My Last Lecture

I used to think that some people were born to be entrepreneurs and some people weren’t. I also thought that I was one of the ones who wasn’t born with that talent, knowledge or even desire to be my own boss. I liked the safety provided by working for someone else – the bigger that someone else was, the better (I worked for P&G for a while even).

At the beginning of the class, I read something that talked about how every human being is born with some sense of creativity and that an entrepreneur is really just a creative person who has the courage to make something out of their creativity. I had never thought about it like that before and it was like a light went off in my brain.

Creative doesn’t just mean that you can paint, draw, sculpt, sew, make cards or scrapbooks, or design beautiful buildings, landscapes or clothing. Creative also means that you can solve problems given limited resources. Many call that resourceful, and that’s true too, but a creative person isn’t just resourceful. They use those resources to accomplish a goal/task, yes, but they also make it better.

I can do that.

I know how to leave things better than I found them. I know how to add value to my work and help others to see value in theirs. And I like doing it.

I’m so glad I had that realization early on this semester. That realization patterned the entire rest of my time. It shed light on every article and every book I read, every video I watched, and I even started seeing things at work differently. I understood more. I saw people doing things I was reading about and I finally understood why.

If I could give one parting piece of advice to those taking this class after me, it would be to stop worrying about the “what” and focus instead on the “who”. It won’t matter what you sell or what service you offer if you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Focus on the lives you can change and good you can do for others with your business. There is something you can offer someone else, even if it’s just that you’re not the boss you can’t stand.

Believe in yourself. Believe in others. Look for the good in the world and you’ll find it. Look for the bad and you’ll find it. “Choose you this day” what you’re going to look for and move forward “with an eye single” to that purpose. Everything else will fall into place. It always does when you’re doing it for all the right reasons.

Binny Lane: The End

The Binny Lane project has officially come to an end, though I might use the name again some day.

I enjoyed putting the final presentation together – more than I thought I would. As I was putting the charts together, I realized how much I could have done. It was eye-opening to me to see how well I did, in graphics and charts.

All in all, I’m grateful for the opportunity to have done this project. I learned some stuff about myself and about running a business.

Becoming Self-Aware: Step 6

Step 6 in becoming self-aware: Exercise faith.

The next question in Alma 5:

“Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you?”

Faith is defined by as:

  1. Confidence or trust in a person or thing
  2. Belief that is not based on proof

Once we’ve chosen to believe in something (step 4) and we’ve decided who we want to become (step 5) it’s time to take action on it. We must have confidence in ourselves and exercise that confidence to the point where we are moving forward – progressing towards that person we want to become.

We don’t have to have proof that we can become the person we’ve pictured, we only need to believe it and be willing to work towards it.

Are you willing to work? If you’re willing to work, that person you saw in step 5 is only a little ways away.

Step 1: Learn where you came from and why you think the way you do.

Step 2: Be grateful for the things, tangible or not, that you already have.

Step 3: Be grateful for your challenges – they make you who you are.

Step 4: Choose to believe.

Step 5: Decide what kind of person you’re going to become. Envision it.

Step 6: Exercise faith.

Binny Lane – The Last Days

I’m wrapping up this project over the next week or so. I was able to get the profits I needed and am grateful for the support of my friends and family.

I learned a lot about myself in this venture and about the things I like to do and think I could make a business out of.

It’s not baking.

I like it, but it’s a hobby and I plan to keep it there.

Rules & Truth

“Rules and laws depend on truth and trust.”

Without truth and trust, rules are just a way of thinking and trying to make others do what you want them to do. For a rule or a law to work, we have to trust the people that make them and trust that they’re for our own good. If we can’t trust the rule makers, we can’t trust the rules.

What about in business? Who are the rule makers? The owners, of course.

The real justification for business, according to Charles Hardy in “What’s a Business For?” is the “something more or better” that the business can do with its profits. Businesses don’t, or rather shouldn’t, exist merely to make a profit. They should exist to do something with that profit that makes the world a better place.

I worked at Kinko’s many years ago. During those pre-FedEx days, we were given a profit share check every month. Some months were great (October and November when people are getting their Christmas cards made) and other months weren’t so good (nobody needs copies in July – school is out). Every year I was there, that check paid for my Christmas presents for my family.

It didn’t force us to work harder, but it was certainly some incentive. Paying dividends, in essence, to the employees, not just the shareholders, made a huge difference in a lot of lives.

Now, I’m blessed enough to work for a boss that values the job done more than the hours my rear is in my chair. I’ve been given the tools to work remotely, and as long as I keep it clean and professional, I’m allowed to use those materials for personal use as well. They pay for my phone and I answer it. I answer it whether it’s my boss or my grandmother. They pay for my laptop and when I have to go to a funeral in another state, I take it with me and work on the plane. They send flowers to the funeral and support the time I need to grieve. Because I give them my best, they take care of me. Although you could state it the other way around too and it would be equally true. Because they take care of me, I give them my best.

Becoming Self-Aware: Step 5

Step 5: Decide what kind of person you are going to become.

The next questions from Alma 5…

“… have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?”

Or, in other words:

“Who do you want to become? Who do you want to be like? Have you started making the change?”

How do you start making changes? Becoming self-aware is an excellent start.


How do we know who we want to become? Who do we pattern our lives after?

I think the answer is different for everyone. In any case, we should pattern our lives after someone, or rather and ideal someone. Nobody is perfect and, obviously, we don’t want to repeat unnecessary mistakes made by others. So, pick someone. Choose someone you want to be like.

When answering the question “Who do you want to become?” understand that you’re not looking for someone else to become. You’re becoming a better version of you. Picture yourself in 5, 10, 20 years from now. What do you see? Do you see expensive cars and a giant house? Do you see children or grandchildren? What do you see around you?

How do you make that vision a reality? What things do you need to do NOW to make that happen? Have you started making the change? Nobody else can do it for you.

Step 1: Learn where you came from and why you think the way you do.

Step 2: Be grateful for the things, tangible or not, that you already have.

Step 3: Be grateful for your challenges – they make you who you are.

Step 4: Choose to believe.

Step 5: Decide what kind of person you’re going to become. Envision it.

Becoming Self-Aware: Step 4

Step 4 in becoming self-aware: Choose to believe.

The question is posed like this in Alma 5:

“…on what conditions were they saved? … what grounds had they to hope for salvation? What is the cause of their being loosed from the bands of death, yea, and also the chains of hell?”

What gives us hope that there’s something after the darkness? We all experience darkness at some point, right? If you don’t know whether you do or not, think about it. Has there ever been a time when you felt like you were completely and utterly alone?

When you feel that way, what gives you hope? What do you do to make yourself feel better? Do you go shopping? Do you exercise? Do you call your mom? A friend? Do you talk to others?

A girl I know takes a good long look in the mirror. She said that she stares at her eyes for as long as it takes until the rest of her disappears and all she sees is what’s inside her. Then she evaluates that to decide where to go from there.

What do you have hope in? What is it that loosens your bands? That frees you from feeling worthless and depressed?

If you haven’t found anything yet, might I suggest service? When you’re feeling at your lowest point, find someone you can help. Not only will you feel better about yourself, you’ll also be able to help someone else feel better too.

To continue with Alma’s questions as they pertain to Step 4 (he gives us something else to have hope in):

“Behold, I can tell you – did not my father Alma believe in the words which were delivered by the mouth of Abinadi? And was he not a holy prophet? Did he not speak the words of God, and my father Alma believe them?”

Whether you believe in prophets or in God at this point is irrelevant. Believing in something gives you something to hope for. Believe the words of your friends as they try to help you feel better. They know what others think and what others say about you better than you do. Choose to believe them when they tell you how awesome you are. Believe them when they tell you that things will get better, because they will.

Step 1: Learn where you came from and why you think the way you do.

Step 2: Be grateful for the things, tangible or not, that you already have.

Step 3: Be grateful for your challenges – they make you who you are.

Step 4: Choose to believe.

Becoming Self-Aware: Step 3

Step 3 in becoming self-aware: Be grateful for your challenges – they make you who you are.

The next question in Alma 5:

“… were they destroyed? … were the bands of death broken, and the chains of hell  which encircled them about, were they loosed?”

He’s still speaking of remembering their fathers here, but I think we could apply this question both to those who came before us as well as ourselves.

Alma answers both questions right after asking them. No, they were not destroyed, and yes, the chains of hell and the bands of death were loosed.

“… and their souls did expand,  and they did sing redeeming love. And I say unto you that they are saved.”

From these few points we learn that our challenges make us who we are. Their challenges, trials, difficult circumstances didn’t destroy them. They kept going.

“… he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep…”

How many things in our lives have we been through that, when we look back on them, have changed us? For worse or for better? What do we do with our trials? What do we do when challenges arise that push us to our limits? Do we shut down? Do we keep pushing?

Have you ever stopped to think about what you do in difficult times? How you treat others? Do you stay positive? Do you hide in your closet until it passes?

Knowing how we deal with difficult circumstances can help us to become more self-aware and being more self-aware in this aspect can help us to self-manage or self-regulate when things get harder. When we know how we’ll respond to something, we can start to plan on a different approach (if that’s the path we choose to take).

Step 1: Learn where you came from and why you think the way you do.

Step 2: Be grateful for the things, tangible or not, that you already have.

Step 3: Be grateful for your challenges – they make you who you are.