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TEDGlobal 2014

Bel Pesce: 5 ways to kill your dreams

October 7, 2014

All of us want to invent that game-changing product, launch that successful company, write that best-selling book. And yet so few of us actually do it. TED Fellow and Brazilian entrepreneur Bel Pesce breaks down five easy-to-believe myths that ensure your dream projects will never come to fruition.

Bel Pesce - Entrepreneur
Bel Pesce left Brazil to study at MIT. But after a successful stint in Silicon Valley, she returned to inspire others with great ideas in her country to make them a reality. Full bio

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Double-click the English subtitles below to play the video.
I dedicated the past two years
to understanding
00:12
how people achieve their dreams.
00:15
When we think about the dreams we have,
00:17
and the dent we want to leave
in the universe,
00:19
it is striking to see how big
of an overlap there is
00:21
between the dreams that we have
and projects that never happen.
00:25
(Laughter)
00:28
So I'm here to talk to you today
00:30
about five ways how not
to follow your dreams.
00:32
One: Believe in overnight success.
00:36
You know the story, right?
00:41
The tech guy built a mobile app
and sold it very fast for a lot of money.
00:42
You know, the story may seem real,
but I bet it's incomplete.
00:48
If you go investigate further,
00:52
the guy has done 30 apps before
00:54
and he has done a master's
on the topic, a Ph.D.
00:56
He has been working
on the topic for 20 years.
00:59
This is really interesting,
01:03
I myself have a story in Brazil
that people think is an overnight success.
01:05
I come from a humble family,
01:10
and two weeks before
the deadline to apply to MIT,
01:12
I started the application process.
01:16
And, voila! I got in.
01:18
People may think it's
an overnight success,
01:21
but that only worked because
for the 17 years prior to that,
01:24
I took life and education seriously.
01:28
Your overnight success story
is always a result
01:30
of everything you've done in your
life through that moment.
01:34
Two: Believe someone else
has the answers for you.
01:38
Constantly, people want
to help out, right?
01:42
All sorts of people: your family,
your friends, your business partners,
01:44
they all have opinions
on which path you should take:
01:47
"And let me tell you,
go through this pipe."
01:51
But whenever you go inside, there are
other ways you have to pick as well.
01:53
And you need to make
those decisions yourself.
01:58
No one else has the perfect
answers for your life.
02:01
And you need to keep picking
those decisions, right?
02:05
The pipes are infinite and
you're going to bump your head,
02:07
and it's a part of the process.
02:10
Three, and it's very subtle
but very important:
02:13
Decide to settle when
growth is guaranteed.
02:17
So when your life is going great,
02:20
you have put together a great team,
02:22
and you have growing revenue,
and everything is set --
02:25
time to settle.
02:28
When I launched my first book,
02:30
I worked really, really hard to
distribute it everywhere in Brazil.
02:31
With that, over three million
people downloaded it,
02:34
over 50,000 people
bought physical copies.
02:37
When I wrote a sequel,
some impact was guaranteed.
02:39
Even if I did little, sales would be okay.
02:44
But okay is never okay.
02:48
When you're growing towards a peak,
02:50
you need to work harder than ever
and find yourself another peak.
02:52
Maybe if I did little, a couple hundred
thousand people would read it,
02:56
and that's great already.
03:00
But if I work harder than ever,
03:02
I can bring this number up to millions.
03:04
That's why I decided, with my new book,
to go to every single state of Brazil.
03:07
And I can already see a higher peak.
03:11
There's no time to settle down.
03:13
Fourth tip, and that's really important:
03:15
Believe the fault is someone else's.
03:18
I constantly see people saying,
03:21
"Yes, I had this great idea,
but no investor had the vision to invest."
03:23
"Oh, I created this great product,
03:27
but the market is so bad,
the sales didn't go well."
03:29
Or, "I can't find good talent; my team
is so below expectations."
03:33
If you have dreams,
03:38
it's your responsibility
to make them happen.
03:40
Yes, it may be hard to find talent.
03:43
Yes, the market may be bad.
03:46
But if no one invested in your idea,
03:48
if no one bought your product,
03:50
for sure, there is something
there that is your fault.
03:52
(Laughter)
03:55
Definitely.
03:57
You need to get your dreams
and make them happen.
03:59
And no one achieved their goals alone.
04:02
But if you didn't make them happen,
it's your fault and no one else's.
04:05
Be responsible for your dreams.
04:09
And one last tip, and this one is
really important as well:
04:12
Believe that the only things that matter
are the dreams themselves.
04:17
Once I saw an ad,
and it was a lot of friends,
04:22
they were going up a mountain,
it was a very high mountain,
04:25
and it was a lot of work.
04:29
You could see that they
were sweating and this was tough.
04:30
And they were going up,
and they finally made it to the peak.
04:33
Of course, they decided
to celebrate, right?
04:36
I'm going to celebrate, so,
04:38
"Yes! We made it, we're at the top!"
04:40
Two seconds later, one looks
at the other and says,
04:42
"Okay, let's go down."
04:45
(Laughter)
04:47
Life is never about the goals themselves.
04:48
Life is about the journey.
04:51
Yes, you should enjoy
the goals themselves,
04:53
but people think that you have dreams,
04:56
and whenever you get to reaching
one of those dreams,
04:59
it's a magical place where
happiness will be all around.
05:01
But achieving a dream
is a momentary sensation,
05:05
and your life is not.
05:08
The only way to really achieve
all of your dreams
05:11
is to fully enjoy every step
of your journey.
05:14
That's the best way.
05:17
And your journey is simple --
it's made of steps.
05:19
Some steps will be right on.
05:21
Sometimes you will trip.
05:23
If it's right on, celebrate, because
some people wait a lot to celebrate.
05:25
And if you tripped, turn that
into something to learn.
05:30
If every step becomes something
to learn or something to celebrate,
05:34
you will for sure enjoy the journey.
05:39
So, five tips:
05:42
Believe in overnight success,
05:43
believe someone else
has the answers for you,
05:45
believe that when growth is guaranteed,
you should settle down,
05:48
believe the fault is someone else's,
05:51
and believe that only
the goals themselves matter.
05:54
Believe me, if you do that,
you will destroy your dreams.
05:57
(Laughter)
06:00
(Applause)
06:01
Thank you.
06:02

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Bel Pesce - Entrepreneur
Bel Pesce left Brazil to study at MIT. But after a successful stint in Silicon Valley, she returned to inspire others with great ideas in her country to make them a reality.

Why you should listen

Bel Pesce has worked at big technology companies — in at internship at Microsoft, she led the team for Microsoft Touchless and, as an intern at Google, she worked to improve the Google Translate system. She has also worked in finance, at Deutsche Bank, and helped launch several startups — most notably, the video platform Ooyala and Lemon Wallet, an app that replicates the contents of your wallet on your phone.  But for her latest venture, Pesce is looking to inspire. She has opened a school, FazINOVA, which is dedicated to helping students — both in live courses in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and online — persevere toward their dreams. The school has grown tremendously since its establishment in 2013.

Pesce, a TED Fellow, is also the author of three books: The Brazilian Girl from Silicon Valley, Superheroes: WANTED and The Girl from Silicon Valley 2. She has been named one of the "100 most influential people of Brazil" by Época Magazine.

 

The original video is available on TED.com
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