Take the Initiative and Start Acting on Something with Joshua Spodek Founder and Owner of Spodek Academy
The conversation covers more of my entrepreneurial background, lessons, and views than any podcast I remember doing lately, which was a refreshing change from focusing on leadership, though we talked about leadership too.
This conversation also marked one of my first times publicly considering taking a leadership role in the environment.
Anyway, I recommend listening to the podcast!
About Neil from his About Page:
I am Neil Ball and I love helping people who share my passion for the entrepreneur way of life. I live in Bolton in England, UK with my beautiful wife and 4 fantastic kids.
About 2 years ago I realised that my experience and achievements in business on my entrepreneurial journey was something that will be helpful for other people who have the passion for the entrepreneur way of life. I now make my living sharing my knowledge with want to be entrepreneurs and other entrepreneurs who already have a business and need some addition guidance to take it to the next level.
My story – The Dream and Success Journey
At the age of 14 years old I declared to my family that I was going to be a multimillionaire by the time I was 30 years old. I also remember that I recognised that I didn’t want to work for anyone else although I had never had a job to come to this conclusion.
I was working in a nightclub at the age of 20 and whilst it was great fun the pay was barely enough to live off and I realised that I needed to do something else. I made a decision to find a way of fulfilling my dreams, although I didn’t at the time know how I was going to do it. Over the next 4 years I read books and tried different things. For a period of time I tried network marketing selling water filters but that didn’t work for me. I tried setting up a printing business but that didn’t work either. I tried selling spy holes but didn’t find any success with that either. I found some success buying and selling snooker tables at Christmas but that was short lived. I also tried selling consumer electronics products such as televisions, hifi’s etc and I discovered something that appeared to be a real opportunity. By the time I was 24 years old I had finally set up a full-time business selling electronic products retail in a shop and mail-order all over the UK.
Over the next 6 years the business grew year after year with double digit growth and by the time I was 30 I had achieved the goal that I had set myself when I was 14 years old. The story doesn’t end there but it was the fulfilment of the childhood dream.
Here are the show notes:
Joshua Spodek, bestselling author of Leadership Step by Step, is an Adjunct Professor at NYU, a leadership coach and workshop leader for Columbia Business School, a columnist for Inc., and founder of SpodekAcademy. He helped build a satellite for NASA, co-founded and led several ventures, and holds six patents.
Entrepreneurial Role Models:
When business started difficulties overcame:
“There was a big problem for me in graduate school, when I started, I loved physics there was Galileo, Mouton, and Einstein and eventually there’d be Spodek and the practice of physics today is not like it was before, it used to be, you could build your own experiment with tools and with your hands and now the LHC is 10s maybe 100s of thousands of people, maybe a hundred countries over decades, you’re just this tiny little cog, it wasn’t what I wanted to do and so I felt trapped, I felt like what can I do with a physics degree”…[Listen for More]
Getting to Yes: Negotiating an agreement without giving in Book by Roger Fisher and William Ury
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity Book by David Allen
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, concerning all acts of initiative and creation there’s one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plan, that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too, all sorts of things occur to help one that would never have occurred, whole stream of events issue from the decision raising in all manner of one’s unforeseen incidents and meeting and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way, whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it”
Recommended Online Resources:
Freeplane – free mind mapping and knowledge management software.
Best Advice to Other Entrepreneurs:
“As someone who teaches and learns experientially, the biggest thing is that, there’s this big myth that you’re either born with it or you’re not and everyone I’ve ever come across in history or personal experience, they’ve learned what they did through doing things and in terms of leadership and business skills and things like that so If you see someone who has skills that you wish that you had, I recommend not in any way believing oh they were just born that way on the contrary they learned it from something, they had an experience that taught them this”…[Listen for More]
More About Joshua Spodek:
Neil’s Quote at the Beginning:
“The only way to learn new things is to ask questions and be curious. Find the people who inspire your curiosity because those are the ones you will most learn from.” James Altucher, The Rich Employee
Other Quotes From the Chat with Joshua Spodek:
“If you have a dream, they’d rather help you then go without a dream and so once you take initiative and start acting on something, people start wanting to help you”
“If you’re walking through a crowd and you’re like excuse me sorry pardon me, people get annoyed at you and they don’t get out of your way, but if you stride through confidently people see you and they get out of your way and they’re like oh you got something to do? Please by all means go past and if you live your life that way, things happen, people help you, people want you to succeed because they’d rather have you succeed than no one succeed”
“Leaders follow also”
“If someone has something that you don’t have, find out what got them that and give that to yourself”
Thank you, Neil!
Learn to make Meaningful Connections
with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.
- Step by step instructions
- Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
- An excerpt from my book