Posts Tagged ‘Entrepreneurship’

News, Visionaries | No Comments | May 23rd, 2007

Visionaries and entrepreneurs are often fiercely independent, very self-reliant and uncompromising in their thinking and their lives. A major characteristic of the VisionForce work is how it powerfully restores and builds more of our natural autonomy in thought and action—a great value in a world that still conditions us to follow and conform in so many ways. Thought leaders such as Ayn Rand, individualist extraordinaire, were instrumental in restoring my own sense of power in my 20s, and my faith in our potential to live as visionary creators.

While the VisionForce work is so powerful for relationships, having been started largely from working to bring my own family back together, in many ways I have been a life-long loner and individualist. That mentality has in many ways suited me well in the research and development of this work, I suppose, but it has been a huge liability in my thinking since starting the VisionForce business.

Many of our Boot Camp graduates have been encouraging us to focus locally in Austin, rather than focus globally through the internet, as we have primarily been doing. Only recently and gradually have I been heeding that advice. Earlier this year, I was stunned to learn of two visionary organizations that are building amazing communities for entrepreneurs right here in Austin (FLOW and Bootstrap).

It was at a FLOW meeting that I met a visionary Austin woman named Brandi Clark. Brandi, head of the Austin Eco-Network. Brandi attended our last Boot Camp, and could not believe that most people in Austin did not know about us, or that we were not an integral part of the other communities and organizations here. She has since joined our staff, committed help us take our business to the next level locally over the next 4 months.

Through Brandi, I’ve finally begun to get to know this great town. I’ve lived in Austin 15 years now, and always considered it a special place, but only recently have I considered Austin “my community.”

Over the last few weeks, I had the fortune of learning about three other local Austin organizations that are doing great things for Austin entrepreneurs: Big Austin, the Austin Independent Business Alliance and American YouthWorks.

Austin seems to be emerging as a perfect breeding ground for entrepreneurs and visionaries. There’s nowhere we’d rather be.

MP3 File

I sat down with local visionary entrepreneur and founder of the Bootstrap Network, Bijoy Goswami, to discuss his revolutionary ideas about starting a venture. The insights revealed in this audio are valuable for the entrepreneur, social entrepreneur, non-profit leader and more.

He boils down the entrepreneurial process to get at the essence of what great entrepreneurs have been doing–whether they realize it or not.

You'll want to give yourself time to listen to the full thing. It's about an hour.

Bijoy has an on-line bootcamp for bootstrappers that you can check out here. I think it's invaluable and it's the next best thing to living here in Austin and getting him to consult with you in person. I recommend it to anyone starting or building a business or organization.

A model for world-changing is emerging…

1- We’ve witnessed the success of our project in Uganda with young visionary, Clovis Ategeka, who has been changing the world, largely due to his ability to access the internet, and thus Vision Force, Zaadz, etc.

2 – The school we visited in Ngong Kenya has no internet access, and it has been difficult to follow up with the students there, who were so inspired by the Vision Force work, and wanted to continue to develop themselves as visionaries and entrepreneurs. The plan they created when we were there was to start an internet cafe there on campus, and since then they’ve received several new computers… but still have no internet access.

3 – Morris Thuku, a Kenyan visionary, who started an institute of technology for street kids in a small village outside of Nairobe has a vision to raise youth and communities throughout Africa from poverty by training them in computer repair, maintenance, etc. Most all African homes do not have computers yet, so his students are positioning themselves for wealth… but Morris lacks the kind of funding that has come so easily to Clovis through his access to a global community.

Clovis has a vision of spreading Vision Cafes throughout Africa, as a way of connecting people to the global community and all of the resources and opportunities that come with it. The internet creates opportunities to raise funding, make money, save money, get educated, find business partners, collaborate with a global community, etc. But the beauty of this vision doesn’t stop with the advantages of internet access. Clovis sees these cafes as a way to educate and train people to be visionaries, leaders and entrepreneurs. Both the tribal and colonial culture contexts are very authoritarian and lacking in entrepreneurial and visionary concepts and conversations.

Clovis sees his Vision Cafes bringing everything the internet has to offer, as well as everything the west has to offer regarding entrepreneurship and advanced ways of thinking as a conscious being and visionary.

The bottleneck is internet access. In East Africa it’s outrageously expensive, and so at first glance it does not seem feasible to spread these Vision Cafes throughout Africa. But there is a bigger vision here, that once seen could easily inspire many organizations and individuals to invest their time and resources in the cause. Clovis, through his Vision Cafe in Kampala, is not merely providing jobs and adding value to the community. He is in essence, “creating creators.” It is one thing to fish, it’s another to teach someone how to fish–and quite another thing to teach someone how to be a visionary entrepreneur and create a business… or better yet, teach someone how to be a visionary entrepreneur who teaches others how to do the same. That’s what Clovis is up to. He wants to train others to train others, and thus open up all of Africa to unimaginable opportunity.

Democracy and capitalism are very new in many parts of Africa, and still only a dream in others. In Kenya, when I visited last year, I could feel an energy in the air… people were actively engaged in politics, not resigned and cynical as so many of us seem to be in the West. Kenya only gained freedom from Britain about 40 years ago through a violent revolution. Everything is still new, everything is possible. And the youth… so many told me they were going to be president one day. Yet, the colonial and tribal cultures there silence the youth in many respects. There seemed to be a consensus among Kenyans 40 and under that they’d never be listened to until they were at least 45 years old. This, even though so many Kenyans are known for their oratory skills (so many we met spoke like Senator Obama, whose father was Kenyan–or even more eloquently). The youth we met were incredibly bright, incredibly spirited, well-spoken and authentic. The only things that seemed to be missing for these young leaders to have the power to bring their visions into reality was 1) lack of access to technology, and 2) lack of entrepreneurial/visionary contexts.

Enter Clovis and his Vision Cafes, where he not only connects the youth to the world wibe web, but he liberates them from the conditioning which keeps them silent. The Vision Force concepts and work are incredibly powerful in this regard. Vision Force technology was not created from within the context of existing structures, and thus does not teach people how to be successful within the system. No, it encourages and empowers independent, creative thought, entrepreneurial thought. It’s most powerful for those willing to step outside the existing structures and create something new. It’s very liberating and refreshing for many who’ve grown up inside the heavily authoritarian cultural contexts in Africa. Perhaps this is why some come from 6 hours away to attend Clovis’ Vision Force workshops. Clovis is not just bringing hope, he’s bringing vision and everything that comes with it.

Kampala is ready. Kenya is ready. Could these Vision Cafes be an idea whose time has come?

How will we find the funds and resources to bring these internet learning centers into existence? Well, just ask Clovis, who through investing himself in the Vision Force 101 program, has been able to articulate his stand and his vision in such a way that he’s inspiring people from around the world to collaborate with him. One man, Michael Blomsterberg, and fellow Zaadzster (member of the Zaadz community), was so inspired that he has organized a trip for 12 to Kampala this summer, and plans to bring 10-20 computers for Clovis’ Vision Cafe. Other Zaadzsters and friends of Michael’s have joined in, and are doing what they can to support Clovis and his vision.

We at Vision Force along with generous Zaadz members have just recently raised $3,400 to get Clovis’ Vision Cafe wired with high-speed internet access. Some 80+ people from around the world were inspired to contribute. Others have purchased and sent Visionary Mind packages to Clovis. And the story goes on…

Vision Cafes throughout the 3rd world… supporting One Million Visionaries just like Clovis… can we really change the world? Do we even have a glimpse of how quickly we could create a world that really works for everyone? Organizations and individuals alike are already stepping forward to join forces in manifesting this vision. It’s not a Vision Force thing. It’s much bigger than that. It’s simply time.

We wish to acknowledge and thank every single person and organization that has chosen to stand with and for Clovis and all our African visionary friends. This is just the beginning! Together we really can create a future where all people are honored as creative, conscious beings… a world where we’re free inside and outside to live powerfully, and where it’s just natural to do so… a world where our best efforts go to collaborate creating a world that works for all, rather than fighting to enforce our individual views on others…

News, Visionaries | No Comments | March 1st, 2007

What do Bill Gates, Michael Dell and Richard Branson have in common (other than billions of Ben Franklins)?

The answer is here, and we’ve uploaded a 60-minute podcast (audio recording) of a conversation between Vision Force founder, Michael Skye and a special guest, who has fascinating new insights into entrepreneurship. If you’re an entrepreneur or wish to be, this audio is invaluable–and it’s free. Enjoy!

News, Visionaries | No Comments | February 2nd, 2007


Austin-based Vision Force Academy to immerse participants in leading-edge human development curriculum for ‘creating a future that works for everyone.’

AUSTIN, TX FEB 1, 2007 — On January 8 at a meeting organized by FLOW, an Austin-based non-profit dedicated to “liberating the entrepreneurial spirit for good,” a small group of local leaders gathered to discuss Austin’s emerging role as a leader in entrepreneurship and social innovation. Leaders of several next-generation entrepreneurship initiatives proposed ways they could individually or collectively foster awareness of entrepreneurship in Austin.

In this spirit, The Vision Force Academy, founded by long-time Austin resident Michael Skye, aims to contribute to entrepreneurial initiative and innovation on March 21-25 when it hosts its semi-annual Vision Force Boot Camp. Local and global leaders committed to making a profound difference in the world are currently submitting their applications to participate in this leading-edge human development curriculum.

One such leader is Audrey Parker, an Austin resident who, when recounting her Vision Force Boot Camp experience, said, “My fundamental assumptions and beliefs about what is possible for myself, humanity, and the future of the planet were completely shattered–in the best and most inspiring way possible.” Since the event, Ms. Parker, like many others, has broken new ground: she was trained recently by Al Gore to deliver Inconvenient Truth presentations in Austin and around the country.

Another, Michael Strong, visionary educator and FLOW co-founder echoes Ms. Parker’s enthusiasm about Vision Force and the Vision Force Boot Camp. “I see Michael Skye’s work as a key to liberating each individual’s unique genius so that we all may fulfill our potential in alignment with our deepest ideals,” Strong says.

Inspired in part by the vision that emerged from the January 8th meeting, Mr. Skye has, for the first time ever, decided to offer the Vision Force Boot Camp without the standard $2,500 admittance fee. “I’m inspired to collaborate with other visionary leaders and to join a global movement of people dedicated to serving humanity by pursuing their unique vision. We’ve removed the financial barrier so that all impassioned individuals, regardless of economic status, can attend the Boot Camp,” explains Skye.

Mr. Skye says that the ideal Vision Force Boot Camp participant has “already decided to become ‘part of the solution’–regardless of sector or vocation. The only ‘must’ is a deep commitment to creating a better future.”

Applications are due no later than February 15, 2007. Participants will pay the cost of food and lodging only. To download an application and for more information, please visit

Contact: Michael Skye
Phone: 1-877-844-6667 x777

For the priner version, download the pdf version.

News, Visionaries | 9 Comments | January 27th, 2007

In the summer of 2006, Clovis Ategeka, downloaded our Vision Force 101 program. His story begins here. Fast forward 6 months and Clovis has rented space for his Vision Cafe. Now the workshops and classes he leads can be held indoors, and his students who are learning to be visionaries and entrepreneurs can connect to a global community through the internet… But first, they need to secure internet access. Currently internet service is monopolized by two companies and is quite difficult to come by. It takes a substantial investment to secure internet access for his cafe. $3,400 will do it, and we’ll provide his cost breakdown and business plan upon request. Start helping Clovis get his cafe wired by making a contribution through this secure funding opion: ChipIn:

On behalf of Clovis and all his students, we thank you!

News, Visionaries | 1 Comment | January 26th, 2007

Bootstrapping is a way of bringing a big idea into reality. It’s the method Bill Gates and Michael Dell used when starting their businesses. Tomorrow, I’ll be interviewing visionary Austin entrepreneur, Bijoy Goswami, who is the founder of the Bootstrap Network and who has some fascinating ideas about bootstrapping (Check out this podcast of Bijoy presenting on bootstrapping).

I’ll be posting the audio from tomorrow’s conversation with Bijoy here on the blog. This is the second in a series of conversations with Austin entrepreneurs on the “E Revolution.” E Revolution? It’s how entrepreneurs are creating a radically different future for us–a beneficient, beautiful future that few see. Today, entrepreneurs–and all of us as individuals–have more power to change the world than ever before. Listen to the first podcast in this series here.

Next week, we’ll be talking to a third visionary Austin entrepreneur, Michael Strong of FLOW.