Learning How To Think Small Again

A good book is like nothing else. There are so many books released every year that it can often be hard to find a good one which stands out from the rest. I believe that I now have a great book to tell you about.

Today I had the pleasure of reading the first chapter of an upcoming book called Speak Human – Outmarket the Big Guys by Getting Personal. Its written by Eric Karjaluoto from smashLAB, the design company that pulled the great stunt on Discovery a while back, and the creators of MakeFive. Eric also blogs about designs and brands on his site ideasonideas.com.

Speak Human focuses on the idea of getting personal with your business. Eric rightly draws attention to the idea that the culture of businesses are lost as they become bigger. Some companies are able to survive without being personal, but as Eric points out this is not always a positive thing for a business.

From what I have read so far this will be a really exciting book to read, especially for anyone who is currently either running or thinking of a running a business. Immediately it captured my imagination and made me think about how I would want any future company of mine to operate.

While I have only read the first chapter, I must say it left me wanting to read more! It takes someone with a lot of knowledge and experience to write about what could be such a boring topic in a way that can keep me entertained. Without giving too much away, in the first chapter Eric starts to look at Starbucks, the coffee store which became a massive empire only to recently axe many of its stores. He covers many aspects of the company, but in particular the lose of culture as the company expanded. Its a great case study that will be good for anyone in business to read.

It’s hard to give a full review without having read the whole book, but so far I like Speak Human and have already put my name down on pre order. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the final book, which should be printed and on sale very soon.

If you want to pre order Speak Human, and I highly recommend you do, just head to www.speakhuman.com.

The Minature Earth Project – Understanding your place in the world

I just stumbled across one of the most thought provoking videos I have seen in a long time. The Miniature Earth project aims to show the differences in the worlds population by showing what the world would be like if there was only 100 people living in it.

When you watch the video, you can’t helped but be moved to do something about the world. This video inspires change! I found myself thinking about how lucky I was compared with everyone else in the world. I have a bank account, food, money, a computer… many people do not have these.

Where do you fit in the world if there was only 100 people???

Watch the video below to see what I am talking about, and then forward the link to your friends!

Help spread the word about The Miniature Earth Project!

The Most Inspirational YouTube Videos Ever!

Today there is a great post by Leo Babauta on his blog Zen Habits. Leo lists his Top 5 Most Inspirational YouTube videos. These type of inspirational stories are exactly why I started Enspri. We need more inspiration and great news in our lives.

Leo’s list is great and so I have re-compiled the list together with my own to hopefully give you some great inspiration for whenever you feel like you need something to pick you up.

1. Free Hugs – Music by Sick Puppies

Free Hugs must be one of the most inspirational videos you will ever see. The concept of just giving someone a hug is so simple yet we hardly give it a thought in our lives. The video has now been seen by over 29 million people worldwide!

2. Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

I have previously posted about Randy Pausch, however I think he was one of the most inspirational lecturers around. Set yourself some time and watch this video! You will get heaps out of it.

3. Will Smith – Running & Reading (The Key to Life)

This is a great snippet of some advice from Will Smith. Will Smith lists the key to life as Running and Reading. It is amazing to get such grounded advice from someone in Hollywood. Will Smith is a great inspiration. Check it out!

4. Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

Steve Jobs is someone who I think is very inspirational. I posted about him and his struggle with cancer as one of my first posts here on Enspri. This is a speech he gave at Stanford in 2005. It is one of the best bits of advice you might receive.

5. One Red Paper Clip

Check out this amazing video. Kyle MacDonald traded a red paper clip up to a house in 14 trades. It is a great video that shows how small ideas can grow into big ideas really easily. You just have to believe in what you have.

6. Christian the Lion

Many people love the video I posted a while ago about Christian the Lion. The lion who was raised by two Australian guys then released into the wild. After a year they return. Check out what happens next.

7. Dick & Rick Hoyt

These guys are amazing. Dick Hoyt races with his son Rick in many events especially the Iron-man Triathlon. Rick has severe disabilities. It is a true story of love and inspiration from a father. Check this out!

8. Look Up

This is a great reminder about balance in a connected world. Don’t forget to look up!

9. Paul Potts Britain’s Got Talent

This is the story of Paul Potts the mobile phone salesperson who won Britain’s Got Talent with his Opera Singing. I think its a great story, and really inspirational!

10. Nick Vujicic’s Life Without Limbs

I have posted on Nick before, but his story is truly inspirational. Born without limbs, this guy has more enthusiasm for life than most of us do. Watch the video below.

11. Famous Failures

Many of the most successful people in the world have failed, or been called a failure. This video lists a few of them. True inspiration with the message that no matter what people say, you can always do great things!

All of the above videos show what people can do with a little bit of hope, and belief in themselves.

Send this page to your friends, or share it on social media and help inspire others. Lets share the inspiration.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this story included a video about ‘bladerunner’ Oscar Pistorius – I’ve removed this due to recent events.

Inspirational Youth Making A Difference In Botswana

Sometimes it is just time to have a fantastic story, on people who are doing practical things to change the world.

A team of youth from Australia recently travelled to Botswana to build an Orphanage. They are regular people doing something extraordinary for people who need it. It is fantastic to see people going out and actively changing the world! They are all truly inspirational people!

Check out the video below of their efforts, it might just bring a smile to your day.

Fight From Within: A Small Papers Dream To Stay Alive Is Over

Journalists from all over the world know the impact which the current economy is having on local papers. Even without the credit crisis, newspapers have been struggling in an endless battle with online news and social media. Publications which have been institutions in their communities have been shutting down left, right and centre. Major newspapers like the New York Times are even becoming at risk of closure if they don’t start to increase revenue.

When any newspaper shuts down its a sad event, however even more so for the readership of the Rocky Mountain News. The Rocky Mountain News shut its doors on Friday after 149 years and 311 days! Just 44 days shy of it’s 150 year anniversary! This is a great loss for Denver, and for the journalism industry as a whole. Many news sources including online blogs have voiced their sadness at this loss.

However the Rocky Mountain News did not go down without a fight. The staff did everything they could to prevent the closure. Check out this very moving video which details the final days in the lead-up to the closure.

Taking It To The Big Guys – Smash Lab’s Open Letter To Discovery

Remember SmashLAB? They’re the Canadian design guys who are behind the new social media site MakeFive. Well it appears that Discovery has created a TV show with the same name and really annoyed them.

Normally this would just frustrate a business owner and leave them helpless. (I know this for a fact as I had the name of this website stolen from me by a Collagen Company with not many options available to me.) However when you add it to the fact that Discovery’s Smash Lab has received plenty of Negative PR and the fact that SmashLAB has been around since 2000, (well before the Discovery show), you can start to understand the potential issues here.

The great thing is though that smashLAB is not sitting around doing nothing. They are standing up for their name! They have written an open letter to Discovery and posted it on Smash Lab Sucks (http://www.smashlabsucks.com/).

I really admire what these guys are doing. They deserve to have an open apology from Discovery!

If you want to support the guys in their effort against Discovery head to Smash Lab Sucks and Digg It or stumble it. You can also follow along on their twitter account @smashlabsucks.

UPDATE: It now seems that TechCrunch has got into the action. Check out their article here.

If Discovery would like to respond to the comments made of them they can contact me by emailing blog at enspri dot com.

Also If you loved the post please share it on social media, you can also follow me on Twitter @kristoforlawson.

If You Were A Crayon What Colour Would You Be??

Have you ever thought about what colour you would be if you were a crayon??

I was listening to the radio yesterday as they were running through some questions that people wanted to ask Andrew Denton (if you don’t know who he is, he is Australia’s answer to Sir Michael Parkinson). Now there were some very cool and interesting questions, however one which Denton mentioned specifically was “If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?”. In fact Denton said that it just blew his mind.

Now on first thought I figured, sure, as if that was a question that would be mind blowing. It’s such a simple question. However upon reflection it is not actually one which is so easy to answer.

My initial thought was I would be Red because that’s my favourite colour…. but there is so many more dimensions to the question.

Is choosing your favourite colour really the best choice?

It would be easy for me to answer the question with Orange as being my favourite colour.. however is that the right choice? Is the question much deeper than that?

Maybe I would like to be Blue because I love the feeling of calm and peacefulness. However I could also be Green because I want to change the world.

I also love to be happy… so maybe yellow would be a good choice?? but maybe I should go with Red because I like to be different… or pink because I like to support charity.

What you first see as a simple question could be answered in so many ways. It is not just about choosing your favourite colour. It is diving much further into our emotions then we may even know how to go.

In fact I agree with Denton. This question is simply mind blowing… I just don’t know where to begin to answer it. There are more dimension and angles then my brain can handle all at once. It is a question that takes a lot of time to answer.

Why can such a simple question be so hard?

It’s all about how you think about the question. Simple questions can show the type of person you are. They show how deep your thinking is, and can touch on many aspects of your inner emotions.

Now I don’t proclaim to be any sort of expert, in fact I am far from that. However I believe that these questions are hard because we are forced to weigh up our life into one simple answer.

It is not just asking ‘what is your favourite colour?’ but it is really asking ‘If you could sum your entire life up into one single colour, what colour would you chose, and more importantly why would you choose that colour over all the other ones you might have chosen?’.

We are forced to think deep by a question which is on the surface very simple. I would go as far as to say that simple questions are in fact the hardest questions to answer. They are the most open questions you can ask. They have a multitude of answers, and no person can be wrong in their answer. The question is entirely what you make of it.

So what colour would I be?

I am really at odds to decide which answer to give for this, but I think that if I was a crayon I would be Green. The reason for this is because Green is associated with change and more importantly it is a symbol for life and I would love to know that I brought a bit of life to the world.

So my question to you is this….

What colour crayon would you be?

[Photo credits, laffy4k, pierre pouliquin, LunaDiRimmel]

3 Quick And Easy Steps To Tell Someone You Appreciate Them

After watching the great video on the importance of saying thank-you, I realised that this is one area where I fail. Sure I say thank-you all the time, but those people are not really the ones who are important to me. They are not people who I spend all my time with. They are people I meet in an elevator at work, or in a class at university.

While I do connect with some of them, the time I spend with them is very short. Most of my time is spent with family and friends. These are the people who deserve a lot more thanks and appreciation then I give. In fact I probably give those superficial friends more thanks and appreciation than my closest family and friends.

I know I’m not alone, I know many people struggle with this. So what can we do about it?? What can we do to let people know that we appreciate them?

Here are 3 quick steps that you can follow to let people know you appreciate them.

Step 1: Take the Time to Say Thank You

Ok it seems pretty obvious that it is important to say thank-you…. but how often do you actually say it?

I don’t mean saying thanks as an off handed remark. e.g ‘thanks for passing the salt’…. but I do mean ‘Mum, I love you and I really appreciate all the work you put into dinner tonight, it was fantastic! Thank-You!’.

See the difference between those two remarks. Both were simple. Both conveyed thanks. However only one was out of genuine love and appreciation.

It is important that we do take that extra heartbeat to express our thanks in a meaningful way. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it shows how much you really care.

Step 2: Give a Hug

Such a simple gesture can mean so much! Giving people we appreciate a hug should never be awkward. It should be easy, and it means a lot. People need to feel loved and appreciated, and hugging is one of the best ways! and Men, a manly handshake is not going to do it for everyone! Don’t be afraid to go in for the big bear hug!

It is often said that people need up to 10 hugs a day to feel truly loved. Maybe that one hug you give a person could be the thing that brightens their day. If you really appreciate someone, maybe even more than one is appropriate.

Step 3: Repeat Steps 1 and 2

What good is a plan if you aren’t going to repeat it over and over again?

Take the time out of your day to truly let somebody know you care…. but don’t just stop with that one person! Let everyone who matters to you know how much they mean. A few simple words and a hug are enough to brighten someone’s day.

Not only will it make them feel great.. but you will be feeling pretty fantastic yourself!

Also If you loved the post don’t forget to share the page with your friends.

Photo credits, wedgienet, Lst1984, and Jey-Heich

5 ways to deal with ignorant or annoying people

I logged into my email from home the other day to see a message from a colleague. The message contained a bunch of assumptions that were ignorant of the situation being discussed and which contained a lot of errors. The colleague was wrong about the situation because they didn’t know the full story – yet were trying to assert their point of view like it was accurate.

Dealing with ignorant people in the office is something I’ve struggled with in the past, and I’ve done a bit of searching and here are 5 ways which you can deal with the ignorant people in your life in ways that let you go about your day in peace.

1. Ignore Them

This may or may not be the best solution. However one way to deal with those annoying people is to just not give their comments any time.

When you receive an email from someone who does not know what their talking about, just push it to the back of your mind. Don’t let it get to you. Go and do something else to distract you from the situation. But whatever you do DON’T RESPOND.

If you respond to an email sent to you, it is likely that you will write something which reflects badly on yourself. If you confront them you will likely get into an argument. It is much better for you to go away and calm down, and then not dignify the email with any form of response.

2. Talk to a Friend

One of the most effective ways to not let annoying or ignorant people get to you is to talk to a close friend. Tell them everything thats going on. Yes I do mean everything! All the emotions your going though. All the stress your under. What you feel like doing in response. Sometimes the advice of a close friend is more valuable than you could ever imagine.

As humans we very much make decisions based on what other people do or say. If you have a friend who will level with you. Who will tell you the situation how it is, then you will be fine. Even the act of getting the pressure off your chest is hugely beneficial.

3. Be Kind

Ok, I know you read that and you started to cringe at the thought. However ignorant people are not bad people, they are just not well informed. They don’t know any better. So be kind to them. They can’t help their situation. It’s not their fault they have trouble keeping informed. Give them a hand, and bring them up to speed on the situation.

Not only will being kind make you feel better in the long run, but it is likely that you will place your self in a good spot with the person. If you are kind to them it will be amazing how this might change their attitude towards you. Even if it doesn’t stop them being ignorant or annoying, it much just take the edge off the situation.

4. Do an amazing job.

Sure if one person keeps making uninformed judgements or decision it can be a little off-putting. But you can use that emotion to do a better job. If you become better at your current job everyone else in your workplace will appreciate your work and will automatically not take the comments of the person on board.

If you do your job well enough you may even be promoted into a position where you no longer have to worry about what that person says. Don’t let their comments ever hold you back from doing the best job you can!

5. Tell them your problem

Ok so this might be a little nerve wracking. But if everything else fails you should calmly and politely them your problem. Tell them that they don’t understand the situation and that they need to stop speaking before finding out information.

Sometimes ignorant people just don’t know they are being rude. If nothing works then you do need to tell them. Who knows they may even appreciate you doing so, however if they are not appreciative don’t take it to heart. You won’t have lost a friend, but you will feel much better for telling them.