Posts Tagged ‘oprah’

On your own but not alone

October 1, 2009

Ever find yourself trying to be an entrepreneur but also trying to escape from the kids – or being distracted by the unpredictable noise around your table at Starbucks?  You might want to try “CoWorking.” 

This is one of the hot new terms accounting for people wanting to work not from home and not from an office is CoWorking. People who struggle with watching Oprah or playing Xbox in the middle of the afternoon may find that a shared office space is just what you need.


The term just made it into Wikipedia and is defined thus:  Coworking is the social gathering of a group of people, who are still working independently, but who share values and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with talented people in the same space.  Blogs, social networks and other support systems are being formed around this concept. 

Sole proprietors, freelancers, artists, consultants and other independent workers are finding refuge in coworking environments with open office areas but dedicated work space, high-speed internet, a kitchenette and maybe even printer and fax machine. Rates range from $15 a day to $500 a month for full 24/hour access. Check it out here – CoWorking Spaces or just Google your city with the word “coworking.”

Horse Head or Masterpiece?

March 31, 2009

When I was 13 years old I painted a horse head with a paint by numbers layout. I thought it was pretty good, but now that I’ve seen some real masterpieces I realize it was pretty amateurish. The paint was clumpy where I tried to stay inside the identified lines. It didn’t look real; it just looked like I did a good job of painting. My wife Joanne, on the other hand, has drawn some amazing pieces – always starting with a blank canvas and then allowing her imagination to direct her brush or pencil.

I realize now that life’s opportunities are presented to us in much the same way. If we paint by the numbers (take the first job, put money in CDs, buy a Ford car, purchase shirts at J.C. Penney, and have two weeks vacation every year) we will see predictable results. You know what it’s going to be – and it might be good, but it will never be amazing to you or anyone else. The only way to get a masterpiece is to start with a blank canvas. Of course, with a blank canvas you could also end up with a disaster that you decide to throw away. But the very next one may be the masterpiece that will make the world remember you.

While you may think this is about willingness to take “risk” or that it’s a reflection of “personality style” I think it’s more about dreaming, imagining and taking action. And this is not just a business or career decision – it’s more a question of the kind of life we want to live. Think of Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Bono, Oprah, Rick Warren, Howard Schultz or Billy Graham. Their personality styles cover the entire range of possibilities and no one would consider Billy Graham a risk-taker. But all of them had big dreams, started with a blank canvas and then took action to create their own unique masterpieces.

Here’s what experts are telling us we will have for the remainder of 2009: uncertainty, chaos, turbulence, turmoil, confusion and insecurity. Sounds like a paint by the number life is going to be hard to find anyway.

So you get to choose what you are creating today – a horse head or the Mona Lisa?

“Success is never an accident. It typically starts as imagination, becomes a dream, stimulates a goal, grows into a plan of action – which then inevitably meets with opportunity. Don’t get stuck along the way.” Dan Miller