leadership, Startup Advice

Three inspiring TED Talks, as recommended by an entrepreneur

Martin Kovacs /

TED Talks Leonard Kim

Leonard Kim. Source: TEDx Talks

Entrepreneurs seeking inspiration or advice are only ever a Google search away from tapping into the collective wisdom of the internet, however amid the abundant information readily at hand, the message can quickly become diluted.

Knowing where to start and what specifically to look for can be half the challenge, and an hour set aside for research can quickly balloon into two, three, four or more.

To cut down on the research time, Aj Agrawal, co-founder and chief executive of US alumni-engagement startup Alumnify, has compiled some of his favourite TED talks for Entrepreneur. These three talks, he says, have helped guide him, “from dealing with failure to knowing how to price myself”.

Coming to terms with fear

Taking chances typically involves confronting and conquering fears, while trial and error is a normal part of the process when taking your first steps in the business world.

On the topic of fear, Agrawal recommends Leonard Kim’s TEDx Talk, “Why You Should Let Your Fears Guide You”, as being a worthy listen.

Leonard Kim’s bio at Influence Tree notes that Kim “almost became homeless and failed at everything he did”.

Now, however, the brand strategist “has amassed over a quarter million social media followers and his content is read by millions, translated into multiple languages and featured in leading media publications”.

First steps can be the most daunting

Is it time to take the plunge and finally launch that venture you’re most passionate about?

For many it is a daunting proposition, however inspiration can be drawn from Scott Dinsmore’s TED Talk.

“Scott Dinsmore quit a job that made him miserable, and spent the next four years wondering how to find work that was joyful and meaningful,” the TED website writes of the talk.

“He shares what he learned in this deceptively simple talk about finding out what matters to you — and then getting started doing it.”

Agrawal notes that Dinsmore, who has since died, does an “excellent job explaining why constantly proving yourself wrong is imperative”.

Don’t sell yourself short

It’s important to know the value of your work.

“Quite simply, too many people sell themselves short, which not only hurts their earnings but their peers as well, in setting a poor status quo across the board,” says Agrawal.

Pricing consultant Casey Brown takes this topic on in her TED Talk, “Know your worth, and then ask for it”.

Agrawal notes that this is “a problem a lot of entrepreneurs are scared to take on”, recommending Brown’s talk for those seeking to gain further insight and perspective on the issue.

Read more: 10 inspirational TED Talks from those outside the world of entrepreneurs.

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Martin Kovacs

Martin Kovacs is a journalist with experience covering the IT, consumer electronics, retail, finance and energy sectors.

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