De nieuwsbrief

Entrepeneurshipday 2012 – How to stay focused once you've started your business

Since we’ve started our company, Oliver and I have working together with the Amsterdam Center of Entrepreneurship, helping them with giving workshops, and advice on the usage of social media. During their annual “Entrepreneurship Day”, Oliver and I gave different workshops, and mine was on a topic that i’ve been working on long before I started with Nameshapers, namely, “Focus”.

A little background: Since I became a trainer some years of ago, I was also incredibly active as a student, studying (at least trying to), balancing more then 5 part time jobs, doing 3 different kind of sports and god knows what else I was doing? What became an obsession for me was “how” to become more productive? How to become more efficient in the time that I spend and squeeze in as much as i possibly could. I read as many books & listened to as many audio tapes on the topic only that I could, each time fine tuning my methods and finding better ways to work and live. After each new resource, I would train others on the topic: this ranged from Getting Things Done from David Allen, to the 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen R Covey and a whole bunch of other resources and authors. They always say “you teach most what you wish to learn”, which for me, is incredibly applicable.

Cutting a long story short: the more I worked on it, the more I saw a pattern, a simple beautiful pattern which combined them all together in some way and them brought them more to their core. And this is what I feel “focus” is all about.

It is interesting how we, as young entrepreneurs ourselves, and often getting advice from more experienced individuals, can come to such events and give guidance, share experiences, coach and motivate people owning their own business how to make the best of it.

The room I was going to give my workshop slowly started to fill up, and with some arriving a little late, my small workshop room was filled to the rim with more then 20 participants. Young entrepreneurs with what one could call the “eye of the tiger”, hungry and wanting to learn.

After giving a short history of myself, what keeps me busy, I used an anecdote of Steve Jobs about “connecting the dots”, to refresh your memory, this is the opening of his speech where he explains what I mean:

Then I wanted to get people to leave all the conform manners of living and working and to focus more on the “why”. Why you do what you do and what is it that you want to get out of it. Creating my own “iceberg” model: where I believe that time management is the tip of the iceberg, the thing one “sees”, the rest.. is a climb into the inner self, which is something I love to explore with the crowd. I asked 4 questions in an interactive form and each time bring them back to the “Why”. Simon Sinek remains a wonderful inspiration for this. And for those that haven’t seen his TED talk, please do watch it.

The slides are merely a small representation of the workshop, since I had a short hour which is scarce when talking about a topic such as this one and I kept much of it interactive and playful with questions. I had loads of fun with the group and we explored some beautiful insights on the topic. Hereunder you can find the slides that I used.