Thursday, October 30, 2008

"The Courage to Try"

Often, what is most essential in creating an extraordinary life is what is needed to get started. We call this the courage to try: courage to discover who we really are and leave what is comfortable, safe, and known. Courage to act on our convictions. Courage to see our dreams played out against the backdrop of the world. Courage to fail. Courage simply to begin.

For Anita Sharpe, courage meant walking away from a prestigious job at the Wall Street Journal at the pinnacle of her career to pursue her calling and start a magazine and company focused on helping people pursue worthwhile work and lives. For Cory Booker, it was leaving behind a world of comfort and moving to a housing project in Newark to join the front lines of a battle against poverty. For Mary Cutrufello, it was about reviving her musical career after being sidelined for years by illness. For Karin Weber, it was reinventing her life at sixty and embracing all sorts of new adventures. These life entrepreneurs acted in spite of their fears. Indeed, without fear, courage is impossible.

We often confine our thinking about courage to fields of battle and acts of valor. But there is also a personal courage that requires a willingness to start taking action even in small ways that get us moving in the right direction.

*Excerpted from Life Entrepreneurs: Ordinary People Creating Extraordinary Lives (Christopher Gergen and Gregg Vanourek, Jossey-Bass, 2008).*

Gregg Vanourek, one of the authors of this great new book Life Entrepreneurs will be with us tomorrow (Fri, Oct 31) at the Denver IDEA Café. 2 to 3:30 p.m. Panera Bread, 1330 Grant St. here in Denver. Free and open to anyone starting a new career, campaign, or new business. More information and RSVP at

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Very interesting talks: Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley about how he found his true calling while attending the University of Kansas; philosopher Alice Von Hildebrand about true feminism; and a panel discussion. Click here to listen:
Interesting blog post from journalist Amy Gahran about how to Twitter.

Twitter is the Internet service that allows posting from your cell phone or computer short messages about what you are doing now and to follow similar posts from anyone you choose to follow.

Big question in my mind is “why Twitter?” Amy says it’s a good way to catch breaking news, sort of like CNN headlines from friends, and a good way to create traffic for your website.

I’ve been trying to use Twitter for a couple of months, and similar features on Plaxo and Facebook, “What are you doing now?” Do all of these enhance life or do they just drown out thoughtful refection with chaos? Does anyone care what I’m doing moment by moment, and what help is it to me to follow others actions as if they were ants in an Ant Farm?

Will we soon be treating a new mental illness, Twitter Jitters?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it."
Pablo Picasso, who was born yesterday, Oct 25 (1881-1973)


Small business says to Google: "Financial crisis? What financial crisis?"

Google may have some brand name marketers among its customers, but most of the volume of its advertising (according to Google financial reports) comes from hundreds of thousands of smaller companies around the world. Drop the word “baby” into the Google search box. The advertising is from and Punch in the term “boats” and the paid links are to

Google’s results uncover the robustness of an unimaginable number of marketers who may only spend a few thousand dollars to vie for customers. But, they would not be spending the money unless, in the judgments of these modest operations, it worked.

From 24/7 Wall Street Blog