Saturday, December 19, 2015

Conclusion Week

The Last Lecture

Introduction to Entrepreneurship has been an eye opening and inspiring class.  The lessons, books, reading excerpts and videos all provided substantial knowledge and many gems that I can take with me throughout my personal entrepreneurial journey.  The book “The Ministry of Business” written by Steven Hitz was the most powerful business book that I have ever had the pleasure of reading.  This is a must read for anyone involved in business, especially entrepreneurship. 

The main three things that I learned about how to begin your entrepreneurial journey are to first, figure out what you can be the very best at while make the world a better place; second, come up with a business plan, including ethical guardrails; and third go for it!  Ethical guardrails are standards that you decide to live your life by, both in your business and personally.  You must reference these often and promise that you will not cross the lines that you have created for yourself.  There are so many other important things that I have learned from this class that must be remembered including avoiding unnecessary debt, living your life with balance, selecting the right business partners and choosing the right people.

Many successful business people do not have appropriate balance in their lives.  In order to reach their level of success they have let other things suffer, often times being family.  I have learned that at no cost should you sacrifice the importance of your family when pursuing any career.  Your spouse and children are the most important people in your life and you must find a way to balance all of the business, family, personal and spiritual aspects of life.  Thankfully this class provided countless examples of successful business people and entrepreneurs who have mastered this necessary balance. 
After everything is said and done, the most important thing that will matter at the end of our lives is what kind of person we were and if we made a positive impact in the world.  Living a life of service will help us to achieve this personal satisfaction and true and lasting joy.  We can use our successes to help others along the way.   It is also important to strive for responsible financial freedom by living within a comfortable means and simultaneously saving and investing. 

By combining and mastering all of the tools and practices listed above we can reach our entrepreneurial goals, make a difference in this world and serve others all along our journey.  

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Week Twelve

A Journey of Gratitude

Lessons Learned:
President Monson is such an incredible prophet of God.  His talk “An Attitude of Gratitude” is something that we should all read regularly.  It is so easy to get side tracked or worldly obsessed with what is going on in our daily lives and the goals and aspirations that we have for ourselves.  Although these goals are positive ones, and we should be enthusiastic to work towards them, we must also remember why we are here on this earth and the purpose that the Lord has for each one of us.  In our entrepreneurial endeavors we must remain focused on our eternal goals as well as our entrepreneurial goals.  By keeping balance in our lives we can cultivate our spiritual selves and care for all of our relationships with others.  By expressing gratitude and balancing ourselves we can reach all of our goals and help others along the way. 

Lessons Not Yet Learned:
In honest reflection of the lessons that I have not yet learned, I want to recognize my personal struggles with depression and anxiety.  Although I am always working toward living a life of hope and happiness, there are times when I let life get me down.  As I express gratitude it brings me happiness.  I have set a goal for myself to print positive quotes that promote happiness, gratitude, love, excellence and motivation to achieve my goals.  I will place these quotes around my house so that I can see them daily and remind myself of my purpose on this earth.

A Reference and Categorization Method:
Thomas S. Monson “An Attitude of Gratitude”: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1992/04/an-attitude-of-gratitude?lang=eng&query=attitude+gratitude+(name%3a%22Thomas+S.+Monson%22)#watch=video

Identifying and Exploiting the Right Entrepreneruail Activity…For You: https://content.byui.edu/file/5c6a3828-db2c-4c81-bd4a-d86572fd2a76/1/808043p2.pdf

“Recognizing and Shaping Opportunities” parts 1, 2.1 and 2.2: https://content.byui.edu/file/70ddde60-1dad-4d7e-bc60-acc7a48384ba/1/8056p2.pdf

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Week Eleven

Becoming a Changemaker

Lessons Learned:
“Entrepreneurship and Consecration” by Elder Gay was a very moving video that I watched in this week’s lesson.  He emphasized that we must live our lives according to God’s will, never our own, and this includes in our business endeavors.  The Lord’s model and the world’s model are completely different and we must carefully make sure we are following the Lord in every aspect of our lives.  The statement that God left this world unfinished for man really impacted me.  Heavenly Father left us responsible to finish His work on this earth.  We must take care of one another and use our successes to fulfill the Lord’s plan.  Elder Gay stated that “It is not what you have, but who you are.  And who you are is not what you say, but what you do.”  He made many profound statements about all of these things.  Charity should guide all of our thoughts and actions, and this includes in our business choices and decisions as well.

Lessons Not Yet Learned:
I have not yet learned how to use charity to guide my entrepreneurial journey.  Although I do try and live with charity in my current job, I have not yet given the chance to use charity as a leader in an organization.  As my husband is on his journey to become a PA, I know that he will treat his patients with charity and the love of Christ, and am excited to share this weeks lessons, readings and videos with him.

A Reference and Categorization Method:

What’s a Business For
Based on what you read in the first two pages, why are virtue and integrity so vital to an economy?
Virtue and integrity are vital to an economy because they keep men honest in their dealings with one another.  Too many people are dishonest in their reports to make themselves and their companies look better.  Without virtue and integrity corporations are looking after only themselves and do not care about their consumers and front line workers.
According to Charles Handy, what is the “real justification” for the existence of businesses?
The real justification for the existence of business is the purpose to make a profit so that the business can do something more or something better.
What are two solutions proposed by Handy that you agree with? Why?

Two solutions that Handy proposed that I agree with are to measure success in terms of outcomes for others as well as for ourselves, and better corporate behavior.  I think success should definitely be measured not only in terms of finance and profitability, but about the difference and outcomes that it creates for everyone.  A company who makes a difference in the world is far more successful than one who simply sells something to profit from people.  Better corporate behavior would allow a more cohesive company and encourage honest and virtuous actions.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Week Ten

Measuring the Cost

Lessons Learned:
This week I really loved learning about work life balance and the importance of prioritizing and setting your standards from the beginning.  From the case studies, to the videos and readings there were many explanations of how to find a work life balance and why it is important.  There were also some honest opinions of how it can be impossible to find the balance if you are not willing to sacrifice in one aspect or the other. You cannot have power, money and family without giving a little in one way. This does not mean it is impossible, you just may have to miss one business opportunity in order to be with your family, or miss one child's sport game out of the whole season in order to make an important business meeting for your family’s financial stability.

Lessons Not Yet Learned:
I have not yet learned how to balance my work and life in an entrepreneurial journey because I have not yet begun my journey.  I also do not have children yet so I have not had the opportunity to handle those kinds of obstacles in work/life balance.  But with my husband we do have to communicate when we have late work nights or other things going on that will affect our plans together.  We recognize the importance of having one on one time and family time together now, and will continue to do so when we start having children.

A Reference and Categorization Method:
Is Work/Life Balance Possible: http://ecorner.stanford.edu/authorMaterialInfo.html?mid=2553
Balancing Your Life and Your Career Successfully: http://ecorner.stanford.edu/authorMaterialInfo.html?mid=998
Surviving the Entrepreneurial Life - Work and Family: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zg-0JhfGgk
Action Hero – Corey Bell: http://www.actonhero.org/celebrating-heroes/stories-of-heroes/index.php?hero=corey-bell
Financial Fitness (password ll): https://vimeo.com/64392475

Attitude on Money
1. What is your attitude toward money?
Money is somewhat of a necessary evil in my opinion.  We need it in our everyday lives and to be able to afford to live in a house or apartment, drive a car or means of transportation to work and to purchase groceries and other needs.  Money is also what allows us to indulge in life a little, whether in materialistic ways or in vacations and travel.  As a young married person with little to no money and struggling to make ends meet I can get frustrated by money sometimes.  However I know that as we work toward using it in the right ways and learning to stick to a budget every month, instead of every other month, we will be able to have financial stability.  I believe that with financial stability and living within our means plus a little, we will be able to be happier, less stressed and feel more balanced.
2. How can your view of money affect the way you live?
If you view money for the materialistic things that it can buy and view credit cards as a means to get what you want then you will be in big trouble and face financial problems your whole life.  Keeping up with the Jones’s leads to an unhappy life financially and materialistically.  I do face some materialistic challenges and enjoy fashion which can cause me to spend outside of my budget at times, however I am trying to learn to second hand shop more often and to decide what my needs are versus my wants.  Your view of money can definitely affect the way that you live by living outside of your means or going into debt. If you view money as a necessary thing that allows you to live comfortably and happily then you can use it wisely and for your family’s security and comfortable lifestyle.  Once you are able to have financial stability it is very important to give back and help others.  Although the only service that we can provide right now is of our time, I know that when we do someday have a more substantial income when my husband is in his career, we will definitely want to use our money to help others who are in need.
3. What rules are recommended for prospering?
The rules to follow when prospering are laid out by Jim Ritchie in the lesson six video titled “Financial Fitness”.  We must deposit money into the correct accounts and create both a savings and investment account that we do not touch. We must also pay ourselves and have a savings account for our wish list. When it comes down to it we should live on a strict budget, and within our means, and save and invest the rest.  We also need to be paying our tithing and making charitable donations.  It is crazy to me to see how many millions of people cannot grasp this, including myself at the moment, but I am so thankful to be learning the necessary steps and rules so that I can implement and work toward living this way.  I have a great example of my in-laws who live well within their means but have a very comfortable lifestyle and have a great retirement set in place.   In contrast how I was raised and my parent’s financial situation is not nearly as great and I see them spend money on wants over needs which has impacted how I make financial decisions and purchases.  My husband and I are currently working toward sticking to a budget and plan to open an IRA in January and start contributing monthly toward that and a few other individual savings accounts.  Although we are nowhere near where we want and need to be financially, I know that if we make steps and work toward being better every day that we WILL get there!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Week Nine

Dream Big Dreams

Lessons Learned:
“A Field Guide for the Hero’s Journey” chapter four is about finding out what companions you want with you on your journey, and putting in the work to create and nurture these relationships.  It is often difficult to admit that someone else is better at something than you are, however it is important to cultivate relationships with those that strengthen your weaknesses.  It is your own responsibility to surround yourself with people who will lift you up and share and encourage your passions and goals.

I had the opportunity to interview an entrepreneur who has successfully built a company with her husband, allowing her the privilege of being a stay at home mom.  I chose this smaller scale entrepreneur to interview because it aligns with my own personal goals and aspirations.  The five biggest things that I took away from this interview experience are hard work, integrity, spouse and family support, get to know who your consumers are and what they want, and lastly to simply go for it. 

Lessons Not Yet Learned:
My biggest goal with taking this entrepreneur class is to figure out what my personal dreams and goals are.  As we working toward starting our family right now and I am hoping to be a stay at home mom, I know that we will need something to supplement our income.  I have considered a few different options that have been offered to me in order to do that, such as selling DoTerra Essential Oils or MaryKay beauty products, however I am not passionate about these products so I know that I would not be successful in selling them.  My biggest struggle is creativity, coming up with something new and fresh that I can do that others haven’t already capitalized on.  Although I still have not figure this out, I am hoping to find something that I can do from home that will make me happy, provide some financial stability and something that I will enjoy sharing with others.

A Reference and Categorization Method:
Think Big: https://vimeo.com/27928168
License to Pursue Dreams: http://ecorner.stanford.edu/authorMaterialInfo.html?mid=1527
Action Hero – Kathy Huber: http://www.actonhero.org/celebrating-heroes/stories-of-heroes/index.php?hero=kathy-huber

Your Emotional Fingerprint (password ll): https://vimeo.com/64376282

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Week Seven

Overcoming Challenges

Lessons Learned:
“A Field Guide for the Hero’s Journey” is the new book that I started reading this week.  This book is full of motivational and inspirational quotes, poems and stories.  I enjoyed the three chapters that I read, chapters five, six and eight because they addressed how to overcome stones in the road, the giant of despair and fighting the big, bad, evil dragon. 

Elder Holland gave especially great advice in the readings and video this week.  I don’t think anyone expects the entrepreneur journey to be an easy one, but at the same time I think once an entrepreneur find great success they think it will continue to be smooth sailing and do not adequately prepare for the hard times that continually come in life.  Elder Holland reminds us that no matter what the journey brings we must push forward.  President Thomas S. Monson reminded us that we should recognize our past in order to move forward, and to appreciate everything that we have been through and experienced.

Lessons Not Yet Learned:
I have not yet learned how to overcome entrepreneurial challenges.  Because I have not begun my own entrepreneurial journey I will learn how to overcome my journey’s challenges when they occur.  But from this class, the books, readings and videos I will have great guidance on how to overcome any challenges when they happen.

A Reference and Categorization Method:
However Long and Hard the Road by Elder Jeffery R. Holland and Sister Patricia T. Holland:
Looking Back and Moving Forward by President Thomas S. Monson:

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Week Six

Moving forward with a driving passion!

Lessons Learned:
This week I finished the book "Mastery" by George Leonard.  The final section of the book consisted of finding energy for mastery, pitfalls to beware of and how to master the commonplace.  There were five guidelines given to help us stay on the path of mastery: be aware of the way homeostasis works, be willing to negotiate with our resistance to change, develop a support system, follow a regular practice and dedicate ourselves to lifelong learning.  When discussing how to have the energy to become a master, Leonard also discussed seven different ways to help us do this.  These seven principles include maintain physical fitness, acknowledge the negative and accentuate the positive, try telling the truth, honor but don't indulge your own dark set, set your priorities, make commitments and take action, and once you get on the path of mastery to stay on it.  
The book finished with how to master the commonplace.  If we can learn to love the plateau, master the five keys, and utilize all the tools that Leonard has given us then we can apply it to our daily lives and master each and every day throughout our life-long journey.
"Ultimately nothing in this life is 'commonplace,' nothing is 'in between.'  The threads that join your every act, your every thought, are infinite.  All paths of mastery eventually merge."  

This week we also discussed Franklin Coveys 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  Although all seven habits are incredible and equally important to build upon one another, my favorite is the final step: sharpen the saw.  If we put in all of the work to achieve our success and goals, but do not continue to sharpen the saw, it has all been somewhat pointless.  I love the four dimensions of sharpening the saw including our physical, spiritual, mental, and social/emotional dimensions.  In order to continually progress we must repeat these cycles and principles we have learned over and over, and that is what sharpening the saw means to me.  I must continually take care of my mind, body and spirit to grow stronger, better and to keep my progression moving forward.

Lessons Not Yet Learned:
I am still on my journey of mastery.  The biggest thing I have taken away from this book is to love the plateau.  As I've continued reading the book and other materials for the week, I've realized more and more that I have always lived my life for the progression points and exciting stages.  I get bored and unhappy during my long plateau periods, but I need to learn to love them and enjoy fully every moment of my life.  I cannot live my life waiting for the next progression point or major life event.  I am learning how to master the commonplace and be present in the here and now.

A Reference and Categorization Method:
The basic summary of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People can be found here:
Stand True and Faithful by President Gordon B. Hickley