Friday roundup: the real value in life, getting a jolt of the unfamiliar and the lack of a Midwestern startup network.

Happy Friday.

I’m thankful for another Thanksgiving filled with fun, laughter, food and family. Today, we’re starting the drive towards the next tour stop: Wichita, KS. See you out on the road this weekend!

  1. “The real value in life comes from saying no.” [Link] [Tweet]

I openly admit that I’ve said ‘yes’ to far too many things. As a result, my inbox is constantly piling up and managing my own anxiety has been one of the biggest professional challenges for me this year.

I’ve resorted to ‘no’ as my default answer, I’m using Asana to organize my to-do list and getting better about sticking to my calendar.

On a related note, saying ‘no’ is something you can only do once you’ve reached a certain point in your career and not enough people talk about that openly.

2. “You took all the right pictures, but were you really ever there?” [Link] [Tweet]

You’ll get a good laugh (and reconsider your Thanksgiving-related social media posts) while you read this.

3. “Be technical, be customer-focused, be process-oriented, be data-driven and be interdisciplinary.” [Link] [Tweet]

My #1 advice for anyone starting their careers today — regardless of whether they choose to work at a startup or a huge enterprise — is to optimize for a role that allows you to see and touch as many parts of the business as possible.

Learn how all the pieces of a business fit together and you’ll quickly become more valuable than most.

4. “Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about.” [Link[Tweet]

This is your entrepreneurial pep talk for the weekend.

5. “power down your smartphone, close your browser tabs, roll up your sleeves and get to work.” [Link] [Tweet]

If you can ignore the clickbait headline on the article, you’ll find the more important point: you need to be able to focus on one thing from time to time.

Gary Vaynerchuk talks about this idea of keeping your head in the clouds and your hands in the dirt. The best people have the ability to do both of those things from time to time.

6. “Don’t seek comfort. You need to give yourself a jolt of the unfamiliar.” [Link] [Tweet]

Apparently, everyone’s in the mood for entrepreneurial pep talks this weekend. Here’s a second one for you. (As a reminder, this link round up is a compilation of the highest clicked links in my firehose each week. So, this is pretty much what all of you are clicking on these days.)

7. “They may like the product, but their first love will be the economics.” [Link] [Tweet]

A long time ago, I stopped trying to judge people ideas — because I was usually wrong. I don’t think enough people admit that we’re all terrible at picking ideas.

8. “The best jobs are the ones that have not already been put on a job board. [Link] [Tweet]

The best jobs come through the side entrance, not the front lobby. That’s why you need to keep putting yourself out there. Welcome to the resume of 2016 and beyond.

9. “Wantchapreneuers are attracted to the entrepreneurial lifestyle, but they aren’t inherently entrepreneurs.” [Link] [Tweet]

Entrepreneurship is hard to teach but easy to learn. It’s a bit like working out: you only get stronger/faster by actually doing the work itself.

Stop reading this stuff and get back to work.

10. “There is no Midwestern network, no central spot where startups can gather.” [Link] [Tweet]

This is one of the best written peices I’ve seen about a cross-country road trip and the characters you meet along the way. More importantly, he’s right: Midwestern cities have a lot of intra-city resources for their entrepreneurs but very little in terms of inter-city networks.


You can get the full stream of the things I read, it’s all on Twitter — follow me: @paulsingh.