When you want to start a business, it can be seriously overwhelming with all the information about what you should and shouldn’t do.
These Ted Talks by well-known speakers and authors can really help you to narrow down what you want to do or help you to just get started.
I’ve put in a ‘who’s it for’ section so that if you are short on time, you can pick the talks that are most relevant for you 🙂
I’ve also added links to books where the speaker is also an author. If you can get the books from the library then do that, if not then you can click on the images to go through to the Amazon page if you want to buy one.
This post may contain affiliate links. It won’t cost you any extra but I may receive a small commission. I don’t have ads on the site (as I hate them) so this is how I help with the blog running costs. I only recommend things I use or that would be useful to you.
(6 minute talk)
Women who want to get over the fear of starting a business.
Bel Pesce left Brazil to study at MIT and then went to Silicon Valley. Having written the bestselling book, The Brazilian Girl from Silicon Valley she returned home to Brazil and founded several successful businesses.
Bel has been named “30 under 30″ by Forbes Magazine”,100 most influential people of Brazil” by Epoca Magazine, and has also won the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards!
In this talk, Bel talks about the 5 myths that stop people from achieving success. She goes through each one and explains why these myths will ‘kill your dreams’.
Bel’s 5 myths are:
“If you have dreams, it is your responsibility to make them happen”.
This is a short, yet powerful talk about how to achieve success and be the person you want to be, by taking responsibility for your success and to always keep learning and improving.
(4 minute talk)
Great if you are a type A personality (overachiever, always hustlin’, frequently collapsing in a melted puddle of exhaustion).
Arianna is a Greek-American businesswoman, author, journalist, and speaker. She was the co-founder of The Huffington Post which sold to AOL in 2011 for a paltry $315 million dollars.
She has been listed by Forbes as the 52nd Most Powerful woman in the world!
She also set up a new company Thrive Global whose mission is to revolutionize the idea that burnout is the price of success.
“We are literally going to sleep our way to the top”
A very funny yet punchy talk about how we need sleep to be productive and successful. And that sleep deprivation shouldn’t be something we try and use like a badge of success.
Arianna has 4 books that you can check out if you want like what you heard! Just click on the images to read more on Amazon.
(20 minute talk)
Creatives who put enormous pressure on themselves to ‘find their creative genius’.
I am sure you have heard of Elizabeth Gilbert’s international bestseller, Eat, Pray, Love.
If you haven’t then you certainly may have seen the hunkalicious (I think I made that word up) Javier Bardem in the film adaptation.
Fun fact: Back in the day, Elizabeth wrote an article for GQ about her experiences bartending in New York which become the basis for Coyote Ugly!
“Don’t be afraid, don’t be daunted, just do your job”.
This talk has some interesting ideas about creativity and where it comes from. Useful if you are stuck with ideas or when writing or creating.
Other books by Elizabeth, click on the image if you want to read more about them!
If you haven’t yet come up with a business idea, I have made a free ‘Business Idea Worksheet’ for you to use.
You can go through the sheet to brainstorm your business ideas and select one to get started with. Click on the link below to get your worksheet.
(10 minute talk)
Women who are worried about starting a business when they think don’t know enough or aren’t an ‘expert’.
Carol Dweck is a Professor of Psychology who came up with the term ‘growth mindset”.
I am sure you have seen many articles about this but the gist is that we can have a ‘fixed mindset’ or ‘growth mindset’ and the links to whether we are successful or not.
If you have a ‘growth mindset’ then you believe that you can constantly learn and improve, and therefore you put in my effort and are more likely to succeed.
With a ‘fixed mindset’ is a person who believes that their intelligence will not change. Therefore they are more likely to give up when encountering obstacles or challenges.
“If you get a failing grade, you think, I’m nothing, I’m nowhere. But if you get the grade ‘not yet’, you understand that you’re on a learning curve”.
Very interesting talk about how your mindset influences your ability to achieve.
Carol is mostly focused on how to build resilience and perseverance in student and kids but it is very relevant when you want to start your own business.
Starting a business will always throw up challenged and obstacles. If you have a growth mindset you will believe that you can work through them.
Carol Dweck has a book called ‘Mindset, the new psychology of success’ which is highly relevant when you are starting a business.
(17 minute talk)
For women who struggle with the idea of leaving a ‘status’ job to start again at the bottom with their business.
I love Alain de Botton. He is a modern-day philosopher and author who has written a number of books on relationships, happiness, and philosophy.
Alain has also featured in a number of documentaries and has a great way of speaking which makes concepts really easy to understand.
” We are the first society to be living in a world where we don’t worship anything other than ourselves.”
Alain questions what we mean by success. He rejects the idea that we can ‘have it all’ and thinks that our idea of success is often what is defined by society rather than what we actually want for ourselves.
(17 minute talk)
Women who are worried that people won’t like their business or what they have to say.
Seth Godin is a blogger, author, and former business exec. He has an insanely popular blog called, well, ‘Seth’s blog’!.
He writes primarily about ‘marketing, tribes, and respect’.
“The idea you create, the product you create, the movement you create, isn’t for everyone”
This is a great talk to get your head around the fact that your business does not need to please everyone, you just need to find your tribe.
You don’t need to try and market to the masses, just find your people and talk to them.
Seth Godin has written a lot of books! Here are some of them below, you can click the images which will take you through to Amazon so you can have a look at them.
( 22 minute talk)
For people that want their business to fulfill them (where their current job doesn’t)
Tony Robbins can be a bit marmite, some love him, some don’t. He is a ‘personal development guru’ with an empire built on helping others get out of their own way.
I personally like a lot of what he has to say, he is an incredibly charismatic speaker although some of his stuff is a bit ‘fist-pumpy’ for me.
“Decision is the ultimate power”
In this talk, Tony goes through the six human needs that he believes we all have. His concept of the six human needs is actually very interesting.
The talk went through them very quickly but you can read more here as I do think they can be useful when to understand what motivates you and how that relates to your business.
( 6 minute talk)
Great for women who are scared to fail when they start their business.
Angela Lee Duckworth is a popular science author, psychologist and academic. Her book ‘Grit’ on perseverance was a New York bestseller for 20 weeks!
“Grit is having passion and perseverance for very long-term goals”
This is a great talk for giving yourself a reality check when starting a business. You are going to come up against obstacles and problems and will probably want to quit many times.
If you have the grit to follow through on your commtitmetns is what will lead you to succeed.
You have to be willing to fail, to learn from the lessons, and to keep going and learning.
( 18 minute talk)
People who desperately want to leave their jobs and are focusing on businesses that generate the most cash.
Dan Pink is a New York Times bestselling author on topics such as behavioural science, work, and management.
Dan originally trained to be a lawyer but decided not to practice. He was Al Gore’s speechwriter for two years and then left to work for himself.
“…..using a reward….narrows our focus and restricts possibility”
Really interesting talk on how motivation can really affect the success of our business. Dan says that setting incentive for your business (i.e. money) dulls creativity and does harm to your success.
Although his talk is more about the motivation for employees, it is a really interesting concept when starting your own business.
There are some amazing Ted Talks out there, I hope you have found these ones useful!
If you want to read some more blog posts that could help you if you want to start a business, then have a read below!
I have a 7 part series which are interviews with successful female entrepreneurs who left their jobs and started a business. If you click on the first link you’ll get the links to the full series.
Hi, I am Laura. I set up the 'I Want My Life Back Project' after burning out in a corporate job. I quit in May 2017 and set about getting my life back. I now freelance 2 days a week, run this blog, manage my rental properties and am SO MUCH HAPPIER! All the content on this blog is to help you to get your life back too :-)