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3 Lessons Learned in my 2nd Year as an Entrepreneur

December 24, 2013

2013 was frustrating. My companies didn’t grow as fast as I would have liked them to, but HappiLabs.org has progressed and we see a happy future for the scientific community. Here are 3 lessons, among many, that I learned as a Chicago entrepreneur in 2013:

Social data entrepreneur for happiness

People will believe in your company if they believe in you…

…Have a passion, a cause, anything that drives you. Customers and investors will follow.

Excellent communication is extremely important.

…Without communication skills, look forward to failed expectations, misunderstandings, and awkward conversations.

Starter League was a great investment…

…I learned to code the front-end of HappiLabs.org, made wonderful friends, and gained a better understanding of how the brain development and web development are very similar.

Is 2014 your year? Entrepreneur Inspiration:

5 Tips for Organizing Your Ideas

Create an Effective To-Do List

5 Book Recommendations for Entrepreneurs Who Want to Change the World

Can You Change Your Brain?

December 22, 2013

Listen as I explain new scientific research that suggests it is possible to consciously change the structure and function of your brain, including the size of your “happy” region.

Tweet this: 

You can’t change your brain if you don’t know you can.

Resources:

What is neuroplasticity? (via @BigThink)

Giving and kindness: Scientists Find That Giving Support Offers Health Benefits (via ScienceDaily)

Avoid unhappy environments: People who have a good peer support system at work may live longer than people who don’t (via Medical News Today)

Food that can help with cognitive function (via SF Gate)

Oxygen Helps Brain (via @ABCnews)

Welcome to HappiLabs.org

August 27, 2013

Everyone, we are here to protect your health and your happiness.

Scientists, we’re here to improve the quality of your research. Enjoy…

Investors Can Be Annoying and Science Suffers

June 21, 2013

“Your market is only $11,000,000. No investor will care.”

What an annoying comment I recently overheard while an investor talked with a passionate tech entrepreneur at 1871. The ent’s facial expression quickly evolved into a hybrid of anger and frustration. Apparently, solving problems doesn’t matter much. Timing and size of ROI matters.

Then I read this Opinion/Commentary from Alan I. Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS):

Cutbacks to basic science threaten future innovation

Let me copy & paste the opening paragraph of the Commentary:

Hefty federal deficits in Canada and the United States pose a significant threat to fundamental, basic research as some policy-makers seem to value near-term, industry-focused science more highly. That’s short-sighted and a shame. Basic research is the seed corn for economic growth and the foundation from which we build solutions to society’s big problems.

Policy-makers and investors are in the same boat. I’ve recognized this in the growing tech/digital entrepreneur community in Chicago where investors are ubitquitous. Let’s not lose sight of what’s important. Money is nice, but let’s spend it on solutions to REAL problems. I’m scared of all the time & money that is wasted on silly apps. Can we stop investing in short-term, technological conveniences and focus on long-term, scientific-based solutions?

And by the way, if that entrepreneur can grab ~10% of the market and build a $1 million company that solves a real problem, that’s a hell of a success! #letUbeU

3 Laws of Failure for Entrepreneurs

June 3, 2013
Science and entrepreneurs in Chicago

This bat failed to find its way home.

Becoming an entrepreneur is no easy task. You’re venturing into uncharted waters in your life. Some people’s paths will be harder and longer than others, but all paths will follow the same laws. Have you heard of Newton’s Laws of Motion (ex: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction)? Well, entrepreneurs have their own set of laws, as I see it. If you’re a entrepreneur-wanna-be, here are some thoughts to keep in mind…

3 Laws of Failure for Entrepreneurs

First Law = Failure is inevitable.

Get used to it. From Inc. Magazine: Want to Succeed? Get Used to Failure.

Second Law = For every failure, there is a lesson to be learned.

Always be improving. From TED: 8 Talks About Learning From Failure

Third Law = Failure correlates highly with success.

From Entrepreneur.com: Richard Branson on the Secret to Success –> Failure.

If you are aware of these laws, planning will be easier and you’ll have a better chance at success (and happiness). Stay strong and don’t ever give up. #letUbeU

Related Posts:

Want to Change the World? 5 Book Recommendations for Entrepreneurs

Advice from Three Entrepreneurs During #EntUnpluggd

3 Lessons I Learned in My First Year as an Entrepreneur

3 Useful Apps for Entrepreneurs in Chicago

May 18, 2013

Chicago Entrepreneur appsAs an entrepreneur in Chicago trying to develop 2 businesses, I travel around the city quite often. Trains & buses, bikes & cars. Sometimes a long walk, other times I pay for a cab. If you are in a similar situation, or plan to be in the future, use these apps to help you get around town efficiently, safe, and dry.

MyRadar – be your own weather forecaster and know when to prepare for wet weather. Use this app to track storm movements in the Midwest. If a storm is in Iowa, you’ll have 2-4 hours before it reaches Chicago. (left: the radar of Chicago as of 1:27pm CT 9/5/12)

Don’t get caught waiting for a bus in the rain with no umbrella.

TransitStop – With data supplied by the CTA, know when your bus or train will arrive. Time it well so you don’t spend those extra minutes at the bus stop. You can stay at home, a coffee shop, or your networking event for a few extra minutes.

As an entrepreneur, every minute counts.

Uber – When you have a late night meeting, networking event, or you’re hanging out with friends, don’t walk to the CTA or drive home while intoxicated. Uber is the quickest & easiest way to find a cab near you and notify them that you want to be picked up. For an extra fee, be picked up by a sleek, black car.

Safety first.

I hope this helps you on your path to happiness as an entrepreneur.

Tom’s Happy Melody of Week 17 of 2013: Armin van Buuren present Gaia – J’ai Envie De Toi

April 26, 2013

It’s the 17th week of 2013 and the world population is about 7,114,904,092

It’s been a while, let’s welcome back the Happy Melody of the Week. And who other than my favorite DJ in the world…Thank you Armin van Buuren for producing music that constantly enters the Nucleus Accumbens region of my brain.

Did you know that certain wavelengths of sound can cause a release of dopamine, which leads to a feeling of happiness. Enjoy J’ai envie de toi (translation: “I want you.”):

Previous Happy Melodies of the Week (world population):

Week 2 of 2013 - Ocean of Dreams by DJ Doboy (7,093,100,122)

Week 49 of 2012 – Allein by Eric Prydz (7,085,590,349)

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