Ineptitude 101: Color of Change & the Van Jones Fallout

Whoever desires to found a state and give it laws, must start with assuming that all men are bad and ever ready to display their vicious nature, whenever they may find occasion for it.

He who has not first laid his foundations may be able with great ability to lay them afterwards, but they will be laid with trouble to the architect and danger to the building.

Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.

Whoever desires to found a state and give it laws, must start with assuming that all men are bad and ever ready to display their vicious nature, whenever they may find occasion for it. Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince
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There was a lot of chatter yesterday about the resignation of Van Jones. He didn’t even last six months in his position as Special Advisor for Green Jobs for the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Now I admit when the post was announced I immediately questioned why Majora Carter had not been appointed instead. As the founder of Sustainable South Bronx and now the Majora Carter Group it was she who had pioneered the “green jobs” movement amongst a certain population during a specific time and had “inspired” Jones. Now I’m just relieved she stayed far away from the fray.

Don’t Wait For the Right Time – Just Go For It

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I’m taking my own advice by the way. Even in this climate of economic upheaval and uncertainty if you have your health and your wits about you, why wait to make all the long-held desires you may be holding on to come true? They may run the gamut from what would be considered mundane to something more life-changing. The timing will never be perfect and even though certain environments may offer a more friendly climate that others what do you have to lose from trying? Now we don’t need to do anything foolish or try to force a door open….but why not try the handle to find if it will unlock it? 
Perhaps you focused on a career path that is no longer appealing, or you need to complete your education to be more viable in the job market. Maybe you thought you could put off finding a partner for casual dating. Maybe you feel life has passed you by. Perhaps some of your firmly held beliefs no longer hold water for you. Whatever the case may be it’s never too late. Even if you’re in your 50’s there’s still time. 
With the expanded life expectancy many of us will be around through our 70’s so looking at the long(est) terms we can still change course if the path we’ve been on is no longer viable. That’s not to say it won’t require sacrifice or be easy. Or even be guaranteed, but it’s better to try and not “succeed” than to die a little bit every day wondering what could have been. Plus the strategy we may be using could need adjusting and we won’t know that if we never try – and try again. 
So I say: shake off the doldrums, your doubts and most importantly any naysayers or those that want to be “helpful” but are oh so discouraging. Legit support is to be cherished though. Make a plan but most importantly: do something and get moving. Your life depends on it.

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Career Reinvention Tactics

Just because some of us may be hurting doesn’t mean everyone is – insert Wall Street CEOs with a side eye. So you may need to retrain for a different career than the one you’ve held or perhaps this is the time to step into what you’ve always wanted to do. Starting February 18th Stanford University is offering one component that’s part of a National Entrepeneurship Week USA (as well as a Global initiative). So check your local school to find out if they’re participating. It’s geared towards students as well as the general public – people who wish to be innovative and adapt 21st century tactics. 
This is especially important because the United States no longer manufactures products like during the Industrial age and post-WWII. We are consumers and borrowers of large amounts of debt – which is why we’re in this economic mess. Oh and let’s not forget the Military Industrial Complex. 
I want to explore looking for solutions and taking actions to force inertia and not giving in to negativity and worryHere’s a few sample programs that look very interesting.
2/24 Tuesday
“Startup 101” Job Fair
Noon-4:00 PM, Tresidder Union

Explore job opportunities with over 101 startups and larger companies looking for entrepreneurial talent. Employers represent a wide range of industries, from Web 2.0 to cleantech, medical devices, and biotech. Raffle prizes will be given away throughout the event.
Employers should register here for an exhibition space. 
Host: A partnership of several student entrepreneurship groups on campus and The Career Development Center

Entrepreneurship Mixer

5:00-7:00 PM, Graduate School of Business (GSB), South Building, Lower Arbuckle Lounge
Network with students, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and other members of the entrepreneurship community, while enjoying complimentary hors d’oeuvres and beverages. This loosely structured event will help ensure that you get an opportunity to talk to others in your field of interest.
Host: GSB Entrepreneur Club

Creativity Challenge: James Bond Casino Caper

7:30-9:30 PM, Top Secret Location
Dress as your favorite James Bond character (or not) and join us for a glamorous soiree while mingling with the stars and enjoying Blackjack, Craps and other casino favorites. Sometime during the evening your entrepreneurial spirit will be put to the test, and you may just be blown away. Come armed with your creativity and sense of adventure. Space is limited to the first 35 people.
Host: Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP)
2/25 Wednesday
Annual GSB Entrepreneurship Conference
11:00 AM-4:00 PM, Graduate School of Business
This intensive session addresses practical issues associated with creating sustainable businesses. It features speakers and panels for aspiring and early stage entrepreneurs. There is a fee for this event, and registration is required (http://www.econference.org/).
Host: Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Graduate School of Business

“The Next Big Thing”: A special presentation of the Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Lecture Series

4:30-6:00 PM, Kresge Auditorium
Featured Speakers:
Tim Draper, Founder and a Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Tony Perkins, CEO, AlwaysOn
Michael Moe, Founding Partner, ThinkPanmure, and Author (Finding the Next Starbucks: How to Identify and Invest in the Hot Stocks of Tomorrow)
As part of the Entrepreneurship Week closing finale, find out what the hot entrepreneurial opportunities are today and tomorrow, as three of the most forward-looking and insightful thought leaders in Silicon Valley weigh in. They’ll debate, argue and discuss their way through an analysis of where technology is going and where to start placing your bets. An audience Q&A will follow. We’ll also announce the winners of the 2008 Bike Safety Invention Challenge and feature special highlights from throughout Entrepreneurship Week.
Host: Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP) and Business Association of Stanford Entpreneurial Students (BASES), the Stanford Biodesign Program

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