Back in July I was a fly on the wall for a NewCo session Square Root hosted for Austin’s Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO). The quotable tidbits were flowing, so I started jotting down notes to share with any budding entrepreneurs that couldn’t make the sesh.
To set the scene, we had entrepreneurs from different businesses and backgrounds. They included:
- Chris Taylor, our CEO and Founder
- Anthony Blatner, Found of Jackrabbit Mobile
- Nad Elias, Managing Partner of The HT Group
- Denise Villa, Coo and Founder of The Center for Generational Kinetics
Their plan was to talk about the Mythical Balanced Entrepreneur. As someone who hasn’t been an entrepreneur since a failed attempt selling homemade bracelets on the playground (darn elementary school rules!), it was inspiring and interesting to hear them speak about their journeys.
An idea is just an idea until you put it into action. Share your ideas, ask for feedback, ask for help, and know that making mistakes is normal. Terrifying, right? At Square Root, we talk about how valuable feedback is, but for me it never stops being difficult to put something out there that I’ve poured myself into. Without me even sharing this fear, Anthony, had a great response to it, “Someone’s going to poke a bunch of holes in your idea, but then you’re going to fill those holes.”
Along the lines of being vulnerable, our seasoned entrepreneurs shared how much they love working with up and coming entrepreneurs. Nad mentioned that he’s inspired by the energy and ideas; it reminds him why he’s in the entrepreneurship game. If you’re feeling intimidated, don’t! They’ve been there and want to help. And you shouldn’t stop with just getting feedback from vets, get a variety of perspectives from across the board. Often it’s the person with the least experience that gives you the most valuable insights.
Obvious advice I needed to hear:
“You don’t know what you don’t know”, Denise. This sentiment is something I need to hear again and again. It’s such a good reminder that there’s so much I don’t know and it’s important to be open.
The quote that got me thinking:
“It’s like a baby. Sometimes you’ve got to stay up late feeding the baby, the company. But if you love it, then you’re still excited to see it each morning.” – Denise
As the mom of a teething one year old, the metaphor was not lost on me. I’ve got a slew of company ideas and it really struck me what having my own company would mean. It would be hard and ridiculously rewarding. Her comment also gave me a new perspective of Chris, our CEO & Founder. Each day there is some decision he’s entrusted me with to make sure I don’t blow this place up. The gravity of how difficult it must be to hand your baby off to a “sitter” hit me. And there are 51 “sitters” here. How does he do it? According to him, he finds folks that believe in the mission and the values.
So what now?
The morale of their chat was similar to an adage about raising children, “It takes a village.” If you have an idea, a passion, a company, a baby – admit you don’t know it all and find support from others, especially entrepreneurs that have been there.
And if you’re already an entrepreneur looking for a network check out EO here!