Archive for July, 2014

Exactly one year ago. Seth Godin. And working on a project that mattered. [Video]

 Exactly one year ago,  0-yC09gqmbG8a96YGjI spent two weeks working with Seth Godin and 15 other extraordinares.

Thousand applied to be part of the project ( and just more than a dozen of us spent two weeks together in New York.

We built things, connected, failed and practiced being generous with the end goal of changing everything.  We created a beautiful business model, designed a platform, launched a minimum viable product and most importantly learned a lot from one of the foremost business gurus in the world.

Reflecting back from a 10,000 foot view, here are a few of the takeaways that stick with me a year later.

1.  Kindness.  Seth is one of the smartest people I’d ever met.  And just as importantly one of the kindest people I’ve ever met.  Seth not only gave us complete accessibility to him and his house and office, but also spent full days with us the entire time.  He cooked us meals, shared his ideas, invited busy friends of his to come connect with us, gave us all the resources we could ever ask for and genuinely connected with us.

2.  Create art.  This project, like all of Seth’s projects are art.  They are used to create change and with the hopes of doing something that matters. Not to make money.

3.  Have a point of view.  Seth pushed each and every one of us to stand up and taken a stand.  In the end, it became very clear that it’s far more important to sustain an argument than it is to write and memorize facts.  And to do that in front of people whose opinions you care about.

4.  Stop hiding and ship.  Most of us spend a lot of time hiding.  Not sending out our work, not sharing our ideas and afraid to put stuff out into the world.  This is the resistance.  Seth encouraged us to stop hiding and to “ship”.  To show our work, get feedback, share and connect with others.  All 3,000 of your Facebook friends will still like you no matter how it turns out.

5.  Find the critical path.  According to Seth, “The longest string of dependent, non-compressible tasks is the critical path.” Every complicated project has it; a lot of people working on many elements, some of which are dependent on others.  The critical path is the most important variable which many things depend on. Focus on that!

6. Focus on the hard part.  Ask yourself, What’s hard? Why are you stuck? What’s in the way of where you are now and where you want to go?  And talk about it openly and honestly. Then leap forward.

7.  Rush early, not late.  It’s better to set aggressive deadlines early.  To change, change again and change again when you’re starting out. It’s cheaper that way.  The cost of changing is lower.  And it’s better for your peace of mind.

8.  Shun the skeptics.  There are a lot of people who won’t believe in your idea no matter what.  They’ll encourage you to give up or do something that’s safe.  The best way to deal with skeptics is to ignore them.  And for the thoughtful generous skeptics, the best thing to do is to understand their point of view, explore why they believe what they believe, and then decide what you want to do.

9.  Go. Go. Go.  Get to work. Make things that matter. Make a difference.  It won’t happen if you don’t start now.

Here is a video recap on the final day with tidbits from the team members (from


Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 Entrepreneurship No Comments

Grace during transitions

Trballerinabeautifulgirlshadowsilhouetteballet-c14ce22b75a23d557400881d631c0621_h_largeansitions are hard.  And often times feel awkward.

Between meetings at work, where one meeting ends at 10AM and the next one begins at 10AM and you find yourself rushing from one meeting to the next, without any time to prepare.

When a project at work fails.  And you have to tell your boss what happened before starting on the next one.

When you lose your job and you have to find a new one, with limited time and money on your hands.

And in yoga, when it’s halfway through class, and the tough postures are starting.  The instructor calls out one tough pose, then another, then another.  Meanwhile, you’re exhausted and can’t imagine being graceful for one more second.

In life, we often get wrapped up in these endpoints.  We want to get deeper into poses, do well on our presentations, ace our interviews, move on to the next project, or get funding four our company.  And we tend to focus so much on the endpoints that we forget the importance of the process.  Of what we can learn from our experiences.  What we can take with us.  And how gracefully we can move between the endpoints.

Sure, periods of transition always carry with them a fear of the unknown.  But they also provide opportunity.  To do something you’ve never done before.  To find comfort trying something you’ve never tried before.  To learn.  To find balance and composure.  To fail gracefully and refocus your compass and radar to get closer to the right path.

Every big innovation that’s ever existed at some point hadn’t been done before.  Almost every best-seller came after 5 books that never made it big.  And almost every great yoga instructor spent time playing with awkward transitions.   But the people who found success failed often, focused more on the process than the outcome and learned to have grace when transitioning.

So it would seem to me grace during difficult and awkward transitions is one very important step to success.

Just a thought.


Monday, July 21st, 2014 Leadership, Yoga No Comments

MLT Volunteers with Open Hand in Atlanta

14 - 1MLT is at it again.  Just today, the Atlanta Chapter organized a volunteer activity in downtown Atlanta to pack food for homebound seniors and the underprivileged people in the local community.

My friend and former MBA Kellogg classmate Angela Cain spearheaded the activity, which took place on Saturday, July 12 at 9-11am.  She organized it through the MLT Atlanta Chapter and the event was located at the Open Hand Campus in Atlanta, GA 30324.

Our activity was to make pantry bags for homebound seniors and undeserved individuals struggling with chronic, critical or terminal illnesses.  Open Hand is one of the largest providers of home-delivered, medically-appropriate meals and nutrition care centers.

For more information on the organization, you can visit Open Hand at

Thanks to MLT and Open Hand for all your good work.  And to all my readers, it’s always great to give a few hours of your week to give back in any way possible.

Saturday, July 12th, 2014 Business School No Comments

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Jeremy C Wilson is a JD-MBA alumni using his site to share information on education, the social enterprise revolution, entrepreneurship, and doing things differently. Feel free to send along questions or comments as you read.


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The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect the views or position of Kellogg, Northwestern Law, the JD-MBA program, or any firm that I work for. I only offer my own perspective on all issues.
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