Category Archives: Notice

Get into the Austin Startup Scene

If you have anything to do with the startup scene or entrepreneurship scene in Austin or Texas, then you will not want to miss out on all the amazing stuff happening this week. There will be tons of happy hour parties going on every night this week including a look at all the new companies starting up. And why not? Austin has topped the growth charts in the US by WalletHub in a recent study.

This is the scene to be in for anyone that wants to be apart of starting their own business and connecting with others who will help them do that. Remember if you are a solo leader who is looking to get experience, this is where you want to spend your time since most startup programs favor group startup founders. Use this as the time to find your next co-founder.

Here are a few tips I have to getting the most out of all the events happening this week. If you need more networking tips just click the link.

How to get Involved
1.
Clear your schedule this week and make it a point to throw yourself into all the events. Even if you are still unsure about what kind of company you want to start, everything you learn from all these events will help prepare you for what will be expected of you when you do get started.

2. Don’t wait for anyone, just go. The excuse a lot of people give themselves when thinking about an event as big as this one is that they have no one to go with. You are an adult so you need to make adult decisions on your own and that means going to places on your own. Plus if you get into a great crowd of people and your friend decides it is not for them you will feel obligated (which you shouldn’t) to leave with them. Go and leave all the social pressure of friendships at home.

3. Expect nothing. If you walk into any event this week with that mindset you won’t be disappointed if nothing happens but if you walk away with a few new contacts who can help you get started then that should be a sign that good things are to come. Many people attend these kinds of events with large amounts of pressure to get something out of it and when they leave with nothing they feel let down. Don’t walk in with that mindset except just meeting new people and asking lots of questions.

4. Dress nice and bring business cards. They say the clothes makes the man but in all honesty it doesn’t hurt to dress nice. People feel more comfortable around people who dress nice because it says that they are ready for something. Yes, the startup scene is centered around relaxed clothes but you don’t need to wear an expensive business suit, just some nice pants and shirt should do just fine. Also make it easy for people to contact you afterwards with some professional cards.

5, When in doubt, walk up and say hi. Events like this are hard for a lot of people because of social phobias but the reality is that the only way to meet people is by going up to them and saying hi. If you just attend and leave right afterwards you are missing out on the good stuff that happens after the talk. Stick around and find others who are just standing around and introduce yourself. You might just make a new contact.

6. Visit all the tech hubs. Downtown is the place to be for all the tech hype so while you are downtown make it a point to visit all the top places in Austin for the startup culture. WeWorks on congress, Capital Factory in the Omni Hotel, and TechStars (Open house Tues 9 am) on congress.


The Austin Startup scene is a lot of fun for those without any tie downs. If you can make it, go and attend all the workshops that are free, which is close to all of them. There will be parties, free swag, lots of food and drinks, and best of all, new people to meet and new companies to discover. Click on the links below to look at the schedule, and be sure to get your meetup account and eventbrite account ready because you will need them to sign up for events, plus you will need an account for other startup crawl events.

There is an article that helps you find the top events to attend if you are unsure where to start.

13 Top Picks for Austin Startup Week

Austin Startup Week

Startup Schedule

Sign up and fill your schedule

Capital Factory Events

Enjoy yourself and don’t forget to follow up with all the new people you meet this week!

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Teen Entrepreneurship Series Starts Today

Today starts the summer program for the Teen Entrepreneurship Program. This program is designed to teach teens and kids all about the world of business and how to get involved. We will look at ways young people are starting companies along with what areas investors are looking for. We will talk about how to create a brand and market it, both online and in person. Students will have the chance to start their own little “company” to get the practice so they can understand what it means to create something of value that people need.

The schedule and topics for the courses

  • June 2nd: How to Become an Entrepreneur
  • June 9th: How to Find and Build a Great Company
  • June 16th: Inside the Minds of Successful CEOs
  • June 23rd: Creating Your First Company
  • June 30th: How to Find Your First Customer
  • July 7th: Building a Website for Your Company
  • July 14th: Which Social Media Platform Should I Use for My Company?
  • July 21st: Should I Use Crowdfunding to Help Grow My Business?
  • July 28th: The Secrets of Running a Successful Business

Although this program is for Teens and kids, everyone is welcome to attend. In addition to the course material we will also be showing special programs in class to give students a better perspective on historical business titans and how they got started.

Entrepreneur Series Starts Today!

The spring program starts back up today!

Here is the schedule for the semester. There will be lots of opportunities coming up this semester that I will only be mentioning in class. You will want to make sure you are there to find out all the great stuff happening this spring. I will be talking about a lot of networking opportunities in every class.

The program runs every Tuesday from 12 – 2 pm until the end of May. Please make the effort to be there and participate to get the most out of this program. Looking forward to seeing new faces.

Jan 13, 20 – Legal Issues for Startups

Jan 27, Feb 3 – Hiring to Create a Company Culture

Feb 10, 17 – Gaining Customers

Feb 24 – Understanding CrowdFunding

March 3, 10 – Using SXSW to Grow Your Business

March 24, 31 – Resources for Entrepreneurs

April – Understanding and Using Social Media to Grow Your Business

May 5, 12 – Building a Website for Your Business

May 19 – Does your Business need a Smart App?

May 26 – Start-up Ideas

Important Daily Show Episode to Watch

The daily show aired a great episode last night about the grand jury’s decision in the Eric Holden case against officer Daniel Pantaleo back in July. Jon Stewart was very surprised at the decision because it goes against the very thing that the Ferguson case of Darren Wilson and Michael Brown dealt with – an assault of a white police officer on a black individual with conflicting witness testimony. In both cases the black individual had broken the law, one by stealing from a convenience store and the other selling illegal loose cigarette’s, both crimes in each case but it was the means used to end the situation that resulted in the same outcomes for both, each individual died.

The situation that caught my attention enough to write about this is the social and economic impact these two decisions will have on public behavior. The Ferguson case showed that more officers need to be equipped with body cameras in order to prevent conflicting witness testimony. In many cases where race is an issue between both parties, conflicting witness accounts are higher, but in the case of the officer using a chokehold to try and subdue the individual, the whole thing was recorded. The president has said he has called for $263 million to be spent on body cameras, and as Jon Stewart, and many others afterwards have said, it seems that when the whole thing is recorded and everyone can see the injustice that is being done, not to mention that it is illegal to use such a move to take down an individual in the state of New York, it wasn’t enough to bring a charge against the officer.

So if the whole thing is recorded and using an illegal move is not enough to bring proper charges, then spending all that money is a waste. The other problem also has to do with how the justice system handles information. Remember, a lawyer is not paid to find justice, they have to pay their bills too, so it is in their best interest to bend the truth as much as possible, even if it means preventing certain evidence from being used, in order for them to win their case. For anyone that has ever viewed a lawyer as someone that fights for justice really does not understand how the legal system works. Remember as Upton Sinclair put it perfectly, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

The other issue now is the social influence this is having on people. It is now almost the norm that if there is a case between two people of difference race and it favors anyone but the black person, then it is ok to riot and protest in the streets. Again, Jon Stewart was great in saying that this does not look like a post racial society. Rioting and Protest has a huge economic impact on America because it keeps businesses from operating (people need to work still to get a paycheck, schools need to be open so children can learn) but people think that but stopping normal life that they are going a good, but the real problem is the impact it has on the community. If a business owner can not operate then they can’t pay their employees and if they can’t pay their employees then they have to let them go. These protest and rioting groups cite hate as a reason for injustice.

What strikes me is that hate is very prevalent and many groups use it often but disguise it in order to get away with it and mask it under Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religious Expression. Remember it used to be the case back before the Civil Rights movement when Religious Conservatives thought it was ok to teach their kids that black people were bad (doesn’t seem like that is over with it) and that interracial marriages were not ok either, by showing support of Anti-miscegenation laws, similar to the ones they passed on gay marriage but are getting repealed now, to prevent black people from marrying white people, it counted for other races too, but they focused more on blacks.

Incase you are not aware of just how far back in time the bible belt states are living here is a good example to show what time period they are in. There was a high school in the bible belt states that had it’s first integrated prom recently for white and black students and guess what? The White people were not happy about that decision at all and felt that what happens outside of school should be kept separate but equal. I remember watching interviews of people in the community, when asked what they thought of the high school integrating prom, saying that they did not like the idea one bit with majority of the interviewees saying this being white.

It seems common today for many religious individuals of households to think that it is important to teach their kids that marriage should only be between a man and a woman and that homosexuality is a choice, regardless of the research that has proven over and over (even Jon Stewart had an episode that showed homosexuality is not a choice because of what Texans did) that it is not a choice and that people are born that way. So much for all those millions of dollars spent on research. So what is the point of all that money spent if people are just going to keep thinking the wrong thing? I point this out because those kids who are taught the wrong thing grow up thinking that it is ok to bully those different from them. Then they go and vote for laws that prevent people who are different from them from living the lives they want. That is still another form of bullying.

So when you watch documentaries like, Bully, it shows that no matter how many anti-bullying campaigns schools put on to prevent bullying, it all starts in the home from what the parents are teaching their kids, especially in the bible belt states. That is the root cause of where hate and bullying comes from because when you think about it, kids just want to make friends with more kids but it’s not until the parent starts putting ideas into their head that they begin to be afraid of certain people or they think they are above certain groups of people.

In the case of the grand jury not finding enough evidence to hold officer Daniel Pantaleo guilty, you’d have to be pretty blind not to see what was going on in the video. But the day after, Jon Stewart talked about a surprising twist of events in that someone in the situation was indicted, watch the second link to learn who it was.

Watch Jon Stewart talk about Injustice

Jon Stewart talks about who was indicted and the mistakes still being made

Please make sure you watch this and share it with others. It’s more important about learning how to get along with others than living in closed off ignorant worlds. Lets start teaching kids the right way, not the intolerant way.


News Articles

Jon Stewart Screams in Frustration

Jon Stewart on Eric Garner

“I honestly don’t know what to say,” Jon Stewart gets serious

Read the reactions of people towards the NYPD on twitter about body cameras

Learn more about Racial Segregation in the 21st Century

Read The Social Atom to understand why segregation happens

Watch the movie Fruitvale Station & learn what happened there

Learn how Fruitvale Station and Do the Right Thing played a part

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s that time of year when we stuff our faces with food, sit down and let the processed chemicals in our foods slowly put us to sleep as we struggle to eat another amazing slice of pumpkin pie. Just remember to share a moment around the table and talk about what you are thankful for and if you have the chance to give a little to help someone out please do.

Here are some cute videos to enjoy on Thanksgiving!

A Tiny Hamster Thanksgiving

All About That Baste by Holderness Family

Munchkin the Teddy Bear Gets her exercise

Food Delivered by Rollercoaster in Restaurant

These men took matters into their own hands and it paid off

Many people wonder what it takes for great things to happen to them. They think that someday something will change and they can start doing the things they want to do. Then there are the people who don’t make excuses in life and just go out and do it. These are usually the people you end up calling boss or CEO because it wasn’t easy for them to get there but they worked hard at it and did something with their time.

Then there are those that put in the time and effort and it paid off big time for them. I decided to write this article because over the summer I have been approached by a number of people asking me to help them build their business. We go over what they would like to do, what they want to sell, and how great their idea is. All the people tell me the same thing – that their business idea is one-of-a-kind and there is nothing else like it out there. Well, the thing is there probably already is it’s just a matter of putting in the time and effort and because there are people out there everyday who are the creators and hard workers at starting their own company they are just really good at making their idea happen. Then there are those that work hard searching online everyday looking to take someone’s idea and beat them to the finish line.

In all the people who have approached me, none have taken that first step of actually doing anything. One of my policies I have with everyone is that I don’t do anything for anyone until I see that they have completed something physical to show for their efforts otherwise I am just working for a paycheck on an idea that won’t really go anywhere. It is very rare that I meet someone who actually wants to start a business and has already put in the time and effort. That should tell you what makes starting a business hard in the first place, that first step of doing actual work.

The two stories I found recently caught my attention because I hear so many more people say they are looking for work. The advice that I am slow to give to others is that they should focus on teaching them skills that employers expect from them instead of spending all their time looking for work. The common response to that is, “Well, I don’t have time to sit and read all day I need to be looking for a job,” or “I don’t have the money to go back to school.” You don’t need to spend money to teach yourself anything anymore, you just need a library card and last time I checked those were free. Plus, why apply for jobs if you don’t even have what employers are asking for?

Meet a College Student who Saved a Woman’s Life
Blake Pryor was driving in his car on the highway either heading home or going out for something when he drove up onto a flyover and noticed something that caught his attention. He says that it was a gut feeling that made him pull over and assess the situation. There was a woman who had parked her car on the fly over and from where she was standing was a 100 foot drop down onto busy traffic. The lady was standing there looking over the edge and it was that instinct of knowing that something didn’t look right that made him stop in the first place. This lady was trying to commit suicide.

Blake said that he approached the woman and looked over the edge with her just to make sure that she knew he was there and even though she made several motions to jump, the fact of Blake stopping, showing appreciation for her and giving her his attention was enough for her not to take her own life. He gave her a hug and told her it wasn’t worth it. After officers arrived they commended him for his efforts to keep a woman from taking her life.

This whole event took place at night in the city of Round Rock on one of their flyover highways and when the police department posted it on their facebook page the article received thousands of comments and likes. People like hearing about stories like this because I guess it makes them feel all warm inside or they are glad to know there are nice people out there like him. For Blake his gut reaction to stop, check out what was happening, and offering his time was enough to catch the attention of many other police departments because he has been offered multiple job offers now. It gets better, so not only does he have many job offers already extended to him but his studies in school match what he wants to become, a police officer. He is studying criminal justice at Tarleton State University.

Everyday there are many people looking for work by getting on a computer and posting resumes and paying for classes that teach them how to write amazing cover letters and resumes not realizing that one of the best methods for finding a job is talking to people. Blake had no intention of landing job offers from his efforts nor was that his intention. He did what was required of him at the time and that was all that was on his mind. I can’t tell you how many times I have been offered jobs or asked to check out a program just because I started talking to someone and asking more about what they do. People want to be appreciated and people will talk to you if you know how to approach and talk with them. Books like

The Art of Mingling: Proven Techniques for Mastering any Room by Jeanne Martinet
The Fine Art of Small Talk by Debra Fine

will show you how to do that and more. Infact, these books are so important to read that it surprises me that schools don’t teach that, but many universities have had to add them to their outside programs because they get complaints from employers that their graduates don’t know how to talk to people properly. Such an important skill and yet efforts are spent more on standardized testing. What Blake did was amazing and his efforts were rewarded by what he was able to do. He doesn’t have to worry about job interviews or sending in his resume because it was his efforts of doing something that mattered more.

You can read more about Blake and the full story here
Texas Student Saves Woman from jumping
College student saves suicidal woman
Young Man stops woman from jumping
Facebook Post

Meet a Guy who freed himself from Jail by studying Law for 12 Hours a Day
If I was to tell you that the best way to learn anything is to find some time alone, sit down and read, you would probably find every excuse in the book for getting out of it even though you know you need to do it. Ask any college student when they will clean up their dorm or do their laundry and they will tell you “when I have some time,” but the second it’s time to study for exams you will find majority of students cleaning their places instead of doing what they need to be doing.

The reason for it is because people will give excuses over to things that they know need to be done but don’t prioritize until it gets them out of doing something more important. For Rondell Sanders he didn’t have any excuses because he was in prison and there was nothing for him to do all day. He asked his family to raise some money so they could buy him some law books for him to study. After they raised the money and sent him the books he told his family to stop visiting him so he could focus on studying.

The push to study so hard came after the fact that he lost his initial trial and his lawyers were doing nothing to help him. He knew he had to figure out how the legal system worked and he did that by studying law and that is what he did for 10-12 hours a day seven days a week. There was nothing else for him to do so he made a valid use of his time. His efforts paid off because he was freed  (Jul 23, 2014) after he won his third acquittal trail having spent 20 years in prison (1994) for a murder that he said he was innocent from. He is now adjusting to his new life in society and trying to get used to having those freedoms again.

Sanders said that he loves law now and would love to work in a law firm to help people in his situation. He says he understands what it means to not have anyone listen to him because he was there and met others that felt the justice system ignored them. His real push to learn law came from knowing that his family didn’t have a father there to listen to his kids and he didn’t want that. I’m sure the job offers have come to him in some form or another for his efforts to free himself.

This story goes to show that you don’t need to enroll in a major university or night school program to get an education. You just need to stop with all the excuses grab the books that will teach you what you want to learn and sit yourself down and study. There is nothing else to it but for those that are not serious about that they will continue to find every excuse of getting out of it. If this man was serious enough to put in that much time then you can find at least half of that in your day. And if you are sitting there thinking that you don’t have any time, you do, no one needs to watch that much Netflix in a day.

Read more about how he did it
Inmate studies Law in Prison
Man Freed after acquitted in trial
Imprisoned man studies law

The First Step to Starting a Business
The first thing you need to do is stop making up excuses to keep you from taking the first step. Sit down and write out what your business is all about. This process is called, “Writing a Business Plan.” Second don’t think for one second you need to go to business school to get a degree in this stuff or that you need an MBA so you don’t miss out on something important to know. Here are two books to read that will teach you what you need to know to help you get started so you can then hire those that did go to business school to run your company once it’s up and running.

The Portable MBA in Entrepreneurship by William D. Bygrave
The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman

After you have read those two books and written your business plan then you will know what the next step is and by then you will have put in enough effort and momentum to get you going that you won’t think of stopping.

Get out there and start appreciating people more and you will be surprised how much the world opens up to you. Then make it a point to read and learn something. Yes the laundry needs to be done but it doesn’t take a full day to do it. Learning apps have made it easy now to learn anything on the go. If a man, who didn’t go to law school, can teach himself law then anyone else can you just have to want to do it, and that is the hardest step.

As for the people still asking me to help them with their businesses, well I’m still waiting for them to make the first move in the mean time, there are a lot of ideas out there floating around but it doesn’t take a genius to make the first move.

Adult and Teen Summer Program Starts Today

The summer entrepreneurship program starts today for adults and teens. This program will spend the whole summer walking students through the process of what it takes to start any kind of business. This is great for anyone looking for a summer project or needing the push to turn their idea into a reality.

The course is broken up into 5 parts with each section taking two weeks.

June 3rd and June 10th
Part 1 – The Basics of Business
The Basics of Business will cover simple terminology, different types of businesses, and the various ways they are created.

June 17th and June 24th
Part 2 – Creating a Brand or Product
Building a brand or product is the basis for running a business, here students will learn the direct relationship between their business, their product/service and their customers.

July 1st and July 8th
Part 3 – Putting a Business Together
Businesses only work if all the parts fit perfectly, so students will learn what parts they will need and what parts they won’t. This phase of the program students will start to fit all the pieces together and start selling their business idea.

July 15th and 22nd
Part 4 – Entering the Market
Everyone has a brilliant idea but that doesn’t mean everyone will race to buy it. In this phase students will enter their business idea into the market to learn how people react to it. Do they like it? Do they hate it? The feedback they get will help them to understand what changes need to be and how to go about doing that.

July 29th and Aug. 5th
Part 5 – Refining Your Business
Running a business that works requires constant change in order to keep up with the market. Students will learn in the last continuing phase that after they have their business up and running that they will forever be in this stage in order to keep up with competition.

 

Hope you can make it.