Episode 044 – All You Need to Know About Augmented and Virtual Reality for Entrepreneurs, with Steven Aukstakalnis

Steven Aukstakalnis is an author, research scientist, instructor, and consultant to government and industry in the area of Augmented and Virtual Reality. For more than 20 years, his work has focused on the application of head-mounted displays, 3D sound, and tactile feedback devices in such areas as architecture, defense, oceanography, medicine, and entertainment.

Show  Notes:

To break the ice, I asked Steven, whether he’d rather have a real transformer car, or have a space shuttle in his backyard.

His response, “I’d rather have the space shuttle.”

Our conversation was based on all things augmented and virtual reality.

Some questions I asked throughout the interview are:

  • What is augmented reality & virtual reality and the difference between the two?
  • How have they been used in entrepreneurship?
  • How expensive is this technology to implement?
  • Why should I use AR/VR to expand my brand?
  • What are some of the common mistakes that advertisers are making?
  • How long have both forms of technologies been around?
  • What are some of the side effects that are associated with virtual reality?
  • What are we going to be coming with next?

Main Take-Aways:

  • Virtual reality is a completely computer generated replacement to your true visual and audio surroundings.

  • There are a number of companies that are starting to incorporate these technologies either in promotion of their products or work or as part of their products.

  • The scientific literature shows that women of Asian descent are far more susceptible to motion sickness than for instance women in North America or the Caribbean.

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This Leadership Skill is so Critical (and Easy) Yet You Probably Don’t Practice It

From as far as I can remember there has been debates about what makes a good leader. When you analyze leaders across industries and cultures, you will find that leadership styles vary from one leader to the next.

Based on a study of over 3,000 Executives, Daniel Goleman identified six different leadership styles:

  1. Coercive (or Commanding)
  2. Pace-setting
  3. Authoritative
  4. Affiliate
  5. Democratic
  6. Coaching

What is clear however is that to be in the running as a ‘good leader’ candidate, there are some basic soft skills that are necessary.

As it turns out, there is no one right way to lead in all circumstance. In fact, one of the main characteristics of a good leader is their ability to be flexible enough to adapt to changing tides. They must be able to ride the wave of the moment. Whether the environment be that of church, school, government, non-profit, or the home, leaders must be able to exercise some level of fluidity.

Being flexible in your approach, allowing your team to feel at ease will win them over on your side. When persons are at ease they perform at their best. The converse is also true, you may get persons to respond to you in the short run by driving fear in them but you eventually limit their long-term output using fear as a driver for action.

If you are a Coercive leader, think about flexing your style to improve your relationships and become a better leader. For me this is personal. As I look back at how I was as a leader when I operated a ‘brick and mortar’ I realize that I was quite coercive in my approach. My firm demeanor would often be interpreted as bullyism. After a while, I had little or no impact on those I lead. Though that was never the intent, my retrospective look tells me that is exactly how it came across.

I’m thankful for those experiences as I am in a better place to understand what I did wrong and the things I must improve upon to be effective. I also assess the styles of others to see how they operate and note critical take-aways and of course acknowledge style differences and work to meet half-way.

Suffice it to say, I’ve always been open to new ideas (or so I thought). But even with that, I held on closely to doing things how I believed it should be done without much room for what others thought (I never admitted this though). I was rigid and stubborn. I have learnt well.

Now, I do things that no one has ever done before and have a willingness to ‘first seek to understand then be understood.”  This is one of Stephen Covey’s 7 habits of highly effective people, a book I recommend that everyone especially leaders ought to read.

Flexibility is essential to maintaining productivity during periods of confusion and uncertainty. When you become skilled at being flexible, you become open to new ideas and get to work with people from all sorts of backgrounds and cultures. The more flexible you are, the more effective you are at leading others.

Have you been holding on to your ideas and way of thinking without allowance for the viewpoints of others? If you are feeling resistance from your team and those you work with, your flexibility meter may need readjusting. Do this and watch things change in your favour.

If you have comments or reactions, we’d like to hear from you. Comment below.

Episode 043 – Knowing Your Cost Drivers, Balancing the Equation and Staying Profitable, with Ruth King

Ruth King is the Profitability Master, Founder and CEO of Profitability Revolution Paradigm. She is also President of Business Ventures Corporation. She has a passion for helping small businesses get and stay profitable. Her #1 Best Selling book, The Courage to be Profitable, explains how to get and stay profitable in less than 30 minutes a month – in English rather than accounting babble.

Show  Notes:

To break the ice, I asked Ruth, whether she’d rather have many acquaintances and no friends, or have only one or two close friends?

Her response, “One or two close friends.”

We went on to talk about what every entrepreneur needs to have more of, profit, profit ad more profit.

Some questions I asked throughout the interview are:

  • How did it all start for you as the profitability master?
  • What are the things we need to be looking out for in balancing the equation of profit and cost?
  • What are some considerations business owners need to be making in order to grasp accounting?
  • What’s the reason businesses fail to make profit?
  • What’s one of the biggest cost driver in a business?
  • Why would a once profitable business start to experience decline in profit?

Main Take-Aways: 

  • Understand that financials are not hard. accounting was developed around the 1300s and there were no calculators back then and it was easy.

  • If you are getting bored with your business, it will decline because you are not paying attention.

  • Get your financial statements every month; get a profit and loss statement and balance sheet. Get tutored on it, read a book, go to a class.

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Why I Love Podcasting – It Gives Me Life

In territories like Australia, Brazil, Europe and the UK and USA, podcasts are quite popular. In many developing countries, not as much. Ever since I came into an awareness about the awesomeness of a podcast, I feel head over heels in love.

The Entrepreneurial You Podcast - Leadership Kingston Podcast

A podcast is a digital audio file available via the internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, which can be received by subscribers automatically. There are, to a lesser extent, video podcasts. A llive video stream is sometimes confused with a podcast, which is not quite correct.

To access a podcast, you have the option of downloading the file straight from its website via an RSS feed. The Entrepreneurial You is available on henekawatkisporter.com for example. You may also use media software to automatically download podcasts for you like iTunes that checks for new podcast episodes when it detects an internet signal coming from your feed. This download the podcast automatically and syncs it to an MP3.

Streaming on the other hand is to listen or watch content directly from the Internet without actually downloading the file to your computer or other device. The file is downloaded from a host server in real time instead, requiring only a web browser and high-speed internet connection.

The Entrepreneurial You started as a traditional radio show in 2014 on a local radio station in Jamaica. It was profitable, running for three seasons with corporate sponsorship. BUT I knew there was more. Deep inside there has always been a drive to have a global impact – “I must move from just desire to action”, I thought. There has to be a way.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, podcasting presented itself to me. My love affair with this convenient form of content started from a conversation with Damar Hutchinson whom I met at a conference which continued with a Caribbean technology trailblazer, Ingrid Riley, who was also at the said event. I stated what I wanted to accomplish having a radio show. To cut a long story short, she recommended gong digital as a viable option. That would help me achieve my objective of wanting to reach more people to live my purpose of life transformation through inspiration.  Eventually, it would become easier to garner sponsorship if I still wanted to do traditional radio, after I would have developed a large enough online following. The digital choice was podcasting.

Hooked, doesn’t begin to explain what happened since I started listening John Lee Dumas. That was in 2016. By end March 2017 with equipment in hand, research on tools software training done and guests booked and interviewed, I successfully published my podcast in iTunes.

Seth Godin – Photo Credit: Brian Bloom

The sense of joy and peace I get from sitting behind a microphone, having a conversation with the most global, high-impact entrepreneurs is inexplicable.  I don’t see me stopping anytime soon. Why would I, when it has afforded me the opportunity to connect with persons like Richard Branson, Les Brown, Seth Godin, Jim Kwik and so many established and phenomenal entrepreneurs changing the world as we know it? During Global Entrepreneurship Week, a special edition episode was produced with a select six. This is the episode that Richard Branson is on. I’ve been able to leverage The Entrepreneurial You to achieve bigger things such as hosting conferences (both on and offline). On May 4, 2018, I will host Leadercast in Jamaica. Podcasting has enabled me to do that – it gives me life.

I get to reach people from scores of different countries including Japan which is 3rd on my list of listenership. Not only am I personally connected to my guests, I also feel a sense connection to my community of listeners as well. I’m grateful for this opportunity.

Interestingly, my stats tell me that mobile devices are where most of my community of peak performers listen from. This is very telling as it is in line with where the trend is. This easy access speaks to the amazing opportunity open to marketers. There is so much to be said for this (but imma leave it right here for now).

As podcasts form part of my personal growth strategy, there a few others that I listen to including John Lee Dumas’ Entrepreneur on Fire, Kattie Couric and several others randomly selected. I find this to be a great way to increase my knowledge and awareness in general – a great way to learn.

What was the first time you learnt about a podcast? Share your response below.

Leading From the Core to Live Your Authentic Self: 5 Simple Ways to Do That

It’s one thing to talk about being different yet. It is quite another to live the truth that will see us sticking out like a sore thumb.

We live in a world where everyone seems to want to fit in even if in a very small group. It is uncomfortable being the lone voice or the odd one out. We struggle to live authentically; struggle to be true to our core. As a result, our masks become part of our garb that we put on from day to day.  What happens when we forget to put on such charade? What will people see? Would people be surprised?

If we are to be the leaders that we truly are, we have to commit to a shift, making a resolve to surprise even ourselves and stand completely in what we believe. Invariable, we will offend, undoubtedly, we will cause some discomfort and surely, we may even turn the status quo on its head. BUT whatever the cost, it is worth it. It is quite liberating.

So how are some of the ways we can be true to ourselves? Let’s look at 5 simple ways.

  1. Silence is golden

Living your authentic self, starts with an understanding of you are and your values. In the silence of your heart, what belief do you hold to be true? Begin to reflect on this by praying, meditating and locking yourself away for a moment. It is in these moments that the answers to life’s many questions usually come, including what your purpose really is.

  1. Evaluate your relationships

This can be a tricky one, I know. However, in order to live authentically you, you must be willing to sever ties or at the very least, minimize contact with those who no longer serve you. This is easier to do when we recognize that everything has its seasons, including those energy-draining relationships. The key is to be able to know when a season has come to an end. Interestingly, the end of a season signals the beginning of a new one – such is the cycle of life.

  1. Find your voice and use it.

I have been through some really challenging times. There were times when I really felt it would have been better to just die. I couldn’t understand the reasons behind such disillusionment. I’ve felt abandoned, rejected; being abused and felt unwanted. I’ve had moments of deep loss where it seemed at the time that the feelings of deep-seated pain wouldn’t go away. I have had very disappointing experiences including a failed attempt at in vitro fertilization (this feeling you will never understand if you haven’t been through it).  Toxic relationships have visited me. Business failures – well that’s another story for another time. Nevertheless, I’ve come to realize that it is in these lows that I find my strength. Now I share my story with ease. I am no longer ashamed of what I’ve done and where I’ve been and the things that happened to me (correction – the things that happened for me). I know my triumph from the valley is an inspiration for others, and that gives me life.

  1. Live in gratitude.

There is something magical about giving thanks that allows you to be present in the moment. It removes the sense of entitlement which usually harbour resentment when we don’t have what we want. When we are grateful and appreciative of the things we do have, we open our hearts to receiving more of what we actually want. It triggers a mentality of abundance rather than scarcity.

  1. Choose love and life.

It can be a challenge to love others especially those we think are just too difficult. It becomes easier when we make a resolve to see things from their point of view. We must also recognize that not everyone has the capacity to reason and interpret what we believe might be obvious. Choose to love them in spite of. Accepting the differences that exist in others is part of the beauty of life. It helps us to relax and to live each day as if it were our last.

Let’s commit to shedding our masks and live and lead from our core.  How are you leading from the core? Comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 042 – How to Handle Dilemmas Without Losing Your Cool, with Rosalinda Randall

Rosalinda Randall Helps Businesses and Individuals find success through better Communication and Social Skills.  She focuses on communicating and interacting more effectively and with a lot less drama. She frequently appears on television and radio programs in the United States and publications such as Forbes, Business Insider, HARDI Magazine, The Muse, and Fast Company.

Show  Notes:

To break the ice, I asked Rosalinda, whether she’d rather visit the doctor or the dentist.

Her response, “The dentist. I love going to the dentist. I always make my appointment before the 6 months.”

We went on to talking about business etiquette and how to remain calm in unpleasant situations.

Some questions we discussed throughout the interview are:

  • Why do we need to care about handling dilemmas?
  • How important is cultural consideration when doing business internationally?
  • Are we being discourteous if we decide to ‘unfriend’ someone who make offensive posts on their timeline?
  • Do I have to shake hands with someone who has just wiped their nose? How can I decline that?
  • What are some of the most common rude behaviors?
  • How do we handle things that we are uncomfortable with?
  • What kind of strategy would you recommend to someone who doesn’t seem to be able to find the time to respond to emails?

Main Take-Aways:

  • As a society, we come up with what’s acceptable and what’s not. It varies across countries and cultures around the world. It is our responsibility to find out what the culture is.

  • If someone from another country is seeking my business, it is their duty to find out about the top 10 things that the United States frown up. Being considerate and aware of other’s feeling is important.

  • We don’t have to attack, defend, prove everything that comes our way. That takes away from our energy from doing good.

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