This is part of an ongoing series of posts by our Entrepreneur in Residence, Kosta Ligris, focused on guidance for the student teams taking part in our MIT delta v accelerator.
“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
-– African Proverb
Reflecting on the talent that has selflessly given its time this summer to participate in delta v is remarkable. Just a quick overview of the people posted on the MIT delta V Wall of Fame in the Martin Trust Center (MTC) is impressive. If we added the board members, and the friends of the MTC that have come to listen to pitch practices, we would quickly run out of wall space.
“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”
-– Margaret J. Wheatley
MIT delta v is a community of entrepreneurs, professionals, alums, and educators that are passionate about entrepreneurship, innovation, and the mission and values of the Trust Center and our educational accelerator. A community of which our students are now lifelong members.
With this membership comes responsibility as evidenced by the countless people that have worked to make this program so unique. I have seen numerous examples of teams helping other teams since Week 1 and this is rewarding. Just think of all the people that you have connected with, that have offered their time in person at the MTC and over calls and web meetings. It is remarkable. One goal, one mission, to help you reach that escape velocity.
Take a look at “5 Benefits of Community for Entrepreneurs.” Pay particular attention to this line:
“One of the biggest functions of a community of entrepreneurs is to pass on the knowledge that has been gathered from experienced professionals to the less experienced entrepreneurs.”
Also take a quick read of “Leveraging the Power of Community as an Entrepreneur.” It references studies that have shown that there is a direct correlation to your network and success (see “Socio-cultural factors and entrepreneurial activity: An overview.”)
As a reference to my EIR Reflection on networking and my repeated whining about this, keep the following in mind: “Just like that age old philosophical question of whether or not a falling tree makes a sound if no one is there to hear it, no matter how great your work is, it doesn’t mean much if no one is there to see it. The value of a community is that you’re able to get yourself and what you do in front of the people who matter.”
“The Greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassion actions of its members.”
-– Coretta Scott King
Don’t lose sight of the value and power of this network of people that want to see you succeed, and don’t forget that your responsibility is to give back to your teams and other entrepreneurs.
Take a minute in the next couple of weeks to personally thank the people that have created the most value and impact for you this summer. I promise you they will be there for you after delta v as you continue to grow your companies. And never forget that you need to be there for them and others that you can help.
Being an entrepreneur is a cool thing – we have “passions and visions,” but traditional education models and systems don’t prepare us to be entrepreneurs – they prepare us to be lawyers and doctors! Check out Cameron Herold talk about “Let’s Raise Kids to be Entrepreneurs” in his TED Talk.
“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.”
-– Helen Keller