What The Last 1,095 Days Have Taught Me About Life, Myself, and Being an Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur - a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so. A person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk (dictionary.com).
This past Labor Day Weekend I happily celebrated 1,095 days since moving from South Central PA to the big city - NYC. And, although I had been mulling over my then-current state of ennui and my desire to 'run towards life', it was an unexpected death in my family that catapulted that decision to the top of the list. My decision to move became my 'pivot', my game changer, and my tipping point. I inhaled, and then exhaled. And then I jumped. As I reflect, it has been another year of transitions, relationships, introspection, change, and much more work. And to be honest, before moving to NYC, I don't recall ever using the word Entrepreneur to describe myself..but I do now.
As I start my fourth year in NYC and my thirteenth in private practice, I am taking more time than usual to pause and reflect. For whatever reason, this year feels different. In some ways, I feel as if I got my groove back - I feel more secure, stronger and determined. I am more confident about who I am (and more importantly, who I am not) and understand even more deeply what I am good at and - equally important - what I am not. I think those are good things to know about yourself.
It’s also during this time of reflection that I find myself asking many questions internally. What has changed for me? What is better? What is worse? What I have learned thus far? What are my takeaways? What do I want to be different moving forward? Am I happy? Am I having fun? Do I still love my work? What do I want to be different? The same? What have been mistakes? Regrets? My successes and my failures? How have they changed my direction and how I think about myself and my business?
Although all of those questions have answers, what really rises to the top is what I have learned:- about myself, life, relationships, the choices I made (for good or bad), being an entrepreneur in this vast city, how it differs (greatly!) from where I was originally to where I am now, what it means to have grit and perseverance and carry on even in those dark days (and there were many dark days), and what it means that I have learned (maybe finally) how to reach out and depend on others in a healthy way - that, in the past, I would not have otherwise. For me, there are some real game changers in the answers I’ve found.
Although everyone has their own unique learning experiences, here are a some of my take aways...
1. Above all else, be kind to yourself.
Even during those challenging times*-, even when you have made a decision that did not work out. Don't beat yourself up continuously. We are our own worst critic. Think of the shampoo commercial. Wash, rinse, repeat. Then call it a day and move on!
2. Failures are part of success.
I recognize that some my failures or poor choices are also part of my success. I also learned that I was the one to prevent some things from happening. Maybe I wasn't ready. Recognize this, then, go back to #1.
3. Understand the importance of reaching out.
I became more open to meeting amazing, successful people in my field and learning from them by pushing my limits and reaching out. I also learned and continue to understand the value of creating relationships with people outside of my field as a way to cultivate a network of wonderful referrals for the people I help and those I connect with everyday that are in need.
4. Change is constant.
I am willing and open to changing my game - more than I thought I ever would be. I am open to feedback, constructive criticism, and trying new things even if I am super uncomfortable. I decided to start a YouTube channel and boy, was I was working (still am to some degree) outside my comfort box! But that is what growth comes from - change is constant and it can be great.
5. Be your own biggest fan.
Aside from my husband (whom I met when I moved here), who supports me in everything I do, I have learned that you have to be your own biggest fan. We all have to be. We have to be able to depend on ourselves, pick ourselves, be reflective, and always allow ourselves to evolve. Always. It’s during the most difficult times that we have to reach down deep and still move forward, even when it feels that we are stuck in cement. In the early days of moving here, I found myself going online and looking at all the people in my field that were doing more and better things than me. I thought: am I the only one who doesn't have a huge blog following, podcast, and book out there? Find strength from within.
Rosie the Robot, Amazon, and the Future of RAAI
Written by: Travis Briggs, CEO at ROBO Global US
It’s tough to find a kid out there who hasn’t dreamed about robots. Long before artificial intelligence existed in the real world, the idea of a non-human entity that could act and think like a human has been rooted in our imaginations. According to Greek legends, Cadmus turned dragon teeth into soldiers, Hephaestus fabricated tables that could “walk” on their own three legs, and Talos, perhaps the original “Tin Man,” defended Crete. Of course, in our own times, modern storytellers have added hundreds of new examples to the mix. Many of us grew up watching Rosie the Robot on The Jetsons. As we got older, the stories got more sophisticated. “Hal” in 2001: A Space Odyssey was soon followed by R2-D2 and C-3PO in the original Star Wars trilogy. RoboCop, Interstellar, and Ex Machina are just a few of the recent additions to the list.
Maybe it’s because these stories are such a part of our culture that few people realize just how far robotics has advanced today—and that artificial intelligence is anything but a futuristic fantasy. Ask anyone outside the industry how modern-day robots and artificial intelligence (AI) are used in the real world, and the answers are usually pretty generic. Surgical robots. Self-driving cars. Amazon’s Alexa. What remains a mystery to most is the immense and fast-growing role the combination of robotics automation and artificial intelligence, or RAAI (pronounced “ray”), plays in nearly every aspect of our everyday lives.
Today, shopping online is something most of us take for granted, and yet eCommerce is still in its relative infancy. Despite double-digit growth in the past four years, only 8% of total retail spending is currently done online. That number is growing every day. Business headlines in July announced that Amazon was on a hiring spree to add another 50K fulfillment employees to its already massive workforce. While that certainly reflects the shift from brick-and-mortar to web-based retail, it doesn’t even begin to tell the story of what this growth means for the technology and application firms that deliver the RAAI tools required to support the momentum of eCommerce. In 2017, only 5% of the warehouses that fuel eCommerce are even partially automated. This means that to keep up with demand, the application of RAAI will have to accelerate—and fast. In fact, RAAI is a key driver of success for top e-retailers like Amazon, Apple, and Wal-Mart as they strive to meet the explosion in online sales.
From an investor’s perspective, this fast-growing demand for robotics, automation and artificial intelligence is a promising opportunity—especially in logistics automation that includes the tools and technologies that drive efficiencies across complex retail supply chains. Considering the fact that four of the top ten supply chain automation players were acquired in the past three years, it’s clear that the industry is transforming rapidly. Amazon’s introduction of Prime delivery (which itself requires incredibly sophisticated logistics operations) was only made possible by its 2012 acquisition of Kiva Systems, the pioneer of autonomous mobile robots for warehouses and supply chains. Amazon recently upped the ante yet again with its recent acquisition of Whole Foods Market, which not only adds 450 warehouses to its immense logistics network, but is also expected to be a game-changer for the online grocery retail industry.
Clearly Amazon isn’t the only major driver of innovation in logistics automation. It’s just the largest, at least for the moment. It’s no wonder that many RAAI companies have outperformed the S&P500 in the past three years. And while some investors have worried that the RAAI movement is at risk of creating its own tech bubble, the growth of eCommerce is showing no signs of reaching a peak. In fact, if the online retail industry comes even close to achieving the growth predicted—of doubling to an amazing $4 trillion by 2020—it’s likely that logistics automation is still in the early stages of adoption. For best-of-breed players in every area of logistics automation, from equipment, software, and services to supply chain automation technology providers, the potential for growth is tremendous.
How can investors take advantage of the growth in robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence?
One simple way to track the performance of these markets is through the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index. The logistics subsector currently accounts for around 9% of the index and is the best performing subsector since its inception. The index includes leading players in every area of RAAI, including material handling systems, automated storage and retrieval systems, enterprise asset intelligence, and supply chain management software across a wide range of geographies and market capitalizations. Our index is research based and we apply quality filters to identify the best high growth companies that enable this infrastructure and technology that is driving the revolution in the retail and distribution world.
When I was a kid, I may have dreamed of having a Rosie the Robot of my own to help do my chores, but I certainly had no idea how her 21st century successors would revolutionize how we shop, where we shop, and even how we receive what we buy - often via delivery to our doorstep on the very same day. Of course, the use of RAAI is by no means limited to eCommerce. It’s driving transformative change in nearly every industry. But when it comes to enabling the logistics automation required to support a level of growth rarely seen in any industry, RAAI has a lot of legs to stand on—even if those “legs” are anything but human.
To learn more, download A Look Into Logistics Automation, our July 2017 whitepaper on the evolution and opportunity of logistics automation.
The ROBO Global® Robotics and Automation Index and the ROBO Global® Robotics and Automation UCITS Index (the “Indices”) are the property of ROBO who have contracted with Solactive AG to calculate and maintain the Indices. Past performance of an index is not a guarantee of future results. It is not intended that anything stated above should be construed as an offer or invitation to buy or sell any investment in any Investment Fund or other investment vehicle referred to in this website, or for potential investors to engage in any investment activity.
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