Starting a business is, by its very nature, a challenging endeavor, and achieving entrepreneurial success under any circumstances is a great accomplishment. But some social entrepreneurs have more obstacles to overcome than applying an idea to a t-shirt or learning how to market their product. These seven entrepreneurs defied incredible odds to make it to where they are right now and they’re here to inspire you today via TED.
Seth Godin: The tribes we lead
Marketing legend Seth Godin argues that the rise of the internet has ended the usefulness of mass-marketing and brought about a resurgence in ‘Tribe culture’. These tribes are similar to the idea of niche audiences and he says that it’s up to ordinary people to shape and lead them.
- It’s not about one lone voice being heard repetitively on TV or the internet, it’s about regular people coming together to start a movement.
- You’re not creating a product for a mass market, you’re creating for a small set of ‘true believers’.
Alexis Ohanian: How to make a splash in social media
Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian gives a fantastic 3-minute talk on using social media to create a successful marketing campaign. The idea of this talk is to show you how to market something that sells itself in the world of social media.
- With the internet, people can catch onto small things (which they might not even care about) and make a real difference with ease.
- Mister Splashy Pants is a fantastic name for a Whale.
Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend
When you start your own company you’re bound to get stressed. Kelly McGonigal talks about the benefits of seeing stress in a positive light and the thoughts behind how your opinion of stress affects your physical health.
- Stress can be harmful, but only if you see it as harmful. By changing how you think about stress, you can change how your body reacts to it.
- Think of stress as your body preparing you for the challenge ahead and then go forward with your head held high.
Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win
In this inspiring talk by Sarah Lewis, she shows us that more often than not, before you achieve success you’ll experience either complete failure or a ‘near-win’. Lewis explains that success is driven by the motivation and perseverance you gain from experiencing these ‘near-wins’.
- Success is hitting your target, but mastery is knowing that it means nothing unless you can hit it again and again and again.
- The only way to true master something is to fail because then you’ll gain the motivation to try again until you finally get it right every time.
Derek Sivers: How to start a movement
Building a community, driving traffic and encouraging purchases are the three most important aspects of your social commerce business. In this talk, Derek Sivers shows you the theory of how you can start a movement over social media to influence people’s action.
- As a leader, you need to encourage your first followers and welcome them with open arms.
- Once a few people start to follow you, it will become increasingly easier to get more followers and people will want to fit in with the ‘in’ crowd rather than be left behind.
Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts
Susan Cain tackles the idea that to have a successful business you have to be an extrovert. The laptop lifestyle suits introverts perfectly and if you’re an introvert this talk will motivate you to go out there (or stay in) and get the success that you want.
- There’s nothing wrong with being introverted, a lot of people think you have to be outgoing and social but that’s not the case.
- Introverts often have the perfect setups for creativity, hard work and thought so if you are an introvert then you should work in the way that makes you most comfortable.
Dan Cobley: What physics taught me about marketing
Don’t be scared off by the mention of physics. This talk by Dan Cobley discusses the similarities between physics and marketing while focusing on measuring customer actions, building your brand and how one bad week can undermine a decade of good work.
- When people know they’re being studied, their actions are different to what they say they are. That’s why it’s so important to measure how people act rather than asking them.
- Your brand can be taken out of your control by the people if it does you have to embrace what they do with it and find a way to work with them to help you.
We’re feeling inspired already! What’s your favourite TED Talk? Tweet us at @moteefe with the talks you think we should listen to on our next coffee break, we’d love to hear from you. After that, it’s time to get out there and #MakeItHappen.
Image Credit: Oculto