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5 must-watch TED talks for every entrepreneur

Sweta Dash
5th Jul 2016
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Since 1984, TED has been the most trusted repository of ideas and inspiration on almost every possible subject – be it science, art, business or even global issues. These simple videos don’t just educate and inspire us but are also intellectually entertaining. They have made us realise that ideas have the potential to transcend all barriers, irrespective of gender, race and geography.

Image credits: TED.com
Image credits: TED.com

The entrepreneurial journey is replete with uncertain events and uncharted territories that can be conquered only through extreme dedication towards both personal and professional development. Here is a list of five important TED talks for entrepreneurs that will not only help you learn something new but also enable you to adopt a fresh, new perspective towards your entrepreneurial dream.

Feel free to add more videos to the list in the comments section below.

Should you live for your résumé ... or your eulogy?: David Brooks

Who is the speaker?

David Brooks is an American journalist and columnist for The New York Times. He is widely known for his strong commentaries on politics, culture and social sciences.

Why is this talk relevant?

David speaks about the eternal struggle most human beings face – the struggle between who we are and who the society expects us to be. In just under five minutes, he goes on to elaborate on the two types of virtues – resume virtues (success, money, power and fame) and eulogy virtues (connection, community and love). He dwells on the possibility and the potential to balance these virtues.

This short video will make you question and carefully examine the difference between the values you live with and the person you want to be. It also helps you ascertain if your business goals align with your life goals.

Pitching to VCs: David S. Rose

Who is the speaker?

David S. Rose is a successful entrepreneur who raised millions for his ventures. He found further success as an angel investor. David has supervised the investment of tens of millions of dollars into many other companies.

Why is this talk relevant?

As an entrepreneur, it is very important to strike the right chord with the VC. This video talks about the most important things you must keep in mind before making that important pitch. This is a very detailed and precise video about the do’s and don’ts for your pitch presentation.

Added bonus: You get presentation tips from someone who is a master at turning presentations from “before” to “after”.

Why good leaders make you feel safe: Simon Sinek

Who is the speaker?

An ethnographer by training, Simon Sinek is a leadership expert who has authored leadership books like ‘Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action’ and ‘Leaders Eat Last’.

Why is this talk relevant?

It is impossible to build a successful entrepreneurial venture without being a successful leader. This short video is the only leadership coaching that you will ever need. It explains the basic elements of leadership at both psychological and emotional levels.

Simon talks about how one can be a true leader by building trust and co-operation and not by just being someone in charge. He even supplements his theory with specific examples from the history of leadership.

How to make stress your friend: Kelly McGonigal

Who is the speaker?

A Stanford University psychologist, Kelly McGonigal brings the latest academic scientific research that can be used in actual life for our health, happiness and personal success.

Why is this talk relevant?

Stress is an inevitable part of the entrepreneurial journey. While there are so many hullabaloos about the negative repercussions of stress, Kelly McGonigal proves that stress is harmful only if you let it harm you. In fact, she proves through the ‘social stress test’ that stress can actually transform into positive results. She even talks about how you can train yourself to improve your stress resilience and channelise that stress to drive you further up the ladder to success.

Profit is not always the point: Harish Manwani

Who is the speaker?

Harish Manwani is the COO of Unilever. He is also the non-executive chairman of Hindustan Lever and a member of the executive board of the Indian School of Business.

Why is this talk relevant?

After all the hard work that you put into building your entrepreneurial venture, you might be tempted to assume that profit-making is the ultimate goal. However, it is this myth that Harish Manwani busts in this video. Business is changing, and so are consumers. He goes on to explain that companies cannot afford to be just innocent bystanders in what’s happening around them. They have to play their part in terms of serving the communities that actually sustain them.

If you think there are any other useful TED talks for entrepreneurs, then please let us know in the comments section below.

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