As a Native Texan, my family has stretched back either 5 or 7 generations (depending on which parent I ask). While the early years of my life were split between San Antonio and Dallas, it wasn’t until I moved to the Texas Capital of Austin where I discovered the meaning of entrepreneurship and all the opportunities that are born by it.
Entrepreneurship, by my definition, means having the courage to do what everyone else is afraid of doing. It means pushing one’s self to the limits of what is possible; it means challenging conventional wisdom while inviting competing views of brilliant minds to challenge what you still have yet to discover. Entrepreneurship means having the openness to understand your limits and leverage the skills of others to overcome them for the sake some something greater. I believe this, above all, is what separates Austin’s capacity for entrepreneurship and innovative thought over everywhere else in the state. That said, I don’t believe that culture is exclusive to The Capital City.
What inspires me about the future of Austin— and the entire Lone Star State—are the endless opportunities to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs, challenging them to solve big problems of the present day. It’s a blessing to meet with incredible startup Founders, Investors, CEOs, and Community Leaders on topics that affect the very future of our shared society. We’re standing at the cusp of walking into a future of peril or greatness. I believe we will choose the latter.
Every opportunity in my career has been the result of experienced and successful people willing to say “How can I help” before “What’s in it for me?”. It’s those people who ask, first and foremost, “How can I help?” that create the next generation of innovators. It’s people who are willing to put their own self-interest aside for the greater good because they too see a future of greatness. That’s what cultivates and fosters a community of innovators, above all else.