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Book Announcement & Program Format Change

Start Something, Columbia! kicked off our new show format today:

Business Savvy Book Study: Entrepreneur style.

Beginning this month, and every month through December, our show will take a deep dive into some valuable books that will help us all as entrepreneurs to grow our businesses, grow ourselves, and hopefully generate a strong and interactive community among us all.

Agenda review:

  • From the 1 Million Cups Community, we will have Sharon Jones of SJ Studios joining us today to talk to us about being an artist, engineer, and entrepreneur.

  • Then, we will explain a little more about how our interactive ‘book club’ will work for the next six months and give all you listeners and idea of how you can participate and what you will gain.

  • We will also introduce our first book, The Hard Thing about Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz. We will cover some of the main points of the book and integrate other content on valuable entrepreneurial lessons that we will be discussing over the next month.

Theatrical Release Poster

Segment 1:

Topic of the week -- Origin Stories

We are really excited to be kicking off our new show format today - book study style! Each month from now until December, we will be reading one book per month about entrepreneurship.

The books will be announced on the show one week before the first “lesson” to give you plenty of time to start reading. Every Tuesday during our broadcasts, we will discuss a topic in the book and do a deep dive and comprehensive study of those topics by using outside articles, websites, and examples. Then, the next month, we will switch to a new book to see what else we can learn!

This is going to be a very exciting project for us here at Start Something, Columbia, and we hope that all of you are as excited as we are! It really is simple - your only responsibility is to read (or skim) the books, listen to our show, have an open mind and eager-to-learn-attitude, and participate in our conversation across our digital platform.

Our goal is to build an educational community where everyone can learn and participate and gain valuable tools for personal success.

Our first book is The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz.

Ben Horowitz addresses the struggles that many entrepreneurs face and the problems that business schools do not teach. He brings his book to life by adding one of his favorite things - rap lyrics. In his book, Horowitz tells us the things we do, but also do not want to hear. He explains all of the “hard stuff” not just about starting, but also running a business. His invaluable, straightforward insight paired with personal anecdotes make his book a great tool for any entrepreneur, which is why we are using it as our first book!

To begin our discussion on this book, and do not panic, none of us have read the book yet, we are going to talk about some of the lessons Horowitz gives us just in the first few pages. (Amazon link. Richland Library Link.)

Origin Stories

Horowitz starts the book with kind of an origin story -- you know, like super heros? Who’s your favorite superhero? What’s his or her origin story?

Peter Parker aka Spiderman -- nerdy, wimpy kid, into science, lost his parents and lives with his Uncle Ben and Aunt May. He gets bit by a radioactive spider and develops superhuman senses. Then, his Uncle Ben is killed in a robbery that Peter let happen and Peter is tagged with his mantra: With great power comes great responsibility.

Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman -- she’s born to the queen of the Amazons in Themyscira, molded out of clay and has life breathed into her by Zeus; there’s a great moment in the movie when she tells this origin story and Chris Pratt looks at her like she’s nuts. Anyway, she enters the human world to try to defeat Aries, the God of War, and finds her power and solace in helping people.

Superman-- on the planet Krypton, a mother and father were concerned for the well being of their son, for the planet was destined to be destroyed. Jor-El and Kara send their son on a rocket to escape the destruction of Krypton. This rocket makes its way to Earth, where the little boy aboard it meets a new family, the Kents. The Kents raise the child as their own and name him Clark. Clark exhibits extraordinary talents, and eventually takes on the alter ego, Superman, to help those in need.

Bruce Wayne aka Batman-- Bruce Wayne had to witness his parents mugging and killing at a young age, and vowed to never use a gun because that was the weapon that killed his parents. He fought crime in Gotham City under the name “Batman.”

Natasha Romanova aka Black Widow -- Romanova was orphaned as a result of being trapped in a burning building during an attack on Stalingrad. A Soviet soldier found her and rescued her, and as she grew, she became of interest to Soviet Intelligence. Before she could be brainwashed into serving the clan, the Hand, she was rescued by Ivan, Logan, and Captain America. She was recruited to be part of the Black Widow Program, a team of elite women sleeper agents. She continued her education with the Red Room Academy and also trained as a ballerina to cover her true occupation. She further deepened her training after the Soviets faked her husband’s death, and eventually earned the title of Black Widow.

Segment 2:

Horowitz talks about where he came from, the few pivotal interactions he had that taught him entrepreneurial lessons. We’re going to look at each lesson and share how we learned it.

“Being scared didn’t mean I was gutless.” (p.3)

“Don’t just things by their surface. make the effort to get to know something or someone first.” (p.4)

Leadership is the ability to get someone to follow you. (p. 5)

Looking at the world through different prisms helps us separate fact from fiction (p. 5)

Piece on about origin stories:

Alan Taylor, VIP Contributor, host of Entrepreneur Radio.

11 Moments that Inspired Entrepreneurs to Start Their Own Businesses by Briana Morgaine who says, “Most entrepreneurs don’t begin their journey by falling in love with the problem—they begin by falling in love with the solution.”

38 Black Entrepreneurs Share Their Origin Stories by Ronald Barba writing for quotes Brandon Byrd as saying, “Entrepreneurship can be learned but I believe that true entrepreneurs are born and traits show up early.”

Infographic blog post 17 Origin Stories of Billionaire Entrepreneurs by Brandon Gaille -- the usual suspects: Elon Musk, J.K. Rowling, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, George Lucas.

Segment 4: Events of the week

1 Million Cups Columbia meets tomorrow morning at Richland Library, 9 a.m. Free and open to the public, no registration or membership necessary. Come check it out.

  • This week at 1 MC -- Sharon Jones of SJ studios. She owns her own custom hand-crafted tile studio and creates tile masterpieces of all shapes, colors, and sizes for her clients. She graduated with a degree in Ceramic and Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Washington and worked as an engineer in a plant for several years. She had a strong love for technology and engineering, but ultimately decided to follow her passion of ceramic art. She jumped into being a small business owner, not knowing what to expect, and has become a more well-rounded and self-responsible person because of it.

Find the Point!

Every week Shane Sweeney of Swampfox Radio and me, Kasie Whitener of Start Something, Columbia! Meet up for happy hour to chat with listeners and promote our shows. This week we’re back at Publico in Five Points and we’ll be joined by Tzima and Keven Cohen so you don’t want to miss it!

Friday morning the Women’s Business Center of South Carolina will host an online meet-up on Twitter. From 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. we’ll be tweet chatting with the hashtag #WBCofSC on the topic of social media marketing. We have a special guest hostess, Fiona Martin of FGM Internet Marketing who will be adding to the conversation some of her own pro tips for using social media to promote your business and connect with your customers.

Main Street Music Series featuring Freeway Music’s Riley Mayfield at Main St Public House from 7-9 PM, in the heart of downtown. Get some food, drinks, support and enjoy an amazing evening of music!

Interested in advertising, sponsoring, or appearing as a guest on Start Something, Columbia? Email

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