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Discover 10 Telltale Signs of an INTRApreneur"
K. Melissa Kennedy parlayed many years of experience working for and building successful companies into a unique process for harnessing hidden assets inside organizations and turning them into big-idea-generating, $1-billion-revenue-producing resources. (Spoiler alert: It’s the people.) She’s an internationally acclaimed expert, happy to share the not-so-secret actions that have led to impressive outcomes for Fortune 100 corporations, start-up companies, and entrepreneurs.
Melissa’s first book "The Innovation Revolution: Discover the Genius Hiding in Plain Sight" was published March 2017. It’s the essential guide for 21st-century leaders to deliver rapid results within their enterprise through INTRApreneurship – entrepreneurship on the inside.
Contact: K. Melissa Kennedy
Company Name: 48 Innovate
Email Address: email@example.com
Book Website: http://www.innovationrevolutionbook.com/
The online business, startup, and entrepreneur space is alive and well with dozens of successful YouTube channels, social media accounts, blogs, and podcasts offering up valuable daily and weekly content. Some of these focus on the part-time side hustle and some encourage you to dive in and start that business you have always wanted; no matter your age or situation. However, it doesn't take too long to realize that there is something missing among the voices there. Only recently has it been hinted at by luminaries such as Gary Vaynerchuk who talks about the need to "reframe the entrepreneurial discussion about what success looks like". I am very encouraged that this is finally starting to be talked about because it arises from the same place I am coming from in my desire to start this venture of "Intrapreneur Empire".
For some, being an entrepreneur is either built into their DNA or they have the skills needed to develop to a point where that journey makes sense for them. Yet, for others it may be that they have "entrepreneurial tendencies" but maybe should not venture out on their own. That discussion is not happening as loudly as it should. It has become almost an insult in the entrepreneur/start-up space to say that you "work for someone else". Believe me, I understand why some people feel that way. Not every job or career path will allow you the freedom and resources to make the same kind of great strides that are possible in an entrepreneurial world. However, not every boot-strapped (or even well funded) startup venture will lead to fabulous success either. Sometimes you have to deal with an ignorant boss or a team of people who just don't get the vision that you see. Yet striking out on your own is not the ONLY path for you. Entrepreneurship may be the answer for some but it is not the "one ring to rule them all". Maybe exploring the path of an intrapreneur should be the consideration for some.
When most people think about entrepreneurs they usually make some assumptions about what that means. They know it has the ability to earn a fabulous lifestyle of success that involves the heights of comfort, freedom, status, financial stability, and material rewards. Sometimes, the entrepreneurs themselves even have grand ideas of where they will be 5 or 10 years down the road. They wholeheartedly believe that they are starting the next Microsoft, Apple, or Facebook. To them, a billion-dollar valuation or multi-million dollar buyout is surely just around the corner. They are either ignoring or are oblivious to the fact that the statistics are heavily stacked against that becoming a reality.
Now, don't misinterpret my words; I think that dreams are very important. It is vital for you to believe in what you are doing and have an unwavering dedication to achieving your goals. However, balancing that optimism with some heavy doses of realism cannot be forgotten. This is a theme that is covered frequently in the content being put out in the business community. Hard work. Perserverance. Focus. Determination. Making smart decisions. Hustle. They are all milestones that pave the road to success.
The thing that tends to be missing in the discussion is what that success should realistically look like. What are the goals you have to hit before you can announce to the world that "I made it"? The truth is that somewhere along the way they were distorted into being unrealisticly high. The impression is that you have to be a millionaire or nothing at all. "Get rich or die trying". Maybe it is an exaggeration of the "American Dream" or maybe it is Hollywood who has changed the conversation. Either way, the actual numbers of success are nebulous but the proverbial bar is undoubtedly high.
Over the last few years there has been frequent news coverage of "The 1% to 2%" group of ultra wealthy people in America. Keeping in mind the kind of wealth you envision when you hear about them; if you heard someone make the claim that they were in the top 10% group, would you be just as impressed? What about the top 5%? Here is where the truth needs to come out. According to statistics, if you are in the top 10% earning group that actually means you make $100,000 a year. That slightly more impressive 5% group...it is just $166,200 per year in earnings. Doesn't sound so staggering and unreachable does it? In fact, there are many jobs out there that will pay in the low six figures without ever having the need to start down an entrepreneurial path. Especially ones where some innovation, skills, and hustle will be welcomed within an existing organization and allow you to be compensated nicely for it. Or, if you did want to go down the entrepreneur path, you would need to generate just $400,000 in sales at a 25% profit margin to hit that six figure earning mark.
Another thing that Gary Vaynerchuk mentions in his rants on this topic is how the #6 employee of Facebook made a sizable amount of money. He does not give the specifics of that example so I took the time to gather them. Aaron Sittig. Have you ever heard of him? Probably not. Yet, he was a vital part of the company and used his talents, experience, and drive to be an integral part of the team that made the product what it is today. Guess what he came up with? The concept of tagging friends in photos. Was he an entrepreneur? Nope. He was an Intrapreneur. Yet he achieved wealth, success, and stability many of us may never have.
I had the opportunity recently to listen to a keynote speech by Steve Wozniak. During that talk he made it abundantly clear that he was not good at running a business. He had no savvy skills with management, sales, or marketing. If it had not been for Steve Jobs and his uncanny ability to design, market, and sell products - Apple Computer as we know it would never have existed. In fact, Steve Wozniak never thought about selling the homemade kit that became the Apple I. It was only after Jobs saw it that he started the journey that eventually lead to one of the most successful companies of all time. Steve Jobs was an Entrepreneur. Steve Wozniak was an Intrapreneur.
Ironically, it is Steve Jobs who is often linked with the word Intrapreneur even though he is not the one to have coined the term. After the fabulous success of the Apple II, Jobs became obsessed with bringing the Macintosh to the world. He assembled a team of internal Apple employees and demanded the same dedication and obsession from them to work on the project. In his words, " The Macintosh team was what is commonly known now as intrapreneurship—only a few years before the term was coined—a group of people going in essence back to the garage, but in a large company." In subsequent interviews he added the idea of an intrapreneurs as: "Dreamers who do."
America is built on the backbone of small business and our economy only thrives because of them. "As of the 2010 Census, there were 27.9 million small businesses registered in the United States, compared to just 18,500 companies of 500 employees or more. Included in that total figure are sole proprietorships (73.2 percent), corporations (19.5 percent), and franchises (2 percent). 52 percent of small businesses are home-based. The most important thing to note? 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms are small businesses." The vast majority of those are 5 employees or less and earn enough for the owners to make a decent living. That used to be what the American Dream was. Earning a decent living. It did not guarantee vast stores of wealth and earning 50x more than the average minimum wage worker.
Speaking of small businesses, what about those who are made up of 2nd or 3rd generation owners? The business was handed down to them from a parent or grandparent. What are they? Technically they are not entrepreneurs either in the sense they started something from nothing. They are Intrapreneurs. Yet they still have to roll up their sleeves, hustle, stay relevant, and continue to sustain and grow a business that is existing in a vastly different era then when it began.
What about you? What makes the most sense for your journey? I guarantee that even the people who have chosen the path of the entrepreneur are looking for a team of "dreamers who do". They want to supplement their vision with the experience and talents of others who want to innovate. You might not be building the house, but you can go back to the garage in someone else's house. Reframe what success looks like. Achieve success and purpose by being the best version of yourself in all the roles inside your business and personal life. Even if that is taking the reigns inside an existing organization and blazing a new path.
If you look on Twitter and in recent articles intrapreneurship may seem like a new concept or "buzzword," but it has actually been around for a while.
The original word “intrapreneur” was coined by Gifford Pinchot III in a 1978 paper written with his wife Elizabeth. It was later popularized by Steve Jobs in a 1985 Newsweek article. Jobs said, “The Macintosh team was what is commonly known as intrapreneurship… a group of people going, in essence, back to the garage, but in a large company.”
Some companies stifle innovation because there often isn’t room for people to explore outside of their job description. However, many of these employees have ideas that could be the next Macintosh or iPhone.
Here are some examples of organizations that allowed their employees ideas come to light and in turn they reaped great benefits.
1. Lockheed Martin
Idea: It wouldn’t be a post about intrapreneurship without the famous “Skunk Works” project. Skunk Works is another name for Advanced Development Programs or ADP. Lockheed Martin basically allowed Kelly Johnson, Skunk Works founder, to work as an autonomous organization with a small, focused team.
Benefit: Skunk Works created some of the most innovative aircraft models, including the SR71. Moral of the story: if you have an intrapreneur like Johnson in your organization, don’t fight back. Instead, give them the support and resources they need to thrive. Lockheed Martin learned early that successful intrapreneurship happens whenteam members are allowed to define a clear path with their idea and they are given the power to modify and innovate as needed without a crazy approval process. Most big innovations need to be modified throughout their development.
2. Texas Instruments
Idea: A TI researcher, Larry Hornbeck, had been experimenting with technology using tiny mirrors to redirect photons for almost a decade. In 1987, Hornbeck and his team developed Digital Micromirror Device. DMD was used for printing airline tickets at first but soon after TI started an internal venture called Digital Imaging Venture Project to expand on the efforts.
Benefit: For a long time, video projectors weighed the equivalent to a small child and cost upwards of $15,000. Hornbeck realized this technology could greatly decrease the size and cost of the digital projector and it soon became an industry standard. He even received an Emmy award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development, talk about some serious intrapreneurial bragging rights.
3. Massachusetts Department of Correction
Idea: A guard suggested a change in the way Massachusetts Department of Correction stored their inmate photos. Instead of taking pictures with film and storing them the old fashioned way, why not use digital cameras and use a database for image storing.
Benefit: The department has sixteen correctional facilities and in the first year of implementation alone it saved $56,000 dollars on film and most likely a lot of clerical headache. Side note—if you haven’t read Ideas are Free there are many examples like this one, small ideas can be just as beneficial as sweeping innovation efforts.
4. W.L. Gore
Idea: W.L Gore (who most people know from Gore-Tex fabric) gives employees “dabble time” or 10% of their work day to develop new ideas and work on personal projects. One employee, Dave Myers, identified that one of their products, ePTFE a coating for push-pull cables, could be used for comfortable to use guitar strings.
Benefit: The coated strings proved to only be marginally more comfortable but they kept their tone longer than conventional guitar strings. After W.L. Gore launched them under the brand name ELIXIR Strings, they are now the No. 1 selling acoustic guitar string.
Idea: Just like W.L .Gore, Google allows time for personal projects. Some of Google’s best projects come out of their 20 percent time policy. One of these is something you probably use multiple times a day, Gmail.
Benefit: Paul Buchheit, the creator of Gmail, started on the project in 2001 and worked up to its launch on April 1, 2004 (April Fools but not really.) Gmail became the first email with a successful search feature and the option to keep all of your email (hello 1GB of storage) instead of frantically deleting to stay under your limit. The initial launch was by invite only, quite the hot commodity. Now, it’s considered a faux pas not to have an email address ending in @gmail.com.
Idea: Every year, Shutterstock hosts an annual hack-a-thon over the span of 24-hours (plus 4 hours of demo presentations at the end.)These challenges are designed to allow employees to pursue any ideas they have for the betterment of the company. Why should you host a hack-a-thon? They encourage collaboration, creativity, and innovation—some of the best qualities of engaged employees.
Benefit: Awesome ideas come out of these hack-a-thons, they save money, increase revenue and improve processes. To name a few projects that were born at hack-a-thons: Spectrum—an awesome user experience tool that allows you to search through Shutterstock only using color. Oculus—a data analysis tool that came out of the 2012 hack-a-thon and is now used at Shutterstock every day.
Idea: Sometimes, intrapreneurship happens by accident. Dr. Spencer Silver, a scientist at 3M, was attempting to create an extremely strong adhesive to use in aerospace technology. Instead, he accidentally created a light adhesive that stuck to surfaces well but didn’t leave a nasty residue.
Benefit: Instead of throwing away this idea because it didn’t solve the problem at hand, he stuck with it until he found a use for it. After many years of persistence and spreading the word it finally clicked with someone else, Art Fry—another 3M scientist. He thought back to one of Silvers seminars and they began to develop a product together. Post-It notes were born and if you are the vast majority of desk workers you’re probably looking at a pad of them right now.
8. Sun Microsystems
Idea: Patrick Naughton, a developer, almost left Sun in 1995 because he believed they were missing out on the fast-growing PC consumer market. He was convinced to stay and help Sun set up a group dedicated to the consumer market. This is where group member, James Gosling, created an elegant object-oriented programming language called Oak, which was later renamed Java.
Benefit: This was initially created to help set up Time Warner cable boxes. When that deal fell through, Bill Joy, co-founder of Sun, recognized the value of Java and that it could be implemented across all different platforms. As you know, Sun has since merged into Oracle and Java now runs the world with 930 million Java Runtime Environment downloads each year and 3 billion mobile phones run on Java.
Idea: Ken Kutaragi, a relatively junior Sony Employee, spent hours tinkering with his daughters Nintendo to make it more powerful and user friendly. What came from his work is one of the most recognizable brands in the world today, The Sony Playstation.
Benefit: Many Sony bosses were outraged at his work, thinking that gaming is a complete waste of time. Luckily someone in a senior position saw the value in the product and thankfully so, because now Sony is one of the world leaders in the prosperous gaming industry. This shows that company leaders should always be open to innovation—no matter how farfetched and pointless it may seem.
Idea: Originally called the “awesome button,” the Facebook Like button was first prototyped in one of Facebook’s infamous hack-a-thons.
Benefit: Facebook has never released statistics based on the like rate and certain time frames. But to all of us in the computer using world it is pretty evident how the invention of the like button affects us on a daily basis. Companies like Facebook, who are constantly innovating and changing, are some of the most successful out there.
As you can see, great ideas and products and came result from letting your employees think, experiment, and play. How you do this is different for every company. An official “20% time” rule works at some organizations, while hack-a-thons are a better idea for others. What’s important is that you embrace the overall goal of engaging employees, and choose a system for applying that vision that fits with your company culture.
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
It seems like most of the time successful entrepreneurs are assumed to be savvy business people who have everything figured out and obviously don’t make missteps. Otherwise, how could they be successful? This assumption could not be further from the truth.
It used to be somewhat common knowledge that to be successful at any business venture you had to get up and work hard every day. You had to put in more time than anyone else and devote everything to the focus and success of your venture. Maybe, after years of hard work, the fruits of that labor would pay off. Somewhere between the “overnight millionaire success stories” of the dot com boom and the emerging coming-of-age of the “entitled generation”; the knowledge that used to be common has swayed the other way. Now, any actually successful entrepreneurs know it is not different. To truly succeed the formula has not changed. Yet to the outside world the raw truth of the path to that success is lost.
Any successful venture does take time. You very well may have small victories that reap benefits almost instantly. You have to take these as positives that allow you to move on to the next step. There is always more preparation and the next 3 steps you take are more important than the last 2 you just completed. Among the most valuable in any of these are the missteps and mistakes. Believe it or not, these are where the real lessons are contained. Failing is a key part of the evolution of character, personality, experience, and especially in business. The trick is to fail forward. You have to use the failure of today to inform and correct the success of tomorrow. Be just as thankful (if not more) for the not-so-perfect-days as the ones in the limelight. They give you awareness of what to watch for and make the success that you experience become intentional and not accidental.
The end journey of your success will most likely take years, but that is the war. You have to get up every day and fight the small battles. You will win some and you will most definitely lose some. Set the destination with an eye down the road, but make course adjustments daily. When you finally get there you will have blazed a trail that is your own and one you will intimately know every step of the way. You have the power to turn negatives into positives and grow your business and yourself along the way. Embrace failure and then keep walking until you get to hug success.
As is the habit of my brain, I am always looking for ways to create additional revenue streams and grow businesses out of them. Because of this my main company, 5Block Radius, is now the parent of several internally incubated ventures. Some of those business ventures came because of deliberate thought and planning, and a few of them just happened thru crazy random happenstance. One of which is what has become Mechanical Buggy and will eventually include AmishBox.com.
I use Craigslist randomly (and cautiously) to check out any opportunities that people may have posted. You would be surprised what kind of lead generation can happen when you are just clicking around. One day, I noticed a local listing that would prove to turn into a viable side business on it's own. The ad stated that transportation was needed for a crew of Amish workers who were building houses for a contractor. The pay was a set amount every day and the only requirement was that you supply the vehicle and be timely and dependable. After figuring the drive time I calculated it was about 4 hours worth of work every day and would fall very early in the morning and in the late afternoon (toward the end of the traditional business day). Considering the pay would potentially generate $1000+ monthly, I decided to give it a try.
To be honest, I am not sure what I expected at first. I know there are many people who have daily dealings with the Amish and have known them for years. For me, the only things I had ever experienced were what I had seen in movies or TV or the occasional sight of them at a distance. Making the first trip out to where they lived showed me the basics of their lifestyle and desire to attain "simple living" and be unattached from what they perceive to be the hang-ups of the modern world. The choices of how they dress and live were not what surprised me (I already knew that mostly). The thing that immediately struck me was how dedicated and strict they are to a schedule. Their entire lives are streamlined around getting the most done every single day. By the time I arrived at the first worker's house in the mornings it was 7 a.m. and they already had been up for at least 3 hours and done more "morning chores" than the average person probably does all week. Yet, there they were ready to load up in the van and get going to the job site to build a house for the next 8 hours. After taking them home around 5 or 6 p.m. they would then proceed to do "evening chores". In the 6 months I personally drove them, I never heard any of the 7 or 8 workers that I met complain in the least. This is not just expected of them but it is accepted by them gratefully. Clearly a stark contrast to the attitude and outlook that most people have in the modern world.
The other aspect that jumped out at me was one that I recognized and appreciated greatly. The Amish devote much planning and hard work to developing multiple income streams so that they are not reliant on just one source of income. The past few years have seen a major focus arise in the business, start-up, and "side-hustle" communities on the importance and flexibility of having multiple income streams. To hear some people talk about it there is almost the feeling that it is a new and revolutionary concept. Let me just say, I think the Amish are old hands at it. It was refreshing to see them taking the same concepts of what so many online and in business hope to achieve and doing it on a small, direct, "offline" scale. Of the families I had the privilege to meet, there were varying scales of income from ventures ranging from raising cows, selling milk & eggs, planting & harvesting crops, saddle/leatherwork, baking, cleaning services, and, of course, the contracting of house construction services. These were just the ones made known to me. I have to believe that there are surely more across the entire community.
I have since hired a driver at an hourly rate to drive the van I dedicated for this route.
You have a lean startup, which means you are on the tightest of budgets. Why blow money on traditional services when you can use these 5 ways to save money and still close the deal?
Over the last 12+ years I have had to travel fairly frequently for work. For the last 4 of those years, I have been in charge of booking all the arrangements on a budget. Since I only had limited resources (sometimes even spending my own money), I have had to get smart about the choices I make. This made me realize that others out there might benefit from some of these suggestions. If you are starting your own business and are a lean startup, things can be really tight. Travelling to land that big account might be exactly what you need to kickstart your success – but you can’t go bankrupt in the process of getting there. Here are 5 things I have learned and used that could be a help to you:
1. MegaBus (www.MegaBus.com)
If you are not opposed to ground transportation between cities, then MegaBus.com might be your most affordable option. The company is operated by Coach USA who is well known for running charter buses. They employ some of their fleet in the spin-off company Megabus. These double decker buses offer low rates in between cities with minimal stops on the way. As opposed to the comparable “Greyhound” system which stops every 20 or so miles in between, Megabus opts to give you only 1 rest stop in between each advertised hub. This allows for the cheaper rates by cutting costs and conserving fuel. They even have an advertised $1 rate (although I have yet to actually experience it). To give a real world example, I am able to travel from Kansas City to Chicago (some 800 miles one way) for about $30 ROUNDTRIP on average. I have even travelled down in the $15 to $20 range on numerous occasions.
One of the down sides would definitely be the limited locations that are serviced. For me I have to travel about 3 hours to get to the nearest pickup/drop-off. This is not entirely bad considering the price, but if you have to go to a location that is far from any of their locations then the extra cost of further travel might quickly erase the savings.
PROS: Free Wi-Fi, power outlets, air conditioning, minimal stops, mostly comfortable seats, no extra charge for bags
CONS: Minimal stops, limited service locations (most major cities included), passenger quality, seats get somewhat uncomfortable over long distances (this could be an opinion)
2. Spirit Airlines (www.Spirit.com)
I like to affectionately call them the “MegaBus of the Air”. Much of the same applies here but with air travel. Spirit has grown steadily over the last few years as they are offering ultra-low fares between several dozen locations (including some international). Just as with MegaBus, if the serviced locations are not where you need to go then additional travel may make this not as ideal. However, they mostly service all major metropolitan areas and I have used them many times for business travel. If it is within your budget, you can even “upgrade” your boarding priority, seating assignment, and baggage for not much more. These features are even more affordable if you join the “$9 Fare Club”. This annual membership of $59 gives you even deeper discounts than the advertised prices. For another real world example: I have gotten round-trip tickets from Kansas City to Chicago with a 2 night hotel stay (Days Inn) for $185 total.
As can be expected with a discount airline, sometimes there are noticeable areas they cut costs. They appear to be understaffed at times, with flight delays and cancellations resulting from it. They operate a limited route schedule on a daily basis so changing flights will likely result in moving travel to the next day instead of just later in the same day. Lastly, in order to keep their prices low you have to be ok with their “philosophy” of getting what they call the “bare fare”. This results in having to purchase EVERYTHING else including bags over a certain size, seating assignments, boarding priority, and even snacks and drinks while in-flight.
BONUS TIP: I invested in a carry-on bag that is exact dimensions to get the "bare fare" rate. I am able to fit my laptop, cords, a notebook, and all necessary clothes for 3 days of a trip into it. You do have to get creative but it is a good deal in the long run. The LUCAS Wheeled Under the Seat Cabin Bag EXCLUSIVE is the perfect dimensions at 9.8 x 15.7 x 15.7 inches; 5.6 pounds.
PROS: Ability to bundle other services such as hotel & car for even deeper discounts, some of the lowest rates in the industry, remains affordable even booking “last minute”
CONS: Limited flight schedules, Limited service locations, higher frequency of issues, extra charges for pretty much everything beyond the base ticket
3. ZipCar (www.ZipCar.com)
ZipCar has been around now for 15 years. It is a simple, straight-forward concept that is meant to be an alternative to the costly process of renting a car. Car rentals can be a laborious procedure. You can’t use bank/debit cards, you have to put down a deposit, there may be additional age or insurance requirements. Additionally, maybe you only need the car for a few hours and don’t want to pay fees to rent for the entire day or week. ZipCar is a great way around that. They have locations all over the US and have either monthly or hourly membership rates. Membership gets you a card that allows you to use any ZipCar at any of their locations.
PROS: One low monthly cost gets you access and the additional fees are fixed and affordable; access to cars in an impressive list of locations
CONS: You might not have the selection you want at all locations; some limited availability in certain areas
4. Uber (www.Uber.com)
Cabs are expensive. I think someone in the Bible said that. No? Either way, believe it. If they charge by the quarter mile, then why does the meter keep running even when you are stopped at a light? Getting from point A to B once you have finally made it to your destination city can be so very important. Many times, the cab is the last leg to get your temporary shower and bed. Or, maybe you are counting on a taxi to shuttle you to the meeting that is the sole reason you are even travelling in the first place. Lastly, don’t get me started on how much these cab companies charge for “airport service door-to-door”. If you have hired a cab, I don’t need to explain any of this to you because you already know.
I won’t take the time to educate you fully on what Uber is, you can always visit their website or download the app for more info. Essentially it is the ability to use your smartphone to rent a taxi, private car, or rideshare that is driven by “regular people”. People in every location that Uber operates service are able to sign up and become Uber Drivers and use their own vehicles to transport others. They get paid, Uber gets a slice of the action, and you still pay less than a traditional cab service. The company is fighting hard to make sure it keeps a close hold on the integrity of it’s drivers and implemented a rating system where you can choose who you hire before they show up. Additionally, there is talk about Uber and Google teaming up to have robot controlled driverless cars you can order on demand. Robots! Yay!
PROS: You can meet interesting people, save money, eventually…maybe…robots!
CONS: You can meet interesting people, scheduling can sometimes be tricky as you have “independent drivers” – this varies depending on the city, everyone (including the company) is still figuring out how it all works, there might not be Uber Drivers in the place you are going to
5. AirBNB (www.AirBNB.com)
There are many ways to find a good deal on hotels. Yet, what you end up getting for the hotel in the end can sometimes be drastically different and not worth the price. Wouldn't it be nice if you had a place to stay where you were going that was equivalent of crashing at a friend's house? Enter AirBNB. Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — online or from a mobile phone. Basically you pay a little cash to crash at someone's house. Win-win for both of you.
PROS: You can meet interesting people and potentially make lasting relationships; you can literally make yourself at home in a place that is actually a home; the rates tend to be lower than comparable accommodations; international travel is even more affordable in most cases; you can even get great rates for weeks or months at a time
CONS: There is inherently a trust factor of not knowing the place you will be staying; there might not be a long established reputation or review system yet for where you want/need to stay; you run the chance of not connecting with your "hosts" (but that is a good chance to grow your people skills!)
While these tips are geared towards the business traveler, they can definitely be applied to anyone traveling for leisure as well. I hope these work for you! Drop me a line and let me know the successes (or failures) you have experienced with trying them out!
"It is entirely your responsibility to make yourself feel better. No one is going to do it for you. That sucks, but sometimes you gotta work for things worth having."
When checking my TimeHop app a few days ago, I found this little quote I had posted 2 years ago. I don't remember the specifics of what I was doing at that time, or exactly what it alluded to. Yet, it seemed to jump off the screen at me and be relevant in my current world. Obviously this has far reaching meaning for many situations and, chances are, you have already read it and applied to whatever is going on personally for you. It is completely truth that the responsibility for making stuff happen is entirely yours. Personal, professional. family, whatever. If you don't make it happen, it probably won't.
"Pulling yourself up by the bootstraps" is a quality that seems to have become very rare in today's world. It is something we heard told in stories about our parents' or grandparents' generations all the time. The Great Depression, for example, is one of the shining times in American history that people fought against the harsh economic environment to push forward and persevere. World War II is also filled with such inspiring stories. What happened to that? Of course there are the occasional stories of this similar type of thing occurring today, but admit it, when you hear a story like that it seems incredible because it is so rare. It is this author's opinion that it is the distractions of our current world that are the biggest adversary. I fully admit that constantly being connected with a laptop, smartphone, and tablet can sometimes lead to more time being wasted. The business of distractions is not only increasing year over year, but it has become a multi-million dollar industry in it's own right. It is easily understandable why people struggle just to keep their status quo satisfied, let alone actually take steps to move ahead.
Having said all that, it is still our responsibility to get it done. Each one of us should be in the business of "making stuff happen". Find out what works for you to break out tasks thru the day such as a "time management grid" as laid out by Stephen Covey in "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People". Anything from managing a busy house to managing a company. Finishing college to finishing a workout. Remember, no matter the outcome you have to own it. You can either have stock in success or failure. I would tell you that anyone can do it, but that would be a lie. Succeeding is not for everyone; but you are different. It is for you. Make it happen. "Carpe Diem" and then, if necessary, "Carpe Noctem". I promise at the end you won't look back and wonder how you did it, you will wonder what you can get done next.