What an Air Mattress on the Floor Can Teach You About Business Ideas

What an Air Mattress on the Floor Can Teach You About Business Ideas

Imagine you are an investor and someone describes this as an investment opportunity:

“My idea is for people to open up their homes to complete strangers and charge them for staying there. Additionally, we want people to pay to stay in the homes of complete strangers.  They’ll sleep on air mattresses.  Will you invest in this idea, please?”  

Personally, this not only sounds like a bad idea. It sounds really weird.  But today, we know this idea as Airbnb.  What started out as a rather, let’s say unique idea, has now grown beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. Airbnb now has more rooms than the largest hotel chain in the world. 

10 Tips to Help You Get in Front of Your Next Challenge

10 Tips to Help You Get in Front of Your Next Challenge

Think back to a time when you were riding a bike and saw a big hill ahead. 

Based on experience, you probably knew that you were going to need to create momentum in order to make getting up and over the hill easier. You prepared for the hill by pedaling a little harder and building up speed before the hill. This effort made the ultimate grind over the top shorter and less painful.

Your preparation didn’t make the challenge go away, but it did make it easier to complete. That's what it means to get in front of a challenge. 

We face challenges every day.  Here are some tips to help you get in front of the next one that comes your way:

3 Reasons You Should Give Away Your Product For Free (Really)

3 Reasons You Should Give Away Your Product For Free (Really)

I’m going to let you in on a secret: I didn’t know anything about starting a business when I started one. I just decided that it was something that I wanted to do, so I did it.

That didn’t mean it was good for people. That didn’t mean people wanted it. That didn’t mean anybody would buy it. It just meant that I was going to tell people that I did it.

As I look back on the experience of starting a business, there’s something I would advise anybody to do before launching:

Give your product or service away for free.

I know this sounds counterintuitive, but here’s why I think it's key:

How To Move On: The Difference Between Quitting and Leaving Your Job

How To Move On: The Difference Between Quitting and Leaving Your Job

Quitting your job is often romanticized as a bold, brave move. We've seen it in the movies. We've heard the country song: Take this job and shove it. Well, okay. Maybe there are times for that. But decision making made in haste often results in trading one pressure for another. 

I'm not suggesting you shouldn't leave. Just don't quit. There's a difference between leaving and quitting. 

10 Things to Consider Before Asking Someone to Be Your Mentor

10 Things to Consider Before Asking Someone to Be Your Mentor

We believe that having a mentor is a key component to personal and professional success. Mentors are able to share from their experiences (both good and bad) to help us make better decisions and avoid costly missteps. 

Sometimes a mentoring relationship is formal (perhaps part of a structured program), and sometimes it is informal. Sometimes it is ongoing, and often it's a one-time discussion. Read about the differences here. 

As someone who is asked to be a mentor on a regular basis, I have some insights on what you need to consider before you ask someone to mentor you. 

The Launch Sequence: How We Used It To Start Our Business

The Launch Sequence: How We Used It To Start Our Business

Launch Youniversity was born on the Atlanta Beltline on May 21, 2015.  I remember because it was my birthday and I was spending the morning with Jeff and Shane to talk about our goals and development plans. 

In these conversations, we often talked about opportunities to invest in others.  As we walked off our breakfast, I suggested we find a way to make a difference in a way that would scale.  We sensed that some might find this valuable, but we really had no idea how to go about it.  So, we decided to take an innovation process that Shane and I had used at Chick-fil-A and apply it to this opportunity.  Here's how it played out… 

5 Questions to Ask Your Mentor

5 Questions to Ask Your Mentor

You got the courage to ask someone to mentor you, and they agreed.

But now, you might have fears of wasting their time, or having awkward patches of silence, or not getting anything out of the conversation. Those fears are normal, but you can put them to rest by preparing for meeting with your mentor by coming up with a plan to maximize your time and theirs.