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English to Japanese: http://www.forbes.com/sites/homaycotte/2015/11/17/the-secret-to-entrepreneurial-success-informed-optimism/ General field: Bus/Financial Detailed field: Media / Multimedia
Source text - English The Secret To Entrepreneurial Success? Informed Optimism
What happens when the initial excitement of launching your business has died down — when your family is having dinner without you every night, your investors are pressuring you for results and your top employees are leaving for more immediate rewards at well-established, successful companies?
As an entrepreneur, your deep reserves of positive thinking have to be in place to shrug off the skeptics and naysayers who see all the potential problems and none of the possibilities in your dream.
But what if what the naysayers are pointing out is valid? When does optimism turn into being delusional? As an entrepreneur, it can be challenging to strike the right balance. If nine out of 10 startups fail, how do you know when to move forward with full force, when to pivot your idea and when to simply say it’s not working and call it quits.
There are three key questions entrepreneurs need to ask themselves at the outset of launching a business, to test the staying power of both their ideas and their commitment to those ideas.
Question 1: Is there a market for what you’re selling?
According to CB Insights, 46% of the startups polled stated that the number one reason they failed was due to “the lack of market need for their product.” This may seem like an obvious task, but the first thing you need to do is make sure there’s a market or potential market for your idea. Many entrepreneurs wonder “if no one’s ever done what I’m going to do, how will I know if there’s a market for it?” And if you’re trying to follow in Steve Jobs’ footsteps, remember he was the exception and not the rule.
Money magazine has the right idea: Just ask. Whether through conducting market research, talking to potential clients or bouncing things off industry experts, there are several routes you can take to know if you’re on the right track — or deluded. You may get your share of negative feedback in the process, simply because people have never before considered what you’re suggesting. That’s OK. You’re out to find out whether people could actually benefit from what you’re proposing, even if they think they wouldn’t.
You’ll also find out in this process whether someone else is already doing what you want to do, so that you can think about how you can do it better — or how you can get around any roadblocks that may come up, such as patent issues or hiring challenges. You don’t need to let obstacles stop you, but anticipating them is always preferable to being blindsided. Do your homework to minimize the risk.
Question 2: Are you prepared for the long haul?
Months from now, when you’re still at the office at 11 at night trying to figure out how you’re going to deal with an unexpected market shift, will your optimism be enough to get your through? I say yes — on two conditions: 1) you understand that the excitement and adrenaline rush you feel at the start of your new venture is bound to fade at times and 2) you’ve done enough research to keep your optimism grounded in something real.
Seeing your vision realized almost always takes entrepreneurs much longer than what they probably initially imagined. Every day, running a startup tests both your mental and physical endurance at the same time that it tests the value of the very concept of your business. There’s a ton of hard work and struggle involved in making it succeed. You need to be prepared for that.
Question 3: Who’s it gonna hurt — and is it worth the pain?
When you have a family, it’s not just you who misses out when you miss dinner with them night after night. And when you have employees, it’s not just you who’s working for less than you could be (at least for now). Everyone who’s in this gamble with you is paying a price and deserves the best possible chance of a good payback.
A lot of people have a stereotype in their minds of the entrepreneur as a “tinkering genius loner.” There’s no doubt that having a new and never-before-tried idea can certainly make you feel like you’re alone sometimes. But make no mistake about it, you’re by no means the only one with something to gain from the success of your endeavors — or to lose from their failure.
That’s why before you double down on an idea you believe in with all your heart, you need to be confident that all the effort will ultimately pay off not just for you, but for everyone else with a stake in the game.
It takes more than optimism and enthusiasm to succeed as an entrepreneur. It takes what I like to call informed optimism – which is basically idealism tempered with a healthy dose of realistic thinking. If you have that, and you run into yet another person who’s all too eager to dismiss your vision, you’ll always know when to take heed — and when to take it with a grain of salt.
I’m not saying this to discourage you from trying, but just to encourage you to lay down a strong foundation that will support you through all the challenges of pursuing your dream. And that foundation starts with three simple questions.
English to Japanese: http://www.forbes.com/sites/bdavidridpath/2015/11/08/athletes-exercising-their-rights-will-force-needed-change-in-college-sports/ General field: Art/Literary Detailed field: Media / Multimedia
Source text - English Athletes Exercising Their Rights Will Force Needed Change In College Sports
UPDATE ( November 9, 2015 at 11:30am): Tim Wolfe has reportedly resigned from his position as president of the University of Missouri.
The sound you hear around the college sports universe is not that Alabama beat LSU or the college basketball season has begun, it is the sound of a burgeoning college athletes rights movement taking hold and demonstrating its awesome power.
This weekend, several of Missouri African American football players and other athletes announced they will not participate in any football or athletic related activities until current university president Tim Wolfe steps down. In essence-they are going on strike to protest what they feel is a wrong and in doing this they are exercising their constitutional rights. The absolute right of peaceful civil disobedience accorded all public university students does not stop at the door of the athletic department just because the students are athletes. Regardless of the circumstances-the students (that is what they supposedly are) have a right to exercise this freedom. This action has been prompted by what the players and several other students and concerned individuals say is a culture of racism and insensitivity on the main Columbia campus.
While I will stay out of the specific details as to the why of the protest, clearly there is something wrong on the campus of the University of Missouri that needs to be at least seriously addressed. My focus is on how this situation changed dramatically since the public announcement that the athletes were going on strike. One student has embarked on a hunger strike while others have protested, but to be honest those protests largely went unnoticed outside of Columbia while we enjoyed the dozens of games over the weekend available to us live, on television, or even on our phones (football on our phones–still amazes me). However, when a group of college football players announce their dissatisfaction with an issue and even go as far as saying we will not participate in any activities until this situation is rectified–then everyone suddenly takes notice. The athletes at Missouri are example 1A why the college athlete’s rights movement needs to continue to grow and prosper. It takes situations like this for college athletes to realize the power they have to force dialogue and change and I say more power to them. Just don’t stop here–use your bully pulpit to protest educational inequities in college sports, exploitation, overzealous coach control, scheduling, etc. and see how long it takes for things to change. My guess is it will change quickly because the inertia that exists among the supposed adults who run college athletics has shown no signs of loosening. However-if the athletes fight back, I can assure we will see change and the reverberations of that change will be felt on every college campus, in Indianapolis, and yes even in Bristol, Connecticut.
The Front Porch
This story is rapidly moving and by the time you read this, Wolfe may have already resigned and the strike may be over. I cannot see any other choice for him and I imagine details are already being worked out. I surmise football is more important to the powers that be at Mizzou than any old run of the mill president. While this is a likely outcome, the symbolism of this stance by the athletes cannot be discounted. We often refer to college sports as the front porch of an institution. This means in theory that the clearest and largest window that an institution is viewed is allegedly through its athletic department and successes and thus the university will benefit in all areas including academics because of this connection. While this theory is highly debatable and often disproved by research, most institutions often seem to live or die by its athletic reputation while other areas on campus are arguably not getting the needed resources and attention it may need.
The Front Porch theory is predicated on winning, recruiting the best athletes, keeping them eligible (often by any means necessary), and revenue generation. It is also predicated on control of the athlete. Essentially keeping them in line and managing their every move to maximize the above goals ostensibly to benefit the entire institution. While the Front Porch theory may be based on faulty logic, college athletics are very popular on many campuses and extremely popular at a Southeastern Conference school like Missouri. The athletes are celebrities for the most part, the coaches are the highest paid individuals in the state, and the institution has made athletics important because it is used as a marketing tool and for other institutional advancement activities. For some this works well-but only if the athlete plays along, but those days are likely coming to an end.
Should we be Surprised?
We use college athletes for all of these things mentioned above. We overpay coaches, build unneeded facilities and continue to use debt funding and charge exorbitant student fees to fund this enterprise. It is important to us, so why should we be surprised when college athletes, some of the most famous people on campus, are approached to join a protest as a way to bring more publicity and a needed push to the effort? We have already made sports the main thing on many campuses-we say so everyday. Why wouldn’t someone approach the athlete to get needed publicity and energy to any campaign? This is a smart move and a needed move plus it is having a huge impact in Columbia. College athletes do not realize the power they have. They can change the inequities and problems in college athletics tomorrow just by simply saying we are not playing until this (put issue here) is addressed. Does anyone think CBS wouldn’t move heaven and earth to help solve an issue if it meant that March Madness might not be played or delayed?
Just look at the response by the Missouri athletic department, football coach Gary Pinkel, and athletic director Mack Rhodes. It was not a response of these athletes better report for practice or they will lose their scholarship. There were no threats of running, lost playing time, or anything we might have heard a few years ago. Yes believe it or not, Rhodes and Pinkel have pledged support to the athletes and their efforts. To be honest, they really did not have a choice. How would Pinkel and Rhodes appear if they said that players would lose their “academic award” if they kept protesting? How would it look if they said the players would be punished for exercising their constitutional rights as American citizens? Those don’t go away when the scholarship papers are signed–or if it does then the athletes have just become employees (I talked about this recently in this space in more detail) something we continually try to deny. The public relations and legal fallout for Missouri would have been devastating, so I commend Rhodes and Pinkel for taking this stand even if perhaps they did not want to.
There is likely no other Missouri student that is getting threatened or retaliated against for protesting. Certainly not having the threat of removal of financial aid. Throughout cyberspace today there are many supporters of the athletes, but also many detractors. Predictably many have said to pull the scholarships, playing time, etc. in an effort to force the athletes back to the field and “teach them a lesson.” Those are the ones who want control and want the athletes to be minions who build that front porch but do nothing to tear it down. Many love the facade but in this day and age of 24 hour news and social media-that facade is crumbling. While everyone is entitled to their opinions, it would be wrong and I feel even illegal to retaliate against the athletes in any way. If they are truly students and not employees then they have a right to exercise peaceful civil disobedience and state their grievances.
I know many people pine for the days of total control over the athletes so we can have our entertainment unfettered. We truly want to believe that an athletic scholarship somehow means you sign your life away. However I assure you those days are over and the NCAA needs to take notice-quickly. Like the Amateur Sports Act many years ago, it is time to dramatically increase athlete and former athlete positions in the college sports governance structure and it is time to listen to the voice of the athlete because it is strongest and most important voice-and they are fighting back. As we see at Missouri-no president, no multi-million dollar coach, no athletic director has the power to stop a collective athlete voice. They are the one’s we want to watch and they are the one’s who will force needed change.
NCAA are you listening now because I assure you- the University of Missouri sure the heck is.
Translation - Japanese 学生アスリートの権利行使により、変化を余儀なくされるカレッジスポーツ界
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I was born and raised in Japan until I was sent to a boarding school in Massachusetts in the U.S. at the age of 15. I've graduated from UMASS in 2000 (MIS major) and came back to Tokyo where I've worked for a couple of IT companies (Japanese and foreign affiliated) before becoming an English-Japanese translator/interpreter. I have over 15 years of experience as translator/interpreter with strong business and IT background in Japanese/English speaking environment.
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