Noah's voice changed and his tone became determined, pressing. "God has told me that we must move. I am to sell our farm for whatever price I can get and use the money to build a boat, a large one." He was interrupted by Sarah's surprised reaction. "A boat? What do you want to do with a boat? You know nothing about fishing."
"There are wide fertile fields down the river, Sarah, I have seen them in my dream. God has told me that we can start a new farm there, a new life. I am to purchase a pair of goats, a pair of chicken, and a pair of sheep, male and female, and take them with us in the boat."
From all the nonsensical projects that Sarah had heard from her husband night after night, year after year, this was by far the most daring and, at the same time, the most insane. From their first encounter, Sarah had loved Noah because he was an entrepreneur. Unfortunately, as it had turned out, a crazy one.
A pair of goats on a boat, what lunacy, thought Sarah, taking in a deep breath. Once again, it was up to her to put some sense into Noah's mind. "Only a pair of each is too risky," she objected firmly, "we should take a least two pairs of each sort, male and female."
It was the first time that Sarah had expressed support for any of Noah's high-risk ideas and he was so taken aback, that it took him a while to reply. "What if I am wrong, Sarah? What if we lose everything we have?"
Sarah contemplated the reflection of the flames in Noah's eyes. The project was too risky and she could not afford any doubts. She had to ask the question. She had to be certain that Noah was not lying to her. "Did you really have a vision, Noah? Did God tell you what to do?"
Her heart ached when she saw the pain in Noah's eyes, when she saw him lower his head. "I am not sure if it was God, Sarah," his voice was barely audible now, "but I know that my vision is true." There was a silence, but it was short, just long enough for Sarah to lay her hands on Noah's. "Then, we'll build the boat," she said.
JOHN VESPASIAN has lived in New York, Madrid, Paris, and Munich. His stories reflect the values of entrepreneurship, tolerance, and self-reliance. See John Vespasian's blog for upbeat ideas, views, and stories.
After the sale of BlueLithium, Gurbaksh Chahal decided that his role at Yahoo was complete and he wanted to write a book. The main reason behind his writing was that he felt that his life has all been about defying odds through mistakes and lessons he has learned and he wanted to empower others to never give up and to continue to find their magic.
He didn’t know anything about how to write a book or how to go about even getting it published. However, one of the things he realized early on – if you don’t know how to do a particular thing, go out and surround yourself on the people that do. So, he did exactly the same. He signed up the William Morris Agency, one of the biggest talent agencies in the entertainment & media space. Outside of the television, film, and production talent they represent, they also have a very big literary department. Gurbaksh’s agent introduced him to one of the literary agents and he flew down to New York to discuss his intentions for “The Dream.”
After a few weeks, Gurbaksh ended up selling global rights to Palgrave Macmillan (part of St. Martin Press) for the Dream. Then he went to work and after 8 hard months, finally completed the manuscript for “The Dream”.
The goal of this book was to inspire individuals throughout the world to understand the elements of risk in the pursuit of one’s dream. It also detailed Gurbaksh Chahal’s story of the successful creation of two internet-based companies worth more than $340 million and also highlighted his key experience involving motivation, risk, discipline, and courage in the pursuit of his aspirations. Finally, G ended the book with 27 lessons on entrepreneurship; which are 1) Listen to your heart 2) Forget noble motivations 3) Adjust your attitude 4) Figure out what you’re good at 5)Trust your gut 6) Do your homework 7) Be frugal 8) Don’t be frugal with hiring 9) Hire smart people 10) Don’t expect perfection, but strive for it 11) Learn to listen 12) Own your mistakes 13) Never compromise your morality 14) Never lose sign of the competition 15) Watch your back 16) Don’t procrastinate 17) Don’t do anything by half-measures 18) Be nice to people 19) Negotiate from a position of strength 20) Expect the unexpected 21) Perception is reality 22) Don’t get emotional 23) Be fearless 24) Pick your battles 25) Grow a think skin 26) Take chances 27) When you commit, you really have to commit.
“The Dream” was one of the dreams of Gurbaksh Chahal , which came true in October 2008. The Dream is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders and all major bookstores. To know more about Gurbaksh Chahal, please visit the site http://www.chahal.com
Can there really be a silver lining to being laid off or caught in a reduction in force? While many are facing tough realities in the wake of the economic downturn, there are signs that the entrepreneurial spirit that fuels business innovation is alive and well. Fact of the matter is that the explosive growth in start-up businesses isn't surprising.
While large corporations are reducing their workforce, they haven't reduced their need for skilled work. Often, this work is being done by the same former-employees who are now consultants.
First off, how do you decide if you should look for another job or start your own business instead?
While each person's situation is different, there are a few key questions to ask yourself:
1. Do I have marketable skills?
2. Would I prefer to fail or succeed based on my own efforts?
3. Am I willing to shoulder some risk for a bigger payoff and more freedom?
4. Do I have a passion for my field or industry?
If you answered yes, to three out of the four questions above, entrepreneurship may just be an option for you to consider.
But what are the pros and cons of working for yourself?
In speaking with many of our clients who are themselves entrepreneurs, there are a few common reasons why they love working for themselves. They love being at the helm and having success based on their own efforts. They are free to do the work they want to do and choose which clients they work for. Surprisingly, lower down on the scale is the increase in personal control of their office and schedules.
However, there are some drawbacks to working for yourself if you aren't careful. While you may be an expert in your field, for many there is a learning curve associated with gaining all of the skills to successfully run a business. As a start-up business owner, you are not only responsible for doing work for your clients, but you will need to handle the finance, HR, marketing, and all of the other components necessary to grow a business. In addition to needing additional skills, many people starting off find that they work longer hours than they did in their previous job because they not only do the work carried out by the business but all of the other administrative tasks.
How do you avoid the pitfalls?
- Check in your area and you will most likely find there are a number of organizations to help you both with education on how to run your business, and some will even help you find funding. Check out the Small Business Administration, government agencies, and local non-profit groups.
- Network as much as possible. One of our clients who went from bootstrap startup to one of the most profitable companies in Silicon Valley found that often times he could tap his network to solve problems and take work off of his hands. As of today, much of his admin work is handled by the office network in our center - his corporate council is the attorney who works down the hall ... same with his accountant.
- Tap services out there to help. There are many hosted office space and virtual office businesses out there like ours that can provide you with both the image to compete and the resources and expert support that allow you to focus on growing your business instead of being bogged down with administrative tasks. Instead of managing your office space - outsource it!
Everyone has an equal chance for fame... now I'm starting to doubt on that.
Well, can we actually believe that all of us can be famous someday? Maybe with a good streak of luck and some real hard work then we might all come to the point of becoming famous. However, not all of us have luck. And though many of us have dreams of comfortable and luxurious life, the majority of us cannot stand up from our asses and make something useful.
It is easy to dream dreams and wish wishes. But it is never easy to create wheels to drive our dreams nor our wishes to their realizations. Success never comes overnight. It has to be built somewhere and it has to be willed to come.
Success is one element wherein active participation from the aspirant is very badly required. No one can be famous without doing anything, may it be good or bad. And no oaf can be turned into a mogul without having to spend time devising ways and mustering courage to be one. Someway, we all must invest on some things that would cause us to be productive.
Braving the world of entrepreneurs is such that one has to really muster all the resources he has, risk it all in one chance and take the consequences in return. The bad thing though is that risk, by nature cant be equated at any assurances. You just have to take the risks and accept what they are or leave them and be forever resentful that you didn't even took time and see what truly lies ahead your muddled living.
Fame, on the other hand, is corollary with success. In most cases, people who are successful are equally famous. They are distinguished through their achievements, which if we truly are to analyze are standing above those achieved by common people. Their accomplishments paved their way to becoming famous entrepreneurs. This is almost inevitable as all people who have done great jobs normally received favorable acceptance in a group or community. Thus, they are elated to heights not reached by those who did not shed time to make their parts.
What makes successful entrepreneurs famous is not the name they bear. Well somehow the name has the parts on it. It is not also the companies they were able to build. Or is it the people that they were able to develop. What make them famous are their successes behind those successes. One good point to argue is their personal development after having to go through all the hardships of entrepreneurship.
Now can you ask yourself, will I make it to the entrepreneurial world? The answer lies only on you.
If you said yes then it is proper to say that the stage is now open for you to take the risks, make the changes and be the person you have dreamed and wished to be all your life.
I think it is worth repeating that being an entrepreneur entails that you become a good risk taker. If you already have this quality on you then the lesser work you have to put. However, if not then courage must be integrated in your personality. It takes so much will for one to actually be able to gather his strength and manipulate the risks towards his own advantage. We cannot teach risk-taking here, you have to know where does the vein starts. Find it in you.
Just a word to remember though, don't be too brave in taking risks.
Remember that when starting with your business, the fastest way to kill yourself is to be overly confident against the risks that face you. You have to test grounds first and see if you can cross the water with all things that you have. Equate the chances of failure against success and make decisions according to your sound, calculated judgement. Keep in mind that most entrepreneurs, before even reaching the point of fame, have already self-destruct or died of natural death. Don't be like most of them. Keep faith in your pocket, have enough load of strength and believe that you can be a master to failures.
You see, at the end of the day, anyone truly ahs the equal opportunity for fame. Only we have to take our parts on living that opportunity.