Three Entrepreneurship Lessons from the Founder of Airbnb

20 Ene

Put these lessons to work for you in the New Year and build your business

Since the New Year is a time when people commit themselves to betterment and goals, I thought it would be helpful to share the inspiring story of Airbnb co-founder, Nate Blecharczyk. If one of your goals is to become an entrepreneur in 2018, Blecharczyk’s story has some valuable lessons to keep in mind.

In an interview with Boston’s WBUR radio station, Blecharczyk shares that “he always knew he was an entrepreneur.” In fact, at the age of 12 he learned how to code through some books and started sharing his work online. When he was 14, someone contacted him and offered $1,000 for Blecharczyk to code something for him.

According to Blecharczyk, his dad’s response was, “Son, nobody from the Internet is going to pay a thousand bucks.” Nonetheless, Blecharczyk took the gig. This eventually led to a coding business he started in high school that made him almost a million dollars before he’d ever graduated college.

There are some important lessons to learn from this early story of Blecharczyk’s life.



Lesson1: Age is not important

I’ve written a few times in the past that age should not be a determining factor when it comes to starting your own business. Whether you’re a baby boomer or a millennial, or something else entirely, you have the capacity to start your own thriving business.

That Blecharczyk started a coding business at age 12 does not make him special. It simply makes him smart and opportunistic. Sometimes opportunity will come knocking at your door, like it did for him in the form of an email request. Your job is to strike when opportunity comes.

This is not to say that Blecharczyk wasn’t a part of his success, after all he taught himself valuable skills and shared them with the world, which led to an initial request for service.

But the point is that anyone at any age can do this—including you.

Lesson 2: You will run into naysayers

The response of Blecharczyk’s dad is a good reminder that if you choose the path of entrepreneurship, most people will think you’re crazy. This is because they are trained with the mindset of an employee.

I learned this at an early age. My poor dad, my natural father, constantly pressured me to follow the traditional path of most people: to go to a good school and get a good high-paying job.

I ended up going to a good school, the Merchant Marine Academy, and I also had opportunities for high-paying jobs, both in the shipping industry and as a pilot after my tour of duty in Vietnam.

In honesty, it was tempting to take those offers. I could have make the equivalent of a six-figure salary at a very young age. But I knew that if I did that, I would sacrifice a part of who I was and my freedom.

In talking with my rich dad, my best friend’s father and a successful entrepreneur, he taught me the single most important skill to master if I wanted to own a business was sales. So, I took a low-paying job at Xerox to learn how to sell. I was horrible at first, but by the time I left, I was the top salesman in the company. That is when I learned the value of working to learn rather than to earn.

My poor dad hated that decision and couldn’t understand why I would give up a high-paying job. Later, when I was making a lot of money at Xerox, I decided to leave and start my first company. Again, my poor dad said I was crazy. After my first business failed and I started a second business, he said I was crazy again.

If I had listened to my poor dad’s naysaying, I would never have achieved my dreams. Similarly, if Blecharczyk had listened to his dad’s opinion that nobody would ever pay him off the internet, he wouldn’t have made his first million in high school and then gone on to found one of the most successful businesses in the internet age, Airbnb.

How Airbnb got its name

Another interesting story from Blecharczyk’s interview is how Airbnb got its name. According to Blecharczyk, it started as way to make some extra cash since he was living in San Francisco and could barely afford his rent after it went up 25%. He and his roommates decided to rent out an extra room to people who were in town for a conference. They made $1,000 doing it.

As Blecharczyk relates to WBUR, “The bedroom had no furniture, but they set up an air bed and instead of calling it a bed and breakfast they called it an air bed and breakfast. So, Airbnb is short for air bed and breakfast.”

Based off this one experience, Blecharczyk and his roommates decided that if they could make money one time, they could do it multiple times. The seeds for the multi-billion dollar Airbnb were born.

Lesson 3: Always be looking to solve pattern problems

This part of Blecharczyk’s story brings up perhaps one of the most important thing any aspiring entrepreneur can remember: your job is to solve problems, so you should always be looking for problem patterns to solve.

Most people would be content with making an extra $1,000 by renting out a room. Only a few would have the mindset to realize that a larger problem could be solved by short-term room and house shares. The fundamental difference between Blecharczyk and his co-founders, and most other people is that they didn’t solve a singular problem—the need for a few people at a specific point in time to rent a room—but instead solved a problem pattern, the need for millions of people to rent a room short term.

By thinking about the pattern problem, they were able to create a solution that could be deployed at scale—and make a fortune doing it.

What problems do you see around you? And what are the underlying patterns you can solve to build a business around?


18 de enero 2018: «Luna nueva en Capricornio».

17 Ene



Compilación realizada por Lorena Lacaille.

Bring Your Life Into Alignment

14 Ene

When you have a satisfactory answer to a  big question related to the nature of life, the universe, and everything, the real challenge is integrating that answer into your daily life. How can you act in alignment with your most important values and beliefs?


Accepting Misalignment

The first step is to notice misalignment. Ask yourself this question: Where do I feel out of alignment right now?

Where are the misalignments? In which areas of life do you not feel that your best self is shining through?

When you recognize some of these misalignments, accept them for what they are. Accept the truths you’re observing. Try to treat truth alignment as a separate phase from love and power alignment. Don’t worry about exploring your desires and taking action in a new direction until you’ve accepted the truth that your current path is out of alignment.

Have you ever experienced that moment of clarity when you realized that you absolutely needed to transition out of your job or relationship, only to watch yourself delaying action for months? In such circumstances people are often tempted to justify their actions by pretending they’re okay with their current situation.

Don’t pretend. Don’t justify. Let the situation be lousy, and admit the truth to yourself.

Next, work on accepting the consequences of your truth. You’re probably shifting towards a major transition, one that will create ripples across all areas of your life. There’s no getting around that. This type of transition is a big deal, and it’s going to take courage, patience, and persistence.

Keep reminding yourself of the importance of alignment. If you’ve discovered a profound answer, and you’ve intelligently reasoned your way to the truth of it, remind yourself that there can be no satisfaction for you in the long run if you don’t bring your life into alignment with your truth.

Welcome the challenge that you’re facing. Stop resisting it, and just surrender to it. This type of challenge will make you stronger.

Turning Profound Answers Into Daily Practice

Perhaps my #1 tool for turning profound answers into daily practice is what I call Daily Conscious Time. This is a deliberate investment, typically 15-30 minutes per day but sometimes an hour or more, to work on alignment issues.

I usually do this in the form of journaling. Here are some of the questions I ask and answer during this time:

  1. Where does my life still feel out of alignment?
  2. What would a stronger alignment look like?
  3. What steps can I take to transition to a stronger alignment?

Here’s an example of how I may have answered some of these questions with respect to an alignment challenge I was facing back in 2008 when I was earning $12-13K per month from having third-party advertising on my website.

  1. I’m making good money from advertising, and it’s easy passive income. I could probably continue making a living this way for many years. But this doesn’t feel aligned. I don’t really want to be in the advertising business. This isn’t a path with a heart for me. It was a growth experience to explore this for a while, but it’s not going to help me grow if I keep doing this. The ads distract my readers, and I know they’d be better served by sticking around to read more articles. I can’t really control the ads that Google Adsense is serving up on my site each day, and I often don’t feel aligned with the ads I do see. If I keep earning income this way, I’m going to trap myself. I can’t allow my income streams to pull me out of alignment.
  2. I like abundance, but I want a more heart-centered way to create it. My priority is to help people grow, so I need a business model that enhances this aspect whereas advertising detracts from it. To have stronger alignment here, I need to feel more congruent with my business models. I know that when I seek a path with a heart and decline to settle for a partial match, everything works out beautifully – usually better than I imagined. Life is testing me here. I know that alignment is more important than money, and an ad-free site would feel more aligned to me.
  3. In the long run, I’ll need to experiment with other business models, such as direct sales of products or workshops. I could transition gradually, allowing the ads to keep running until I have replacement income streams established. But that feels cowardly. I see the truth here, and trying to transition slowly is very risky; that will just keep me stuck for longer, possibly for years. If I remove the ads now, my income will drop significantly, but I’ll feel more motivated to explore alternatives, and I trust my creativity. This will release a lot of stagnant energy and get me thinking in new directions, and it’s sure to improve my relationship with my readers. What would my best self do? He’d remove the ads and not look back. Actually doing that would take only minutes, but it would surely change the direction of my life (and my readers lives) for the better.

Imagine doing this kind of personal growth work almost every day, working through alignment issues large and small and doing your best to resolve them. You may not always succeed, but in the long run, this persistence will yield a more aligned life from top to bottom.

Take these alignment issues seriously. They truly matter. These challenges will test you, and you may feel that life is asking too much of you when it presents you with such a challenge. At first it may even feel like more of a curse than a blessing, but when you work through enough of these, you may actually start to welcome them because these are among the richest growth experiences you’ll encounter in this life.


Steve Pavlina


Más tips de feng shui para activar la energía del trabajo apoyándote en tu entorno!!

12 Ene


Usa tu dirección de prosperidad

Para cada uno de nosotros hay una dirección de prosperidad, que nos carga de un chi o energía positiva para impulsar nuestra carrera y nuestro trabajo. Tu dirección de prosperidad depende de tu fecha de nacimiento, puedes descubrirla en la tabla haciendo click AQUI. Luego vas a necesitar una brújula (o una aplicación para teléfonos celulares) para saber hacia qué dirección se encuentra tu dirección de prosperidad en cualquier momento que lo necesites.

Orientación de la cabecera de tu cama

El punto más importante es que la cabecera de la cama se encuentre hacia la esquina más alejada de la puerta, con una pared sin ventanas detrás y nunca en línea directa con la puerta. Al colocarla así, te aseguras un buen respaldo, cosa que te dará más seguridad a la hora de buscar empleo o pedir un aumento. Idealmente, en esta posición la cabecera de la cama debe apuntar hacia tu dirección de prosperidad, así, estarás un buen número de horas por día cargándote de esa energía. Pero en la práctica, no todo es tan perfecto, asi que… Si la dirección en que queda la cama no coincide con tu dirección de prosperidad, entonces al menos vístete todas las mañanas mirando hacia tu dirección de prosperidad, para comenzar el día cargado de un Chi positivo.

El área de Poder

Coloca un escritorio o mesa en un lugar conveniente de la casa, ubicado de manera que al sentarte allí quedes mirando hacia tu dirección de prosperidad. La altura más auspiciosa para el escritorio es 84cm (33 pulgadas). Generalmente las mesas y escritorios tienen una altura de unos 80cm, si es necesario, agrega una plataforma de madera para lograr la altura deseada y ajusta el asiento para que resulte cómodo. Es muy importante que realices tus llamadas o actividades de búsqueda de trabajo siempre mirando hacia tu dirección de prosperidad.

Mantén la motivación

Coloca en un lugar bien visible (enfrente de tu escritorio o de tu cama) una imagen u objeto que represente el trabajo que quieres lograr. No importa si recortas una foto de una revista en donde se vea a alguien trabajando: busca la manera de tener algo que te muestre el objetivo al que quieres llegar. La imagen debe estar enmarcada en rojo o en púrpura a fin de darle más energía.

Valora tus logros

Tus logros del pasado son la plataforma de tu autoestima y es necesario que la mantengas alta para que transmitas la sensación y la imagen de que tú mereces un trabajo o un ascenso. Conseguir un trabajo requiere tener buenos antecedentes: coloca en tu cuarto, en la esquina más alejada de la puerta, un diploma, fotografía u objeto que tenga que ver con tus logros profesionales o académicos y que sea clave para el trabajo que buscas.

Activa la energía próspera

Tu casa no tiene un “área de la prosperidad” !tiene varias! Aprende a localizarlas y a activarlas con las fórmulas que explicamos en la sección de Feng Shui para la Prosperidad.

Despídete bien de tu hogar

Coloca una foto de tus seres queridos o alguna cosa que te de ánimo y energía cerca de la puerta de tu casa, de modo que la veas antes de salir y te despida con buenas energías para tus entrevistas de trabajo.

Usa el color adecuado para las entrevistas

Rojo: Ideal para apacecer activo y llamar la atención.
Colores terrosos o azul: Serio, confiable y profesional.
Verde: Si la creatividad es importante para el trabajo que buscas.
Violeta o negro: Para transmitir jerarquía e individualidad.
Naranja: Para transmitir capacidad de trabajo en equipo.
Blanco: para trasmitir franqueza y honestidad.


Compilación realizada por Lorena Lacaille.

Los colores que debes usar durante el año del Perro de tierra 2018.

7 Ene



El año lunar chino 2018, protegido por la benevolencia del signo del Perro y por la profundidad y estabilidad de Tierra, elemento chino del año 2018, es un período bastante equilibrado en términos de energía, en cuanto a la relación entre los cinco elementos de la cosmología china.


Para equilibrar el excedente del elemento Tierra, que es el principal elemento chino del Año del Perro 2018, y cuya energía se ve reforzada por la presencia del elemento intrínseco del Perro, que  también es Tierra, los colores de ropa para recibir el  año 2018 son los colores que simbolizan el elemento Madera (verde) y el elemento Agua (azul y negro).


El Perro, el undécimo signo del zodíaco del calendario chino, tiene como agente principal el elemento Tierra en su forma Yang. En una forma de energía secundaria, el Perro también lleva en él los elementos Fuego y Metal, también en su polaridad de Yang. El ciclo duodecimal del calendario de los elementos chinos también prevé que Tierra es el elemento del año 2018.

Así, el elemento Tierra se duplica en fuerza, lo que se manifiesta generalmente por un enamoramiento y una eficiencia reforzada en el cumplimiento de las tareas administrativas de las empresas, y que requieren una sólida experiencia en la organización. El elemento Tierra también representa el centro, el inicio y la finalidad de cada ciclo. Tierra, un símbolo de las profundidades y de los universos abisales, reúne y fusiona los otros 4 elementos de la cosmología china (Madera, Fuego, Metal y Agua). La influencia del elemento Tierra se expresa tanto por un mayor poder de introspección analítica del universo como por la curiosidad y la exploración de nuestra condición humana a través de la calma confrontación de nuestros propios miedos y ansiedades.


Los colores afortunados que pueden influir positivamente en su destino en 2018 son aquellos relacionados con las energías beneficiosas del elemento Madera, representadas por el color verde (recordemos que Madera domina Tierra) y por el elemento Agua, representado por los colores azul y negro. De hecho, Agua siendo globalmente deficitaria durante el Año del Perro 2018, es importante poder llenar esta escasez con los colores de su ropa y de su decoración interior, sin mencionar la importancia de beber agua regularmente. Del mismo modo, sabiendo que el elemento Agua es necesario para la creación del elemento Madera, en ausencia del color verde que representa la energía del elemento Madera, o simplemente si no te gusta el color verde, los colores del elemento Agua representan una alternativa útil. Finalmente, y en menor medida, los elementos Fuego o Metal, representados por los colores rojo, blanco u oro, pueden servir como estabilizadores energéticos efectivos para ciertos signos del calendario chino.


Los mismos colores Feng Shui 2018 utilizados para la moda se deben considerar para la decoración de tu hogar (sala de estar, dormitorio, cocina, puerta principal), así como para ganar más dinero en 2018 y dar tu negocio más exitoso (diseño de tu oficina, de tu sala de reuniones, diseño del logo de tu empresa): verde, negro y azul, en sus diferentes tonos, combinados con puntos de los colores rojo, blanco o metálico (oro y plata).


Por ejemplo, si utilizas rojo (Fuego) y blanco (Metal), es importante agregar un toque de color que represente al elemento Tierra (amarillo, ocre, marrón) para armonizar los flujos de energía producidos por este montaje.

También recuerda que si un conjunto de colores para usar en prioridad tenía que ser seleccionado como el Color del Año 2018, sería colores relacionados con la Madera y Metal.

Otra técnica Feng Shui de color afortunado: si usas blanco (Metal) con verde (Madera), sabiendo que el Metal corta Madera, asegúrate de introducir colores del elemento Agua a tu combinación; azul o negro.

Compilación realizada por Lorena Lacaille.


How To Meditate III – Walking Meditation

4 Ene


10 minutes daily for at least a week. Evidence suggests that mindfulness increases the more you practice it.


The steps below are adapted from a guided walking meditation led by mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinn. This and other guided meditations can be found in his audiobook, Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life

  1. Find a location. Find a lane that allows you to walk back and forth for 10-15 paces—a place that is relatively peaceful, where you won’t be disturbed or even observed (since a slow, formal walking meditation can look strange to people who are unfamiliar with it). You can practice walking meditation either indoors or outside in nature. The lane doesn’t have to be very long since the goal is not to reach a specific destination, just to practice a very intentional form of walking where you’re mostly retracing your steps.
  2. Start your steps. Walk 10-15 steps along the lane you’ve chosen, and then pause and breathe for as long as you like. When you’re ready, turn and walk back in the opposite direction to the other end of the lane, where you can pause and breathe again. Then, when you’re ready, turn once more and continue with the walk.
  3. The components of each step. Walking meditation involves very deliberating thinking about and doing a series of actions that you normally do automatically. Breaking these steps down in your mind may feel awkward, even ridiculous. But you should try to notice at least these four basic components of each step:a) the lifting of one foot;
    b) the moving of the foot a bit forward of where you’re standing;
    c) the placing of the foot on the floor, heal first;
    d) the shifting of the weight of the body onto the forward leg as the back heel lifts, while the toes of that foot remain touching the floor or the ground.Then the cycle continues, as you:

    a) lift your back foot totally off the ground;
    b) observe the back foot as it swings forward and lowers;
    c) observe the back foot as it makes contact with the ground, heel first;
    d) feel the weight shift onto that foot as the body moves forward.

  4. Speed. You can walk at any speed, but in Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, walking meditation is slow and involves taking small steps. Most important is that it feel natural, not exaggerated or stylized.
  5. Hands and arms. You can clasp your hands behind your back or in front of you, or you can just let them hang at your side—whatever feels most comfortable and natural.
  6. Focusing your attention. As you walk, try to focus your attention on one or more sensations that you would normally take for granted, such as your breath coming in and out of your body; the movement of your feet and legs, or their contact with the ground or floor; your head balanced on your neck and shoulders; sounds nearby or those caused by the movement of your body; or whatever your eyes take in as they focus on the world in front of you.
  7. What to do when your mind wanders. No matter how much you try to fix your attention on any of these sensations, your mind will inevitably wander. That’s OK—it’s perfectly natural. When you notice your mind wandering, simply try again to focus it one of those sensations.
  8. Integrating walking meditation into your daily life. For many people, slow, formal walking meditation is an acquired taste. But the more you practice, even for short periods of time, the more it is likely to grow on you. Keep in mind that you can also bring mindfulness to walking at any speed in your everyday life, and even to running, though of course the pace of your steps and breath will change. In fact, over time, you can try to bring the same degree of awareness to any everyday activity, experiencing the sense of presence that is available to us at every moment as our lives unfold.


Compilation released by Lorena Lacaille


1 de enero del 2018, luna llena en Cáncer.

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