What excites you about speaking at the EMERGE Summit?
I always enjoy speaking to my peers. In so many ways, we are one of the most fortunate generations. I say that because everything is accessible to us and we have so many opportunities with the internet and technology, that we are able to create out of nothing, identify problems and create solutions.
Back in our parents’ days, they would have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to create or produce, when our generation can do in a quarter of that.
I feel like we are in a time where we have the opportunity to create so much because the playing field has been leveled in so many ways. And what I mean by that is that people in their 20s and 30s can participate in business and compete with larger corporations. And I mean truly become industry changing competition. Look at what AirBNB has done, or what Uber has done to the transportation world. Name your startup and you can see how it as disrupted these old industries and created something we use every day. These large corporations are scratching their heads and having to spend time and money to retain their relevance.
What does #dareto mean to you?
My grandmother used to say “nothing beats a failure but a try.” And that has always resonated with me. You have to #dareto do things and nothing beats a failure but trying. If you try and succeed, awesome! If not, at least you tried.
With On Second Thought, so many people on social media would say, “I had that idea, I wish I had done it!” I realized many people had the idea – I was just the first to execute. The first to do it. Many people said it was impossible. No, nothing here is impossible – so in daring to try, we created a product that people use every day and potentially save their reputations.
What do you want to dare to (do)?
There is still a lot we want to do. We have some really fun plans and ideas that I can’t talk about but it would simplify your messaging experience. But even in my personal life, there is eventually start a family, which is one of the scariest things for me.
I have a list of 15-20 businesses that I want to test eventually. The best on the list is doing a tea farm! Upon exit on Second Thought, I have already started to build a foundation. I’d like to tie 90% of my exit towards solving global problems and challenges and that’s a huge undertaking.
I want to #dareto do things that are bigger than me and #dareto continue to challenge myself and make myself uncomfortable.
What advice do you have for young professionals to encourage them to “Dare to”?
Just do it! I read a book years ago called Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, “But God doesn’t call the qualified; God qualifies the called.” That always resonated with me and always empowered me to go outside of my comfort zone. If I don’t know about something, I’ll learn or there’s an experience that will apply, or someone will come along who has skills to complete the task.
Just continue to do it and don’t believe that you don’t deserve it or you have the skills, as long as you try, everything will fall into place.
How do you define ‘success’?
Doing what it is that I’ve been created to do, and really fulfilling my purpose. Part of my purpose is to make an impact and lead change in this would and inspire. So as long as I continue to impact and lead change, I’m successful. This is not just in business, but also in my community, in church, with my family.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Same advice. And don’t look back.