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Five TED talks that will transform your business outlook

If you have your own business these five TED talks will inspire you, help you reframe certain problems, and reevaluate what you can do with the resources you have. Whether you’re scrappy, broke, physically isolated or scared of failure: these speeches have something for you.

Creative problem-solving in the face of extreme limits | Navi Radjou

Do not reinvent the wheel. Try to leverage existing resources and assets that are widely available, like using mobile telephony to offer clean energy or Mom and Pop stores to offer banking services.

In this talk Radjou talks about frugal innovation: the act of creating solutions on the street, without any capital, support or backing. It’s a type of innovation that’s become popular in emerging markets and it’s now spreading to the rest of the world.

His talk highlights that you don’t need to have masses of resources in order to create a product that truly solves a problem, and that anyone can learn to do more with less.

Don’t fail fast - fail mindfully | Leticia Gasca

I decided to confess to my friends the story of my failed business. And they shared similar stories. In that moment, a thought became really clear in my mind: all of my friends were failures.

Gasca address a commonly avoided topic with grace and humour: failure. In her speech she addresses that while failure is inevitable the key to success isn’t to simply accept it, but to instead fail mindfully and learn from past mistakes.

Why the best hire might not have the perfect resume | Regina Hartley

The conventional thinking has been that trauma leads to distress, and there's been a lot of focus on the resulting dysfunction. But during studies of dysfunction, data revealed an unexpected insight: that even the worst circumstances can result in growth and transformation.

Hartley’s inspiring speech discusses why a candidate’s hardships shouldn’t be a turn off. She addresses the grit and motivation that ‘scrappers’ show in their pursuits of success. So whether you’re currently hiring, or you’re a scrapper yourself, this speech will make you stop and reevaluate the experiences of people.

5 ways to kill your dreams | Bel Pesce

If you have dreams, it's your responsibility to make them happen. Yes, it may be hard to find talent. Yes, the market may be bad. But if no one invested in your idea, if no one bought your product, for sure, there is something there that is your fault.

In this brief chat Pesce addresses five of the most common mistakes people make surrounding their goals, and what to do about them.

Why working from home is good for business | Matt Mullenweg

In Silicon Valley, the big tech companies fish from essentially the same small pond or bay. A distributed company can fish from the entire ocean. Instead of hiring someone who grew up in Japan but lives in California, you can gain someone who lives, works, wakes up and goes to sleep wherever they are in the world. They bring a different understanding of that culture and a different lived experience.

In his TED talk Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress, addresses why working from home is important for business success, and how you can benefit from having an international team. He also outlines some of the key ways to keep your team organized if you do decide to branch out with employees you’ve never even met in person.


As small business owners it can be difficult to find quality mentorship. Through online resources like TED talks, however, we can always hear directly from those with more experience than we have. Let us know what’s your favourite TED talk?

Lena Klein

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