Hi Ran, we will now talk about your motivation and what keeps you up going your way as an entrepreneur.
What does it mean for yourself to be an entrepreneur? Is it an integral part of your lifestyle? Could you also imagine to become an employee someday?
Being an entrepreneur definitely affects many major aspects of my lifestyle. During the past six years or so, I had to develop and train skills and abilities I don’t think I would have otherwise. The entrepreneurial path had many challenges in store for me that required that. For example, I had to learn to identify subconscious emotions as they are being formed, in order to avoid or at least mitigate undesired outcomes and bad decisions like being too afraid to share my idea with others and by that not getting crucial feedback, falling in love with an idea to the point I already want to start working on it – skipping important research steps to ensure I am creating the right thing, having passion for perfection and spending a lot of resources perfecting aspects of a project (like graphics) that might won’t be necessary at all, and the list goes on… Being empowered and responsible to decide where to go requires a whole different skillset than just following someone else’s lead. As such, I discover how different my life looks like in compare to some of my non-entrepreneur friends. I found myself reading books others only read to fall asleep, working on holidays while others have fun, relaxing and doing things for fun in odd hours while others are asleep or at work, and so on…
You mentioned that for you institutionalized education is less important and you decided not to study. Why? How do you integrate education in your daily life?
Yes, I am very careful when it comes to institutionalized education for various reasons I can talk about for many hours, but if to be concise I simply don’t believe an institution designed to produce single-function professionals in mass production, to the benefit of society as a whole, is the best choice for someone who is willing to live a life of passion, following a variety of dreams, desires and experiences. The educational system, in my opinion, is very slow to change and adapt itself to support today’s people’s life goals and wishes and I think that’s not only a result of its complexity, but also a result of an agenda of governments and other parties that benefit from its current state.
Just to be clear, when I say educational institutions I refer mainly to facilities which are part- and under the control of the government or its educational system.
Less-controlled channels of information like books and the internet, are my primary vein of knowledge. I remember something Will Smith said that goes about something like this: “millions of people have lived before you and dealt with every problem you are dealing with. Some of them, wrote a whole book about it. So be smart and read it.”
I consume information by choice. Like Tim Ferriss said in his 4-hour book, I prefer the just-in-time rather than the just-in-case approach for my information diet. It means I search for and consume information when I need it and for a specific purpose and I avoid reading, listening, watching and processing information “just in case” I might need it some day. And yes, that means I haven’t watched the news or read a newspaper for almost 9 years. Big news will come to you whether you want it or not. I think proactively staying up-to-date with what’s going on in the world is overvalued.
How do you motivate yourself? Are you using tools to visualize your goals and visions?
Good ideas come together with a great motivation boost. I discovered that this boost of energy must quickly be used to take actions because usually it doesn’t last long enough. I believe motivation is one of the most important resources an entrepreneur can have so I had to tackle the question what should I do right after I have a great idea. I then discovered that the first thing I should do when I have a great idea and feel motivated is to get data that supports the potential of it as soon as possible.
The short motivational timespan an idea brings is not enough to support the idea from its initial state all the way to a reality, a business, but usually that motivation is enough to get you start researching and find the first bits of data that prove there is indeed a potential. After that, it is easier to reflect on that data again and again whenever facing doubts or any other type of motivational crisis.
When you have data as a proof of potential and viability, it is easier to re-envision. And vision is the premium motivation generator.
Failure is part of being an entrepreneur. What does failure mean to you?
For me failure means I discovered a new way of wasting precious time, money, motivation or other important resource. Treating failure as such, also means it’s my responsibility to make sure no similar waste will occur in the future as well as coming up with new ideas for faster and cheaper lesson-learned experiences. Usually this can be easily done with the help of other people that have the relevant experience and can act as mentors.
If something didn’t work out because of forces I have no influence on then I don’t consider that a failure. I simply treat it as reality and think of new ideas on how to move forward.
3 things you do to relax and to calm down?
Dancing, hanging out with friends and watching a TV show or a movie. During all, by the way, I make sure I don’t do or even think about other stuff, project- or business-related. I do that by writing down everything I will need in order to continue working exactly from where I left off. A troubled mind will have a hard time trying to relax, compromising the whole point of relaxing.
Which are the 3 most valuable events, congresses, meetups and so on that you suggest to visit in Israel?
I usually go to niche meetups that are focused on fields I had interest in, like industrial design, user experience, etc. but I remember the „StarTAU Innovation Conference” as the most interesting event I have been to this year, which I think is relevant to any entrepreneur.
Which are your 3 favorite books (or blogs, youtube channels etc.)?
7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Getting Things Done[Sorry, had to have a forth] Business Model Generation [Yeah, I know… I’m an ass] Four-Hour Work Week [Okay, I’ll stop.]
Ran, thank you very much for sharing your views with us! I wish you the best for your future. Do you have anything you want to add or share with us, do you have some hints for those who want to become an entrepreneur?
Though it was a challenge for me to find the time to participate in the interview, it was refreshing for me to answer the questions so thank you too, Eric, for the opportunity 🙂
I think whoever wants to become an entrepreneur should first of all really dive into the question of why. “Why” is to my opinion the single most important question one should ask constantly, on a regular basis, and it also applies here, before starting the journey of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Other than that – read a lot. Selecting the right information to consume (especially books – more reliable) and resolving to truly read it and practice its ideas, is a critical skill on the way to becoming a successful human being, let alone an entrepreneur.
All the best to you Eric and for everyone who will read this. I will be happy to hear from you guys, comments, feedback, thoughts, questions, anything. I’m not saying this just to play cool so if reading this has made any impact on you, please let me know 🙂