I have lived in your state now for about 10 months. Before that, I would have scratched my head at industry buzzwords like entrepreneurial spirit, evangelist, gamification, accelerator, scalability, thought leaders, etc. Having been working in the startup world for less than a year, I am still fresh to the ways and thinking of my colleagues and other startups. So it was no shock that after attending SeedSpot’s 3rd Demo Day last night, the positively contagious “entrepreneurial spirit” intrigued me.
It got me to thinking how each of the presenters on the program came to be standing behind that curtain tonight. What qualities do these successful entrepreneurs have that others who have failed, have lacked. I believe I narrowed it down to three qualities:
Passionate (yes, another buzzword)
Entrepreneurs aren’t jaded office workers enslaved to their desk working an 8-5 job they can’t stand. They are regular Joe Schmoes who have an enthusiasm for their ideas and dedication to make their dreams a reality, whether that means enslaving themselves to their desk, or working 8-5 and then some.
From ideas for after school skate programs, to visual language learning software, to a revolutionary health diagnosis tool, the SeedSpot demonstrators were all up there going for something they believe will impact the lives of hundreds and thousands of others. They turned a rusty idea into startup gold, asked for the blind support of others, and not to mention pitched their product in front of a theatre full of strangers. The strength it takes to believe in oneself and have this sense of confidence is inspirational.
I recognized some faces, but more I'd never met; the diversity of the crowd was enlightening. I saw parents with their young children and formally dressed businessmen. Hipsters and hipsters-turned-entrepreneur (jeans and a wrinkled button up). Santa Cruz hippie types and blue-collar workers. But regardless of their background, each of these people sat in the audience in solidarity to support their community. Because at one point or another, they themselves were, are, or will one day, be in the shoes of one of those presenters on stage.
Thank you Arizona, for teaching me about the important qualities of a successful entrepreneur. I think I have a lot left to learn, but I look forward to spending more time with you.
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