What Are the Best Entrepreneurship TED Talks?
From “The Power to Choose Positivity” to “Listen, Learn, Then Lead,” here are 13 answers to the question, “As an entrepreneur, what’s your favorite TED Talk?”
- The Power to Choose Positivity
- How I Became an Entrepreneur at 66
- How Great Leaders Inspire Action
- How Everyday Interactions Shape Your Future
- Go-Getter or Go-Giver?
- Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals
- The Art of Asking
- How to Get Your Ideas to Spread
- Sleep is Your Superpower
- Your Elusive Creative Genius
- Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator
- The Power of Vulnerability
- Listen, Learn, …Then Lead
The Power to Choose Positivity
As an entrepreneur, my favorite TED Talk is Jonathan Marshall’s “The Power to Choose Positivity.” It is an uncommonly candid exploration of how tough choices can be for owning and managing businesses.
The key point of the talk delves into a concept known as the Neo-Aristotelian approach to decision-making, which advocates for proactively choosing one positive outcome over another rather than merely trying to minimize the negative consequences of an action.
By implementing this practice, entrepreneurs can learn how to be more mindful of their decisions and strive for better outcomes. Ultimately, Mr. Marshall discusses how using the power of positivity leads to increased innovation and higher levels of success with entrepreneurship.
Michael Alexis, CEO, swag.org
How I Became an Entrepreneur at 66
It’s common to think of entrepreneurship as a youthful person’s activity, but if you’re attempting to live out your aspirations, your age shouldn’t serve as the key determinant. Paul Tasner tells us in this motivational TED presentation that aging is nothing to fear when it involves fulfilling your passions.
Tasner launched his firm at 66 after spending 40 years serving other people. Tasner asserts that it’s never too late to start over and contribute significantly to the world market. Download this talk to be motivated if you ever wonder whether you’re too old to start your own business.
Samantha Odo, Real Estate Expert and Chief Operating Officer, Precondo
How Great Leaders Inspire Action
As an experienced entrepreneur, my favorite TED Talk is “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” by Simon Sinek. I find this talk relevant and insightful as an entrepreneur because it emphasizes the importance of purpose and passion in driving success.
By focusing on the “why” behind what I do, I can create a strong sense of mission and inspire my team and customers to join me in pursuing that mission. Sinek’s concept of the “Golden Circle” has helped me to develop a clearer understanding of my own brand and mission as an entrepreneur.
By starting with why, I can more effectively communicate my purpose and values, which can in turn help me build stronger relationships with my team and customers. Overall, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” is a powerful and inspiring talk that has helped me to better understand the importance of purpose and passion in driving success as an entrepreneur.
Shane McEvoy, MD, Flycast Media
How Everyday Interactions Shape Your Future
“How Everyday Interactions Shape Your Future” by Mesmin Destina is a powerful TED Talk that entrepreneurs of all levels should watch. Mesmin Destina talked about how most people don’t realize the impact of their daily interactions.
Even seemingly minuscule, forgettable conversations can expand, shrink, or transform your identity. Who you are now is the product of your past. The people you have worked with, dated, avoided, befriended, talked to, or even cut off all shaped your ambitions, fears, quirks, and goals.
As an entrepreneur, you can maximize interactions by paying more attention. Talk less and listen more during conversations. Find commonalities among the people you meet, assess which traits you should emulate, and avoid their damaging, less-desirable habits.
Mark Damsgaard, Partner and Head of Client Advisory, Global Residence Index
Go-Getter or Go-Giver?
I am a big fan of “Go-Getter or Go-Giver?” By Assia Riccio. The book The Go-Getter greatly impacted how I live my life and run my business. Success is about personal connections and social impact so much more than mere financial gain.
I designed my business to help small and medium-sized businesses grow to reach their maximum potential through RFPs. I have created deep bonds with my clients and helped their businesses grow, which helps local economies.
Additionally, I work with companies that help children, people in the prison system, and increase DE&I goals for other businesses. I like to think that by helping small businesses that are focused on helping society as a whole, I am, in a small way, contributing to the quality of life of hundreds of people. It is the duty of successful businesses to give back where and when they can to fully contribute to the world we all share.
Maurice Harary, CEO, The Bid Lab
Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals
“Why Should You Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals” by Tim Ferriss is my favorite TED talk. During the lockdown, fear was something that I always had to battle with, as we had a lot of trips we had planned for our clients that needed to be canceled.
Then Tim Ferriss introduced me to the concept of “Fear Setting,” a powerful tool that helps you define your fears and, instead of letting them paralyze you, actually makes it easier to take action. He also talks about how embracing stoicism can help you cope with difficult times and how to make hard choices in order to lead an easier life.
The life of Jerzy Gregorek, a Polish man who lost everything and moved to America but still achieved outstanding success, inspired me. This talk has been an eye-opener for me, and the lessons I learned from it have greatly helped me become more courageous when making decisions for my business.
Balaram Thapa, Director and Travel Advisor, Nepal Hiking Team
The Art of Asking
Entrepreneurship is about taking risks to build a company that is larger than yourself. It’s hard, and one of the hardest parts is building trust. That’s why I love the TED talk titled “The Art of Asking” by Amanda Palmer. Even though I first watched it years ago, the idea of connecting with strangers and asking them to trust you by trusting them has always stayed with me.
Beverly Gearreald, Product and Operations Lead, Transizion
How to Get Your Ideas to Spread
Our industry is a relatively new one, which means assuming significant risk. Seth Godin’s TED Talk, “How to Get Your Ideas to Spread,” is my favorite because it explains the necessity of taking that approach to business.
Taking a leap of faith can be difficult, but sometimes playing it safe and not taking the chance can be even riskier, as it will allow you to tread water but never prosper. Godin explains why you should strive to be remarkable rather than just very good, and why being a continual advocate and cheerleader for your products is important.
He also explains why using the bizarre or unorthodox idea is often more successful than just settling for the good one, and how taking risks pays more sustainable dividends than having a decent product that later becomes irrelevant. It is Godin’s enthusiasm for the logic behind taking the risk that I find inspiring, and why it remains my favorite.
Mackenzie Whalen, Marketing Director, E1011 Labs
Sleep is Your Superpower
As an entrepreneur who grew my business at the height of the age of the hustle, working late hours and ignoring self-care became a norm in my life. It all changed when I came across Matt Walker’s Ted Talk two years ago.
He speaks on the importance of sleep for enhancing performance, and I’m a living testament to what a good sleep routine can do for your mind. I’ve become more creative since and have been able to propel my business forward after I made good quality sleep a priority.
I also encourage my employees to take care of themselves and ensure they get enough sleep. Our policy ensures no communication during off-peak hours so they can get enough rest.
Alvin Wei, Co-Founder and CMO, SEOAnt
Your Elusive Creative Genius
Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk, “Your Elusive Creative Genius,” is a powerful and inspiring message that resonated with me heavily. Here are some reasons why this talk is a favorite among many:
She encourages creativity: Gilbert’s talk encourages creativity, which is a key aspect of entrepreneurship. She stresses the importance of following your passion and pursuing your creative interests.
Gilbert identifies the fear of failure: She talks about the fear of failure that many people experience when they embark on a creative project or a new business venture. She provides a powerful message of hope and encouragement to help overcome this fear.
Emphasizes persistence: Gilbert emphasizes the importance of persistence in pursuing creative endeavors. She encourages entrepreneurs to keep going even when they encounter obstacles or setbacks.
Sven Patzer, CEO
Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator
Tim Urban’s “Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator” resonated with me the most. With a combination of witty anecdotes and scientific research, this talk offers a humorous yet insightful look into how procrastination works.
Tim mentioned the “Panic Monster,” an excellent metaphor for explaining how procrastination works. He then discusses the two types of procrastination (with and without deadlines) and the dangers it can bring if left unchecked. This gave me an “aha” moment when he mentioned procrastination on hard things without deadlines because there are no deadlines. The Panic Monster never gets triggered, and you can procrastinate forever.
Procrastination without deadlines in business looks like avoiding hard conversations or not tackling a tough challenge. This talk has helped me become more aware of my own procrastination habits and how I can manage them better.
Ahmet Durmusoglu, Co-Founder, ContentGo
The Power of Vulnerability
My favorite TED talk is “The Power of Vulnerability” by Brene Brown. She talks about how embracing our vulnerabilities is the key to greater success. She explains how showing vulnerability allows us to build genuine connections with our team and customers, which helps us to build trust and boost morale, and ultimately leads to increased productivity and better outcomes.
I highly recommend this talk to everyone, especially entrepreneurs, as it will open your eyes to the power of vulnerability and help you to see the importance of embracing it in your own life.
Ray Schultz, VP of Marketing, Liquid Rubber
Listen, Learn, …Then Lead
My favorite TED Talk is Stanley McChrystal’s “Listen, Learn…Then Lead”—the incredible lecture about leadership. Focused on how one can pave the way among many possibilities of failure through shared skills and purposes, McChrystal emphasizes two skills to lead: i.e., listening and learning.
The gist of his lecture is simple yet inspiring, as he gives a powerful message by sharing his experience. The stimulating message is that if leaders become good listeners and encourage everyone around them to speak up and share their thoughts, they—the leaders—can learn new ideas to lead effectively and can enhance their leadership capabilities.
Listening to learn contributes to trusting others, thus motivating them (teams) to remain engaged in a task for collective results despite their diversified qualities and skills.
Ali Babar, Founding Partner, Origami Studios