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7 Must-Watch TED Talks for Any Business Owner


As a business owner, you’re always learning. Not just through experience, but from others as well. Perhaps it’s the mentor that helped you get started in your field. A partner who brings a different set of experiences to the table. Even employees can help you learn to be a better business owner.

However, you don’t want to stop there when it comes to inspiration. Several authors, business figures and other major names have dispensed invaluable advice via TED Talks, videos designed to inspire and inform. Here are some of the must-watch options.

1. Why the best hire may not have the perfect resume

Speaker: Regina Hartley, Human Resources Expert

As a local business owner, you know that making proper hires is essential. However, sometimes, the best candidate on paper may not be the best match for your business. In her TED Talk, Hartley discusses an unconventional perspective on hiring. In some cases, passion and personality may be better than a perfectly crafted resume when it comes to finding the ideal match for your business.

2. Profit’s not always the point

Speaker: Harish Manwani, COO, Unilever

It’s possible to get burned out when running your business. This can be a difficult issue to solve, but in some cases, it’s a matter of looking for something greater than raising profits for the next quarter. Manwani presents the argument that a truly sustainable company needs to provide social, cultural as well as economic value. The blueprint he lays out here is great for local businesses who want to get more involved in their communities.

3. What I learned from 100 days of rejection

Speaker: Jia Jiang, Author, Blogger, Entrepreneur

Being rejected by a business partner, client, or investor can sting, but author Jia Jiang decided to take this head-on. For 100 days, he decided to target rejection outright, posting a video blog on the process. This TED Talk shows both how he was able to get over his fears and discover the value of asking for you want. Both of these are lessons any local business owner can use.

4. 2 reasons companies fail and how to avoid them

Speaker: Knut Haanaes, Strategist

Author and business strategist Knut Haanaes says there are two extremes many companies fall into: trying to do everything the same and only trying to do what’s new. He explains how it’s a balance that’s going to bring out the best in companies. A mix of exploring new opportunities and exploiting older ones is what will bring success.

5. 4 ways to build a human company in the age of machines

Speaker: Tim Leberecht, Business Romantic

Many local businesses worry about the specter of automation rendering them obsolete, but author Tim Leberecht believes there’s still a place for a humanistic company. He covers the ways that you can focus your company on authenticity over precision. Time is also given on how to create a stronger team rapport and culture within your company.

6. The single biggest reason why startups succeed

Speaker: Bill Gross, Founder, Idealab

Marketing? Outreach? No, the biggest reason Gross says that startups succeed boils down to timing. This short six-minute talk from the startup veteran explains how timing matters more than anything in these early stages. Modeling from successful startups like Airbnb and Uber, Gross covers how to improve the timing of your business launch.

7. My year of saying yes to everything

Speaker: Shonda Rhimes, Writer, Producer

Many may not expect to see the showrunner behind Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy on this list, but embarking on a year-long journey to say yes to every opportunity that came her way made a profound impact on her life. As a business owner, learning to embrace this sense of fearlessness can expand your horizons, cut down on some of your business phobias and expose you to newfound success.

TED Talks are a great source of practical advice and inspiration for local business owners, but you need a way to try and communicate these types of messages to your target audience. Working with an experienced outside digital marketing agency is a great way to ensure you have the expertise to drive interest in your local business.