Recently I was emailing with a successful entrepreneur in town and it reminded me of the first time I met him over 15 years ago. Back then, I was involved in a local networking organization for technologists and received an email that this entrepreneur was giving a keynote talk — I immediately signed up. Here was the chance to learn from a serial entrepreneur that had taken his most recent company public and sold it for billions of dollars.
As I sat in the auditorium and listened to his talk of the struggles, of having to beg friends for money, of being on the brink of bankruptcy multiple times, it dawned on me: entrepreneurs are human like everyone else.
As a struggling entrepreneur myself, I had this internal myth that successful entrepreneurs were different. It was as if they played by different rules, breathed different air, and were doing unattainable things. Hearing live, for the first time, an entrepreneur share their journey, warts and all, inspired me.
Seeing him in person and shaking his hand made me feel like if he could do it, I could too. If he got through his struggles, I could too. If he could build something meaningful, I could too.
Entrepreneurs find inspiration in a number of different ways. For me, seeing, hearing, and touching a successful entrepreneur inspired me and helped stretch my belief in what was possible.