These five TED Talks will change the way you run your business

It’s a hectic morning: you’re scheduling meetings with investors, emailing the new marketing assistant, and trying to figure out how to improve the way you run your business. But are you also taking the time to learn new things, so that you can recharge and grow?

Before you say, “I don’t have time for that,” consider TED Talks. From 11-year-old jazz prodigies to business advice based on New York City trash, TED Talks present a range of topics rooted in the concept that great ideas can be shared in 18 minutes or less—ideal for busy entrepreneurs.

Here’s a list of my favorite talks.

1. “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”

There’s good reason why Simon Sinek’s speech, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” is the third most watched video on TED: he demonstrates the power of “why.” Sinek shows how the most influential leaders have achieved great success by connecting their message to a purpose. Using examples like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Steve Jobs, Sinek explains, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

2. “How to Make Work-Life Balance Work”

During “How to Make Work-Life Balance Work,” Nigel Marsh asks a very important question that, as an entrepreneur, you need to be able to answer: “What does a life well-lived look like?” Marsh argues that focusing on business success, while neglecting other meaningful relationships and aspects of your life, is an unbalanced measure of success.

3. “The Fringe Benefits of Failures”

When J.K. Rowling began to write the story of a magical, orphaned boy who lived in a broom closet, she had no idea of the success that would follow. In “The Fringe Benefits of Failures,” she opens up about the heartbreak of failure as a means for learning how to push yourself to succeed.

4. “What Adults Can Learn from Kids”

In “What Adults Can Learn from Kids,” Adora Svitak debunks the myth that adults always know better. As you immerse yourself in your business, and the stresses of success and fears of failure kick in, chances are you’ll be playing the role of the responsible adult sooner than you thought. To keep your inner child alive, turn to your team for fresh ideas and input.

5. “Success, Failure and the Drive to Keep Creating”

Like J.K. Rowling, Elizabeth Gilbert passionately reinforces the idea that we learn best from failure, which she explains in her talk “Success, Failure and the Drive to Keep Creating.” When you experience great failure or even great success, it’s important to remember your “home” so that you can return to it and stay focused on your goal. In this case, home is your passion, your craft, and your service.

Photo credit: Steve Jurvetson/Flickr

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