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If You Don’t Believe in Yourself, Why Should I?

Hacker Dojo and Philz Coffee

Tonight I was at a place I call a power place.   A power place is somewhere where,  if you pay attention,  you can find what you need. Your power place will sometimes be the same as  others but often different.  The place I was at tonight  is a power place for me because I am energized from it.  It compels me forward. It makes me take action, reflect, and think.  Action is the antidote to much that drags us down. If you looked, it was just a bunch of men, coding. But oh, it is so much more than that.

THE NO SHOW:  I was there for a MeetUp for entrepreneurs. I listened to a few start up entrepreneurs  give their pitch before a venture capitalist/attorney and former CEO of Napster. He’s the guy you want to impress if you have a start up. He’s the guy with the deep pockets who can rocket you forward or dash your hopes.

After people gave their pitch he critiqued it and gave advice. If you are looking for start up capital it doesn’t get much better than a one on one with someone who can help fund you.  But here is the amazing thing: only four got picked from the many who entered their company and were able to describe what they do in six words. This was done at the beginning of the evening.   When one person’s name was called of the four, he was not there. He was among those who left early.

When it was obvious he was not there for his moment to show what he had, a  collective groan from 100 entrepreneurs was heard.

He walked out of a meeting that would have brought his company before a whole lot of power in the Valley. Oh, he isn’t a failure and he may have another chance and since he was picked, maybe he will. But he must not have thought he would be picked if he left. The random person who took his place was full of enthusiasm, data, and wowed the room. Good for him. Lady Luck was there, but he was ready for her.  He believed in himself and when he finished maybe the venture capitalist did too.

Believe in yourself. That’s powerful.  Failure is built in, so be prepared for it. But don’t let it stop you. Steve Jobs got fired from Apple, started a company called NeXT and the rest is history (Apple bought NeXT, Steve came back and we have iPhones and iPods and iPads.)

Philz coffee in Palo Alto is a power place not because of who is there.  Notice in my video I did not say “because of important people.” I said interesting ideas. It’s a testing ground.  A place where the power of we is communicated, crowd funding of a start up in terms of feedback as funding, not $.  But I’m not a start up and I’m not a 20 something engineer, why is this my power place? Because it gives me ideas. I talk to people, I use the conversations and what I learn in my work.  I found 2 people there the other day, 2 young men, wearing tee shirts from my alma mater.  Both were graduates of the engineering school. I talked to them, I learned items of value. In return I gave them data points I knew of the Valley.

Could you use it as a power place? And why the Lotus? A status symbol? Not for me…I owned an original Shelby Cobra once so it takes a lot to impress me.  And I drive a very ordinary car now. Nope, the Lotus was not a status symbol at all and I’ll tell you how far off that thinking is in the next post.





What Does Luck Have to Do With Power?

I recently wrote  a blog post about a start up that garnered more attention than I expected. How did I know there was a company news black out except to The Wall Street Journal and that my post and opinions would pre-date by 12 hours a national fascination with this company? I didn’t know. Nor did I know the woman running it is being called by some, “The next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.”

But there they were checking out my site –  The ad agency of Apple and Nike; Walgreens corporate, Johns Hopkins, Intel, a slew of medical research labs, the California Secretary of State’s Office, the Department of Defense,  and of course, the company itself. And they didn’t just come for a minute and go. They stayed for long periods of time.   Every day I find people  from all over the world coming directly to that particular blog post – India, Australia, Greece, France, and more. Someone has returned 18 times in 2 weeks.

I’m going to tie this together with these videos in a blog post soon. Meanwhile think about what makes for personal power.  Luck? skill?  Being in the right place at the right time?

There are a lot of components to power. Having a lot of money is not a necessity – is that what you think of?

Suppose you are middle aged, feeling like you lost your power and you want to feel empowered. Do you think, “What can I learn from a coffee bar with techies?” Hold on, because this is where we are going and what you will learn.






Boldness and Power

Can you be a wallflower and have power? Probably not.

Can you be silent and have power. Yes, there is a difference between sitting on the sidelines and not engaging and using silence effectively.

What does boldness have to do with power?

Think about it. Do you, would you, follow someone who was timid or unsure?

Being bold shows you are have energy and fearlessness and willingness to fail.  Not being afraid to fail is essential. Understanding this is critical. Failure is always a possibility but it is not,  and cannot be,  what stops you.

Power Over Your Emotions

“ One of the most important but one of the most difficult things for a powerful mind is to be its own master. ”— Joseph Addison

What kind of power do people really have?

The real power in life is power over your emotions. Think about it. Ever been divorced from a jerk, narcissist or sociopath and YOU have been called a drama mama? Ever been betrayed or defrauded in a business deal? You felt powerless and got angry. This is where the problem is. Control the emotions and you control the situation.

I consult with men and women in high conflict divorces. The most important thing I do is show them, by coaching, by q and a, how they can lose all their power by losing control of their emotions.




Money, Sex, Power: How To Get Plenty Of One – Forbes

Money, Sex, Power: How To Get Plenty Of One – Forbes.

“It’s hard to deny the potent effects of money and influence, but even harder to avoid the fact that negotiation is the superpower of the professional elite. Top negotiators not only sway the ideas of others, but they are masters at building rapport and a spirit of cooperation and collaboration. They also know when to assert themselves and take control.”

This is what a man has to say in the Forbes article. Think about it. True for women?


7 Shared Traits That Unite Women In Power | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

7 Shared Traits That Unite Women In Power | Fast Company | Business + Innovation.

I’m going to add one more: vitality. Have you ever seen a powerful woman without it? And listen, this is not limited to women – as  most items of power are not gender based, (but we are here for the few and the important, don’t worry). Energy is fantastic, focused energy is power.  You will accomplish more, be more creative, be able to change course if necessary without too much trouble, and generally be a force of nature. That’s what you want, isn’t it?