5 TED Talks Every Entrepreneur Should Hear

Jenna Kutcher 

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July 26, 2019


There just aren’t many things in the world that can give you a kick in the butt like a really inspiring TED Talk. Embarrassing fact: before I ever speak on a stage, I will play TED Talks while I’m in the shower and getting ready to pump me up. Kind of like “The Eye of the Tiger” but for entrepreneurs or something.

We’ve all had those days when motivation is lacking and the to-do list just seems insurmountable. But life as an entrepreneur never really stops — even when we’re thinking about happy hour more than that important call in an hour. I’ve totally been there, and I know you guys have, too — which is why I’m sharing some of my absolute favorite TED Talks for a dose of inspiration when you really need it.

From discussing the power of vulnerability and embracing your creativity to learning how to manage overwhelming stress, consider this your guide to those days when the business grind is getting you down. Ya ready for the perfect pump up for those days when you need the extra boost? Book mark this post and click the link that’ll inspire you and hit “play!”

Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

The magic of Brene Brown is basically unparalleled. I mean, hello — have you watched her new Netflix documentary? In her TED Talk on vulnerability — which has been viewed more than 41 MILLION times — Brown discusses the beauty that comes when we lean into vulnerability, invite it to come sit down with us, and let it make us better.

Brown dug deep during her research and found out people who have a strong sense of love, belonging, and worthiness also lean into their vulnerability the most fully. They lean into their feelings of not feeling good enough; they lean into the fear that comes from going first; they lean into true authenticity. It’s a game-changer… Get ready.

Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

In one of the most popular TED Talks of all time, Simon Sinek digs into the idea of why: Why do some people and businesses succeed? Why do some not? Why do you believe in something? Why don’t you?

By using the examples of some of the most successful people and businesses that have ever existed, Sinek boils it all down to that one word: why? He highlights the importance of talking freely about what you believe and why you believe it, showing how you’ll be able to inspire action, clicks, and purchases. By the end of this TED Talk, you’ll be motivated to find your why, embrace it, and scream it from the rooftops.

Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius

Many of us know Elizabeth Gilbert from her runaway bestseller “Eat Pray Love,” about her soul-searching journey post-divorce that motivated all of us to eat more pasta and book a one-way trip to Italy. In her TED Talk on creativity, Gilbert speaks about the beauties and pitfalls of creativity — how creativity can be terrifying, freeing, stunning, and daunting all at the same time.

She discusses how all of us have a creative genius living inside of us, and how one of the most important things that any of us can do is, simply, show up — even when things are scary. She ends her talk by saying, “Don’t be afraid. Don’t be daunted. Just do your job. Continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be.” Showing up is often the hardest and simplest part, isn’t it?

Kelly McGonagil: How to Make Stress Your Friend

We’ve all been there when stress makes our hands shake and our heads pound. In her TED Talk on embracing stress, psychologist Kelly McGonagil dives into what can happen when we look at stress as the friend instead of the enemy, even when it feels like our to-do lists are about to topple over and crush us on our desk chairs.

Instead of leaning into the idea that stress is always harmful to our health and our hearts, McGonagil flips the idea on its head and asks: What can happen when you reframe how you think about stress? With plenty of science in her back pocket, McGonagil takes the evil out of stress. You’ll end this Talk ready to face (and embrace) stress head-on.

Phil Hansen: Embrace the Shake

When artist Phil Hansen developed a shake in his hands that made it impossible for him to draw a straight line and pushed him out of art school, a neurologist looked at his shaky, squiggly line and asked him: “Why don’t you just embrace the shake?” He went home, held a pencil to paper, and let the squiggles flow, realizing that — even though he wasn’t making the kind of art he thought he wanted to — he still could make art.

By digging deep into personal pain and struggles, we simply have to embrace our limitations and work with them if we ever want to create the things that we love, Hansen encourages. By the time this Talk rolls to a finish, you’ll be searching for ways to use your perceived shortcomings to move mountains.

You are awesome!

This goes without saying but after watching even one of these talks, you’ll be feeling lighter, inspired, ready to take on the world… and I just wanted to remind you that you’re awesome. Five TED Talks later, and I’m feeling READY and rejuvenated to get after my lists, goals, responsibilities, and dreams, and I feel a lot better about my perceived weaknesses and setbacks. I mean, if these 5 incredible, intelligent, brave souls can overcome their own hurdles, we should all feel a little more equipped and ready to face our own, right? Press play on a few of these and feel inspired and understood a little more today!


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  1. Nicole says:

    These are all so inspirational! Adding them all to my list



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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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