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Powerful Words

The words we use matter. Here are some examples of words or phrases that are especially powerful.

Once upon a time. The most powerful words in storytelling. No matter how long the story goes, or how complex it becomes, every story has a beginning.

You. Because in business or in life, the more you can focus your efforts on other people, the more they will care about what you say.

“Yes and ...” The two words that keep improvisation going. Hint: they can also keep any conversation going.

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Small Things Can Keep Us from Big Things

Lately I've felt that I'm doing well at the small things, but failing to plan for more involved work. It's not that the small things are inconsequential—or so I tell myself. If you also struggle with doing small things well but neglecting the bigger picture, it's time to take action. The only way to break the pattern is to force ourselves to look ahead and answer the question:

What, exactly, am I trying to build here?

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What Is Freedom?

For me, everything began with the notion of freedom—the ability to determine the course of my daily schedule and overall life direction. I was very motivated by the opportunity to decide for myself. A normal job didn't fit into those parameters, so I did everything I could to create my own employment and well-being. But that was early on. Freedom is still extremely important to me. I'll walk away from any business deal or career option that restricts my choices or limits future decisions in a way that doesn't feel right ...

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In Search of a Few Great Stories (Can You Help?)

The best part of The $100 Startup was telling the stories of all kinds of people who started successful businesses without spending a lot of money. Happily, the book has been a big success, with more than 100,000 copies sold in the first few months and at least 15 foreign translations in progress. I'm now beginning the research process for my next book, which we expect to reach even more people. This book is about quests—a project of measurable challenge that you work toward over a long period of time.

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Leadership Lessons with a View

Australia is one of my favorite countries out of 188 visited so far, and I was thrilled to have an extended stay of five days there last week. I first went to Melbourne to speak at Darren Rowse's Problogger Event, a gathering for bloggers and other fun people from Australia. The event was well produced by Darren and team, with lots of interesting people working on all kinds of projects.

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Chicago Marathon: Mission Complete

Yesterday I got up early ... and ran 26.2 miles through the streets of Chicago! This was my fourth marathon, but I haven't done one in several years and was somewhat worried. I had been apprehensive after not being able to train as much as I should have, and also after feeling some pain in my right leg on the longest run before the race. Thankfully, all was well yesterday. From start to finish, I felt comfortable. Even at the end, I was tired but not as exhausted as I've been for every other long race.

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Around Here: Notes from Thursday Afternoon

Whenever things are going well, it's always good to ask yourself “How could I improve? What could I do better?” Never rest on your laurels! Always be thinking: OK, great. What's next? Yesterday I woke up early and went for a quick run around the park. Then I went for a morning biscuit at Pine State, where I visit a couple of times a week whenever I'm home in Portland. Then I came back and got ready, and then we sold 1,000 WDS 2013 tickets to fun people all over the world. I looked back at the screen and thought, wow, that was exciting. Then I went for sushi.

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The Calling

Bob Dylan spoke to Rolling Stone recently. I liked these parts: You've described what you do not as a career but as a calling.

Everybody has a calling, don't they? Some have a high calling, some have a low calling. Everybody is called but few are chosen. There's a lot of distraction for people, so you might not never find the real you. A lot of people don't.

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