November is National Entrepreneur’s Month. It is a time to celebrate America’s innovators, support small businesses, and empower entrepreneurs. As a startup company, we like to think of ourselves as entrepreneurs. Dan Fink is the Marketing Intern at GoStrive – read his story about the moment he knew entrepreneurship was for him, and how he gives back to the community every chance he can.
Just before Thanksgiving break of my freshman year in college, I got a call from my entrepreneurship professor, Dr. William Dougan. In his crazy Kansas accent he said, “Dan you’re never going to believe this”. He was right, I didn’t believe the opportunity he presented me. Fast forward four days later, I was standing in the White House West Wing. Dr Dougan, classmate Andrew Hoeft, and I had been cordially invited, on behalf of the Young Entrepreneurial Council (YEC), to the ‘I Am an Entrepreneur’ event.
Andrew (left) and Dan (right) outside the United States Capitol Building
Six YEC members made up the ‘I Am an Entrepreneur’ panel. Each participant had founded one or several businesses. They represented many business sectors – from moving company, Hunks Hauling Junk, to national trendspotters, Buzz Marketing Group. After entrepreneurial background from each panelist, the group took questions from the audience. They covered a variety of lessons learned, how to find opportunities in unexpected places, and what it took to get them where they are today. The panel was one of the most inspiring moments of the entire trip, and I was able to take what I learned and pass it on to my entrepreneurial peers back at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
‘I Am an Entrepreneur’ was one of the coolest experiences of my life so far. In the closing remarks, Scott Gerber left us with this, “A couple of years from now you probably won’t remember this event, me or any of the YEC folks. But if you remember one thing that actually means something, I want you to remember this. You might meet somebody today that will give you that key ingredient for your business that is going to help you move forward. I ask you this. Give it back. If this generation helps every generation after it, we can build a sustainable entrepreneurship ecosystem like the world has never seen.”
Since then, I have never passed up the opportunity to “give it back” to other entrepreneurs. I have always been involved in helping student entrepreneurs and I hope to continue for a long time.
Watch the video of the YEC members telling their stories. It’s great!
Happy Entrepreneurship month!