If an organization is to survive and strive in an environment where change is rapid, disruptive and innovation is rampant, companies need to develop adaptability in this modern ecosystem by having employees run their career as a start up. If an employee who is not pressing to invest aggressively in their own name / career they probably won’t have the appropriate skills to be agile and make decisive action steps to deliver value to customers.

Companies need a new breed of talent one where you hire employees who have a founders mentality .Todays problems requires companies to start hiring thought leaders and entrepreneurs. Companies that are slow in adapting to this change will burn out because they lack the proper talent to sustain these kind of rare performers.

Either Adapt Or Get Extinct

Take Disney for example when they fired John Lasseter. John Lasseter began his career as an animator with The Walt Disney Company, But he was fired from Disney for promoting computer animation, Lasseter then went to join Lucasfilm, Here he worked on the then-groundbreaking use of CGI animation. Disney soon realized the mistake they had made because evidently over $7 billion dollars was invested  to buy Pixar and get John Lasseter back in the disney team.

Disney management hired an entrepreneur with raw talent like John Lasseter, but they lacked  training and treated him as a commodity rather than an ally and in the process Disney lost their chance to develop a multibillion-dollar business and set the trend of computer animation. I am sure John Lasseter would not mind developing a business model for CGI animation within Disney, but his managers at that time wouldn’t let him.

Recognizing Entrepreneur Talent


We need to start recognizing  entrepreneur talent for organizations. Amazon service AWS did not come from c-suite, but rather from an ordinary employee. Analyst’s at Piper Jaffray estimated that AWS could bring in nearly $6 billion dollars in revenues during 2015, and could have a potential worth of $32 billion dollars. If companies want employees to come up with a multibillion-dollar idea while on the job, they have to attract professionals with a founders mentality and harness their entrepreneurial instinct for their company. Let employee take ownership of their roles.

Experience and Job Titles are no longer detrimental factors in innovation. David Hahn went from being a twenty-three year old with zero business experience to serving as vice president of Product at LinkedIn. He joined LinkedIn in 2005 and as an early product manager he launched many of LinkedIn’s most successful growth features. David was also a key architect to LinkedIn’s monetization strategy and ultimately became the executive responsible for monetization products across all lines of business. In this role, he leads teams working on enterprise products, auction-based ad systems, and one of the largest online consumer subscription businesses built in Silicon Valley. By the end of his tenure at LinkedIn, David’s product portfolio generated more than $1.5 billion in revenue.

Where Do You Start Your Journey In Becoming An Entrepreneur?

What if your not an entrepreneur that’s coming up with the next billion-dollar business? What if you just want to create a business resolving around doing the things you love to do? Social Selling and the Social Selling community is an excellent place to start. I won’t go into what Social Selling is, but I can say with full conviction THAT social selling is no longer optional for your business or brand. It’s a powerful strategy that can help promote your ideas, establish credibility, secure funding, attract talent and win customers hearts. If you’re engaging with your target audience on any level via social media, whether for business development or promoting your brand, that is social selling, like any skill you want to learn how to master it.

We are fortunate enough to live in a time with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and LinkedIn. Compare to Dale Carnegie in the 1930s, he had to fill in a hotel ballroom with thousand of people to spread his message. Applebee’s campaign #tastethechange used the power of Social Media and demonstrated why partnering up with influencers works to generate over 1 Billion impressions with their hashtag. We have these incredible tools so use them to your advantage, just use them!!!

So Can I Be An Entrepreneur, And Just Eat Pizza?

After meeting Scott, and his love for pizza. I believe anyone can be an entrepreneur if your strongly passionate about what you do. Mark Z. Danielewski said, “Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.” Passion today is understood as what excites you , it represents a deep or romantic love, the real meaning of passion is being willing to suffer for what you love. And that’s exactly what Scott did, he used social selling and incorporated it with his love for pizza.

How to follow your dream job and eat pizza too

When I was expanding Social Sales link from Philadelphia to New York City I MET John Kolditz. John is a business developing manager and has worked with many different start-ups and enterprise companies. I was impressed by his creative characteristics and networking abilities right away. Over time our business relationship started deepening and I asked John if he could introduce me to Five people that he believed my services could be of use and  complement their needs and in return I would introduce him to Five people from my network that I felt John could be of service to.

One of these introductions John made was Scott Wiener. Scott loved pizza so much that he created a company resolving around his passion. Scott maneuvered through several jobs, he worked as a costumed character at birthday parties, a production associate on TV shoots and fashion shows, vice president of a short-lived record label and even caretaker of a historic ferryboat. It eventually became clear that standard work just wasn’t going to cut it, and so HE began a six-month hiatus to figure out the next step.

Scott loved pizza so much, its the only thing he will talk about all day, he started to create content and became a contributing author to award-winning column Pizza Today Magazine, contributes to PMQ’s Pizza Magazine and PizzaMarketplace.com and judges pizza culinary competitions across the country.

Scott’s pizza pontificating have been featured on the CBS Sunday Morning, Travel Channel, Cooking Channel, Food Network, Discovery Channel, Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine and just about every NYC-area periodical. Scott’s tours have been featured as a top tour on TripAdvisor, Yelp, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides and several others. He is also the author of Viva La Pizza! The Art of the Pizza Box, a book about his Guinness World Record collection of pizza boxes.

How did he do it?

Scott used Social Selling for his brand and leveraged relationships with other pizzeria stations across the country and New York City. Scott created a tour guide, to promote all the best pizzerias in New York City because Pizza is synonymous with New Yorkers. I found out through Scott Pizza Tour that Lombardi’s located in 32 Spring St New York was the first pizzeria in the USA, and it’s easy to see why they are still going strong. After creating a successful company, Scott wanted to give back to the community. He went on to create a non-profit called Slice Out Hunger. The idea was simple: use food donated by top independent pizzerias to raise money for a local hunger relief organization with a proven track record.

On the first event it featured fifty pizzas from six different pizzerias and raised about $500. Five years later, they now host New York’s biggest pizza party featuring 1,200 pizzas from fifty of the city’s top pizzerias, and last year they were able to raise over $30,000 in just three hours through social media which resulted in feeding over 150,000 hungry New Yorkers through the power of social media. While feeding 150,000 New Yorkers can be an impressive numbers under 3 hours, there are more than 2.6 million New Yorkers who have difficulty affording food and 1 out of 4 children go hungry in New York.

Whats really interesting is that last year there were no live streaming applications such as blab, periscope or meerkat to raise funds for non-profits. Imagine the possibilities how these new technology can be used to help raise money and bring awareness for a cause?

Mobile live streaming  is a new market , and a new industry is being created. This means that people with the entrepreneur mindstate can create  new career avenues for themselves or for others.

How To Reinvent Yourself In Three Ways

Regardless if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur,  a mom or pops, intrapreneur, or not-for-profit leader, there’s no shortage of advice on topics such as innovating, recruiting, fund raising, and marketing around the internet. In Philadelphia there are so many books, articles, websites, blogs, webinars, and conferences that many startups  focus on the wrong priorities and go broke before they even succeed. I believe these three books can be benefitinally to anyone who is trying to create new career opportunties for themselves.

The Start-up of You -This book isn’t about cover letters or resumes. Instead, you will learn the best practices of Silicon Valley start-ups, and how to apply these entrepreneurial strategies to your career. Whether you work for a giant multinational corporation, a small local business, or launching your own venture.
The Art of the Start 2.0: Business plans are no longer necessary. Social media has replaced PR and advertising as the key method of promotion. Crowdfunding is now a viable alternative to investors. The cloud makes basic infrastructure affordable for almost any new venture. This book will show you how to effectively deploy all these new tools.  And it will help you master the fundamental challenges that have not changed: building a strong team, creating an awesome product or service, and facing down your competition.
The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age I found this book an essential handbook for dealing with the challenges of a mobile workforce. As a founder you want your employees to help transform the company for the future. And your employees want the company to help transform their careers for the long term. But this win-win scenario will happen only if both sides trust each other enough to commit to mutual investment and mutual benefit. Sadly, trust in the business world is hovering at an all-time low. But this is a great book becaue through it we can rebuild that lost trust with straight talk that recognizes the realities of the modern economy with our employees.

“Being an entrepreneur isn’t really about starting a business.  It’s a way of looking at the world: seeing opportunity where others see obstacles, taking risks when others take refuge. Whatever career you’re in ­ or want to be in ­ The Start-Up of You holds lessons for success.”-Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg, L.P. and Mayor, New York City

If you found this article helpful, Please help me support hunger relief initiatives by fundraising through the American pizza industry. And Joining me on Social or Live in NYC BIGGEST Pizza Party on October 7th, 2015 at 6PM.

One final note that I found interesting about Pizza is that Pizza doesn’t discriminate, its true. Its consumers are not defined by race, gender, age, or wealth. Every city adapts the dish to its own local culture in a way that other dishes cannot. All walks of life come together at local pizzerias and it is the privilege of those pizzerias to serve their communities. With 48.8 million Americans living in households that can’t regularly afford nutritious meals, it is our responsibility to do everything we can to support our neighbors.
For more information you can go to  http://sliceouthunger.org/