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Community Feeds the Entrepreneurial Fire

By on Sep 27, 2016 | 0 comments

For those who weren’t aware…   I  moved to New Orleans two months ago!   Since the big move from San Francisco I’ve been running my business here, joined the Idea Village as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for their Fall Digital Media accelerator and been looped into a Co-Curator role of the local TechStar Startup Digest. Phew! Over the past 2+ months I’ve met with leaders from professional organizations such as Idea Village, Propeller, 4.0 Schools as well as quite a few startup founders themselves to get a read on the local entrepreneurship landscape here in New Orleans. What is interesting is that from the largest professional organization down to the smallest startup (yahoo sole founders!), everybody has indirectly touched on a common theme: “How is my business/product/service going to make a positive change in the New Orleans community?” Notice how I haven’t heard the lines “…and this is how I’m going to change the world” or “…my product will create an entirely new market to service” Instead, Entrepreneurs (defined as startup founders, intrepreneurs, extrapreneurs, etc etc) here in New Orleans are actively trying to make their own neighbors life better from day #1 and solving local problems first, as voiced by the community. Back in San Francisco, all I ever heard was “my startup my startup my startup” – unless I missed some big group kumbaya meeting that was held each week, it seems that entrepreneurs in that market simply don’t give a s*** about the community itself. Granted I’ve only lived in New Orleans for about 70 days, but in my 5 years living in San Francisco I never heard this kind of talk. Let me share a few examples of civic engagement that I’ve run across. A colleague at the Idea Village who was a varsity swimmer in college leads a youth swim league based out of Tulane University’s Riley Athletic center – for free. He loves swimming and wants to help mentor and coach the next generation of swimmers. Last week I met the founder of Nola Brewing Company and he promptly said “Here’s my phone number call me literally anytime of the day or night.” There was no expectation. It’s unlikely I’ll ever buy something from him directly (indirectly, I love an ice cold Nola Blonde on a hot summer day) but he wanted me to know that as a newbie to the area, I had a friend in him. Pardon my french (hey, we ARE in Louisiana …) but people here frankly just GIVE A SHIT about the local community in a way that I’ve never seen in a “traditional” startup powerhouse city like San Francisco. And that’s really refreshing. Allow me to take the hint from my new neighbors: I’m only an email away from meeting new people and helping in any way that I can. Hit up my contact page and get in...

Leadership is About Letting Go

By on May 20, 2015 | 0 comments

Recently a friend of mine was having a problem at work. She was receiving a promotion to a new job within the company, but her current boss was not allowing her to start the new job for two months. Without going into the details, there’s a lot of politics involved in this decision. That’s not important to speak about right now. What is important to speak about is leadership. In my opinion, my friends current boss was showing her true colors. Holding my friend hostage in her current job was showing that she was a poor leader. The current boss knew that this is an unbelievable opportunity. That my friend was a perfect person for the new job. But the current boss refused to let my friend leave in less than eight weeks. She demanded that my friend rehire her own position. Meanwhile, my friends new boss was chomping at the bit for her to get started. As I have matured over the years, one of the big things that I have learned about leadership is that you have to let your people go. It can be as easy as… Giving instructions and sending them off trusting the job will get done Telling a worn down team member to take a day (or week!) off work to clear their head. Letting the teammate go, knowing their heart isn’t in this job any more. In my opinion, great leaders know when to let go and to what degree. Sometimes leadership is about letting go. Did this story add some value to your day? If so, I’d be mighty obliged if hit the ‘share’ buttons on the lefthand side of your screen. Also, sign up for my mailing list to receive updates every time I publish. Receive Email Updates Every Time I...