Fun Friday Links: From Employee to Entrepreneur, Money vs. Wealth, and 3 Innovation Secrets

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Arwen Heredia

May 30, 2014

Welcome to Conspire’s Fun Friday Links, a weekly collection of interesting discoveries from around the Web. Most of the time, the goal is to get you thinking differently about innovation, collaboration, business culture, and life in general. Other times, we may toss an infographic or fun video your way. Submissions are welcome, and you can send them to for consideration.

7 Tips for Surviving The Leap From Employee to Entrepreneur

Becoming a full-time entrepreneur remains a pipe-dream for a lot of people. Sometimes that’s because they feel that the risk is way, way too high; others don’t fully understand the shifts in mentality that are required to go from working somewhere established to building something new. But it doesn’t have to be that way — in this piece from Mashable, author Nellie Akalp shares seven tips for taking the plunge. Here’s the first, which incidentally is all about learning to say ‘no':

“As an employee in a big company, you probably got used to saying “yes” to any and all requests that came your way. After all, “yes” meant you were reliable and a team player and that can-do attitude probably earned great reviews from your manager. However, this approach won’t get you far as an entrepreneur. For starters, with the time-pressed entrepreneurial schedule, agreeing to and doing everything just isn’t possible. But more importantly, as an entrepreneur, you need to set the agenda, not just follow everyone else’s wishes. Get used to saying “no” to everything but your main priorities.”

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Alan Watts on Money vs. Wealth

It’s a common fantasy: living a full and robust life made up of good food, good deeds, travel, and quality time with loved ones — without the fear or restriction that comes from being financially stunted. And, it’s one that’s explored deeply both in this piece from Maria Popova and the book she discusses within it — Alan Watts’ Does it Matter? Essays on Man’s Relation to Materiality. From Brainpickings:

“The moral challenge and the grim problem we face is that the life of affluence and pleasure requires exact discipline and high imagination.

Civilization, comprising all the achievements of art and science, technology and industry, is the result of man’s invention and manipulation of symbols — of words, letters, numbers, formulas and concepts, and of such social institutions as universally accepted clocks and rulers, scales and timetables, schedules and laws. By these means, we measure, predict, and control the behavior of the human and natural worlds — and with such startling apparent success that the trick goes to our heads. All too easily, we confuse the world as we symbolize it with the world as it is.

Money is a way of measuring wealth but is not wealth in itself. A chest of gold coins or a fat wallet of bills is of no use whatsoever to a wrecked sailor alone on a raft. He needs real wealth, in the form of a fishing rod, a compass, an outboard motor with gas, and a female companion. But this ingrained and archaic confusion of money with wealth is now the main reason we are not going ahead full tilt with the development of our technological genius for the production of more than adequate food, clothing, housing, and utilities for every person on earth.”

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3 Secrets of Innovation That Everyone Misses

Considering the sheer amount of content, meetings, and solutions dedicated to boosting business innovation, you’d think there’d be basically nothing left undiscovered about how to do it properly. But alas, secrets abound, and this piece from Inc has uncovered yet another handful. To give you a taste:

“Diversity can mean many things to many people, but there is overwhelming evidence that having inherently diverse individuals, women, people of color, gays and lesbians, younger and older workers, creates the conflict of ideas and experience that is essential to innovation. As Surowiecki of The New Yorker famously argued, diverse teams get better outcomes to almost any problem. Just a diversity of thought or personal styles isn’t enough. In other words, hiring an introvert instead of an extrovert doesn’t really make a big difference in terms of innovation potential. Hiring someone from another culture, gender, or generation does. That’s because the unique life experience that someone diverse brings leads him or her to understand the world and customers differently. So in your next interview process when the discussion of “fit” inevitably arises, be sure you’re focused on the right things and that you’re not eliminating critical perspective for personal reasons.”

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