One of the many reasons I read blogs from the Atlanta tech scene daily is to get inspiration. Today, three different blog posts have set the stage for this one:
- For Free – “Paying it forward should give you the warm and fuzzies or be such a natural expression of your soul’s energy that it doesn’t feel like work.”
- Better than widgets – “I am in the business of changing lives.”
- Community Engagement as an Entrepreneur – “Civic engagement is a personal decision and one that I’ve found very rewarding.”
Each these posts got me thinking about where I’ve been and where I am now. Coming from the IT training & certification business, I don’t think I appreciated at the time that we really were in the business of changing lives. We would quite often see frustrated “IT guys” come through one of our WiFi bootcamps – a grueling 50-60 hour week of RF physics and application – and come out the other side with a certification and a raise or even a new, better job. That is changing lives by training someone up to make the very most of their abilities. Today, when I meet with a young, recent high school or college grad who’s trying to find their place, I almost always encourage them to learn to write software code. There’s no mistaking the massive hole in the market today that is the need for software developers. Software runs our world. In fact, one of the topics I discussed at a coffee meeting yesterday was that Apple is a software company. They just happen to deliver most of their software inside mobile devices.
Meetings like that one yesterday are one of the ways I really, really enjoy paying it forward. Until I read that phrase, “Pay it forward“, as part of the Village’s core values, I was not able to articulate exactly what it was, but since I began mentoring startups and entrepreneurs at ATDC, I have learned that, as Melanie said so well, “it doesn’t feel like work.“
The same applies for Pitch Practice and Atlanta Tech Blogs. These are two activities – one daily and one weekly – that don’t feel like work. I love digging into what other entrepreneurs think and do and love and struggle with as they share through their blogs; and I love seeing the light go on in the entrepreneur’s eyes when he or she “gets it” about delivering a great pitch. No, it may not change their lives when they figure out the best way to pitch, but it’s a small step in that direction.
Each of these is a personal decision, and I do find all of them very rewarding. They don’t feel like work, because they are a natural expression of my soul’s energy.