Jason's Blog

Week 01 Blog Entry

This week I began my journey into the world of Entrepreneurship. I am a strong believer in the importance of writing down lessons we learn. It is something I began doing especially on my mission. It seems like often times we have to learn the same lessons multiple times before they really stick, and this process is streamlined if we write those lessons down. Just as the description of what these entries are supposed to be explains, "A journal is like a mirror; it doesn’t lie. Looking at past decisions, as well as what I learned from them, and knowing that someday I’ll be evaluating today’s decisions the same way, has made me much more honest with myself. And that has made all the difference in my business and my life." Some of the specific lessons I learned from this week's readings are first and for most, it is important to live a life of intent, not just to make money. Second, and the one that struck me the most in regards to entrepreneurship, is to do something you love and not only worry about the money or what is hot right now. As I have thought about ideas in the past, I have always began the brainstorming process by thinking about what the best way to make a quick buck is, not something I necessarily love to do. The last thing that stuck out to me the most from this week's lesson is the importance of having integrity, and not, as President Hinckley stated, cheat myself.

Week 02 Blog Entry

All of us have goals in our lives that we are constantly working towards. This week I learned of the importance of determining and setting goals in order to accomplish what we want in life. I also learned the importance of failure and perseverance. Many cases of success came only after many attempts and failures. Successful people in life are able to be determined enough to keep working for their goals even when they fail over and over again. From creating my own bucket list, I realized the different sections my goals can be broken into; Spiritual, monetary, and creative. My spiritual goals are always the priority through all other things I do in life. My family and our eternal progression must always be in the back of my mind. Of course I always want to be able to give my family a comfortable life, but I also want to be able to help others. If I can help it, I would love to be able to create something. My motivation is not only money in what I do, but also being able to make a difference, and help create something I can be proud of. As a young entrepreneur, I have already had experiences in creating a business only to see it get a slow start. Having the feeling that you have created something that you feel like will be successful, and then to see it not be accepted the way you would expect it can be extremely disappointing. This experience has been meet with the response of either pivoting, or just giving up all together. From this experience, and from my learning in the class this week, I found that the most disheartening thing about trying to create something is having to muster the resilience and patience to be able to stay motivated and keep going.

Week 03 Blog Entry

This week’s lesson taught me many important principles through the story of Magdalena Yesil. I have found that I enjoy learning through these success stories because they show me how the principles we learn in class can be applied to real life situations. The lesson I feel stuck out to me the most was the desire to do what we love over what will make us the most money. Magdalena had many successful ventures that all seemed to be successful because of her determination and desire. When faced with the opportunity to do something that would most likely be less strenuous and more financially beneficial, she struggled with the decision because it was not doing what she loved to do. During the week I was listening to a rich dad poor dad audio clip that said “rich people don’t work for money, they do what they love”. The readings and videos from this week also helped me to realize the importance of keeping your ethical boundaries. In other words, don’t sacrifice your integrity for money, and the way I applied my ethical boundaries, do not put money before family, work for money for your family. Just as we are promised in the scriptures, when we keep the commandments, we will prosper.This week’s lesson taught me many important principles through the story of Magdalena Yesil. I have found that I enjoy learning through these success stories because they show me how the principles we learn in class can be applied to real life situations. The lesson I feel stuck out to me the most was the desire to do what we love over what will make us the most money. Magdalena had many successful ventures that all seemed to be successful because of her determination and desire. When faced with the opportunity to do something that would most likely be less strenuous and more financially beneficial, she struggled with the decision because it was not doing what she loved to do. During the week I was listening to a rich dad poor dad audio clip that said “rich people don’t work for money, they do what they love”. The readings and videos from this week also helped me to realize the importance of keeping your ethical boundaries. In other words, don’t sacrifice your integrity for money, and the way I applied my ethical boundaries, do not put money before family, work for money for your family. Just as we are promised in the scriptures, when we keep the commandments, we will prosper.

Week 04 Blog Entry

There were many important principles and lessons I pulled out of this week’s lesson once again. Each week’s readings and the principles from those readings seem to build off of each other, and expound on different aspects of business in a different way. This week, one of the principles that stuck out to me the most was the importance of doing something that you enjoy doing. I have experienced the difference in my academic career and even my professional career up to this point of doing something you enjoy doing and something you do not enjoy doing. When you are doing something you enjoy doing, each day is something to look forward to, it makes getting out of bed in the morning easy to do, it makes going to work fun, and it makes the time each day fly by. When you do something you do not enjoy doing, it is harder to get out of bed in the mornings because you are dreading what you have to do that day, it makes work days go slower, and it makes your desire to succeed diminish. As part of doing something you enjoy doing, it is important to maintain that eternal perspective on what is really important. Being an entrepreneur does not mean working all day and all day, it is more about the effectiveness of your decisions during the time you have set aside to work. Spending time with your family is not something you have to give up in order to be successful.

Week 05 Blog Entry

I continue to learn more and more each week, but the things that stuck out to me this week are the principles that are dominate in each of these lessons. Repetition is the key to really learning something. Some of the key principles that I have noticed as a common theme through each of the lessons thus far are goals, guidance, passion, and perseverance. Each of these common principles have begun to be applicable to me in each aspect of my life; religion, profession, and personal. Goals are always important in order to know what you are working towards and to make it possible to know when you have accomplished something. Guidance is needed to keep ourselves on the path that we determine. We must have a passion for what we do, or else we will not be able to find the joy, and it will make it difficult to fulfill the other principles. Perseverance is what specifically stuck out to me the most this week. Perseverance is crucial in anything that we want to work for, whether it is staying true to the gospel, enduring to the end, or maintaining a strong marriage, or creating a business from the ground up, or even being successful in your career. I am grateful to be able to learn these things now and continue and/or start applying them to my life.

Week 06 Blog Entry

There were many things that really stuck out to me from this week's lesson. The first one that caught my attention was the amount of time that being an entrepreneur takes. It seems to me that so many people want to be an entrepreneur but don't realize the sacrifice and risk it takes to be successful. I appreciated the honesty Steve Bank showed in his presentation when he said that if you are single and want to do a startup, stay single. I can attest to that being a full-time student and working full time, my wife feels like her and the baby don't get enough time with me. This declaration goes hand in hand with Jan Newman's piece of advice when he encouraged us to never compromise our loyalty to the Lord, our spouse, or our family. The final thing I wanted to note about this week's lesson is the skills that are required to be an entrepreneur. From the reading, I learned that to be a successful entrepreneur you need to have knowledge and contacts in the field you wish to embark, the skills necessary to run a business, and the ability to raise money. This week really woke me up to how hard it is to be an entrepreneur, so if you are going to do it, you must be willing to put in that effort.

Week 07 Blog Entry

The principles that stuck out to me this week mostly came from the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. I have heard a lot about this piece of writing and even more about the author, Stephen Covey so I was excited to get to study part of it. The 7 habits presented seemed to build off of each other. The first one, which seemed to be the most obvious to me, was being proactive. I liked how he took the same approach as we read in the scriptures about acting and not being acted upon. The second habit, beginning something with the end in mind, goes hand in hand with what we learned a few weeks ago about setting goals and acting toward accomplishing those goals. The third habit is one that I have struggled with in the past. To me, putting first things first is more than just not procrastinating, it is about prioritizing. The fourth habit, think win/win, is all about how we interact with others and how to get the most out of those interactions. Seeking first to understand, then to be understood, habit five, is also similar to a scripture quotation about first seeking to obtain the word, and then sharing the word. The sixth habit may be less obvious, synergy means “that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. Then finally, habit seven “sharpening the saw”. This habit reminded me of a quote that says give me 6 hours to cut down a tree and I will spend the first 4 hours sharpening the axe. Preparation is key to success is what I took out of that.

Week 09 Blog Entry

Something that really stood out to me this week, and it may have stuck in my mind because I believe it was in the reading quiz, is what Woody Allen said about how 90% of life is just showing up. This is something I have tried to do in my own life. I believe that there can be a lot of business opportunities if you are willing to go outside of your comfort zone and go to events, or participate in seminars, or whatever it may be, just be there and you will get something from it. I have also always been a fan of President Clark's address about leadership and the three principles that make up small L leadership. I have seen how those principles have played a large role in leaders I have had over the years, both professionally and ecclesiastically. The final thing that stuck out to me has to do with the first principle of small L leadership and is the "rarest skill of all", and that is the ability to execute. As someone in a technical field, I know that it is important to be able to execute tasks, even from a leadership role in order to be an example.

Week 10 Blog Entry

These week was an extremely insightful week full of lessons. Most of the things I learned this week came from the "interviewing an entrepreneur" activity. From this activity I was able to ask the specific questions that I have always had about starting or running a business. I am always able to learn something new from the readings each week, but to be able to talk face to face with someone that has gone through the steps and process and ask the questions that you have been wondering about was much more beneficial. One of the biggest underlining principles I took from the lesson this week was being able to not only pray and ask God for help, and not only hearing and understanding the answer He gives, but trusting in Him and having the faith to follow what you are prompted to do even if it doesn't make sense.

Week 12 Blog Entry

This week I had a few impressions that were unique to the material provided. One thing that stood out to me initially was the necessity for us to borrow money at times in our personal and professional lives. I tried to imagine myself in both the one needing a loan, and the one giving the loan as if it were my own money. Something that Elder Holland pointed out, as we read about King Benjamin, is that we are all beggars in some way or another. Even people that have all of the wealth they could ever need are beggars to God. With this thought of all of us being equal beggars to God, it makes you think about the way we treat beggars in the street, or where ever we may come across them. It is important to understand that the things we have been blessed with should be used to bless the lives of others.

Week 13 Blog Entry

The story of Randy Haykin was both educational and inspiring. From his story I took a number of principles that I wish to use in my own journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur. The first of these principles is the desire to always be learning. I think if I ever get to the point in my life that I feel I have nothing left to learn, it is at that point that I will stop progressing. The other principle that stuck out to me the most is the importance of having goals and making moves in my career that will help me accomplish those goals. Haykin knew that he wanted to start his own thing in ten years after graduating, and he was able to do that after having success at a number of other companies. It is also important for me to get good experience in my professional career, even before being able to go out on my own.