4 Takeaways from Bill Warner’s talk, “Build Your Start Up from the Heart,” at Harvard University’s innovation lab

Warnerimage via Abby Fichter, @HackerChick

Turn off your head engine! That’s what Bill Warner advised to b-school students and aspiring local entrepreneurs at an event at the Harvard University’s innovation lab on Tuesday night.  His talk was about how to follow your heart rather than your head when growing your business.  As founder of Avid and Wildfire, Warner learned what it’s like to run business from both sides but he found that when you create from the heart, anything is possible (he went so far to say that we all have superhero potency when we are in that place).

Mr Warner shared 4 golden rules to redirect the head (that left-brain noise) to the heart (the right-brain chatter) for business success.

1) When you want to say no, say “that doesn’t feel right to me.”

We’ve all been in meetings or heard ideas and suggestions that we instinctually want to shut down.  By saying no to something, you immediately turn off dialogue.  The statement “it doesn’t feel right to me” opens the conversation to the heart instead of the head.   Warner contended that this is a great way to open conversation – responses to that question are almost always “why?” You can get to the negative in a positive and productive way.

2) Instead of making declarative statements, change it to “I believe that”

Warner contends declarative statements are commanding, controlling and are a projection of power.

Warned compared these two statements:

“don’t make declarative statements.”


“I believe that declarative statements are controlling [or insert whatever reason here why].”

See the difference? Stating your beliefs puts you the heart into your conversation and mindset.

3) When framing your business, think of it in terms of how you intend to help people.

Talk and think about how you intend to help your people.  Understanding your intention is understanding your heart.

4) You can’t use big words

Warner advises to stick to words a first grader uses. Language needs to be timeless and kept simple. By thinking about your business in a universal way, you can get to the heart of the business idea rather than get lost in left-brain logic.  Warner says you need to get rid of left-brain words and tap the timeless ones that go straight to the heart.

Do you tend to over think things instead of following your heart in business? Do you have any tip to re-direct conversation?  I’d love to hear!

For more advice from Bill Warner, follow him on Twitter at @billwarner

To find out about the Harvard Innovation Lab and other public events they host,  visit their website.

Questions? Comments?  Please email me at melissa.dewitte@gmail.com.   Do you have a success story you’d like to share?  I am always looking for interesting people to feature here and elsewhere (like the Social Media Club and Young Women In Digital – two blogs I contribute to)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s