Chief Executive Officer | Alpaca
I think an entrepreneur is defined by a desire to bring something new into the world. It could be a new product, or it could be solving an old problem in a new way. Entrepreneurs ask to see a problem from a new angle, and then build ideas and solutions that solve that problem in a new way. That work requires a constant cycle of listen & build, listen & build. Listen to what we know about a problem. Build a solution that solves it in a new way. Listen to how it worked. Build the next version. It also requires setting down the assumptions we have about how we’ve solved the same problem in the past. And it requires asking questions like “what if we had to?” There was a time when we all would have rolled our eyes at the question “what if we had to fit this computer in your pocket?” but asking that question brought forth game-changing products.I believe some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs are educators. Classroom teachers are practicing these two ideas. They listen & build. Listen to what their students know and how they connect, and build new ways to reach them and teach them. Listen again to how it’s working, and build again for better results. And they ask, constantly, “what if we had to?” What if we had to teach through a pandemic? What if we had to reach kids in a new way? What if we refuse to give up on any kid? And then they build, listen, and bring forth new ways to solve challenges.
CEO & Founder | Crescent
An entrepreneur is defined by their resilience over time. You’re signing up for an inevitably turbulent journey when starting a company. The all-time greatest entrepreneurs are never remembered for how many times they failed. Only for their successes and the impact they brought to the world. I believe resilience and unrelenting belief in oneself over time will always lead to success. This ultimately defines an entrepreneur
Solutions Architect | Appsky, LLC
Someone who changes their mindset from making their own life better to making someone else’s life better. With an eternal focus on solving problems that others may not even realize they have, an entrepreneur will see opportunities all around them. A successful entrepreneur channels those opportunities alongside their own expertise, skills, connections, and passions to create a solution that is worth devoting their time, energy, and capital towards. A successful entrepreneur must also protect those precious resources of time, energy, and capital to pursue ideas that make the biggest impact and can grow into a self-sufficient offering. It is rare for an initial idea to be a perfect fit for the customer, market, or environment so it’s important to be flexible and adaptable to change. By being the champion for their own investment, a successful entrepreneur is critically evaluating their solutions to make them better
owner | Five Nine
The entrepreneurial spirit isn’t about startups or funds or growth. It’s about giving yourself permission to do what you’ve always wanted to do – even if you fail.