Which Columbia?

Famed musician Billy Joel needs little introduction. I find the back story of artists and musicians full of lessons for entrepreneurs – especially during the halcyon period of the music industrial complex circa 1950-1995. But today I read some things about Billy Joel which really inspired me:

Firstly, he didn’t finish high school because he took a gig playing in a piano bar at nights to support his single mother. At the end of the year he didn’t have enough credits to graduate:

“I told them, ‘To hell with it. If I’m not going to Columbia University, I’m going to Columbia Records, and you don’t need a high school diploma over there’.”

The final irony is that he now has 6 honorary doctorate degrees from famous colleges.


Guest Post at Pollenizer

I was invited to do a guest blog post for the guys from Pollenizer. For the uninitiated Pollenizer is firm which helps startups grow bigger and better. Both through consulting services and also taking long term positions with the companies. It’s really worth a browse around the Pollenizer site.

My post is a very cool one on Startup Lessons from Rock Bands.

AC DC Its a long way to the top if you wanna rock n roll

It also includes a video interview I did with Mick Liubinskas who is one of the smartest start up guys I know (ex Skype & Kazaa) where we cover off Startup School for which there are still some Sydney tickets left for the event.

Click here to check it out.

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Act as if

If you want to be a body builder act as if you are one

If you want to be learned, act as learned people do

If you want to a musician, act as musicians do

If you want to be an entrepreneur, act like an entrepreneur does.

If you want to be any of the things above, act as if you already are one.

So what do they do?

What do body builders do? Body builders go to the gym every day. They focus on lifting heavy weights. They eat at least 1 gram of protein per kg of body weight every day. They study the human body and understand the intricacies in making it grow. They stay the course for many, many years before they acheive their maximum natural physique. They invest time with people who also body build.

What do learned people do? Learned people view study as an on going vocation. They continue formal education at post graduate levels. They study both formally and informally. They watch documentaries, and read books every day of their life. They are interested in wide and varied topics of interest. They desire to stretch their brain capacity and challenge it daily. They are good at listening and are open to new ideas. They invest time with people who are also learned.

What do musicians do? They learned to play an instrument. Sometime they learned to play multiple instruments. They obsess over playing these instruments, until they have mastered it. But they never stop progressing. They join bands and musical groups and play gigs, no matter hat level of proficiency they are at. They watch other bands play, and listen to music all the time. They spend time with other musicians. They dedicate their life to music.

What do entrepreneurs do? They learn about business, marketing and finance. They think of new business ideas and keep a journal of these ideas. They write business plans to make their ideas a reality. They start lots of little ventures, of which many fail and keep on starting up again. They learn about raising capital and cashflow. They have a day job which bnuilds relevant skills for starting a business.. They’re frugal and save their money. Each startup they do, gets them one step closer to success. They love the thrill of new ventures and hang out with other like minded people. They trade ideas on business, and learn how to bootstrap. They are more excited by doing cool stuff, than buying cool thinbgs.

If you want to become, you must act as they do. Even if you are not the person described above, act as if you are, and you shall become.

lemonade stand