49 minutes | Jan 17, 2018

008: Creating Credibility with Eric Koester

Imagine a room of smart, hopeful, slightly lost university students. Picture students who come from all different worlds.There are future doctors, mothers, world travelers, and entrepreneurs in the mix of students.   Despite the differences, most students are enrolled in college for the same reason. They want to change the trajectory of their lives. They want to develop, over the course of their education, some experience, some valuable skills, and become an expert in a certain area. And maybe, just maybe, they can find a job they actually like at the end of the road.   You could say, for a time, these students are “borrowing” credibility from their university. They are hoping that they can rely on a few small details about where they went to school, and some references to get a job or find a career path.   Employers haven’t always been able to Google job applicants. So, before Facebook, employers had, essentially a resume, to determine credibility. If a person graduated from a prestigious university, bingo! They got a job.   Since Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram everyone can have a presence and show the world their creations. People blog, use social media, write books, record, and create YouTube channels. Employers (and the rest of the world) are beginning to value what people have created more than where they went to school. About time, right?   In this episode, Eric Koester, founder and CEO of Creator Institute, and professor at Georgetown University shares some incredible insight on what it means to be a creator, an entrepreneur and how to use your creations, and an entrepreneur mindset to build a business.   Eric began teaching at Georgetown University as a hobby. He was teaching entrepreneur courses. He was enjoying the hobby so much, he took on five classes a year.   After a few years, Eric was reflecting on the impact he was having. From his research and data, things were looking pretty discouraging. He realized of all the students he was teaching, hardly any of them were using what he taught them to start a business during or after college.   With the grim results he was seeing, he decided he was going to quit teaching.   However, Georgetown talked him into teaching one last semester. The semester Eric thought would be his last, completely changed the way he taught and thought about entrepreneurs.   A few days before class, Eric changed the entire syllabus. He decided, instead of teaching people how to start a business, he was going to apply the same principles, but help his class write and publish a book! As Eric would say, “bonkers”!   On the first day of class, the students were shocked when they found out they’d be writing a book. Eric was sure students would start dropping his class, instead, the class doubled in size.   That semester was an experiment. An experiment that completely revolutionized the way Eric taught. It was also the catalyst that led him to launch his business, Creator Institute. What he ultimately discovered is the first step to being an entrepreneur is to become a creator!   It doesn’t matter what the creation is, for his students that semester it was a book, but it could be anything. A podcast, a blog, a YouTube channel, a product, music; the list goes on. The realization that creating was key, was seriously rocking Eric’s world and absolutely giving his students an incredible advantage when trying to land their perfect job.   Today, Eric has impacted the lives of many students who have, in fact, published books. The books they have written have opened doors that were never expected. He tells stories of bright, passionate students who literally change the trajectory of their entire life by writing a book.   The big message today is the world needs creators! It needs creators more than it needs entrepreneurs. Creators become entrepreneurs, not the other way around!     Key Takeaways: [:04] Eric Koester is introduced. [1:25] Eric gives a snapshot of what defined his “opportunist” career and talks about what led him to his current position as a professor at Georgetown University. [4:04] Eric is disillusioned by his teaching and wonders if he is impacting his students. [6:00] People want autonomy, but they don’t know exactly what that means or what they want. [7:17] Eric reluctantly decides to teach one more semester at Georgetown. After some deconstructing of the problem, he decides to revamp the entire coursework. [11:22] Eric relays what happens the first day of class; the reaction of his students on the first day of class, when he tells them they will be writing and publishing a book. [13:36] Eric’s class doubles in size. [14:30] Millennials believe having an entrepreneurial mindset is being an entrepreneur. [15:24] Entrepreneurs are often formed over time through experience. [16:24] Creating creators will result in more entrepreneurs. [20:50] People have to understand at a high level how to start a company and then they have to create credible evidence; then they can create a company. [21:40] Eric gives an example of how one of his student authors followed the pattern of creating something (a book in this case) and then starting a business. [24:11] There has been a shift in the way people determine credibility. The signaling theory is discussed. There is less emphasis on people’s associations and more emphasis on what they have done. [29:10] People who are thriving are people who are creating. [30:00] How to launch entrepreneurial careers. Eric shares examples of people who knew their passions, and found a way to turn their passion into a career. Find what you love. [40:20] Find Eric on Twitter @EricKoester and check out Creator.institute. [40:30] The creative process intimidates a lot of people. Eric runs a free one month course called Cred, and the goal is to define what can what can transform you. Everyone can do it! [42:44] Daily demonstrating your purpose opens doors. [44:08] Let’s create more creators. [44:27] Eric shares some good advice: if people feel like they have a vision, start reaching out. [46:08] Heather wants to take Eric’s class! [47:50] Thank you for listening. Follow us on Twitter @prtini, and use the hashtag #rewritetherules. Please like, share, and review if you like what you heard today.   Mentioned in this Episode: PRTini.com/about/ @prtini Creator.institute EricKoester.com @EricKoester ShaneMac.me @ShaneMac Soundcloud.com/adamsinger  
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