A recent entrepreneurship conference, 3698, in Nashville highlighted learning more about business ownership and the importance of advocacy.
Emmie Wolf-Dubin and Ilana Drake had the chance to pick the brains of several young frontrunners in finance and investing.
Borrego & Bendel Corporation CEO Nick Borrego shared an important tip from his father, “Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and you’ll grow into that world.”
The reasoning — becoming an entrepreneur has a number of challenges.
“Don’t forget to follow your dreams… if you have the passion and fire inside your heart, it’ll take you across the world. Never lose sight of your dreams and don’t be afraid to fail,” Borrego added.
Following your dreams was a crucial theme for all. Many said this action would be something they would tell their high school selves.
“Start now. Don’t wait. If you have an idea, it doesn’t matter what your age or experience is. It’s better to have those trials and errors early so you don’t have to go through that as much when you’re at that higher level,” said Smart Charge CEO Nahja Clayton.
My Video Vault App creator Trent Center agreed.
“Never stop moving forward. There will always be setbacks. If you’re doing good things, treating people right, there will always be help along the way,” said Center.
Others shared that they were told to be persistent, committed and patient. Some emphasized the importance of being prepared. When you’re pitching your idea, make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for in order to not waste time or resources.
Many stressed that there are two vital items to becoming an entrepreneur: Networking and pitching.
Isaac Hicks from Slipbot said that while you may be nervous, knowing your goals will help that.
"The investors aren’t that scary, they’re just a little bit older and more experienced. Realize that everyone there is just people. But above all else: You earned the right to be there. You’re the star of the show. So just remember, it’s about you. You should act accordingly," said Hicks.
Every speaker had the same advice about networking: Do it. It’s one of your most powerful tools. Never underestimate the power of a good network; you can do so by attending any event to connect with local leaders and being entrenched in your community.
“You’ll always have to be the one to break the ice. You always have to be the one to go up and talk to people. Do that. And don’t be afraid of being yourself, that’s very important,” said Shree Mijargut from BOS Framework.
There were three takeaways regarding pitching: Plan and prepare, be adaptable and speak with passion.
When you show your passion for your product, service or idea, you will inspire others to do the same. This is one of the most valuable marketing tools you could possibly use in your pitch.
“Whenever you’re getting ready to go for a pitch and you have so many nerves, just get your talk track down so you know what you’re gonna say and then forget about it. The investors aren’t that scary, they’re just a little bit older and more experienced …You earned the right to be there. You’re the star of the show. So just remember, it’s about you. You should act accordingly,” Hicks advised.