Remembering to be a Lovecat

I’m going to make a public confession about how I’ve been acting and thinking the last few months and a public recommitment to being a Tim Sanders Love-Is-The-Killer-App lovecat–one who shares knowledge freely, shares contacts freely, and treats everyone with love and respect.

So here is my story. For a couple of years I’ve been spending most of my time in learning, sharing, and networking. I found a lot of joy in life and business because I kept meeting new people, reading great books, sharing my knowledge and contacts freely with the intention of helping others solve their problems and find success.

I have taught entrepreneurship and internet marketing to hundreds of college students and others, and like I said, I found a lot of joy in it. I also love blogging and writing my column for Connect Magazine and giving lectures in lots of venues. Sharing knowledge was my primary focus.
But, in December I raised money for my web incubator Provo Labs and jumped back into starting and growing several companies. We hired a lot of great web 2.0 type employees and starting building a culture and company-building system that I really like. But the problem is that my own work time is now spent almost 100% on my own companies. I’ve stepped into an operational role, and like all business operators, don’t have much time at all anymore for reading and writing and networking and speaking — the things that really bring me the most satisfaction.

Then, last week, while helping with the judging for an entrepreneur competition, I read a bio on Amy Lewis, one of Utah’s top entrepreneurs, which said she her main focus in business is on helping everyone around her to succeed. That had a huge impact on me. It reminded me of how I want to be and how happy I was when I did that.
Amy and I are on the Kevin and Debra Rolling eBusiness Advisory Board which met today at BYU. We sat next to each other during the board meetings. (Kevin Rollins was there! and shared some ideas about the center and the student experience he hopes to provide there. I’ve now heard Kevin speak twice in the last month–both at BYU events. What a tremendous business leader he is.) I told Amy how much I appreciated her bio that is making me rethink my business focus.

She told me to buy “Seven Spiritual Laws to Success” by Deepak Chopra. She said it has some great principles in it. I told her about “Love is the Killer App.”

I also got an email this week from one of my great friends in the Provo Labs family and he said he wasn’t feeling a lot of “Provo Labs love” lately. He said he wanted more opportunities for learning and networking and that he felt that for Provo Labs to succeed we needed to do more teaching and networking. I couldn’t agree more.

So I am going to try to shift my focus back to being a lovecat both within the Provo Labs family and without — with the goal of helping others to succeed.

Today I shared some really valuable ideas with a friend of mine who runs a blogging network about how to increase his revenue. A week ago I might have withheld that information because it might have become a proprietary advantage, but with my recommitment to helping others I decided to share it because he actually will benefit more from the idea than I will because his blogging network is already quite large. I haven’t helped many entrepreneurs lately and it felt good.
My blog has become way too much about Provo Labs and not nearly enough about ideas and experiences and suggestions that will help internet entrepreneurs and internet marketers succeed. Even my Connect magazine column this month was all about Provo Labs — why I’m doing a web incubator.
In order to help me help others, I’m inviting all internet entrepreneurs or internet marketers to email me the questions you have. I will collect the questions and blog answers to them in the coming weeks.

In your subject line, please say “Please Blog About This” and then ask your question. I’d like my blog to become more interactive. I’ll do my best to scour the resources that I have (including my personal knowlege base of 150 MB of content from news clippings and notes from 1992-2006 and my large business library) and draw from my experiences and the experiences of hundreds of people that I have heard speak over the years (and taken extensive notes) to provide good answers.
Like Alan Hall, founder of Grow Utah Ventures — a brilliant and wonderful man who may be doing more to promote entrepreneurship than any other person I know — I hope that all the entrepreneurs in my network who find increased prosperity from things they learn from me (or from others who share freely) will in turn give back and do all they can in business and philanthropy to lift others.

I feel much better, now that I’ve learned my lesson and regained my focus. Let the lovecat fest begin!

11 Comments

  1. As the CEO in Paul’s coolest portfolio company I can tell you that Paul is a true lovecat. He is great to work with!

    Paul, its a privilege to work with you. Thank you for this opportunity.

    Chris

  2. As I seemed to have failed the very first test – finding your email address – I’ll have to bare my question here…

    The idea is a good one. The widget that grew from the idea is finished. The web site designed to build hype and community around the widget is finished. The business process and goals around the web site are ready and waiting. How do you drive users to your site, and keep them coming back?

  3. Dear Mr. Allen,

    I commend you on your desire to help others succeed. It’s those small acts of generosity that create a synergy of positive energy and will certainly be returned to you tenfold. That’s what successful leaders do.

    Which reminds me of that famous quote by Zig Ziglar, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want. ”

    Much prosperity to you!

  4. Please address the question posed by your recent experiences and recommitment to core principles. How does an entrepeneur (or anyone doing anything worthwhile) keep a broader (more creative or more giving) focus and still perform the specific, possibly mundane, tasks required by the project?

    I was inspired by your Connect article. Best of luck to you with Provo Labs!

  5. Your comments really made me laugh because just yesterday I was in conversation with an angel investor that said he once put together some education type presentations for an angel group and they said that he better cut out the crap.

    Nice to see that you’re willing to help people. It will certainly make you feel good whether it helps you financially or not. You can’t take your companies with you to heaven, but the people you help will be there to say yea or nay.

  6. Thanks for your continued blog. As I add and subtract to the subscriptions in my feed reader your blog sticks out as one that is relevant, regular, and genuine. The mix of insight, information and tone is just right which is much more than I can say for most- including my own blog.

  7. Marty M. Fahncke

    Paul,

    Glad to see you back on board the “information provider” bandwagon!

    Don’t forget…I still have that survey compilation tool set up for you at http://www.learnfrompaulallen.com

    That might be more efficient for you to use than soliciting responses via email.

    Marty

  8. Russell Page

    It reminds me of the phrase: “For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare;”

  9. Russell Page » Enough and to spare - Utah, blog, public rela

    […] Paul Allen wrote a great post on the importance of what he called being a lovecat. Essentially, he says he lost focus of what he loved most about doing what he does . . . helping others succeed. […]

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