Saturday, March 24, 2012

Be The Entrepreneur of Yourself

The world has changed.  My grandfather came to the United States at a young age, with a young son (my father) and he went to work in the Brooklyn shipping yard of an industrial pipe manufacturer.  He stayed with that same company for his entire career, a lifetime, working his way through the ranks from physical labor, to sales, to management, to the proverbial gold watch at retirement (in his case, semi-retirement... I come from a long line of workaholics.)  

There Is No Such Thing As Job Security.

What was a relatively common experience for my grandfather - spending a career at one company - is virtually unheard of today.  The notion of "job security" simply does not exist anymore at any level, from the "C-suite" on down.  Today, the best job security one can have is to not need job security.  Today you truly need to be an entrepreneur.  You need to be the entrepreneur of yourself.  You are the startup.  These are the lessons I am trying to practice myself,* and instill upon my kids, all in their 20's.  This is their world.

The Startup is YOU.

Being the entrepreneur of yourself does not mean you can't be working as an employee for someone else's company.  It does mean that you approach being an employee the way you would approach starting a business.  YOU are the business.  Your current product is the job you hold, and your mission is to attack that job as if it is your company, so that you can produce the best product possible - your work, and your work ethic.  Like a startup, you want to grow your business (yourself) and improve, and learn, perform well and grow a customer base of people who respect, rely upon, and value your product (you).

Be The Product.

When you are the product, and the product is simply awesome, your customers will stick with you. It is no different than with a company.  Apple customers buy every new product Apple makes because their products are great.  Your customers - your co-workers, employers, people you do business with, people you encounter online and off - will support your product - you - no matter what you are doing or where you are working, if your product is always awesome.

Stay Focused, But Plant Seeds.

As the entrepreneur of yourself, you need to stay focused on the product, but also remain aware of the marketplace.  Being awesome at your current job (current product) doesn't mean you can't also have a product roadmap for the future.  You need to.  To prepare your startup (you) to become a sustainable business, you need to have an eye on the future. You need to be aware of other products (opportunities) that may fit into your longer term plan, and you need to plant the seeds (reputation, relationships, resourcefulness) that will leave you prepared to roll out new products (changing a job, starting a new venture) when the market is ready.

I firmly believe that being the entrepreneur of yourself is the best way to take control of your own work destiny, so you can be ready to create your own opportunities within or without your current job.

Do you agree?  Are you the entrepreneur of yourself?

(* In an attempt to practice what I preach, I recently updated my own product and changed my role from a full-time employee to that of a consultant in order to pursue additional opportunities including Social Object Factory. More on that soon...)

Photo Credit: © Konstantin Li -

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Sunday, March 04, 2012

Ultra Fun With An Ultrabook and an Ultrabook Dad

(This sponsored post originally appeared at

I think you’ll agree that computers are now a part of just about every family's lifestyle (not to mention our business lives...). It has been fascinating to watch the rapid evolution of computers over the years.  Remember the first computer you bought for your home?  Chances are it was a huge desktop PC with a large CPU, and awkwardly heavy CRT display.  Today that early PC is a digital dinosaur, and, arguably, the idea of a big CPU for a “desktop” PC is perhaps on its way to extinction as well.

Lap It Up...

When laptop PC’s first hit the market we were enamored by their portability, but we wanted them to have the same power and capabilities as our workhorse desktops... and soon they were just as fast and capable, with powerful, yet power friendly microprocessors, great graphic and media capabilities, sharp, wide screens, and hard drives with the same capacity as their desk-trodden counterparts.  Indeed the laptop could be a primary PC, but you might not want to carry it with you everywhere (if you value your shoulder).  For many, that big, bulky (but capable) laptop became our main PC, spending more time on our desks than our laps.

Casting (out) the Net(book)

Recognizing the consumer’s desire for “smaller and lighter,” notebooks evolved from the laptop, and then the netbook evolved from the notebook PC.  Small, light and inexpensive, the netbook was one step forward in portability, but two steps backward in power and function.  The shrunken keyboards could be a challenge, along with the small screens and general lack of “oomph” when it comes to speed and pure processing prowess.  A netbook has its place in a pinch, but it is unlikely to ever become a “main” computer.

Enter The Ultrabook!

The desire for small, light, powerful and portable is now being addressed by the many Ultrabooks hitting the market, driven by an Intel reference design.  As I mentioned in an earlier post in which I unboxed the Asus Zenbook UX31E, Ultrabooks are thin, sleek and light.  Most weigh less than 3 pounds, and the Asus Zenbook that Intel sent me is 9mm thick in the back, sloping down to 3mm in the front.  It is an eye-catching brushed aluminum package... and with “instant on” and solid battery life it is a computer you truly can (and will want to) take with you everywhere.  It is a full featured portable computer that fits into any lifestyle and a laptop that is just as comfortable on your lap on the couch as it is on your desk.  The Asus Zenbook is an impressive example of the Ultrabook category and at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) there were some exciting Ultrabook announcements from a number of manufacturers.

The Ultrabook Dads Geek Out On Video

When Intel sent @HighTechDad and I the Asus Zenbooks to review, we wanted to do something a little different.  Any reviewer can tell you the specs of a device.  We wanted to have some fun and give you a good perspective on the Asus Ultrabook at the same time. While we each made our own video, they are actually closely tied together and I hope you’ll take the time to watch them both for the full UltrabookDads treatment.  And please, let us know what you think!

 Can't see the video? Click this link:

 And here is the companion video from @HighTechDad:

 Can't see the video? Click this link: 

Michael and I have enjoyed using and talking about the Ultrabook and having the chance to be “UltrabookDads.”  We held a Google Hangout and a fun live Twitter Chat, and one lucky Twittizen, @BadMofo33, was the random winner of an Ultrabook Intel provided as a giveaway. I hope you’ve enjoyed this inside look inside Ultrabooks, sponsored by Intel.

Which Ultrabook features are most appealing to you?

Disclosure:  In accordance with the FTC Guidelines and WOMMA Code of Ethics, I am disclosing that I have a material connection because I received a gift or sample of a product for consideration and/or am being otherwise compensated by Intel in preparing to create this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. My opinions about Intel, Asus, and Ultrabooks are entirely my own and not those of Intel, Asus or any other party.
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