Octane Results: Lessons Learned
How do you handle your mistakes? What do you do when you discover a mistake made by someone else? It is easy to do right when choices are clear, when they are simple. But what happens when situations are complex, when values collide or when mistakes happen? What do you do then? Do you stand by your principles?
“I have no anger towards Judge Aspen at all … He wrote a beautiful letter for me to the president of the United States. It means a whole lot to me, that letting me know that he was giving me the opportunity that he couldn’t have gave me the first time, this time. I would actually thank him for giving me a second chance at life.”
Alton Mills made these remarks when asked to comment about the U.S. federal judge who had sentenced him to a mandatory life sentence in prison for federal cocaine violations. After serving 22 years, Alton Mills’ life sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama.
By Bob Bernstein, an EO Nashville member and founder of Bongo Productions
Sometimes things in business and life are laughed off until something happens that forces us to take matters more seriously.
As an entrepreneur, my mind generates so many ideas that I started numbering them in emails to my administrative team. I made my Forum mates crack up when I spontaneously quoted Britney Spears to describe this non-stop flow of ideas. “Oops! I Did it Again” became my entrepreneurial theme song.
But I knew there was a problem when I passed out in the parking lot of my kids’ school.
By Ashton Bishop, CEO at Step Change
What is the number one fear leaders have? It’s being found out—having a perceived incompetency uncovered. This fear is called impostor syndrome.
If you have these concerns, you are not alone.
I had mild dyslexia as a child, and it made me feel stupid. School was punishing. Even through my 20s and 30s, no matter what I did, I often felt the fear of being found out. I felt like an impostor. I was never enough.
To counter these feelings, I focused on achieving things. I signed up for taekwondo and was awarded a black belt. I joined athletics clubs and won a state title. I earned a law degree. When I started working, I rose up the ranks in the corporate world—from office junior to account executive, to account manager, to account director, to group account director and, ultimately, to CEO.
“In the first ten months since I joined EO, both my business and professional experience have changed significantly for the better. The people I’ve met through EO and the programs they offer, such as Forum, the retreat, and all the events and speakers I’ve been exposed to, have been the most impactful things that EO has provided me and my business, Slice Communications.
By Angie Katselianos
Have you ever arrived at a crossroads on your path toward success and didn’t know which road to take?
Business expert and author, Simon Sinek, has inspired myriad entrepreneurs—myself included—with “The Golden Circle” model. He explains that your “Why” is the purpose, cause or belief that drives you and is central to what you do and how you do it.
A few years ago, I stumbled across a manuscript written by Mother Teresa, whose humanitarian work for some of the poorest populations in India earned her canonization in the Catholic Church and an iconic status in the world’s consciousness. At the time, I was entrenched in the weeds of a research project where I was tasked with identifying key motivational drivers of influential people.
Mother Teresa was among the hundreds of “case studies” I was examining, but the feelings she expressed in her writing stood out to me— they were shocking. Despite being adorned with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, among other accolades, Mother Teresa’s private manuscripts reflected the deep fear, doubt and identity struggles she held throughout her career. In essence, the public successes of a woman who seemingly could do no wrong were not enough to guarantee a deeper, personal fulfillment.
By Marisa S. White, owner and founder of White Sparks Photography
What skills guarantee entrepreneurial success? I’m sure many CEOs or analysts have identified the “secret sauce.” I could draw a Venn diagram with circles of business prodigies, and within the intersections, words like “optimism,” “grit” and “focus” would certainly serve as a foundation of survival in an ever- changing economy. As someone who has operated three unique business models, my most lucrative skill has become adaptability. Considering my line of work, it’s not hard to understand why.
I am an artist who chose to pursue individual conceptual work after having owned both a payroll-service bureau and a portrait photography business. How did that happen? Suddenly, then slowly. These two specialties might not seem related in terms of the skills necessary to be financially successful, but in my entrepreneurial career they were logical stepping stones, each serving as an opportunity to build my portfolio and prepare me for the transition I’m currently electing to explore.
Tune in at 10 a.m. EST for EO’s second official “Live with EO” Facebook Live broadcast! Karen will be interviewing entrepreneur and founder of Sweet Loren’s, Loren Brill, an EO Accelerator graduate and new EO New York member. Visit our Facebook page for more stories, announcements and future “Live with EO” broadcasts.
Last year, a venture capitalist who had expressed an interest in my startup, Iodine, passed on making an investment. Generously, and unlike too many VCs, he actually bothered to explain why we wouldn’t get his money. He was concerned, he said, that our growth at that time was a false positive–that we’d tapped into what looked like a great market but would see our growth max out relatively soon.