I want to thank you for reading my blog. It makes me sharper knowing that each day, you will be there reading what I put out there for the world to see.

You challenge me to be a better person.

You are the one who gets me to read when I don’t feel like it.

You are who gets me to try new things.

You get me to start stuff all the time.

Thank you for taking time from your day to read startstuff.net.


Burl Walker


Starting something new can be scary! What are you afraid of? If you fail, but learn from it, then it wasn’t really failure. You learned something valuable.

Most of us are afraid that we will look stupid. We are afraid that people will say, “I told you that wouldn’t work!”

Just remember that being a critic is easy. The critic has no skin in the game.

The hard part is deciding that you are going to move ahead with your idea. You are going to put yourself out there. You are going to risk failure and go for it!

Once you decide to do it, the rest isn’t so scary. I have failed more than I have succeeded in life. And yet for the most part, I am quite happy with my life. How about you?

What are you afraid of?


You have a great idea! How do you get it out there for the world? It is both easier and more complicated than ever before.

You can put it out on social media like Twitter, Facebook, Google+…

You can write a book.

You can write a blog post.

You can put up a video on youtube or other video hosting site.

You create a website.

That is the easy part. Now, you have the website, blog, book, video…but no one is watching, sharing, reading…

What do you do?  There can be multiple reasons that your idea isn’t spreading.

  1. It is a worthless idea.
  2. It isn’t time yet. (In 1822, there was no need for a better cell phone battery. No matter how good the battery design was, no one was going to buy it.)
  3. It is past time. (Even if you do come up with a better buggy whip, your clientele is quite limited as most people don’t get around on horse and buggy these days…unless you are in a niche market to the Amish.)
  4. You haven’t connected to the right people.

I want to hit on that 4th point. There isn’t much you can do in the first three instances, but that 4th one is. Maybe you just told your friends and family about your new great idea, but they don’t understand it, it isn’t in their area of interest or for other reasons, they haven’t cared enough to share it with others.

You have to find your tribe. It is already out there. There are people who have similar interests to you. People who would love to share your idea. So, here is the hard part. Find them! Go where they are.

Fortunately, the internet makes this a little easier. If you look up groups that are already active in your area of interest, share your idea with those groups. (Don’t spam them with links…engage with them in conversation. Get their permission to share with them.) These groups will be there for you and your ideas will spread among them…if it is a good idea…but at least you give yourself a chance.


Being in academia, I have seen my fair share of really lousy Powerpoint or Prezi presentations. I want to give you some hints that I think make a presentation memorable.

  • Pictures really are worth a thousand words. VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100
  • Keep the words to a minimum. (6 per slide or less is a great guideline.)
  • If I can just download your Powerpoint and have all the information, then why go to your speech? Do not just read big blocks of text to me.
  • Skip all the animations. One might be cute…a bunch is just an annoyance to most listeners.
  • Practice. It will be clear if you don’t know where you are going with your presentation.
  • People remember stories better than bullet points. (A bit of irony there considering this blog post is a series of bullet points.)

I hope that helps you put together your next presentation in a way that doesn’t waste your time and the time of all those in attendance.


It is easy to say that our boss won’t let us do it. It is easy to say that we don’t have permission. Don’t take the easy way out.

  • Go for the tough sell.
  • Make something that is really new.
  • Put yourself out there.
  • Create your art!
  • Build your tribe.
  • Lead in a new direction.

None of these things are easy…but you won’t do anything remarkable if you don’t try something new.

Make what you do worth getting involved with. Make it so that people who care about what you do would be crazy not to do business with you.

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