When I get to know a potential client, I want to hear their origin story. Not their childhood but the inspiration that led them to start a business. The product or service is rarely the innovative part of the story, so their fresh take on the proverbial mouse trap is likely the secret to their success.

Perhaps you know exactly what I mean because you started your company to craft a new culture, build core values in an industry that lacks your combination or deliver uniquely. The reason behind this question is that it rekindles the connection between what they’re doing daily and their why, giving fuel to the passion for a successful future.

And if you’re one of those brave souls about to take a risk, scoot out on the skinny branch, and launch a business in 2024, then some nuggets in the following Ted Talks will inspire you.

These are not the typical rise-and-grind suggestions but rather a reminder that our passion for entrepreneurship is a recipe that includes ingredients of passion, connection, fun, inspiration, and mission.

#1 Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

This is the breakthrough viral video from the author of Start with Why. You’ve likely seen this video yourself or at least heard of it.

In the profiling tool we use at Leader’s Cut, Talent Dynamics, we have initial categories of genius broken down into what, who, when, and how. The unifying thread in this system is why. Simon Sinek beautifully articulates why this is the most important business element.

What is your why?

#2 Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are

As an entrepreneur and leader, people pay attention to you in a way they may not have before. This includes your employees, fellow leaders, and customers; instead of denying the case, retreating to your office, or questioning why, you can establish presence, intent, and connection with your body language.

Dr. Cuddy brilliantly weaves her life’s work with her life story to demonstrate the messages we send with our body language. Your awareness of your physical presence will forever change after you watch this video.  

#3 Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work

Many entrepreneurial gurus focus on the grind, effort, and grit of starting a business. There’s a case to be made that labeling something as difficult, hard, or laborious is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Labeling something as difficult, hard, or laborious is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Shawn Achor humorously states that positivity produces positive results beyond mere mood change.

As a leader who begins and often ends the day with a full plate, you inherently know your attitude affects productivity. Now, you have science to support what you already know.

#4 Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

By now, you’ve noticed a theme in my recommendations: most of these talks are oldies but goodies. This is because end-of-year reflection and new-year planning are perfect for anchoring the basics.

It may have been a while since you watched Brene Brown’s first Ted Talk; it will not disappoint when you re-watch it. My clients routinely name recruiting/retention as a priority in their businesses.

I believe that process + people = profit; many companies invest time and treasure in the process yet come up short on people. Brene’s wisdom is key to building an organization that becomes a talent magnet.

#5 Regina Hartley: Why the Best Hire Might Not Have the Perfect Resume

Continuing the theme of hiring, watch this video for insights into where your past hiring may have left you unimpressed with a candidate who looked perfect on paper. Or, more likely, you’ve passed on a unique talent perfect for your culture, business, and team, but you didn’t discern what you needed from a simple resume.

Hiring is an intricate process, not a singular event when you have an opening. Invest in getting this right, and you’ll add a competitive advantage to your business.

#6 Seth Godin: How to Get Your Idea to Spread

When we launch our businesses, we know it’s something special. It reflects our core values, a strong work ethic, and a passion for delivering something special. That’s great, but only if other people know about it.

Seth Godin is the mastermind behind getting great ideas to be the worst-kept secret. You may realize that for all the effort we place on product/service quality, we are best served getting the word out. Make sure the world knows how to find your business.

Ken Kilday is a current entrepreneur and former Fortune 500 Executive Leader who now coaches leaders to bring simplicity, clarity, and direction to their teams. If you’d like to learn more about Leader’s Cut and the impact you’d like to achieve in your company, schedule a Meet & Greet with Ken.

Already know you’d like to kick the tires on a coaching relationship? Then the Breakthrough Strategy Session is for you; for your investment of ninety minutes and some information, you’ll experience coaching, awareness, and strategy in a single session.

Finally, sign up to receive his free e-book, The Six Silver Bullets You Need to Grow Any Business Fast. This 23-minute read is full of valuable tips, templates, and tools. You can use the links in the book to schedule a call with Ken anytime.

See also: 6 Ted Talks for Giving & Receiving Feedback

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